My Favorite TV Dramas ("Serious" TV) of All Time

Oh boy. This is gonna be a tough one because I'll attempt to combine every genre of TV that is not comedy (I have a separate post for the funnies) and I can already feel anxiety building up because television is so fucking good. We are in the Golden Age of Television, my friends. Its weened me off the movies almost completely because why waste time. With that said, TV has evolved so much into an insanely raw, boundary pushing, human nature exploring medium and to list only 10 of my favorites, would not be doing any service to anyone. But I also don't want this post to be 17 days long so here are my top 10 (with honorable mentions)

Disclaimer: this is MY personal list. There are better shows, there are worse shows but this is my list and these are the shows I have watched multiple times over the past decade or so.

10. Lost
Lost was an enthralling experience to watch. To this date, I remember the chair I sat in, box of tissues and remote in my hand when the final episode aired. I remember how I felt. Still. Enthralling, but also the most frustrating. Why? Its a show that in my humble opinion, the writers simply didn't know how to end and made up things as it went on, creating one massive, convulsed mess. But why is it still your top 10 Jovana? Because Lost, when it was good, it was REALLY fucking good. It was all a dogs dream. Or was it?


9. Sherlock (BBC)

Contemporary spin on the worlds most famous detective? Nothing unique there. But when you have Benedict Cumberbatch's commanding screen presence as the titular character featuring fast paced, intelligent, witty, unpredictable writing? Sign me up. I'll tell you this tho: if you suffer any ADHD or have short span, not a fan of details....might wanna skip this one. It demands your full, uninterrupted attention & focus. Its TV's definition of fictional superiority and intellectual elitism.


8. Orange is the New Black
Netflix series set in low security prison for women? Sure I guess. An ensemble featuring women of every shape, size, color, sexual orientation, trans, disabled - the look back into their histories, why they committed their crimes, how they function, think, believe, feel, eat, fuck, exist...NO show like it out there. If you want a program that features flawed, raw, REAL women in the system, void of stereotypes and male gaze - watch OITNB. I usually finish an entire season in two sittings because that darn sleep overwhelms me.

7. Dexter
Do not come at me for this one. In my mind, Dexter only exists in Seasons 1-4. Ignore any conversation mentioning that lumberjack shit and focus on the good, which is seasons 1-4. Who is Dexter? Dexter is a serial killer who kills...other serial killers. Its fucking graphic as hell & dark and you get to be in Dexter's mind as he chooses the victims, the methods, recalls his history, the birth of his internal Dark Passenger, battles many foes, including "the good guys." But who is good? Who's bad? Who is evil? The lines are constantly crossed. How did it become bad after the Trinity Killer? Nor worthy of discussion. Also, speaking of the Trinity Killer...my God and I'll just leave it at that. Rent the first four seasons and be done with it. You'll thank me later.

6. Luther
Relatively unknown BBC drama that I have rewatched probably ten times now. What can I say, I'm a sucker for psychologically damaged anti-heroes who use their own personal darkness to solve crimes and problems. John Luther is a troubled, violent man...a cop who a moral duty, failed marriage and an uncomfortable friendship with a very special woman solving cases in each of the limited episodes of this show.

5. Jessica Jones
Luke Cage, Matt Murdoch (Daredevil), Frank Castle (The Punisher)...Jessica Jones. Netflix does Marvel good. You can't go wrong on any of these (except Iron Fist, insert vomit emoji.)I could probably place all of these on my 5th spot, but if I could rewatch one over and over again...its gonna be my favorite angry, potty mouth, alcoholic, "piece of shit", super human Jessica Jones. Yes I know, there are only 2 seasons and it could potentially become shit like Dexter but that first season has such tight and focused plot, Krysten Ritter is brilliant as Jessica, a villain I've never experienced before and loads of trope bashing characterizations - Jessica is my kind of super "hero."

4. The Wire
Believe when people tell you its the best show ever made. If someone makes a big deal and loses their fucking mind that you still haven't seen it....there is a reason for it. The Wire is complex, uncomfortable portrayal of urban America told from different perspectives through slow paced character study that never feels cheap or dramatic for the sake of being a television show. Like Sherlock above, it does require level of intelligence and singular focus because the beauty, as always, is in the details.

3. Breaking Bad
Cancer struck beta male high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer, with a pregnant wife and disabled son at home? What a dying man to do? Well...partner up with a local petty criminal, cook meth and sell it. Use the funds for the family after your pass away....or become the most notorious Drug lord of all time? At this point, I feel jealous of anyone who hasn't seen it yet. You get to experience Breaking Bad anew. Lucky bastards.

2. The Sopranos
Intelligent, brutal, dark, funny, complex..
Rich & layered storytelling and it marks the beginning of Golden Age of Television and none of the shows above would be possible without the legacy The Sopranos have left. It was important when it aired. Its important today and in a hundred fucking years, we will STILL be watching Tony maneuver both of his Families.

1. Game of Thrones
Is Game of Thrones better than The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos in terms of complex storylines, writing and characters? No its not. (Also, wildly different genres so its unfair to even compare) Is Game of Thrones the most exciting, exhilarating, blood rushing, heart breaking, mind blowing, table flipping, hair pulling TV watching experience ever? Oh you better fucking believe it. Dracarys.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Big Little Lies
  • Doctor Who
  • Stranger Things
  • Westworld
  • The Walking Dead
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • House of Cards
  • True Detective
  • Downton Abbey