In an age where there's too much TV, it can be hard to know what to watch. You can let Netflix choose for you; You could read reviews, but that's time consuming in and of itself (although reviews are often hugely insightful). Thankfully, Rotten Tomatoes is here to help. The critical aggregator gives every season of a new TV series a score based on reviews from a number of TV critics, and recommends some amazing TV shows.
Although many of the biggest TV shows get good reviews, it's rare for those reviews to be uniformly positive. There's always one critic who thinks that a pretty good show has problems. That's why, in spite of the fact that there's a lot of TV out there, few shows have seasons with perfect Rotten Tomatoes scores. These seasons have to be well-liked by everyone who reviews them. That's why they are so rare.
Big Mouth may be vulgar and animated, but it's also one of the funniest shows on TV. The series tells the story of a group of middle school students going through puberty, and uses a number of creative methods to depict that journey. There are hormone monsters and shame demons, and throughout it all, these kids are just being normal adolescents.
It's a great show that can be surprisingly profound about what it's like to be young and confused. Most of the time, though, the show works because it keeps you laughing so consistently that you don't have any time to think about what complaints you might have had.
Bojack Horseman is a horrible idea on paper, and it had some trouble getting started. Once the show got going, though, it proved that its premise, which follows a dried up sitcom star who also happens to be a horse, was going to be worth following.
On its third season, the show offered us a depiction of Bojack as a fundamentally broken person, and went to great lengths to show us how his destructive tendencies harm the people around him. His depression causes him to implode, and plenty of people get caught up in the resulting fallout. The show is technically a comedy, and it's often quite funny, but it can be as dark as any drama on TV.
It may come as no surprise that Breaking Bad had a number of perfect seasons throughout its run, but season three is undoubtedly the show's crowning achievement. As tensions rise between Gus and Walt, it eventually becomes clear that they are not two men who can work together.
Breaking Bad is a story about one man's rise to power, and his turn towards criminality. On season three, we get the midpoint of that evolution, and begin to see Walt taking actions for more selfish reasons. It's also an iconic season for Gus, the show's best villainous character, and Walt's best competition.
Catastrophe has been a gem of a show since the second it premiered, but its third season is maybe its best. The show follows the relationship between an American man and a British woman, and the way they're forced together by an unplanned pregnancy.
On its third season, though, that central couple dealt with parenthood, as well as the other issues that had impacted their marriage. During later seasons, Catastrophe settled into a steadier rhythm that was at once familiar and wonderful. The show was hilarious and heartfelt. It loved its characters, and as a result, critics did as well.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was acclaimed by critics the moment it premiered, but its final season received more praise than the rest, in part because it was the show's last. On its final season, we follow Rebecca as she attempts to lead a healthier life, one that's less focused on romantic fantasies and fairy tale love stories.
Although Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was an inherently whimsical show, it was nonetheless incredibly pointed about the topics it chose to discuss. Few shows did better by all of their characters, and were more generous in their spirits of inclusion. On top of that, the show was always hugely entertaining.
Dear White People actually continues a story that began as a feature film, but the show's story is even more incisive on TV. It tells the story of black students attending a prestigious, largely white college. On its second season, it also becomes a story about racism, and about the ways that race intersects with other aspects of a person's identity.
The show is sharply written and beautifully directed. What really stands out, though, are the wonderful performances from the entire cast, and especially from Logan Browning as the show's main character. Her performance is the best work on TV that no one is talking about — except for the people who awarded this TV show with a perfect season on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fargo's the kind of TV show that sounds like a total disaster on paper. It's a series inspired by the movie of the same name, but one interested in telling different stories. As the show's first season unfolded, though, it became clear that the idea was not as ridiculous as it had initially sounded.
In fact, the first season of Fargo was one of the most gripping things on TV that year. It was a crime procedural with odd quirks, and a show about the moral depravity that can take root in any person's heart, and the forces of good that fight off that moral corruption. Fargo was a thing to behold, and in its first season, it proved many people wrong.
Fleabag's first season felt miraculous, so its second season felt like it couldn't possibly live up to that level of acclaim. Instead, it surpassed it, delving deeper into the show's characters, and telling a completely different kind of story.
Season two's ideas are hilarious, to be sure, but what makes Fleabag so wonderful has always been the way it mixes hilarity and tragedy. The show rightly recognizes that these two things are intertwined, and allows them to mix together within single scenes and entire episodes. Fleabag season two is a love story, but it's also a story of recovery and redemption and a beautiful one at that.
For a smalltown football drama, Friday Night Lights resonated well with critics throughout its five-season run. On its fourth season, the show went through a soft reboot, losing a lot of its main characters and replacing them with new, fresh faces.
That reboot could have been a disaster. Instead, it led to one of the show's best season, and one that ended up with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. Friday Night Lights proved that it was here to stay and that it could tell interesting stories no matter how it shook up its tried-and-true formula. It was always going to make for interesting TV.
Of the many miraculous things about The Good Place, perhaps the most miraculous is that the show got even better after it delivered its big twist. The show's second season opened with a flurry of brilliant comedic ideas, and the season only gets better as it goes along.
It's no surprise that the critical discourse around the show was that it was perfect. After all, when you pull off the kind of shock The Good Place did at the end of your first season, things are either going to be disastrous or stupendous. Thankfully for its fans, The Good Place remained outstanding.
The Good Wife had a number of perfect seasons on Rotten Tomatoes, but its final season was undoubtedly one of its best. The show's brilliance was always in the way it combined standard legal material with ongoing drama that was far more personal. The show excelled in both realms, which is why it was one of the very best on TV.
While it was on, it was often easy to overlook The Good Wife when looking at the best TV dramas in a given year. That's because it was a more old fashioned show, even if it was executed to perfection. Old fashioned TV worked for a reason, and The Good Wife showed us that reason.
Through its four-season run, Halt and Catch Fire slowly proved itself to be one of the best dramas on TV. For its final season, the show got an appropriate sendoff from critics who had watched the series, which follows tech entrepreneurs in the 1980s and 1990s, as it slowly became great TV.
It became great TV in part because it was willing to make bold storytelling choices, and in part because it became devoted to the humanity of its characters above all else. The show worked because of its small moments. It was a show about failed revolutionaries, and about how much they mattered in spite of their lack of success.
Jane the Virgin's first season was the best way possible to introduce that totally unique show. On its first season, we see Jane's carefully planned life begin to unravel after she's artificially inseminated by mistake.
From there, the show proves to be an utter delight, as Jane's life becomes more and more like a telenovela. Jane the Virgin is a heavily serialized show that is nonetheless a total joy to watch, in part because it's totally willing to engage with the silliness behind its central idea without losing any of its thematic heft. It pulls off a tonal balancing act that most shows would kill for.
The first season of Insecure introduced us to a totally original voice in the world of comedy. Issa Rae's show, which is at least partially autobiographical, Issa stars as a character named Issa, who with the help of her best friend, attempts to navigate L.A. as a black woman.
During its first season, it was clear that Insecure was coming from a totally new voice. Issa's sense of humor and her interest in the experiences of those around her make the show feel totally unique. It's one of the best comedies on TV, and its first season demonstrated that quality from its very first episode.
Parks and Recreation was a comedy that only got better as it aged. The show's sixth season, which was also its penultimate, was the only one to achieve a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. On this season, the show lost Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, who had been with the show for quite a while.
The season also featured storylines about the merger between Eagleton and Pawnee, Indiana, and Leslie's recall election for city council. The show excelled no matter what it chose to focus on, but on season six, it became the best version of itself, just as it was getting ready to end.
If you're looking for an indication that The Sopranos was pretty much perfect from the start, this is it. When the show was just beginning, the viewers were introduced to mobster Tony Soprano and his therapist, and that dynamic helped to earn the first season a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Of course, as they show continued to air, it became clear just how right critics had been about the show. The Sopranos continued to deliver compelling plotlines and clever dialogue and did more to dig inside the head of its main character than most show ever get the chance to. It was brilliant from the word "go." There's a reason it's considered one of the best TV dramas ever made.
Mad Men had to be on this list. It's regarded as one of the best shows ever made, and its second season is the one that began cementing that status. It proved that the first season wasn't a fluke, and went deeper on many of the show's supporting characters.
Although Mad Men was about a traditional male antihero, it made room for its female characters to grow and develop as well. That was especially true on the second season, which further developed the characters of Betty, Joan, and Peggy, and made each of them essential to the show's increasingly rich tapestry as it became a staple of prestige TV.
Throughout its run, Veep has done incredible work to skewer our political system. On its fourth season, the show focused on its characters ascension to the presidency, and the various problems that that new responsibility brings with it.
The season culminates with a truly tremendous election episode, but the whole season is strong. Although the position of president certainly carries a lot more weight than the vice president, the show managed to find ways to make Selina's increased power a subject of constant ridicule. The premise works, even as the show begins to stretch itself in ways that felt somewhat new for an already brilliant show.