World Television Day: 50 Best TV Shows Of All Time

Best tv shows of all time

26. The Originals

Making a spin-off of a popular show isn’t always the smartest move. However, The Originals proves this wrong as it was one of the rarest shows to become as famous and successful as its source. Focusing on the original vampire family from The Vampire Diaries, the show featured intricate storytelling and multiple twists and turns to satisfy the fans of the original as well as create some new ones.


27. Parks and Recreation

One of the few shows to properly acknowledge the leadership skills of a woman, Parks and Recreation represents that men can still be manly if they agree to work under a female superior. Created by the makers of The Office, the show is filmed in documentary style that has ample amount of humor peppered throughout its seven seasons with characters that are very real and relatable.


28. Pretty Little Liars

A relationship drama centered on four best friends that are reunited after an year to find their missing friend, Pretty Little Liars is a fun watch filled with mystery and suspense. The curiosity to find ‘A’ (someone who plays with the characters) compels you to follow the interesting plot that has been stretched to seven seasons.


29. Prison Break

Creating impossible circumstances for the characters to overcome and then, getting them out of everything is what the show has been doing since its very first season. And it isn’t yet ready to give up. A compelling thriller revolving around two brothers – first, who is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and second, who tries to clear his sibling’s name, Prison Break is unpredictable (often unbelievable), taut, and suspenseful. It’s a show meant for the thrill seekers.


30. Seinfeld

Numerous TV shows have tried and failed to capture the real essence of New York City. Seinfeld is an exception. It follows the psychopathic adventures of Jerry Seinfeld and his neighbour in NY. A very daring show to come in the early 90s, it comprised use of strong language and adult themes. It was perhaps the only television program in which adults sounded like adults. A great escapist fiction!


31. Shameless

Shameless is a family drama about the life of six kids led by the eldest sibling, who tries to keep their home afloat while their dad is out on a pub crawl. It’s both interesting and disturbing to see how a dysfunctional family stricken by poverty lives and survives together. A plethora of shock elements keep the viewers engaged but the uniformly robust acting and on-point script are the real draw.


32. Sherlock

There are millions of Cumberbitches on Earth who love this show. Re-imagining world’s most profound detective in a modern era, Benedict Cumberbatch nailed his portrayal of Sherlock. Encompassing the arrogance, wit, and ingeniousness required to play the character, he earned millions of fans worldwide. Martin Freeman did equally well as Sherlock’s sidekick and their chemistry along with the terrific writing made it one of the most loved shows of all time!


33. Six Feet Under

A recipient of numerous awards, Six Feet Under was a fantastic drama that focused on the fundamental thing of life: Death. From the characters to the various noteworthy dialogues, everything was remarkable about this show. Quoting Nate Fisher, “Love isn’t something you feel, it’s something you do. If the person you are with doesn’t want it, you know, do yourself a favor and save it for someone who does.”


34. Smallville

Want to know how Clark Kent became Superman? Experience a detailed and delightful journey of the World’s greatest superhero in this modern retelling of the Kryptonian born that is full of realism and geekiness. The superbly depicted relationship of Superman and Lex Luthor, and involvement of various DC pantheon makes Smallville an unmissable show for fans of the DC Universe and others who idolise the beacon of hope.


35. Small Wonder

Small Wonder was one of the few American television shows that were widely popular even in India during the 90s. It was a fun comedy show that kids loved watching after getting back from school. The peppy characters (Vicki, Harriet, Jamie – all awesome), amusing storylines, and clean humor made it a perfect escapist entertainer.


36. South Park

Anyone who enjoys social satires will find South Park interesting. Centred on four trash-talking grade schoolers, this animated adult series is now in its 21st season. While there is a great amount of hatred for this show considering it expresses libertarian views i.e. everyone is open to ridicule, it enjoys a huge following for the very same reason. The show has had many guest appearances which include voice-overs by George Clooney and Michael Buffler.


37. Stranger Things

Netflix’s crown-jewel is a homage to the storytelling of the 80s, a decade that was dominated by Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. Stranger Things packs in plenty of nostalgia. It represents the joy and adventure of childhood along with the burden of adulthood. Comprising a supernatural plot, it is weird, emotional, and exciting. Go Upside Down if you haven’t yet!


38. Suits

Modernising the corporate life, Suits is a great blend of learning and entertainment. Dialogues (by Harvey Spector) are wise and witty. Each episode has something quotable that professes some life lesson. If you are in a mood to watch a drama that balances thrill and humour, Suits should be your pick!


39. Supernatural

Two brothers lose their mother to a demonic supernatural force when they are young. Their father teaches them how to fight it. The concept of two monster-hunting brothers going places to help people was very unique at the time the show premiered. With the help of some solid character development and intriguing storylines, the show became a crowd favourite and has been running ever since.


40. Teen Wolf

As the title goes, this show is about the adventures of a teen who becomes a werewolf. Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) portrays the titular character with great finesse. The deep-rooted character development and wonderfully encapsulated themes of love, friendship, and humanitarianism make it rank a cut above its counterparts.


41. The Simpsons

This infamous animated satire is a complete package of delightful stories, amusing antics, great jokes, running gags, incredible characterization, and delectable characters. Surfacing on TV in 1989 with ‘Simpsons roasting on an Open Fire’, the show became an instant classic. It’s currently in its 29th season and is still as charming.


42. True Detective

What do you expect from a TV show that has Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles? It should be bonkers. True Detective is a gem of a show that features sublime storytelling and excellent performances. Circled on two homicide detectives from Louisiana, it’s a journey that encompasses murder, mayhem, and mystery spanning seventeen years.


43. Twin Peaks

Who killed Laura Palmer? This is the one, big question that will linger in your mind while watching Twin Peaks. Focused on an FBI agent who investigates the murder of the aforementioned girl, this is one helluva intense show. A blend of several different genres, Twin Peaks is unlike anything you’ve seen before. A trailblazer!


44. Two and a Half Men

An adult comedy show around two brothers and a child, Two and a Half Men is the first choice of any sitcom lover. Depicting the recurring dream of a man to have fun with endless women throughout his lifetime, the show was brimful of comedy about sex, dating, divorce, parenthood, and friendship.


45. The Vampire Diaries

While the show is basically a love story, it has a horde of mythical creatures that satisfy the craving of those obsessed with vampirism. The self-referential cheekiness and the great chemistry of the leads made the show overcome its lack of originality. Targeted for the young adults, the show remained consistent in delivering the thrills and had a successful run for eight seasons.


46. Vikings

Chronicling the medieval adventures of a band of Norsemen, Vikings is a great show that has striking visuals and captivating characters. Although lacking historical accuracy, the show makes up with engrossing action that features epic battle scenes. Overshadowed by Game of Thrones, the fifth season is about to premiere next week promising same thrills and killer writing.


47. West Wing

With dialogues that warrant your attention, West Wing is one of the classic shows that gave people umpteen optimism. As an original Washington D.C. drama series, it had Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe play the lead characters of the President of United States and deputy communications director with great expertise. Watch it for the writing, performances, and an A-grade production.


48. White Collar

From shiny to cheap suits, greasy con men to intricate heists, the show follows a con-men and an FBI agent collaborate to solve white collar crimes. Clever plotting, brisk pacing, and an outstanding chemistry between the leads bolster the show, which spans 6 seasons. Slight suspension of disbelief makes it even more enjoyable.


49. The Walking Dead

Adapted from the greatest horror comics ever written, The Walking Dead follows survivors of an apocalyptic holocaust who are looking for a safe place while the zombies hunt them. The high production values and solid casting aid its superficial plot and makes it compelling for both the fans and non-fans of the zombie universe.


50. The X-Files

Running for nine seasons, Chris Carter’s The X-Files had FBI agents Scully and Mulder seek the unexplainable. This is a classic Sci-Fi show that had viewership from all across the globe. With sheer coolness and cinematic appeal, this one’s a universal favourite. Watch if you haven’t yet!

By Mayank Nailwal


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