Condensing down ten years worth of television into a 'best of' list is no easy feat. We could award the most critically acclaimed, or look at what smashed in the ratings. But with so many diverse programs to choose from, it seems unfair to put one above another.
So here at Tech Advisor, we’ve decided to do things a little differently by awarding shows that are the best in their category. It’s like the Emmys - but from the point of view of a bunch of opinionated tech journos who watch far too much telly and probably don’t get out enough.
Read on to find out what shows dominated each genre from 2010 to now, and what was our favourite show of the decade.
Best Drama - Killing Eve
This cat and mouse chase is like no other - as a psychopathic killer and a security operative gradually become obsessed with one another over a series of murders. Both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are stand-out stars of the decade, and the show keeps you on your toes by jumping from an anxiety-inducing thriller to a bizarre and dysfunctional romance. You won’t find another show like this one - and there’s still more to look forward to.
Honourable mentions: The Leftovers and Black Mirror
Best Comedy - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The 99 team nearly met their demise back in 2017, but made headlines after a fan petition helped NBC pick it up. This goes to show just how revered this Mike Schur comedy is, and his other shows - The Office, Parks and Rec and The Good Place - are of a similar standard. With a strong and diverse ensemble cast, a plethora of running-gags and touching relationships throughout, this is a feel-good comedy that keeps on giving. Read what's to come in our Brooklyn Nine-Nine rumour round-up.
Honourable mentions: Community and Inside No. 9
Best Sci-Fi - Stranger Things
Arguably in line for one of the best Netflix Originals of all time so far, Stranger Things reinvented the glory days of eighties sci-fi, and brought us one of the most talented bunch of younger actors around. And best of all, we’re only three seasons down and have a lot more to discover. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the best is yet to come - no pressure.
Honourable mentions: Doctor Who and Twin Peaks: The Return
Best Fantasy - Game of Thrones
Yes, we know how poor the last two seasons are, and let's not even talking about that ending. However, we cannot discard what this series achieved. With one of the largest casts, complex plotlines and challenging special effects, Game of Thrones was one of the shows that wasn’t afraid to take risks, with shocking twists left, right and centre. It's just a shame that they went just that one step too far in the end.
Honourable mentions: Good Omens and His Dark Materials
Best Documentary - Planet Earth II
Most David Attenborough shows were contenders here, but Planet Earth II made shockwaves with its stunning cinematography, risk-taking camera work, emotional story-telling and the accompanying score by Hans Zimmer. This was a geographical documentary that felt more like a cinematic experience - and it’ll always be remembered as the show that kicked this genre into popular culture.
Honourable mentions: Making a Murderer and Fyre
Best Animated - Rick and Morty
Of all the cult shows out there, Rick and Morty is probably the one that has spawned more quotes and memes that you could shake a stick at, following an alcoholic genius and his not-so-bright grandson who explore infinite universes as they cause lots of mayhem and trouble. It’s dark, absurd and incredibly smart, even with all the jokes about Szechuan sauce. Find out more in our Rick and Morty season 4 news piece.
Honourable mentions: BoJack Horseman and Archer
Best Reality - Great British Bake Off
Reality TV has always had a bad reputation for being toxic, but GBBO is the antithesis of that. With a tent filled with supportive bakers, a plethora of enviable treats and hilarious commentary from Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, this is the feel-good show that we needed to eradicate the overflow of trash reality TV. The most drama you'll get is counting how many Hollywood handshakes that Paul gives out... ugh.
Honourable mentions: I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here and RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Period - Downton Abbey
When you think about period dramas, one title comes to mind straight away. Following the drama of the Crawlys across the years 1912-1926, Downton takes real-life historical events like the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, and re-tells them through the perspective of the characters. It’s the historical soap opera that you never knew you needed.
Honourable mentions: The Crown and Chernobyl
Best Crime - Fargo
Attempting to recreate a cinematically-revered film by the Coen Brothers isn’t an easy thing to do, but all three seasons of Fargo are masterfully complex and certainly live up to the original film. Complete with black humour, terrifying villains and a stellar cast lineup (including Martin Freeman, Ewan McGregor and Kirsten Dunst) you’ll be hooked on this mystery that lies in frozen Minnesota.
Honourable mentions: True Detective and American Crime Story
Show Of The Decade - Breaking Bad
There aren’t many shows that we’d deem a masterpiece, but Breaking Bad is one of the few that earns that title ten times over. Following the metamorphosis of Walter White - from Chemistry teacher to revered drug lord - this is a show that makes even the most minute of details pay off. It even manages to end perfectly, a remarkable feat that lots of other contenders on this list couldn’t quite do.
It’s also worth adding that the spin-off series and follow-up film - Better Call Saul and El Camino respectfully - are also both great watches and build on the existing universe without undermining the original plot.
Tech Advisor People’s Choice - Fleabag
We actually conducted a survey amongst our readers for the show of the decade, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s sitcom about a woman trying to cope with London life after a tragedy hit the top spot on our list. Fleabag invites viewers along for the journey, breaking the fourth wall throughout and not holding back from bold choices. It may only be recent, but it’s Emmy accolades certainly earn it a place on this list.
See our full reader poll below: