30 Shows to Watch Before You Die

by Pacey7 | created - 15 Oct 2012 | updated - 21 Oct 2012 | Public

The ultimate list of must-see shows.

Compiled by the staff at Suggest A Show

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

TV-MA | 49 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

9.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  

A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future.

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt

Votes: 1,042,653

2. The Wire (2002–2008)

TV-MA | 59 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

9.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement.

Stars: Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce

Votes: 217,818

3. Firefly (2002–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

9.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin

Votes: 208,154

4. Rome (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 90 min | Action, Drama, History

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A down-to-earth account of the lives of both illustrious and ordinary Romans set in the last days of the Roman Republic.

Stars: Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Kerry Condon

Votes: 127,925

5. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-PG | 489 min | Comedy

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Votes: 232,834

6. Friday Night Lights (2006–2011)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Sport

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The trials and tribulations of small town Texas football players, their friends, family, and coaching staff.

Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Aimee Teegarden

Votes: 47,106

7. Homeland (2011– )

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A bipolar CIA operative becomes convinced a prisoner of war has been turned by al-Qaeda and is planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil.

Stars: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend

Votes: 257,579

8. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 197,614

9. The Shield (2002–2008)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The lives and cases of a dirty LAPD cop and the police unit under his command.

Stars: Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Michael Jace

Votes: 61,051

10. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones

Votes: 161,226

11. Deadwood (2004–2006)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Votes: 73,945

12. Justified (2010–2015)

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home in the poor, rural coal-mining towns in Eastern Kentucky.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts

Votes: 70,618

13. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Stars: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, John Spencer

Votes: 50,151

14. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama

9.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

New Jersey mob boss, Tony Soprano, deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life, which affects his mental state and ends up seeking professional psychiatric counseling.

Stars: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli

Votes: 219,490

15. Terriers (2010)

TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Ex-cop and recovering alcoholic Hank Dolworth partners with his best friend, former criminal Britt Pollack, in an unlicensed private investigation business.

Stars: Donal Logue, Michael Raymond-James, Laura Allen, Kimberly Quinn

Votes: 9,434

16. Generation Kill (2008)

TV-MA | 70 min | Drama, War

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Rolling Stone reporter, embedded with The 1st Recon Marines chronicles his experiences during the first wave of the American-led assault on Baghdad in 2003.

Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen, Jon Huertas

Votes: 38,849

17. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

9.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 275,284

18. Modern Family (2009– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell

Votes: 280,326

19. Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The absurd antics of an Indiana town's public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place.

Stars: Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt

Votes: 147,740

20. Party Down (2009–2010)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of actors move to LA to make it big, but end up working as caterers.

Stars: Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr

Votes: 24,728

21. Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An Atlantic City politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era.

Stars: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham

Votes: 148,658

22. Veronica Mars (2004–2007)

TV-14 | 44 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

Stars: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Francis Capra

Votes: 58,074

23. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)

TV-14 | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook

Votes: 135,897

24. Sherlock (2010– )

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

9.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Votes: 615,084

25. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 421,682

26. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–2008)

TV-PG | 23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

9.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

Stars: Dee Bradley Baker, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena

Votes: 158,743

27. Summer Heights High (2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The life of a public school epitomized by disobedient student Jonah Takalua, self-absorbed private school exchange student Ja'mie King, and megalomaniac drama teacher Mr. G.

Stars: Chris Lilley, Asolima Tauati, Iro Utaifeau, Zach Fa'atoe

Votes: 12,692

28. Chappelle's Show (2003–2006)

TV-MA | 22 min | Comedy, Music

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Comedian Dave Chappelle hosts this sketch-comedy show that parodies many of the nuances of race and culture.

Stars: Dave Chappelle, Donnell Rawlings, Rudy Rush, Charlie Murphy

Votes: 41,345

29. Downton Abbey (2010–2015)

TV-PG | 58 min | Drama, Romance

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century.

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Brendan Coyle

Votes: 127,857

30. Scrubs (2001–2010)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John "J.D." Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship, and life.

Stars: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley

Votes: 210,409