Some TV shows are so good, you wish you could watch them again for the first time. Here are the shows we wish we could erase from our minds and get all the laughs, tears, and feelings from the first episode until the last.
1. The Wire (2002-2008)
Many people love The Wire for its depiction of everyday life, the “system” as the villain, and attention to societal concerns. There were a lot of characters with depth and narratives to keep up with, and you felt rewarded when all of your observations paid off.
2. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
First, The Sopranos deserves a round of applause for James Gandolfini's acting abilities. He showed what it was like to balance work (albeit corrupt) and family life and how it affects your mental state. It was top tier.
Also, the writers did an excellent job of making the show more suspenseful and realistic by knocking off characters that people loved. The fact that no one was safe made the series both infuriating and fascinating. The unpredictability of it all kept people coming back for more.
3. Mr. Robot (2015-2019)
The primary word that comes to mind when I think of Mr. Robot is “complex.” It's tricky to address mental health in the media in an authentic and sensitive way that portrays the realities of it while not stigmatizing it.
Additionally, the distinctive aesthetic design, realism of the intricate narrative, and the unreliability of the characters made it worth watching. That doesn't even include the many plot twists that left your jaw hanging, especially in the first season.
4. Futurama (1999- )
The animated show Futurama is an incredibly intelligent series that contains a level of subtlety, sophistication, and ingenuity. Many of the jokes are clever and require attentive observation to appreciate fully. Despite being a cartoon, it incorporates relatable, down-to-earth characters and authentic themes like love, family bonds, spirituality, and more.
5. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Regarded as one of, if not the best, TV show ever by its fanbase, Breaking Bad does what few shows have been able to do. Unlike a lot of other series that usually have a big cliffhanger during the season finale, Breaking Bad leaves you with a huge gasp at the end of almost every episode.
Not only do you get consistent plot progression, but the character development is intriguing. Everyone loves Walter White, the chemistry teacher that becomes a meth cook. It's a dark, humorous, and dramatized masterpiece.
6. The Good Place (2016-2020)
The Good Place is a comedy series with lovable main characters and an interesting theme related to something people often question — the afterlife. The show gave people a way to think about the possibility of an afterlife that wasn't hinged on a particular religion or specific convictions. Thankfully, the creativity never ran dry, and the character arcs reached their logical conclusion.
7. Severance (2022- )
It's easy to get lost in the storyline and see the deeper meaning behind this surface comedy. There's a lot of corporate dystopia and the show makes people consider how humanity copes with imperfections.
We bury parts of ourselves within our subconscious while trying to tackle empathy, healing, and more. Splitting your life into separate sections is a truly appealing and original idea.
8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a huge impact on pop culture during the 90s. The show did an excellent job of showcasing fantastic villains that subverted horror tropes and actually added meaning to the series. On top of that, it gave insight into issues, social problems, anxieties, and hopes that aren't typically well-articulated in teen-centric shows.
9. Justified (2010-2015)
Justified offered a certain underappreciated genius that was on display during its six seasons. It was amongst the best neo-Western shows of all time, and it packed in everything from drama to crime to comedy to suspense.
The characters felt very three-dimensional, and the dialogue was beautifully crafted. Throw in excellent acting, and you've got a great TV show that you can binge again and again.
10. Sherlock (2010-2017)
I must admit, I'm partial to Sherlock! I love a good mystery crime show, and this one didn't disappoint. The series was just as good as the novels, and it allowed you to see a character you love brought to life.
While Robert Downey Jr. is a great actor, his portrayal of Sherlock differed from what you read. Benedict Cumberbatch, however, brought so much depth to the role. Audiences could sympathize with him because of his weaknesses and vulnerability while praising him because of his wit and brilliance.
11. House (2004-2012)
From my experience, House was great at the beginning, got a little stale in the middle, and then picked up at the end. I had a love/hate relationship with Dr. House's snarky comments and self-absorbed mentality.
Yet, something about him and his medical genius kept me watching. For all of his flaws, he was brilliant, and I looked forward to learning about the rare conditions that only he and his team of experts could figure out.
12. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Avatar: The Last Airbender was a brilliant animated TV series that introduced the idea of bending the elements of the universe. The character development was phenomenal, with a detailed storyline that captivated children and adults alike. There's a mix of drama, action, and comedy, so you get a little bit of everything.
13. Firefly (2002-2003)
Firefly seemed to have been unfairly canceled after just one season. The producers went for science fiction, drama, and Western themes, which made the show unique, especially for its time.
The use of sarcasm, fast-talking, and quick-witted dialogue made the show hilarious. We were sad to see it go so soon.
14. The Office (2005-2013)
The Office was simply one of the funniest shows I'd seen in a while. Despite the series relying heavily on humor, the storyline was surprisingly good. The characters were all so different from one another, which was also an element that made the series better.
It was a mockumentary that many of us loved.
15. Parenthood (2010-2015)
Parenthood is one of my favorite shows of all time. There were so many parallels that viewers could see between their families and the Bravermans. From the high moments to the dysfunction, the characters sucked you into their personas, and each one was different.
It was wonderful to see them all develop — some started out lovable, and you ended up hating them, and some were immature, and you witnessed the growth. Overall, it was a very wholesome show that had drama, but it wasn't over-the-top.
16. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
The Haunting of Hill House was a miniseries that premiered on Netflix a few years ago and it really set a new bar for horror fans. A lot of fans continue to rewatch it over and over again.
The show follows a broken family who flashes between their memories and the present, all while dealing with the haunting memories of their old home and the events that made them leave the most haunted house in the country.
17. Community (2009-2015)
Community always had a premise that felt so real: a group of people just trying to figure out their lives while enrolled at community college. This comedy show follows a Spanish study group formed by a lawyer who has been lying about his college degree.
Over the next few seasons, the group of misfits grow together into their own little group and experience some of life's milestones together. It's a hilarious show and has fans running back to watch it over and over as a comfort show.
18. What We Do in the Shadows (2019- )
What if ancient vampires lived among us and a documentary crew followed them as they mixed and mingled with modern society? That's the premise of What We Do in the Shadows, which stemmed from a movie of the same name. It's hilarious to watch these old vampires try to figure out the current world and the writing and acting are just spot-on. It's worth diving into this world.
19. Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006)
Malcolm in the Middle is one of those shows that never gets old the older we get. The show follows a family full of boys and their dysfunctional, but realistic, family. Rewatching this show will remind you of your childhood and miss the times when everything was just a little bit easier.
20. Lost (2004-2010)
Lost follows the survivors of a plane crash who are forced to work together on a deserted tropical island in order to survive. It's often talked about as one of the best shows ever created.