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

Despite not sticking the landing during its final season, Game of Thrones was fantastic television for a very long time. Indeed as soon as they ran out of books, it all went down hill. But that was after about 5 fantastic seasons.

I'm more forgiving of Game of Thrones, than I am of Lost. Because it was very clear to me after just 2 seasons, that there was no clear plan to answer any questions.

The most important part of writing a mystery, is knowing the answer. You can't think up an answer to a mystery you've created later, without showing that you have no idea where you're going with it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Skippy - move over Lassie, the roo's got it from here. Iconic.
Home and Away - nothing better than pretty blond people on the beach having drama.
Neighbours - if nothing else it gave the world Kylie Minogue's singing career.
Hollowmen - the Aussie West Wing.
Utopia - the Victorian Hollowmen.
Frontline - the greatest current affairs show of all time.
Farscape - although the the guy with the weird accent was annoying.
Are You Being Served (the Australian version) - yes, this really happened. Starred John Inman too.
Countdown - no, British readers, not that one.
Bluey - a family of blue heelers. For the kids. (And the adults.)
No Prisoner Cell Block H? (Apparently just called Prisoner in Australia.)
 


Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
For American TV:

  1. Mr . Robot
  2. Legion
  3. Twin Peaks
  4. Sons of Anarchy
  5. Deadwood
  6. Homicide - Life on The Streets
  7. The Wire
  8. All in the Family
  9. In The Heat of the Night
  10. Justified
Honorable Mentions
  • The Orville
  • Hannibal
  • Breaking Bad
  • Community
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Being Human
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
My list with Snarfs criteria (plus one of my own.)
Is complete.
American.
Drama.
Series, at least 2 seasons.
Judged wholly, but bonus for good ending.
No bonus for innovation.
No hipster sneaks.
Thoughtful and good
Seen it.
Not episodic, but serial (Sorry yesterdays episodic dramas are simply outclassed)

The Leftovers Lindelof finally unshackled by ABC network television is allowed to stretch his creative skills. There have have been dozens of supernatural/super science phenomena premise shows in the last 20+ years, but finally somebody gets it right. As an audience we are just as clueless as everyone else and just get to sit back and watch the world melt. No shark jumping explanations or super powered humans, just a heartbreaking story that wraps up in three neat seasons. Another bonus for Lindelof knowing when a story has run its course.

The Sopranos The series that changed it all. Thanks goodness Fox passed on it; amiright? Not the first premo cable series but for sure the first household named series. A whole new look for the ganster flick, the suburbs of New Jersey. Taking the kids to college tours by day, choking out rats by night. Gets a little long in the tooth around 5th season, but I loved the finale, yes even the Journey.

The Wire A great serial with an anthology feel. Not much else to say, great writing, good acting, Tom Waits... I fear its tongue and cheek final season is going to make it slip in lists going forward.

Breaking Bad The Malcom in the middle dad??? This is what Disney is trying to do with their anti-hero princess movies. Show us a good guy gone bad. Funny, clever, and heart touching. Ends at the 5th season before the showrunners could really break it bad.

Ray Donovan Many have tried to make the fixer series, and many have failed. Ray Donovan is the triumphant success story. The writing, the cast, its wicked good. As much as I loathe Jon Voight, he is nothing short of amazing as the family patriarch Mickey Donovan. Its worth watching just for him alone. Fell into the trap that Breaking Bad didn't, went on way too long.

Black Sails Starts out fishy, but ends like a whale. What a concept, take Treasure Island and make an adult prequel out of it. The exposition is amazing and they pull fantastic performances out of little known actors. I so do wish someday they make a Treasure Island movie with the cast (those living).

The Borgias (showtime) History buffs will cry (its not very accurate) but what a palace intrigue story. I mean what better palace than the Vatican? Cut short in three season, I think it could have wrapped perfectly with a fourth. Jeremy Irons is like a fine wine. What more can I say?

Penny Dreadful This series just oozes atmosphere. A whole new spin on monster of the week. Chilling exposition from Eva Green and Rory Kinnear (criminally underrated). Cut short by a season, but what great ride while it lasted.

Nip Tuck Folks may have forgotten this gem, but it really opened up what a cable network series could offer. Also, not another cop show; what a concept! Great character development and twist you don't see coming.

Game of Thrones This series was executed so well, at least for a time. Its really too bad Martin's writing ran out, because when it did, so did the gas in D&Ds tank. Never have I seen someone go deuces wild in the punch bowl like this. Even Disney wants nothing to do with them.

Honorable mentions.
Counterpart; Bringing the cold war spy thriller into the 21st century.

Rectify; Something new in a sea of the same.

A Brave New World; A superb take on social constructs and sexuality. Cut short but not surprising with its 100 mill price tag

Brief Comments:
Haven't seen Ray Donovan, Black Sails, Nip Tuck, Counterpart, or A Brave New World.

The Borgias was quite good. Love Jeremy Irons! And yes, tragically cut short. Hmm... makes me think about the Young Pope / New Pope.

Penny Dreadful was also excellent, and also cut short.

There is just so much great TV out there. It's almost like a joke at this point; there is, quite literally, too much to watch. If you want to have a life.

Heck, one of the best shows I have ever seen is The Patriot (Amazon Prime). It's just all sorts of brilliant. It's in my personal top 20, and maybe top 10. But I never talk about it because everyone thinks I'm discussing one of the Mel Gibson movies. It just slipped through the cracks.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
For American TV:

  1. Mr . Robot
  2. Legion
  3. Twin Peaks
  4. Sons of Anarchy
  5. Deadwood
  6. Homicide - Life on The Streets
  7. The Wire
  8. All in the Family
  9. In The Heat of the Night
  10. Justified
Honorable Mentions
  • The Orville
  • Hannibal
  • Breaking Bad
  • Community
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Being Human

Brief comments-

Mr. Robot and Legion are two of my favorite shows ever, but not necessarily top 10 (they were both honorable mention).

Homicide - Life on the Streets. So good. So very good. Not to mention the whole Richard Belzer TV Universe!

...but Sons of Anarchy? It had a severe Dexter problem (IMO). I absolutely loved the first few seasons, but it started to get ... bad. I watched the whole thing, and it never went "Full Lumberjack," but sometime around the Irish season it just lost a sense of direction.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Brief Comments:
Haven't seen Ray Donovan, Black Sails, Nip Tuck, Counterpart, or A Brave New World.
I'd order viewing them like this;
Black Sails
Ray Donovan
Nip Tuck
Counterpart (I love this one but might fit better in a category with X-Files or Fringe)
A Brave New World
Mr. Mercedes (Sneaking another one in here this is Stephen King as it should have been done)

Ray Donovan, Mr Mercedes, and Brave New World are on Peacock which is free with commercial interruptions. If you have a cable sub still its free with 1-2 commercials per episode.

Special note: If The Sopranos is the series that took television to new heights and defined the premium cable series, then Nip Tuck is the network cable series that did the same. Nip Tuck opened the door for Breaking Bad/Saul, Sons of Anarchy/Mayans, Walking Dead, Fargo Series, etc.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Special note: If The Sopranos is the series that took television to new heights and defined the premium cable series, then Nip Tuck is the network cable series that did the same. Nip Tuck opened the door for Breaking Bad/Saul, Sons of Anarchy/Mayans, Walking Dead, Fargo Series, etc.

Just to add to my general thoughts on the matter (which I may develop fully at some other date), it is saying something when I am currently in the middle of "binging" both The Crown and Billions, and both of them are excellent shows with "name" actors doing amazing jobs, and they don't even scratch my honorable mentions.

There is, quite literally, so much great TV out there right now that ... I'd have to think about this ... but I would think that we'd have more great shows from 2010 on than we'd had in the entire history of TV prior to that. I don't mean "important to TV" shows; I mean incredibly directed, acted, and written shows- the level of talent that is in that industry right now is insane, and the talent and budget that used to go solely to making movies is now firmly in the TV camp.
 



AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Upcoming Releases

Top