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30+ Cool TV Series With the Highest Ratings in History

TV series are not just soap operas anymore and today they are just as good as movies. Many series keep their viewers on the edges of their seats for many episodes and manage to surprise them with new plot twists. When the weather gets bad, you can always watch your favorite series at home.

We at Bright Side also love watching TV series after difficult workdays. Careful: we’ve collected only the best series in this article, so there’s a risk of getting stuck at your TV for a very long time.

4 emotional series about love, good friendship, and feelings

Pride and Prejudice, 1995

This is a TV series version of the famous novel written by Jane Austen. The 2 main characters — Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy of the novel can be found in many modern books and films. Even though the book was written in the 19th century, the topics of pride, snobbery, and social differences that don’t allow people to say that they love each other are still very relatable.

IMDb score — 8.8

Sherlock, 2010–2017

This is the modern version of the incredibly popular novel written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes lives in London today and is even more eccentric than his prototype in the book. Dr. Watson suffers from flashbacks of the war in Afghanistan. He has PTSD, but he still decides to teach his sociopath roommate the intricacies of human relationships.

IMDb score  9.1

Fleabag, 2016–2019

A young girl lives in modern London, tries to deal with all of life’s difficulties, and rejects all the help people offer her. Her attempts to try and change the world around her lead to unusual results.

IMDb score 8.7

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, 2017 — now

The charming and energetic Miriam planned her future in great detail: college, wedding, perfect family, and kids. And her plan came true. She lives in New York with her husband and 2 children. But then, her husband runs away and lives with another woman and now Miriam has to build her life from ground zero again.

IMDb score — 8.7

7 action-packed series

Breaking Bad, 2008–2013

This is an amazing series that doesn’t go easy on its viewers. If you like dark realism, you will definitely enjoy this show. Schoolteacher Walter White suddenly finds out he’s got a terminal disease and he has just 2 years left to live. He’s got nothing to lose, and he has to do anything to provide for his pregnant wife and son.

IMDb score 9.5

The Sopranos, 1999–2007

In this series, the dark drama is intertwined with dark comedy. You will watch the life of a mafia group through the eyes of Tony Soprano. The working days and different family scenes are mixed with scenes of Tony talking to his therapist.

IMDb score — 9.2

Peaky Blinders, 2013 — now

This series is set in the 20s of the previous century in Birmingham. The members of this gang and brothers come home after the First World War and become violent gangsters. Peaky Blinders become not only a part of the local business but also of the events that have an impact on the entire country.

IMDb score — 8.8

Stranger Things, 2016 — now

In a small town where everyone knows each other really well, strange things start to happen. And 4 good friends are in the middle of these events. When one of them disappears, the other 3 start looking for him.

IMDb score  8.8

The Boys, 2019 — now

In the modern world, some people have superpowers, and others think that they are true heroes. But under the bright suits and commercials, they are quite despicable people full of pride and contempt for ordinary people. So, a team of boys finds these so-called heroes. And every member of the boys has their own reasons for revenge.

IMDb score — 8.7

Vratice Se Rode, 2007–2008

This Serbian series is about 2 guys from Belgrade who try to earn their living by stealing, but they are really poor criminals and always make mistakes. The series is set in the capital of Serbia and in a small village. The series is about love, friendship, destiny, life, and death.

IMDb score — 8.9

Game of Thrones, 2011–2019

This series is based on the famous book series written by George Martin. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve read the books or not, you should still watch the series. It’s worth noting that Martin’s new book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is supposed to be released in 2021, so now is a good time to watch the series and then compare it to the new book.

IMDb score — 9.2

6 series for the whole family that both adults and children can watch

Frozen Planet, 2011–2012

On our planet, there are silent lands covered in ice. It seems that nothing can exist in this kind of cold. But the creators of this documentary say otherwise. There’s a lot of life that is really intriguing and even scary.

IMDb score  9.0

Avatar: The Last Airbender, 2005–2008

In the fantasy world of this series, there are 4 different nations. Being part of one of the nations means having certain magical powers. And the balance in this world is supported by an Avatar that has all the powers. But the balance is lost, so a young Avatar has to save the world.

IMDb score — 9.2

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, 2014

This is an epic story of the stars and the universe. The anchor of the show is the famous scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He not only talks about the stars millions of lightyears away from us but also about the origins of life and the mechanisms of evolution.

IMDb score — 9.2

Firefly, 2002–2003

This is an iconic series that left all of its fans deeply disappointed with its ending. The story is set in the distant future where the captain of the spaceship Firefly experiences all kinds of adventures with its diverse team. The team does all kinds of work, legal and illegal, and often has to deal with difficult moral dilemmas.

IMDb score — 9.0

Planet Earth, 2006 and 2016

Not all documentaries are as interesting as the series about our planet produced by BBC. The world around us has even more dramatic and funny moments than the world we imagine. With the amazing photos, bright and saturated colors, and a stunning score composed by Hanz Zimmer — this series is great for anyone, no matter if you are 8 or 80 years old.

IMDb score — 9.5

Gravity Falls, 2012–2016

This animation has such absurd humor that it will make any adult laugh. Twins Mable and Dipper go on vacation to visit their Uncle Stan in a town called Gravity Falls. But the boring summer days in a quiet town end up in amazing adventures. The characters will meet fantastic beasts, find a mysterious diary, and will explore strange forests.

IMDb score — 8.8

6 series for people that want more adrenaline in their lives

Fargo, 2014 — now

Murder and sociopath Lorne Malvo gets admitted to a hospital in a town called Bemidji. He accidentally meets insurance agent Lester Nygaard which becomes the starting point of some dark and tragic events. Fargo is an anthology black comedy—crime drama series that has 4 seasons at the moment.

IMDb score — 8.9

Sahsiyet, 2018

The main character Agâh lives a quiet life in Istanbul. His wife recently passed away and his daughter went abroad. Then, he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which means he will soon lose all of his memories. But then, Agâh understands that not remembering is an advantage. This finally gives him a chance to try his evil plan. This decision connects him with Nevra, the only female police officer in the Istanbul homicide department.

IMDb score — 9.1

True Detective, 2014 — now

This is another anthology series where the stories of all the seasons are different but the creator and the atmosphere are the same. The first True Detective season took us to the Louisiana swamps. The second was about the dark side of an industrial city. The third is a rollercoaster between different times. It is almost impossible to guess where the characters will end up at the end. Even though it’s not really in the horror genre, the visuals and the sound create a really scary atmosphere.

IMDb score 8.9

Death Note: Desu nôto, 2006–2007

This is an iconic anime series that even those who have never watched anime before will probably enjoy. The plot is about a smart high school kid. He gets an unusual notebook — anyone whose name gets written there, dies. So, the boy decides to do justice and writes the names of criminals there. The police assign the best detective to investigate this case.

IMDb score — 9.0

Dark, 2017–2020

This is a German series with a really dark atmosphere. In a small town, 2 kids disappear which sheds light on the double lives and strange relationship between 4 families. Dark forests, the characters that are about to have nervous breakdowns, and unexpected plot twists — all of this will keep you on the edge of your seat for 3 seasons.

IMDb score — 8.8

When They See Us, 2019

The series is based on true events that happened in New York in 1989. 5 teenagers were accused of a crime and sentenced to prison from 6 to 13 years. But while they were in prison, they insisted that they were innocent. The series covers the period from 1989 to 2002 starting from the first interrogations and ending with letting them go.

IMDb score — 8.9

8 hilarious comedies for those who love to laugh a lot

Only Fools and Horses..., 1981–2003

The main characters are a family that lives in London. 2 brothers try to earn money in any way they can. Of course, they basically want to work as little as possible.

IMDb score — 8.9

Curb Your Enthusiasm, 2000 — now

The main character Larry has everything you might want: a great career, good friends, and a loving wife. But he doesn’t have a very good temper, which gets him in very silly and awkward situations all the time. The series is based on the life of its creator Larry David who plays the main part.

IMDb score — 8.7

Friends, 1994–2004

These are short stories that you can watch over and over again. 6 main characters — Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey live in New York. In 10 years the friends have a lot of funny moments, they get a taste of family life, and they learn to love and be good friends.

IMDb score 8.9

The Office, 2005–2013

This series is based on the original British TV series (which is also worth your time). It’s a mockumentary that tells the story of the lives of people who work at a regular company in Pennsylvania. The colleagues, who all have their own quirks, often have arguments and find themselves in the middle of really awkward situations.

IMDb score — 8.9

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, 1969–1974

This is a classic of British comedy. The humor is literally absurd here and the viewers don’t even understand why they are laughing. Many stories are really insane, some are a bit tasteless and even dirty, but still incredibly funny.

IMDb score — 8.8

Nathan for You, 2013–2017

This is a comedy documentary. The main character, Nathan Fielder, helps small companies start working. He uses both his own life experience and a lot of theoretical knowledge. But very often, his unusual decisions and original approach result in pretty unpredictable consequences.

IMDb score — 8.8

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 2005 — now

5 friends own a not-so-successful Irish pub in south Philadelphia. They are not really very good friends. They always fight, compete, and try to prove something to each other. And all their amazing plans on how to become rich, usually end in disaster.

IMDb score — 8.8

Rick and Morty, 2013 — now

A genius, yet completely shameless scientist, Rick, and his not-so-smart grandchild Morty research the universe and often create chaos in their wake.

IMDb score — 9.2

6 series that show well-known things from an unexpected angle

The Crown, 2016 — now

This is the story of a young Queen Elizabeth II that finds herself in a very difficult situation at the age of 24. She has to become the Queen of the most famous dynasty in the world and build a relationship with the famous Sir Winston Churchill. The world is in chaos and a young Queen gets the throne.

IMDb score — 8.7

Black Mirror, 2011 — now

This is an anthology series that consists of short episodes that are not connected to one another. In each of the stories, the authors send a message about modern technology and how it changes the world and the people around us. Some episodes are funny, others are scary, and some are extremely sad. But all of them make us think about seemingly obvious things.

IMDb score — 8.8

Rome, 2005–2007

This is a bright and action-packed story of how the Roman Empire appeared. And what’s really cool about this series is that the story is told through the eyes of powerful people, like Ceasar and his family, and ordinary people — like Roman soldiers and their relatives.

IMDb score 8.7

Twin Peaks, 1990–1991

In the peaceful and quiet town of Twin Peaks, everything is good. But then, the body of Laura Palmer is found by the lake. FBI agent Cooper comes to Twin Peaks to investigate the murder. But the case takes him much further than he thought.

IMDb score — 8.8

Over the Garden Wall, 2014

Lost in time and space, there’s a mysterious forest called Unknown. This is where 2 brothers, Wirt and Greg, appear. With their new friends, they try to find their way home through the forest. The music and the visuals here are absolutely stunning.

IMDb score — 8.8

Chernobyl, 2019

This series is based on true events — the catastrophe that happened at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. We not only see events at the plant but also the stories of ordinary people that were in impossible situations who died to save others. The reality of the time was recreated in great detail which is perfect for diving into the atmosphere of the USSR of the middle of the 1980s.

IMDb score — 9.4

Which series are you watching now? Tell us in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit Dark / Netflix, Breaking Bad / AMC