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100 best TV shows of all time, according to critics

  • #60. Silicon Valley

    - Series Metascore: 86.3
    - Highest-rated season: 3

    “Silicon Valley” is a satire of Northern California’s high-tech industry. It features computer whizzes, hackers, and a fictional startup called Pied Piper. The dark comedy ran six seasons on HBO, concluding in 2019.

  • #59. American Crime

    - Series Metascore: 86.7
    - Highest-rated season: 3

    “American Crime” used a top-notch cast of actors who each season played roles in a different storyline: a racially charged murder, a coverup of a sexual assault at a prestigious school, and the abuse of undocumented workers. Among the actors were Felicity Huffman, Timothy Huttong, Regina King, and Lili Taylor. The show got critical raves but poor ratings, and it was canceled by ABC after three seasons.

     

  • #51. The Baby-Sitters Club (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87

    The Baby-Sitters Club” is based on a series of young-adult books about a group of adolescent girls who organize a baby-sitting service in a fictional Connecticut town. It follows their travails growing up, coping with friendships, school, boys, and family dramas. Its 13 episodes ran on HBO in 1990.

  • #51. Mrs. America (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87

    In “Mrs. America,” Cate Blanchett plays Phyllis Schlafy, the highly conservative activist waging a battle to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. On the opposing side are the feminists—Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisolhm, and Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan. It started running in April 2020 as part of “FX on Hulu,” an undertaking for FX content to stream on Hulu.

  • #51. Lenox Hill (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87

    “Lenox Hill” is a documentary on Netflix about four doctors at an elite New York City hospital, balancing their professional and personal obligations. The two neurosurgeons, an emergency room physician, and an OB-GYN doctor carry out critical procedures, deliver dire diagnoses, and care for their patients while coping with their own private issues. The series was capped off this year with an episode made during the outbreak of COVID-19.

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  • #51. Felicity (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    Felicity” stars Keri Russell as a young woman who tosses her plans aside to follow the unsuspecting object of her high-school crush to New York City, where she and a gaggle of new friends attend the fictional University of New York. Russell was awarded a Golden Globe for her performance in 1999.

  • #51. Ed (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    Ed is the title character of this show about a New York City lawyer whose life falls apart, so he returns to his hometown of Stuckeyville, Ohio. There, he buys the local bowling alley and sets up a legal practice inside. It stars Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bowen, who later appeared in “Modern Family.” "Ed" was co-produced by David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants Inc.

  • #51. City of Men (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87
    - Highest-rated season: 1

    Brazil’s “City of Men” depicts Rio de Janeiro through the lives of children living in its slums, or favelas. They are street-smart and adept at begging and crime. The series, which raises discomfiting issues of inequality and hopelessness, follows up on “City of God," a 2000 movie also set in a Rio favela.

  • #51. Boston Med (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87

    Boston Med” on ABC documents staff and patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital Boston in an eight-part series. Filmmakers shot for four months, getting a behind-the-scenes look at patient care, surgery, and professional and personal relationships.

  • #51. Back to Life (tie)

    - Series Metascore: 87

    “Back to Life” is a dark British comedy series about a woman who returns home after 18 years in prison. She bumbles through, trying to repair old friendships, making a mess of new ones, and looking for work, a task not made easier after she inadvertently gives herself a startlingly bad home haircut. Actress and writer Daisy Haggard created the show and plays the lead.

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