What’s the Best TV Drama of the past 25 years?

As we head into March Madness, New York Magazine‘s excellent culture blog, Vulture, has decided to a slightly different sort of bracketing: what is the best drama of the past 25 years?

Looking back at 1990, our options for good TV dramas were limited – a 21 Jump Street spinoff, some show with Richard Chamberlain that wasn’t The Thorn Birds, and shows for the older set, Matlock and Murder, She Wrote.  Vulture goes on to suggest that Twin Peaks was one of the first shows for adults in a long time –

Twin Peaks was a TV show that didn’t seem to knowit was a TV show, and its mere existence conveyed a strangely empowering message to TV viewers everywhere, people who’d long been content with neuron-dimming procedurals and plod-heavy soaps: You’re smarter than this.

And since then, those TV viewers who want it, have been treated like adults with shows like Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Battlestar Galactica.

A panel of novelists, actors, writers, and journalists will make the case for their shows and then decide who goes on to the next level until New York Magazine’s TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz will announce the final winner on March 23.

Sopranos - the probable favorite

This is a breakdown of all the shows in the running, with their initial sparring partners, my choices are in bold:
Group 1:
vs Six Feet Under this was today’s bracket, Sopranos won.
The Shield
vs NYPD Blue
Breaking Bad* vs Friday Night Lights
Twin Peaks vs Battlestar Galactica 

Group 2:The Wire vs My So-Called Life
X-Files vs West Wing
Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs Deadwood
Mad Menvs Lost

*These shows have not yet finished their run, so this is based on all shows that have aired to date.

Are there any shows missing? Which do you think will/should win?

About ilmozart

Pop culture addict. Reading enthusiast. Music lover. Occasional believer in the city of Atlantis.
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7 Responses to What’s the Best TV Drama of the past 25 years?

  1. Cullen says:

    clearly they’re missing grey’s anatomy

  2. Cullen says:

    and, yes, that was a joke (…sort of…shhhh…)

  3. Probably because it hasn’t had a long enough run.

    • ilmozart says:

      True — but My So-Called life only ran for 1 season as well. I think Homeland wasn’t everyone’s favorite this past season, even though it was definitely one of mine. Perhaps we also need some distance on it to see if it holds up.

  4. Pingback: Greatest TV Drama in the Past 25 Years – Update | Movies, TV, and all things Pop Culture

  5. Pingback: Greatest TV Drama in the Past 25 Years: Final Results | Movies, TV, and all things Pop Culture

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