The Greatest TV-series and web-series (according to myself)

by artur-artborg | created - 20 Aug 2011 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

This list is about the TV-series which - in my opinion - are the crem de la crem of TV-series.

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1. Hagane no renkinjutsushi (2009–2010)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Two brothers search for a Philosopher's Stone after an attempt to revive their deceased mother goes awry and leaves them in damaged physical forms.

Stars: Iemasa Kayumi, Kent Williams, Muriel Hofmann, Lili Troncale

Votes: 74,508

There are few narratives out there that are capable of truly reaching me as deeply as Hiromu Arakawa's brilliant "Fullmetal Alchemist", and "Fullmetal Alchemist: Broterhood" is an incredible adaptation of that manga. With all the heartwarming and heartbreaking events you could ever hope for in a series filled with an amazing cast, great animation, action, suspense, humor and drama, this anime series truly deserves recognition for the masterpiece it is.

2. RWBY (2012– )

Not Rated | 13 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Team RWBY trains to fight crime and monsters known as the Grimm. Together they will protect the world of Remnant.

Stars: Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, Barbara Dunkelman, Miles Luna

Votes: 3,805

"This will be the day we've waited for / This will be the day we open up the door / I don't wanna hear your absolution / Hope you're ready for a revolution / Welcome to a world of new solutions / Welcome to a world of bloody revolution..."

I first became acquainted with the RoosterTeeth anime-not-anime when one of my Canadian friends posted the "Red Trailer" on facebook. I assumed it was a trailer for a video-game, but really liked what I saw. I watched the three successive trailers with much delight, but then managed to forget about the series.

Around late 2014/early 2015 I re-discovered the series, and absolutely adored the first volume. There was something about the notion of Red Riding Hood - aided by Goldilocks, Belle and Snow White - decapitating an enormous monster raven by means of a machine-gun-scythe that I found VERY enjoyable.

The second volume continued on the tradition of the first, becoming a highly entertaining and emotionally satisfying webseries masterpiece.

Since then, with Volume 3, Miles Luna, Kerry Shawcross, Gray G. Haddock and the rest of the geniuses over at RoosterTeeth have honoured the memory of the irreplaceable Monty Oum and crafted an unbelievable saga, a truly exceptional experience: well-conceived, well-written, well-directed, well-designed, well-acted, well-composed... I could go on for quite some time.

"RWBY" is, quite simply put, one of the greatest narrative achievments. Ever. Of all time.

FAVOURITE EPISODE: "3.12: End of the Beginning"

3. Red vs. Blue (2003– )
Episode: The Chorus Trilogy (2015)

Not Rated | 173 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

After learning that The Chairman has been behind the war of Chorus the Reds and Blues go to war with him, Felix, and Locus.

Director: Miles Luna | Stars: Dan Avidan, Suzy Berhow, Jen Brown, Burnie Burns

Votes: 349

"Now that we've come so far / how can we ever start again? / Memories would lead us back instead we just pretend..."

"Red vs. Blue" is the best. Not the best series, mind you. Just the best. The best thing ever. Of all time. With a unique mix of hilarious humor, mind-blowing action, drama and more humor, with truly fantastic characters and a good and intriguing story arch... Why the hell wouldn't I love this series? Every aspect of it is charming. Bow-chicka-bow-wow!

NOTE: My rating goes for the entire series of Red vs. Blue, not just the 13th Season. That being said...

FAVOURITE SEASON: 13 (followed by 10, 9, 12, 8, 6, 7, 5, 11, 14, 4, 2, 3, 1. And that's all there are. Fourteen seasons, and that's fine. Nothing bad ever happened after that. EVER!!!)

4. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 311,953

A few crude lines coloured yellow, forming misfits and morons as often as not. A show taking place in Everywhere, USA and inhabited by the most chaotic sitcom familt in history. How possibly could THIS be one of the greatest TV-series ever conceived? Well, beats me. But it is. Through amazing writing, some terrific voice-work and an altogether stellar team, "The Simpsons" most definetely deserve its throne. FAVOURITE SEASON(S): 4-8 FAVOURITE EPISODE(S): "Burns verkaufen der Kraftwerk", "Mr. Plow", "Boy Scoutz 'n the Hood", "Who Shot Mr. Burns (Parts I & II)", "Summer of 4 Ft. 2"... the list goes on...

5. Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)

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

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

Stars: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis

Votes: 134,547

Om / Bhur bhuvah svaha / Tat savitur varenyam / Bhargo devasya dhimahi / Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat...

"Battlestar Galactica" delivers perhaps the greatest science fiction show ever to air on television. With a terrific cast (and some truly amazing characters), great script, ingenious camera-work, good suspense, a great deal of humor and a unique feel, this becomes a series that improves in quality each time you see it.

Plus, the series contains the best ever version of "All Along the Watchtower". Just sayin'.

6. The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama

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

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

Votes: 52,092

I am usually not a big fan of the dramatic genre, even less so when concerning politics, but Aaron Sorkin has created a great series that holds the viewers emotionally interested through all six seasons, and which starrs a cast so good that one can almost start believe that there is hope for American democracy after all.

FAVOURITE EPISODE(S): "S02E10: Noël", "SO2E16: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail", "S02E22: Two Cathedrals", "S04E22: Commencement"

7. Borgen (2010–2013)

TV-14 | 58 min | Drama

A political drama about a prime minister's rise to power, and how power changes a prime minister.

Stars: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Emil Poulsen, Freja Riemann

Votes: 13,832

When the Danish succeed, they truly do succeed!

In this Scandinavian "The West Wing"-esque series terrific acting, writing and directing comes together in perfect harmony creating a truly spectacular series that work on every level.

8. Mad Men (2007–2015)

TV-14 | 47 min | Drama

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: 167,033

Drama is a difficult genre, and is often formed into a dreary one. But Matthew Weiner - alongside great actors Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss and Vincent Kartheiser - manages to create a truly epic show that grasps the 60's terrifically.

9. I, Claudius (1976)

Not Rated | 669 min | Biography, Drama, History

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed

Votes: 13,085

For unknown reasons, this great series seem to often be forgotten. This though a terrific cast and a great script collaborates in creating immortal characters (Caligula and Lydia are ingenious).

10. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)

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

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: 141,788

Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see, One chants out between two worlds... Fire, walk with me!

(NOTE: This TV-series is put on the third place because the episodes made by David Lynch himself - mainly the pilot, episodes 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.7 and the very last episode - are works of art. Simultaneously though, the series itself is uneven, and some episodes - mainly 2.13, 2.14 and 2.15 - sucks)

11. Sherlock (2010– )

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

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: 641,381

It is a very bold idea to transport the mysteries and characters of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic to modern day London, but as it turns out it was a great idea as well. The first episode is a masterstroke, and just about all other episodes are ingeniously conceived. The direction and writing is terrific, and as for the acting... Benedict Cumberbatch. Martin Freeman. Do I need to say anything else? Yes: That ALL actors are frickin' amazing in this series.

12. Forbrydelsen (2007–2012)

TV-MA | 57 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Police detective Sarah Lund investigates difficult cases with personal and political consequences.

Stars: Sofie Gråbøl, Morten Suurballe, Lars Mikkelsen, Bjarne Henriksen

Votes: 20,570

A terrific Danish series that re-imagine the possibilities of the crime drama. In this thrilling show we get to follow the police investigation of a murder (led by Sarah Lund), the victim's family (with father Theis Birk Larsen and mother Pernille Birk Larsen) and the politician Troels Hartmann who also plays an important part in the mysterious death.

A great show with awesome writing, directing and acting.

13. Cracker (1993–1996)

100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald is a criminal psychologist. He is rather anti-social and obnoxious but he has a gift for solving crimes. Thus he is employed as a consultant by the Manchester Police.

Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 4,669

Robbie Coltrane gives the performance of a life-time as the witty wise-crack British shrink who's always two steps ahead of the London Police Department while simultaneously two steps behind his wife. Only Pena... Pan... Panhandle? Whats-her-face (Geraldine Sommerville) appear to be able to soothe him. A terrific, funny and still very dark TV-series

14. Game of Thrones (2011– )

TV-MA | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.

Stars: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey

Votes: 1,320,215

An amazing visualization of one of the greatest novel series available in litterature, "Game of Thrones" is fantastically well-written, directed, acted, composed and realized. At times scenes of the show is better than any scenes available anywhere, be they on a small or big screen. NOTE: This rating only goes for Seasons 1-4. Season 5 and onward are NOT 10/10 material FAVOURITE SEASON(S): 2-4 FAVOURITE EPISODE(S): "And Now His Watch is Ended", "A Man Without Honor", "Blackwater", "The Lion and the Rose", "The Children"

15. Lost (2004–2010)

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

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: 431,096

What Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Jack Bender, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Michael Giacchino and the others did with this series is unique. From the first to the last episode, this series is an enormous masterpiece. FAVOURITE EPISODE(S): "Pilot (Parts I & II)", "A Tale of Two Cities", "The Shape of Things To Come", "The Incident", "The End"

16. Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (2006)

182 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Approaching retirement, Jane Tennison investigates the murder of a missing girl. But the cracks soon begin to show as Jane struggles with an alcohol problem and the death of her father.

Stars: Helen Mirren, Stephen Tompkinson, Laura Greenwood, Eve Best

Votes: 2,241

Helen Mirren gives us a tremendous performance throughout the long-lasting TV-series "Prime Suspect", which deliciously mixes her own emotional problems with the very real, lethal problems of her job as a crime fighter. NOTE: This rating of mine is for the entire "Prime Suspect" series and not just for the final episode (although that one does rock)

17. Skam (2015–2017)

30 min | Drama, Romance

The story of young teenagers and pupils on Hartvig Nissens upper secondary school in Oslo, and their troubles, scandals and everyday life. Each season is told from a different person's point of view.

Stars: Josefine Frida Pettersen, Iman Meskini, Ulrikke Falch, Lisa Teige

Votes: 19,468

If you intend to draw me in with a realistic story about the everyday problems of Norwegian teenagers, then your writing and acting has better be pretty damn good... and I'll be damned if "Skam" isn't just that. Alongside a stellar cast and a group of highly skilled cinematographers, editors and sound designers, Julie Andem has succeeded in crafting a marvelous, entertaining and emotionally investing production. Bravo.

18. The Legacy (2014– )

55 min | Drama

The death of a matriarch brings forgotten secrets out into the open and causes a prolonged battle for the family inheritance.

Stars: Trine Dyrholm, Marie Bach Hansen, Lene Maria Christensen, Carsten Bjørnlund

Votes: 2,334

"Arvingerne" shouldn't be my kind of series. It's a realistic drama about four siblings and their individual struggles coping with the death of their mother and its aftermath. The fact that I adore the series is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the writers, directors, cast and over-all makers of this fine series.

19. Kill La Kill (2013–2014)

TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

A young girl arrives at a school of superhumans to find out the truth behind her father's murder.

Stars: Ami Koshimizu, Aya Suzaki, Toshihiko Seki, Shin'ichirô Miki

Votes: 6,909

"Nonsense is how we roll!"

What an utter delight this show is. A self-conscious anime adventure full of laugh-out-loud comedy, intense action sequences, loveable characters and truly heartfelt moments. I have seldom had as much fun experiencing a series as I've had following this one, and despite critique against it (its use of fan service for one, or the times the animation suggests that the creators of the show didn't have as high a budget as they might have hoped for) I can honestly say that I love "Kill la Kill".

20. Fargo (2014– )

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Votes: 241,497

An inspired and thoroughly original televisual narrative that way exceeds the quality of the Coen Brothers motion picture. A very well-crafted series featuring a terrific script, direction and acting.

21. Stranger Things (2016– )

TV-14 | 51 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends, must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.

Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

Votes: 483,119

Whether you're nostalgic for the 80's or not, "Stranger Things" is guaranteed to hit home with you. It's almost impossible not to binge-watch this horrifying, funny, exhilirating and heart-warming masterpiece.

22. Cowboy Bebop (1998–2003)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners.

Stars: Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara, Steve Blum

Votes: 66,804

If anime is animation at its finest, then "Cowboy Bebop" may well be anime at its finest. This rousing series features some of the best animation I've ever seen outside the feature length format, as well as a great musical score by Yoko Kanno, great characters, hilarious comedy and of course mindblowing action sequences. A must-see.

23. South Park (1997– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

Follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mona Marshall

Votes: 281,810

There is little doubt in my mind that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are utterly, utterly deranged, and this their greatest creation is sickening. To its defense, it is also quite possibly the funniest series of all time.

24. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 80,217

"Professionalism is... and that is what I want."

This revolutionary comedy - dressed up as a painfully real documentary - contains perhaps some of the funniest characters and scenes in television history.

25. Spaced (1999–2001)

TV-14 | 25 min | Action, Comedy

Friends Tim and Daisy, 20-something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford.

Stars: Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin, Nick Frost

Votes: 44,283

"Innit?!"

Before there was a Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost had already collaborated on another masterpiece. Written and starring Pegg and Jessica Stevenson Hynes, "Spaced" is unfathomably funny with a stellar cast and enough cultural references to satisfy the nerdiest of nerds. Ingenious. ps. Marsha - as portrayed by Julia Deakin - MAY just be the single greatest comedic character of all time. Just one guy's opinion.

26. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

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

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: 1,086,977

"This ain't no spy movie. It's more like Rocky, y'know. Bum, bum-bum-bum, bum-bum-bum, chicka-chicka, bum-bum-baaahm, bum, chicka-chicka, bum-bum-bum, get the bad guy..."

After a somewhat shaky and less-than-extraordinary first season the general quality of this series experiences a steady increase. Episode for episode and season for season everything gets more and more interesting. Fascinating characters, a great story, phenomenal actors and great and innovative writing and directing are just some of the aspects that makes you sit on the edge of your seat.

27. The Singing Detective (1986)

415 min | Drama, Musical, Mystery

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

Stars: Michael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley, David Ryall

Votes: 3,745

A series that defy all rules and ideas concerning narrative. A drama, a comedy, a crime story, a musical, a film noir, a historical coming-of-age story and a love-letter to the 30's and 40's. Characters that emerge and re-emerge through four or more different interwoven stories. An unreliable narrator, non-linear storyline, meta and breaking the fourth wall... What is there not to love about this ingenious and innovative 80's TV-series?

28. Ulveson & Herngren (2005)

28 min | Comedy

A documentary crew follows the making of a new sketch comedy show starring two of the biggest egos in Swedish comedy.

Stars: Johan Ulveson, Felix Herngren, Gunilla Bergerham, Johan Glans

Votes: 61

"Hej hej Monika, hej på dig Monika!" Why this serious is considered a comedy landmark only in certain circles is baffling to me, as it contains some of the greatest comedy scenes in Swedish TV history.

29. The Comic Strip Presents... (1982– )

Comedy

A series of self contained TV films starring performers from London's "Comic Strip" comedy club and their friends. Noted for a high sense of parody of previous films, literature, and generally everyone in sight.

Stars: Peter Richardson, Adrian Edmondson, Jennifer Saunders, Nigel Planer

Votes: 933

NOTE: This series is extremly uneven. But when it's at the top of its game, it's a bloody masterpiece. Great episodes include "Five Go Mad in Dorset", "The *beep* "GLC: The Carnage Continues", "Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Four Men in a Car". Masterpieceses include "The Strike", in my opinion possibly the single greatest hour of comedy of all time