100 Best TV Shows of 2023 So Far

100 Best TV Shows of 2023 So Far

June 10, 2024

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From the numerous shows released just this year, it can be hard to decide what to watch next. Rib-tickling comedies, mind-bending sci-fi epics, impassioned dramas… With so much variety, there’s surely something for everyone, but sometimes, all we want to know is what’s best. To help you find the crème de la crème of the small screen, we’ve reviewed and ranked this year’s shows that we think you’ll enjoy.

Whether you’re reading this when published, or reading later on in the year, here are our best TV shows of 2023. If you’re looking for a more updated list, you can also check out our list of the best TV shows of 2024 so far.

71. Search

7.8

Country

Turkey

Actors

Aslı Enver, Begüm Akkaya, Defne Kayalar, Erol Babaoğlu

Moods

Character-driven, Dramatic, Intense

After a healing workshop leads her best friend to sell her belongings and move to a remote island, Nisan becomes suspicious a cult is indoctrinating outcasts. But when she’s diagnosed with cancer and dark memories haunt her dreams, she seeks the island to find hope and happiness. Nisan’s suspicions struggle against her desire to face her past. On the pseudo-utopia island, the idea of safe havens and communities is put to the test forcing Nisan to reckon how isolating living in fear and pain is. With a steady pace, Search stretches the concept of a cult, keeping a refreshingly open mind to all the ways a community with freedom, equality, and care remains unfathomable. 

72. Lies Hidden in My Garden

7.8

Country

South Korea

Actors

Baek Hyun-joo, Cha Mi-kyeong, Cha Sung-je, Choi Jae-rim

Moods

Gripping, Thrilling, Well-acted

A mysterious rotting smell and hard thuds heard from above start the series off on an eerie note. Moon Joo-ran (Kim Tae-hee) is a seemingly perfect housewife, but under the guise of her well-kept home are a secretive husband and a son who possibly resents her (currently unknown) condition. Meanwhile, Chu Sang-eun (Lim Ji-yeon) is trapped in an abusive marriage and dreams of escape. As Joo-ran becomes paranoid about the smell in her backyard and Sang-eun gathers evidence to leave her husband, the two women find a harrowing revelation. Leads Kim and Lim immediately offer memorable, haunting performances, while the setup described above is a captivating start to a psychological thriller that promises a web of secrets and lies.

73. Ōoku: The Inner Chambers

7.8

Country

Japan

Actors

Eriko Matsui, Jun Fukuyama, Kikuko Inoue, Mamoru Miyano

Moods

Dramatic, Easy, Thought-provoking

Set in a fictionalized version of Japan’s Edo period, where a deadly disease affecting only men has led to women taking traditionally-male roles, Ōoku is steeped in social commentary on gender and sexuality. The concept is well-established in its 70+ minute first episode, allowing the story to set a foundation for a fascinating progression in this world. By centering the powerful warlord figure, the Shogun, it illuminates the shadows women occupy to support a country with little to no recognition. With a political throughline and an inherently feminist lens, Ooku: The Inner Chambers offers a beautifully-animated series with few gimmicks and lots of depth.

74. Survival of the Thickest

7.8

Actors

Anissa Felix, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Michelle Buteau, Tasha Smith

Moods

Funny, Grown-up Comedy, Lovely

Michelle Buteau is the hilarious and charismatic lead of this amazingly diverse and body-positive comedy. In her post-breakup glow-up, Buteau’s character Mavis takes no prisoners as she prioritizes herself and her career with the help of her equally funny and wholesomely supportive friends. As with any comedy, there are some cheesy punchlines, but the humor and story still feel authentic (a given since the show is based on Buteau’s collection of essays). Without resorting to self-deprecation or below-the-belt jokes, Survival of the Thickest boasts a refreshingly inclusive, queer, diverse cast that isn’t afraid to take up space. This series is a great comfort watch with fun and laughs guaranteed. 

75. Kohrra

7.8

Country

India

Actors

Barun Sobti, Ekavali Khanna, Harleen Sethi, Manish Chaudhary

Moods

Dramatic, Intense, Suspenseful

Netflix India has been dominating the police procedural and mystery market, and Kohrra, its latest addition, is one of its better entries. Officer Balbir (Suvinder Vicky) is under pressure to resolve the case of a dead Non-Resident Indian and his missing white friend, but the fear of local backlash and global attention raises the stakes as the show weaves internal and external politics in India. Drugs, lies, and old grudges eventually surface, complicating the quiet pursuit of truth with public spectacle. This makes for a thrilling mystery, but Kohrra also excels as a family drama as we watch Balbir mend his relationship with his daughter, while his partner Garundi (Barun Sobti) deals with the pressure to get married. 

76. Mother Undercover

7.8

Country

United States of America

Moods

Touching, True-crime

There’s no room for glamour in this heartwrenching yet inspiring documentary of first-hand accounts from mothers who went above and beyond for their children. These days it is hard to escape fancy editing, theatrical reenactments, and law enforcement’s clinical recounts in true crime productions, but these four stories inject much-needed empathy for victims. In each episode, the mothers’ fight for justice and their children’s safety illuminates the strength of a community, the goodwill of strangers, and the perseverance of all (with or without the help of the law). Straightforward and respectful, these first-hand accounts will appeal to viewers wanting humane narratives and a few happy endings. 

77. Mask Girl

7.8

Country

South Korea

Actors

Ahn Jae-hong, Ko Hyun-jung, Lee Han-byul, Nana

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dark, Intense

Mask Girl is a dark comedic thriller that follows people on the fringes of beauty norms trying to live with their pain and shame. Low self-esteem and a desire for attention are at the center of the drama, making it relatable and easy to empathize with even when everything goes awry. Although Mo-mi, the titular Mask Girl, is at the forefront of the narrative, subsequent episodes switch to new perspectives, allowing us to interact with Mo-mi in different ways. And with each new character’s POV, we witness how other ostracized people find comfort in and hurt each other when there’s no one else to turn to. The first three episodes are intense and surprisingly violent, but ultimately seeing the extremes of the discrimination that beauty standards perpetuate makes the story worthwhile.

78. Star Wars: Visions

7.8

Country

Chile, France, India

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Gripping

More a showcase of various styles of animation than an expansion of Star Wars lore (and all the better for it), Visions finds some of the freshest expression for these tired tropes—rendered in what are easily the best visuals this franchise has ever seen. Across the 18 episodes of its first two seasons, the series communicates the mystical nature of this universe with much more ease than the live-action films do. And even as Visions begins to repeat some of the exact same ideas and story structures in multiple episodes, the repetition also begins to feel like the reinforcement of a universal narrative throughout time and space: there will always be light that will counter the darkness, often coming from the bonds between family and friends.

79. Behind Your Touch

7.8

Country

South Korea

Actors

Han Ji-min, Joo Min-kyung, Jung Yi-rang, Kim Hee-won

Moods

Funny, Quirky, Sweet

When the psychometric powers of the main character are only activated when she touches a butt, you know that Behind Your Touch will be as silly and hilarious as the show’s powers. The K-drama gets into ridiculous moments, oftentimes inspired by other dramas from the action, horror, and romance genres, but done in exaggeration for comedic effect. And the cast really gets into the action, with Han Ji-min and Lee Min-ki’s excellent chemistry and timing able to deliver the jokes written by the team. As the first season will end soon, it’s hard to say if the ending will be as good as its start, but so far, Behind Your Touch takes interesting comedic twists of the K-Drama tropes we all know and love.

80. The Romantics

7.8

Country

India

Actors

Aditya Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Uday Chopra

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Inspiring, Mini-series

Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, in terms of output. After all, the Indian film industry churns out 700-800 films per year. Because of sheer output, there are plenty of excellent hidden gems from the South Asian country, some of which we try to cover here in A Good Movie to Watch. However, for a fairly comprehensive introduction to the industry, the English-language miniseries The Romantics is a great place to start. There’s no better filmmaker to take notes from other than Yash Raj Chopra, whose media conglomerate shifted the industry for the past 50 years, so the show tackles his legacy through archival footage and interviews from India’s current roster of film stars. Footage of his films alone are already a compelling watch, but director Smriti Mundra keeps an excellent balance between these films’ personal impact, as well as the corresponding political and film history in which his works were released to. It’s an excellent introduction to the colorful and rich film history of India.

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