100 Best Shows from the Last Five Years

100 Best Shows from the Last Five Years

June 11, 2024

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In the ever-evolving landscape of television, these ten extraordinary shows have stood out as shining beacons of excellence from the past five years. From gripping dramas to innovative comedies and groundbreaking narratives, these series have pushed boundaries, captivated audiences, and left an indelible mark on the medium. With compelling storytelling, stellar performances, and bold creativity, these shows represent the pinnacle of recent television achievements. So, whether you’re looking to catch up on recent must-see series or seeking new binge-worthy obsessions, join us as we celebrate the best shows that have shaped the last five years and elevated the art of television to new heights.

41. Losers

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Mauro Prosperi, Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly

Moods

Docu-series, Instructive, Thought-provoking

While this perspective on competitive sports is obviously unconventional, it makes perfect sense. Winners are boring. If you win, you win. The losers, however, have defeat to deal with. As the proverb goes, you learn little from victory, but a great deal from defeat. Director and creator of the show’s amazing animation, Mickey Duzyj, was inspired by a personal experience during a tennis tournament as a teenager. Each episode of this 2019 Netflix show tells a different story from a different sport. For starters, episode one looks at Michael Bentt, a world champion boxer who was forced into the sport by his abusive father. So, things do get dark, as could be expected, the storytelling is complex, but the message of Losers is as simple as it is wholesome. Like the characters and life stories it portrays, this show will pick you up when you are down!

42. Euphoria

best

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Alexa Demie, Algee Smith, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane

Moods

Binge-Worthy

While this show is quite explicitly about problems faced by teenagers, it is hard to imagine a teenager watching it. While it has the coolness credentials from the A24 studio behind it as well as Drake as executive producer, it deals with some hard-hitting stuff: pornography, addiction, sexual assault, body shaming, and self-harm. To name just a few. It is visually stunning and stylish, but you certainly cannot accuse the show of sugar-coating or glossing things over. And while it’s definitely consciously going for edgy, it also offers great acting from an up-and-coming cast, including a female lead played by Zendaya, a substantial script, and a sleek, diverse soundtrack. Euphoria is graphic, well-made, and in-your-face drama.

43. The End of the F***ing World

8.3

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Alex Lawther, Christine Bottomley, Eileen Davies, Gemma Whelan

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dramatic, Emotional

An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller. It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa.  He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home. Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study.  This is when the show will blow your mind.  It’s a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.

 

44. Sneaky Pete

best

8.3

Actors

Efrat Dor, Giovanni Ribisi, Libe Barer, Margo Martindale

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Gripping, Thrilling

Sneaky Pete is probably the Amazon Prime Original that suffers the most from the platform’s awkward branding. Had it been on Netflix, your co-workers wouldn’t stop talking about it. Four years after the finale of the mighty Breaking Bad aired, Bryan Cranston is back with some thrilling, far-fetched, but furiously entertaining TV. A con man just released from prison, Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) seeks to reconnect with his brother Eddie (Michael Drayer), who tells him that gangster Vince Lonigan (Cranston) wants payment for the $100,000 Marius owes him. Being a con man, Marius does what he does best, assuming his cellmate Pete Murphy’s identity and duping his family. This is where things get roaringly fun and a little absurd, while gangsters, the police, his brother, and Pete’s family do everything they can to make his life difficult. Suspend your disbelief, though, and you will be thoroughly entertained.

45. Flowers

best

8.3

Country

Australia, United Kingdom

Actors

Adam Hedditch, Angus Wright, Anna Chancellor, Caroline McQuade

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dark, Funny

It starts off with a man failing at hanging himself from a fruit tree in a bleak-looking garden. Something this grotesque isn’t usually the stuff of sitcoms. This is unsurprising because Will Sharpe’s Flowers, produced for the British Channel 4, is not your usual sitcom. With a unique visual style, an extraordinary cast, and a dark, satirical script, it carves out a genre of its own. The always amazing Olivia Colman plays Deborah Flowers, the eccentric family’s matriarch, and a music teacher. The man trying to hang himself is her depressed and unfaithful husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), who is a children’s book author. They live in a ramshackle house with a Japanese butler, who barely speaks English, and their dysfunctional adult twins. Amidst all this glorious mess, Flowers is ultimately about mental illness and depression and is apt in pairing this disturbing reality with hilarity. Obviously, it is very dark. A bit too dark for comedy, and too mad for drama: truly original stuff.

46. Maron

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Andy Kindler, Josh Brener, Judd Hirsch, Marc Maron

Moods

Funny, No-brainer, Slice-of-Life

Maron, the character, and in many ways, a past version of himself, is a recovering alcoholic who abuses coffee in the constant state of chase after a buzz. He is divorced, bitter, yet weirdly kind – and always trying to be a better version of himself and failing. He does so in a type of Curb-your-Enthusiasm-style. Based on his trademark monologues, the series is about his attempt at human relationships, both romantic and other, after a bad history that spans from a negligent, self-centered mother to bad eating habits and self-shame. Saying Maron features a slew of guest stars may almost be an understatement. In addition to some consummate actors like Ron Perlman or Elliot Gould, Maron’s list of guests is like a who’s who of contemporary American comedy: Pete Holmes, Johnny Knoxville, Bill Burr, David Cross, Whitney Cummings, Adam Scott, Sarah Silverman Joey Diaz, Conan O’Brien, Anthony Jeselnik. Note that this is only a fraction of the full list. For anyone who enjoys Marc Maron’s comedy, this is a special treat. Casual viewers will also enjoy the sophisticated humor, sharp script, and Maron’s cranky delivery.

47. Flint Town

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

James Tolbert, Karen Weaver, Wayne Suttles

Moods

Docu-series, Mini-series, Thrilling

Since the 1960s, Flint, Michigan, has experienced a series of shocks. When General Motors downsized their workforce by several 10.000, the town’s population nearly halved. Unsurprisingly, it later became known for being one of the most dangerous cities in the US and for off-the-charts crime statistics. Since 2014, Flint again rose to tragic fame for a public health emergency due to contamination of its local water supply. Flint Town homes in on this perpetual state of crisis through the eyes of the local police department, who had to grapple with this dire scenario, while losing more funding year over year due to the city’s deteriorating financial situation. The few officers that are left for policing are at breaking point. The result is a gripping and rich docuseries with a host of strong characters. But it is also a brutal and sobering account of the extent to which an American city is being allowed to fail.

48. The Staircase

8.2

Country

France

Actors

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Moods

Gripping, Mini-series, True-crime

The latest addition to the murder mini-series genre is the incredible thriller “The Staircase.” It originally aired in 2004, but the producers took the same director and allowed him to add new episodes in 2018 to complete the story. 

The plot: A famous American novelist’s wife is found dead, and he is accused of killing her. His life comes under scrutiny as everyone asks whether she died in an accident or was murdered. If you liked their other hit, “Making a Murderer,” you will love this. You should also definitely check out “The Keepers” or Netflix’s binge-worthy crime documentary, “Evil Genius.”

49. Penny Dreadful

best

8.2

Country

Ireland, UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Billie Piper, Brian Cox, Christian Camargo, Danny Sapani

Moods

Thrilling

Here’s something for all the goth lovers out there. With a title alluding to the cheap sensational fiction that was circulated in mid-Victorian Britain, this show is all about monsters, demons, and some of literature’s most iconic creatures haunting Victorian London, including Dorian Gray, Count Dracula, and Dr. Frankenstein. It utilizes all these characters to tell a captivating, macabre, and bloody story. Season 1 revolves around a series of gruesome deaths being investigated by the police, while Sir Malcolm Murray (played by one-time James Bond Timothy Dalton), a renowned explorer, and medium Vanessa Ives (played by the amazing Eva Green, who, incidentally, is an ex-Bond girl) know that there is much more at play here. Season 1 is entertaining, but Season 2 is even better, making the most of all the gothic, literary characters and, above all, the multitude of great actors playing them.

50. Goliath

best

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Amy Brenneman, Ana de la Reguera, Billy Bob Thornton, Brandon Scott

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Thrilling, True-crime

Produced by David E. Kelley, one of the most prolific TV writer-producers and the mastermind behind Boston Legal, Picket Fences, and, more recently, the amazing HBO show Big Little Lies, Goliath follows Billy McBride, a formerly brilliant but washed-up lawyer, who becomes an alcoholic after having acquitted somebody who went on to kill an entire family. McBride is played by Billy Bob Thornton in one of the best performances of his career. (A big claim with a career like that.) A big case randomly comes his way that allows him to go against the big law firm he once co-founded – David against Goliath. With a sex worker as his paralegal (Brittany Gold played by Tania Raymonde), he embarks on a journey to find justice for the victims and redemption for himself. The colorful supporting cast is as good as the main actors, playing an array of unconventional characters and some badass women, including Molly Parker from House of Cards. Goliath is the perfect binge.

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