Top five television shows

A recent discussion brought up the subject of favourite TV shows. This quickly evolved into a top 5 list – what are your top five tv shows of all time?

It’s trickier than you think. Some once-great TV shows fall apart after a while. Are they still top five material?

Here’s my top 5, in no particular order. This list is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

1. The Wire.

2. Breaking Bad

3. Game of Thrones

4. Battlestar Galactica

5. Firefly

There are a ton of great shows which I’ve really enjoyed, but don’t feel they quite hit the top. Bubbling under we have shows like Buffy, The West Wing, Farscape, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, the list is as long as your arm. They’re all great, but lack that certain… something.

Then there are those which are great fun, but too lightweight or episodic. The Big Bang Theory is on virtual repeat in our house. The first few seasons were funny, but it’s started turning into a parody of itself. Lie to Me was enormous fun but was the sort of thing you didn’t need to watch every episode to keep up. Similarly CSI (all flavours), NCIS, Law & Order. All great shows, but lacking the true brilliance of the top five.

What are your top five TV shows? Do you binge on box-sets? Glued to Netflix, or LoveFilm Instant? What should I watch next?

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

10 thoughts on “Top five television shows”

  1. I’ve watched none of your top 5! I especially feel left out if anyone mentioned Breaking Bad or The Wire, I think I need to spend some time with a boxset or two…

    1. BB and The Wire both take a few episodes to get into, but by the end of BB especially, I was mainlining episodes. I did most of season 4 in a day off! Spectacular television.

  2. Box sets for definite in this house. There’s something satisfying about going back to favourite episodes later on, especially if the internets get crankified and don’t want to play.

    Top Five, hrm, tough but I’ll go with:

    1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (because I’ve watched it a gazillion times and still go back to it and enjoy many eps)

    2. Twin Peaks (Because the weird and Kyle MacLachlan)

    3. My So-Called Life (the only teen/family drama without vampires, sci-fi or the supernatural I give tuppence about)

    4. The X-Files (Because Scully)

    5. Xena – Warrior Princess (Total daftness, ignored every bit of historical and mythology study and even plain common sense, still had two great female leads)

    Bubbling under: Lost, Buffy, Angel, Firely, Dexter and Wallander (the ones with Krister Henriksson, not Ken Branagh)

    1. I never really got into DS9, though enjoyed the episodes that I watched. I liked that they were stuck with the consequences of their actions rather than finding the next planet to explore.

      Never really watched Twin Peaks either, though often thought it’d be one I’d enjoy. Loved My So-Called Life, Xena and X-Files

  3. Very American! They are *very* good at the old tellybox fodder though. Made me think about what British shows might make it into my top 5…

    I think The Thick Of It would probably make it in there. Blackadder might well make it too (not so much series 1). Does This is England count as a TV series? If so then that’s definitely in. Spaced? Maybe. Red Dwarf and The Office also pop into my head when I think about great British comedy too. Monty Python’s Flying Circus was sheer brilliance. Fawlty Towers is a contender. Cracker is another one from yesteryear that I remember as being superbly written and wonderfully acted (Chris Eccleston = AMAZE)

    But back to the old US of A – I’d have to agree about the brilliance of Breaking Bad and GoT. Love Firefly too, although not a 100% sure it’d quite make it into my top 5 of all time, The Walking Dead would probably get in I think. Dexter, 24, and Six Feet Under would all be strong contenders. Lost and Prison Break were superb until they tried to go on for one or two series too long then just got silly.

    Have never actually got around to watching The West Wing or The Sopranos, but they’re on my list to get around to at some point, and suspect that they would soon become firm favourites.

    1. It is a very US-centric list, but our chums over the pond do make some remarkably good telly. They also make a load of tripe, but then again, so do we.

      There are a ton of British shows which could have gone on there – most of which you’ve mentioned. Blackadder – yes, apart from series 1. Blackadder Goes Forth was one of the finest pieces of television for a long time.

      Maybe I need a Top Five British Comedy list!

      The West Wing is brilliant, especially in the first four seasons. It dips a little after that when Aaron Sorkin left, but is still great. I’ve never seen The Sopranos, despite virtually everyone who’s seen it telling me that I absolutely must.

  4. These are five shows I’ve never seen!
    I guess my top five would look something like: 1. The Street 2. Accused 3. Cracker 4. Lost 5. Prime Suspect!
    I too would have to have a completely separate list for comedy, to me at least, it’s enjoyable for so many different reasons it doesn’t compare to my regular top five :). I’m not sure I’d be able to limit comedies to five either!

    1. I loved Cracker! Fairly sure I’ve not seen the others on your list. Definitely have to do a top 5 (or maybe top 10) comedy list then. 🙂

      On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 9:49 AM, espresso coco

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