30. “Halt & Catch Fire” (2014—2017, AMC)
Like “The Sopranos” in the early aughts, the influence of AMC’s seminal series “Mad Men” was felt for years on network and cable television alike. When Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers’ ‘80s set tech drama “Halt & Catch Fire” debuted in 2014, it felt as if a group of network executives, devising various “‘Mad Men’, but in the ___ world” scenarios, had finally landed on the booming tech industry. The first season laid the groundwork well enough, while never quite escaping the feel of a Frankenstein-monster mash-up. But when the show returned for a second season, it took the lead of “The Leftovers,” another rough-starting 2014 series, by diagnosing the first season’s primary issues and completely reinventing itself. It was a stunning turnaround. Abandoning the “mysterious, enigmatic leader going against the grain” theme that took up most of the first season, “Halt” expanded its scope and created a fuller world around its group of ambitious underdogs in search of a connection (literally and figuratively). More so than most dramatic series, the show toyed with our sympathies towards its core ensemble in ways that allowed the characters to grow in unexpected ways, and gave the actors some of the most well rounded arcs since “Six Feet Under.” What could have just been a failed attempt at recreating the magic of another golden era in television became one of the most emotionally galvanizing, criminally underrated television series in some time. — MR

29. “Bored to Death” (2009—2011, HBO)
Bored to Death,” based off a “noir-otic” short story from author Jonathan Ames, never caught fire in the way that other 30-minute HBO comedies (“Girls,” “High Maintenance”) did. However, to its fans, “Bored to Death” is one of the network’s overlooked treasures: a high-minded, often riotously funny blend of wit and scatology, as well as a deviously clever subversion of modern gumshoe tropes. Jason Schwartzman gave one of his most winning performances playing a flailing, pot-smoking Brooklyn scribe (also named Jonathan) compelled to solve the mysteries of other people’s lives – a missing skateboard here, shadowing an unfaithful boyfriend there – in the wake of a particularly bad breakup. In “Bored to Death’s” subsequent seasons, Schwartzman’s penny-ante detective found himself dealing with stalkers, infiltrating S&M clubs, and, of course, ingesting copious amounts of marijuana and white wine. But at its core, this was always a show about friendship, and the sweet bond between Jonathan and crabby comic book artist Ray (Zach Galifinakis) and sexually prolific libertine society man George Christopher (a delightfully loopy Ted Danson) grounded the show’s perverse detours in something poignant and real. – NL

28. “Rick and Morty” (2013—Current, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim)
It has become something of a chore to separate the undeniable virtues of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s wackadoodle animated sci-fi comedy “Rick and Morty” from the more irritating characteristics of its fanbase. It’s a shame, because when “Rick and Morty” is good, it’s really, really good, imbued with a go-for-broke, try-anything spirit that it makes other animated adult comedies look tepid by comparison. While the show lacks the dark heart of “Bojack Horseman” – its most obvious point of comparison – “Rick and Morty” often compensates for its relentless pessimism with sheer, untethered imagination. It’s the kind of show that can squeeze jokes about divorce and platonic codependency into episodes featuring bizarre alien landscapes, potshots at superhero culture, or gags about what happens when Rick turns himself into a pickle. (Fans of the show are particularly partial to the “Interdimensional Cable” episodes, which defiantly eschew traditional plot developments and instead act as a clothesline off of which the writers can hang their most absurd and offensive bits). “Rick and Morty” is an undeniable original, and while its fanbase could stand to get a life and y’know, not harass the female writing staff, we’re confident that this is a show that will only get weirder and better with each new season. – NL

27. “The Good Place” (2016—2019, NBC)
Michael Schur’s sunny, consistently brilliant “The Good Place” might just be the most intellectually rewarding single-camera sitcoms in the medium’s history – if there’s a smarter show of this stripe, we’ve yet to see it. Schur, a veteran of classic sitcoms like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” keeps “The Good Place” as LOL-funny as any of his more revered, traditional work. However, what makes his latest so ineffaceable is the depth of philosophical and moral insight it packs into each episode; it’s a show as likely to reference the texts of Martin Heidegger as it is to spend one episode detailing the life and death of a moronic Florida DJ masquerading as a silent monk. The wonderful Kristen Bell stars Eleanor Shellstrop, a self-absorbed asshole who ends up in ‘the Good Place’ – this show’s deceptively pleasant version of the afterlife – by mistake. Bell is supported by a ridiculously funny and consistently generous supporting cast that includes “Midsommar’sWilliam Jackson Harper as a perpetually indecisive ethics professor, Jameela Jamil as a haughty British society gal, and Ted Danson as the architect of the Good Place who (spoiler alert) may in fact be a demon with less-than-noble cosmic intentions. With each new season of “The Good Place,” Schur redraws his map, taking wild, swing-for-the-fences chances that have made his show one of the most rewarding, ambitious series on the air. – NL

26. “Catastrophe” (2015—2019, Channel 4/Amazon Studios)
Odd-couple sitcoms too often rely on formulaic extremes: find a pair of teenage idiots or two septuagenarians, squeeze a few laughs from an audience, done. “Catastrophe” changed this formula by proving that middle age doesn’t have to limit itself to existential crises to find its value. Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan wrote themselves the roles of Rob Norris and Sharon Norris, and their visceral credibility rings just as true as their vague pseudonyms suggested. They took a crisis, a pair of strangers, a mundane situation, and spun it into a brilliantly loveable and lucid portrait of a couple born out of improbably circumstances. The show’s mixture of heady desire, slapstick humour, knockout heartbreak, and serious strains works so well because Delaney and Horgan are singular performers – utterly charming and often hilarious, but mature enough to turn down the jokes when real life becomes too heavy to bear. They don’t need to reduce themselves to cliches, to de-age or redesign or polish over more tedious parts of marriage and parenthood: it’s in the singular honesty and infectious, intelligent comedy that “Catastrophe” finds its strength. -EK

25. “Insecure” (2016— Current, HBO)
Is there a more consistently slept-on show than Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore’s radiant, marvelous “Insecure?” Writer/star Rae is a comic mind for the ages, and yet, “Insecure” is one of those series that, for whatever reason, remains a well-kept secret. With programs like “Game of Thrones,” “Big Little Lies,” and “Westworld” dominating viewer’s minds, attention spans, and social media feeds, who has time for a modest, character-driven dramedy about love and female camaraderie in South Los Angeles? But “Insecure” is one of the best shows on TV right now, and watching Rae and her friends circumnavigate wistful romantic hook-ups, cringey workplace encounters, and the pitfalls of friendship in the 21st century isn’t just relatable and funny – it’s must-see TV. – NL

24. Enlightened” (2011—2013, HBO)
Enlightened” is the kind of show that broke new ground but may have aired a few years too early, championed by fans and critics who fought an uphill – and ultimately losing – battle to get people to watch (some called it The Velvet Underground of HBO). Laura Dern is absolute perfection as a California executive, just out of rehab, who attempts to put her self-destructive life back together after a breakdown and sexist demotion. But “Enlightenment” never overwhelms the viewer with its heavy drama; it was an uplift vehicle that tackled subjects like gaslighting and systemic workplace biases before the #MeToo movement (and was clearly a defining influence on shows like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”). Its first season was a refreshing tonal change in a bleak TV landscape (shows like “Boardwalk Empire” were all the rage at the time) but the second season was simply transcendent. “Enlightenment” recognized what made it stand out, and pivoted towards what made it giddy, great, glad to be apart of things, and unafraid of judgement. – AB

23. “The Crown” (2016—Current, Netflix)
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Peter Morgan‘s Netflix opus is that it even the staunchest anti-monarchist can not only find themselves systematically entertained, but begrudgingly admit how well the series chronicles how intertwined the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the history of the Western World have been for the past 57 years. The life of the Windsors isn’t just a dramatic melodrama that almost anyone can relate to in some way. In three seasons, “The Crown” has chronicled a transforming Britain after WWII, Cold War spies, coups in Greece and the often tenuous “special relationship between the United Kingdom and Great Britain. The series also found a way through the stellar performances of Claire Foy and Olivia Colman to portray the often private monarch as a three-dimensional character. You’ll sympathize for her one moment and disagree with her decisions the next. Moreover, Morgan has found a way to capture the recurring family dynamics that continue to haunt the Royal Family for generations. It’s a beautiful, elegant and reassuring production, but Morgan has never forgotten that at its core, it’s a tragedy. – GE

22. “Killing Eve” (2018—Current, BBC America)
Luke Jennings“Codename Villanelle” novellas laid down the blueprints for Phoebe Waller-Bridge to create the gripping cat and mouse chase in pink chiffon dresses we never knew we needed. Sandra Oh finally breaks free from the shackles of “Grey’s Anatomy” to sink her teeth into the complex neurosis of investigator Eve Polastri, while Jodie Comer, a newcomer at the time, immediately commanded the world’s attention with her effervescent turn as Villanelle, the psycho killer with killer fashion sense. “Killing Eve” is more interested in the dynamics of these two women, and their dangerous dance around each other’s missions and feelings, rather than the strict chronology of events the investigative genre usually allows. That’s to its credit, even if the second season (now led by Emerald Fennell, who will pass the baton to Suzanne Heathcote for Season 3) somewhat stretches out the initial density to cater to more plot-driven suspense. But it still works, and will continue to do so – in part because the players have a vicious, unshakeable allure that so many men could only lust after. – EK

21.Girls” (2011—2017, HBO)
For show centered around the everyday lives of a group of young women living in New York City, “Girls” never went quite where you expected (especially in its later seasons). Lena Dunham’s sometimes controversial series certainly has moments of cringe, but the show is also about how life can be sloppy and cruel in the weirdest of ways – “Sex and the City” for the Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig generation. The tonal range of the writing, veering from stressed-out to jabber-jawed to warmly introspective, was refreshing and exciting, and the performances are universally wonderful, with Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Adam Driver, and Zosia Mamet each breathing a sense of raw individuality into dense roles. The recurring cast was enormously impressive as well (Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Richard E. Grant, and Ben Mendelsohn, to name a few). As long as you were in for the often-wild ride, “Girls” was always the best kind overly dramatic good time. – AB