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Some of the Best drama series 2017

19. January 2019 - Anika Semmer

Best Drama Series 2017 - Drama in the Future, Past and World of Gods


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What are the best drama series 2017? We have collected our absolute favourites of a gigantic series year sorted by genre. After the best thriller series, a surprising number of dramas with strong women score points in the second part of our best list.

Future, past, world of the gods – it didn’t matter where the most best drama series 2017 took us: they captivated us to the screen, made us eagerly await every episode and made our hearts beat faster.

Some of our 2017 series hits were real surprises – never before have so many historical dramas made it into my top 20, and strong women also had a strong year in the series landscape in 2017. With other series like Taboo, I expected nothing but great entertainment from the start.

After Part 1 with the best drama series 2017, you will find our subjective highlights in the genres of drama and fantasy in the second part with the best series of 2017.

Is this all too serious for you? In the 3rd part with the best comedy series 2017 and black humour at its best.

Best Drama Series 2017

13 Reasons Why

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Probably no series has caused as much controversy in the USA in 2017 as 13 Reasons Why. The reason for this is the difficult subject: the suicide of a high school student.

For a series that is at least primarily aimed at a target group of teenagers and young adults, this is of course a hot potato. But perhaps that’s precisely why it’s good that a series takes on this topic. And the way in which the fears, problems and conflicts of teenagers are portrayed here in a sensitive and comprehensible way is, in my opinion, highly worth watching.

What’s it about?

An American high school in shock: student Hannah Baker has taken her own life. No one suspected anything, neither her parents nor her classmates. Especially not Clay, a rather shy boy who was in love with Hannah.

But a short time after Hannah’s death, a package of audio cassettes arrives. On these, Hannah Baker can be heard: before her death, she recorded 13 reasons why she commits suicide, these reasons are linked to 13 people and Clay is obviously one of them. For Hannah has arranged for the tapes to pass from one person to the next like a chain letter.

The series takes place in two time levels: on the one hand it reconstructs her experiences on the basis of Hannah’s tapes, on the other hand it shows Clay Jensen in the here and now, who tries to understand what drove Hannah to her deed and who also does not shy away from confronting other students with what they have done to her, intentionally or unintentionally.

Optimal for:

  • Teenagers and young adults (but who are psychologically stable themselves)
  • Anyone interested in psychological drama

13 Resons Why is available to watch on Netflix.

The Handmaid’s Tale

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The Handmaid’s Report is the acclaimed series hit of 2017! It is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Magaret Atwood. Magnificently cast, opulently staged, dystopian – and frighteningly political and topical in a USA with Donald Trump.

The highly acclaimed series won 8 Emmys in the USA and in Germany. In Germany it also hit like a bomb with its great actors, the grandiose and expensive realisation and the gripping plot, which deals with the role of women in a patriarchal male state (Hello, Mr Trump!), with equality, discrimination and abortion.

What’s it about?

Black days in Gilead, a totalitarian state, in a near-future USA. Religious fundamentalists have come to power through civil war and society has changed radically. For in Gilead almost all women no longer have any rights, they are not allowed to have a profession and are not allowed to own anything. Only men are allowed to call the shots.

Diseases and pollution have made almost all women infertile. The few exceptions in Gilead are called maids and their job is to live with wealthy men and bear their children.

Optimal for:

  • A must for every series junkie!
  • Fans of costume dramas
  • Fans of dystopian, socially critical science fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale is a production of the American streaming provider Hulu. In Germany, you can stream the series The Handmaid’s Tale on amazon prime. Or get it right now on DVD of the bluray.

Anne with an E

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Anne with an E is one of the big series surprises of 2017! It is the amazingly unsentimental, socio-critical and yet heart-warming film adaptation of the successful Canadian young adult book Anne on Green Gables, which is about as well-known in the English-speaking world as Astrid Lindgren’s Pipi Longstocking is here.

Not only those who know the original book as teenagers will be thrilled! Because Anne with an E manages to surpass many previous film adaptations through the outstanding acting of the leading actress and the enormously successful adaptation with a socio-critical background.

What’s it about?

It is the day when everything changes for Anne. The red-haired, spindly 13-year-old Anne has experienced a terrible childhood up to this point, waiting for an old maid and her taciturn brother to adopt her. This is supposed to end her unhappiness, or so she thinks and is overflowing with happiness and excitement. But on her arrival at Green Gables Farm, her dream seems to end abruptly, even before it began. There has been a mistake, the Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy as labour and not a girl.

But Anne doesn’t let it get her down! With temperament, wit, cleverness and courage she fights against prejudice and intolerance – for women, orphans, children, dissidents and for standing up for who you are. But that is easier said than done – because as an irascible redhead with a sharp tongue who has learned to fight her way through life alone, she triggers momentous events.
Optimal for:

  • Teenagers and teenagers, especially girls
  • Adults who love historical film adaptations
  • Everyone who loves the Anne in Green Gables books

Anne with an E is a Canadian Netflix production and you can watch the series Anne with an E at Netflix in German or the original audio.

Taboo

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Screenwriter Steven Knight has already proven that he has a knack for telling historical material in a highly suspenseful way with the gangster series Peaky Blinders. For the dark British drama series Taboo, set in London and the USA at the beginning of the 19th century, he teamed up with Tom Hardy and his father Chips Hardy for the script. Or rather they teamed up with him, because Taboo is based on an idea by the two Hardys. And of course, the brilliant Tom Hardy also stars as James Keziah Delaney.

What’s it about?

London, 1814: James Delaney returns after more than 10 years in Africa to claim his inheritance. His body is covered from top to bottom with blue-black tattoos, in his luggage he has stolen diamonds and knowledge of dark powers. No sooner has he returned than he becomes embroiled in the machinations of the East India Company, the British Crown and American spies.

For he has inherited Nootka Sound from his father, a piece of land in the New World that is of crucial strategic importance in the British-American war. But Delaney wouldn’t dream of selling…. A journey into the heart of darkness begins, full of intrigue, cannibalism, incest and black magic.

Season 1 of Taboo is available to watch on amazon prime video or on DVD or Bluray.

Alias Grace

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Like The Handmaid’s Tale, the miniseries Alias Grace is a film adaptation of a novel by Margaret Atwood. However, it is set in the past and tells the story of a maid sentenced to life imprisonment.

This sometimes very harsh best drama series 2017  about oppressed women in a patriarchal society, makes any Jane Austen adaptation seem idyllic. For Alias Grace takes its subject matter seriously and feministically subverts the genres of costume drama and “women’s literature”, which are still considered inferior. The power imbalance between men and women – today more topical than ever in times of Weinstein, Trump & Co!

What is it about?

Is Grace Marks really a double murderer? Already 11 years the beautiful former maid sits in prison in 1854. Her crime: The maid allegedly murdered her landlord Thomas Kinnear and servant Nancy Montgomery in 1843 in cold blood, along with stable boy James McDermott.

But now a psychiatrist visits her regularly. His mission: to provide an expert opinion to ensure that Grace, who has been sentenced to life, is pardoned, because some believe she was innocently convicted. Grace tells him her story and, like an early Sigmund Freud, he goes in search of clues in her thoughts and dreams. An exciting journey into the past and into Grace’s mind begins.

Optimal for:

  • Fans of historical crime stories
  • Fans of exciting literary adaptations with a socially critical message
  • Gothic horror

All episodes of the miniseries Alias Grace are available to stream on Netflix.

American Gods

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Some novels are considered unfilmable until someone does it. This is what happened with American Gods, a modern fantasy opus by star author Neil Gaiman (who also wrote Coraline, for example). Without knowing the original, I can say: the series definitely has visionary qualities and can easily compete with many a cinema spectacle in terms of visual intoxication!

What is it about?

The title American God’s is to be taken quite literally in this case: it is real gods who appear here as real people. On the one hand, there are the old gods who were carried to the New World by humans in times past: e.g. the fearsome Russian god Czernobog, the Roman Vulcan, Thot and Anubis from Egypt (Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jaquel), the Ghanaian Anansi (Mr. Nancy), plus Irish leprechauns, djinns and mythical queens, and above all Odin aka Mr. Wednesday.

But the old gods are in danger of losing their already greatly diminished power altogether because no one believes in them any more. People have long since paid homage to new gods, and their names are Media, Technical Boy and Mr. World. They are personifications of media, technology and globalisation.

Shadow Moon, a petty criminal, gets caught in the middle of the battle of the gods. After serving three years in prison for a robbery gone wrong, he finds out shortly before his release that his wife has been killed in an accident. As if that were not tragic enough, the ominous Mr. Wednesday suddenly appears and wants to hire Shadow as his bodyguard…
Optimal for:

  • Fantasy fans
  • Fans of psychedelic, surreal films and series
  • Anyone who is passionate about mythology

You can watch the series American Gods at amazon prime video. You can even watch the series for free with a trial subscription at the moment.

While you’re here, browse our tips for indoor activities or for activities with friends, activities for two or with the family.

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*In this article you will find some affiliate links to amazon. This means: if you order a product through them, we receive a small commission.


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