My pick for TV show of the year took me by surprise. My pick for my favourite TV show is season one of American Gods (Starz/Amazon). I confess to never having read the Neil Gaiman novel. However, what I did enjoy about the series was its aesthetic. American Gods looks like nothing I’ve seen on television, having not experienced Bryan Fuller’s previous series, Hannibal. The other thing that kept me going was the characters. The characters in American Gods are fascinating and dynamic. The unusual and bizarre nature of the show keeps you engaged throughout the season. I’m excited to see where the show takes us when it returns for its second season. I’m interested how they will keep the momentum of such an interesting series going.
When I saw Zoe’s pick for this category, I was floored. I had completely forgotten about American Gods to my shame. If I didn’t have a rule about picking the same entry as someone else, that would be my pick too. I did, in fact, read the book and was hotly anticipating the series and particularly the realisation of one of my favourite characters in Ian McShane’s Mr Wednesday. If you haven’t seen American Gods yet, see it.
So, for my actual pick this year I’m cheating somewhat. I’m not picking one TV show. I’m picking four. Or more accurately four episodes of four TV shows. Or more accurately again, one episode each of four TV shows. My pick is the Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Earth-X. This crossover is a four-part series that took place across Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The plot concerns Earth-X. Within the fiction of the Arrowverse, there are 52 different universes. The one with Arrow, Flash, and the Legends is Earth-1. Supergirl is from Earth-38. From this, you might assume that Earth-X is Earth-10. In actuality, Earth-X is Earth-53, having been stricken from the record because of how horrible it is.
On Earth-X, all the bad guys are good guys and all the good guys are … Nazis. (There might be a reason why two of my 2017 picks involve fighting fascists, because it’s 2017 and fuck fascists). The four-part crossover involves the villains on Earth-X planning to attack our heroes in order to save the life of one of their own. They also plan to invade other Earths with their newly stolen technology. The crossover acknowledges the harmful aspects of the Nazi ideology (which, if you’re representing Nazis, mention that they’re genocidal fuckwits), which they can highlight because of the diverse nature of the Arrowverse heroes. Sara Lance, in particular, gives a compelling speech on why, as a bisexual woman, she would be a target of the Nazi regime. The whole aspect of our heroes fighting Nazis is a whole lot of fun to watch and I enjoy how every character is in a similar position of: Man, Fuck Nazis. Nazis are the worst. Which they are.
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