Notable Onscreen Moments of 2017 – PCL Looks Back
Before the ball drops, Pop City Life’s Noelle and Nicola sat down to list some of the best, worst, and otherwise notable onscreen moments of 2017. Read on for our shows of the year, funniest onscreen moments, and more!
Show of the Year
Nicola: OWN’s Greenleaf takes the cake for me this year. From tackling timely topics to serving up shade, the show’s second season hit that sweet spot between soapy drama and uncomfortable realism. Did I mention the Greenleaf season 2 soundtrack is available for purchase? Come for gospel heavy-hitters Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary, stay for cast members Roshon Fegan (Isaiah Hambrick) and Deborah Joy Winans (Charity Greenleaf).
Noelle: I have to give it to HBO’s Big Little Lies. That show was a wild ride that shocked me to my core by the time I got to the end. A suspenseful drama that had me clutching my pearls and my remote, it truly deserved all of its award nominations. Honorable mention to Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, which got me right in the feels with some of the most emotional onscreen moments of 2017.
Funniest Onscreen Moment
Noelle: Without a doubt, this one goes to Psych: The Movie. One scene in the USA Network show’s holiday movie that had me in tears of laughter featured Woody reminding the villain who the hell he was: “I’m the assistant coroner, bitch.” This cast was missed, and every moment of the movie was worth the wait.
Nicola: In a scene from Greenleaf 2×11 that was equal parts intimidating and hilarious, Lady Mae delivered what might be the most poetic threat I’ve ever heard: “You’re going to find yourself pinned like a butterfly to a display case of justice where no lie or dissimulation avails.” Is it any wonder Lynn Whitfield was recently nominated for the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series?
Most “WTF?” Onscreen Moment
Noelle: Stranger Things contributed a number of the most “WTF?” onscreen moments of 2017 – but I still keep watching! The ’80s-themed Netflix show has me hooked, and I just love those kids. Singling out a moment would risk this post turning into a spoiler-fest, and fans would come after me with flaming torches and pitchforks…
Nicola: Speaking of flames, red-haired fire-starter Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) has had more than her share of exquisite moments since The CW’s Riverdale premiered in January. That said, none were accompanied by as healthy a dose of WTF-ery as the closing seconds of Riverdale 2×07. I knew the character was a little unbalanced, but Cheryl drawing herself with Josie shortly after the revelation about Josie’s stalker was not something I saw coming.
Biggest Breakout Hit
Noelle: My pick for Biggest Breakout Hit isn’t a show, but a person: Jordan Fisher. Yes, I awarded this title to Jordan last year, but is it my fault he keeps kicking ass in new and varied ways? As if his stint in Broadway’s Hamilton and having an amazing song on the Moana soundtrack weren’t enough, he won the most recent season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in one of the most triumphant onscreen moments of 2017! This kid is the real deal. Honorable mention once again to 13 Reasons Why, which really deserves more recognition for a wonderful season.
Nicola: For me, this was a toss-up between the aforementioned Riverdale and Freeform’s The Bold Type. The latter featured a season-long romantic story line between two women of color – maybe-bisexual Kat (Aisha Dee) and lesbian Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) – and Adena is a proud Muslim to boot. However, while The Bold Type missed numerous opportunities to depict the impact of racism and misogynoir in Kat’s life, Riverdale at least gave a nod to Josie and Mayor McCoy’s experiences at the intersection of race and gender. That said, neither Josie nor her mom have had story lines of their own yet. In terms of LGBTQ+ representation, Toni’s bisexuality was only briefly acknowledged, and Kevin and Moose have barely interacted this season (although Riverdale 2×03 was somewhat Kevin-centric). Oh, and there’s still no word on how the show plans to handle Jughead’s canon asexuality…
Most Eagerly Anticipated Return
Nicola: Speaking of Freeform shows featuring members of minority and/or marginalized groups, The Fosters spotlighted Ximena (Lisseth Chavez), a friend of Callie and Mariana’s who is an undocumented immigrant. In fact, season 5A ended with Ximena seeking sanctuary from ICE in Noah’s mom’s church. With the fates of real-life undocumented and DACAmented immigrants still hanging in the balance, I’m interested to see how this story line develops when The Fosters returns on Jan. 9, 2018.
Noelle: Revival’s heah! I was more excited than I care to admit when I heard that MTV’s Jersey Shore is returning in 2018. I’m curious to see the cast now that they seem to have grown up a smidge! Of course, if watching every season of Snooki & JWoww taught me anything, it’s that growing up is vastly overrated.
Noelle: Fans were left reeling and a little confused when Disney unexpectedly pulled the plug on Girl Meets World before the show had a chance to evolve like the original series. It’s a bummer that we’ll never get to see what the cast was truly capable of! Honorable mention to Freeform’s Switched at Birth, which I’m going to rewatch on Netflix just because I miss the cast so much.
Nicola: Doubt may have been cancelled during its first season, but nothing can mitigate its impact. Transgender woman of color Laverne Cox shone as defense attorney Cameron Wirth throughout the CBS show’s 13 episodes, and a fourth-episode cameo by trans actresses Jen Richards and Angelica Ross made TV history. As Vulture contributor Harron Walker noted, “It’s weird to realize that something as mundane as ‘three trans women hanging out and talking about stuff’ hadn’t appeared on scripted TV before Doubt.”