As if 2017 wasn’t bad enough, it’s also a year that’ll see several outstanding, if often-overlooked TV shows go off the air. However, before they do make their departure and drop off our collective cultural radars, it’s worth giving them a chance and the send-off they deserve .
After a solid five-season run (and one well-deserved Emmy win for talented lead Tatiana Maslany), 2017 looks to be the end for clone club. Orphan Black’s corporate conspiracies and duplicitous shenanigans are finally coming to an end, but there’s never been a better time to delve into the series and discover what it has to offer. The series kicks off with small time con-artist Sarah witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her and quickly dovetails into an ever expanding science fiction adventure about the ethics of human cloning and the pursuit of trans-humanism.
Though never a perfect show, Orphan Black was one that always committed completely to its zany premise and seeing the personable and engaging cast tackle each situation and Maslany’s armada of core performances only get better with age.
For many, The Leftovers was the high-concept HBO drama that just didn’t stick with audiences – and that’s an unabashed shame. An ensemble series driven by a mysterious and unexplainable event (from the mind of Lost-showrunner Damon Lindelof no less), it’s not entirely surprising that a lot of people passed over it. While The Leftovers isn’t an immediately-gratifying show in the make of something like Game of Thrones or Stranger Things, its subject matter ultimately makes it far more rewarding to watch than either of the above.
Those who stuck with the show discovered a series not just concerned about grey moralities and dysfunctional families, but with the existential grappling of crippling grief and relentless faith that most people are likely to experience or encounter at some point in their lives. It’s not just another mystery show, it’s a mystery show where the core appeal is that its characters will never find the closure they seek. The Leftovers is messy at times but it carries the kind of raw emotional and sweeping dramatic impact that few other shows can rival.
A&E’s rich reimagining of the Hitchcock classic Psycho gradually grew from oddly-shaped thriller to oddly-tinted small town mayhem in record time. Sure, at the start, it was a bit awkward and small-scale but over time it learned to play to those strengths and become a beast of its own. It embraced its insularity and inherent strangeness and while it never reached Hannibal-levels of quality, it often ended up far better than it had any right to be.
Now, with its final season, it’s going into a full-remake of the classic film. Pop singer Rihanna is set to play the famous role of Marion Crane and Freddie Highmore’s young Norman Bates is set to steal the show. It’s on.