100 Best Shows from the Last Five Years

100 Best Shows from the Last Five Years

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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.

50. Man Like Mobeen

8.2

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Dúaa Karim, Guz Khan, Tez Ilyas, Tolu Ogunmefun

Moods

Funny

At first glance, those who enjoyed Hulu’s Ramy might be tempted to view this as the UK version of it. However, Man like Mobeen is a bit more street than Ramy and a lot more British. It’s also not so much about being a good Muslim. Mobeen (Guz Khan), Eight (Tez Ilyas), and Nate (Tolu Ogunmefun) are three mates from Birmingham. Two of them happen to be Muslim but it’s not a big deal. Except it is because of the way Western society sees them. Mobeen, the head of the group, takes care of his sister, Aks (Dúaa Karim), in the absence of his parents, trying to be a good guy, while also trying to escape his past as a drug dealer. In the first episode, a transaction to buy a laptop results in three SWAT teams closing in on them for no reason. (When Nate runs off, the police officer asks the others why he ran, and Mobeen says: “If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because he’s black.”) Much of Man like Mobeen is laugh-out-loud comedy, but there’s a healthy dose of wokeness to be found here, too. Teenage knife crime (in the second season), the rise of right-wing sentiment, and the police’s history of violence towards immigrants are effortlessly woven into gags. Very funny!

49. The Boys

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Antony Starr, Aya Cash, Colby Minifie, Dominique McElligott

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy

From the producers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, stoner filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, comes a deft deconstruction of the ubiquitous superhero genre on Amazon Prime. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it is set in a world where god-like superheroes, or Supes, are recognized as heroes but are increasingly self-absorbed, arrogant, and corrupt underneath their flying capes. The best of them are called The Seven, aggressively marketed and monetized by the Vought Corporation, complete with Instagram likes, energy drink advertisements, and TV appearances. It all starts to slowly deteriorate when the girlfriend of Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) gets obliterated by A-Train (Jessie Usher), a super-fast hero modelled on Flash, galvanizing The Boys, a crazy normal-human vigilante group led by Butcher (Karl Urban, pictured above), who are sick and tired of the Supes and their corruption. This show packs a multitude of wacky characters, including Frenchie, our favorite, a hilarious and romantic French bomb expert. Don’t forget to fasten your seatbelts because this is a fast-paced, mean-spirited bloodbath that is as wild as it is entertaining.

48. Rilakkuma and Kaoru

8.2

Country

Japan, United States of America

Actors

Abby Trott, Ayano Kinashi, Barbara Goodson, Hitoshi Honma

Moods

Easy, Slice-of-Life

Meet Rilakkuma, a relaxed teddy bear (which is indeed what his name translates to in Japanese), and Kaoru, a Japanese office worker in her mid-thirties, who lives with said bear as well as a smaller white bear named Korilakkuma and a yellow chick by the name of Kiiroitori. As whimsical as all this may sound, the show offers up endearing and humane life lessons to go with all the heart-warming cuteness as Kaoru navigates being single, her apartment building being demolished, and her job stressing her out. It combines charming stop-motion characters with great writing, adorable animation, and a beautifully quiet tone. You might be surprised at the profundity of a show that, at the surface, is about a Japanese girl with cuddly toy roommates. It’s hard to compare it to anything else!

47. Formula 1: Drive to Survive

8.2

Country

UK, United States of America

Actors

Charles Leclerc

Moods

Docu-series, Gripping, Mini-series

There are only 20 seats in Formula 1 each year, meaning that drivers are not only racing to win but to be kept on the roster. With the big stars, Ferrari and Mercedes, habitually shrouded in secrecy, Formula 1: Drive to Survive focuses more on the back of the grid. Lewis Hamilton, the five-time world champion, is rarely seen, for example, giving more room for other stories to unfold, including that of Günther Steiner, the Italian team principal of the Haas Formula One Team. That is not to say there are no big reveals. Even if you think Formula 1 is a decadent, testosterone-driven sports for rich Europeans, Drive to Survive might be welcome crash course into what makes this sport so appealing for many and might also have the potential to change your mind. If not, it is still a very well-made, slick, and engaging docuseries that will have enthusiasts and newcomers thoroughly entertained.

46. 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.

45. 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.

44. 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.”

43. 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.

42. 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.

41. 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.

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

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