TV dominates our lives. It's everywhere, and it's relentless, and it's magical.
But it's not always great. In fact, many shows we've seen are disposable at best and outright awful at worst; it takes something really special to stand out in the crowd and leave a lasting impression.
Such is the case with the following twenty shows, each of which are not without their flaws (no show is) but nonetheless rank as some of the best ever made, whether it's a whacky medical sit-com, an inter-generational tragicomedy, or an animated classic that changed TV forever.
The following list will focus on the best episodes lurking within these brilliant shows, old and new alike; episodes that represent both the very best of their series, and TV as a whole.
With some major spoilers, plenty of laughs, and heaps of heartbreak, here are 20 transcendent TV episodes that are practically flawless.
20. Game Of Thrones - The Rains Of Castamere
During its eight-season run, Game of Thrones aired countless episodes that could have made this list, but none that were ever as methodically paced, memorable and brutal as season three's penultimate masterstroke The Rains of Castamere.
The now-infamous episode follows a handful of key storylines, from Dany's crusade to free the slaves in Yunkai to Bran's mysterious warging abilities, all of which culminate in the harrowing Red Wedding, in which Catelyn and Robb Stark are massacred alongside their men and Robb's pregnant wife by a vengeful Walder Frey.
Even for a show widely known for its brutality, The Rains of Castamere is a bleak and uncompromising affair; the build-up to its final tragedy is a stunning exercise in tension, and when the violence finally comes it knocks the wind out your lungs and cements the war for the Iron Throne as one nobody is safe from. Peace is futile.