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The 50 best TV show seasons of all time, according to critics

Breaking Bad

The most critically acclaimed TV shows in history have earned their praise by repeatedly producing innovative and memorable seasons.

Shows like “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The Sopranos” consistently won over critics, and their best seasons have set a standard for what great television should look like.

More recent shows like “Fleabag” and “Atlanta” have broken into this elite group, as well.

To find out which series have been the most influential, we turned to the review aggregator Metacritic for its list of the all-time best TV seasons, which ranks shows by their composite critical reception (we excluded miniseries and docuseries).

Check out the 50 best TV-show seasons of all time, according to critics:

SEE ALSO: 103 of Netflix’s notable original TV shows, ranked from worst to best

50. “My So-Called Life” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.5/10

49. “The Returned” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.6/10

 

48. “Transparent” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 7.4/10

 

47. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 7.8/10

 

46. “Homeland” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.3/10

 

45. “Rectify” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.1/10

 

44. “The Simpsons” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.0/10

 

43. “The Americans” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.5/10

 

42. “Catastrophe” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.1/10

41. “Halt and Catch Fire” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.0/10

 

40. “The Shield” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.3/10

 

39. “Mad Men” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 9.0/10

 

38. “The Americans” (Season 6)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 8.1/10

 

37. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 7.2/10

 

36. “Bleak House” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 9.1/10

 

35. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.8/10

 

34. “Louie” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.7/10

 

33. “Deadwood” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 9.2/10

 

32. “The Office: UK” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 93/100

User score: 8.9/10

 

31. “The Americans” (Season 5)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.3/10

 

30. “Louie” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.8/10

 

29. “Transparent” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 6.7/10

 

28. “Battlestar Galactica” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 9.1/10

 

37. “Game of Thrones” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 9.2/10

 

26. “Homicide: Life on the Street” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 94/100

User score: 8.5/10

 

25. “The Wire” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

 

24. “The Americans” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 8.9/10

 

23. “Enlightened” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 95/100

User score: 7.6/10

 

22. “Catastrophe” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.0/10

 

21. “Fargo” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.3/10

 

20. “Better Things” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 7.2/10

 

19. “The Sopranos” (Season 6)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Notable episodes: Soprano Home Movies,” “Kaisha,” Made in America

18. “Breaking Bad” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.5/10

17. “Fleabag” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

 

16. “Twin Peaks” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 9.3/10

 

15. “Homeland” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 96/100

User score: 8.3/10

 

14. “The Sopranos” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 9.4/10

 

13. “Atlanta” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 7.9/10

 

12. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 5)

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 5.6/10

 

11. “The Sopranos” (Season 2)

Metacritic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10

 

10. “The Wire” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.6/10

 

9. “The Wire” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.5/10

 

8. “The Leftovers” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 9.1/10

 

7. “The Office: UK” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 8.5/10

 

6. “The Office: UK” (Season 3)

Metacritic score: 98/100

User score: 8.3/10

 

5. “Breaking Bad” (Season 5)

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 9.7/10

 

4. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 6)

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 5.3/10

 

3. “Murder One” (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 6.3/10

 

2. “The Larry Sanders Show” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 5.7/10

 

1. “Rectify” (Season 4)

Metacritic score: 99/100

User score: 8.8/10