Best TV Episodes Of 2017

The Best TV Episodes of 2017 (So Far)

According to the calendar, we’re only halfway through 2017… but it feels like we’ve already watched about a decade’s worth of great TV this year, doesn’t it?

Peak TV is really peaking right now, with dozens of great shows airing all across the networks and cable, and new gems popping up on the streaming services seemingly every week. (Slow down, Netflix!) The result: an avalanche of quality dramas and comedies for our viewing pleasure. (And it truly has been a pleasure.)

To celebrate this embarrassment of riches, we here at TVLine are looking back at the year in TV so far and picking out our very favorite episodes of 2017. We suggested, we debated, we nearly came to blows… but when the dust settled, we had a list of 20 fantastic episodes, all airing over the past six months.

Check out the photo gallery to the right — or click here for direct access — to see which shows and episodes made the cut, along with our take on what made them so fantastic. If we missed a favorite of yours (and we’re sure we did), please feel free to jog our memories in the comments… because we could always use a few more great shows to watch.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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49 Comments
  1. Tom says:

    *raises hand* Girls is a COMEDY? Granted I only watched the first season, and I know it’s classified as such, but it certainly rarely felt it to me

  2. tracy rodriguez says:

    You missed my favorites which is shadowhunters

  3. I’m SO glad you gave Legion a nod. Such an underrated show, and I don’t see it getting noticed many places other than genre sites. I can’t wait for season 2!

  4. Kia says:

    can’t believe you didn’t include either one of the last two episodes of Bones, just…

  5. ndixit says:

    I would disagree with the AOS and Legion choices, not because those episodes weren’t good, but because I feel other eps in the season were even better. For AOS, I found ‘What If’ and ‘Self-Control’ absolute masterpieces. Then for Legion, I absolutely adored Chapter 7. The entire sequence of David breaking out of his mind and what is happening everywhere else is a thing of beauty. Not to mention, we get British rational mind David and Lenny at her creepiest.

    • I agree with you on the Legion episode – that one was brilliance. The bit with David talking to himself in the classroom, giving us his backstory… Amazing.

    • Rachel says:

      Yes, definitely agree with what u said about legion. That whole ep was magnificent with the Bolero sequence being my favorite part.

    • Alichat says:

      I definitely agree with you on Legion. Episode 7 was brilliant tv! Such a fantastic way to handle the excess exposition.

    • Hollie says:

      I agree that Self Control edges out Farewell, Cruel World at least for me, however I respect Tvline’s decision- they only had one choice and Farewell Cruel World definitely was an amazing episode.

  6. Liz says:

    “Moo-Moo,” from B99, was a masterful tackling of a heavy topic for a comedy without feeling like it was a Very Special ep of B99 imo, and while still remaining really funny. Plus, Terry Crews and Andrew Braugher are amazing and were particularly excellent in that ep.

    • Wawasjohn says:

      Really? I thought that was the worse Ep of the whole show and wasn’t funny at all. Didn’t even feel like a b99 Ep. I’m a big fan of b99 but that Ep almost made me stop.

  7. Gena says:

    I’ve only seen four of these — including ‘The Good Place’ and ‘This Is Us,’ both of which I loved — but extra thanks for mentioning ‘Great News’ (that ‘Snowmageddon’ episode was easily my favorite, as well) and ‘Brockmire’ (Jim snorting the abortion pill… good lord :D ).

    My personal pick would be “Hero or Hate Crime?” from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ — easily the best and funniest episode of anything I saw during the whole 2016-17 season. :) (As for ‘Speechless,’ my favorite new show of the season, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t get mentioned here; but then I would really have trouble settling on one fave episode, especially among the three January episodes, as well as the last five that ran in April-May…)

  8. kmw says:

    Bones series finale was awesome. Should have been included as well but I agree with all your choices

  9. Kevin Tran says:

    The This Is Us episode titled “Memphis” is by far the best in Season 1 and it made me cry throughout the hour.

  10. TvPeong says:

    Memphis was phenomenal. When Randall held William’s face and told him to breathe… I’m tearing up right now thinking of it. I can’t wait to see what Season 2 of This is Us will bring us.

  11. Hans Shnee says:

    You guys must be drunk. No Vampire Diaries, Originals) I thought this season was soooo great?) and no Game of Thriones??? smh

  12. ninergrl6 says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t include anything from Supernatural. “Regarding Dean,” “Stuck in the Middle (With You),” and “Who We Are” are all gems. It’s incredible how strong SPN is 12 seasons in.

    I also loved the series finale of Grimm.

  13. digitalred93 says:

    I’d add Lucifer’s season 2 finale, “The Good, the Bad, & the Crispy.” Jaw dropping with a double twist at the end (Lucifer’s solution for Mom and then what happens to him in the final moments of the episode). Amazing writing and acting all around.

  14. evababy says:

    Ewww… couldn’t disagree with you more on the Master of None episode. Thanksgiving was the best episode from that season. New York I Love You is a close second. The one you chose would be close the the bottom.

    I would have gone with Tornado for best Superstore episode.

    As for the rest… there are great episodes of shows y’all don’t cover that objectively stand out:

    B.A.N – Atlanta
    Chapter V – Dear White People
    Real As F**k – Insecure

  15. ndixit says:

    I’d say The Flash’s musical ep was a delight and wonderfully performed by all.

  16. Sarah says:

    The Season 11 finale and the series finale of Bones should have made the list.

  17. Carol says:

    For me, hands down, the best episode I’ve seen in 2017 is ’12 Monkeys’ (S3/Ep 4 ‘Brothers’) – Beautifully written, directed and acted. My favorite scene from the episode is when Cassie splinters back to 2046. How Cole and Cassie hold on to each other after their long separation. Then Cole, taking a ragged breath, searches Cassie’s eyes for confirmation to what Ramses told him earlier. Cassie looking into his eyes – without saying a word slowly nods her head. The scene spoke volumes without the actors having to say one word. Stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking. Side note: The Cole and Ramses scenes were knocked out of the park too.

  18. Maria says:

    Good call with Superstore/Cheyenne’s Wedding. This show is so underrated. I was a big Cheers fan back in the day, and Superstore kinda reminds me of Cheers, at least as far as being an “everyman” workplace sitcom with a highly talented cast.

  19. Jamie says:

    Yeah… I’m calling a hard BS on the Master of None selection. “Thanksgiving” was a **stunning** piece of art – one of the best single episodes of television I’ve seen in years. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, hilarious, quiet, chaotic, and contemplative. And above all else, it made viewers genuinely understand how beautifully complicated both family and life-long friendships can truly be all in one episode. It was also a master class in acting (come through, Angela Bassett!), and the writing/direction allowed viewers to feel the rises and falls in character conflicts at a wonderfully natural pace.
    “New York, I Love You” would come in second, with “Amarsi Un Po” sliding in at third for this season. If all you care about are romantic relationships, then “Amarsi Un Po” would be a favorite, but in terms of both quality and level of impact, “Thanksgiving” wins by a landslide.

    • Cate says:

      Totally agree. This was a good season of Master of None but I’d also go for Thanksgiving and New York Stories then the dating one or the opener. Found the finale over long and over stretched.

      I’d add in The Flash and Once Upon a Time musical eps which were a lot of fun. The GLOW season finale was also pretty damn great

  20. Ally Oop says:

    I definitely agree with putting This is Us on the list. While I have yet to see some of the shows on this list such as A Handmaid’s Tale and Catastrophe (which I do want to watch but there’s just way too much tv to keep caught up with) and I have yet to watch recent episodes of other shows like Orphan Black and Colony, there are a few other high quality episodes on tv I’d like to mention which I have seen from the past year:
    1) Call the Midwife – Episode 48
    2) Queen Sugar – Episode 12 (Far Too Long)
    3) Longmire – Episode 53 (The Stuff Dreams are Made of)
    4) Poldark – Episode 18
    5) Nashville – Episode 96 (I’ll Fly Away)

  21. Beanergirl says:

    I also really appreciated both Episodes 8 and 10 of GLOW. The former was just a quiet, powerful commentary and the latter a joyful pay-off to the whole season.

  22. Hipper says:

    That wasn’t even AGENTS OF SHIELD’s best episode of this stellar season. ‘Self Control’, the LMD capper that sent the show into the Framework pod was the best damn thing the show has ever done.

  23. Kevin says:

    Reign Series Finale “All it cost Her” 💔👑

  24. RD says:

    Twin Peaks 3 Episode 8-come on,be brave-there’s never been anything like it!

  25. waterfallbooks says:

    No Doctor Who? Shame! Though this series did suffer some plotline reuse, both “Extremis” and “World Enough and Time” were masterpieces.

    • AnnieM says:

      Good grief, yes! Peter Capaldi’s Doctor had his finest moment with his speech to the Masters in the season finale. It was almost like he was stating his own personal feelings about The Doctor as a fan at the same time. He was awesome.

  26. claudiagail says:

    Best is always so subjective, so I know that what I consider best may not be someone else’s cup of tea. I consider the NCIS episode “Keep Going” that aired back in January to be one of the best episodes of the show ever, and worthy of inclusion as one of the best episodes on TV this year. The oft overlooked Brian Dietzen really rocked as the central actor in this piece. My personal favorite was also from NCIS, the episode “Something Blue.”

  27. Jec says:

    ‘Blurb’ was, in my opinion, the episode of Veep’s 6th season. It was hilarious! Along with ‘Georgia’.

  28. Wawasjohn says:

    For me Colony had some really good eps this season with s2ep8 being the highlight. If anybody that is looking for a action show that uses one takes almost every Ep this is the show for u.
    Other shows I’ve given 10/10 too have been 12 monkeys (s3e5) the expanse (s2ep12) and the season finale of frequency.

  29. This Is Us, “Memphis” is also my number 1. Oh the tears, the ugly sobbing, the headache…
    * whispers * the ducks…
    Also loved The Good Place finale and that great twist. Looking forward to Eleanor to figure out “What’s Chidi?”
    Superstore’s my show and “Cheyenne’s Wedding” was amazing. Can’t wait to see what happens with Jonah and Amy next season and yes, Sandra is absolutely Superstore’s best character!

  30. AlisonM says:

    Thanks for recognizing Agents of Shield! This last season has been fantastic! For me, the standout episode was “Self Control.” It had me jumping the whole episode.

  31. ToyCannon says:

    My pick for top episode is Nashville – “If Tomorrow Never Comes”. The heart wrenching drama, the acting, the script. I have tears in my eyes just writing this. Charles Esten deserves an Emmy nod for his performance here.

  32. The best one is Big Little Lies, without a doubt! Also, Bates Motel too!