Television in the 2010s witnessed a remarkable evolution, with shows that not only entertained but also left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape. From groundbreaking narratives to innovative storytelling techniques, the decade was a treasure trove for TV enthusiasts. Let's dive into the 10 greatest TV shows of the 2010s that captivated audiences worldwide.
The 2010s marked a golden era for television, with a surge in quality storytelling that rivaled even the big screen. As streaming platforms emerged and traditional networks upped their game, viewers were treated to a smorgasbord of captivating shows. These TV series didn't just entertain; they became cultural phenomena, shaping discussions and leaving a lasting impact on the way stories are told.
Breaking Bad: A Game-Changer in TV Storytelling
Breaking Bad, the brainchild of Vince Gilligan, stands as a testament to the transformative power of television. The show's protagonist, Walter White, undergoes a remarkable character arc, transitioning from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a feared drug lord. The intricate plot and unforeseen twists set new standards for TV storytelling, leaving an enduring legacy.
Game of Thrones: A Cultural Phenomenon
In the realm of fantasy, no show has had a global impact quite like Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, the show captivated audiences with its intricate plots, complex characters, and unexpected deaths. As dragons soared and battles raged, Game of Thrones became a cultural touchstone, influencing storytelling in various genres.
Stranger Things: Nostalgia Meets the Supernatural
Stranger Things masterfully blends '80s nostalgia with supernatural elements, creating a show that appeals to both millennials and older generations. The camaraderie among the kids, coupled with the mystery of the Upside Down, struck a chord with viewers. The Duffer Brothers crafted a series that celebrates childhood friendships while exploring the unknown.
The Crown: Royalty on the Small Screen
The Crown transcends the typical biopic by portraying the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with cinematic grandeur. The meticulous attention to historical accuracy, coupled with stellar performances, makes the show a regal spectacle. As we journey through the monarch's life, The Crown becomes a compelling exploration of power, duty, and the human side of royalty.
Black Mirror: A Reflection of Society and Technology
In the realm of speculative fiction, Black Mirror stands out as a thought-provoking exploration of the dark side of technology. Each episode serves as a cautionary tale, challenging our relationship with the digital world. As we confront the consequences of our technological advancements, Black Mirror sparks essential conversations about society's trajectory.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Breaking Gender Norms
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes center stage with its vibrant portrayal of a 1950s housewife turned stand-up comedian. Miriam “Midge” Maisel challenges gender norms in a male-dominated industry, delivering laughs and poignant moments. The show's witty dialogue and Rachel Brosnahan's charismatic performance make it a standout in the world of comedy.
Westworld: Blurring the Lines Between Reality and Fantasy
Westworld invites viewers into a futuristic theme park where artificial intelligence and human desires collide. The show's intricate narrative explores consciousness, free will, and the consequences of playing god. As the lines between reality and fantasy blur, Westworld becomes a philosophical journey that keeps audiences questioning the nature of their own existence.
Fleabag: A Raw and Relatable Comedy
Fleabag disrupts the conventional comedy formula with its raw and relatable narrative. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's portrayal of the titular character is a revelation, as the show delves into themes of grief, love, and self-discovery. Fleabag's unique fourth-wall-breaking style and emotional depth make it a standout in the comedy genre.
The Mandalorian: Redefining Star Wars on the Small Screen
In a galaxy far, far away, The Mandalorian emerged as a beacon of hope for Star Wars fans. The show's commitment to practical effects, compelling storytelling, and the enigmatic Baby Yoda captured the hearts of audiences. The Mandalorian not only expands the Star Wars universe but also redefines the potential of small-screen storytelling in the vast Star Wars galaxy.
Narcos: A Glimpse Into the World of Crime
Narcos takes viewers on a gripping journey into the world of drug cartels and law enforcement. Based on real-life events, the show provides a gritty portrayal of the cat-and-mouse game between drug lords and DEA agents. With its intense storytelling and complex characters, Narcos became a benchmark for crime dramas in the 2010s.
The Handmaid's Tale: A Dystopian Masterpiece
The Handmaid's Tale paints a haunting picture of a dystopian society where women's rights are stripped away. The show's relevance to contemporary social and political issues, coupled with Elisabeth Moss's compelling performance, makes it a dystopian masterpiece. As we witness the resilience of the oppressed, The Handmaid's Tale becomes a powerful commentary on the fragility of freedom.
Silicon Valley: A Satirical Take on the Tech Industry
Silicon Valley injects humor into the cutthroat world of technology startups. The show's satirical take on the tech industry, eccentric characters, and witty writing create a comedic gem. As we follow the misadventures of a group of programmers, Silicon Valley becomes a hilarious yet insightful commentary on the absurdities of Silicon Valley culture.
Succession: Power, Wealth, and Family Drama
Succession unravels the power struggles within the wealthy Roy family, offering a glimpse into the world of corporate dynasties. The show's character-driven narrative, sharp dialogue, and intricate plot twists elevate it to a gripping exploration of power, wealth, and family dynamics. Succession's ability to humanize its flawed characters adds depth to this enthralling drama.
The 2010s were undeniably a golden age for television, and these 10 shows played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape. From the epic fantasy of Game of Thrones to the raw emotion of Fleabag, each series brought something unique to the table. As we bid farewell to a transformative decade, the influence of these TV shows continues to resonate, reminding us of the power of storytelling on the small screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
The selection was based on a combination of critical acclaim, audience popularity, cultural impact, and innovative storytelling.
No, the list is not ranked. Each show holds a unique place in the television landscape of the 2010s.
Several outstanding shows narrowly missed the list, as the 2010s were a decade rich with exceptional television content.
Each show brought something groundbreaking, whether through narrative complexity, genre-bending, or cultural reflection, pushing the boundaries of what television could achieve.