The Greatest TV Shows of All Time (Kinda): The Top 10

I would not include The Simpsons, criteria or not, because it has been bad for more than twice as long as it's been good. Seasons 1-8 remain fantastic, 9-10 are a mixed bag with some good episodes and others clearly showing signs of decline, and everything from 11 on is worthless trash.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
I would not include The Simpsons, criteria or not, because it has been bad for more than twice as long as it's been good. Seasons 1-8 remain fantastic, 9-10 are a mixed bag with some good episodes and others clearly showing signs of decline, and everything from 11 on is worthless trash.

I don't think it's that had I'm into the 20's and good episodes are few and far between. It peaked 3-8 or so but I thought next ten or so we're mostly decent. Still not good enough for a top ten list though.

But the 20's mein gott. Took a break to watch White Collar (great) and Criminal Minds (decent).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I would not include The Simpsons, criteria or not, because it has been bad for more than twice as long as it's been good. Seasons 1-8 remain fantastic, 9-10 are a mixed bag with some good episodes and others clearly showing signs of decline, and everything from 11 on is worthless trash.

 

Ryujin

Legend
TWIN PEAKS

Every time someone mentions that show I have a flashback to when I was in the town where it was shot, didn't know it, and was constantly having little episodes of deja vu. Thinking, "I know that I've never been here. It's familiar, and yet somehow wrong."
 

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TheSword

Legend
I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the West Wing. Frequently cited in the top TV series of all time.

Has some really powerful drama, amazing actors and a really mature view on the world. Sorkin at his best.
 

payn

Legend
I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the West Wing. Frequently cited in the top TV series of all time.

Has some really powerful drama, amazing actors and a really mature view on the world. Sorkin at his best.
Lost in the shuffle I think. Lots of premo cable stuff ate its lunch.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I've watched the first four seasons and started the 5th. I think it's the most of any one TV series I've watched, except maybe Star Trek: Next Gen.

Not all of it has aged well, but it was a great show.
 

amethal

Adventurer
3. The Americans. The show that consistently delighted in denying viewers the show that they wanted, and instead giving them the show they deserved. In addition, the show contained some of the best musical moments of any TV show, ever. From the beginning, with the use of Tusk immediately dropping you into this world, to the end (the obvious, yet perfect, use of With or Without You), to everything in between (Yellow Brick Road, We Do What We're Told), few series have paired music as perfectly with the visuals as the Americans.
Thank you so much for mentioning the Americans.

I'd never heard of it, and when I did look it up the premise really didn't grab me, but I gave it a try based on your recommendation and it was amazing from start to finish. My wife loved it as well, although she did find some parts too gory to watch.
 

payn

Legend
Thank you so much for mentioning the Americans.

I'd never heard of it, and when I did look it up the premise really didn't grab me, but I gave it a try based on your recommendation and it was amazing from start to finish. My wife loved it as well, although she did find some parts too gory to watch.
I really enjoyed it, but the last season was hard to watch. I wished it had ended stronger.
 

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the West Wing. Frequently cited in the top TV series of all time.

Has some really powerful drama, amazing actors and a really mature view on the world. Sorkin at his best.
The West Wing has aged EXTREMELY poorly. And I would call its view on the world anything but "mature." "Naive" would be one word for it.
 



TheSword

Legend
The West Wing has aged EXTREMELY poorly. And I would call its view on the world anything but "mature." "Naive" would be one word for it.
I disagree, it was and still is very good.
It features highly dedicated and passionate public servants doing the best they can. Most of the big topics are as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.
 

M*A*S*H

Also, lack of comedies because it is too hard is sad.
Mash is a better show (and has aged well too) than every other show on this list. In fact MASH and Seinfeld are, by far, the two best American TV shows ever created and only The Larry David Show even comes close. MASH was even a better drama than all the shows listed. Disqualifying comedies is nonsense.
 

Sometimes it's nice to have something that shows what you should strive for, rather than the cesspool that you must currently wade through.
The problem is a lot of people watch that show and think that's how it actually works.

The West Wing could work if it was explicitly a fairy tale, but it clearly doesn't present itself that way.
 


Ryujin

Legend
The problem is a lot of people watch that show and think that's how it actually works.

The West Wing could work if it was explicitly a fairy tale, but it clearly doesn't present itself that way.
The law works how it does in "The West Wing." The people don't. It's an idealized version of what The United States could/should be. America isn't the way that it appears in a Frank Capra movie, but that in no way impacts my enjoyment of them. It's the way that he thought his America should be.
 

The law works how it does in "The West Wing." The people don't. It's an idealized version of what The United States could/should be. America isn't the way that it appears in a Frank Capra movie, but that in no way impacts my enjoyment of them. It's the way that he thought his America should be.
Well, I find depictions of an idealized America, and especially the American political system, to be a very distasteful and frankly dangerous concept nowadays. Especially when you compare it to a reality where it is indeed the people who have and will always get in the way of anything ideal ever happening in it.
 
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Ryujin

Legend
Well, I find depictions of an idealized America, and especially the American political system, to be a very distasteful and frankly dangerous concept nowadays. Especially when you compare it to a reality where it is indeed the people who have and will always get in the way of anything ideal ever happening in it.
And yet you don't generally influence people to do good, by giving them examples of bad. Especially so when you show people profiting from the bad.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Mash is a better show (and has aged well too) than every other show on this list. In fact MASH and Seinfeld are, by far, the two best American TV shows ever created and only The Larry David Show even comes close. MASH was even a better drama than all the shows listed. Disqualifying comedies is nonsense.

It's almost as if there is a whole description in the OP about why comedies aren't included ...

and an entire additional post about the greatest comedies.


Seriously, at a certain point it's like ... why bother with words? it's not like people read them.
 

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