My 10 all-time favorite TV shows

I’m a firm believer that my love of reading and my love of television go hand in hand. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies, too, but with television and books, you just get so much more exposure to a character’s development.

I love watching long TV series and watching the characters grow as the seasons progress.

I also have a bit of an obsessive personality. When I am into a show, I am INTO it. People always say they were born in the wrong generation for all sorts of reasons, but I am definitely glad that I was born in the age of video streaming and binge-watching.

Spending 10 close hours with the same characters makes me feel more connected to them than I would on a week-to-week basic.

So without further ado, here are my 10 favorite TV shows of all time.

Mr. Robot

A promo photo of Rami Malek in Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is a show I started watching years ago, but stopped after a few episodes. Why? I don’t know. How? I honestly don’t know. When I started rewatching a few months ago, I was so impressed by this show. I couldn’t believe there was a point in my life that I was able to stop midseason. I’d wager that it’s one of the greatest show currently on television.

I love the sheer amount of effort that goes into this show. They put in a lot of work to ensure that all of the tech is accurate, and it shows. As someone with experience in tech, I truly appreciate how accurate this show is. Movies and TV always get so much stuff laughably wrong about technology, especially hacking, and this show gets so much stuff right.

The storytelling is also amazing. The main character, Elliot, is a very unrealiable narrator, which makes for some truly awesome twists throughout the series.

And I could go on an on about how great Rami Malek is in this show. I know he’s gained a ton of popularity because of Bohemian Rhapsody, and while he’s fantastic in everything he does, he really shines in Mr. Robot. I hope his newfound popularity brings in new fans for the show’s fourth and final season (which hopefully comes out later this year).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

An early photo of the main cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer takes the dumb, blond girl in a horror movie trope and flips it on its head. Buffy is a strong woman and routinely smashes gender stereotypes. This show was way ahead of its time in terms of its feminism.

It also had what I believe is one of the first lesbian main characters on TV, which was a big deal during the time this show was on.

Gilmore Girls

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore

If I really had to pick one favorite show, it would probably be this. I related to Rory Gilmore so much as a nerdy, reading-obsessed teenager being raised by a single mom. I also grew up in Connecticut, and while it definitely isn’t like the Stars Hollow in the show, watching Gilmore Girls always reminds me of home. It’s the perfect show to watch when I’m missing CT.

It also has such a fun cast of characters. I love the townspeople so much. I would watch an entire show of just the townies.

Avatar: the Last Airbender

Sokka, Katara, and Aang, joined by Momo and Appa

This show. I always ignored this show as a kid, but when I was in college I went and watched the whole thing through because I’d heard some positive things about it. I was not prepared for how good it actually was.

This is a show I could rewatch over and over, and if I have kids one day, I can’t wait to make them watch it too.

AtLA is such a well-told story, and it explores so many social issues in such delicate ways.

The Office

The cast of The Office

Like Gilmore Girls, The Office is another comfort show for me. Like most people, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve rewatched this series.

This show is one of my favorite workplace comedies, even though it always makes me jealous that I don’t work in a cool office.

Queer Eye

The Fab Five

I was not expecting this show to affect me the way it did. I’d heard good things about it, so I decided to give it a try, but I assumed it was just another reality TV show. I couldn’t be more wrong.

Of course, it is a reality show. But it doesn’t do any of the things I hate about reality shows, and makeup shows in particular. The hosts never try to bring their contestants – referred to as heroes by the Fab 5 – down. The Fab 5 are all just about trying to get people to be the best versions of themselves, no matter what that is. They don’t try to change everything about them and get them to conform to some external view of what they should be. They’re all about bringing out what’s special about a person and letting that shine through.

It’s also the show that makes me cry the most. It’s just so HEARTWARMING.

Season 3 comes out this weekend, and honestly, that’s the only thing getting me through a pretty tough work week. I need to start preparing the tissues now.

The West Wing

A promotional image for The West Wing

This show is one of my favorites, and I think it resonates with me even more given our current political situation. It’s inspirational to think of an administration not bought out by corporations, who actually care about democracy and about the future of the country.

I watch this show sometimes when I’m feeling discouraged about what’s happening in the world and it give me just a little bit of hope.

Game of Thrones

Sean Bean as Ned Stark sitting on the Iron Throne

Like a majority of the world, I’m sitting with bated breath waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones. I can’t believe this show is actually ending. While I’m excited to see how things turn out, I am a bit sad that the show got ahead of the books and that what we’re seeing probably isn’t what George R.R. Martin had in mind.

I love this show for many reasons, the massive scale of it all, the high production quality, Ramin Djawadi’s amazing soundtrack, the incredible casting… I could go on and on.

The Good Place

Ted Danson and Kristen Bell Micheal and Eleanor in The Good Place.

This show is so funny and clever. The Good Place is the result of NBC telling Mike Schur that he could basically make whatever show he wanted. Thanks, NBC.

If you haven’t watched this show, please go watch it and please, please, please don’t Google anything about this show before you do. Trust me.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Not the original British version and not the reboot. The in-between American version that seemed to last forever.

I grew up with my mom always having this show on in the background, and it always made me laugh. Sometimes when I’m sad, I’ll go on YouTube and watch clips of this show.

Honorable mentions

  • Firefly
  • Seinfeld
  • Silicon Valley
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Planet Earth
  • The Crown

Do you like any of the shows I mentioned? Care to share what shows you’re currently into? Let’s talk TV in the comments!

Update: OH MY GOD, how could I have forgotten One Day at a Time?! I was only a few episodes in when I wrote this post so I didn’t include it, but since it was cancelled yesterday, I watched like 5 hours straight of it. It is so good. I hope it finds a new home because it really is such an important show to have, for so many reasons.

13 thoughts on “My 10 all-time favorite TV shows

  1. onereasonableperson says:

    Buffy is definitely my number one show of all time, and I loved Gilmore Girls as well. Whose Line is definitely hilarious.

    I haven’t watched most of the others. I’ve never even heard of Mr. Robot. Now that I have kids, my TV watching time is much, much more limited. I guess it makes sense that all three of the shows I mentioned liking above are older ones, huh?

    The only one on the list I really disagreed with was GoT. I just couldn’t get into it at all. Perhaps, though, I was a bit jaded after giving up on the book series after one too many main characters were killed off.

    Overall, though, we seem to have similar tastes. I can’t believe that Friends wasn’t listed!

    Like

    • Jenna says:

      Buffy is so good.

      And totally understandable. I don’t have kids, but I’ve been picking up some other hobbies that have definitely cut down on my TV watching time. And Mr. Robot still feels pretty unknown so that makes sense, though I think that’ll change soon. It’s probably my favorite show currently, but I think part of that is because it’s about hacking and I work in the tech industry so that interests me.

      And I get that on Game of Thrones. I still love it, but it is tough when all of your favorite characters can die for no reason at all.

      And I like Friends, just not enough to put it on my list haha šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. quiteayarnblog says:

    I loved Buffy so much! We were also Firefly fans, though that one hasn’t held up as well. I think my favorite show of all time was Twin Peaks, followed by X-Files, though not all of X-Files. I loved maybe the first 5 or 6 seasons of that, then I fell away from it. Right now we have been watching Venture Brothers, The Orville and Midsomer Murders. We really don’t watch much TV. We have a couple of streaming learning channels – The Great Courses Plus and also I’m subscribed to Bluprint (formerly Craftsy). So we mostly watch those. Or Marvel movies šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna says:

      I love Buffy so much. I haven’t seen most of those shows, but I’ve been meaning to watch X-Files for a really long time now. I’ve also heard good things about The Orville!

      Liked by 1 person

      • quiteayarnblog says:

        If you do give The Orville a try, give it a couple of episodes. It started off pretty uneven, but got really good after it found its feet. Let me know if you try that or X-Files out!

        Like

  3. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    I adore Buffy, GoT and the Good Place. Buffy really holds a special place in my heart because I think I grew up alongside the tv show!

    I can’t get into Gilmore Girls but I have only watched a few episodes and started in a place that wasn’t the beginning so that probably didn’t help!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna says:

      I didn’t watch Buffy growing up, but it also holds a special place in my heart because of the time in my life I watched it during. I always get nostalgic thinking about Buffy even though I didn’t watch it that long ago.

      And yeah, I totally get that about Gilmore Girls. I know a lot of people that can’t get into that show, and I think a lot of it has to do with people getting annoyed with the fast dialogue. Gilmore Girls is another one of those shows that I like mostly because of nostalgia, haha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That Leo Girl Blog says:

    Hey, great list! I like a couple of those shows too actually like Avatar and Buffy The Vampire Slayer! šŸ™‚ I actually just did a similar post over on my blog which you should totally check out if you get a chance xoxo

    Like

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