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RLLMUK's Top TV Series from 2000 onwards.


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17 hours ago, Couch Corpse said:

@Azrael Would Giantbomb/Vinny Caravella's Unprofessional Fridays count?


I'm leaning towards no as that could lead to all sorts of Youtube/podcasts and the like becoming options and, while streaming service exclusive shows are valid, that would be getting further away from the idea of TV series. 


Would mean having to make room on my list for Caravan of Garbage for a start too... and its difficult enough as it is 

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1. The Wire

2. Twin Peaks: The Return

3. The Leftovers

4. The Expanse

5. The Power of Nightmares

6. True Detective (Season 1 only)

7. Generation Kill

8. Can't Get You Out of My Head

9. Chernobyl

10. One Punch Man

11. Watchmen

12. The Vietnam War

13. Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

14. Stath Lets Flats

15. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

16. Sunderland 'Til I Die

17. Years and Years

18. Evil Genius

19. Once Upon a Time in Iraq

20. American Crime Story


Edit: ok so I got to 20. Some caveats though. I feel uncomfortable putting True Detective in there, I didn't want to include something I didn't enjoy from beginning to end, but I did enjoy Season 1 so much. Similarly American Crime Story I loved the first 2 seasons, I have not seen the third season.


It is tough to come up with 20 honestly. Stuff I really enjoyed one season of (True Detective, American Crime Story), stuff I enjoyed well enough but never finished (Breaking Bad, Steven Universe), stuff that really jumped the shark (Lost, The Walking Dead), stuff that I enjoyed a lot but is it really good enough to be up there for goat contention? (Brooklyn 99, Bosch).


For all that it has been the "Golden Age" of television there are very few shows that I didn't either get bored of or have no desire to ever rewatch. So, so many shows end terribly as well.

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1. Patriot

2. Chernobyl

3. Breaking Bad

4. Legion

5. Severance

6. The Office (UK)

7. I Think You Should Leave

8. Jackass

9. The Staircase (documentary)

10. Fargo

11. Them

12. Silicon Valley

13. Squid Game

14. The Handmaids Tale

15. Curb Your Enthusiasm

16. Giri Haji

17. Community

18. Detectorists

19. Happy Valley

20. Veep

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1. The Wire

2. The Leftovers

3. Succession

4. Better Call Saul

5. Mad Men

6. Severance

7. Peep Show

8. Breaking Bad

9. I May Destroy You

10. Watchmen

11. Justified

12. 30 Rock

13. Arrested Development

14. The Bridge

15. Flight of the Conchords

16. Curb Your Enthusiasm

17. Silicon Valley

18. Show Me a Hero

19. Chernobyl


There were half a dozen shows vying for 20th but the fact that I couldn't decide means it stays empty. I found it easier to order those at the very top but after that the placing is less meaningful.

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Used this thread as a memory jogger to start my own top 20 and it's made me realise a couple of things, firstly how poorly the streamers fare for me, only thing I've got in there is Severance, which I'm going early on and could easily rise or fall in future series.


Secondly it forces you into some weird thought process, is Spartacus better than the Inbetweeners, Chernobyl or Australian Masterchef.

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  1. The Wire
  2. Succession
  3. Mad Men
  4. The Office US
  5. Arrested Development
  6. Chernobyl
  7. The Thick Of It
  8. Severance
  9. Game of Thrones
  10. The Office UK
  11. Spartacus
  12. Better Call Saul
  13. Halt and Catch Fire
  14. Australian Masterchef
  15. Fleabag
  16. Battlestar Galactica
  17. Inbetweeners
  18. Boardwalk Empire
  19. The Staircase (documentary)
  20. Top Gear (the BBC modern era from 2002 til the where’s my steak firing)

I've done this on the basis of being unashamedly honest about what I've enjoyed watching, factoring in things like stuff I've watched multiple times (both Offices, 1-3 of Arrested Dev, GoT, Top Gear eps on Dave, Inbetweeners, The Wire) and things I've only watched the once but still felt important/great (Mad Men, Chernobyl, Fleabag, Battlestar Galactica).


Severance is possibly a bit early, but could go up or down in future seasons, it's first run was too good to not include at all, but a few years back Westworld would have qualified on that basis and now I wouldn't consider it.


GoT undoubtedly ended shite but I'm remembering how good it was for quite a while, and how obsessed I got with listening to podcasts and reading about eps as they dropped. Likewise I haven't even finished the final season of Arrested Dev, but seasons 1-3 (and even bits of 4) were incredible and so densely written.


Finally I have a few guilty pleasures which I include without shame - Aussie Masterchef is for those who know the best cooking contest on TV bar none, and has been for over a decade. Top Gear at it's peak was incredibly good and I've lost count how often I've watched some of the specials like Africa & The Poles and many of the older eps. 


If Succession sticks an ending or maintains its standards for a year or 2 more (I have hopes, Jesse Armstrong has always said the title contains an implicit promise) it could possibly go #1, or maintain it's place in that highest overall tier of shows (with the Sopranos & The Wire).


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Gosh, this is actually very difficult but here are mine!


1. Band of Brothers

2. Chernobyl

3. Game of Thrones

4. Dr Who

5. Early Doors

6. Phoenix Nights

7. The Last Kingdom

8. Line of Duty

9. The Office (UK)

10. Black Mirror

11. Parks and Recreation

12. The Mandalorian

13. Ted Lasso

14. Peaky Blinders

15. Vikings

16. The Expanse

17. The Clone Wars

18. 24

19. Narcos

20. Spartacus

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A real tricky one that's for sure, but for me:


1) The Wire

2) Chernobyl

3) The Shield

4) Breaking Bad

5) Better Call Saul

6) Line of Duty

7) Mr Inbetween

8 )Game of Thrones

9) Band of Brothers

10) The Witcher

11) Mindhunter

12) The Pacific

13) Fargo

14) Black Mirror

15) Unbelievable

16) The Thick of It

17) Peep Show

18) The Detectorists

19) Boardwalk Empire

20) Severance


I'm currently watching a few other potentials to go on here (The Expanse being one) but as I'm not even through Season 1 at the moment I will leave it like this.

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Going to start collating some of the nominations now so if you're making any changes to them please quote and let me know what has changed. Thanks 

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I decided to omit documentaries, and things like Black Mirror and Fargo whose early episodes I loved but which I can't judge properly because I haven't seen enough of their later ones.


1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
2. Bob's Burgers
3. Malcolm in the Middle
4. Peep Show
5. Doctor Who
6. Parks and Recreation
7. Samurai Jack
8. Black Books
9. Inside No 9
10. Community
11. The Armando Iannucci Shows
12. Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe
13. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle
14. Dave Gorman: Modern Life Is Goodish
15. Firefly
16. QI
17. Band of Brothers
18. Only Connect
19. Look Around You
20. The Wire


Obviously The Wire should be top 5, but I put it all the way down here because we all know it's going to win, so I might as well give some other things a little boost in the rankings! :eyebrows:


In my earlier post I said that I'd put five animated series in my list; you may have noticed that there the above list has only three. The titles pushed out were Rick and Morty and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited.


Here's 21-40 (I didn't take as much care refining the order of these):



21. Rick & Morty
22. Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
23. The Thick of It
24. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
25. Sherlock
26. Being Human
27. Life on Mars
28. Friday Night Dinner
29. The Legend of Korra
30. The IT Crowd
31. Battlestar Galactica
32. Flight of the Conchords
33. WandaVision
34. DuckTales (2017)
35. Psychoville
36. The Killing
37. The Venture Brothers
38. Harley Quinn
39. Ghosts
40. Green Wing. Or maybe Primal. Or Time Trumpet... etc... etc...



1. Avatar: The Last Airbender [Nickelodeon]
Takes a while to get going; throughout much of the first season, I didn't think it lived up to its reputation. But then from season 2, around the time when Toph (who is, of course, the best character) gets introduced, it hits a run of excellent episodes that's almost uninterrupted all the way to the finale.


2. Bob's Burgers [Fox]
I didn't want to submit my list with this series in such a high place until I'd seen the movie, for fear of jinxing it!

Apart from the odd YouTube clip, I didn't discover Bob's Burgers until three years ago, when I noticed it had all been added to Amazon Prime shortly before my subscription was due to expire; I extended my subscription for another year, and blitzed my way through nine seasons in three months. And then I felt bereft because (at the time) there wasn't any more left.


Parks and Rec may have the reputation of being a warm comfort blanket of a comedy, but for me that description applies even more so to Bob's Burgers. This is a risky thing to say, and it may be recency bias, but I think it might have surpassed Futurama as my favourite animated comedy since golden age Simpsons. :o


3. Malcolm in the Middle [Fox]
Excellent writing, a distinctive snappy shooting and editing style, combined with some of the best ever comedic performances by child actors.


4. Peep Show [Channel 4]

Mark and Jeremy's private thoughts give us enough excellent jokes to more than make up for my general aversion to cringe comedy.


5. Doctor Who [BBC]
Hey, the first post explicitly said that it qualifies! Nothing else on this list is as variable in quality as Doctor Who, but it's still the series in which I most look forward to new episodes, because there's always a chance that maybe, just maybe, the new episode will be the next "Blink" or "Heaven Sent" or "Midnight" or "Love & Monsters" (shut up, it was great). Admittedly there hasn't been much hope of that in the Chibnall era...


6. Parks and Recreation [NBC]
Apparently I'm a weirdo because I remember really liking the first season. Though I haven't gone back to rewatch it to see what I'd make of it after watching the rest of the run!


7. Samurai Jack [Cartoon Network/Adult Swim]
The episodes have a masterful balance of slow-paced atmosphere-building and relentlessly intense action, making excellent use of aspect ratio changes and split-screen shots, and I love the outline-less visual style. Like most of the best villains, Aku achieves the perfect combination of comedy and genuine threat.

As for the Adult Swim revival in 2017: it ultimately petered out somewhat, but its first few episodes were absolutely glorious.

8. Black Books [Channel 4]

This series taught me never to use "party" as a verb in Bernard Black's bookshop. An important lesson, from which we can all learn something.


9. Inside No 9 [BBC]
As much as I like The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville, the anthology series Inside No 9 is probably the best thing I've seen by Shearsmith and Pemberton.


Why yes, I did tweak my list a bit in order to put this at #9 in my rankings.


10. Community [NBC/Yahoo]

We've had the six seasons; still no movie.


11. The Armando Iannucci Shows [Channel 4]
12. Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe [BBC]
13. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle [BBC]
14. Dave Gorman: Modern Life Is Goodish [Dave]

And now we've reached the "comedy series with comedians' names in the title" section of the list.

  • I remember catching one or two episodes of The Armando Iannucci Shows when they were first broadcast (including the episode with the knife attack reunion sketch!), and no one else I knew had seen them. It felt like being part of a weird exclusive club. Much later, I caught up on the whole series on when it finally came out on DVD. Hello, Hugh!
  • I fell in love with Screenwipe because it felt like, in addition to the scathing TV reviews, Brooker was letting us in on the arcane secrets of TV production. (Also, Philomena Cunk.
  • Unlike a lot of people here, I wasn't that familiar with Stewart Lee before Comedy Vehicle, so this was really the thing that made me a fan.
  • It amazes me that Dave Gorman was able to produce such consistently finely-honed comedy routines for so many episodes of Modern Life is Goodish.


15. Firefly [Fox]
Firefly and Cowboy Bebop have a lot in common, and I encountered both of them in the same way: by seeing the movies before the series. Both won me over, so I really don't get why fans warn new viewers that seeing the movies first might put them off.


Most SF&F TV series take a while to find their feet (it's certainly true of Buffy and Angel), but Firefly was remarkable for how quickly it came together, hitting the ground running with a fully-formed ensemble cast.

16. QI [BBC]
I began to trail off watching it even before Stephen Fry left, and have watched relatively few of the Sandi Toksvig episodes. But its first decade was probably my favourite of the BBC's comedy panel shows (the TV ones, at least).

17. Band of Brothers [HBO]
I mean it's not really that good, is it? Admit it: you struggled to tell all the characters apart in those helmets and uniforms, didn't you?


... No? Just me?


18. Only Connect [BBC]
OK, the connecting wall doesn't really work for viewers at home, and the missing vowels round doesn't go on long enough. And I wish Victoria would stop telling the contestants to sing.


But the first two rounds are an absolutely inspired quiz format.
19. Look Around You [BBC]
Thanks, Serafinowicz and Popper.


Therafinowicz and thopper.


20. The Wire [HBO]
It's OK. :mellow:

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1. Curb Your Enthusiasm

2. The Wire

3. Justified

4. Mr. Inbetween

5. Firefly

6. Breaking Bad

7. Deadwood

8. Arrested Development

9. It's Only Sunny in Philadelphia

10. 30 Rock

11. Rome

12. Generation Kill

13. The IT Crowd

14. Louie

15. Eastbound and Down

16. Peep Show

17. Chappelle's Show

18. Entourage

19. Banshee

20. Ted Lasso


Is Curb allowed? Started in 99 with the pilot/movie?


Here's the ones that didn't make the cut.



Game of Thrones
The Chase

Bored to Death
Malcolm in the Middle
The Venture Bros.
Samurai Champloo
The Boys
The Night Of
The Jinx
Lights Out
Mad Men
The Office
Planet Earth
Band of Brothers
Schitt's Creek
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Burn Notice


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Curb counts as it seems to be widely accepted as starting from the series in 2000 not the special from before 


6 hours ago, Ry said:

Does The Wire count now?


Yeah? Shouldn't it? :unsure:

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I think my number 1 might be something no one else will even nominate, probably for good reasons; Prison Break. It's definitely not the best show but is always the first one I think of when considering favourite shows. Even when it got ridiculously stupid. 

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1. The Wire
2. Deadwood
3. Mad Men
4. BoJack Horseman
5. Friday Night Dinner
6. Succession
7. Severance
8. The Thick of It
9. Breaking Bad
10. Better Call Saul

11. Taskmaster
12. Detectorists
13. Chernobyl
14. Twin Peaks: The Return
15. Curb Your Enthusiasm
16. Veep
17. Stath Lets Flats
18. Catastrophe
19. I May Destroy You
20. Doctor Who


Could easily have been on the list
30 Rock

Arrested Development 
Band of Brothers
Battlestar Galactica
Better Things

Black Books
Broad City
Friday Night Lights 
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Nighty Night
Normal People
Parks and Recreation

Patrick Melrose

Peep Show
The Americans 
The Good Place
The Office (USA)
The Jinx
The Shield
The Staircase (documentary)

The Trip
This is Going to Hurt
War and Peace

Wolf Hall

I expect my order is bullshit. I'm not even confident about the big boys. The Wire first as I was completely into it at the time, but unlike The Sopranos, Deadwood and Mad Men I've not seen it again since. Maybe I should do something about that. Deadwood probably should be number 1, that's my heart choice right now for the HBO shootout, but my head had to go with the consensus. Breaking Bad has slipped down the list, and I struggle to separate it from Saul. Maybe a rewatch back to back will boost it again. Until recently I would have said Saul is the better show: Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk are so good, but I don't know, I kind of lost the thread of their motivations lately somewhere between seasons. The Shield only makes it as an honourable mention which seems strange, but I'd have been more likely to include Justified or The Americans if one of the less serious shows were to be included. I think Bojack is remarkable, could easily have topped the list. Severance and Succession are both top tier but maybe I have recency bias? I think I choose Friday Night Dinner as the UK show that's most important to me. RIP Paul Ritter, a model to dads everywhere, and he appears twice on the list, which seems correct. I feel like I've cooled a bit on Curb as it's continued, feel like I've soured on Larry and Jeff these days.

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Tempting to pull something else out and promote both Justified and The Americans to get Character Actress Margo Martindale in there three times. I don’t think I can in good conscience get American Crime Story in for four. 

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  1. Mad Men
  2. Twin Peaks: The Return
  3. Too Old To Die Young
  4. Band of Brothers
  5. Chernobyl
  6. Banshee
  7. Narcos
  8. Hannibal
  9. Devs
  10. Justified

I don't watch a whole lot of TV, and even some of the things I have watched I've found varied wildly in quality across seasons. This bunch though, for me, were rock-solid from beginning to end. I'm a real mark for TV that gets arty, so Twin Peaks, Too Old To Die Young, and Hannibal really do it for me. TP and TOTDY are the only ones I've watched twice, and both of them I will watch again in future, maybe several times.


Mad Men was just sheer class, with an almost mythically inscrutable co-lead in Don Draper. I loved how complexly human the characters are, the whole thing refreshingly free of contrivance and cliché. 


Twin Peaks was kind of a miracle I never dreamed would happen for a start, but the fact that Lynch of free reign to be as weird as he wanted was unbelievable. Just enough fan service, while side-stepping cosy resolutions and *gulp* a happy ending.


Too Old To Die Young is a show I never get tired of looking at, so its (some would say) excruciating pace was never a problem for me. Utterly unpredictable, and bold in its depiction of almost universally wretched people.


Band of Brothers feels like required viewing. It's the antidote to all those JOIN THE ARMY/NAVY/AIR FORCE ads I have to sit through every time I go to the cinema. Why We Fight absolutely destroyed me.


Chernobyl is the most depressingly vital and anger-inducing show I've ever watched.


Banshee's gleeful dedication to brutal violence regardless of the participants was a hit with me, and despite an ever-so-slight wobble in the last season it sticks the landing perfectly.


Narcos (original Escobar run) is still the best thing Netflix have put out. Even with some massaging of facts it's still gobsmacking as a mostly true story.


Hannibal hammed it up sometimes, but it was so dedicated to using the visual medium of TV, and Mads was just perfection.


I loved the chin-stroking of Devs, regardless how much sense it made. Another beautiful looking and sounding show.


Justified has probably the coolest main character of all these, but everyone on board is excellent and the show knew to keep things just the right length, and leave it before things started to get stale.

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Edited to remove The Sopranos. I wish the Lord would take me now.


Struggled to find a number 20. I’ve put Doctor Who on the list. I think the RTD show counts as a new show on most listings sites. It’s highly variable, and now almost unwatchable, but it’s had some real highs, the original show is part of who I am, so to be able to share it with my kids has been a joy. 

Added a few more nearly men too. 



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Well I'm not going to be able to watch Succession, Better Call Saul, Chernobyl, Hannibal, Twin Peaks, Inside No.9, Severance, Mindhunter, The Leftovers, Deadwood, The Americans etc etc before the votes are counted, so I might as well do mine now. It's predictable tbh, very much 'stopped watching new things in the last decade'. 


1. Malcolm In The Middle 

2. The Wire

3. Lost

4. 24

5. Breaking Bad

6. Game of Thrones

7. Mad Men

8. Boardwalk Empire

9. Six Feet Under

10. Band of Brothers

11. Prison Break

12. Ozark

13. The Inbetweeners 

14. The Shield 

15. True Detective 

16. Making A Murderer

17. Black Mirror

18. House Of Cards

19. The Office (uk)

20. Battlestar Gallactica

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1. The Wire

2. Mr Inbetween

3. Succession

4. Twin Peaks: The Return

5. Better Call Saul

6. Severance

7. Dark

8. Too Old To Die Young

9. The Expanse

10. Chernobyl

11. Squid Game

12. Deadwood

13. Atlanta

14. Mare of Easttown

15. True Detective 

16. Stranger Things

17. Game Of Thrones

18. The Boys

19. Ozark

20. Treme

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A lot of recency bias in my list for sure and a few heavy-hitters didn't make the cut. Is The O.C a better show than The Wire? Probably not but I know which one I'll fire up next time I'm waiting at an airport or whereever. Not a perfect metric but there's a lot to be said for pure entertainment.


1. Utopia
2. The Shield
3. Love/Hate
4. Euphoria
5. Trailer Park Boys (1999?)
6. Breaking Bad
7. Normal People
8. Evil
9. Arrested Development
10. Luther
11. Psychoville
12. Watchmen
13. I May Destroy You
14. Succession
15. Archer
16. The Killing
17. Barry
18. The OC
19. The Leftovers
20. The Americans

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1. Better Call Saul
2. The Wire
3. The Expanse
4. Breaking Bad
5. Chernobyl
6. Fargo
7. The Boys
8. Snowfall
9. It's Only Sunny in Philidelphia
10. Mr Inbetween
11. Black Mirror
12. Stranger Things
13. Game of Thrones
14. Detectorists
15. Band of Brothers
16. Watchmen
17. The Great British Bake Off
18. Taskmaster
19. The Thick of It
20. Luther


Disappointed by how many have not seen Snowfall, it is fantastic and well worth watching :)


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Here’s mine


1 - Game of Thrones

2 - Dopesick

3 - Lost

4 - The Boys

5 - The Americans 

6 - Dr Who

7 - Line of Duty

8 - Cobra Kai

9 - 24

10 - Battlestar Galactica

11 - Better call Saul

12 - The Flash (season 1 only)

13 - Dexter

14 - The Umbrella Academy 

15 - Stranger Things

16 - The Killing (US)

17 - Legion

18 - Band of Brothers

19 - Hanna

20 - Firefly

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