If you weren’t a big TV-watcher before, I bet you are now! Anel and I are so exhausted at the end of each day that we’ve only been doing 1-2 episodes of something at night before bed (currently Ozark), but I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what to watch so I put together a giant list of all of my favorite TV shows in every genre.
From Breaking Bad to Schitt’s Creek, I’m not sure what this list says about me but it’s a little dark, not gonna lie. I love a really intense drama most of the time with some sarcastic humor peppered in.
I feel like I’m probably forgetting some but here is a list of my favorite TV shows of all time. If you’re more of a reader, here is the post I wrote on my top 5 books of all time.
And tell me what I’m missing below!
FAVORITE DRAMA SERIES
Mad Men: Oh Don Draper how I love you so. I watched Mad Men from day one and was initially hooked because of the mid-century outfits and decor, the unreal amount of martinis consumed, and Jon Hamm. Always, Jon Hamm. But I stayed because of the characters, storyline, and the fact that the female characters rose above in the end.
The Handmaid’s Tale: My husband thinks that my utter obsession with The Handmaid’s Tale is creepy. It might just be but I get way deep into each episode but am somehow able to detach from it despite the heavy content. The one episode that really got me was when Offred gave birth in the deserted mansion. Everyone has a limit and that one was mine!
Breaking Bad: I started watching BB at season 4 to catch up with Anel and binged it all in a few weeks (those were the days). Then we watched the last few seasons live. It is solid television. So much drama. So many lies. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, always.
Homeland: Season one will forever be my favorite but I love how each season has a totally different theme while continuing the same story. And Claire Danes absolutely crushes it as Carrie Matthison.
Sex & The City: In college, my friends and I used to watch and rewatch our DVDs of Sex & the City over and over again. I have probably seen each episode 8 or 9 times. And both movies at least 3 times.
Lost: If we’re talking all-time. Lost was my first true major TV drama love. I used to read the Filmfodder blog every week following the episode like such a nerd. If you know what I’m talking about, you’re my people. (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42)
The Wire: We binge-watched this starting when I was pregnant with Amalia because my dad always talks about how it was one of the first great television shows of a certain level. Despite the fact that it’s incredibly dated, I get why it was so popular. It’s about crime and drug dealing in Baltimore and leaves you heartbroken but invested at the end of each season. Detective James McNulty FTW!
The Affair: I thought this would be a love story. It’s so much more than that. Talk about dark… I don’t know a lot of people who have watched The Affair but I highly recommend it. And you will love to hate Dominic West (the same actor from The Wire) who is equal parts sexy and infuriating.
Game of Thrones: Sci-Fi is not my thing but obviously love GoT. If you told me that I’d be into a show that included dragons, 3-eyed-ravens, ice monsters, and incest I’d never believe you. But as you’ve for sure heard by now, it’s one of the best shows of all time. Fun fact: I went into labor during an episode!
Ozark: I mentioned yesterday we’re halfway through season 3 and it’s better than ever. I love Jason Batement and Laura Linney and the fact that every character surprises you more than once during the show.
House of Cards: Before we know about Kevin Spacey’s mistakes, HoC was a show that Anel and I both really got into. It is smart and twisty and entertains while making you think a lot about politics… which might not be a great thing right now.
True Detective (Season 1): This one kept me up at night. It was even too murder-y for me. But for some reason, I loved being terrified by it. If you’re into murder mysteries, I don’t think it gets better than this. Plus Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson… enough said.
The Americans: The idea of a run-of-the-mill suburban couple moonlighting as Russian spies in itself is something that would make you look twice. The main characters, played by Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys are married IRL too which makes their chemistry even more firey.
Honorable mentions: The Newsroom, Succession, Parenthood (throw back!), and Money Heist.
FAVORITE COMEDY SERIES
Schitt’s Creek: My friend turned me onto Schitt’s Creek while it was in season 4 and I binged all 4 seasons in a matter of days. I’ve been hooked ever since. I like to think that I would be great friends with all of the actors. I haven’t even finished the final season because I’m too sad for it to end. #ewdavid
Orange Is The New Black: Although it started as a comedy, it ended up getting pretty dark by the end. There was one season I didn’t love (3 I think?) but I watched them all religiously.
Silicon Valley: I think this is one of the most underrated comedies on TV lately.
Catastrophe: My friend introduced me to this British comedy (that you can stream on Prime) when it first came out and I’ve watched the whole thing twice through and laughed out loud in every single episode both times. It’s about Rob, an American man who has a one night stand with a woman in London, Sharon, who gets pregnant from said night of fun. The show chronicles their relationship and covers topics from sex to parenthood to alcoholism to aging parents and everything in between. Rob Delaney is one of the funniest comedians out there. And the relationship between Rob and Sharon is so hilariously charming.
Arrested Development: Michael Bluth is Jason Batement at his finest. If you haven’t watched it by now, you probably won’t. But if you have, you know. There’s always money in the banana stand…
The Office: And Michael Scott is Steve Carrel at his finest. I’ve watched each season a dozen times and it never gets old. #bigtuna #thatswhatshesaid
30 Rock: Liz Lemon (Tina Faye) is one of my all-time favorite female leads in a TV show. This over-the-top comedy that is loosely based on the writers’ room at SNL, is ridiculous in the best way possible.
Veep: Except for Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who you really can’t help but love to hate in Veep.
Fleabag: Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the writer and star of the show) is a damn genius. It took us a few episodes to realize that her character didn’t have a name… She’s simply referred to as Fleabag. The dark comedy is about her life, her family, her business (a guinea pig-themed café), and her love life (including an affair with a priest). Excellent writing and acting.
Honorable mentions: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Grace & Frankie.
FAVORITE REALITY SERIES
Top Chef: I’ve been a superfan since season one. And this season of All-Stars is lit. My pick for the winner is either Gregory or Melissa.
Chef’s Table: I have a thing for food shows, what can I say. This one is shot so beautifully and will make you want to eat at the top restaurants in the world that they highlight in each episode.
Fixer Upper: Who doesn’t love Chip & Joanna? When it went off the air, I was unreasonably sad. Even though their style is very different than mine, every episode would blow me away.
RHOBH & RHONY: I love them both and I’m not ashamed to say it! Sometimes you just need to turn off your brain and watch some nutty women do nutty things in pretty outfits. Favorite “characters” in order are: Bethenny Frankel, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna. Can’t wait for BH to come back tonight for season 10.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: If you haven’t watched Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix show, there’s not much to tell. It’s exactly what the title describes. He takes his famous friends out for coffee in a different fancy car each episode. You learn about some of your favorite celebrities and they’ll all make you laugh.
Honorable mention: Vanderpump Rules (Don’t judge!) and Queer Eye.
Sharp Objects: I never read the Gillian Flynn book and scared myself silly while we watched this. Amy Adams plays a wonderfully damaged character and her entire family in this murder mystery is a crew of creeps that you can’t turn away from.
The Night Of: The fact that I have a giant crush on Riz Ahmed isn’t the only reason that we plowed through this mini-series. I’ve always been interested in Riker’s Island and our broken judicial system and this series showcased it in what seemed like a very real way.
What are some of your favorite shows of all time?
We’re lined up like 96% on these. Catastrophe is so good and kind of a hidden gem. I’m glad you called it out. I cackle watching it.
I love Catastrophe too. I don’t know anybody else that watches. I was sad to hear it wasn’t renewed. Also sad that Mozart in the Jungle wasn’t renewed.
Mozart in the jungle! So good. Miss it so much.
If you liked Catastrophe, you’d also like I’m Sorry—With Comedian Andrea Savage. It’s about her husband and daughter living in LA and really smart and funny!
West wing is one of my all time favorites! I keep waiting for a president Bartlet to run again!
I also loved a show called Picket Fences from the 90s. I wish they would stream it somewhere so I could watch it again
Such a good list! I’m with you though, I’ve been unable to watch the Schitt’s Creek finale because I don’t want it to end!
Recently finished the Unorthodox Mini Series and found it very interesting!
Ozarks & Money Heist are my all time favorites, and I’m currently watching Heartland for some feel-good TV ahahha.
I absolutely love that Parenthood made this list! It was an amazing show that was entirely underrated!
My mom and I binge watched Mad Men on my maternity leave with my son (I think it only took us like a week and a half we were so obsessed) and it’s the besttttttttttt. I actually feel like I need to watch it again. My husband LOVES The Wire, so I’m thinking I need to watch that with him for sure. Oh and a big YES to Parenthood! Also, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!!!! If you haven’t watched that, you must.
yes to Friday Night Lights too..that’s what we’re currently watching..last season this week. So good.
Such a great list! Lots of my faves. I’d have to add Downton Abbey to this, though it’s been a minute. If anyone is looking for something sweet and pleasant to watch, also Great British Baking.
For something uplifting try Friday Night Lights (you don’t have to like football).
I’ve watched and loved almost all of these. I would add to reality shows: The Amazing Race, The Great British Baking Show; to comedies: I’m Sorry, Friends From College (Netflix), Friends; to dramas: Shameless, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
West Wing. Hands down.
Downton Abbey for sure. Turn on Netflix completely sucked me in, as did Dr. Foster (so twisty with dark surprises!)
Omg if you like darker shows, have you seen Big Little Lies?! It’s free on HBO Now currently. I tore through season 1 and it’s soooo good! (content warning: there is domestic violence)
I also love Vanderpump and I’ve been watching RHONY from the beginning. Gonna need another light show after BLL…maybe I’ll finish Veep 🙂
Oh and Nashville was a good binge! I watched it last year and loved it. SO much drama haha
The Americans and Catastrophe are two of my all-time favorites. They both had such satisfying series finales, which is so rare. I think you might enjoy Killing Eve too, if you haven’t seen it. And Crazy Ex Girlfriend is another beloved favorite of mine.
Favorite, favorite of all time is Friends. I rewatch the series every year & even bought it on iTunes during this quarantine since it’s not on Netflix anymore. I also love most Real Housewives franchises & can rewatch those, too. Thank you for mentioning 30 Rock – it doesn’t get it’s due.
If you’re in the mood for drama, Jack Ryan is amazing
I love, love, love The Good Wife! Also love Friday Night Lights and Parenthood (they are both produced by the same guy – so you will see some of the same actors in both shows). Also, if you like Kyle Chandler (from Friday Night Lights), try Bloodline on Netflix. It is very dark, but really good!
Love your TV taste! We have very similar show obsessions. Have you seen other Phoebe Waller Bridge shows like Killing Eve and Run (new to HBO)? Both are very good!!
OMG love that you have VPR on here, lol!! If you are looking for some more drama-like show, Killing Eve on Hulu is SO good! The first 2 seasons are on Hulu, and the third season just started, but you can watch it on the BBC America streaming channel the day after the new episode airs. We totally watched the first two seasons in like 5 days, so give it a shot!! Hope you guys are doing well 🙂
You should watch Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere! Both star Reese Witherspoon and are so good!
I am unapologetically obsessed with Schitt’s Creek. The final season was so heartfelt and amazing. Quarantine is the perfect time to finish it. Also, there’s a one-hour behind the scenes documentary that was aired on PopTV after the last episode. See if you can find it – it’s so good.
Great list! GOT is fantasy, not science fiction. 🙂
I agree with so many of these recommendations! I’d also add Killing Eve, Big Little Lies, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Superstore (this is surprisingly good in a “everyone is ridiculous” kind of way but took several episodes to get into), House, and Friends!
I love Friends, Blackish, How I Met Your another, My Wife and Kids… I’m big on feel good sitcoms.
Started watching Mad Men and Gossip Girl is my guilty pleasure (Chuck Bass!)
I haven’t really watched a lot of tv in recent times though
Have you watched True Detective season 3? Also terrifying and kept me up at night but I couldn’t stop watching! Mahershala Ali was so good in it.