Best Live Action TV Shows of the 2010's?


Is this the future?!?
Staff member
Mar 22, 2002
Springfield, MO
Well, we covered animation and video games on other forums, but just to wrap up some thoughts on "Best of the 2010's", here's my list for "Best Live Action Shows of the 2010's". Feel free to toss in your own list!

And for the record, yes, my focus (interests) do tend to revolve around sci-fi/fantasy/horror type shows. So anyway, my personal Top 10 (of the 2010's):

10. "V" (2009-2011)
The revival of the 80's cult TV show, about an alien invasion, where the aliens appear to come in peace, but have a more sinister agenda.

9. Supernatural (2005-2020)
Maybe it's on my list more for it's longevity, because the last few years haven't been that good. From 2005 to 2010, it was great, from 2010 to 2012, it was good, from 2012 to 2014 it was....allright...and then in 2014 to 2015, it...wasn't that good...and I haven't paid attention since then (except for the Scooby Doo tie-in). But still, it's on my list for the early seasons in the 2010's.

8. Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)
It's very similar to Supernatural (with the heroes battling "monsters of the week") but the twist on putting the characters Ichabod Crane (and his rival the Headless Horseman) in the modern setting just worked out fantastically, at least for the first couple of seasons.

7. The Walking Dead (2010-2020?)
Yes, it's dragged on too long, but you have to admit those first 3 seasons were iconic.

6. Agent Carter (2015-2016)
The spinoff from the Marvel movies that was cut way too short, I loved it. With the end of the last Avengers movie, it seems like they're trying to retcon this series out of existence, which is a shame.

5. Person of Interest (2011-2016)
Part spy thriller, part sci-fi thriller, part "Touched by an Angel" (with the hero saving a new person in danger each week), this was a classic action drama of the 2010's.

4. The Goldbergs (2013-2020?)
The one pure comedy on my list. It's a nostaglia celebration of the 80's and geek culture from that time period. A close runner up in the "nostalgia comedy" department would be "Fresh off the Boat" (which is a celebration of the 90's, among other things).

3. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-2020)
This show should not have worked. The first part of Season 1 was clunky and didn't work very well, but then with the last few episodes of Season 1, it all came together, and the show was excellent ever since then (with Seasons 3 and 4 being the best). It's a bit of a shame that the first 5 seasons tied themselves a bit too much to the events in the Marvel movies (while the movies could never reference them).

2. Stranger Things (2016-2021?)
More 80's nostalgia, but also a delightful tribute to Stephen King/John Carpenter horror/sci-fi. Plus, a great "coming of age" story. The best thing on Netflix.

1. Once Upon a Time (2011-2018)
My personal favorite of the 2010's. A wonderful re-imagining of the Disney fairy tales (from Snow White to Frozen! In fact, I somewhat like the sequel to "Frozen" show here, instead of "Frozen 2"). The Evil Queen from Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin were the 2 best villains on TV for the mid 2010's. Some might say it was a bit too corny in some spots (or too melodramatic in other spots), or that the special effects were not that great. So what? The characters were delightful and the plot took some unique twists with the characters.

Hmm, most of my picks were from regular "over the air" antenna channels (on FOX, CBS or ABC). I wasn't that big into cable shows this decade (if I did get into a show that was on cable, it's usually by way of Netflix after it aired).

Honorable mentions:

They're not on my list, but I will admit "Game of Thrones" and "Glee" also helped shape the decade.

I'll also give a shout out to "The Big Bang Theory", "Mike and Molly", and "2 Broke Girls" - I don't follow comedy shows like this, but these were good for casually tuning in for a laugh, I think they were of better stock than the type of CBS comedy shows they replaced (aka "How I Met your Mother" and "2 and a Half Men").

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