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10 Greatest TV Shows of the 2010s

10 Greatest TV Shows of the 2010s

Greatest TV Shows of the 2010s – The 2010s marked a transformative decade for television, witnessing an unprecedented surge in quality and innovation. As traditional networks collided with emerging streaming platforms, storytelling boundaries expanded, offering audiences a diverse array of compelling narratives.

This era not only birthed iconic characters but also redefined the very nature of episodic content. Among the standout shows, a few rose to unparalleled acclaim, pushing the medium to new heights.

From the morally complex world of “Breaking Bad” to the epic fantasy realms of “Game of Thrones,” and the nostalgic thrills of “Stranger Things,” these series not only entertained but left an indelible mark on popular culture.

As we explore the greatest TV shows of the 2010s, we delve into the cultural phenomena, narrative ingenuity, and the profound impact that these shows had on the television landscape.

Greatest TV Shows of the 2010s

Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

“Breaking Bad” (2008–2013) is a gripping TV series that follows Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine producer. Bryan Cranston’s stellar performance as White, navigating the dangerous criminal underworld, is a highlight.

The show masterfully blends intense drama with character evolution, exploring moral complexities and consequences.

Aaron Paul’s portrayal of Jesse Pinkman and the meticulous storytelling by creator Vince Gilligan contribute to its critical acclaim. “Breaking Bad” is celebrated for its suspenseful plot twists, intricate character development, and thematic depth, making it one of the most revered and influential series in television history.

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Game of Thrones (2011–2019)

“Game of Thrones” (2011–2019) is a fantasy epic adapted from George R.R. Martin’s novels. Set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, the series navigates the power struggles among noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne.

Known for its intricate political intrigue, complex characters, and willingness to kill off major figures, the show became a cultural phenomenon.

Stunning visuals, epic battles, and unexpected twists characterized its eight seasons. While praised for its production values, the later seasons received mixed reviews for pacing and narrative choices. Nevertheless, “Game of Thrones” left an indelible mark on television history.

Stranger Things (2016–present)

“Stranger Things” (2016–present) is a nostalgic sci-fi horror series set in the 1980s. Created by the Duffer Brothers, it follows a group of kids in the town of Hawkins as they encounter supernatural phenomena and government experiments.

The show seamlessly blends ’80s pop culture references with a compelling narrative, paying homage to the works of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. With a mix of heartwarming friendships, supernatural mysteries, and government intrigue, “Stranger Things” captivates audiences of all ages.

Its success lies in a talented ensemble cast, including breakout star Millie Bobby Brown, and a perfect blend of suspense, humor, and emotional depth.

The Crown (2016–present)

“The Crown” (2016–present) is a regal historical drama chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Created by Peter Morgan, the series unfolds the personal and political intricacies of the British monarchy. Impeccably crafted, it boasts lavish production design, authentic costumes, and stellar performances, notably Claire Foy and Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II.

“The Crown” delves into significant historical events, royal relationships, and the evolving dynamics of the Windsor family. Its portrayal of power, duty, and personal sacrifice has earned critical acclaim, making it a binge-worthy and visually stunning exploration of the modern monarchy across multiple eras.

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Fleabag (2016–2019)

“Fleabag” (2016–2019) is a sharp and irreverent British comedy-drama created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The series follows the life of an unnamed and troubled woman navigating modern London. Breaking the fourth wall, Waller-Bridge’s titular character addresses the audience, providing intimate insights into her witty and chaotic world.

The show explores themes of grief, love, and identity, blending humor with poignant moments. With its unique narrative style, exceptional writing, and Waller-Bridge’s brilliant performance, “Fleabag” garnered widespread acclaim, winning numerous awards, including Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress. It remains a standout in contemporary television for its authenticity and humor.

The Mandalorian (2019–present)

“The Mandalorian” (2019–present) is a space Western set in the Star Wars universe, following the journey of a lone bounty hunter known as the Mandalorian, or Din Djarin. Created by Jon Favreau, the series combines classic Western tropes with the iconic elements of Star Wars.

Known for its high production values, compelling characters, and impressive visual effects, the show became a flagship for Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

Pedro Pascal’s stoic portrayal of the titular character and the introduction of fan-favorite Grogu (“Baby Yoda”) contributed to the series’ widespread popularity, earning acclaim for its engaging storytelling and expansion of the Star Wars lore.

Black Mirror (2011–present)

“Black Mirror” (2011–present) is an anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that delves into the dark and thought-provoking aspects of modern society and technology. Each standalone episode explores the potential consequences and ethical dilemmas of advancing technology, offering a dystopian reflection on the intersection of humanity and innovation.

Known for its unsettling narratives and social commentary, “Black Mirror” has captivated audiences with its speculative and often chilling visions of the future.

With themes ranging from the impact of social media to artificial intelligence, the series prompts viewers to contemplate the potential ramifications of our increasingly interconnected and technological world.

Westworld (2016–present)

“Westworld” (2016–present) is a sci-fi drama created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, inspired by Michael Crichton’s film. Set in a futuristic theme park, the series explores the blurred lines between artificial intelligence and humanity.

As guests interact with lifelike android hosts in various narratives, ethical questions and existential themes come to the forefront. The show, praised for its ambitious storytelling, intricate plot twists, and philosophical depth, examines free will, consciousness, and the consequences of playing god.

With a stellar cast led by Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, “Westworld” is known for its visually stunning narrative and exploration of the human condition.

The Americans (2013–2018)

“The Americans” (2013–2018) is a gripping espionage thriller set during the Cold War, created by Joe Weisberg. The series follows Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, a seemingly ordinary American couple who are, in reality, Soviet spies living in the United States.

As they navigate the complexities of espionage, family, and loyalty, the show explores the moral and emotional toll of their double lives. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys deliver outstanding performances, capturing the tension and emotional depth of their characters.

Praised for its intense storytelling, intricate character development, and historical authenticity, “The Americans” stands as a critically acclaimed exploration of the personal and political struggles of the era.

BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)

BoJack Horseman” (2014–2020) is an animated dark comedy that follows the life of the titular character, a washed-up actor who happens to be a horse. Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the series provides a satirical and poignant exploration of Hollywood, fame, and the human condition.

BoJack, voiced by Will Arnett, grapples with existential questions amid a backdrop of humor and surrealism. The show deftly balances satire with emotional depth, tackling addiction, mental health, and the consequences of one’s actions.

With a unique blend of animation and storytelling, “BoJack Horseman” gained acclaim for its innovative approach and became a standout in the world of adult animated television.

Conclusion

The TV landscape of the 2010s not only showcased remarkable storytelling diversity but also solidified television’s place as a dynamic and influential medium.

From gripping dramas to innovative comedies, the decade provided a platform for narratives that resonated globally.

As we bid farewell to this transformative era, we anticipate the continued evolution of television, eagerly awaiting the narratives that will define the next chapter.

The 2010s were a testament to the power of storytelling, leaving an enduring legacy that will shape the future of televised entertainment.

FAQs

How did “Breaking Bad” impact the TV industry?

“Breaking Bad” had a significant impact on the TV industry, setting a new standard for storytelling and character development. It garnered critical acclaim, numerous awards, and influenced the way audiences and creators approached television narratives.

What was the cultural impact of “Game of Thrones”?

“Game of Thrones” had a massive cultural impact, becoming a global phenomenon. It popularized high-budget fantasy television, sparked widespread discussions, and influenced the approach to adapting complex book series for television.

Why is “Stranger Things” notable?

“Stranger Things” is notable for its blend of ’80s nostalgia, supernatural elements, and compelling characters. Its success lies in its universal appeal, engaging storytelling, and the unique mix of horror, science fiction, and adventure.

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