The list of best TV shows of all time covers the most: dramatic, philosophical, and psychological TV series and Spin-offs of all time. TV shows which share a dark, and satirical tone with thought-provoking twists.
10. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic horror television series based on the comic book series of the title by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. Starring Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, and Norman Reedus
The story follows survivors of a zombie apocalypse, trying to stay alive under constant threat from them. These survivors also face conflict from other living survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, often leading to hostile conflict between the human communities.
- First episode date: October 31, 2010
- Directors: Frank Darabont, Greg Nicotero, David Boyd, Jeffrey January
- Based on: The walking dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard
- Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yeun
- Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride
- OST: Bear McCreary
- Spin-offs: Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Cold Storage
- The Walking Dead: Torn Apart, The Walking Dead: World Beyond
9. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, books by George R. R. Martin.
The story follows a war between nine noble families against each other over the mythical land of Westeros. Meanwhile, a force is rising after millennials and threatens the existence of living men.
- First episode date: April 17, 2011
- Directors: David Nutter, David Benioff, Alan Taylor, Alex Graves, Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa
- Based on: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
- Spin-off: House of the Dragon by George R. R. Martin
- Starring: Sean Bean, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington
- Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Jack Gleeson, Carice van Houten, Peter Dinklage
- OST: Ramin Djawadi
8. The Leftovers
The Leftovers is a supernatural, mystery, philosophical thriller drama TV show directed by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta.
The story follows Kevin Garvey, police chief and it takes place three years after the “Sudden Departure”, a global phenomenon that caused 2% of the world’s population to disappear.
- First episode date: September 19, 2005
- Director: Mimi Leder
- Based on: The Leftovers by by Tom Perrotta
- Starring: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler
- Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Carrie Coon, Emily Meade, Ann Dowd
- OST: Max Richter
8. Breaking Bad
How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014) is an American sitcom, created by Craig Thomas and Carter. Starring Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders…
The show follows Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with stage-three lung cancer. White starts producing 99% pure meth with his ex-student Jesse Pinkman in order to secure his family’s financial future before he dies while facing the dangers of the criminal underworld.
- First episode date: January 20, 2008
- Directors: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Johan Renck
- Spin-offs: Better Call Saul, Metástasis
- Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt
- RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito, Jonathan Banks, Jesse Plemons
- OST: Dave Porter
Vikings is a historical fantasy drama TV show created by Michael Hirst. Starring Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen…
The story follows Ragnar Lothbrok, a history-based legendary Norse hero, and his legacy.
- First episode date: March 3, 2013
- Director: Michael Hirst
- Starring: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Gabriel Byrne
- George Blagden, Alexander Ludwig, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
- OST: Trevor Morris
- Theme song: “If I Had a Heart” by Fever Ray
Westworld is a Sci-Fi Western television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Starring Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood. It is based on the 1973 film of the same title.
The story takes place in Westworld, a technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android “hosts”. The park provides services to high-paying “guests” who are free to satisfy their darkest drives within the park without any consequences.
- First episode date: October 2, 2016
- Created by: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
- Based on: Westworld by Michael Crichton
- Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden
- Rodrigo Santoro, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins
- OST: Ramin Djawadi
4. Mr. Robot
Mr robot is an Artistic screening of conspiracy theories. Directed by Sam Esmail, who has sampled characters from movies like: “Fight Club”, ”V for vendetta”, ”American psycho”just like DJ does in order to create a unique composition.
The story follows Elliot Gardner, a rebellion hacker fighting against
Elliot gets in touch with the leader of a hacker group called “F society” in order to realize their plan to destroy one of the greatest corporations ever the “E corp” in order to finish with capitalism once for all.
Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot has sampled characters from movies like: “Fight Club” where the main character is also rebellion against capitalism and society in general and has an imaginary father figure friend. The “Matrix” just like the protagonist of the matrix movie mister Anderson Elliot Alderson is a lonely isolated hacker who is seeking the truth. ”F society” movement which is against the government and covering themselves with the mask is very similar to the ”V for vendetta” from sister Wachavsky movie character Tyler Welleck which is similar to the character Patrick Bateman(Christian bale) from 2000 black comedy ”American psycho” they are both narcissistic violent ambitious Wallstreet egomaniacs, they both are using capitalism for their own satisfaction of their pathological needs.
The screening of the show is quite unique in its unusual shooting approach where the main characters are not located at the center of the prism, it is always tilted a little bit which gives us more space to view the environment around the characters, the tone of the show is pretty dark which refers to the grey color dominance in the TV show which resonates to the protagonists pessimistic/dramatic point of view. The TV show stands out with its realistic hacking scenes, probably because Sam Esmail has some experience of haking in his early years, (according to him in one of his interviews).
- First episode date: June 24, 2015
- Director: Sam Esmail
- Starring: Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Christian Slater,
- Stephanie Corneliussen, Grace Gummer, BD Wong
- OST: Mac Quayle
3. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is a British science-fiction anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker. It explores the pros and cons of the relationship between modern society and artificial intelligence.
Usually, the story takes place in a dystopian future, with several individuals dealing with the downside of cutting edge technology in their personal lives and morality.
- First episode date: December 4, 2011
- Creator: Charlie Brooker
2. True Detective (season 1)
Constructed as a nonlinear narrative, season one focuses on Louisiana State Police homicide detectives Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart, who investigated the murder of prostitute Dora Lange in 1995.
True Detective’s first season explores themes of philosophical pessimism and the criticism of Christianity. The monologue of Rust Chole is a beautiful representation of a philosophical point of view which is very similar to the philosophy of a german philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The philosophy of pessimism and nihilism, is the tone of this persona, so how you represent those big ideas artistically? you might ask, as an answer ill give you the monologue by Rust as an illustration of the genius of Nic Pizzolatto’s artistic interpretation of deep philosophical point.
- First episode date: January 12, 2014
- Director: Nic Pizzolatto
- Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
- Michael Potts, Tory Kittles
- OST: T Bone Burnett
1. House M.D.
House M.D. is a medical drama television series created by David Shore, Starring Hughe lorry Lisa Edelstein, and Robert Sean Leonard.
House is one of the best TV shows of all time and it follows Dr. Gregory House, an unconventional, nihilist, diagnostic genius who, despite his dependence on pain medication, leads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.
- First episode date: September 19, 2005
- Directors: David Shore
- Starring: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard
- Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Kal Penn
- OST: Jason Derlatka, Jon Ehrlich, Christopher Hoag
- Theme song: Teardrop by Massive attack