Whilst pursuing the intense, painstaking research that this piece deserved (basically I sat in my pants and watched YouTube for a few hours), I came to one conclusion – there’s been a lot of great television in the last 15 or 20 years, from both sides of the Atlantic. Some of these shows I haven’t seen in years, and it was fun to familiarise myself with the worlds and characters of Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and Arrested Development.
You can easily forget how hard the best dramas hit you when you first watched them, or how your favourite comedies made you laugh and shaped your sense of humour. You also learn to appreciate the talent of the minds behind these shows – considering most of the shows on this list have ran for multiple seasons and racked up episodes in the hundreds, the quality is remarkably high.
However, even the most well-crafted and consistent show doesn’t always get it right. It’s almost comforting to us mere mortals that even geniuses like David Chase and Larry David are human, and have dropped a clunker or two in their time. What I’ve gathered here, then, are my picks for 10 great shows that have only ever had one noticeably terrible or ill-judged episode. That’s not to say that all the other episodes inherent to these shows were amazing or great, of course – it’s just there there’s only ever been one true “dud.”
This article was first posted on January 10, 2014