Anthony Roman
100 Best Shows

These Are the 100 Best Shows on TV Right Now

We celebrate the series that made us laugh, broke our hearts, and threw us a lifeline in 2020

As we began our annual ranking of the 100 Best Shows on TV Right Now, it was impossible to ignore the fact that there's never been a "right now" quite like this one.

The world is still reeling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 800,000 people. As schools, restaurants, businesses, music venues, and sports arenas shut down beginning in March in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, so did Hollywood. Filming for many of our favorite shows ceased midseason, and with theaters closed, major blockbuster movies were delayed or released straight to streaming platforms. It's been nearly six months, and millions of Americans are still in various stages of social isolation. Throughout it all, TV has served as a coping mechanism for many of us as we locked down in our homes, away from family or friends or coworkers. For the first time, Peak TV's abundance of viewing options felt more comforting than overwhelming. The world was on fire, but at least we had Love Is Blind and Insecure and What We Do in the Shadows to watch. TV couldn't rescue us from the pandemic, but it did help us escape, de-stress, and keep going.

That's why this year's ranking of the 100 Best Shows on TV Right Now felt more of-the-moment than ever before. In order to be eligible, a show either had to be ongoing, with new seasons or episodes still to be released, or have concluded within a month of the ranking being published. For the first time, we opened eligibility to include limited series if they aired episodes within that one-month window. Ongoing shows that haven't aired new episodes within 18 months of publication were excluded from eligibility. Every member of the TV Guide staff fought for their favorite shows to make the cut, taking into account quality, cultural impact, and overall entertainment value. The resulting ranking is a list that speaks to the unusual time we're living in. These are the 100 best shows on TV right now. (You can check out the 2019 and 2018 rankings here.)

100. The Walking Dead (AMC)

How to watch: Netflix

The Walking Dead

The 10th anniversary of The Walking Dead's premiere is rapidly approaching, and though it's a little long in the tooth, this game-changing horror show still has a lot of bite. In Season 10, showrunner Angela Kang proved that the series' resurgence in Season 9 wasn't a fluke, and kept it engaging even as the number of long-term cast members steadily declined. Newer characters like Samantha Morton's Alpha, Khary Payton's Ezekiel, and Cailey Fleming's Judith have kept the show fresh, and after three seasons, they finally figured out how to best utilize Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan. Plus, the makeup effects and gory action sequences are as impressive as ever. The Walking Dead has become something like the Metallica of TV: not as big as it used to be, but can still pack arenas and bring the heavy stuff when it needs to. Liam Mathews

99. The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated by NBCU) 

How to watch: NBC
If you're looking for a pitch-perfect blend of heartwarming stories, pop culture fun, and an incredible showcase of talent all brought to you by one of the most authentic and relatable celebrities out there, The Kelly Clarkson Show is a must-see. Kelly Clarkson brings her easygoing charm and lovable sense of humor to her daytime talk show, using the series to shine a spotlight on inspiring stories of everyday people who serve as a reminder that even in dark times, there's still good in this world. Plus, in each episode, the Grammy winner gifts her fans with incredible performances — both with her guests and solo — in her "Kellyoke" segments, where she covers everyone from Taylor Swift to TLC to the Eurythmics. Kelly Clarkson, our lives would suck without you, girl.Aliza Sessler

98. The Bold Type (Freeform)  

How to watch: Hulu

Freeform's The Bold Type has become known for its willingness to tackle tough topical issues. From breast cancer to affirmative action to gender norms, Kat (Aisha Dee), Jane (Katie Stevens), and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) have had to dig into some pretty heavy material, and while they haven't always stuck the landing, they have started the conversation, and that's a necessary step toward making change happen. The truly noteworthy thing about this series, however, is that no matter how tense the subject matter gets, these three girls can always lift our mood and make us smile. In a year like 2020, that's something audiences desperately need. Lindsay MacDonald

More on The Bold Type in our interview with the cast…

97. Prodigal Son (Fox)  

How to watch: HuluFox

Prodigal Son

Fox's Prodigal Son is so much more than just another police procedural on broadcast TV; while the case-of-the-week element is consistently creative, the beating heart of the series is the Whitly family. Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), along with his sister Ainsley (Halston Sage) and mother Jessica (Bellamy Young), must learn to exist in the shadow of the family's patriarch, notorious serial killer Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen). Even though Bright grew up to become a criminal profiler, he constantly questions whether he and his father really are the same at their core, and, considering his own lack of impulse control and ever-loosening grip on reality, audiences come to wonder this as well. Bright's personal trauma is only the start of the drama, though, as there's more than one Whitly who stands a chance of taking up that terrible family mantle. With some fascinating emotional tones and edge-of-your-seat action, Prodigal Son is one of the strongest new additions to the broadcast lineup, and it looks like the best is yet to come. –Amanda Bell

96. Perry Mason (HBO)  

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
When HBO announced it was rebooting Perry Mason, there was a collective shrug — "You mean that lawyer show that my great-grandparents watched?" But updating Perry Mason for 2020 (while still keeping the show in the 1930s; they're not monsters) meant more than just splashing a big budget on a courtroom drama. This Perry Mason, wonderfully brought to life by The Americans' Matthew Rhys, ain't shy when it comes to f---ing and drinking, and his development from private investigator to defense attorney gave us a somber backstory missing from the iconic character's lore. The story didn't always hold up over the eight-episode first season, but it's the quality cast (which included Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, Shea Whigham, and Juliet Rylance) and the impressive re-creation of Prohibition-era Los Angeles that you tuned in to watch anyway. –Tim Surette

95. The Circle (Netflix)  

How to watch: Netflix
Netflix's The Circle had a quarantine-friendly concept months before quarantining became a way of life for most Americans. When it premiered in January, The Circle's novelty was in how contestants were forbidden from having face-to-face contact and could only communicate via group and direct messages. Most shows in the reality competition genre depend on human interaction to power the show's drama (think Are You The One?'s passionate makeouts or Survivor's intense physical challenges). Instead, The Circle's theatrics stem from whether the players choose to use their own photos and identities or masquerade as another person. Thanks to smart and unconventional casting, what transpires in the first season is much more wholesome than some of the vindictive people we're used to seeing on Catfish. Sweet, unlikely friendships develop, and contestants are forced to question their preconceived notions about fellow players based on the images they present. Suspenseful eliminations and candid conversations about issues like body positivity make The Circle an exciting and unexpectedly feel-good watch. Lauren Zupkus

94. Black Monday (Showtime)  

How to watch: ShowtimeAmazon (with Showtime add-on)Hulu with (with Showtime add-on)

Black Monday

No other show on TV lives in the deranged space Black Monday does, and boy, we are better for it. Confident in its oddball groove, which prizes hard puns and wacky setups, Black Monday puts its players in an endless loop of backstabbing plots and mayhem, unleashing jokes and visual gags at rapid speed. Don Cheadle and Regina Hall are sturdy anchors in this outrageous romp, but Black Monday is also a fantastic showcase for the show's troupe of supporting players. Andrew Rannells brings heart to closeted opportunist Blair, Paul Scheer showcases his comedic gifts as the forever put-upon trader Keith, and Casey Wilson is glorious as spoiled, bitchy denim heiress Tiff Georgina. Together, they're a carnival of absurdity, and we love to see it. Malcolm Venable

93. Queer Eye (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
It should be an internet challenge to try to watch even one episode of Queer Eye without crying. The Netflix reality show joins the now-iconic Fab Five, whose varied specialties include cooking, hairdressing, and renovating an entire house, as they revamp the lives of common citizens in completely tear-duct-destroying ways. Each episode is uplifting and inspirational and will make you re-evaluate your self-care routine, personal image, and living space in a span of 50 minutes. As the show has gone on, churning out an impressive five seasons since 2018, it's been easy to fall even more in love with the Fab Five, and their influence is still strong. Kelsey Grace Pfeifer

92. Murder for Hire (Oxygen) 

How to watch: Peacock
Contract killings may seem like the kind of thing that only happens in mobster films, but two seasons in, Oxygen's true crime series Murder for Hire has proven that plenty of average people still try to go through with these morbid plans — from a crime novelist going after her own husband to an eye surgeon trying to recruit a Russian hit man to take out a former employee. Luckily for their intended targets, these people are often recklessly sloppy while recruiting assassins. Murder for Hire features footage of the shocking conversations that transpire between the perpetrators and undercover police officers posing as hit men, and the scenes are even wilder than some of the ones we've seen in the movies. Lauren Zupkus

91. Westworld (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)

Westworld for 100 Best Shows

To keep up with all the winding timelines and mysterious identities in this robot western, audiences can't casually tune into Westworld while scrolling through their phones. This is a show that expects its fans to closely follow its increasingly complicated story arcs and cerebral mazes, and even then viewers are still sometimes left scratching their heads about what just happened. In return for that attentiveness, though, Westworld rewards audiences with some of the most striking visuals and exhilarating fight scenes on all of TV, and the show continues to dig into some very humbling explorations of existential themes — most often as someone considers that now-iconic question: "Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?" And after three seasons of watching the HBO epic, we can definitively confirm that we have. –Amanda Bell

90. Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
Although you probably haven't heard of it, Formula 1: Drive to Survive is one of the most perfect documentary series ever to exist. Not only is this series filmed with the finesse and severity of an Oscar-nominated film, the stories are expertly crafted and entirely riveting; every episode is somehow better than the last. Even if you don't know anything about Formula 1 racing before watching, you can't help but become wholly invested in the life of every driver. This series makes you care, and it deserves eons more recognition than it's getting. Kelsey Grace Pfeifer

89. Yellowstone (Paramount) 

How to watch: Peacock
Despite limited media attention and availability on streaming services (it recently became available on Peacock, of all places), Yellowstone has become a bona fide hit for the Paramount Network, proving that cable may be down, but it's not out. Millions of people tune in to Taylor Sheridan's soapy modern Western every week because it feels like a throwback to how TV used to be while also satisfying contemporary audiences' taste for movie stars, R-rated content, and cinematic scope. It's a simple story — a family has a ranch, and a lot of people are trying to take it from them — told effectively, thanks to performances from Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, and Luke Grimes, among others. Plus, its cinematography capturing wide-open Western landscapes makes it look grander than anything else on TV. Liam Mathews

88. Servant (Apple TV+) 

How to watch: Apple TV+
Only Servant dares to ask how a creepy doll can get even creepier. The claustrophobic new thriller, created by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, is a mechanically precise and blissfully strange story about a family unraveling in the wake of a tragedy. Philadelphia couple Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) hire live-in nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to care for the lifelike "reborn doll" that a grieving Dorothy believes is her son — only for the doll to somehow become a living baby. As Servant jumps between supernatural and grounded explanations for whatever is happening within the Turners' walls, the actors' intense performances dial the disorientation up to 11. Does Boris McGiver's wild, sinister Uncle George have a fan club yet? Can we start one? Kelly Connolly

87. Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

How to watch: Hulu

SVU for 100 Best Shows

Throughout its 21-year history, Law & Order: SVU has walked the tricky line between bringing awareness to important issues and exploiting trauma for melodrama (though it has not always done this well). Along the way, its beating heart, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), transformed into a folk hero for many survivors who wished there was someone like the moral and dedicated captain to help them but who were never fooled into believing Benson was an accurate depiction of real NYPD officers.

SVU has never ignored the ways our legal and criminal justice systems are built to protect the (white, wealthy) elite and undermine the administration of true justice at the expense of survivors, particularly those from marginalized communities. And thanks to fan-favorite detective Carisi (Peter Scanavino) moving into the ADA's office, and new officers joining the fold, including SVU detective Kat Tamin (Jamie Gray Hyder) and transit bureau sergeant Hasim Kalddun (Ari'el Stachel), fresh energy and new perspectives shook up the squad room and forced familiar characters to look at issues through new lenses in its 21st season. The show's ability to constantly evolve and tackle timely issues — particularly under showrunner Warren Leight's reign — is why SVU is one of the few current police procedurals we trust to at least try to navigate what it means to be a cop show right now and to use its platform to address the realities of police brutality, racism, and systemic oppression, while highlighting the voices of those who need to be amplified, both onscreen and off. Sadie Gennis

86. All American (The CW) 

How to watch: Netflix

All American has all the adrenaline of live sports but the soapy deliciousness of a CW drama, which makes every episode an exciting event. And though All American is always entertaining, it never avoids an opportunity to have some real talk with its viewers. The second season not only offered a touching tribute to Nipsey Hussle but also tackled current, pressing issues like LGBTQ+ pride, mental health in the Black community, and police profiling. And with Spencer (Daniel Ezra) facing the potential end of his football career after rushing the rehabilitation of his gunshot wound injury, we can't wait to see how the drama will change up the game when it returns.Megan Vick

More on All American in our interview with the cast...

85. Doom Patrol (DC Universe/HBO Max)

How to watch: DC Universe, HBO Max
Though not as wild a ride as its first season, Doom Patrol's second outing was one of the few servings of true joy we got this entire year. With our heroes — who were formerly institutionalized in an attempt to normalize their metahuman transformations — finally venturing out into the world and realizing the man who hid them away might not have had their best interests at heart after all, Season 2 delved into the flawed characters' past traumas and how much work they'll need to do to save themselves. The empathetic core of the series only got stronger as the insane scenarios — miniature pancakes made for a miniature team by the only member who has remained human sized — got even more bizarre. Doom Patrol is a trippy, psychotic joy-ride you don't want to miss. Krutika Mallikarjuna

84. The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) 

How to watch: Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale for 100 Best Shows

While The Handmaid's Tale still spends its fair share of time showing us all how brutal, corrupt, and just plain horrible the world can be, Season 3 made sure to highlight how honest and noble it can be, too, and how those moments of nobility can inspire acts of great courage and sacrifice. June (Elisabeth Moss) has been billed as the show's hero from the jump, but this past season showed how truly heroic she could be as she successfully freed more than 100 children from Gilead. But her heroism came at a cost, and this season didn't shy away from the awful extremes June had to resort to in order to make her mission a success. As the metaphorical cherry on top, Moss and Bradley Whitford's absolutely stunning performances in Season 3 cemented The Handmaid's Tale as one of the most gripping shows of the year. Together, they turned dark subject matter into art. Lindsay MacDonald

83. RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)

How to watch: Hulu, CBS All Access
It is a testament to the strength of the cast that Drag Race's 12th season was one of its strongest in recent years, despite the problems that plagued it — which included a front-runner and finalist, Sherry Pie, who was disqualified and largely edited out of the episodes after being accused of predatory catfishing, as well as the fact that both the reunion and finale had to be filmed remotely as a result of the coronavirus. In spite of these obstacles, Drag Race still proved to be a joyous balm at a time many of us needed it the most. It was also a downright fierce competition; even the weakest links of this powerhouse cast were memorable personalities with big potential, and we'd be thrilled to see any of the queens from the season (aside from Sherry) on All Stars. And while there had been a lot of trepidation about how well the show could pull off the lip sync battle royale remotely, the three finalists — Crystal Methyd, Gigi Goode, and Jaida Essence Hall — turned what could have been a disaster in lesser queens' hands into the tightest race in Drag Race herstory. After a few lackluster seasons (and casts), Season 12 proved that Drag Race isn't out of steam just yet. Though we were happy to see the show survive the challenges of the latest installment, we're looking forward to next season, when it will hopefully be able to thrive. Sadie Gennis

82. Dead to Me (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix

Netflix's dark comedy Dead to Me is stacked with cliffhangers and emotional wallops, and anchoring it all are two performers at the top of their game: Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini. The show started out with a simple enough premise: the burgeoning friendship of Jen (Applegate), a disconnected widow, and Judy (Cardellini), a compassionate woman who was secretly responsible for the accidental death of Jen's husband. Instead of waiting until the series' end for Judy to reveal the truth to Jen, the show dropped the bomb in the first season, making room for Dead to Me to layer the story with even more costly complications in Season 2 that caused the women to question their own morals and further solidify their bonds. Blending moments of gutting reckonings with twisted humor, Dead to Me is at once contemplative and extremely fun. –Amanda Bell

More on Dead to Me in our interview with James Marsden...

81. Vikings (History Channel) 

How to watch: Hulu, Amazon

Vikings for 100 Best Shows

This ain't your father's History Channel. Vikings, which will wrap up its six-season run on History later this year, is a quiet revolution on the historical fiction front. While most shows in this genre feel plucked right out of your shy aunt's romance novel collection, creator Michael Hirst spares no minute of screentime from high-octane action or impeccable storytelling. What is perhaps most impressive about Vikings, though, is how the show killed off its main character, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), in its fourth season and then expertly pivoted to focus on Ragnar's sons and their fight for power. This new direction arguably created a better series out of an already exemplary show, something very few shows have ever been able to accomplish. Kelsey Grace Pfeifer

80. Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (Comedy Central) 

How to watch: Comedy Central, Amazon (available for purchase)
At a quick glance, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens seems like another stoner comedy on Comedy Central, with Awkwafina playing a post-college deadbeat who can't get her life together. On further inspection, the series is a rare gift of real Asian American representation on TV and a funny depiction of the economic problems millennials face today (just watch the episode in which Nora tries to cash a check). What makes the show a particular treasure is that it's a hangout comedy, but instead of young people crammed in an apartment, Nora from Queens' hanger-outers are Nora, her dad (BD Wong), and her grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn), smashing the traditional family comedy to bits with generational lines blurred but still visible in hilarious ways. Sift through the bong smoke and you'll find one of the year's best new comedies. –Tim Surette

79. Are You the One? (MTV)

How to watch: MTV, CBS All Access
Thanks to its "win together, lose together" premise, Are You the One? has always had a spirit of camaraderie that's missing from dating shows hinged on cutthroat eliminations. This special feeling of togetherness was particularly palpable in the show's eighth season, which was the first time it featured all sexually fluid contestants. Celebratory moments like Queer Prom, during which a contestant debuted their drag persona, and candid heart-to-hearts about struggles with self-acceptance, left us rooting extra hard for the housemates to find the love they deserve. Lauren Zupkus

78. Queen Sugar (OWN) 

How to watch: Hulu
It is a crime that Queen Sugar has not been given all the awards. For four seasons, this cast has been delivering mesmerizing performances, particularly Rutina WesleyDawn-Lyen GardnerKofi Siriboe, and Tina Lifford as the core four in the fractured Louisiana-based Bordelon family. The OWN series is one of the most beautiful and beautifully told stories on TV, seamlessly interweaving love and heartbreak, addiction and abuse, family dynamics, community conflict, and racial politics. If you're not already on the bandwagon, you're not alone. But you have plenty of time to catch up before Season 5 premieres in 2021. That's also enough time for Hollywood to cast Bianca Lawson in more things. Semhar Debessai

77. This Is Us (NBC) 

How to watch: Hulu
Four seasons in and This Is Us managed to gut-punch us in a way we haven't felt since its sensational first season. Whether we were watching Kevin (Justin Hartley) finally figure out what he wants for his life, stressing out as Randall (Sterling K. Brown) became unglued, or sobbing as Rebecca (Mandy Moore) came to terms with losing her memory, This Is Us reminded us just how much we care about this family, even when they are at their most frustrating. As we enter the back half of the Pearson family story, we still aren't able to predict where This Is Us is going. But we know it's going to make us feel something and remind us not to waste the moments with the people we care about.Megan Vick

76. The Challenge (MTV) 

How to watch: MTV, CBS All Access
The Challenge is still one of the most inventive reality competitions, always finding creative ways to test even the most experienced players' nerves, even 20 years in. The MTV series' recent renaissance continued with the latest season, Total Madness, which introduced the twist that every competitor would have to go to Purgatory and win an elimination to qualify for that season's final. For the first time in the show's history, challengers were actively seeking to go into elimination, which completely flipped the political game on its head in an exciting way. The season was marred by off-camera controversy when Dee Nguyen was fired from the franchise for racist remarks and subsequently heavily edited out of the remaining episodes, taking the luster off an otherwise thrilling season. But The Challenge remains a reality staple that continues to reinvent the game, season after season. Megan Vick

75. The Mandalorian (Disney+) 

How to watch: Disney+
As the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, a space Western about a bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who ends up saving his bounty, had high expectations attached to it, and it met or surpassed every single one. Never before has the world fallen so deeply and instantly in love with a character like we did when we all laid eyes on Baby Yoda, also known as The Child, at the end of the series premiere. Like Mando, we would all gladly give our lives to ensure this little Force baby's safety, which is a big part of why the Disney+ show became so addictive so quickly. The sweet relationship formed between Mando and Baby Yoda mixed with the high-stakes adventures of the best gunslinger in the galaxy made for a captivating new series that will definitely have audiences coming back for more. Lindsay MacDonald

74. The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)  

How to watch: Netflix

We've seen dysfunctional superhero groups before, but none quite like The Umbrella Academy. In Season 2 of the Netflix drama, the Hargreeves siblings had to once again get over their personal baggage to band together and save the world — this time in 1963 Dallas. Thanks to the politically rife setting and emotionally challenging hurdles the Hargreeves faced, the show's second effort was more poignant — and eccentric — than the first. The members of the Umbrella Academy were pushed to face their demons and eventually realized that as messed up as their family is, they are the only ones who truly can understand each other. The epiphany came just in time, too, since they'll need one another to face the ramifications of that jaw-dropping twist at the end of the season. Megan Vick

More on The Umbrella Academy in our interview with the cast…

73. The Vow (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
Some viewers probably tuned into HBO's documentary series The Vow hoping for salacious details about NXIVM, the New York-based "self-help group" co-founded by Keith Raniere that was exposed as a cult that practiced sexual slavery, including a ceremony where the initials of Raniere, as well as high-ranking member and former Smallville actress Allison Mack, were branded onto some women's bodies. And while the harrowing details of what NXIVM members experienced are discussed during the nine-episode series, its most compelling aspect is its thorough and unflinching examination of the different methods Raniere and his deputies used to manipulate the organization's members and prey on their faith, gullibility, and insecurities. Through lengthy interviews with former high-ranking members, audio recordings, and a surprising amount of footage taken at NXIVM events, viewers find out how seemingly rational individuals became dedicated followers of this cult, and recruited more members into its ranks. It's a fascinating piece of filmmaking from Oscar-nominated husband-and-wife team Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, one that is frequently chilling but ultimately sympathetic as it attempts to explain the seemingly unexplainable: how something as unbelievable as this could happen at all. Kaitlin Thomas

72. Rhythm + Flow (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
Out of all the traditional musical competition shows out there, Rhythm + Flow is by far the best. Netflix's foray into the genre featured Chance the Rapper, T.I., and Cardi B as judges and brought in an entire cavalcade of rap icons to guide the contestants throughout the series. The contenders themselves were talents worth tweeting about; some were even handpicked by major artists (often friends of the judges) as up-and-comers making a name for themselves in their respective cities' music scenes. The best thing about Rhythm + Flow, though, is how it gave us an actual look at what it takes to be a successful hip-hop artist and make it in the industry. Each week's challenge — from freestyle battles to sampling to executing a music video to conceptualizing a stage performance — was a reminder that it takes more than a few fire bars to make it big. Krutika Mallikarjuna

71. Last Chance U (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix
You don't have to be a fan of community college football to appreciate this Netflix docuseries. The human interest stories of the players and coaches chronicled in Last Chance U would captivate any non-sports fan. The most recent fifth season focuses on Laney Community College located in Oakland, California, where state law prohibits community colleges from offering athletic scholarships, and the series highlights the very real problems Laney students face as a result. Thanks to its raw and complicated characters, this beautifully produced show about the lives of these young athletes dealing with homelessness, gentrification, and mental illness can't be overlooked. It's an important story to tell and a microcosm of our systems' failings, and we're looking forward to the producers shining an equally illuminating spotlight on the world of college basketball next season. Aaron Segura

70. The Great (Hulu)

How to watch: Hulu
Hulu's The Great is an occasionally true story that reimagines the rise of Russia's Catherine the Great as she evolves from innocent idealist to disillusioned empress to determined revolutionary. Powered by career-best performances from both Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as her cruel but clueless husband, Emperor Peter, the cheeky comedy is a fascinating exploration of court theatrics and politics as seen through the eyes of a fiercely competent woman whose ideas and desire for progress are regularly stifled by ineffective leadership and insufferable idiots. With a genuinely funny script from Tony McNamara and pointed social commentary that reveals just how easily Catherine's story could still be told in 2020, the series skilfully escapes the stuffiness that weighs down so many period pieces and flourishes as it hilariously details one ambitious woman's refusal to fall in line and accept the status quo enforced by intellectually inferior men. While not everything in the show really happened, it's painfully accurate where it counts. Kaitlin Thomas

69. Supernatural (The CW) 

How to watch: Netflix

Supernatural for 100 Best Shows

For 15 seasons, we've followed Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) to hell and back as they saved the world — and each other — more times than we can count. Fans fell in love with their tenacity, their strength, that hair, those insane plots, and most importantly, their unwavering bond as brothers who would literally die for each other without hesitation. Their selfless love kept us invested all these years, and that's a testament to the chemistry between the show's charismatic leads: Ackles, Padalecki, Misha Collins, and later, Alexander Calvert. A game-changing series that opened the door for other genre shows on The CW, like The Vampire Diaries, there's no doubt that Supernatural's legacy will live on long after the final credits roll. And while saying goodbye to our beloved Winchesters won't be easy, Season 15 softened the blow with one hell of a last ride that tested the brothers in ways we hadn't seen before and delivered a truly worthwhile final chapter. With only a handful of episodes left, it's clear that Supernatural is going out swinging — and we wouldn't have it any other way. Keisha Hatchett 

68. Work in Progress (Showtime) 

How to watch: Showtime, Amazon (with Showtime add-on), Hulu with (Showtime add-on)
If we're talking about the most important shows, Work in Progress deserves a spot near the top. The Showtime comedy is an authentic look at both the LGBTQ+ experience — with particular attention to the transgender community — and the realities of mental illness. The series follows lesbian Abby (Abby McEnany) as she embarks on a new relationship with a trans man (Theo Germaine) while also trying to keep her OCD a secret. In terms of representation alone, Work in Progress busts down doors that were previously closed in the entertainment industry. It's also hilarious, with meta drop-ins from "Weird Al" Yankovic and Julia Sweeney. –Tim Surette

67. The Witcher (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
Following a monster-hunter (Henry Cavill's Geralt of Rivia), a strong-willed sorceress (Anya Chalotra's Yennefer), and a powerful princess (Freya Allan's Ciri), The Witcher has plenty of elements to satisfy hardcore high fantasy fans, including layered world-building, thrilling monster battles, and mythical quests. But what turned the Netflix drama into a mainstream hit was The Witcher's ability to speak to anyone. Thanks to the buddy comedy vibe whenever Geralt and Jaskier (Joey Batey) are saddled together,  the almost case-of-the-week procedural elements as Geralt tracks down his next bounty, the engaging internal conflicts Yennefer struggles with but struggles even more to articulate, and the way Geralt wearily says "f---" whenever he finds himself dragged into other people's problems, there is so much to enjoy in The Witcher beyond monsters and magic. And it's these small things that make the show's overarching mythology that much richer and more enticing to explore; they stop The Witcher from feeling like just a fantasy show and help it become a singular piece of entertainment that can blend genres, tones, and storylines in unpredictable but successful new ways. Sadie Gennis

66. Couples Therapy (Showtime) 

How to watch:  Showtime, Amazon (with Showtime add-on), Hulu with (with Showtime add-on)
The ultimate in voyeur reality television, Couples Therapy is simple, raw, and to the point: Viewers essentially sit in on sessions of couples getting therapy to save their relationships. Its addictiveness isn't in the messiness of the relationships, but in the therapeutic power of talking it out. You'll recognize yourself and your own problems in these participants, and you might even learn how to manage them. As a cool bonus, Couples Therapy spends a lot of time documenting therapist Dr. Orna Guralnik as she decompresses in her own pseudo-therapy sessions with her mentor, to show how much therapists care about and ruminate on their clients' issues. –Tim Surette

65. Dave (FXX) 

How to watch: Hulu

Dave for 100 Best Shows

Dave is the kind of show that you might initially write off because it stars a white rapper, whose name is Lil Dicky, and whose body is used to stand in for a literal dick in promotional billboards. But give it a few episodes and you'll see the FXX series goes from lame penis jokes to quality comedy real quick. Lil Dicky (née Dave Burd) particularly shines in the show's most cringeworthy moments, like when he gives a ridiculous PowerPoint pitch to a record label or has an encounter with a silicon sex toy that you'll never unsee. But Dave is at its best in "Hype Man," an episode that follows GaTa (played by Lil Dicky's real-life hype man Davionte "GaTa" Ganter) and his rocky career path in the music industry. The episode, which culminates in a fantastically un-dramatic conversation about his mental health with his friends, is worthy of serious praise.  –Semhar Debessai

64. The Crown (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
Queen Elizabeth II continues to be a point of fixation and fascination 68 years into her reign, and The Crown emphasizes exactly why. The stories that occurred behind the gates of Buckingham Palace are both regal and sensational, and the Netflix series tackles them with just enough melodrama to give the historical series some soapy appeal. The Crown shows the facade of the royal family crumble as tensions between members rise and occasionally boil over. Packed with a stellar cast (Olivia Colman! Tobias Menzies! Helena Bonham Carter!), intricate storytelling, and opulent sets and costumes, the show is richly entertaining as it filters real-world events through the royal family. That's why we couldn't be happier creator Peter Morgan changed his mind and opted not to end the show after the upcoming fifth season. Aliza Sessler

63. Love Island (ITV2) 

How to watch: Hulu
While it's unlikely Love Island will ever become as popular in the U.S. as it is in the U.K., it will always have one thing that makes American reality shows pale in comparison: Casa Amor. Introduced in the third season of the ITV2 sensation, Casa Amor is the ultimate catalyst for messy, delightful dating show drama. After weeks of the Love Island contestants getting cozy in their couples, without warning, the women and men are split up into two separate villas where they're shacked up for nearly a week with a whole new group of sexy singles looking to turn the contestants' heads. Without being able to talk to the people with whom they're already coupled up, each contestant must decide whether to recouple with one of the Casa Amor cuties or risk getting pied and potentially dumped from the island if their other half wasn't as faithful. The concept of Casa Amor is single-handedly the greatest addition to the reality TV pantheon since the creation of talking head interviews, and it's a shame more American shows aren't as creative in their ploys to disrupt reality TV romances. Sadie Gennis

62. The Morning Show (Apple TV+) 

How to watch: Apple TV+ 
Let's be honest, the first couple of episodes of Apple TV+'s monstrously expensive drama didn't instill much confidence in the show or, for that matter, what was to come from fledgling streaming service; The Morning Show seemed like an overdone and overwrought exercise in excess. But man, oh man, get past the fourth episode, and the show not only finds its groove but turns into a stellar examination of workplace politics, media toxicity, and human motivations. In The Morning Show, nobody comes out of the mud clean, and stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston bring their A-game in exposing these characters' fuzzy moral lines. The supporting cast, including Gugu-Mbatha Raw, are at their heartbreaking best, too. Like any real morning news show, the Apple TV+ series is a little all over the place, but get past those first few wobbly installments, and you'll find a brilliantly macabre series with something important to say. Malcolm Venable

61. Wynonna Earp (Syfy)  

How to watch: Syfy, Netflix

Wynonna Earp, a supernatural Western about the whiskey-shooting, demon-slaying descendant of legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp, is easily one of the weirdest shows around. With its signature sense of humor and an unconventional heroine (Melanie Scrofano) who refuses to play by anyone's rules but her own, the Syfy series takes storytelling risks few other shows do. It uses the limitless possibilities allowed by its supernatural setting to its advantage, indulging itself in the strange, the wonderful, and sometimes even the scary. But when you peel away all of the demons and half-angels and vampires and men with magical crotches, you're left with a heartwarming and deeply funny story about the power and strength of family that proves that even in the face of darkness there is still light to be found. Though fans might have had to wait a bit longer than usual to watch Season 4, it was more than worth the wait. Kaitlin Thomas

More on Wynonna Earp in our interview with Tim Rozon and Katherine Barrell...

60. Lucifer (Netflix)  

How to watch: Netflix


Much like the devil himself, Lucifer appears to be immortal. The show has survived two cancellations already, and we're not totally convinced it won't make a third comeback down the line. This is mostly due to its loyal fanbase, whose passion for the series is well-deserved. Over the years, Lucifer has done a superb job balancing its procedural format with its serialized celestial storylines, and the will-they-won't-they relationship between Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Chloe (Lauren German) provides that subtle simmer that keeps shippers invested, even five seasons in. The recently released fifth season also allowed Tom Ellis to stretch his angelic muscles by taking on an entirely new character, Lucifer's twin brother Michael. The evil twin schtick could have come off a little soapy in lesser hands, but Ellis' dedication to making Michael just as repulsive as Lucifer is alluring only has us hungering for more. Lindsay MacDonald

59. Corporate (Comedy Central)  

How to watch: Comedy Central, Amazon (with Comedy Central add-on)
Corporate continues to be one of television's most underrated and underwatched comedies, but given that its pitch-black sense of humor drowns viewers in nihilism, it's not the cheery sitcom most people are searching for. Oh well, they're missing out on some precision butchery of corporate America, office culture monotony, and the painful malaise of the common man. The third and final season is particularly bleak, with an entire episode devoted to the art (and necessity) of talking sh-- about your coworkers and another in which everyone in the office is concerned that a coworker is about to end his own life after being downtrodden at work. Yet Corporate always shines a light at the end of its diatribes, with genuine, surprising friendships forming between unlikely coworkers, showing that beneath the company line and bitter emails, your boss is a human just like you. –Tim Surette

58. Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access) 

How to watch: CBS All Access, Amazon (with CBS All Access add-on)

Star Trek: Discovery for 100 Best Shows

In Season 1, the Discovery crew faced a Klingon war, grounding the show in a dour reality that, while compelling, wasn't all that fun. The show took a different tone in Season 2 with an exciting new story involving a mysterious Red Angel, a series of signals that took them all over the galaxy, a bearded and mentally unstable Spock (Ethan Peck), and a dashing Captain Pike (Anson Mount) leading the charge. The season tapped into classic Star Trek lore that longtime fans could appreciate, with the gang discovering new life in uncharted territory and encountering classic characters like the majestic Talosians. Plus, it delivered a thrilling adventure for newbie fans, complete with jaw-dropping revelations about Spock, and it found Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), the heart and soul of the series, undergoing an emotional and life-changing personal journey. The season struck that perfect balance of appeasing hardcore Trekkies and appealing to the newly initiated while also pushing the franchise in a bold new direction. Star Trek: Discovery learned to let loose in Season 2, and as a result, it became a much stronger show. Keisha Hatchett

57. AEW Dynamite (TNT) 

How to watch: TNT app, Hulu with live TV

AEW Dynamite's arrival was an electric jolt to mainstream wrestling, which had gotten creatively stagnant over the last few years. Each two-hour-long episode serves up an action-packed spectacle with gripping matches, a dynamic roster of eclectic characters we haven't previously seen at this professional level, and creative storytelling that keeps fans on their toes. From Cody Rhodes' career-defining promo to Nyla Rose's groundbreaking championship win to Chris Jericho's viral champagne joke, Dynamite not only lives up to the name but also represents the best of what today's wrestling has to offer. Keisha Hatchett

More on AEW Dynamite in our interview with Brandi Rhodes…

56. Euphoria (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)


Zendaya smashes any perceptions of her former life as a Disney queen in Euphoria, a trippy ride through a teenage drug- and sex-filled wasteland. Zendaya is revelatory as the protagonist Rue, an archetypical wanderer, struggling with addiction, alienation, and existential emptiness. Hunter Schafer, who plays Rue's best friend Jules, also shines as a young trans woman finding her own way in a hostile environment, while Barbie Ferreira thrills as a young plus-size woman finding confidence in herself thorough sex. But this adaptation of the Israeli series of the same name boasts more than a stunning performance from its cast; it captures a sense of Gen Z driftlessness, with surreal camera work and haunting creative direction that literally turns the viewers' perspective upside down. Given all the drugs, acrobatic visuals, and depictions of underage sexuality, Euphoria could've easily come off as gimmicky, with little more to offer than shock value, but it instead offers a peek into a world that's as grim as it is enchanting. Malcolm Venable

55. On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)

How to watch: Showtime, Amazon (with Showtime add-on), Hulu with (with Showtime add-on)
Kirsten Dunst earned a Golden Globe nod for her performance in On Becoming a God as a big-haired Florida widow whose husband was eaten by an alligator, leaving her with a baby, a mountain of debt, and countless boxes of unsellable merchandise from the multi-level marketing business he thought would make them rich. Her job at a waterpark can't pay the (second) mortgage, so with nothing but her wit and her wiles, she begins to claw her way up the MLM chain that cost her everything. The Central Florida Breaking Bad premise is intriguing on its own, but around the fourth episode, this darkly funny tale takes a welcome turn into Twin Peaks territory, with over-the-top characters, jaw-dropping surrealism, and the horror of how far desperate people will go — and how many more people they'll exploit — as they search for salvation at the top of a pyramid scheme.Noelene Clark

54. Dear White People (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix

Dear White People for 100 Best Shows

If there was ever any doubt about Dear White People's relevance, such doubts should have been eradicated on June 12, 2020, when stars from the Netflix series released a one-minute mic drop of a video that was both a sharp arrow and a much-needed dose of laughter at a tough time. Parodying a much-criticized PSA from woke white celebrities, Dear White People did in that video what it's done for three seasons on Netflix: make complex and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race and racism entertaining to watch. Its cast, including Logan BrowningAshley Blaine Featherson, and Marque Richardson, only gets more excellent every season, and through each of their very different characters, the series peels back layers to show how racism and prejudice impact their young lives. Dear White People has many charms and strengths, but its most seductive attribute is its voice — the biting, wise, and too-cool-for-school wit so effortlessly displayed in that video in June. Season 4, sadly, will be its last, but Dear White People will remain an education in how to make clever and compelling commentary long after its students move on. Malcolm Venable

53. Good Eats: The Return (Food Network) 

How to watch: HuluFood Network app
When it comes to exemplary culinary-themed programming, it's hard to beat Alton Brown's Good Eats, which returned in 2019 after a seven-year hiatus. As educational as it is entertaining, the innovative series, which is part science program and part instructional cooking show, blends history lessons with silly skits to not only inform viewers how to cook a dish but also teach them the science behind what happens when they cook. It gets pretty nerdy at times, but Brown's way of delivering information makes it all easy to understand. When the show returned, under the title Good Eats: The Return (not to be confused with Good Eats: Reloaded, which features Brown updating and remixing old episodes), Brown also introduced new techniques to capture what he's doing in the kitchen, making the series stand out in a way that very few food shows do. Kaitlin Thomas

52. Los Espookys (HBO)

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
The genius of Los Espookys is that it hooks you in with its absurd premise — four horror-loving friends start their own business where they create large-scale, theatrical scares in real life; kind of like if Scooby-Doo were goth — and keeps you watching with the way it deftly weaves in deeper concepts like belonging and pursuing passion with surrealist humor. One minute Julio Torres' dark, dramatic Andrés is resigning himself to an unfulfilling fate as the heir to an enormous chocolate empire, and the next he's being confronted by a water demon who promises to help him find out the truth of his turmoil, so long as Andrés helps it stream The King's Speech. It exists in another world — the dreamy Latin American country where the show is set is never named — and happily invites us as viewers into it. Allison Picurro

51. Doctor Who (BBC America)

How to watch: HBO Max

Doctor Who for 100 Best Shows

The latest season of Doctor Who ended with the show's first Black Doctor (Jo Martin) asking the show's first female Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), "Have you ever been limited by who you were before?" That sums it up. The iconic, long-running sci-fi series has always been rooted in the hope of reinvention, and the current TARDIS team has taken bold new steps to move the show into the future while staying true to its elaborate mythology. Season 12 alone delivered an electric new Master (Sacha Dhawan), the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), the second destruction of Gallifrey, and a clever new twist in the Doctor's backstory that forced the show to reckon with its homogeneous past even as Martin's history-making Doctor offered a new way forward. Doctor Who's insistence that progress is possible feels as urgent now as it did when the original series premiered in the 1960s, and it's starting by looking at itself. Kelly Connolly

50. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX) 

How to watch: Hulu
Now that It's Always Sunny has passed its 15th anniversary, it's official: Live-action comedy's closest equivalent to The Simpsons has actually been good longer than The Simpsons was good. Sunny's 14th season tied it with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as TV's longest-running live-action comedy, and the show's record-breaking Season 15 renewal was as sure a bet as you could predict in this uncertain world. Another sure bet is that it will be funny. Sunny has achieved a level of consistency that's unparalleled in sitcom history. Season 14 wasn't its best season, but it wasn't its worst either, and the series still found new angles on well-worn Sunny material, like a film noir parody about Charlie trying to solve the mystery of who blasted diarrhea all over Paddy's Pub's bathroom. As long as you can get a cheesesteak at Geno's, Sunny will be on this list. Liam Mathews

49. Kim's Convenience (CBC) 

How to watch: Netflix
Kim's Convenience, a CBC series about the trials and tribulations of a Korean-Canadian family as they maintain the family corner store (and their sanity), is one of the most wholesome entries on this list. In the most recent fourth season, viewers saw the Kim family take a step toward a new future while healing wounds from their past, as daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) finished up college and started her photography thesis abroad and son Jung (Simu Lee) finally mended enough broken fences with his parents (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon) to start coming home again after years away. A touching saga of how the bonds between loving parents and children can be tested but never fully broken, Kim's Convenience is a raucous, joyful, must-binge comedy.Krutika Mallikarjuna

48. Everything's Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)  

How to watch: Hulu
Laughter and tears come together to form a strong foundation for Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay, a coming-of-age dramedy about a neurotic gay twentysomething (series creator Josh Thomas) who, after the death of his father, becomes the primary caretaker of his two younger half-sisters, Matilda (Kayla Cromer) and Genevieve (Maeve Press). Though Matilda is on the autism spectrum, the show isn't about her autism; rather, it is an authentic portrayal of teenage existence that happens to feature someone on the spectrum. The series doesn't hold back and regularly handles deeply serious subject matter with an honest and light touch, and is elevated by Thomas' now signature sense of humor. This is the rare TV show that wraps you in its warm embrace and genuinely makes you feel lighter and happier than you were before. Kaitlin Thomas

47. DC's Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) 

How to watch: Netflix

Legends of Tomorrow for 100 Best Shows

DC's Legends of Tomorrow might be The CW's zaniest and most underappreciated series, but beneath the show's quirky exterior lies a compelling story of substance. After introducing magic and expanding the scope of its world the previous year, Season 5 saw Legends of Tomorrow lean into its greatest strength: a unique ability to combine nerdy pop culture and historical references with wild sci-fi lore, all while grounding its characters with real-life issues, such as family trauma and facing the mistakes of your past. This is a show that both knows how to have fun while also telling an impactful story. Keisha Hatchett

46. Claws (TNT)  

How to watch: Hulu
Claws is a refreshing and relentlessly entertaining summer cocktail of murder, manicures, and haphazard criminal mischief set against the garish backdrop of Central Florida. While the first two seasons of TNT's darkly funny dramedy chronicled Desna's (Niecy Nash) unsuccessful attempts to go legit, Season 3 saw her finally break bad in the show's wildest and most politically biting installment to date. Teeming with chaotic and ridiculously fun plots — like the gang robbing a white supremacist in order to pay off their heavy debt and Dean (Harold Perrineau) becoming obsessed with Mahjong to the detriment of his engagement — the season brought the breakneck twists and drama we love while exploring the high cost of having it all. Keisha Hatchett

45. Billions (Showtime)

How to watch: Showtime, Amazon (with Showtime add-on), Hulu with (with Showtime add-on)
Five seasons in, and Showtime's prestige soap remains as entertaining as ever. It's hard to think of another drama that takes as much pleasure in dialogue as Billions, and every scene has wit, snap, and some pop culture or historical tidbit that surprises and delights. If you haven't watched Billions yet, you probably think the legal/financial series is more serious than it is. Once you start watching, you'll probably think it's kind of ridiculous at first. And then you'll appreciate the craft that goes into keeping it from getting too smart or too stupid. Billions is so good, it's a show about capitalists that even socialists love. Liam Mathews

44. The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix

The Baby-Sitters Club for 100 Best Shows

Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club adaptation is a pitch-perfect show about the trials and triumphs of young friendship. The inaugural season is remarkably faithful to Ann M. Martin's books, beginning with the foundation of the childcare business run by the beloved characters so many '90s kids grew up with. Yet the series also smartly and thoughtfully incorporates timely storylines, including a moving episode about a young trans child, that reveal how the kindness of the Baby-Sitters Club sets a great example for the generation coming up in their care. The Baby-Sitters Club has long been a source of both entertainment and inspiration for young readers, and this new take on these old favorites only elevates the joy of watching these young ladies in action, on the job, in their meetings, and at home with their own families. –Amanda Bell

43. Taste the Nation (Hulu) 

How to watch: Hulu
Ever since Anthony Bourdain's passing, there's been a serious dearth of TV made by folks who not only love extraordinary food, but also love celebrating the often humble lives of the people who make it. That changed when Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation, a docuseries about the real roots of American food, stepped onto the scene. Lakshmi's charismatic presence — formerly limited in her role as Top Chef's snappy host for the last 14 years — finally has a chance to shine, and throughout the docuseries she unfailingly draws out the richest understanding of cultural experiences within the American diaspora communities she visits. The result is a nuanced understanding of race, immigration, colonization, and the myth of American dream, all told through the lens of food. If you're looking for a place to start, Taste the Nation's Indigineous Thanksgiving episode is one of the best of the bunch. Krutika Mallikarjuna

42. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)

How to watch: Hulu

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

You might have tuned in to Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist because you wanted to watch some fun Broadway-level song-and-dance performances. But you stayed because Austin Winsberg's semi-autobiographical musical dramedy delivers catharsis in every episode. Jane Levy is a standout as Zoey, a young computer programmer gifted with the ability to hear people's inner thoughts through song thanks to a faulty MRI. As a result, her friends — including Mo (Alex Newell), Max (Skylar Astin), and Simon (John Clarence Stewart) — are able to push Zoey out of her comfort zone and force her to face truths head-on with their unknowingly brave musical confessions. From grief to love to finding your own voice, this show taps into the heart of the human experience with every note and will have you singing along in no time – even through your tears. Megan Vick

41. Dickinson (Apple+)

How to watch: Apple TV+ 
Dickinson is Apple TV+'s lavish, genre-defying f--- you to anyone who doesn't put some respect on Emily Dickinson's name. While the 19th century American poet might be best known for being an antisocial agoraphobe who frequently wrote about death, Dickinson exposes a new side of the literary icon, asking the question, "What if Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) was just like other girls?" The result is a gloriously sumptuous series showcasing a brilliant young woman who, despite being trapped by her family's small-town expectations and her own depression, manages to be larger than life. Bring on colonial twerking, Wiz Khalifa as the sexiest rendition of Death we've ever seen, and messy queer love stories; Dickinson is a new kind of period piece.Krutika Mallikarjuna

40. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+)

How to watch: Disney+

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was the feel-good gem we didn't know we needed. There are so many shows out there that are trying to cash in on nostalgia, but High School Musical: The Musical: The Series not only managed to capture the uplifting spirit of the original movie, but did so with a self-aware irreverence that appeals to the current mindset of the OG HSM fans. Despite ourselves, we fell in love with these ridiculously talented high school theater kids who want nothing more than to put on a good show. Their flaws are relatable, their growth is inspiring, and when they succeed it feels like there's not a star in heaven that we can't reach. Megan Vick

More on HSMTMTS in our interview with the cast…

39. Big Mouth (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix
Come for the vulgar ejaculation jokes, stay for the surprisingly poignant and progressive coming-of-age narratives. The animated Netflix comedy artfully blends the humor of its characters' humiliating journeys through puberty with important conversations about sex, gender roles, and identity. You'll cringe in familiar agony as you watch Nick (Nick Kroll) and Andrew (John Mulaney) experience growth spurts, first kisses, and spin-the-bottle disasters, and you'll probably wish you had a sex education class like the one showcased in Season 2's acclaimed Planned Parenthood episode. While Big Mouth has always been overtly outrageous in its plot points, it seems like no idea was too wacky in Season 3. A musical version of the 1994 erotic thriller Disclosure? Sure. An entire episode in which the ghost of Duke Ellington takes the gang back to 1913 to show them how he lost his virginity? Naturally. Much like middle school, Big Mouth gets better as it goes on. Lauren Zupkus

38. Search Party (HBO Max)

How to watch: HBO Max
When Search Party returned after a three-year hiatus, it came back swinging. The dark comedy has always been a satire of millennial culture, but Season 3 took this to new heights by exploring what happens when two privileged twenty-somethings are forced to contend with the justice system after they're put on trial for murder. Search Party lets Dory (Alia Shawkat) become the absolute scariest version of herself, one who is wholly convinced she's innocent despite the fact that she very much killed not one, but two people. The writing is at its sharpest, the performances — especially from new cast member Shalita Grant as Dory's lawyer Cassidy, who runs away with every scene she's in — are top-notch, and despite this season being filmed over two years ago, it's somehow more relevant than ever. Allison Picurro

37. Nailed It! (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
What's the recipe for a perfect television show? Take amateur bakers and add elaborate desserts they must try to re-create in an impossibly short amount of time. Throw in a cute episode theme and hilarious commentary from hosts, comedian Nicole Byer and pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres, then top it all off with a cash prize that shoots out of a golden money gun. The result is the outrageously entertaining Nailed It!, Netflix's reality competition show that keeps audiences laughing and hungry for more. Sure, the sweet treats created may not be particularly top-notch, but this show sure is. Aliza Sessler

36. Derry Girls (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix

Derry Girls for 100 Best Shows

Derry Girls is one of the very best offerings in teen TV. Set against the backdrop of the Northern Irish Troubles in the '90s, the show's specialties include lightning-fast humor (with jokes that come at the kind of pace some of the characters can't even keep up with), Northern Irish slang that may sound borderline incomprehensible to the untrained ear, and a sincere empathy for the group of teenagers at its center. The titular girls — including honorary Derry Girl, Dylan Llewellyn's James — are the show's bumbling, nerdy heroes who attract trouble like it's their job and who find themselves wrapped up in increasingly absurd situations, no matter how hard they try to be cool, normal kids. The show loves them for it, just as much as we do. Allison Picurro

35. Desus & Mero (Showtime) 

How to watch: Showtime, Amazon (with Showtime add-on), Hulu with (Showtime add-on)
Desus & Mero, the No. 1 show on late-night (don't fact-check that), somehow gets stronger with each episode. When you hold Desus Nice and The Kid Mero up against every other talk show host, there's really no competition: They've retained their signature loose, fun vibe, ensuring that watching them always feels like dropping in on your two best friends, even in the face of their growing popularity; they spout jokes off the cuff like they were born to do it; and they're so far the only interviewers who have had the confidence to look a former presidential hopeful in the eye and ask, "Are you willing to expose your feet on camera to the American public?" Allison Picurro

34. One Day at a Time (Pop) 

How to watch: Netflix (Seasons 1-3), Pop (Season 4)

One Day at a Time for 100 Best Shows

There's a reason fans were up in arms when Netflix canceled One Day at a Time after three seasons: The show is great! Fortunately, Pop stepped in and saved the series from cancellation, and this heartwarming sitcom didn't miss a beat in the move from streaming to cable — although we do miss the full theme song. Now four seasons in (well, three and a half, since the latest season was cut short), One Day at a Time is still finding new sides of our characters, refreshing takes on important topics, and hilariously awkward situations to mine for laughs. (We may never recover from the secondhand embarrassment we felt when Alex [Marcel Ruiz] walked in on Penelope's [Justina Machado] private time with Outlander.) Add to all this the fact that this season saw Penelope and Max (Ed Quinn) get back together — a reunion we hadn't dared to dream might actually occur — and it's plain to see that One Day at a Time continues to be one of the most consistent sources of hope and happiness we have. Sadie Gennis

33. Atypical (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
After three seasons, this understated dramedy about a teenage boy on the autism spectrum (Keir Gilchrist) and his family has finally found its footing. Atypical's third season is easily its best, even as (or perhaps because) Sam's challenges around his autism take a narrative backseat to other parts of his character development. In Season 3, Sam starts college, makes new friends, supports his girlfriend Paige (Jenna Boyd) through her depression, and inadvertently jeopardizes his relationship with his best bro Zahid (the brilliant and hilarious Nik Dodani). But the show shines brightest in scenes with Sam's sister, Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine), who grapples with her newfound romantic feelings for her female best friend while trying to figure out her future with her salt-of-the-earth boyfriend. It's a love triangle and a coming out story that's both sweet and devastating, and Lundy-Paine's performance is impeccable. Noelene Clark

32. Love Is Blind (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix
When Love Is Blind first debuted, the show was a surprise hit, largely because of its instantly appealing cast of singles looking to find romance. There were several couples who truly charmed audiences with their sight-unseen connections, and it was impossible not to root for their continued adoration of each other when they finally got some face time. Meanwhile, any animosity that bloomed between the less fortunate pairs or those they'd previously "dated" was authentic and impossible to turn away from. Several of those who did get married on the show have since admitted that it was the novel "pod" dating experience that gave them a chance to succeed once the cameras stopped rolling. So now that the show has been renewed for two more seasons, we can't wait to see if lightning will strike twice with a new cast of singles entering the scene. –Amanda Bell

31. Sherman's Showcase (IFC)  

How to watch: Hulu
Trying to explain Sherman's Showcase to someone who's never watched it is a bit like explaining a sunset: You have to see it to get it, but once you do, you're never quite the same again. The brainchild of former Fallon writers Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, Sherman's Showcase blends high-concept comedy, music, and insights about the Black American experience to create a one-of-a-kind absurdist dreamscape. In the show's mythology, the ageless Sherman McDaniels (Salahuddin) is the host of a musical variety show (like Don Cornelius of Soul Train) that somehow spans multiple decades. This premise gives the show's fabulous players license to parody Black music, the lingua franca of the culture, so that whole genres, beloved stars, and cultural nuggets get spoofed in funny sketches that work on multiple levels. 

Take, for example, "Add Some Kente," from the show's Black History Month Spectacular: Lampooning '90s house music, the bit sees a young singer (played by Bashir's terrific sister Zuri Salahuddin) extol the virtues of adding Kente cloth to things — clothing, rims, the Marines, even Klansmen. It's goofy, and delivered with such deadpan sincerity that the jokes could go over the head of someone not dialed into Sherman's style of humor. But that sketch, like so many of its hits, is also rooted in a deep understanding and love for Black expression. Particularly now, with a renewed interest in Black voices at the forefront, Sherman's Showcase helps fill a big hole in the sketch comedy space, with Black writers and performers mining the vastness of the culture to make joyful, gut-busting art. Malcolm Venable

30. The Boys (Amazon) 

How to watch: Amazon

The Boys

When The Boys first premiered, the series was immediately hailed as one of the most outrageous and innovative takes on the superhero genre, and for good reason. A cynical yet consistently fun look at how absolute power corrupts absolutely, The Boys follows the journey of a group of average people — now vigilantes after their lives were destroyed by the "good guys" — and their quest to bring down one of the most toxic and and powerful institutions in America: a superhero team called the Seven and the billion-dollar megacorporation that runs them. Season 2 takes the show to new heights with bloody antics, like Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) driving a speedboat through the body of a beached whale, and new depths as our beloved vigilantes finally start to open up to each other, treating each other as equals instead of weapons. Throw in Aya Cash playing a new villainous supe who is even more terrifying than Homelander (Antony Starr), and you've got a gold-star series that demands to be binged immediately. Krutika Mallikarjuna

29. Real Housewives of Potomac (Bravo)  

How to watch: Hulu
There are many reasons why Real Housewives of Potomac is low-key the best Housewives series right now, but the essence of the show's glory can be summed up in four simple words: bird on a leash. The highly anticipated fifth season of the constantly underrated Bravo series kicked off with a scene none of us saw coming: Monique Samuels putting a leash on her potty-trained parrot, placing the bird on her shoulder, and heading out the door to terrify an unsuspecting Karen Huger. This moment encapsulates everything we love about Housewives — it was excessive, theatrical, hilarious, and just a touch unhinged. And over the past five seasons, the women of Potomac have consistently delivered iconic moments like this while still serving up captivating storylines with real drama, authentic heart, and a whole lot of shade. For a series that wasn't initially intended to be a part of the Real Housewives franchise, Potomac has subverted expectations to become the reigning Grande Dame of this reality TV universe. Sadie Gennis

28. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (Netflix)  

How to watch: Netflix
Dreamworks Animation has been pushing into the television space for years now, but with Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, it has its first masterpiece for the modern era. Based on Rad Sechrist's web comic, Kipo is a wildly imaginative story of a young girl who leaves her underground city to find a post-apocalyptic Earth riddled with rubble and mutant animals. But out of this despair rises Kipo, TV's most bubbly and optimistic protagonist, who searches for her missing father with the help of two other kids, a talking bug, and a four-eyed pig. The characters are diverse, the hip-hop soundtrack is bangin', the action sequences are intense, the twists are epic, and the message is all about positivity and strength. Fun for kids, fun for grown-ups, and fun for anime fans, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is 2020's most pleasant surprise. –Tim Surette

27. Ramy (Hulu)

How to watch: Hulu


Back in January, Ramy Youssef said in his Golden Globe acceptance speech, "I know you guys haven't seen my show," and I can only hope that some of those people he rightfully put on blast have checked it out since. If not, they're missing out; Season 2 of Youssef's dramedy expanded on the identity politics and exploration of faith that helped make its first go-around so good, and this time it has 100 percent more Mahershala Ali. The complicated bond between Sheikh Ali (Ali) and Ramy (Youssef) — as Ramy begs his teacher to help him become a "better" Muslim, to help him lose his ego and forget himself — carries the season forward. But the problem, of course, is Ramy himself, and his tragically relatable inner turmoil that stems from his own self-absorption, and it's Ramy's refusal to give its titular character a pass for his actions that keeps me scrambling to hit play on each new episode. Allison Picurro

26. Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

How to watch: CBS All Access, Amazon (with CBS All Access add-on)
Part of what made Star Trek: The Next Generation great was Jean-Luc Picard's (Sir Patrick Stewart) level-headed approach to problem solving. That sturdy image of the beloved captain is flipped on its head in Star Trek: Picard as we're introduced to a very different Picard, one who's learning to live again after self-secluding following a disastrous rescue effort to save the Romulans from the supernova that destroyed their home planet. There are plenty of things that make the CBS All Access show stand out, like Picard's meaningful personal journey and several favorite characters returning — including Data (Brent Spiner), Seven (Jeri Ryan), Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and Troi (Marina Sirtis) — as well as an exciting roster of new characters and a story as bold as Kirk's attitude toward the Prime Directive. But what really made this new chapter in the Star Trek franchise outstanding was how it delicately balanced the nostalgia of a familiar character with modern themes and delivered a powerful new story that Trekkies and newbies alike can connect with. Keisha Hatchett

25. Bob's Burgers (Fox)

How to watch: Hulu
After a decade on the air, Bob's Burgers is still one of the most reliably delightful things on TV. Honestly, it probably has no business being as good as it is this long into its run, but the Fox series continues to churn out truly weird, high-concept episodes like Season 10's "Pig Trouble in Little Tina," which partly takes place in a dream sequence happening inside Tina's (Dan Mintz) head, but also includes a storyline about earwax that looks like Moby Dick. The oddball humor, the colorful cast of side characters, the musical scenes, the puns, the earnest moments of familial connection — they're all cogs in the ingenious machine that make Bob's Burgers such a consistently satisfying watch.Allison Picurro

24. Little America (Apple TV+) 

How to watch: Apple TV+

Little America for 100 Best Shows

Television is making progress on diversity and inclusivity, but in most cases they're just buzzwords and boxes to check off so networks can give the appearance of being woke. Little America is one of the rare television shows to take those words to heart and build itself around the ideas by retelling true stories of immigrants' experiences in America — like the Nigerian man who wanted to be a cowboy, or the Indian boy who entered the National Spelling Bee to ask Laura Bush to help his deported parents return to the U.S. The anthology dramedy isn't content to just show the struggle of those coming to America to find a better life; it reaches further by showing how they contribute to the country and positively affect those around them. It's funny, it's emotional, and it's important. –Tim Surette

23. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) 

How to watch: Hulu

Seven seasons in,Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still keeping it "toit." The latest season of the NBC sitcom was its funniest in years, packed with the madcap return of Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas), an Agatha Christie-style whodunit featuring J.K. Simmons, a Halloween Heist too big for one holiday, and the dramatic kidnapping of Cheddar the dog. That the show did all of this while also delivering a raw, honest look at Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy's (Melissa Fumero) fertility struggles is a testament to how deftly it balances madcap antics with weighty storylines. As TV fans and creators reconsider the role of the cop show in America's cultural landscape, it will be interesting to see how Brooklyn Nine-Nine adapts. But as a show that has always imagined the possibility for good communities within broken systems, it might just be uniquely positioned to rise to the occasion. Kelly Connolly

More on Brooklyn Nine-Nine in our interview with Terry Crews…

22. Lovecraft Country (HBO)

How to watch: HBOHBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
The hottest blockbuster of the summer is Lovecraft Country. Misha Green's new HBO drama, based on Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, is a gripping ride through 1950s Jim Crow America that uses classic pulp scares to expose the real-life horrors of a racist nation. Led by an extraordinary cast, including Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, and Wunmi Mosaku, the series is dense with Black culture, calling up James Baldwin or evoking Gordon Parks' famous photographs of segregated America alongside all the tentacled monsters that come with the territory of cosmic horror. An unapologetic slap in the face to the famously racist author it takes its name from, Lovecraft Country reclaims horror storytelling from a Black American perspective, and it does it with style. Kelly Connolly

21. The Expanse (Amazon) 

How to watch: Amazon

It's tough out there for a sci-fi fan these days — especially if you're looking for true hard sci-fi — but at least we have The Expanse. The Syfy-turned-Amazon drama remains unrivaled in its exploration of the dangers of tribalism and colonialism, detailing the ways in which corporations, politicians, soldiers, and everyday people are impacted by these destructive and oppressive systems. The series presents a grim version of the future, but one that sadly doesn't seem too far-fetched. Yet through the intrepid crew of the Rocinante, as well as allies like Bobbie (Frankie Adams) and Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), The Expanse shows that it's not a folly to keep hoping and fighting for a better world, even if it might not look like what you had once imagined. It's inspiring, action-packed, poignant, funny, and features some of the best world-building I've ever seen. So while options for modern hard sci-fi viewing may be sparse, it's possible the reason there are so few other shows doing what The Expanse does is simply because they know they couldn't do it even half as well. Sadie Gennis

More on The Expanse in our interview with Steven Strait and Dominique Tipper…

20. Insecure (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
In its fourth season, the HBO comedy underwent a transformation of sorts, shape-shifting before our eyes into what felt like a full-on drama. Since we've known Issa (Issa Rae) and her buddy Molly (Yvonne Orji), we have delighted in their frequently goofy hijinks and the awkward situations they found themselves navigating. Not ideal boyfriends, microaggressions at work, and even tensions with each other were, in the first three seasons, handled with a smirk. But in Season 4, Insecure told the wrenching story of Issa and Molly's fraying friendship with a solemn voice. Other storylines ditched the hahas for heart too: Tiffany (Amanda Seales) disappeared; Lawrence (Jay Ellis) got shocking news just as he and Issa reconciled; and Molly was forced to confront her toxicity when her boyfriend Andrew (Alexander Hodge) dumped her. All of it amounted to a seriously good season that kept the surprises coming, proving this show won't stop challenging itself to grow and that its creators are honing their already sharp creative vision with every episode. Malcolm Venable

19. YOU (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix

YOU is a series that is meant to be binged, so it's unsurprising that none of the show's magic was lost when it moved from Lifetime to Netflix in Season 2. In fact, the drama benefitted from dropping the commercial break cliffhangers since it allowed episodes to have so many more slow-burn moments that ratcheted up the tension in the already taut thriller. And in its second season, YOU proved that there is plenty of room for the story to grow beyond its initial drama about a murderous cyberstalker and his fixation on the doomed Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Joe Goldberg's (Penn Badgley) eerie inner monologues remain a mainstay of YOU, but now he's not the only one we should be afraid of. More importantly, the show continues to give us very complicated feelings about even its most twisted characters, no matter how wretched their actions are. –Amanda Bell

More on YOU in our interview with Penn Badgley and Sera Gamble…

18. Superstore (NBC) 

How to watch: Hulu, NBC
While Superstore doesn't get as much buzz as some of the other sitcoms on the air right now, the NBC comedy remains one of the best shows about modern American life — and one of the best shows, period. Covering issues like ICE, the class divide, tokenism, unions, health care, and sexual harassment, but never delivering anything that could be called a Very Special Episode, Superstore has grown bolder (and sure, maybe a bit kookier) as the years have gone on. Its ability to evolve and expand its world without ever losing its biting edge or its refreshing heart is why I have no doubt that the show will continue to thrive after America Ferrera's impending exit. While losing one of the show's stars and one half of its central couple would be a death knell for most sitcoms, Superstore is so much more than any one character. It's a Cloud 9 family, and we're happy to be a part of it. Sadie Gennis

17. P-Valley (Starz) 

How to watch: Starz, Amazon (with Starz add-on), Hulu (with Starz add-on)

P-Valley for 100 Best Shows

American culture's entrenched scorn for sex work and Black women's bodies is part of what makes Starz's P-Valley so fresh and invigorating: The series amplifies the voices of Black strippers, people who've been derided and dismissed, and depicts them with compassion and nuance. Set in fictional Chucalissa, Mississippi, P-Valley follows the goings-on inside a shanty little strip club called The Pynk, helmed by the non-binary boss Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan). Inside, dancers perform acrobatic feats on the pole for dollars — work that is as exhilarating as it is subjugating but hey, it's a living. That's the marvelous thing about P-Valley; it's not meant to glamorize or make cautionary tales of its characters, but simply shows them as full human beings. As newcomer Autumn (Elarica Johnson), single mom Miss Mississippi (Shannon Thornton), and head dancer Mercedes (Brandee Evans) bare their whole selves to us, we see mothers, daughters, businesspeople, dreamers, hustlers, and friends whose lives have been complicated by poverty, abuse, family drama, and more. With exceptional direction from all-female directors and writing that sometimes feels like a punch to the heart, P-Valley shows us a never-before-seen world with unusual compassion and clarity. It's a kind of quiet revolution and a helluva party. Malcolm Venable

16. Sex Education (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix
Netflix's Sex Education centers on a renowned sex therapist's (Gillian Anderson) virginal teenage son (Asa Butterfield), who teams up with a secretly brilliant social outcast (Emma Mackey) to sell sex advice to his frisky classmates. Season 1 of the binge-able dramedy was as charming and earnest as it was raunchy. Season 2 introduced new storylines about escaping an abusive relationship, living with someone who struggles with addiction, navigating the aftermath of being sexually assaulted, breaking up with someone who's perfect on paper, and more relatable experiences that deepened the pathos without sacrificing the show's humor and whimsy. And the season finale — featuring an over-the-top, space-age, and, of course, sexed-up high school production of Romeo and Juliet, complete with tentacles — was the icing on the cake. Noelene Clark

15. On My Block (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix

On My Block

Netflix's On My Block is arguably the best young adult series the streaming service currently has to offer, and it just keeps getting better as it ages alongside its teenage protagonists. The half-hour dramedy, about a group of Black and Latinx teens, blends an absurd sense of humor, Goonies-esque adventures, and heartfelt character moments with the emotional realities of growing up in a crime-ridden area of South Central Los Angeles. The most recent season was underscored by a desire for and capacity to change, as various characters — including Spooky (Julio Macias), the leader of the local gang and the older brother of Cesar (Diego Tinoco) — dreamed of becoming more than what was expected of them. On My Block always seems to fly under the radar, and it's well past time the masses clued in, because the show is like little else on TV. Kaitlin Thomas

14. Stranger Things (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix
A lesser show might've lost some of its luster by now, but Stranger Things keeps on raising the stakes for its characters and has become increasingly excellent as a result. The third chapter of the Duffer Brothers' story was its goriest and most electrifying yet, putting to rest any potential fears that the series might become overly formulaic, hokey, or lean too hard on its '80s Easter egg appeal.

Stranger Things has undeniably found a rhythm in winking to the childhood favorites that inspire it while crafting its own place within the genre. Hawkins is both a nod to the many plaintowns of American cinema and a place with its own eccentricities and charms. The heroes are flawed and complicated, and the villains are rarely rote. The monsters are familiar and yet completely new. Season 3 cemented the series as a masterwork that should not be doubted, so we can't wait to find out what else the kids (and their folks) get into when Stranger Things 4 comes along to reimagine some more time-honored tropes from your favorite '80s movies. –Amanda Bell

13. Pose (FX) 

How to watch: Hulu

Pose for 100 Best Shows

When Pose premiered in 2018, it was an unexpected hit that defied mainstream culture's insistence on overlooking queer and trans people of color; last year, Pose became culture-defining itself. Packed with a daring jump forward in the narrative, a brutal look at the devastation of the AIDS crisis, a grueling death of a beloved character, and a meditation on how Black and Latinx creativity gets co-opted, Pose crammed a lot into its sophomore outing while balancing it all with humor and grace. The series also earned Billy Porter his first Emmy last fall, making him the first openly gay Black man to win Best Actor in any category — just a small indication of how transformative and important this show is.

Though the show is highly enjoyable and educational, the impact it's having off-screen also makes it a paradigm shifter. The show already positioned itself on the vanguard of the industry by casting a record number of trans actors in principal roles, and its second season — which arrived just as the first hit Netflix, introducing Pose to a wider audience — helped make its trans stars mainstream media darlings. (Although the trans cast members were once again snubbed by the Emmys this year.) Pose is so much more than a show; it's a vibrant example of the medium's power to alter collective consciousness and make change. Malcolm Venable

12. Barry (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
Because of the coronavirus pandemic halting production on Barry's third season, it could be a little while before we see more of Bill Hader's titular hit-man-turned-actor, but hopefully Barry has spent this time thinking about the mass havoc he wreaked at the end of Season 2. (He definitely has, and it probably won't make a difference.) If this were any other show, the way it cycles between laugh-out-loud comedy and complicated musings on what it means to be a person would give the audience whiplash, but Barry pulls it off with the kind of practiced ease that's left fans waiting eagerly to find out what the pitch-black comedy will do next. Allison Picurro

11. GLOW (Netflix) 

How to watch: Netflix

One of the best offhand lines on GLOW is a cockeyed description of Cheers: "It's about an invisible woman named Vera." There's something in that line that speaks to the spirit of the whole show. GLOW reclaims space for invisible women. But Netflix's glittery '80s-set wrestling comedy is no empty fantasy of women's empowerment; it's a bruising exploration of the cost of power in show business, not only in the 1980s but now. It's a thrill to watch everyone in GLOW's diverse ensemble sink their teeth into its theatricality, but the show's marquee matchup is still the fractured friendship that started it all. As aspiring actress Ruth (Alison Brie) and former soap star Debbie (Betty Gilpin) circle each other both in the ring and out of it, Debbie has emerged as a stunningly complicated portrait of female ambition, and Gilpin's performance is one of the most electric in the game. Throw in Geena Davis as a Vegas showgirl-turned-entertainment director and there's just no denying it: GLOW is operating on another level. Hairspray couldn't buy better promo. Kelly Connolly

More on GLOW in our interview with Betty Gilpin…

10. The Good Fight (CBS All Access) 

How to watch: CBS All Access, Amazon (with CBS All Access add-on)

The Good Fight for 100 Best Shows

The Good Fight is a legal drama for the age of no rules. Robert and Michelle King's no-holds-barred follow-up to The Good Wife will try anything — from Christine Baranski in a leather catsuit, to a catchy animated musical sequence about impeachment, to spoofing niche New York theater controversies (while spoofing its own characters), to Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories, to fentanyl lollipops, to parrots, to Downton Abbey tie-ins, to slapping a "CBS has censored this content" message on content the network actually censored. But the outrageous controlled chaos is all in service of the show's incendiary rage at an unequal justice system. The Good Fight uses its setting in a majority Black law firm to scrutinize the intersection of race and power, calling out corporate feminism and liberals who abandon their principles to get ahead. And it's fun! In the midst of everything, it's still so fun. Kelly Connolly

9. Better Things (FX)

How to watch: Hulu
At this point, I talk so much about everything I adore about Pamela Adlon's bittersweet comedy that everyone I know is probably tired of hearing about it, but it's not my fault it keeps growing more extraordinary with every season. Better Things celebrates the mundanity of existence like nothing else. It's about the little moments that make us who we are and make life worth living, from its lovingly shot cooking scenes to the casual way it examines the daily sacrifices parents, especially single mothers, make for their kids. It's the most human show on TV by a mile. Allison Picurro

8. Undone (Amazon)

How to watch: Amazon
It's a testament to Bob Odenkirk's masterful abilities that he stars in two of the top 10 shows on this list, but the Better Call Saul actor isn't the only one who shines in the gorgeous rotoscoped drama Undone. Rosa Salazar stars as a woman who wakes up after a car accident and discovers she now possesses the ability to manipulate time — and communicate with her deceased father (Odenkirk). He recruits her to use her newfound powers to try and prevent his death 10 years prior. But even as she races backward and forward through time to save her dad, she wonders whether any of it is real or whether she's experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, which her grandmother had. With eight addictive 22-minute episodes, Undone is a breathtaking visual feast that demands to be consumed in a single sitting. Noelene Clark

7. What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

How to watch: Hulu

What We Do in the Shadows for 100 Best Shows

It's impossible to pick a favorite character from What We Do in the Shadows, FX's vampire comedy that's adapted from a cult New Zealand mockumentary film. Go on, try. Is it Nandor (Kayvan Novak), the warrior from the Ottoman Empire who doesn't know how to use email? Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry), the horny couple who are repeatedly put to the test by Nadja's undead lover and bicker like they've been married for centuries? (Which they have been.) Guillermo (Harvey Guillen), the devoted human familiar who is also a descendent of the Van Helsings? Or Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), the energy vampire who drains people by boring them? No one is wasted in the show, especially in the superb second season that fleshed out each character and proved that the silly series is more than just one joke. The kitschy special effects, the absurd predicaments, and the supernatural comedy are wonderful, but it's the cast and characters that make What We Do in the Shadows one of the best shows right now. –Tim Surette

6. Never Have I Ever (Netflix)

How to watch: Netflix

Never Have I Ever is the whip-smart teen comedy we needed and deserved this year. From the minds of Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher sprang a never-before-seen coming-of-age story — one about an Indian-American teenager juggling the indignities of suburban high school, the crushing realities of being an overachieving f--- up, and the unyielding grief of losing her father too young. The series stands out not just because it's a hilarious and bittersweet first gen portrait, but also due to the performances of its cast, which was led by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, an 18-year-old high school graduate with no previous professional acting experience. It's astonishing to look back at Season 1 now and realize Ramakrishnan truly was learning her craft on the fly. Krutika Mallikarjuna

More on Never Have I Ever in our interview with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan…

5. David Makes Man (OWN)

How to watch: HBO Max
Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose semi-autobiographical play was adapted into the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, again mines his childhood for David Makes Man. Lush and full of magical realism, the coming-of-age series follows a boy, David (Akili McDowell), caught between two worlds: his magnet school, which David hopes will be a stepping stone to an elite prep school, and the housing projects, where he gets an entirely different kind of education. McCraney's influence as a playwright seeps into the episodes, with even peripheral characters informing the series with a lyricism more common on stage than on television. While David's mom Gloria (Alana Arenas) scrapes by financially (and emotionally) as she deals with her own wounds and addictions, David is buoyed and brought up through a patchwork of people, including his gifted class teacher Dr. Woods-Trap (Phylicia Rashad), his best friend, and sometimes competitor, Seren (Nathaniel Logan McIntyre), and his complicated father figure Sky (Isaiah Johnson). David Makes Man is uniformly excellent throughout, full of complex, layered storytelling that humanizes people doing the best they can in less than ideal circumstances. But it's the way it's told, with soaring flights of visual fancy and surprising explorations of consciousness, that makes it one of the best shows of recent years. Malcolm Venable

4. Evil (CBS)

How to watch: CBS All Access

Evil for 100 Best Shows

The best show on network television is a CBS procedural with canned margaritas and a horned beast who practices therapy. Evil does it all. Created by CBS's favorite boundary-pushers, Robert and Michelle King, the drama has the sheen of The X-Files with more exorcism: Skeptical psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) teams up with priest-in-training David (Mike Colter) and contractor Ben (Aasif Mandvi) to investigate the supernatural on behalf of the Catholic Church. But its pleasant case-of-the-week formula gets a truly weird tweak courtesy of creepy kids, a goblin baby, and an unsettling dream demon. Evil is not afraid to get dark. Its first season waded deftly into moral and spiritual debates about the nature of evil, exploring how hatred spreads in the 21st century by going deep on horrors like medical racism and misogynistic violence. The freaky pièce de résistance of the season was its exquisite final shot, which left Kristen staring down the likelihood that [SPOILER ALERT] she's possessed. Bring it on, Evil. Kelly Connolly

3. Succession (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
The success of Succession is heartening for people who still believe in 2000s-style great TV. When it came onto the scene in 2018, the HBO drama bucked all the current conventions for how to have a hit show: It had no A-list movie stars or green screen digital effects; it wasn't an adaptation, reboot, or revival of something that was already successful; it had no virtuous characters that the show instructed viewers to root for; and it wasn't on Netflix. But the series became a good old-fashioned word-of-mouth hit, and by the end of Season 2, it felt like everyone was watching Succession, even people who otherwise don't watch shows about characters who regularly wear business suits.  

Succession became a hit because people were craving something like it — a Game of Thrones set in the real world, where the ruling families are corrupted by their wealth and power. The stakes of Succession are life and death, because for these characters, money is life. The show's success proves that people still appreciate great acting, great writing, and attention to detail even in scenes where a paper coffee cup wouldn't be out of place. Liam Mathews

2. I May Destroy You (HBO) 

How to watch: HBO, HBO Max, Amazon (with HBO add-on), Hulu (with HBO add-on)
I May Destroy You is a moodily brilliant masterpiece that examines what happens after young Londoner Arabella, played by series' creator Michaela Coel, realizes she's been drugged and raped while out drinking. As she works to piece together what happened to her, the series shifts perspective, digging into her backstory, chronicling her descent as she struggles to cope after the assault, and showing her healing in a way that's nothing short of spellbinding. The show explores consent and trauma in an unorthodox, provocative way that's raw and gutting one minute, and playful and funny the next.

The series takes an unflinching look at other experiences of sexual violence through Arabella's friends Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu). In addition to being protectors, foils, and pieces in a larger puzzle about Arabella's horrible night, their romantic lives are also muddied by questions of consent and their own experiences with sexual assault. While a lot of what the series has to say is as clear as glass, its meditations on issues that defy a moral binary — the way people objectify others' bodies for their own desires and the subjectivity of truth — are intentionally messier, and the show is all the more compelling for it. I May Destroy You is as cerebral as it is grounded, constructing an enigmatic hall of mirrors along Arabella's journey. Plenty of shows in the Peak TV era work as well-told stories about challenging characters, but few stand out as works of art like this one. Malcolm Venable

1. Better Call Saul (AMC) 

How to watch: Netflix

Better Call Saul for 100 Best Shows

Long the target of doubters who wondered why we needed a Breaking Bad spin-off, and considered by some to be just the little brother of one of TV's greatest shows of all time, Better Call Saul shook off the haters this year to deliver its best season yet, finally giving longtime Saul fans the ammo they needed to declare it's better than Breaking Bad. The two shows are more similar than people care to admit: The triple-threat combo of impeccable writing, an outstanding ensemble cast, and dazzling direction and cinematography is the best on television since, well, Breaking Bad.

Yet Better Call Saul continues to be its own show, even with the same DNA as its older, more popular brother. Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) still drives the story as a con man slipping into a career in law and becoming the ambulance-chasing criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, but Kim Wexler (the glorious Rhea Seehorn) is grabbing at the wheel and, as television's most intriguing character, threatening to change the show to Better Call Kim. Her arc from buttoned-up corporate lawyer to whatever it is she's becoming this season unearthed what had been in the works beneath the surface all along; while we were all focused on Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman, it was Kim's change that snuck up behind us and slapped us in the face in Season 5. In keeping with Jimmy's habits, it was the ultimate sleight of hand by Breaking Bad vets Peter Gould, Thomas Schnauz, and Vince Gilligan. Turns out playfully firing off some finger guns can be just as shocking as real guns, if done right.

There's no denying that getting closer to the Breaking Bad timeline is also helping Better Call Saul. The two shows have never been closer than they were in Saul's penultimate season (Season 6 will be its last); the inherent danger of the criminal underworld and Jimmy's messy personal life intertwined in deadly ways as Jimmy began to slip into Saul's technicolor suits permanently and became the lapdog of powerful cartel bosses. Because this is a prequel, we know that Jimmy, Mike (Jonathan Banks), and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) make it out of this alive. But it's the many unknowns — Kim, Nacho (Michael Mando), Lalo (Tony Dalton) — that drive our compulsion to watch. Better Call Saul, which emphasizes the journey over the destination more than Breaking Bad did, has always been the model of how to make a prequel series. Longtime fans already knew this. But after the perfection that was Season 5, everyone else knows it as well. –Tim Surette

More on Better Call Saul in our interview with the cast and co-creators...

Edited by Sadie Gennis, Noelene Clark, Kelly Connolly, and Kaitlin Thomas

Video produced by Semhar Debessai, Sadie Gennis, Aaron Segura, Aliza Sessler, Tony Maccio, and Ndumiso Mafu

Video interviews by Kelly Connolly, Megan Vick, Sadie Gennis, Amanda Bell, Keisha Hatchett, Krutika Mallikarjuna, and Lindsay MacDonald

Creative by Anthony Roman 

Photo editing by Jessie Cowan