The Best TV Shows and Movies We've Watched in 2017 So Far

From 'Get Out' to 'Downward Dog' and everything in between.

Jul 3 2017, 4:00am

We're officially past the six-month post for 2017—and we've watched a LOT of shit this year. Some good, some bad, some spectacular, some spectacularly rotten. Here, we're going to focus on the good shit specifically. You should note that there are a few entries here that haven't been released yet (God bless press screenings, kids), so think of this as both a recap and a preview of all the good things to come. -- Larry Fitzmaurice, Senior Culture Editor, Digital

Baby Driver

Baby Driver became one of my favorite movies of the year in its opening scene, which features Baby (Ansel Elgort) in shades and earbuds, deftly speeding through the streets in a getaway car all without missing a beat. It's a heist flick with musical elements, an expertly-directed action movie that blends violence with lip-synching. Edgar Wright's latest follows Baby, a talented getaway driver with tinnitus who is stuck working for crime kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby longs to drive far, far away from the criminal business—with his new beau (Lily James) and his iPod—but it proves to be easier said than done. Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Eiza González each have memorable turns as complicated bad guys while Elgort, in particular, shows off some impressive acting chops. After being stuck in dour YA films, it's great to see him in such a fun, adrenaline-fueled movie. -- Pilot Viruet, Associate Culture Editor

Get Out

Not to be lazy, but what else is there to say about Jordan Peele's astonishing debut feature? It's funny, it's extremely not funny, it's stressful, it's a little bit meditative, it's brilliantly acted, it's shot with painterly precision, it's cutting in its critique of racial relations in society, and it's a fucking blast to watch. It's also probably the most original film we've seen in years—and since so little these days is original, thank fucking God for that. -- LF

Downward Dog

I know that it's hard to see the words "talking dog" in a television show description and not run in the opposite direction, but I promise that Downward Dog is actually worth your time. The charming mockumentary-style sitcom follows around Martin (voiced by series creator Samm Hodges), an absolutely adorable dog who narrates his daily life—and also offers some philosophical thoughts on the unique way he perceives the world around him. It's strange to say that this mutt is relatable, but he definitely is, from the way he describes loneliness when owner Nan (Alison Tolman) has an increased workload to his feeble attempts to become more physical before ultimately accepting his body—even just the way he waxes poetic about how great naps are. It's a one-of-a-kind series, and one that was unfortunately canceled by ABC, but the entire eight-episode season is available to watch on Hulu. Here's hoping another network swoops in to save it. -- PV

Good Time

Josh and Benny Safdie's last feature, 2014's Heaven Knows What, turned Arielle Holmes' devastating and drug-addled memoir into a feature film just as devastating in its gritty portrayal of New York City and its exploration of what happens when love is poisoned by drugs (and the other way around). Their Robert Pattinson-starring follow-up that comes out in August mines similar territory, centering around a bank heist gone wrong and the lengths that familial loyalty drive us to. However, this one is more stylistically finessed, too, with sad washes of neon and a score by Oneohtrix Point Never that is at times dreamy and terrifying (sometimes all at once). Plus, it's anchored by a stellar performance by Pattinson, the best actor that you haven't been paying attention to. -- LF

The Leftovers

Damon Lindelof has become my personal king of mind-fuck television (I will always defend the Lost finale) and The Leftovers is a prime example of why. Based on the Tom Perotta book of the same name, the first season introduces us to a world where 2% of the population has mysteriously disappeared—and everyone else is dealing with the aftermath. It jumps around from season to season (there are three total), finding new and weirder places to take the series (a prehistoric cold open, a miraculous town in Texas, the place between life and death, a character who is possibly the second coming of Jesus—you know, normal stuff). But throughout, it somehow remains the most accurate and cathartic (and, at times, totally fucked up) depiction of grief ever put to screen. But if you're hesitant because it sounds too depressing, don't worry—there's also a solid amount of dick jokes. -- PV

Twin Peaks: the Return

Speaking of weird TV: y'all watch Twin Peaks? Anyone who was nervous that David Lynch and Mark Frost's 18-episode exhuming of their 25-year-old cult-TV phenomenon would get lost in a puddle of nostalgia can rest easily—this shit is bananas. As of writing, the most recent episode—"Part 8"—stands as one of the most phenomenal and singular episodes of television ever made. Period. That's not hyperbole, it's totally reasonable—and if you disagree, well, you're probably not watching Twin Peaks. -- LF

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