I'm a little late to the party here, but I figured that I'd weigh in on the two-part "Best of 2017" show. First of all, this is among my favorite podcasts of the year. I love hearing from Michael Phillips any time that he's on Filmspotting, and he's always great on the year-end recap. Tasha Robinson is also an excellent guest. Both were a lot of fun on this podcast and had smart insights.
It might just be because I'm used to the straight-up countdown, but I wasn't a huge fan of the new approach. What I like about the typical format is the surprise of learning about hidden gems right up to the end. The new structure put the focus on the consensus films, and I understand why you did it that way (less repetition too), but it felt less novel in a way. I basically knew what would show up in the final hour, and while the discussions were top-notch, it got a little predictable overall.
It's cool to see the tinkering with the format, so I'd love to see more adjustments down the road. This one just didn't make it better for me.