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100 best TV shows of all time

  • #40. Dragon Ball Z

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 1996–2003

    Possibly the most famous anime series of all time is “Dragon Ball Z,” with its equally famous protagonist Goku. A sequel to the original “Dragon Ball” anime and a continuing adaptation of the manga of the same name, “Z” portrayed Goku’s adult life as he and his companions defended the world from a host of villains and enemies. The show had two other sequel shows, as well as a remastering called “Dragon Ball Kai.”

  • #39. The Crown

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2016–present

    This acclaimed Netflix historical drama explores the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The show was created by Peter Morgan and evolved out of his award-winning 2006 film “The Queen.” Season one begins when Elizabeth (Claire Foy) is only 25 and a princess, and focuses on her relationship with grizzled Prime Minister Winston Churchill (John Lithgow). Season three, in which Olivia Colman took over for Claire Foy as queen, aired on Netflix on Nov. 17, 2019.

  • #38. Six Feet Under

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2001–2005

    This HBO drama about a family-run funeral home featured a unique gimmick: each episode began with the arrival of a new corpse. The show’s final episode, which stared down the mortality of its characters as it fast-forwarded the full remainder of their lives, has been hailed as one of the best series finales of all time.

  • #37. The Boys

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2019–present

    This Amazon Prime original imagines a world where superheroes are immoral and instruments of corporate capitalism. “Hughie” Campbell plays an everyman whose girlfriend is killed as collateral damage to a speedster superhero, who is a member of “The Seven,” the world’s most famous superhero team. Hughie then joins a group of vigilantes led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), whose goal is to take down the “Supes” through violence and uncovering their dark hidden secrets.

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  • #36. The Haunting of Hill House

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2018–present

    Horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan both created and directed “The Haunting of Hill House,” which streamed on Netflix in 2018. The show is based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, with the show focusing on two different time periods revolving around a family’s paranormal experiences in the Hill House. The show will be succeeded with a new story called “The Haunting of Bly Manor.”

  • #35. Battlestar Galactica

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2004–2009

    This Syfy Channel remake vastly improved upon the cheesy 1970s original with excellent special effects, politically astute plotlines, and a first-rate cast. Bucking the trend of youthful casting, series creator Ronald D. Moore opted for seasoned actors for his leads: Edward James Olmos as the captain of the titular starship and Mary McDonnell as the secretary of education who’s thrust into the role of president by succession laws after most of humanity is wiped out by evil robots. With its tense plotlines, first-rate performances, and surprisingly deep themes, “Battlestar Galactica” was one of the best science fiction shows ever to hit the small screen.

  • #34. Rome

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2005–2007

    This ambitious HBO sword-and-sandals epic followed two Roman soldiers whose onscreen lives intertwined with actual historical events. The series received positive reviews for its impressive visuals and R-rated thrills. But, like the Roman empire itself, the show’s size and scope were its downfall: HBO was forced to ax it from the schedule after its second season because of budgetary concerns.

  • #33. Dark

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2017–present

    Some of the themes of the sci-fi show “Dark” include time travel, child abduction, disappearance, nuclear power, and conspiracy. Netflix’s first German-language original series has drawn universal acclaim and proven a stout contemporary and competitor of “Stranger Things.” A third season was ordered for the brooding, mysterious, ever-twisting series that continues to build surprising connections between the families, relationships, and time—perhaps the central figure—in the fictional Winden.

  • #32. Better Call Saul

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 2015–present

    This spinoff of AMC’s flagship series “Breaking Bad” takes place before and after the events of that show, focusing on the life of sleazy attorney Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk. Although it had big shoes to fill, the show managed to surpass critics' expectations, while scratching an itch for “Breaking Bad” fans suffering from cancellation withdrawal. Season five began airing in Feb. 2020.

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  • #31. South Park

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - Years on the air: 1997–present

    This foul-mouthed animated satire from creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone pushes the boundaries of good taste to a breaking point, making “The Simpsons” look tame by comparison. A breakout hit for Comedy Central, this show put the fictional town of South Park, Colo., on the pop culture map and made Kenny, Kyle, Stan, and Cartman (and the series creators) household names. The show also spawned a big-screen adaptation, as well as two hit video games.