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The Fandomentals Top TV Shows of the Decade

The new year is rapidly approaching, so we here at The Fandomentals have taken a step back and looked at the overwhelming (and at times almost suffocating) amount of great television of the 2010’s. As with the 2019 best-of list, each show was picked by one of our writers and given a brief reason as to why they love(d) turning into these shows week after week. Or if they binged them, why they walled themselves into their homes to finish the next episode.

With so much quality content available for streaming and on television it’s understandable if we miss things. It is becoming more and more impossible to see everything. The quality of television has risen to staggering and dizzying degrees. As such, a few shows may slip through the cracks. These are the shows chosen by us writers to talk about to you the readers, in hopes to let you see that others feel the same way you do. But also, in hopes, we can help you find another great show to add to your already mounting queue.

The Americans

the americans featured

Image courtesy of FX

If you missed out on this one, you missed out on two of the best powerhouse performances of the decade from leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. You also missed out on one of the best explorations of marriage and family ever, all wrapped up in Cold War espionage to keep it exciting. Because what is marriage if not a longrunning bit of spycraft?

 

Breaking Bad

Image courtesy of AMC

There’s little I can say that hasn’t been said about this one. Walter White is one of the most iconic lead characters in TV history, he undergoes a brutal descent to villainy, and it makes for arguably the best TV drama ever made. You know what this is.

 

Better Call Saul

better call saul season 4 featured

Image courtesy of AMC

Wait, how could a spinoff prequel about the comic relief lawyer from Breaking Bad be any good? Not only is it good, it’s arguably preferable to the show it spawned from. Better Call Saul subverts expectations in the best of ways.

 

Steven Universe

steven universe future

Image courtesy of Cartoon Network

With heartwarming life lessons, an adorable cast, and a stunningly thorough exploration of numerous heavy themes and topics, Steven Universe is one of the defining animated shows of the decade and one of the very best ever made. It continues as Steven Universe Future, but you’d be well served to go back and check out the original.

 

The Leftovers

Image courtesy of HBO

Anyone still hating on Damon Lindelof desperately needs to watch this show (and then Watchmen). A beautiful story of grief and love, there was nothing better than the 2nd and 3rd seasons of The Leftovers. It also has THE performance of the decade from Carrie Coon. 

 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Image courtesy of FX

Its characters are awful, its jokes amazing, and it kept a remarkably high quality for a long time. At its best, it was as funny as anything. It’s still going strong after 14 seasons, and how many shows can claim to do that?

 

Legends of Tomorrow

Image courtesy of the CW

Legends of Tomorrow started off as the underdog of the Arrowverse. The weird series using B and C list characters from other shows. A black sheep trying to follow the success of Arrow and The Flash. Legends is still largely that black sheep, but after a lackluster first season, the show shifted gears. It threw off the gritty formula and embraced the zany antics that could only be pulled off on a time-traveling ship with a bunch of misfits and ex-cons behind the helm. Somewhere between Vikings worshiping a knock-off blue Tickle-Me-Elmo and the Legends getting high off of Unicorn glitter goo, Legends of Tomorrow became the best show in the Arrowverse.

 

Sense8

Image courtesy of Netflix

Every frame of Sense8 is overflowing with passion. It shows from the unflinching decision to film it’s globally branching story on location to the international cast with a scope of diversity that is still woefully underrepresented in the industry. Sense8 told a story of humanity, empathy, and evolution through intimacy and complicity of relationships, in all the forms they can take. It was one of the handful of series this past decade that earned a second chance thanks to fandom outcry. After a premature death in its second season, #RenewSense8 and the passion from its fans gathered enough attention for a series finale, allowing the show a proper ending. Though the story of Sense8 may not be over yet…

 

Doctor Who

Image courtesy of the BBC

The past decade of the time-travel series has been divisive, to say the least. After the departure of the much-beloved David Tennant, Steven Moffat was appointed showrunner. Moffat’s tenure on the show marked a steep decline for the franchise, and by the end of Matt Smith’s run, the series was a shadow of its former self. Peter Capaldi’s first season didn’t do much help, but his second saw the show take a sharp turn for the better, reinvigorating the franchise and providing some of its best episodes. Though Capaldi and Moffat’s final season didn’t quite keep this momentum, the franchise’s future was looking much brighter, especially with the appointment of the Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and new showrunner Chris Chibnall. While it’s too early to say for certain, the franchise seems to be heading in the right direction.

 

One Day at a Time

Image courtesy of Netflix

After three seasons on Netflix, One Day at a Time looked like it was closing the final chapter on this diverse and modern reboot of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom. ODaaT featured a mostly LatinX cast and told stories with a progressive bent, ranging from colorism, immigration, veteran’s issues, mental health, LGBT issues, and addiction. However, hope and a passionate fanbase won out as Sony’s streaming platform POP saved the show and has announced season four will return around March 2020.

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