Yesterday, I kicked off my countdown of the 20 best television shows of the past 10 years. It’s been an extremely memorable decade, packed full of twists and turns nobody saw coming both in real life, and on the small screen! After going through entrants 20-11 in our list, today I’ll be delving into the top 10. Remember to fire me a tweet @DanielJFalconer or leave a comment below if you think any television shows in particular have been left off, which deserved a spot!
Here are entrants 10-1... (Click here to catch up on yesterday’s feature!)
10. Power (2014-2020)
Though its final season's broadcast has been marred in controversy in the United States, Power has kept audiences’ jaws on the floor with its stunning storytelling. Characters that we fall in love with aren’t always the nicest people on the planet, and as a viewer, we find ourselves questioning our own morality; just how far would we go to save and provide for our own families and loved ones? Naturi Naughton must be spotlighted as a real force of passion in the role of Tasha St. Patrick; you can tell she absolutely loves sinking her teeth into such a meaty role, as she's grown and evolved as an actress alongside the character’s own development. With just five episodes to go, coming in 2020, now’s the perfect time for a catch-up if you haven’t checked the show out just yet! All seasons to-date are available on Netflix in the UK.
9. The Leftovers (2014-2017)
Based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same name, The Leftovers is a supernatural mystery drama that takes place three years after a global event known as the "Sudden Departure", where 2% of the world's population suddenly disappeared. It may not sound like the biggest percentage, but the butterfly effect this has on the characters we get to know in the series is something co-creators Damon Lindelof and Perrotta explore with precision. Despite lasting just three seasons, those episodes were some of the best television we’ve seen not just this decade, but of all time.
8. BoJack Horseman (2014-present)
If you've never seen BoJack Horseman, you're probably confused about how an animated horse and his friends have made it to a spot so high on this list. What the creator of the show (Raphael-Bob Waksberg) have managed to do here however, is something that at first sounds utterly impossible; they made that animated horse and the rest of the cast completely relatable. The realistic topics explored in the series, which usually have a stigma attached, include mental illness, sexism, bigotry and depression, making it a much tougher and more confronting watch than everybody first expected. Rewriting the rules of adult animated comedies, it’s carved out a path for others to follow in the future; an extremely worthwhile undertaking, with the second part of the sixth and final season debuting on January 31st, 2020.
7. Killing Eve (2018-present)
Jodie Comer has been proving her acting talent for years, but truly broke the glass ceiling when she took on the role of Villanelle in the BBC spy thriller, Killing Eve. Working alongside Sandra Oh, audiences have seen the pair bounce off of one another with a stunning chemistry, even luring many of us in to the point where we’re willing both of them to live happily ever after; despite Villanelle’s murderous history! The cinematography, writing and soundtrack all combine for a viewing experience like none other; I for one cannot wait to see where the writers take the story next!
6. The Haunting of Hill House (2018-present)
Another anthology series, which will be making a return in 2020 with a brand new story, The Haunting of Hill House was loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. Fans of the horror genre were genuinely inspired to see an original supernatural story brought to Netflix, as the show’s cast and crew delivered a terrifying and hair-raising trial. If you say you didn’t jump at least once watching this show, you’re a liar!
5. Fleabag (2016-2019)
Creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars in the titular role in Fleabag; a British comedy drama which cuts so close to the bone thanks to its realistic writing and performances, that it’s sometimes hard to watch. One of the best things about Fleabag is the breaking of the fourth wall, via the use of internal monologues and a running commentary, amongst other elements rarely seen in a series of this type. It’s a real masterclass in how to push boundaries and make an impact, with a short amount of time and small number of episodes.
4. Black Mirror (2011-present)
Every single episode of Black Mirror is different. They’re set within the same universe, but each story we see is unique, with an entirely fresh bunch of faces making up the cast. Charlie Brooker – the series’ writer – pokes fun at our reliance on technology throughout the series, but in doing so, exposes the dangerous and often dystopian future that could become a reality thanks to the rise in technological advancements. It’s a terrifying but utterly addictive viewing experience.
3. Stranger Things (2016-present)
Matt and Ross Duffer are clearly huge fans of the 1980s. Creating an authentic offering from that era would prove challenging for anybody, but the brothers have done exactly that with their supernatural sci-fi Netflix original series, Stranger Things. Not only has the show served as the perfect launch pad for young stars such as Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp and Finn Wolfhard, but it’s allowed stars such as Winona Ryder and David Harbour to showcase their acting chops in the best performances of their career to-date.
2. Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
The thirst for new episodes of HBO series Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s incomplete novel series A Song of Ice & Fire, was unlike anything we’ve experienced in modern times. Viewers demanded to know exactly what was going to happen next in a fantasy world where every character could have been disposed of at any minute, no matter how high their name may be on the credits list. Though the ending is one that divided its audience right down the middle, the impact GoT had on television and the millions who tuned in every week is undeniable. It’s going to be very interesting to see if any of the planned spin-offs coming to HBO in the near future are able to achieve anything close to the success GoT enjoyed.
1. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Though it started a couple of years outside of the current decade, Breaking Bad showed its very best episodes between 2010 and 2013. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul stunned audiences with their realistic, emotional performances, with Cranston’s character Walter White turning from a desperate school teacher, to a cunning, murderous drug baron. First airing on television, it was Breaking Bad’s move to Netflix in this country that turned it into a show which actually didn’t have too much of a following, to a cult phenomenon. The top-drawer acting, slick writing and exceptional creativity combined with a new way to binge an entire series meant that Breaking Bad was allowed to soar, as it should have done from the very beginning.
Tagged in Television