2017 has been remarkable in many, many ways -- not the least of which has been the onslaught of incredible and amazing television. The television powers that be continue to up the ante of what will move, enthrall and ultimately shock us. Here are nine of the most awe-inspiring, shocking and (sometimes) downright confusing moments of TV this year.
I'm sure the Twin Peaks reboot will make many end-of-year lists for 2017. And frankly, I could probably fill this entire list with moments from The Return. However, Laura Dern taking on the long-anticipated role of Diane might have been one of the best of the series. In the 1990 original, Diane was just a disembodied idea on the other end of the phone. Cooper often communicated with her, but it wasn't until the last few episodes of the revival that we saw her face. It was only for a moment, but when Dern turned toward the camera, wearing that blond bob, cigarette in hand, fans knew it was a big moment in television history.
Bilquis Devours Her Victims - American Gods
The Starz phenomenon is packed with exceptional visual images and cinematography, but the much-talked about sex scene in the first episode left viewers scratching their heads with their mouths hanging open. Bilquis, a goddess of sorts, lures her unsuspecting internet suitor back to her hotel room and begins to seduce him. He happily obliges, even when she demands he "worship" her. As their encounter intensifies, it becomes clear she intends to devour him, but not with her mouth. She uses her naughty bits to gobble him up in what is later revealed to be a kind of sacrifice. It was one of the most unusual and astonishing sex scenes I've ever seen.
The Mistake at the Oscars
In a moment of television chaos, Oscar presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced the wrong winner of the Best Picture Category. Instead of offering it to the rightful winner, Moonlight
, the presenters said La La Land
was the winner. The cast and crew of La La Land
came to the stage to accept, but La La Land
producer Justin Horowitz quickly realized the mistake. He interrupted the current speaker, and announced that it was, in fact, Moonlight
's, win, and called the rightful recipients on the stage. The fallout was swift and strong. Viewers went insane, taking to Twitter and other social media outlets to work out their own confusion. It was one of the craziest moments of the year, hands down. Ofglen's Surgery - The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
delivered timely, although disturbing, social criticism. But it was Ofglen's fate, in episode 3, that really made fans flinch. In the near future world of Gilead, homosexuality is strictly forbidden, so when it is revealed that Ofglen is a married lesbian, she's shipped off to prison. While she's there, her external sexual organs are removed, to remove her sexual desire. Viewers don't know exactly what's happened to her when she wakes up in the hospital, but the moment she lifts her hospital gown to reveal her grown bandaged, we all realize pretty quickly what she's endured.
The character of Eleven is a bit of an enigma, all around. Her mother, as well, has presented a mystery since the middle of season 1, when Janet and Hopper first meet her. Even in those early episodes, she was muttering (what we thought was) a crazy person's gibberish. Fans had to wait an entire season to understand what the words and numbers meant, and even then, it was a TV moment that needed a lot of concentration and deciphering. Once El finds her mother, she straps on her trusty blindfold, meets her in the in-between, and unlocks the puzzle of her mutterings. Mostly connected to memories, El sees what "the bad men" did to her mother and sister. In that moment, so many things made sense about the show, and it could possible be one of the most important point in El's character arc. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow Are Related - Game of Thrones
The details of this family connection are fuzzy, and further complicated by their sexual relationship, but it was one of the most shocking, and then subsequently confusing, moments of the year. After we found out that Jon Snow is really Lyanna Stark's son, not the bastard child of Ned Stark as we first thought, fans scrambled to understand how these two are connected. Theories cropped up all over the internet, and die-hard Game of Thrones
watchers are still trying to sort out what this means for the Iron Throne and for future royal babies. The Good Place Reboots - The Good Place
The entire premise of The Good Place
is mildly confusing. Season 1 led audiences to believe Eleanor and the gang were in a version of heaven. Although Eleanor thought she landed there by mistake, she spent most of the first season trying to earn her spot. Fans were surprised to learn, however, that the good place wasn't, in fact, good at all, but a version of hell invented by Michael. If all that wasn't confusing enough, Michael kept rebooting his attempts so he could get it right, and fans are left trying to sort out what happened before and how it's meant to affect what's happening now. It's almost enough to warrant a yarn wall. Will and Grace's Disappearing Children - Will and Grace
Fans are over the moon for the newly updated Will and Grace,
but purists noticed a startling omission in the reboot. As you may recall, Will Truman and Grace Adler both had children who met in college, much like their parents. In the two-part series finale, Will's son, Ben, married Grace's daughter Laila, but in the 2017 revival, there is no mention of either child. Writers tried to explain it with a throwaway line about it all being a dream, but audiences were still left confused about the whole matter. Hannah Sees More - Girls
In a strangely clairvoyant moment in television, Girls
delves into a conversation about consent and power between a successful writer named Chuck and the younger up-and-coming writer, Hannah. When Hannah goes to Chuck's apartment to interview him about allegations over inappropriate behavior with young women, the conversation is intellectual and mostly respectful. Just when we think things might not get awkward and weird, Chuck pulls out his penis to show Hannah, and she (almost robotically) responds. My mouth fell open at the moment, but looking back, it seems strangely foretelling.
What were the most shocking TV moments of 2017 for you? Can you think of any others that deserve to be on this list? Let us know what you think in the comments below!