The 50 best TV show seasons of all time, according to critics

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“Breaking Bad” (Season 5).
source
AMC

The most critically acclaimed TV shows in history have earned their praise by repeatedly producing innovative and memorable seasons.

Shows like “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The Sopranos” consistently won over critics, and their best seasons have set a standard for what great television should look like.

More recent shows like “Fleabag” and “Atlanta” have broken into this elite group, as well.

To find out which series have been the most influential, we turned to the review aggregator Metacritic for its list of the all-time best TV seasons, which ranks shows by their composite critical reception (we excluded miniseries and docuseries).

Check out the 50 best TV-show seasons of all time, according to critics:


50. “My So-Called Life” (Season 1)

source
ABC

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.5/10


49. “The Returned” (Season 1)

source
A&E

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.6/10


48. “Transparent” (Season 1)

source
Amazon Prime Video

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 7.4/10


47. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Season 1)

source
Hulu

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 7.8/10


46. “Homeland” (Season 1)

source
Showtime

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.3/10


45. “Rectify” (Season 2)

source
SundanceTV

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.1/10


44. “The Simpsons” (Season 2)

source
FOX

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.0/10


43. “The Americans” (Season 3)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.5/10


42. “Catastrophe” (Season 4)

source
Amazon Prime Video

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.1/10


41. “Halt and Catch Fire” (Season 4)

source
AMC

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.0/10


40. “The Shield” (Season 1)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.3/10


39. “Mad Men” (Season 4)

source
AMC

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.0/10


38. “The Americans” (Season 6)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.1/10


37. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 3)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 7.2/10


36. “Bleak House” (Season 1)

source
BBC

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 9.1/10


35. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Season 3)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.8/10


34. “Louie” (Season 4)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.7/10


33. “Deadwood” (Season 2)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 9.2/10


32. “The Office: UK” (Season 2)

source
BBC

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.9/10


31. “The Americans” (Season 5)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.3/10


30. “Louie” (Season 3)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.8/10


29. “Transparent” (Season 2)

source
Amazon

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 6.7/10


28. “Battlestar Galactica” (Season 3)

source
Sci-Fi

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 9.1/10


37. “Game of Thrones” (Season 4)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 9.2/10


26. “Homicide: Life on the Street” (Season 1)

source
NBC

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.5/10


25. “The Wire” (Season 2)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10


24. “The Americans” (Season 4)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 8.9/10


23. “Enlightened” (Season 2)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 7.6/10


22. “Catastrophe” (Season 3)

source
Amazon

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.0/10


21. “Fargo” (Season 2)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.3/10


20. “Better Things” (Season 2)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 7.2/10


19. “The Sopranos” (Season 6)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Notable episodes: “Soprano Home Movies,” “Kaisha,” “Made in America”


18. “Breaking Bad” (Season 4)

source
AMC

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.5/10


17. “Fleabag” (Season 2)

source
Amazon

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10


16. “Twin Peaks” (Season 1)

source
Showtime

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.3/10


15. “Homeland” (Season 2)

source
Showtime

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.3/10


14. “The Sopranos” (Season 3)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 9.4/10


13. “Atlanta” (Season 2)

source
FX

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 7.9/10


12. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 5)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 5.6/10


11. “The Sopranos” (Season 2)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10


10. “The Wire” (Season 4)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.6/10


9. “The Wire” (Season 3)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.5/10


8. “The Leftovers” (Season 3)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.1/10


7. “The Office: UK” (Season 1)

source
BBC

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 8.5/10


6. “The Office: UK” (Season 3)

source
BBC

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 8.3/10


5. “Breaking Bad” (Season 5)

source
Ursula Coyote/AMC

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 9.7/10


4. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 6)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 5.3/10


3. “Murder One” (Season 1)

source
ABC

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 6.3/10


2. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 4)

source
HBO

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 5.7/10


1. “Rectify” (Season 4)

source
SundanceTV

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 8.8/10