2017 Year-End Reviews: 17 Little Gems

They are the scenes we watch over and over again — the scenes we can never seem to get enough of, and the scenes we remember for years to come. The Little Gems category was started last year for the moments that effortlessly became my favorites — the moments, which I found myself being moved by the most. While it was a little tough to choose them this year, we managed. And without further ado, our final installment of article for the year of 2017, our 17 favorite little gems.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute.

Best for last, don’t forget to check out what Heather (TV Examined) and Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) had to say about their favorites this year. The best part of our year-end reviews is sharing them with such incredible, perfectly gifted writers — always managing to convince me to watch whatever it is they’re writing about.

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2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Relationships

The story of Adam and Eve is probably one of my least favorites in the Bible; however, the factual idea behind it is something I could never let go of. It’s this idea that human beings aren’t designed to be alone. We aren’t meant to live alone — we are meant to interact, we are meant to grow, learn, laugh, cry, and love with other human beings who may either be just like us, or our complete opposites. And that’s why writing about relationships will always be my favorite topic as a writer — there’s something so marvelous and raw about the connections we have with other people — whether they’re platonic or romantic, they matter, and they shape us in ways we can never truly describe.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute. (There are a lot of things I appreciate about Stranger Things, but it’s the relationships, the pure, indescribable bonds that have profoundly resonated with me to core and have made me cry the happiest tears too many times. They’re now number one for me, of all time. Yes, of all time.)

As always, my beautiful, remarkably wise friends Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) and Heather (TV Examined) have a number of phenomenal choices for their Best of 2017 reviews. Be sure to head on over there stat.

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2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Characters

A great story is easily driven by its complex, compelling, remarkably exquisite characters. Whether they’re heroes or villains or somewhere in between the spectrum, it’s their stories that make the series riveting — their journey, their life, their interactions. They are the reason a series is special. They are the heart. And while there are a number of wonderfully written characters on TV, these are my personal favorites.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute.

Plus, don’t forget to head on over to TVExamined and Nerdy Girl Notes to see what Heather and Katie had to say about their favorites this year.

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Timeless 1×16 “The Red Scare” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

What the Rittenhouse?

Episode Summary | Time in History: DC, 1954 — the big Rittenhouse summit. When the Time Team follows Flynn back in time, Jiya must accompany them to help Rufus, but since it isn’t built for more than three people, something messes with her psyche. Lucy and Wyatt find her Grandpa then convince him to work as a double agent within Rittenhouse. Mason chooses a side. Wyatt almost says goodbye. And Lucy’s mom drops the biggest bombshell of all.

We’re never going to stop telling you that Timeless is the most exciting show on TV right now. And though it is only in its freshman season, it’s safe to assume the series is headed towards greater places because of what it has already done. Its portrayal of the horrors in America have been done with such poignant accuracy, it’s astounding how the series doesn’t shy away from topics that are either glossed over or treated as taboo. In its first season’s final episode, “The Red Scare”, Timeless gave its viewers the opportunity to see the true horrors of the 50s while showcasing the growth that’s already taken place today.

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Timeless 1×15 “Public Enemy No. 1” Review

Spoilers Ahead

Coming soon to a theater near you: The Untouchables: A Remake starring Connery, Costner, and Robert De Niro like you’ve never seen them before.

Episode Summary | Time in History: Chicago, 1931. Al Capone. Eliot Ness. And Capone’s brother? Who even knew he had a brother? I surely didn’t. But that doesn’t stop our heroes from finding every opportunity they can to make sure Capone gets what he deserves after Ness (Misha Collins) is shot and killed. As we all know, originally he’s the one who brings Capone in. The team’s place was far from what actually occurred, but because Flynn jumped, they couldn’t save Lucy’s sister as they attempted to. But it’s the way the episode ended that’s left me propelling in search of a time machine to next Monday.

In the season’s penultimate episode, Timeless once again explored the convoluted topic of fate vs. free will. And on top of that it’s created yet another riveting episode with its impeccable focus on detail. Who else wishes this show was around when they were in High School? And for those who are, you’re lucky. That said, “Public Enemy No. 1” was strong for a number of reasons, but its focus on detail floored me. Its execution of friendships equating to family floored me. And because this was the season’s penultimate, we’ll be changing up the format to discuss a little bit more than the usual performer/scene of the week.

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Timeless 1×14 “The Lost Generation” Review

Spoilers Ahead

The roaring 20’s — the smell of adventure?

Episode Summary | Time in History: Ernest Hemingway, Josephine Baker, and Charles Lindergh. Timeless knows what it’s doing with these guest stars — Brandan Barash, Tiffany Daniels, and Jesse Luken were outstanding. That said, in “The Lost Generation”, our heroes took a trip to the May 21, 1927: Paris, France once again following Flynn on his quest to destroy Rittenhouse. Only Wyatt was still in detention and replaced by Bam Bam — he tragically doesn’t make it back from the past though. (This is why we break the rules, buddy!) Agent Christopher is replaced and the team, now officially reunited with Wyatt, go rogue in order to fight Rittenhouse? Can we call them Rogue Four? No? Okay, that’s cool.

Timeless’ play on fate vs. free will has become the most enthralling part of the series layering the characters beautifully in ways only such a theme could. If Lucy comes from a long line of ancestors who were a part of Rittenhouse, does that mean she needs to join it? Is it truly her fate or could she make the choice to rewrite her supposed future? And in exploring this concept, the series ties each of the characters together in ways that feel incredibly organic. In Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms he states that, “the world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” And right now, our Time Team is at that broken place — stronger than they’ve ever been, but concurrently destroyed.

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Timeless 1×13 “Karma Chameleon” Review

Spoilers Ahead 

The 80s was best for music, but I don’t think I’m down with the fashion.

Episode Summary | Time in History: The 80s — the good ol’ days. The time where people didn’t want to be forgotten. They wanted their finest hours celebrated. The time where they wanted to bless the rains in Africa. But the real question is, is Will Byers missing at this time or no? Oh, wait, wrong show. It’s easy to confuse two really great shows isn’t it? On a more serious note, this week’s Timeless didn’t actually take us back to a significant point in our history, but rather Wyatt’s — more so Jessica’s, but the point is clear. Thankfully, this week Wyatt didn’t have murder on his mind, but rather a Back to the Future reversal. And one I can actually agree with: stop a one night stand in order to prevent a serial killer’s birth.

However, as we all know, things are never that easy, and as much as Wyatt’s plan was practical, it’s safe to assume that a lot of us knew it wouldn’t bring Jessica back. Nevertheless the showcase of teamwork has been superlative. And if all falls apart from this moment on at least we know that the A-Team Time Team will always have each other’s backs. Also, hopefully the lesson has been learned, and the team won’t travel without Lucy anymore.

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Timeless 1×12 “The Murder of Jesse James” Review

Spoilers Ahead

History isn’t always how we imagined it, but sometimes it’s better. It’s cooler.

Time in History  (Episode Summary): Jesse James. Bass Reeves (The Lone Ranger). Tonto. And fabulous hats — extremely relevant to story telling, people need to look great you know? In tonight’s riveting episode, Timeless explored the differences between right and easy while taking its core characters on mind rattling quests of their own. Flynn’s agenda to partner with Jesse James leads to the trio partnering with Tonto and the Lone Ranger. There’s a shocking reveal. There’s a death. There’s a murder. There are heart felt conversations by the fire but no one sings “Kumbaya” or “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

When it comes to Timeless, what we know only lies on surface level and “The Murder of Jesse James” proved that by unraveling secrets we weren’t even expecting. And in doing so, it forces its viewers not to trust as easily. It forces viewers to question the side we’re on because with the amount of secrets Mason has kept thus far, it takes us back to wondering how much of what we’re told is actually the truth. But “The Murder of Jesse James” felt satisfying — and much, much better than the old western films because of the epic reveal concerning The Lone Ranger. In Timeless’ strongest episode to date, it took us on an incredibly riveting journey.

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Timeless 1×11 “The World’s Columbian Exposition” Review

Spoilers Ahead 

And this is an example of a remarkable winter premiere.

Time in History (Episode Summary): After Flynn took Lucy captive at the end of “The Capture of Benedict Arnold”, Wyatt and Rufus set out to bring her home. Still filled with the desire to erase Rittenhouse from existence, Flynn takes them to the time where Harry Houdini was just getting started — Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. An undercover H.H. Holmes sets a thick, oxygen-eliminating trap for Wyatt and Rufus. There’s a reunion. There’s a happy conversation. There’s a victory. But in the end we’re left with what can change the course of a character’s life forever.

Welcome to the very first installment of our Timeless reviews. We just couldn’t stay away from this show. (I tried, I really did.) Here’s how these will work, each week I’ll be choosing a performer and a moment. Some weeks, like this week, each actor will get their time. They’re too good, and essentially why I want to write about Timeless — Rufus, Wyatt, and Lucy are special. And “The World’s Columbian Exposition” was yet another wonderful showcase of the fact that this team is in it for the long haul. Together, they’ve built something more exquisite than a time machine, and no matter how ugly it gets, they’ll always come home to each other.

“Fear isn’t actually happening. It’s just your reaction to it.”

The reason each member of the Time Team deserves their own segment this week is due to how poignantly fear attempted to puppet-master their lives. And in overcoming it, it wasn’t entirely absent, but rather their choices to react differently towards it paved the road towards their mission’s victory. No matter how temporary, for a moment, everything will be alright.

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2016 Year-End Reviews: 16 Characters

There’s no feeling quite as indescribable as finding a fictional character to care deeply for. A character who we perhaps see ourselves in or a character who’s just so well written, it’s difficult to turn the other cheek. There are a number of fantastic TV characters — whether heroes or villains or somewhere in between, they’re so well written, they become a part of us. They become someone we cherish, someone we want the best for. They become someone we’re constantly in awe of. And 2016 has truly been one of the best years in the world of television. It’s been a strong, undeniably powerful year for complex, incredible characters.

And whatever you do, in order to get the best of Year-End reviews, you need to check out the beautiful work Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined are doing as well.

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