The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

The 2010s were phenomenal, giving us comedies and dramas that were groundbreaking and often immediate favorites. And with the rise of streaming services and smaller cable networks, TV shows also had more of a chance than ever before. Here are 11 top shows of the decade. Also, did your favorite make it up to the list?

The Walking Dead

“The Walking Dead” just can’t die — and that’s a good thing. With a decade of airtime behind it now, it’s still pressing relentlessly forward, depriving us of the chance to make jokes about it being a shambling shadow of its former self. It’s outlived the height of the zombie fad, and it’s kept viewers hooked.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Nadia Hilker as Magna, Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Melissa McBride as Carol, Angel Theory as Kelly – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AM8

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a sitcom that makes the police procedural over into a classic workplace comedy.

Tonally, the series also offers a lot of optimistic escapism. It presents a best-case scenario, combining real social awareness with a thoroughly upbeat take in a way that many viewers clearly find refreshing. The show has also garnered considerable praise for its portrayal of significant gay and bisexual characters.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

Better Call Saul

Spinoff “Better Call Saul” may delve into the backstory of “Breaking Bad” — in addition to more Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), you also get more of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), more Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and more of the whole Salamanca crime family — but it also has a winning story that’s all its own.

It can be as funny as a comedy, but like its predecessor, it’s a tragedy at its core. This is the story of the rise and fall of Jimmy McGill, the man who will become Saul Goodman, who will end up washed-up, living under a false name, and managing a Cinnabon.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 5 – Photo Credit: Warrick Page/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Hannibal

Intense, moody, and full of some of the most sumptuous banquets you’ll ever want to stay far away from, NBC’s “Hannibal” is a dark delight that tied for 11th place on Metacritic. Its lush, baroque sets and striking costume make every frame look like a museum-ready oil painting.

Even the gore looks gorgeous. Sure, you might not want to see a dead body impaled on antlers, but if you have to see it, you want it to look like this.

Haunting, chilling, and utterly riveting, “Hannibal” is a treat. If you’re craving something different, sit down to dinner with Dr. Lecter.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

The Good Place

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The show started out as a smart, cheeky, unusually thoughtful sitcom about “dirtbag” Eleanor (Kristen Bell) navigating a “Good Place” afterlife that she knows she’s not supposed to be in. And then it turned out to be not only enjoyable but also a twisty, incredibly inventive comedy with huge surprises and even bigger stakes.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

Stranger Things

This is ’80s nostalgia done right. A glorious hodgepodge of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and Cold War paranoia, “Stranger Things” makes the small town of Hawkins a creepy, adventurous delight.

From an evil government agency experimenting with psychic powers to a Soviet operation in the mall to hideous monsters from another dimension, the show loves its classic horror and science fiction tropes. And it does them right.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

BoJack Horseman

We wish we could’ve been a fly on the wall when Raphael Bob-Waksberg pitched “BoJack Horseman” to Netflix.

“See, it’s an animated show where people exist alongside anthropomorphic animals, and it’s a celebrity satire that’s also an unflinching examination of depression, addiction, and trauma that will rip audiences apart emotionally. But don’t worry, it’s funny and full of sight gags! And did I mention the star is a horse who’s a washed-up sitcom actor?”

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

Breaking Bad

“Breaking Bad” is about as good as TV gets. And it has one of the all-time great premises: Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher with lots of bottled-up frustration, finds out he has cancer. He wants to leave his family some money, but any treatment is likely to bankrupt them.

And besides, there’s nothing much to leave. With the help of a former student, Jesse (Aaron Paul), he starts cooking meth. And he’s very, very good at it.

Directly or indirectly, “Breaking Bad” may be the single most influential TV series of the last 10 years.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

Game of Thrones

HBO didn’t do high fantasy. Then “Game of Thrones” came along.

The epic series of dragons, White Walkers, and the war for the Iron Throne of Westeros shattered expectations of what prestige TV could look like, and everyone got hooked. As counterintuitive as it might seem at first, the show was a perfect fit for HBO.

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After all, despite its fantasy trappings, it still had plenty of the political gamesmanship, violence, and darkness that the network does so well. And HBO poured in plenty of money to make sure that the key battles and effects were utterly convincing.

While the controversial series finale slightly tarnished the series’ reputation, the show as a whole remains as game-changing and remarkable as ever.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s smart, witty, and sometimes emotionally devastating comedy deserves acclaim. With its lengthy list of awards and accolades, it’s no surprise that so many critics singled it out as a favorite.

The show is as heart-wrenching as it is funny. As Variety’s Maureen Ryan puts it, the show hooks you with “economical storytelling, savage honesty, and tender wit.” Soon, you can’t imagine not tuning in, even though it’s leaving you emotionally raw.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

The Leftovers

Sublime and surreal, “The Leftovers” has the kind of high-concept pitch we can’t resist. It takes place after 2% of the world’s population has suddenly disappeared, and everyone else is struggling to move forward through their pain and uncertainty.

Some, like Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), who lost her husband and children, start off drowning in grief. Some take refuge in cults that seem to offer a kind of answer. Others, like lead Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), just try to hold onto the family they have left.

The Top 11 TV Shows Of The Decade According To Critics

We have no intention of arguing with this No. 1 pick. “The Leftovers” dazzles us.

 

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Sees mistakes in an instant, that's what landed her here. Constantly mulling over the mysteries of life or making self depreciating jokes. In free time, she completes her requirement for Master's in Linguistics.