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The Top 40 TV Shows of the Decade

From our favourite TV thrillers to the shows we were addicted to on Netflix

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With the end of 2019 also comes the end of a decade, so we’re feeling all nostalgic and remembering our favourite TV shows since 2010.

This was the decade of Netflix, it has to be said, with Amazon Prime, Hulu and Apple TV now all following suit.

Whether we were losing sleep because we needed to see all of House of Cards or we were waking up at dawn to watch Game of Thrones, see our favourite shows below:

Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

Whether you loved or hated the last series, Game of Thrones was without a doubt the TV series of the decade.

The fantasy series won awards every year, and won the attention of millions of people all around the world.

Although a lot of people were unhappy with the final series, it has to be said, the journey to the end was worth it.

Breaking Bad (On Netflix from 2012)

Okay, so technically Breaking Bad aired on TV from 2008, but the award-winning show joined Netflix in 2012, and that’s when the world got hooked.

Jessie and Walter took over people’s laptops, phone screens and TVs for most of the decade.

While the spin-off Better Call Saul was released in 2016, and the movie El Camino landed this year, nothing will ever beat the original series…bitch.

Fleabag (2016-2019)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has quickly become one of the best writers of our generation, so it’s no surprise that Fleabag is on our list.

Although the show only had two seasons, it’s won multiple awards including Emmys and BAFTAs.

The awkward sex scenes, the heartbreaking reflections on death, and the hilarious moments of pure comedy gold made this show one of the best of the entire decade.

True Detective (2014-2019)

Dark crime series True Detective was definitely one of the most acclaimed shows of the decade.

Starting off with series one, the stellar cast included Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, season two had mixed reviews but Colin Farrell’s stand-out performance stole the show.

Season 3 just dropped this year if you haven’t had a chance to watch it, starring  Mahershala Ali.

The Crown (2016-present)

With more interest in the British Royal family than ever before, it’s no shocker that The Crown has been a firm favourite of millions around the world.

The Netflix original only started 3 years ago and continues to draw in huge subscribers every season.

Although there was a mixed response to Claire Foy’s replacement of Olivia Colman as the Queen, rave reviews are still coming in for the latest season.

Black Mirror (2011 – present)

One show that really caught people’s attention this decade was Black Mirror.

The Charlie Brooker created series explores the effects of technology and how it might twist our fates and behaviors in the all-too-near future.

The series has some great guest stars since inception and will really get you thinking about modern life.

Line of Duty (2012-present)

Unless you have been living under a rock you will know about Line of Duty.

The much-loved series was a favourite on BBC but became a huge hit when it started streaming on Netflix.

Searching for ‘bent coppers’ has never been so dramatic, everyone is a suspect,no one is safe, and we cannot wait for the next season in 2020.

The Bodyguard (2018)

Jed Mercurio created two amazing shows this decade and The Bodyguard was his second after Line of Duty.

Starring Richard Madden, the series was one of the most binge-worthy shows of the decade.

Suspense, sex and drama will keep you going with this series.

Love/Hate

We had to include RTE drama Love/Hate on this list, not only because it is Irish, but because it’s one of the best shows I have ever seen on Irish TV.

The award-winning series followed the dark world of Dublin criminals as they run their drug empires and struggle to stay on top.

Let’s be honest, we’re all missing a bit of Nidge aren’t we?

Big Little Lies (2017-2019)

Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars came together for Big Little Lies, with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman at the helm.

The HBO series has won Golden Globes and Emmys for outstanding performances, and the show added the one and only Meryl Streep to the cast this year.

This rollercoaster of emotions looking into love, marriage and friendship is a must-watch.

 

House of Cards (2013 – 2019)

While it ended in a cloud of controversy due to Kevin Spacey facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct – you have to admit House of Cards was one of the best shows of the decade.

Each season dropped a creepier, more addictive storyline, bringing viewers behind-the-scenes of the corruption in the White House.

During his Presidency Barrack Obama even admitted to watching and loving the show.

There were mixed reviews over the final series with Robyn Wright at the helm, but it’s still a favourite of ours.

Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015)

ITV’s Downton Abbey became one of the biggest hits of the decade.

The British series was definitely one of the most-watched TV shows around the world.

Although the show came to an end in 2015, Julian Fellows brought out the Downton movie this year which was welcomed with rave reviews.

The Fall (2013 – 2016)

We may all know Jamie Dornan now for his role as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, but his vest performance to date was in The Fall.

The Belfast native starred as a charming but incredibly dangerous serial killer in the BBC series – and we just couldn’t stop watching.

The entire show was shot in Belfast so you will recognise a few Irish faces each season.

Watch out for the finale, you will literally lose your breath watching this one.

 

Killing Eve (2018-present)

Created and Written by none other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve continues to be one of the most-watched shows on TV.

The story follows a mI5 agent (Sandra Oh) who becomes obsessed with an assassin (Jodie) and that’s just where the complications begin.

Jodie Comer won the Emmy for Lead Actress just this year, and fans are eagerly awaiting the return of the series.

Suits (2011 – Present)

Although there are some hardcore original Suits fans (including myself), the whole world caught up on the series once star Meghan Markle got engaged to Prince Harry.

The legal-drama gave us everything we needed for an evening in, including two very handsome lawyers, over-the-top court drama and scenes with our favourite Duchess.

The show is set to end this year, and GOD DAMN IT we will miss it.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013 – present)

Sticking with more light-hearted shows for a minute, one of the best comedy shows of the decade was definitely Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Now I might be biased because I am completely obsessed with the series, but thanks to joining Netflix the show has gained millions of new fans around the world.

The series follows Jake Peralta, a New York Detective who doesn’t like to follow the rules, throw in a hilariously awkward Captain, mixed in with Terry Crews and you’ve got yourself a comedy.

If you are looking for something light and side-hurting hilarious then pop this on in the evenings.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017 – present)

Definitely one of the most talked-about shows of the decade has been The Handmaid’s Tale.

Based on the dystopian novel of the same name, many fans believe the story is relevant in modern times.

The show, starring Elizabeth Moss, has won multiple awards to date include Golden Globes and Emmys.

Catastrophe (2015-2019)

Created by Irish star Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe became a worldwide hit this decade.

The story follows a couple you have a no-strings-attached fling, but their whole world is turned upside down when they learn that she is pregnant.

The series shows the reality of becoming parents and the struggles of keeping a relationship together.

The Good Place (2016-present)

Definitely one of the most light-hearted shows of the decade, The Good Place is a firm favourite.

Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, the much-loved comedy made waves when it moved to Netflix.

The show follows life in ‘the good place’ aka heaven and the ‘bad place’ aka hell and there’s a mega twist.

Stranger Things (2016 – present)

Definitely one of the most binge-watched shows of the decade, Stranger Things has become a cult favourite.

Set in the 1980s, the show follows a group of kids who witness supernatural forces.

With government secrets and more mysteries to unravel, this is seriously addictive.

 

The Walking Dead (2010-present)

Another show to grow a cult following this decade was The Walking Dead.

The show follows a group of survivors after going through a zombie apocalypse.

The series just wrapped its 10th season, and fans are still obsessed.

When They See Us

Probably one of the most heart-wrenching shows of the decade was When They See Us.

Based on true events, the series followed the infamous ‘Central Park 5’ – 5 teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of attacking and raping a woman in New York.

The series delves deep into the men’s lives in each episode, with incredible performances and unbelievable moments that really happened.

Girls (2012-2017)

One of the most honest and refreshing female-focused TV shows was definitely Girls.

The series which kicked off Lena Dunham’s career became the new Sex and the City, except more gritty and real.

The HBO series follows an aspiring writer (Lena) and her three friends as they try to figure out who they are through relationships, work and the day-to-day stresses of life.

Sherlock (2010-2017)

One of the best TV revivals of this decade was the BBC series Sherlock.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the modern take on the old tale was marveled by fans all over the world.

The hour-long episodes delved deep into Sherlock’s psyche as well as bringing viewers along their journey of solving mysteries and trying to defeat Moriarty.

Orange Is The New Black (2013-2019)

Another show that definitely drew a cult following over the last few years was Orange Is The New Black.

OITNB follows the story of Piper who is imprisoned for drug trafficking, and being behind bars changes her forever.

There have been huge break out stars from the show, which ended this year.

Derry Girls (2018 – present)

It started towards the end of the decade but Derry Girls has grown a huge fan base in a really short space of time.

Created by Derry writer Lisa McGee, the story follows Erin and her friends in the North during the 1990s.

Full of nostalgia laughs and some moments of sadness, this show has it all.

Moone Boy (2012-2015)

Chris O’Dowd’s TV series Moone Boy was definitely one of the highlights of this decade.

The entire series was shot in Chris’s hometown of Boyle, Roscommon, and aired on Sky One.

The show was based on the actor’s own childhood experiences, the series followed Martin Moone and his imaginary friend.

Moone Boy eventually aired worldwide and won an Emmy for Best Comedy.

The People V O.J. Simpson

FX True Crime Story really struck gold with The People V O.J. Simpson.

Starring Cuba Gooding Jr as O.J., David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian and Selma Blair as Kris Jenner, it was one of the most talked-about miniseries this decade.

Power (2014 – present)

Nightclubs, sex, money and a whole lot of drugs made Power an instant hit with audiences.

The never-ending battle between Ghost and Tommy just keeps reeling us in, as they continued to be reeled into ‘the game’.

The last season ended in a very dramatic fashion, leaving fans eagerly awaiting the next series.

Fargo (2014-2017)

Based on the award-winning movie, Fargo the series was a huge hit.

The story follows Lester Nygaard, an insurance salesman, who lives a banal life.

He meets Lorne Malvo who convinces him to tag along in search of a killer.

The Mandalorian (2019)

It only aired at the end of 2019, but fans worldwide have been loving The Mandalorian.

Star Wars fans, in particular, have been raving about this one, and of course, Baby Yoda has become one of the biggest memes of the year now.

The Morning Show (2019)

Another show that just got released this year is The Morning Show – and fans cannot get enough.

The series is an Apple TV production and stars Hollywood heavyweights Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon.

The show follows a morning TV show in the states and the challenges they face as they wake up the nation.

The Leftovers (2014-2017)

It was creepy, mysterious and seriously addictive, that’s why The Leftovers has made our list.

Starring Justin Theroux, the show follows the story of a town in New York where people mysteriously disappear.

The lead characters try to rebuild their lives after losing their loved ones, and a lot of strange things begin to happen.

Doctor Foster (2015-2017)

They seemed to have the perfect life together, but an affair rocks Dr Gemma Foster’s marriage in this award-winning drama.

The series shows the true depths a wife will go to save her marriage or to seek revenge (as we see in the second season).

You (2018-present)

Season two just dropped and people just can’t get enough of You on Netflix.

The series follows book-store manager Joe who falls for a girl he starts to stalk and begins to hurt the people closest to her.

Things don’t end well for most people in the series, and season 2 has some very similar plots…

Riverdale (2017 – present)

Definitely one of the biggest shows watched by teens this decade, Riverdale was a mega hit.

Airing first on TV and then moving to a wider audience on Netflix, people have become obsessed with Archie Andrews and his group of friends in high school.

As well as dealing with the usual perils of puberty, they are also catching serial killers and solving mysteries on the daily.

How To Get Away With Murder (2014-present)

Another series that was seriously addictive this decade was How To Get Away With Murder.

The series follows Annalise Keating, a criminal defense lawyer and professor, teaches a group of aspiring law students.

But things get very dramatic when they are embroiled in murder themselves.

 

Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017)

I won’t lie I was personally addicted to this series, who was A? Where was Alison?

Each episode unraveled another clue, and yet everytime we thought Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily were safe another A would strike again.

It’s theme tune ‘got a secret, gotta keep it’ will haunt me for years.

Love Island (2015 – present)

I was going to leave reality TV out of this list, but it’s hard to talk about the last decade on TV and not mention Love Island.

It’s become a cultural phenomenon, and whether you love it or hate it you have to admit it has been such a big talking point each season.

Casa Amor, lie detector tests and under-the-covers action, need I say more?