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100 best TV shows of all time, according to critics

  • #79. Ramy (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 85
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    “Ramy” stars Ramy Youssef, the millennial son of Egyptian immigrants living in New Jersey. It follows his conflicts, confusion, and comic angst over his faith, his culture, his family’s expectations, and his sexual appetite. Youssef won a Golden Globe for his performance, and the show’s second season features two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as his spiritual guide.

  • #79. Barry (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 85
    - Highest-rated season: 2

    The dark comedy “Barry” stars Bill Hader, formerly of “Saturday Night Live,” as a discontented hitman from the Midwest who moves to Los Angeles and takes up a new career as an aspiring actor. His previous employers, however, don’t let him go easily. “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler plays his acting teacher.

  • #78. Twin Peaks

    - Series Metascore: 85
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    Kyle MacLachlan plays FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper investigating a murder in the strange Pacific Northwest town of “Twin Peaks.” The mysterious show was created and written by David Lynch, director of “Blue Velvet,” and Mark Frost, who worked on “Hill Street Blues.” It became a cult hit. The show won a Golden Globe for Best Television Drama, and MacLachlan and supporting actress Piper Laurie won Golden Globes for their performances.

  • #77. The Deuce

    - Series Metascore: 85.5
    - Highest-rated season: 2

    Actor James Franco plays twin brothers working in the mob-controlled sex industry in “The Deuce” on HBO, set in seedy Times Square in the 1970s. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a sex worker building a business as a pornography director. It ran three seasons, ending in 2019.

  • #76. Better Call Saul

    - Series Metascore: 85.8
    - Highest-rated season: 5

    Better Call Saul” is the comic spin-off prequel to the runaway hit "Breaking Bad," featuring Bob Odenkirk as a hustling and at times sympathetic lawyer with a rented office in the windowless backroom of a nail salon. It features Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, a former crooked cop turned parking lot attendant before he becomes the flinty eyed hitman of "Breaking Bad."

     

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  • #66. Wolf Hall (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    “Wolf Hall” is a historical drama about Thomas Cromwell, a close advisor to Henry VIII, played by Mark Rylance. The ambitious Cromwell helps the king, who is trying to end his marriage to Katharine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, but his alliance with the temperamental monarch puts him in danger. "Wolf Hall" won a Golden Globe for Best Television Limited Series in 2016 as well as British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards for Best Drama Series and for Rylance’s performance as Lead Actor.

  • #66. When They See Us (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    When They See Us” is a four-part series about the Central Park Five, the Black and Latino teenagers wrongfully accused and convicted of a rape and assault of a white woman in New York City that left the victim severely brain damaged. While the story has been highly publicized, the series explores aspects of their experience, such as the effect on their families and their prison years, in heart-wrenching and agonizing detail. It won two Emmys and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award.

  • #66. Undone (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    The adult animated series “Undone” revolves around a young heroine who can travel in time following a near-fatal car crash. She is guided by her father, played by Bob Odenkirk of “Better Call Saul.” The show uses the technique of rotoscoping, in which animation is traced over live footage to create arresting imagery.

  • #66. The Pacific (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    The Pacific” is HBO’s 10-part miniseries portraying U.S. Marines in the Pacific theater in World War II. It is an accompaniment to “Band of Brothers,” a show about the U.S. Army paratroopers landing in Europe. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were executive producers of both critically acclaimed shows.

  • #66. Prohibition (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 86

    “Prohibition” chronicles the reform crusade to ban alcohol in the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s and the legal and criminal fallout from the 18th Amendment, later repealed.

    The three-part documentary directed by heralded filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick has narration by such names as John Lithgow, Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott, Sam Waterston, Tom Hanks, Blythe Danner, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L Jackson, and Amy Madigan.

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