17 Best TV Shows Ever Made

Joiezl M

Updated on:


There’s a category of TV shows that goes unspoken as containing some of the greatest titles of the century and quite possibly ever. These shows blend a cocktail of the most masterful directing, acting, cinematography, and writing that you’ll ever encounter. Here are 19 of them:

Orange Is the New Black (2013 – 2019)

Orange Is The New Black Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix.

OITNB exhibits an unexpected focus on characters that carry us deep into the stories of a minority of women who are mostly written off. The show dives into the American prison system acting as a “trojan horse”  to shed light on several sensitive societal themes that run the risk of being misrepresented.

The Crown (2016 – 2023)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

The gargantuan budget of The Crown is not wasted on the immaculate photography, wardrobe, and production design. Narrating a reimagination of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the show creates an aura of royalty and employs the use of a powerhouse cast to tell her addictive story.

Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)

Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad AMC
Photo Credit: AMC.

Breaking Bad is at the forefront of a 21st-century preoccupation—antiheroes. The only proof needed is the one scene where Walter screams, “I am the danger,” while arguing with his wife. The show narrates the metamorphosis of Walter from a teacher into an electrifying criminal who wears villainy well.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005 – 2008)

Avatar_ The Last Airbender Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Photo Credit: Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

The following that the franchise has managed to acquire is simply incredible. The animated series is popularly known for its quality in terms of world- and character-building. It’s also one of those shows that appeal to numerous demographics.

The Sopranos (1999 – 2007)

Photo Credit: HBO.

Red carpets on the floor and doves in the air for Rolling Stone’s top show of all time. An unrivaled game changer for HBO, The Sopranos is a pioneer for antiheroes and mafia gang series that follows the life of Tony Soprano as he tackles his familial gang affiliations.

Chernobyl (2019)

Chernobyl HBO
Photo Credit: HBO.

Chernobyl might be a miniseries, but it’s too gripping and painfully compelling to be excluded from this list. It merges medicine, science, and politics in a retelling of the 1986 Chernobyl incident, which was eerily similar to the coronavirus pandemic.

Insecure (2016 – 2021)

Photo Credit: HBO.

Insecure explores the lives of best friends Issa and Molly as they live their 20-something-year-old lives and maneuver their careers, desires, and relationships. It’s a lighthearted comedy that paints an all-too-realistic picture of the internal struggles and angst of life at that stage.

Better Call Saul (2015 – 2022)

Photo Credit: AMC.

The Breaking Bad spin-off is a striking compilation of electric dialogue, nuanced characters, and invigorating performances. One reviewer described the show as “a fine example to all shows on how to have a lot of style but also have a lot of substance.”

Friday Night Lights (2006 – 2011)

Photo Credit: NBC.

Friday Night Lights dives into the humanity of its characters as they go about life in their small town and surmount all of their demanding existential concerns just to rally together every Friday night around the most important thing to them—football.

Lost (2004 – 2010)

Lost - ABC Studios
Photo Credit: ABC Studios.

A strange island, an unlikely bunch of plane crash survivors, and a quest for answers. Lost is one of the most popular sci-fi projects ever made, and its success is owed to the immersive nature of its storyline. It sucks you in for all 121 episodes, whoever you are.

Fleabag (2016 – 2019)

Fleabag Two Brothers Pictures
Photo Credit: Two Brothers Pictures.

Humor isn’t the best thing about Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s breakthrough project. Far from it. The most compelling thing about Fleabag is the vulnerability that the protagonist consistently shares with the audience. We watch her slowly unearth her buried trauma and feel her pain with her, laughing through it all.

Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015)

Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey)
Photo Credit: ITV.

Downton Abbey focuses on the enduring social themes in fictional Britain between the years 1912 and 1926 that are still relevant even today. The show is centered around the perspective of the Crawley family and is complemented by solid production and scriptwriting that make it a worthy historical drama series.

Game of Thrones (2011 – 2019)

Photo Credit: HBO.

Before you groan and exit the webpage, hear us out. While Game of Thrones might have had an underwhelming ending that ruined the novelty of the show for many, nobody can deny the peak quality of worldbuilding and acting in the portrayal of George R.R. Martin’s world-famous series.

Succession (2018 – 2023)

Photo Credit: HBO.

Power, manipulation, and the one percent… Succession is a true capitalist fairytale. Following the Roy family and their pursuit of control of Waystar RoyCo, a global media conglomerate, Succession is one book you can judge by its cover. The title alone reminds you of money and plutocracy.

Mad Men (2007 – 2015)

Photo Credit: AMC.

Flaunting a staggering number of 16 Emmys and 5 Golden Globe Awards, Mad Men is one of the most critically acclaimed historical series with popularly acknowledged dialogue, visuals, and accuracy that depicts life in the ‘60s using the social and business scene in New York City as a contact point.

24 (2001 – 2010)

Photo Credit: FOX.

Everyone is familiar with the classic plotline. Agent Jack Bauer must save the United States in under 24 hours as he races against the clock in episodic time blocks of one hour each that are action-packed and chucked full of sweet tension. The absolute best, we tell you.

The Wire (2002 – 2008)

The Wire HBO
Photo Credit: HBO.

The Wire is a multifaceted show that sticks close to realism in the way it abstains from one-dimensional portrayal of its characters as good or bad. It captures the drug crime and enforcement scene in the city of Baltimore, following Detective McNulty and his team.

Black Mirror (2011 – ongoing)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

As opposed to feeling like an episodic production with linking storylines, Black Mirror is a compilation of entries that feel like little movies in their own right. It stands in an avant-garde category of its own.

The Office (2005 – 2013)

Photo Credit: NBC.

Allow us to be first to prepare you. The Office is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The documentary style of cinematography and its off-kilter (and often offensive) humor were met with sharp controversy that almost sank the show’s survival chances. But these qualities are also why the show has become so beloved.