The 100 Best TV Shows on Netflix, Ranked (December 2019)

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The 100 Best TV Shows on Netflix, Ranked (December 2019)

Some of you will remember walking into a Blockbuster (or, for the hip, your local mom and pop video store) on a Friday or Saturday night and being overwhelmed with all of the choices. Drama? Comedy? Documentary? Where to begin? You could get lost forever wandering down those aisles and wondering, “but is this the best choice?”

The same can happen now when you scroll around Netflix; the options seem endless (and they nearly are, so much so that Netflix’s own newly released series often get lost!) What you need is to be able to log on and know exactly what you want to start bingeing without wasting time scrolling around.

Enter Paste — our TV writers are ready to assist in helping you find what you need. Below we’ve ranked 100 of the best TV shows on Netflix, but it’s just a start. Bookmark this page and come back as more series are added to Netflix (and some may be taken away) each month.

Looking for streaming series on other networks? You can also check out our lists of the Best TV Shows on Hulu, the Best TV Shows on Amazon, as well as our weekly Power List for even more recommendations.

100. The Get Down

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Created by:   Baz Luhrmann, Stephen Adly Guirgis
Stars: Justice Smith, Herizen F. Guardiola, Shameik Moore, Jaden Smith, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jimmy Smits
Original Network: Netflix 

The Get Down, from Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis, bears the imprint of its creators’ extensive experience on the stage, mustering more musical zeal than most other contemporary rock ‘n’ roll series. The story of aspiring MC Ezekiel Figuero (Justice Smith) and his love interest, disco singer Mylene (Herizen F. Guardiola), The Get Down edges closer in affect to Singin’ in the Rain or West Side Story than to its TV brethren. Whether a function of its interest in the origins of hip-hop or the spirited optimism of its protagonists, determined to escape, or transform, the South Bronx, The Get Down is buoyed by its kinetic energies, even as it strains to bring its sprawling cast and sociopolitical interests into sharper relief. Each episode is a kaleidoscope of musical influences, from disco to ’90s rap. Throughout the first few episodes, the camera combats the intermittent sluggishness of the writing, zooming, swooping, circling, and retreating before cycling back to the beginning, painted all the while in bright swatches of color. The Get Down recalls the aforementioned classics not because it’s made with similar aplomb, then, but because the series’ chaotic construction nonetheless reflects the musical’s central premise: The music isn’t the setting for the story. The music is the story. —Matt Brennan

99. Trailer Park Boys

Created by: Mike Clattenburg
Stars: John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells, Mike Smith, John Dunsworth, Patrick Roach, Lucy DeCoutere, Sarah E. Dunsworth, Tyrone Parsons, Jonathan Torrens, Jeanne Harrison
Original Network: Showcase, Netflix 

After 10 seasons and 16 years, Trailer Park Boys is an institution. For those completely unfamiliar with it, the show centers on the antics of Ricky and Julian, two idiot schemers, and their weird friend Bubbles. The three live in a trailer park, where a whole bunch of other misfits, lunatics, and drunks reside. Everyone fights and fucks up to laughter, the titular “boys” go to jail at the end of each season, and it all restarts once they’re released.

There are any number of things that can explain the enduring popularity of Trailer Park Boys. In a weed-friendly 21st century culture, its willingness to revel in the joys of pot smoking struck an early chord. There are the countless Rickyisms, puncta which enter the personal vocabularies of viewers. There’s the plain fact that faux drunk slapstick is always, always funny. And it’s got heart, clichéd as that is—the boys love the trailer park, their drunk nemesis Jim Lahey loves the trailer park, and so does everyone else there, even if nobody outside understands why. —Ian Williams

98. Luke Cage

Created by: Cheo Hodari Coker
Stars: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick, Erik LaRay Harvey, Rosario Dawson, Theo Rossi
Original Network: Netflix 

To say Luke Cage upped its game in Season Two is putting it really mildly. I don’t remember the last time I saw a TV show take this huge of an artistic leap from one season to the next. The writing is So. Flipping. Good. Ham-handed conceits have been replaced with winking, sophisticated self-referentiality. Repetition has been replaced with extrapolation. Ponderous flashbacks are now hashed out in real time; there’s no “for those of you just joining us, here’s how Luke Cage became Luke Cage,” and yet you could watch this season without having seen the first one and you wouldn’t be lost at all. Marvel-Netflix-Industrial-Entertainment-Complex: I concede. Luke Cage Season One seemed laden with untapped potential. It has in fact been tapped. Season Two is a 13-hour mic drop. —Amy Glynn

97. Love

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Created by:   Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Paul Rust
Stars: Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, Claudia O’Doherty
Original Network: Netflix 

If you’re a fan of Undeclared or Freaks and Geeks, you should make it your business to give Judd Apatow’s latest series, Love, a try. In a lot of ways it feels like what would happen if Sam Weir and Kim Kelly wound up dating in their 30s—we meet Gus (Paul Rust), a dorky on-set tutor for the child star of a witch-themed teen drama, and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), a radio producer struggling with her sobriety, as they’re both reeling from tough breakups and watch as they fall for each other. Like anything Apatow’s got his name on, there’s an underlying sweetness here and an incredibly strong cast (Claudia O’Doherty steals pretty much every scene she’s in as Mickey’s roommate, Bertie), and the addiction plot lends some dramatic muscle. The characters are complicated (and not always likable), but hey, so is love. —Bonnie Stiernberg

96. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Created by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Stars: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez
Original Network: Netflix 

The Archie-adjacent teenage witch has had a bumpy two seasons (two-part first season?) so far, but they are still enough to scratch a very specific horror itch for fans of demonic magical metaphor. The show’s attempts at feminism veer from the brutally satisfying to the lip-service-only frustrating, but weaving that driving principle throughout the show’s coming-of-age plots and the underground magical societies within which they take place only binds the show closer into a more cohesive, if imperfect, entity. Shipka, taking all that she earned from Mad Men, dominates the screen while snipping and snapping with each potent line delivery. A plethora of romantic angles supplement the show with its more Riverdale-like elements, but at its heart, Sabrina is a horror show that only looks to get darker as its reign continues. —Jacob Oller

95. A Series of Unfortunate Events

Created by: Mark Hudis, Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, K. Todd Freeman, Presley Smith
Original Network: Netflix 

You probably don’t have to be a bookworm, or a kid, to appreciate this adaptation of a series of ironic, lachrymose, self-parodying children’s stories, because the series is just so damn funny—not to mention seamlessly styled, well-cast and well-acted. It does also happen to be an adaptation that should delight fans of the books because it generally knows exactly how much or how little to deviate from its source material to adapt to the constraints (and liberations) of episodic television. It retains the slightly steampunk, highly absurdist, semi-Gothic and delightfully wordsmithy sensibility of its source material and adheres remarkably well to character and plot. My suggestion? Don’t binge watch this show! Let it breathe. Like a fine wine. Because it’s kind of a masterpiece. —Amy Glynn

94. Lady Dynamite

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Created by: Pam Brady, Mitch Hurwitz 
Stars: Maria Bamford, Fred Melamed, Mary Kay Place
Original Network: Netflix 

Generally speaking, we like our comedies and our comedians to be funny. Maria Bamford—actress, voice actress, stand-up—is funny in the strictest sense possible, but her Netflix series, Lady Dynamite, blends her humor with melancholy and hurt. Don’t worry: You’ll laugh. You will laugh! Lady Dynamite is hilarious, and it is so on a wide array of axes, incorporating everything from slapstick to absurdism to cringe humor, all into one hyperactive rush of comic goodness. But it’s also deeply human and deeply sad, the kind of comedy series where the laughs tend to catch in one’s gullet, or squeeze through gritted teeth. Sometimes you laugh so as not to wince, or just to keep yourself from shedding tears in front of your friends (or in front of your own damn self). Sad comedies are a dime a dozen, especially for Netflix junkies, but the manic qualities of Lady Dynamite’s humor, its frank approach to its themes of mental illness, and its cavalcade of comedian guest stars—whether they’re mainstream comedians, alt comedians, or mainstream-alt comedians—give the show a brio and soul all its own. —Andy Crump

93. Dexter

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Created by: James Manos Jr.
Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar, C.S. Lee, Lauren Vélez
Original Network: Showtime

The character development of “the serial killer who kills serial killers” Dexter Morgan over eight seasons is fascinating to follow. If Season One saw us trying to come to terms with our empathy towards a murderer, we were eventually cheering an old friend’s slow progression towards something akin to humanity. His moral code might be a world away from ours, but he often does a better job adhering to it than the rest of us. In addition to the constant edge-of-your-seat plot twists, each season gave us incredible guest stars as allies and antagonists, including Jimmy Smits, John C. Lithgow, Peter Weller, Mos Def, Edward James Olmos and Julia Stiles. —Josh Jackson

92. The Inbetweeners

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Created by: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Stars: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison, James Buckley
Original Network: E4

A spiritual cousin of sorts to the American Pie films, The Inbetweeners brought UK audiences a glimpse into the love/hate relationship between four high school friends and their pitiable attempts to score with the young women around them. If you’ve ever been a semi-geeky middle class, suburban white male, it will likely pain you to sit through each episode of this show even as you’re laughing at the wickedly funny dialogue and the fantastic chemistry that its four lead actors maintained throughout. The Inbetweeners obviously struck a chord with a number of folks in the UK, as it scored great ratings for each of its three seasons and spawned two feature films that followed the four gents on vacations to Greece and Australia. —Robert Ham

91. Scandal

Created by:   Shonda Rhimes  
Stars:   Kerry Washington, Guillermo Díaz, Joe Morton
Original Network: ABC

When so much of a show’s plot is made up of infuriatingly dramatic cliffhangers, it can be deeply satisfying to experience a series, like Scandal, on Netflix. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, have no clue what a Gladiator in a suit is, and don’t know whether you’re Team Jake or Team Fitz, there’s no time like the present. Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope, a lawyer and crisis management expert who represents high-profile politicians and other clientele in Washington D.C. AKA the people running this great nation, who always seem to find themselves in the midst of a scandal. Based on real-life D.C. fixer Judy Smith (the former Bush Administration aide who has represented folks like Monica Lewinsky, Kobe Bryant, and former Senator Larry Craig), Pope is a formidable character, often as much of a scandalous megalomaniac as her clientele. Sure, Rhimes (also the Created by of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice) draws on many-a-cliche for this series—endless love triangles, characters killed off at a moment’s notice, etc. But Scandal is, simultaneously, a refreshing and forward-thinking experience, with a black woman at the head of a very bizarre Scooby gang (brought to us by Weeds actor Guillermo Díaz, along with Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, and Columbus Short), one of the first gay villains on television, and a stark quality that seeks to peel the mask off of American politics. Funny, sexy, downright frightening at times, and complete with an amazing ‘70s soundtrack for every episode, Scandal is the stuff Netflix binge-watching dreams made of. —Shannon M. Houston

90. Making a Murderer

Created by: Laura Ricciardi, Moira Demos
Original Network: Netflix 

After the Serial podcast captured the zeitgeist, Netflix brought viewers the true story of Steven Avery, a man wrongly convicted of a brutal assault. He sued law enforcement, and while in the middle of that suit, he became the suspect of a brand new crime. The docuseries’ first season covers 30 years in Avery’s life, and like Serial, became a phenomenon that had us all playing armchair judge and jury. (A less acclaimed follow-up debuted in October 2018). —Amy Amatangelo

89. Sense8

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Created by: The Wachowskis, J. Michael Straczynski
Stars: Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith, Doona Bae, Aml Ameen, Max Riemelt, Tina Desai, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Jamie Clayton, Freema Agyeman, Terrence Mann, Anupam Kher, Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah
Original Network: Netflix 

There may not be a bigger WTF TV show in the world than Sense8. This globe-trotting and glitzy sci-fi series, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski (co-directors of The Matrix trilogy) and former Babylon 5 showrunner J. Michael Straczynski, drops us into a world where eight strangers in different parts of the planet are somehow psychically and emotionally linked. Through the first season’s 12 episodes—and the recent Christmas special follow this assortment of confused and beautiful people as they try to understand this connection, use their newfound abilities to help one another, and engage in not one but two blissfully queer orgies. As wacky and over-the-top as Sense8 can often get, the series remains important as it deals with issues of sexuality and gender identity through the work of trans actress Jamie Clayton and performers Miguel Silvestre and Alfonso Herrera’s portrayal of a gay couple in Mexico City. —Robert Ham

88. Master of None

Created by:   Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
Stars: Aziz Ansari, Noél Wells, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe, Kelvin Yu, Alessandra Mastronardi, Bobby Cannavale
Original Network: Netflix 

The second season of Aziz Ansari’s masterful Master of None begins with an homage to Bicycle Thieves and ends with a nod to The Graduate. In between are beautifully nuanced episodes as Ansari’s Dev Shah tries to navigate his love life and his career. Even when the show goes the traditional sitcom route—the will-they-or-won’t-they romance of Dev and the engaged Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi)—the dialogue and interactions are decidedly not traditional. They talk like real people not ones created in a writer’s room. “New York, I Love You,” which stepped away from the main characters to showcase the vibrant diversity of the city and “Thanksgiving,” which chronicled Dev’s childhood friend Denise (Lena Waithe) coming out to her family, are easily the season’s highlights. The show is fun to watch, emotionally satisfying and thought provoking. —Eric Walters and Amy Amatangelo

87. Call the Midwife

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Created by: Heidi Thomas
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Bryony Hannah, Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Laura Main, Judy Parfiti
Original Network: BBC

“Midwifery is the very stuff of life,” proves this incredibly moving, often provocative series, based on the memoirs of British nurse Jennifer Worth. Set in 1950s London—read: pre-choice, not pro-choice—Call the Midwife focuses on the nurses and nuns who work at a convent in the East End. Vanessa Redgrave narrates the experiences of Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), a privileged young woman who must quickly adapt to life in an impoverished district, where medical resources are precious and newborns are plentiful. Wonderfully meticulous in period detail, the ensemble drama brims with joy and compassion while maintaining a bracingly unromantic grip on pregnancy and parenthood. Disease, labor complications and tragedies like miscarriage, stillbirth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are common—along with domestic violence, rape and unwanted pregnancy—yet the show warms as many hearts as it breaks. Call it feminist, call it what you will, Call the Midwife is brave television. —Amanda Schurr

86. The Shannara Chronicles

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Created by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Stars: Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett
Original Network: MTV / Spike

MTV took a big fantasy swing on The Shannara Chronicles, an adaptation of The Sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks. Though attempting to bring a pop MTV aesthetic to the series ultimately did it no favors, the building blocks of a great fantasy epic were all in place—including well-considered references to an ancient world we recognize as having been our own. Shannara picks up at a time far into the Earth’s future when formerly-banished demons begin reappearing the mystical Four Lands, because a magical tree called the Ellcrys (which once kept them in their place) is dying. Three young people—the half-elf Wil, the Elven princess Amberle, and the human rover Eretria—become tasked to save the Four Lands and the Ellcrys, with the help of a Druid named Allanon. Shannara’s brightly colored production values were rooted in the practical, making it look very smilier to The CW’s The 100. But story-wise, Shannara was exceptionally unique in the TV landscape. An ill-fated move to the now defunct Spike after a long wait between seasons was the show’s final death knell, and on a different network it might have had a different fate. For now, the imperfect but compelling series is a satisfying, if brief, journey into a wonderfully strange world. —Allison Keene

85. Ugly Delicious

Created by: David Chang, Morgan Neville
Stars: David Chang
Original Network: Netflix 

The Virginia-born child of Korean parents, David Chang is deeply interested in how foodways travel, intersect, and melt together. Chang is not a Bourdanian. His journey is different. He isn’t looking for mastery or a high-level view of Where the Good Stuff Is. He’s looking for non-judgment. And he’s having a hard time finding it, even—perhaps especially—within himself. The term “fusion” has a connotation of force, evoking atomic bombs or very painful things that get done to messed up bones. Chang inhabits, questions and celebrates the nature of fusion cuisine, the intersections of tradition and the endless search for novelty, and redefines “authenticity,” which for him isn’t always about going to the origin of something so much as understanding it as part of a huge mosaic. Ugly Delicious is wise, funny, unpretentious and fascinating. —Amy Glynn

84. Grey’s Anatomy

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Created by:   Shonda Rhimes  
Stars: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw, Jesse Williams, Sarah Drew, Katherine Heigl, Isiah Washington, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr.
Original Network: ABC

Now that Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland are such a force in the TV world, it’s hard to imagine there was a time before her landmark dramas were a staple in our viewing schedules. Premiering as a mid-season replacement way back in March 2005, Grey’s, now about to begin its sixteenth season, first appeared to be nothing more than an ER wannabe. But Rhimes perfected the art of a well-told soap opera, seamlessly weaving personal strife, romantic hookups (never have supply closets seen so much action) and complex medical cases. She broke ground with a multiracial cast, same sex couples, and one of TV’s first bi-sexual characters. The series has survived multiple cast changes, behind-the-scenes drama that often eclipsed the on-screen shenanigans, and fickle fans who threatened to quit the show after a favorite character died. We take shows like Grey’s for granted, but when you are still successful after 15 seasons, you are doing something magical. So, relive the show from its nascent early days or discover it for the first time. Grey’s is my ultimate comfort-food TV, and I bet it will become yours too. —Amy Amatangelo

83. On My Block

Created by: Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft
Stars: Diego Tinoco, Jason Genao, Jessica Marie Garcia, Ronni Hawk, Sierra Capri, Brett Gray
Original Network: Netflix 

Netflix’s South Central L.A.-set dramedy On My Block is one big, irreverently cocksure nod to all the (whitest) parts of the modern cultural canon one would least expect to find in a coming-of-age story about brown 14- and 15-year olds just trying to survive daily life on their gang-ruled streets. For the first couple of episodes, the series’ slangy allusiveness makes for a story that feels shaggy at best, and structurally unsound at worst, but when the final credits hit, it’s clear that not one second of the season’s 10 short episodes was wasted: Every line was measured out, every background track meticulously calibrated, every initially jarring tonal shift set up precisely for a singular cumulative effect that lands in the season’s final moments like a punch to the chest you realize too late you should have seen coming from a mile away. —Alexis Gunderson

82. The Guild

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Created by: Felicia Day
Stars: Felicia Day, Vincent Caso, Sandeep Parikh, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, Jeff Lewis
Original Networks: YouTube, Xbox Live

It’s no secret that we have a bit of a crush on Felicia Day. From her starring role in Joss Whedon’s straight-to-internet supervillain musical spectacular, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, to her more than 2 million followers on Twitter, she’s an Internet force to be reckoned with. She’s also a writer/co-producer/actress/etc. for a well-known and industry-defying web series called The Guild. Turns out, we might also have a crush on The Guild itself. The web series follows the sordid on- and off-line lives of a band of gaming misfits as they go from being anonymous avatars to being present in each others’ lives. The ensemble that Day and other producers scrabbled together are not only incredibly funny in their own individual rights, but they work together well—from snarky Amy Okuda as Guild dissenter Tinkerballa down to Sandeep Parikh’s obsessive, sheltered and socially-deficient gnome warlock Zaboo. Every character seems almost tailored to each actor/comedian’s strengths, which maximizes the potential for hilarity. —Whitney Baker

81. Parenthood

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Created by:   Ron Howard, Jason Katims
Stars: Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen, Sam Jaeger, Savannah Paige Rae, Sarah Ramos, Max Burkholder, Joy Bryant, Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman, Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, Tyree Brown
Original Network: NBC

Parenthood has always been a good drama, but it matured into a great one. The NBC series is palpably real. The Bravermans are us. Each episode, the show provides insight into what it’s like to be part of an extended, loving, and meddling family while giving viewers the opportunity for a nice cathartic cry. Family dramas are the hardest type of one-hour programming—they must keep viewers engaged without a weekly patient to cure, crime to solve or case to litigate. That’s why a family drama frequently will turn to the television trope of giving a lead character a disease. But what Parenthood did with the Kristina (Monica Potter) story arc was profound. The series thrives when it demonstrates the minutia of life. While Kristina has been battling breast cancer, she’s also been dealing with life’s smaller moments. Life, the show subtly points out, doesn’t stop for cancer. So often on TV, a disease will befall a character only to be wrapped up in one or two episodes after a few requisite maudlin moments. But Kristina is living with cancer and Potter gave the performance of her career. She evokes empathy from the viewer while never allowing the viewer to pity Kristina, and in doing so, Parenthood quietly became one of the best shows on TV. —Amy Amatangelo

80. Broadchurch

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Created by: Chris Chibnall
Stars: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan
Original Network: ITV

Broadchurch is a riveting UK crime drama that focuses on the murder of a young boy. Former Doctor Who star David Tennant leads as detective Alec Hardy, who with his partner Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) must infiltrate a close-knit community on Britain’s Jurassic Coast. Of course, everybody in town has a secret, and no one takes kindly to the mounting media attention. In its first season, Hardy and Miller continue their investigation, the mystery unfolds in a slow, deceptively languid fashion, lingering on the effects of the child’s death upon the town’s residents. From there things become more sprawling (and arguably less compelling), but still binge-worthy. Created by writer Chris Chibnall (another Doctor Who vet) is a master of atmosphere (a haunting, piano-driven score, the glistening seaside vistas) by taking his time with the details, he keeps the whodunit at a slow boil that rewards patient viewers. —Amanda Schurr

79. Jane the Virgin

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Created by: Jennie Snyder Urman
Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Justin Baldoni, Yeal Grobglas, Jaime Camil, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Anthony Mendez
Original Network: The CW

A virgin perfectionist with a heart of gold shouldn’t be this watchable. However, add a pinch of the ol’ impregnated-by-artificial-insemination storyline, mixed in with the possible threat of a grandmother’s deportation, all while the protagonist is trying to rock both a writing career and motherhood, and you’ve got one of TV’s most fascinating characters. What’s great about Jane is that she handles everything with an impressive sensibility, and you can’t help but fall for her optimistic outlook on life. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and Jane takes the cards she’s dealt in life while never forgetting or forsaking the deep goodness Abuela instilled within her. We watched as this character celebrated life’s big moments with everything from dance-offs to earnest weeping, without any embarrassment for her vulnerability—but don’t get on her bad side. —Iris A. Barreto

78. Tuca & Bertie

Created by: Lisa Hanawalt
Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, Steven Yeun
Original Network: Netflix 

Don’t let the similar art fool you: Lisa Hanawalt’s Tuca & Bertie doesn’t have much else in common with Bojack Horseman. (I mean, that’s just the way Hanawalt draws.) Netflix’s new cartoon looks at the stresses and joys of being a woman today, from lack of respect in the workplace to balancing romance with friendships, but in an absurd reflection of our real world full of talking humanoid animals. Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong voice the adventurous toucan and repressed songbird of the title, respectively, and between their great performances and the nuanced writing of Hanawalt and her team, Tuca & Bertie reveals a keen understanding of life without struggling to seem profound. Also it’s packed so full of sight gags and background jokes that you’ll probably keep your finger on the rewind button the whole time. —Garrett Martin

77. Documentary Now!

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Created by: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Rhys Thomas
Stars: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader 
Original Network: IFC 

Documentary Now! has grown to be even more consistently brilliant than in its fine first season, in part because the creative team—including stars Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, writers Seth Meyers and John Mulaney and directors Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono—regularly found legitimate pathos beneath the comedy. Instead of merely parodying famous documentaries, they used each half-hour episode to quickly sketch recognizable and believable characters, focusing on their pain and humanity as much as their humor. The Spalding Gray satire “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything,” the bleak Salesman parody “Globesman,” and the two-part Robert Evans riff “Mr. Runner-Up: My Life as an Oscar Bridesmaid” are among the best episodes of any show; all three work on multiple levels, as satire, as layered character studies, and as well-crafted faux-documentaries that could easily pass as the real thing if you didn’t know any better. —Garrett Martin

76. Gilmore Girls

Created by: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Stars: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy 
Original Networks: The WB, The CW, Netflix 

Our fearless TV editor at the time, Matt Brennan, recently embarked on a journey. Having never seen Gilmore Girls before, he watched all 154 episodes of the original plus the four new installments of A Year in the Life. (You can read his hilarious stream-of-consciousness here). And I have to admit I was jealous. For me, the original show is now a distant and beloved memory. Oh, the joy of discovering it for the first time! I envy all of you who will watch as Lorelai (Lauren Graham), her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) and family matriarch Emily (the incomparable Kelly Bishop) honestly portray three generations of strong women. It’s the only show you can watch with your teenage daughter and your mother and be assured you will all be equally entertained. In addition to the deft storytelling, there’s the never before or since matched rat-a-tat banter and pop-culture references that infuse all the dialogue. And the love stories! Lorelai and Luke (Scott Patterson) are one of TV’s greatest love stories. And will you be #TeamJess, #TeamDean or #TeamLogan? Even if I didn’t love the (very) flawed A Year in the Life and kind of despised the final four words, I still was so happy to see my friends in Stars Hollow again. The show became a part of my life. And it will become a part of yours, too. —Amy Amatangelo

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