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.

81. Billions

7.9

Country

United States of America

Actors

Asia Kate Dillon, Clancy Brown, Condola Rashad, Corey Stoll

Moods

Dramatic

Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis (Homeland) star opposite each other as a prosecutor and a billionaire suspect in this well-crafted drama. Axe is a venture-capitalist who lost his business partners in 9/11 and who is widely appreciated in the public eye for his charity work. He comes under scrutiny from a ruthless and unusual public prosecutor (Giamatti) after allegations of insider-trading. The two alpha-male types go head-to-head which makes for an immensely watchable fight.

82. How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)

7.9

Country

Germany

Actors

Bjarne Madel, Damian Hardung, Danilo Kamber, Danilo Kamperidis

Moods

Binge-Worthy, True-story-based

This is Breaking Bad meets The Social Network. Based on a true story that took place in Leipzig, Germany in 2015, this show is about Moritz, a high-schooler who starts Europe’s biggest drug market online. He initially does this to impress his ex-girlfriend, who had just come back from the States with new drug experiences.

The transformation of a nerd into a drug kingpin is fascinating. But because it is based on a true story, there is an important nuance to that transformation. Moritz is rarely portrayed as a hero, and his creepy side is always present. This makes for an interesting and exciting plot-heavy show.  

83. Kim’s Convenience

7.9

Country

Canada

Actors

Andrea Bang, Andrew Phung, Jean Yoon, Nicole Power

Moods

Easy, Funny

This is an easy and funny Canadian TV show about a Korean store owner in Toronto.

He completely lacks awareness of modern gender, sexual orientation, and race issues – yet his good nature redeems him. In the first episode he is confronted for saying something homophobic, but replies by pretending he has an ongoing 15% “gay discount” (except he decides who’s gay or not by looking at them).

There are many other interesting themes, such as his daughter being pressured to find a “cool Christian Korean boyfriend” and her insisting that those words don’t go together.

Kim’s Convenience is about the Korean-Canadian experience, but it also feels geared towards a Korean-Canadian audience. It’s authentic, refreshing, and most importantly, funny.

84. Informer

7.9

Actors

Bel Powley, Nabhaan Rizwan, Paddy Considine

Moods

Mini-series

This visually stunning thriller is about a young man called Raza who is hired by a counter-terrorism officer as his informer. If you liked Netflix’s Bodyguard, you will love this, which in my opinion is has much more substance.

Originally a photographer with no link to the world of crime or terrorism, the color of Raza’s skin and his accent make the authorities believe he would be a valuable asset. And quickly, he falls into a web of crime, giving this show the appeal of the fantastic HBO series The Night Of.

85. Beforeigners

7.9

Country

Norway

Actors

Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Krista Kosonen, Nicolai Cleve Broch

Moods

Binge-Worthy

The first Norwegian series made by HBO is a crazy and fun detective thriller. People from three different centuries start washing up at our time in the Oslo bay: from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, and the 19th century. Before you know it, downtown Oslo is full of people drying up hunted animals and camping in the gardens of official buildings. And seven years later, one woman, from the Viking Age, becomes the first modern-day “multi-temporal” cop. Together with a modern-day detective, they try to solve new crimes which involve people from different time periods.

If all of this sounds silly, don’t worry: Beforeigners pulls it all off. All the multi-century premise does is bring originality to the otherwise over-exploited buddy-cop show genre. It hits the perfect balance between familiar and different.

86. Mozart in the Jungle

7.8

Actors

Bernadette Peters, Gael García Bernal, Malcolm McDowell

Hailey (Lola Kirke) is a struggling musician that has dedicated her life to the oboe. As the New York Symphony Orchestra reluctantly welcomes its new conductor, the controversial Rodrigo de Souza (Gael García Bernal), Hailey gives her all and tries to join the orchestra. But getting to play with some of the world’s best musicians isn’t only a difficult goal to attain, it is also a life-consuming struggle. Inspired by the accounts of oboist Blair Tindall in her book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music, the show follows the orchestra through its ups and downs , portraying the current state of classical music with all its power struggles, insane competitiveness , and reluctance to change. While Mozart in the Jungle has a strong cast (Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters), Gael García Bernal steals the show with a golden globe-winning performance that perfectly fits the charming, lighthearted nature of the series.

87. Marco Polo

7.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Amr Waked, Benedict Wong, Chin Han, Claudia Kim

Moods

Gripping

This colossal-budget show ($90 million for the first season alone) never caught a break. Somehow it didn’t make it to the big audience it deserved. It tells the grand story of Marco Polo the explorer, and the years he spent with the Mongols, going back forth in their ranks between prisoner and leader. It was during this crucial time for the empire that Kublai Khan had extended the reach of his empire even further than his more famous grandfather Genghis Khan. As you’d expect with a show featuring this many characters and such a new world, the first season is not as entertaining as could be, but the show becomes its full-self as a true epic in season 2.

88. The Get Down

7.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Eric Bogosian, Giancarlo Esposito, Herizen F. Guardiola, Herizen Guardiola

Watch out for Ezekiel in this show, he will steal your heart. And also please sit through the first episode. Yes, it’s long, but if you get The Get Down, it is one of the best shows on Netflix. Created by Baz Luhrmann and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, it narrates the rise of hip-hop in a broken 1970’s New York. The impressive credentials don’t stop there, as the series is narrated by Nas, features work by four-time Academy Award winner Catherine Martin as well as hip-hop historian Nelson George. It is perhaps for this reason that the word “narration” takes its full meaning here. Every episode, every scene, every character are made with extreme care, resulting in sometimes longer than necessary sequences. A sacrifice that will make some viewers very happy, but which many might have a hard time adjusting to.

89. Wentworth

7.8

Country

Australia

Actors

Aaron Jeffery, Bernard Curry, Celia Ireland, Danielle Cormack

Moods

Thrilling

Dark and almost too realistic, Wentworth is the women’s prison drama that I’ve been waiting for.

This Australian show might have the same set-up as Orange is the New Black — following a recently incarcerated woman as she discovers a new world — but the two series couldn’t be more different. Wentworth is more Breaking Bad than Orange is the New Black.

The difference: It doesn’t follow people who are wronged by the system or who are misunderstood, but women that have actually done violent things, and continue being violent in prison.

It appeals to everyone’s dark side: It seems impossible for any character to achieve redemption. The show’s biggest selling-point is that it never goes the violence for the sake of violence route. Its immaculate character development guarantees reason and authenticity behind every act.

This a true hidden gem.

90. Seven Seconds

7.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Beau Knapp, Clare-Hope Ashitey, David Lyons, Michael Mosley

Moods

Dramatic, Thought-provoking, Thrilling

The first episode is directed by the maker of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor, and shares its emotional, yet suspenseful and action-packed flow.

A white police officer and his squad are involved in an attempt to cover up the hit-and-run murder of a black teenager. You’ll see the officers weigh guilt and remorse against their fears of exposure and a backlash. You’ll also meet the teenager’s heartbroken family and a disorganized prosecutor.

Its tales of race and institutional bias are compelling, but its greatest strength is the script. Add strong acting, especially by Regina King and Russell Hornsby, and you get one of the best police dramas Netflix has ever had.

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