Some shows are up for debate. These are not. These are required viewing.
The Wire—The best show about how drugs impact a community (well, until Breaking Bad came along). It starts as a simple cops versus robbers tale, but adds layer after layer until no life is left untouched.
Favorite seasons: 1, 3 & 4
Freaks & Geeks—Who didn’t feel like a freak or a geek in high school? Answer: Jocks. But this poignant coming of age story from Judd Apatow follows a sister (freak) and brother (geek) as they try to make sense of the best years of their lives. Launched the careers of Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jason Siegel.
Favorite episodes: Yeah, just watch it already.
LOST—Yes, it “lost” its way. But no other show was as ambitious or enthralling. At this point, it’s more about the journey than the destination. It may well be the last scripted show that EVERYONE watched and talked about.
Favorite seasons: 1, 2 and 5
Arrested Development—Clever doesn’t always work. But this show wasn’t afraid to mix bad puns with brilliant timing to create two incredible seasons and one average one.
Oscar: “And to think I was going to share with you some of my Pop Secret.”
Buster: “Pop? Secret? Oscar is my father??”
Favorite seasons: 1 & 2
Futurama—Better than the Simpsons. There, I said it. By making the Homer character a robot sidekick named Bender, this show managed to maintain more heart and, let’s face it, plot, than its predecessor.
Favorite episodes: Kra-block, Roswell that ends well, The Prisoner of Benda