The Finest Selection: Unveiling the Greatest TV Drama Series

Television drama series have always captivated audiences with their compelling storylines, gripping performances, and unforgettable characters. From the intense world of drug trade in "Breaking Bad" to the raw portrayal of modern relationships in "Normal People," these shows have left an indelible mark on the small screen. In this article, we delve into some of the best TV drama series that have taken viewers on thrilling and emotional journeys, pushing the boundaries of storytelling. Prepare to be immersed in a world of suspense, intrigue, and unforgettable moments as we explore the diverse and enthralling landscape of TV dramas.

 

The Bear

 

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The Bear | Season 2 Official Trailer | FX

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Say it one more time: "Yes, Chef." Just a year after its dazzling debut, The Bear returned for another season in the Windy City. And Season Two could have been exactly that: another few shifts on the line with Jeremy Allen White and co. Stress, food, a guest star or two, more stress, and we would've liked it just fine.

But that's not what happened. Instead, The Bear opted for a slowed-down, meditative 10 episodes. The result is breathtaking. By stripping down the shouting matches, The Bear allows far more room to explore each and every member of the kitchen, right down to the kind-hearted pastry chef, Marcus. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that—right in the middle of Season Two—The Bear served up one of the year's best episodes.—B.L.

Watch on Hulu

 

I'm a Virgo

 

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I'm A Virgo - Official Trailer | Prime Video

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Boots Riley, you've done it again. After the musician-director turned us all sideway in 2018's Sorry to Bother You, he moved to television—and doubled down with another head-turning premise: The coming-of-age story of a 19-year-old Black teenager from Oakland. And Riley had to fight to execute his vision. “I politely said, ‘It’s my name that’s going on here, and a lot of people are looking out for the next thing I’m doing, and that’s why I’m not backing down on this,’” Riley said in a recent interview with Esquire.

Lucky for us all, I'm a Virgo is here. Thankfully, it's full of Riley's signature wit, zany humor, and cutting social commentary.—B.L.

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

 

Barry

 

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Barry Season 4 Trailer

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Like so many of its characters, Barry drew the short end of the stick. Throughout its final season, on every Sunday night, Bill Hader's labor of love had to follow Succession. All too often, the "who will be the CEO?!" noise drowned out the downright extraordinary things that happened in Barry. Mainly? Emmy-worthy performances from the likes of Sarah Goldberg and Anthony Carrigan, Hader's emergence as a great director, and a fitting, yet divisive finale. If this is all news to you, do yourself a favor and catch up.—B.L.

Watch on HBO Max

 

Jury Duty

 

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Jury Duty - Official Trailer | Prime Video

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Oh, did you think the cutesy, heartwarming, mockumentary-style sitcom (à la Parks & Recreation) was dead? Well, I thought so too, until a friend recommended Jury Duty to me. The eight-episode series follows, yes, a ragtag group of jurors—colorful characters abound!—as they deliberate on a case. The twist? One of the jurors doesn't know they're on a TV show. Enter Ronald Gladden, who thinks that fellow juror, James Marsden (who plays himself), is an honest-to-god asshole.

But this isn't a prank show—and we're not meant to laugh at Ronald. As the shenanigans unfold over the course of Jury Duty, what emerges is a surprisingly humane portrait of the man you'd think is the butt of the joke here. I won't spoil anything else, but Jury Duty will restore, at the very least, an ounce of your faith in humanity.—B.L.

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

 

Strange New Worlds

 

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds | Season 2 Official Trailer | Paramount

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Disney's Star Wars television universe flailing, while Star Trek reigns supreme on Paramount? A strange new world indeed! June saw the return of the stellar Strange New Worlds—which, of course, repeated its multitudes of magic tricks. As my colleague, Adrienne, wrote in her review of the new season: "All told, Strange New Worlds is a labor of love by writers who live and breathe Star Trek, sure, but also just get what it is: a way of using the future to tell gripping stories about who we are now."—B.L.

Watch on Paramount+

 

Succession

 

We may as well end this list here because no TV series, regardless of genre, can compete with Succession. From the meticulously perfect writing to the impeccable acting from the whole Succession cast and the heart-stopping tension of every single episode, there is nothing else quite like Succession on television today.

What is so remarkable about Succession is that as each season, and indeed each episode, ticks by, you constantly think to yourself, “surely this can't keep getting better,” but it absolutely does. With the jaw-dropping drama escalating rapidly as the story of the Roy family unfolds and alliances are formed and broken, you will realize every single character is a despicable, selfish person; but we love each of them all the more because of this.

From the endearing bond between Tom Wambsgans and Cousin Greg to Brian Cox's ruthless titan of business Logan Roy and all the Roy siblings in between, the ever-shifting dynamic of the many Succession characters in this show is a delight to watch. We can't wait to see what chaos lies ahead when the Succession season 4 release date comes around.

The best drama series: Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

 

The Last of Us

 

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The Last of Us | Official Trailer | Max

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The video game adaptation curse, blah, blah, blah. If you've played even an hour of The Last of Us, you'll know that the writers of the HBO series weren't exactly working with Uncharted as source material. (Of course, only a tiny bit of offense to Uncharted—and absolutely none to Tom Holland.) The Last of Us always felt more like a miniseries than a video game in the first place. Add Pedro Pascal to the mix, and this survival road trip dominated television in January and February for good reason. Pedro: we'll let you protect us from rabid monsters during the apocalypse any day. —B.L.

Watch on HBO Max

 

The Lying Life of Adults

 

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The Lying Life of Adults | Official Trailer | Netflix

Watch it hereThis is an imageFollowing the success of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend and Netflix’s The Lost Daughter, the Elena Ferrante-aissance continues with Netflix’s The Lying Life of Adults, a miniseries adaptation of the author's newest novel. Set in 1990s Naples, the story centers around a sullen teenager named Giovanna who rebels against her well-to-do parents. She forms a connection with her estranged Aunt Vittoria, who lives on the less affluent side of the city. As Giovanna navigates between her parents' expectations and her aunt's influence, she begins to uncover her family's dark secrets and gain insight into the challenges faced by young women as they come of age. The Lying Life of Adults is a gripping and emotional series that beautifully captures the intensity and vulnerability of the female journey into adulthood. —A.W.

Watch it now

 

BEEF

 

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BEEF | Official Trailer | Netflix

Watch it hereThis is an imageJoin us for an A24 series featuring the talents of Steven Yeun and Ali Wong. Netflix's BEEF is a collection of 30-minute dramedy episodes that follow the psychological aftermath of a road rage incident. Prepare yourself for a wild ride through the minds of two individuals as their thoughts and actions become consumed by their shared experience. BEEF's captivating and raw episodes are destined to leave a lasting impact, making it a strong contender for year-end best-of lists. Oh, and be sure not to miss Steven Yeun's cover of an Incubus song. —B.L.

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YOU

 

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YOU: Season 4 Part 1 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Watch it hereThis is an imageWith each passing season, Penn Badgley's portrayal of Joe Goldberg, the cunning and misogynistic character, becomes even more captivating. In the latest season of YOU, Joe has assumed a new identity and is living in London, seemingly on a path to redemption. However, a shocking twist forces Joe back into his psychopathic ways and puts him in a vulnerable position as the prey, rather than the predator. YOU may have its flaws, but it is undeniably an addictive and thrilling series that offers a perfect mix of drama and entertainment. Is it too early to start counting down the days until Season Five? —A.W.

Watch it now

 

Shrinking

 

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Shrinking — Official Trailer | Apple TV

Watch it hereThis is an imageHarrison Ford absolutely nails it in Shrinking, a delightful psychotherapy comedy that will keep you entertained for many reasons. Not only does it feature Jason Segel playing a character who is quintessentially Jason Segel, but it also has Jessica Williams providing hilarious moments. However, it is Ford's portrayal of Dr. Paul Rhodes, a highly regarded therapist who prioritizes work over accolades, that truly steals the show. If you're a fan of Ford or in need of a good laugh, Shrinking is a must-watch. —B.L.

Watch it now

 

Star Trek: Picard

 

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Star Trek: Picard | Season 3 Official Trailer | Paramount

Watch it hereThis is an imageAfter two seasons that deviated from the spirit of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Picard is back on track. The highly anticipated third season reunites Admiral Jean-Luc Picard with his beloved crew from the Enterprise-D, including William Riker, Deanna Troi, Geordi LaForge, Beverly Crusher, and Worf. Together, they face a new and dangerous threat that is deeply connected to their shared history, spanning not only The Next Generation, but also Deep Space Nine and Voyager. As old conflicts resurface, both in the galaxy and among the crew, Picard embraces nostalgia to deliver a captivating and satisfying experience. Paramount's Star Trek renaissance continues to showcase some of the finest science fiction on television today. —A.W.

Watch it now

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Abbott Elementary

 

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Abbott Elementary Season 2 Teaser

Watch it hereDon't let the Abbott Elementary hype fade away! Keep it going! Quinta Brunson's schoolhouse sitcom never fails to deliver entertaining and compelling episodes. If you find yourself feeling down from watching emotionally heavy shows like The Last of Us, just a single 22-minute episode of Abbott Elementary can cure any negativity caused by your cordyceps infection. Here's to the joyful and uplifting moments this series brings. —B.L.

Watch it now

 

Great Expectations

 

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Great Expectations Official Trailer | Olivia Colman, Fionn Whitehead | FX

Watch it hereFX's adaptation of Great Expectations presents a fresh and daring take on Dickens' renowned novel. Set in Victorian London, this bold rendition incorporates elements of sex, drugs, and violence, adding a contemporary twist to the story of social climbers. Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, brings his unique visual style to this adaptation, immersing each scene in darkness and grit. Notably, Olivia Colman's powerful performance as Miss Havisham elevates the series to another level. Great Expectations is an enticing and modernized interpretation of a literary classic.

Watch it now

 

Breaking Bad

 

What can be said about Breaking Bad that hasn't already been said? This crime drama series has consistently been hailed as one of the greatest television shows of all time, and that reputation is well-deserved. Breaking Bad takes viewers on a thrilling journey alongside Walter White, a high school science teacher turned drug lord, and his loyal accomplice Jesse Pinkman. The series expertly weaves together tension, explosive drama, humor, and poignant moments throughout its run. Bryan Cranston delivers an exceptional performance as Walter White, undoubtedly one of the most memorable characters in TV history. You can still enjoy the entire Netflix series on the streaming platform, along with the captivating spin-off movie El Camino.

The best drama series: Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria

 

Euphoria

 

Euphoria has taken the world by storm and is currently the most popular TV show. The thrilling season 2 finale kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Led by the talented Zendaya from Spider-Man: No Way Home, the series follows a group of teenagers who are notorious troublemakers and drama magnets.

Who is your favorite character? Check out the rankings of Euphoria characters.

As Rue, Jules, and their friends navigate the complexities of love, struggle with drug addiction, and cope with the pressures of high school, we witness the development of strong bonds and the emergence of conflicts among the characters. It's enthralling to witness their journeys. Apart from captivating storylines, the show also features phenomenal music, stunning cinematography, and iconic costumes.

Season 2 left us with plenty of unresolved plotlines, and fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Euphoria season 3. We hope it arrives on our screens soon! You can stream Euphoria on NOW with an Entertainment Membership.

The best drama series: Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in Ozark

 

Ozark

 

Jason Bateman is primarily known for his comedic roles in movies like Horrible Bosses, but his performance in Ozark demonstrates his versatility as a dramatic actor. In this riveting series, Bateman portrays Marty Byrde, a humble financial advisor who is forced into a life of crime and money laundering.

Interested in crime stories? Check out the best detective movies.

Though Ozark draws comparisons to Breaking Bad due to its depiction of an ordinary person thrown into extraordinary circumstances, it offers much more than a mere Walter White imitator. The supporting cast, notably Julia Garner and Laura Linney, deliver incredible performances alongside Bateman.

The best drama series: Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

 

Sharp Objects

 

Sharp Objects, based on the book by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl), captivated viewers with its limited series format. A-list star Amy Adams delivered one of her finest portrayals, transitioning from the big screen to the small screen. This shocking story exemplifies the current era of cinematic television.

Adams plays Camille Preaker, a crime reporter and recovering alcoholic recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital. She returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. As Camille delves deeper into her investigation, she grapples with her own personal demons, intensifying the suspense surrounding the mysterious murders.

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Sharp Objects is a drama with a thrilling mystery-thriller twist. It packs a psychological punch, making it a must-watch for fans of dark and gritty dramas.

The best drama series: Greg and Tom in Succession

 

Normal People

 

The BBC has continuously delivered remarkable British dramas over the years, and Normal People is another gem in their collection. This limited series showcases the BBC's commitment to producing top-quality content.

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The meandering love story of Connell and Marianne in Normal People propelled its stars, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, into the spotlight. Their delicate portrayals have received widespread acclaim. Notably, Edgar-Jones is currently starring alongside Sebastian Stan in the dark thriller movie, Fresh.

Normal People isn't your typical cheesy love story. It offers a scrupulously realistic and poignant portrayal that may break your heart but is definitely worth the emotional journey. While you're thinking about Paul Mescal, here's a guide on how to watch Aftersun, his new movie.

The best drama series: Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You

 

I May Destroy You

 

I May Destroy You is an exceptional drama that tackles hard-hitting subjects. This one-woman creation is the brainchild of Michaela Coel, a rising star in British comedy writing. She also takes on the lead role of Arabella in this limited series.

Arabella wakes up one morning with marks on her body, a pounding headache, and no recollection of the previous night's events. As she pieces together her fragmented memories, she discovers the horrifying truth of her traumatic experience. The series culminates in Arabella confronting her painful ordeal in a creative and powerful manner.

An intense emotional journey: Explore the best drama movies.

Though the show tackles heavy themes, it also weaves moments of levity through Coel's unique blend of important issues and her trademark comedy.

The best drama series: The cast of Sons of Anarchy

With an abundance of captivating storylines and exceptional performances, the world of TV drama series has truly reached new heights. From the thrilling twists and turns of "Breaking Bad" to the raw and heartfelt moments of "Normal People," these shows have kept us on the edge of our seats and left us craving for more. Whether you're in the mood for a sci-fi adventure like "Star Trek: Picard" or a dark exploration of human psychology like "Sharp Objects," there is undoubtedly a TV drama series out there to suit every taste. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and get ready to be swept away by the gripping narratives and unforgettable characters of the best TV drama series.

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