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15 Best TV Shows Where Every Season Is Great

Very few television shows can claim to have no bad seasons. Here are the best tv series that have outstanding seasons all the way through.

It’s a difficult feat to pull off, but there are a handful of TV shows where every season is great. There are very few television shows that have outstanding seasons throughout its numerous seasons, but the rare ones that do are loved by fans eternally. Many great, even award-winning shows that are considered some of the best of all time have fallen short because of a flawed final season, a slow rise, or a sophomore slump. Game of Thrones, for instance, is a beloved show, yet its final season doesn’t hold up to the reputation of its preceding chapters.

A fantastic TV show can fall apart for many reasons, whether something happened behind-the-scenes that changed the direction of the show, such as an actor suddenly dropping out, or even the writers simply losing their grasp on the narrative. Every great TV show is tasked with keeping up its momentum and generating original content through multiple seasons. Here are ten of the best shows that were able to sustain their prestigious quality all the way up to their series finales.

15Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021)

The final
  • Stream on Peacock Premium

Sometimes a lovable ensemble is all a show needs to keep audiences engaged for several seasons and Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s cast of characters are among some of the most beloved on television. The police precinct provided an exciting setting for the workplace sitcom, but it was the interactions of these characters that made it so much fun episode after episode. From the Halloween heists to the bonding of unexpected characters to even a few romances, Brooklyn Nine-Nine had a cast people just wanted to spend time with throughout every single one of its eight seasons.

14The Shield (2002-2008)

Vic Mackey with a gun on The Shield.
  • Stream on Hulu

As the era of the complex and flawed television protagonists began to take over, The Shield delivered one of the best examples with its lead character of Vic Mackey. The crime series followed Mackey, a tough and determined Los Angeles detective who had a reputation for bending the rules. The first episode of The Shield cemented how far he was willing to go as Vic murdered a fellow officer to cover his criminal activities. For seven seasons, the show showed there was no depth Vic wouldn’t sink to, and it was an intense ride from beginning to end.

13Justified (2010-2015)

Raylan Givens pointing a gun in Justified
  • Stream on Hulu

Based on the work of Elmore Leonard, Justified is a crime series following Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is forced to return to his hometown in rural Kentucky where he contends with local criminals, including his childhood friend, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). Raylan and Boyd make for one of the greatest protagonist and antagonist relationships on television which was a thrill to follow through the six seasons. The show sometimes allowed itself to drift into a case-of-the-week formula while always feeling like it was heading in a purposeful direction. It all concludes with a satisfying finale though fans are thrilled to learn a Justified revival series is on its way.

12Derry Girls (2018-2022)

Orla, Erin, Michelle, and James stand together against the Derry skyline in Derry Girls series finale
  • Stream on Netflix

Though only three seasons, the Irish comedy Derry Girls was virtually flawless from beginning to end. Set in Londonderry in the 1990s, it follows the misadventures of a group of female friends (and one boy) as they awkwardly dealt with the troubles of youth, from school to parents to romance. Brilliantly, the show was able to pull off being laugh-out-loud funny while still setting its story amidst the backdrop of the ongoing conflicts in Northern Ireland and real events at the time. Unlike so many shows, Derry Girls knew to end things at the right time, leaving three excellent seasons for fans to look back on.

11The Wire (2002-2008)

Daniels and McNulty in the bar in The Wire
  • Stream on HBO Max

Touted by many fans as perhaps the greatest television series of all time, it is not hard to believe that The Wire rarely missed in its five seasons. The grounded and realistic police drama explored the war on drugs on the streets of Baltimore, looking at the complexities on both sides of the law. Though there are some fans who called season 2 of The Wire the weakest, it still maintains the high-level of storytelling, interesting characters, and social commentary that put it above most shows.

10It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005-)

The Gang invades a supermarket in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Stream on Hulu

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is the longest-running live-action American comedy series of all time, totaling 15 completed seasons with the sixteenth coming this year. The hilarious show has managed to retain all five of its core actors including Charlie Day and Danny DeVito despite their individually successful careers as actors, writers, and directors of various films and other television shows. The show originally aired on FX in 2005 and is created by Rob McElhenny (Mac) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis).

9Sons Of Anarchy (2008-2014)

Jax riding his bike in line with a trailer in Sons of Anarchy
  • Stream on Hulu

Sons of Anarchy might be the most exceptionally underrated TV series of all time, gaining only five Emmy nominations and coming away with none. The show ran for seven seasons from 2008 to 2014, during which time it gained overwhelmingly positive feedback from critics and fans alike. While often violent and quite dark, Sons of Anarchy was arguably different from any other show that came before it, and broke new ground for its original airing network FX, cementing it as a home for serious dramatic content. With a series finale that ended the story on a fitting note, it remains one of the greatest TV series of the modern era.

8Mindhunter (2017-2019)

Holden and Bill having a meeting with the FBI lead in Mindhunter season 2
  • Stream on Netflix

The proper ending of Mindhunter’s story will never be seen on TV, with Netflix shockingly deciding not to renew the immensely popular and well-received crime drama series earlier this year. During its two seasons, Mindhunter chronicled the personal accounts of a number of notorious serial killers. It was inspired by the true-life studies of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit that began directly interviewing psychopaths in the lates 1970s. Seven of its episodes were directed by legendary director David Fincher, making this Netflix cancelation even more of a head-scratcher.

7The West Wing (1999-2005)

The cast of The West Wing in the Oval Office.
  • Stream on HBO Max

The Aaron Sorkin-helmed political series The West Wing is one of the most-awarded television shows of all time, honing in an impressive Emmy record of 26 wins. The show ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006. Sorkin was responsible for writing nearly a third of The West Wing’s 155 episodes over its seven seasons, which explains why the show is incredibly rich in plot and full of well-written dialogue. While the show is fictitious and not based on any actual U.S. president, Aaron Sorkin was able to capture the look and feel of the White House that broke new ground on TV.

6Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-)

Larry David quotes
  • Stream on HBO Max

Curb Your Enthusiasm is a one-of-a-kind comedy series that can only be pulled off by the idiosyncratic Larry David. The show has aired on HBO since the year 2000 and has run for 11 total seasons, with a hiatus between 2011 and 2017. The Seinfeld creator heavily relies on his mastery of situational comedy and his undeniable knack for improvisation to bring Curb Your Enthusiasm to fruition. Larry plays a fictionalized version of himself living in Los Angeles, depicting the strange and hilarious situations he finds himself in that never get old.

5The Sopranos (1999-2006)

Dante Tony and Christopher at the casino in The Sopranos
  • Stream on HBO Max

The Sopranos is widely considered one of the greatest shows of all time, despite its controversially ambiguous ending. The HBO show ran from 1999 to 2007 and amassed 21 Emmy Awards. The show broke new ground in conventional storytelling by adding an unpredictable element to its narrative structure that made viewers feel like no one was ever really safe. The show maintained its elite status over six seasons largely due to the brilliant performance of James Gandolfini as New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano.

4Nathan For You (2013-2017)

  • Stream on HBO Max

Nathan For You is another enigmatic, incomparable comedy series like Curb Your Enthusiasm that can only be pulled off by its imaginative creator Nathan Fielder. Fielder’s brand for comedy involves an element of trolling that combines his often strange but effective business concepts with actual real-life business owners. The owners aren’t aware that Nathan is playing a character as an uncomfortably awkward, deadpan business consultant, which adds to the somewhat surrealist comedy that Fielder produced for four outstanding seasons between 2013 and 2017.

3Atlanta (2016-2022)

The cast of Atlanta pose for a promo image on a couch
  • Stream on Hulu

Atlanta was a unique, slice-of-life series that captured a period of time that reflected much of the sensibilities of its characters and components of its plot. This helped make the four-season series a truly generational landmark of television. Donald Glover, of Childish Gambino and Community fame, created a distinct genre with Atlanta that rivals the strange brilliance of Twin Peaks, all while maintaining an authentic depiction of contemporary culture from 2016 to 2022.

2Breaking Bad (2008-2012)

Walter White wearing his tighty-whitey underwear in Breaking Bad
  • Stream on Netflix

Not much more can be said that hasn’t already about the excellence of Breaking Bad. The AMC series was a cultural phenomenon during its six-season run. The richness of the storytelling and the delicate interweaving of characters, plot, and action sequences combine to make Breaking Bad an absolute feat of entertainment. The timeless saga of Walter White and his slow-building downfall ran on the network from 2008 from 2013, with each season somehow getting better than its last until its end.

1Mad Men (2007-2014)

The cast of Mad Men
  • Stream on AMC+

Mad Men is often regarded as the first series that sparked the modern golden age of television. It brought an incredible ensemble cast set in a culturally-accurate 1960s Manhattan to cable television, defining the new standard for a drama series with its first season in 2007. Don Draper (John Hamm) is a compelling force of a character, with enough confidence, creativity, and mystique to carry the show through seven, critically-acclaimed seasons. While the heart of the series exists inside the walls of a Manhattan skyscraper, Mad Men gave its conflicted protagonist a reflective ending that offers a masterclass in anti-hero character arcs, and its status among TV shows where every season is great cannot be contested.

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