My Top 20 TV Series of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s

While I’m one of those people who likes to remind people that there was no “0 AD” and therefore a decade is actually 1-10, I do also understand its far easier to say 1990 is the start of the 90s than to say the 1980s ends with 1990, so with that being said: Here are my picks for Top 20 TV Series of the 2010s! Hooray! A mix of genuine praise along with other things like nostalgia and influence, this list is, once again, just my opinion and therefore there are undoubtedly many, MANY shows I never watched that are therefore not on this list. Let’s begin, shall we?

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 20

I wasn’t sure what to go with once I got to under 15, I knew I wanted to make it an even 20, but there were a lot of shows that just bubbled under truly memorable that I wanted to mention. In the end I went with One Punch Man, mostly based on Series 1 I have to admit. It’s mainly because there was a few months back there that Saitama was the talk of the (nerdy side of the) internet, and the show itself was slickly animated and extremely entertaining. Certainly one to remember, even if it has since faded into the shadows…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 19

The first of many comic-based shows on this list (what can I say, I have genres I like, so shoot me) Legends of Tomorrow actually got off to a really bad start, Season 1 being frankly just a bit crap and definitley boring. Somehow though, by mid-way through Season 2 I realised I was having a lot of fun, the cast had been changed up and the tongue was firmly placed in cheek, and it’s only gone from strength to strength since, becoming genuinely funny and occasionally dramatic. The only reason it’s not placed hire is due to that first one, which is funny given the next show…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 18

I was very tempted to put “Season 1” under the logo above for this one, because Season 2 was average, and Season 3 just not very good. So why is Jessica Jones #18 on my best TV series of the decade list, above a show that had one bad season and several good ones? Season 1 was just THAT GOOD. David Tennant was fantastic as Killgrave / The Purple Man, and Krysten Ritter nailed the titular character (something she continued to do in spite of everything else around her being less and less… good) leading to a really engrossing game of cat and mouse, all with the backdrop of a New York still reeling from the events of the first Avengers film. Great stuff.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 17

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series I always had an interest in, ever since my friend brought round his copy of the CAPCOM fighting game on the Dreamcast. I knew the series was split up into different eras with often completely different casts, and the use of Stands was always an fun idea. So when they announced an anime adaptation of the manga at long last, I was thrilled. Sure Part 1 was… rough around the edges, but I enjoyed Parts 2 and 3, and loved 4. Part 5 was good too, making for an overall extremely fun, and yes often bizarre, viewing experience. Here’s hoping the adaptations continue in 2020!

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 16

The Flash has had some rough times during its run, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I watched the show every week, at no point did it drop to the point I wasn’t enjoying it. The show nails the weekly superhero format, created a fun cast of characters to place around the lead, and the lead himself has been perfect realised by Grant Gustin. Throw in some fun rouges and it’s been a good time… for the most part.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 15

Much like with Jessica Jones Season 1, I was tempted to just use the logo for Red Dwarf X here, as that was the standout series of the decade, with XI and XII being good, with one or two greats, but never reaching the height of the first full series since 1999 (or the lows of VIII or BTE, thankfully…). That being said, the fact I’m talking about three new series of Red Dwarf in a 2010s good TV retrospective is amazing, and long my it continue!

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 14

Speaking “amazing that I’m talking about a new series of something I love in a 2010s good TV retrospective” Dragon Ball Super! Yes, after GT ended in the mid-90s (in Japan) there hadn’t been a new Dragon Ball series airing at all, just the odd special here and there. Then suddenly in 2013 we had a new DBZ movie, scripted by Toriyama himself no less, then suddenly a second film, then BAM: Dragon Ball Super, a brand new TV series, and it was great! I mean, the plots were often either nonsense or not even there, this is why DBS is only #14 despite Dragon Ball being an all-time love of mine, but especially towards the end the animation was great, the soundtrack top-notch and who doesn’t like Goku gaining a new transformation in order to overcome a new foe? Hell, a canon film came out after the series that made Broly apart of the regular timeline! We live in weird times, but exciting times, and if nothing else it’s given us new characters to play as in the endless stream of Dragon Ball games…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 13

You know, a few seasons in and I would have banked on Walking Dead being in my Top 10 of the decade, but its safe to say the show has been on a slow and steady decline, and some recent decisions in terms of the main cast have only made it worse. Still, I can, and won’t, forget how great the show was for its first five or six seasons, and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes will forever be in my memory as an extremely fun and flawed TV character to follow…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 12

Attack on Titan is one of those shows that when it nails something, boy does it ever nail it, but otherwise it’s just “good”. I don’t think the show has ever fallen lower than good, to its credit, but there have been some scenes and episodes that were so far and away better that the rest comes off worse. This is not a criticism, not really, but I just wanted to point out that sometimes I felt AoT was starting to finally slow down and “lose it”, then suddenly I’d get a reminder of why I loved this really… really weird world in the first place. Let’s see if they can stick the landing with the final series next year…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 11

Arrow is a hard one to talk about. At the start it was a fun and interesting “gritty” superhero show at a time superhero shows weren’t really being done. Throughout its eight seasons its become so much more than just Oliver Queen, and I don’t just mean the fun cast of characters that ended up assembled around him, I mean an entire TV universe of spin-off shows that has ended up so big and influential that film franchises are being retconned into its multiverse. Man that’s a weird sentence, but my point is while the show has had some… poor seasons sprinkled among its best, I had to rate it a little bit higher than I might have just because of the impact its made this decade, not just to TV, but to my viewing habits!

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 10

Just sneaking into this decade is Durarara!!, the oddest-titled show on the list! DRRR!! is a really interesting show that instead of having a central protagonist, it has a district of a city as its focal point, and a large cast of weird and wacky characters living in it. It can get violent, it can get silly, it can shine a light on issues with social media and the youth of today, it can have an Irish Dullahan riding a motorcycle being in love with a scientist whose Dad always wears a gas mask for reasons never stated, but what it always does is entertain across all four of its seasons.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 9

Doctor Who in the 2010s is all about one man: Steven Moffat. His chosen Eleventh Doctor debuted in 2010, then came Doctor 12, then he left the show just become the decade came to a close (giving us one uneven series with Doctor 13 to close us out, not that Moffat’s series were back to back hits…) While I had issues with Matt Smith’s portrayal as the show went along, I loved Peter Capaldi in the role. There were some truly special episodes during the decade too, but the thing I want to talk about most is the 50th Anniversary night. Man, what a fun time! Not only was Day of the Doctor a fantastic special episode, but the “Five-ish Doctors Reboot” comedy short was hilarious (if you’re a fan of the series…) and generally it was really weird to see the show dominate the country, even if it was only for a day. So while the 2010s may not have reached the story heights of the 60s, 70s or 00s, it was still a good time for the show.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 8

Altered Carbon came out of nowhere to end up being my favourite show of 2018. It’s got that Bladerunner aesthetic down to a tea, it had a really interesting plot device with the “Sleeves” that people can transfer their essence to, and generally it was a really great series that had me hooked right up to the big finale. I know a second season is in the works, but it sounds like it was only just renewed, so this may end up being a footnote in the long run, but I’ll never forget it, and will never stop recommending it.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 7

The new big Shonen Jump! hit, My Hero Academia flawlessly mixes Asian Manga with Western Comics, and the end result is excellent. To top it off they didn’t go the weekly episode route and instead stuck to seasons, which has led to an actually well-paced and faithful adaptation. I’m sure there is a lot more to come from MHA in the 2020s, but even at what might end up being an early phase for the show I can already easily rank it as the seventh best show I’ve watched in the last ten years.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 6

Coming in at number six, and the highest placing anime of the decade, Psycho-Pass, much like Altered Carbon two spaces below it, perfectly nails the neo-noir / cyberpunk dystopia, but has lots of unique ideas to play around with. Full of a great cast of characters, I have to say that the idea of a system that regulates stress and “happiness” being the central backbone of the world was good, but to then have a lead antagonist who had a mental condition / general intelligence where he can remain calm even at doing the most horrible things (and therefore not get judged) was great, then to have the system itself pick this person as a perfect fit to join it as a judge of others was a stroke of genius, especially when said antagonist wants no part of it. Is he right or wrong, are the “heroes” we’re watching try to take him down right or wrong? So many great scenes… Let’s just not mention sequels or movies, okay?

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 5

The Expanse came out of nowhere for me. I’m not a great reader of books so I had no idea of the original book series when this came along, and to be honest I had no idea of the series in general until it appeared on the UK Netflix and I just thought “Oh it’s probably another one of those cheap looking US sci-fi shows” but gave it a go anyway. Man, was I ever wrong! A great budget, a surprising amount of thought towards how things in space would actually work, and a fantastic slow-burn story arc constantly in the background of every season. I’m so happy Amazon Prime saved it, and I can’t wait for more!

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 4

When it was announced the MCU would be expanding into TV not just with Agents of SHIELD, but onto Netflix, who were to tackle some of the more grounded and mature Marvel properties, I was excited. While the other series have had mixed results, Daredevil was almost constantly brilliant. The first season was not only a great origin of the titular character but it also had the best and most interesting version of Kingpin ever done, then Season 2 did the same with The Punisher, creating a really interesting and layered version of the previously one-note comic character. The latter half of Season 2 was a little weaker, but Season 3 brought everything back with the return of Kingpin and a new kind of Bullseye. Whether this stays canon to the MCU remains to be seen, but if it doesn’t I have to say it now: they won’t be able to top this.

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 3

What is there left for me to say about Legion? Season 1 blew me away with its weird and wonderful directing, characters and story arc, Season 2 culminated in a showdown unlike anything I’ve ever seen that will stay with me forever, and Season 3 wrapped everything up neatly enough, even if it didn’t reach and crazy heights of the first two seasons. It did not surprise me to find out that the man behind this series was none other than Noah Hawley, the man responsible for my #2 series as well…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 2

Fargo is everything I want in a story. It has crazy twists and turns, it has great action, an endless stream of really fun and interesting characters, and it never takes itself too seriously. The fact its done that three times without dipping in quality is astounding, especially when you factor in that each series is a near clean slate in terms of setting and characters. Fargo is something I’ll be rewatching many times in the future, I’m sure, and that’s not counting a fourth season set to air next year…

Decade Top 10 TV 2010s 1

I’m sorry for being so predictable here. I was tempted to put Fargo above this as I found the finale of Game of Thrones to be a bit rushed, but in the end this series has given me not just a really fun and well realised world to follow, not just a weird and wonderful cast of characters to enjoy, but its given me no ends of “Wow, did you see yesterday’s episode?” moments. It captured the whole English speaking world’s attention for nearly the entire decade, and it did so despite being a swords and sorcery fantasy tale, a genre normally poked fun at by the same people. Yes, when I, and I’m sure many others in the future, look back on the 2010s, Game of Thrones will be the TV show that pops into everybody’s heads, and well deserved it is too.

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