15 TV Shows in the GOAT Conversation
What makes a great TV show? Hard to say. Different people love different shows for different reasons. It could be you’re drawn to a particular genre (crime, sci-fi, sitcoms, etc.). It could have to do with when you watched a show or who you watched it with. Or it could relate to how innovative a show is perceived as being in its time and how much it influences everything that comes after. All these factors are valid.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the TV shows we love on an individual basis are highly subjective. What hits one person strongly in the brain, heart and gut won’t necessarily do the same for the next person. But when it comes to the collective conversation about the greatest TV shows of all time, there are a handful of series that come up time and time again.
While other shows may sporadically get noted as possible GOAT (greatest of all time) candidates, these shows get mentioned frequently and consistently…
TV Series Regularly Talked About as the #BestEver
Here are the <1% of TV shows regularly mentioned in discussions about the best series ever—along with a brief description of why people love them and a single tweet reinforcing that perception:
1. The Sopranos
Considered the grandaddy of modern TV, “The Sopranos” kickstarted the idea that a show could essentially be one long, quality movie. It also had an iconic performance from James Gandolfini.
— Jan R H (@JanRH86) April 7, 2019
For decades viewers have been dropping in to grab a cold one with the colorful characters of this Boston bar. The template for many sitcoms to come, this series might also have the best theme song of all time.
— Cherry (@amnotcheerry) January 29, 2019
3. Game of Thrones
“GoT” is the biggest show we’ve ever had, with dragons and battles unlike anything we’ve ever seen on TV. Of course, there’s also those draw-dropping episode like the Red Wedding that stay with you for days.
— Joel Gotlib (@JoelGotlibTV) April 15, 2019
Has any show had as many pop-cultural references as “Seinfeld”? Festivus. Hello, Newman. Close talker. Soup Nazi. Mulva. The list is endless, as are the Easter eggs…
— Robert Bobbo (@bobbotechguy) April 11, 2019
5. Breaking Bad
“Breaking Bad” was a show that built up its audience (and its reputation as one of the best) via Netflix binge watches. It’s known for its meticulous construction and some incredibly intense episodes.
— April Cantu (@april_lynette86) October 1, 2018
Premiering with a bang, “LOST” did things unprecedented for a TV show (especially a network show)—combining genres, flashing through time in innovative ways, and sparking tons of viewer theories and conversations.
Fittingly, Today 4-8 is my birthday! It's my fate…
It's in the numbers…
I was born to be a #lostie 👊💗 #bestshowever❕#Lost ✈ @TheLOSTFans @TheLOSTworld_ #happybirthdaytome 4815162342 pic.twitter.com/r8IHpNGvSi
— Michele~♡♡♡ (@michabernathy) April 8, 2019
There may be no show that goes down easier than “Friends”, which was incredibly popular during its 10-season run and has enjoyed renewed popularity with successive generations via streaming.
— Azzy🍍 (Ozzy) (@ayee_shortyy_18) February 11, 2019
8. The Wire
Taking a unique approach to telling the typical crime story, “The Wire” cast a wide net showing not just the police and criminals but also neighborhood kids, politicians, dock workers, journalists, and the systems we set rigidly in place.
— Ruth Eilerman (@RoointheLou) September 2, 2018
9. Friday Night Lights
There’s a lot of shows about criminals, cops, and mysterious creatures/worlds. What’s far rarer is a show that focuses on the struggles of everyday people in our everyday world. “Friday Night Lights” is that show. And you don’t need to care an ounce about football to love it.
I feel bad for anyone who hasn’t watched Friday Night Lights. #bestshowever
— juju (@jujucapogrossi) May 2, 2018
10. Battlestar Galactica
An update of a 1970s show with some solid actors and interesting ideas for a fledgling cable network that somehow built a loyal fanbase and became an obsession.
3 years ago I got a tattoo in honor of my favorite show 💗Which just happens to be the gods damn #BestShowEver #BSG #battlestargalactica #sosayweall @kateesackhoff @MaryMcDonnell10 @edwardjolmos @MichaelTrucco @TahmohPenikett @ImJamieBamber @jamescallis @theaarondouglas pic.twitter.com/nHTLaetgGq
— CJ (@Caseyandbsg) April 16, 2019
11. Twin Peaks
This 1990s show (revived again in 2017) was the first hint that something more cinematic and serialized could work on TV. It was also weird and mysterious enough that it stuck in people’s minds.
Twin Peaks is the best tv show of all time.
— Suzi (@TheSphereHunter) December 18, 2018
12. The Office
Capturing the awkwardness of workplace exchanges like no other, this great sitcom also boasted an amazing roster of talent—most notably Steve Carrell as constantly cringe-inducing boss, Michael Scott.
If I were stuck on a desert island, and could only watch one TV show for the rest of my life, I would choose The Office. #bestshowever @SteveCarell @AngelaKinsey @jennafischer @johnkrasinski @rainnwilson #TheOffice
— Patty DeRoche (@pattyd126) February 10, 2019
13. Mad Men
Though the fever has died down a little since it finished its run in 2015, people who love “Mad Men” really love “Mad Men”—with many citing its writing, acting, and depth as being beyond compare.
I bing watched @MadMen_AMC, finished the last episode and now I feel like having a Mad Men-sized hole in my heart! #bestshowever #whatnow #season8please #absofuckinglutelylovedit pic.twitter.com/qWxO8iiFla
— Stéphanie Lacroix (@lacroix_st) September 25, 2018
14. The Simpsons
For three decades, “The Simpsons” has been making people chuckle. That’s an incredible run. Ask anyone who’s ever watched the show for an extended period and they can name at least a few classic episodes.
— Brad Grimpe (@bradgrimpe) October 1, 2018
15. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A show unlike any other, “Buffy” came along just before the peak TV movement and created a world and characters that many fans still hold super close to their hearts like a vampire-stabbing stake.
Rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for like the millionth time and becoming obsessed all over again. Totally okay with it tho 😂😂. #buffythevampireslayer #bestshowever #BTVS #nothingbeatsit pic.twitter.com/opFgwOA0zZ
— Bridgette Massie (@BridgetteE_01) March 20, 2018