9. Mad Men
AMC churned out a number of fantastic television shows in the late 2000s, but before Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead appeared on the scene, Mad Men entered the picture.
With Better Call Saul continuing (though technically preceding) the Breaking Bad universe and TWD moving forward on multiple tv shows and tv movies, Mad Men stands as alone.
And for good reason.
Mad Men's substance is found in its script and scenery. The production team left no detail unaddressed, using hours of research to make the show feel as authentic to the time period in staging and setup as possible.
What's more surprising is just how real Mad Men strives to be. Unlike most other shows, Mad Men seems to go out of its way to paint these characters as deeply flawed individuals and doesn't pull punches to mitigate their behavior.
Mad Men can be viewed over and over as if it were a case study in drama. It's a character-driven show that doesn't rely on twists, cliffhangers, or spectacle. Instead, it challenges the viewer to work through the narrative as if it were a piece of literature.
Rewatching Mad Men with an established relationship to these troubled characters allows a viewer to place a heavier focus on the brilliant interplay between the dialog and camerawork, observing the way this subtle but effective choreography adds layer upon layer to the story.