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Greatest television seasons


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Pretty self explanatory, what are the greatest individual television seasons of all time. I will say we include mini series as an individual season for this too. Off the top of my head I'd say with no explanation for now, I'll get deeper into it if the thread gets going at all.

 

Not in any order

 

Game of Thrones, seasons 3 and 4

The Sopranos, season 1

Rome, season 1

Band of Brothers

Dexter, season 1

Homeland, season 1

Breaking Bad, seasons 4 and 5

24, season 5

The Simpsons, seasons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

 

I'm sure several are slipping my mind.

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Firefly (full series): My jaw still drops at how perfectly this show came together in such a short amount of time, particularly given how close it was to getting the ax from the very beginning. Give all credit to both the writers and cast for just getting the concept and being able to effortlessly shift emotions and tone at the drop of a hat as if they'd been doing this for years and had already built audience trust and goodwill.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Game of Thrones, full series so far

The Sopranos, season 1-5

Rome, season 1

Band of Brothers

Dexter, season 1-4

Homeland, full series

Breaking Bad, full series

Better Call Saul, full series so far

Fargo, full series so far

The Shield season 2-6

24, season 2-5

Star Trek - seasons 1-2
Star Trek:TNG - seasons 1-6

Star Trek DS9 3-7

Star Trek Voyager 1-4

Star Trek Enterprise 3-4

Stargate SG1 1-7

Stargate Atlantis 1-4

Stargate Universe full series

Battlestar Galactica Season 1-3

Babylon 5 season 1-4

Boardwalk Empire Season 1-2

Law & Order CI Seasons 1-5

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  • Battlestar Galactica (reimagined): seasons 1-3 are the best science fiction ever committed to television, even if some of the effects and stock footage have aged poorly. Ignore people urging you to avoid seasons 3.5 onward at your own peril.
  • Breaking Bad: entire series, with season 4 as the "best of the best."
  • Dexter: season 1 was the most entertaining and least implausible, season 4 was the best character study with John Lithgow playing a well-adapted serial killer a little too well.
  • Game of Thrones: entire series has been awesome, with seasons 2 and 4 as the standouts, season 5 as the weakest link (and Hardhome has the best visuals of any small screen show ever, **** off if you disagree).
  • Hannibal: season 1 is great, season 2 is better. Haven't seen season 3 yet dang it. Never before has a more masturbatory, darkly stylish series just worked for me. This one does. I literally still get the sads thinking of the last moments of season 2, and am still shocked at what they were able to get away with on network TV!
  • Homeland: Still entertaining, but season 1 is so much better because it teases so effectively and keeps the audience in the dark without being gratuitous or insulting them.
  • Mad Men: Before it started to believe its own hype and take itself too seriously, Mad Men was actually a pretty great show. Seasons 1, 4, and 5 are the standouts. 2, 3, and 6 were good, but had more filler. Haven't seen season 7, but heard it was good!
  • True Detective: season 1... wow. Hopefully season 2 won't be a permanent pox on this promising series.
  • The Walking Dead: season 1 really benefited from the bigger budget and smaller season. All of the best individual episodes have actually happened later in the run, but no other season beats the first one for pacing and craftsmanship.
  • The Wire: this show suffers from being cribbed to death over the last decade, but season 4 of The Wire stands up with season 2 of Hannibal as the best season of television I have ever seen.

 

HONORABLE MENTION: I remember loving season 2 of Justified, especially Mags. but it's been too long to judge.

 

NOTE: there are a lot of good shows not listed here, like Doctor Who or House of Cards that missed the cut because I can't think of a single season where there isn't a fair amount of clunker/filler material.

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Only doing the best season of any particular show. Only one season can be the best, but it doesn't mean the other seasons suck. For instance, the weakest season of Breaking Bad is probably still better than 99% of all TV ever.

 

The Dead Zone Season 1 This is almost the perfect season of TV. Before the dark times. Before the show went completely off the rails.

 

Jessica Jones Season 1 It doesn't get much better than this.

 

Breaking Bad Season 4 The cat and mouse between Walt and Gus while Gus also takes on ALL OF MEXICO is the best thing ever.

 

Supernatural Season 5 Near perfect in every way. Just really hit every note for me. Even the monster of the week eps were awesome.

 

24 Season 5 Most seasons of 24 I have to have my remote control handle to whiz through the tedious subplots but this season it's least necessary. Except for that crap with the Hobbit's stupid drug addict sister. But from beginning to end this season is exciting and awesome.

 

Justified Season 3 The big bad was scary and awesome and the Limehouse stuff could have been enough on it's own to carry the season. And this is the season Boyd really found his way and stopped weighing down the show.

 

Buffy Season 6 Suck it haters!

 

Angel Season 4 Suck it haters!

 

Eureka Season 2 Last season before it all went to hell

 

Teen Wolf Season 5 Holy shit, this one keeps getting better and better and better.

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Go for it. Like I said, I liked Season 6. It had a definite plan of attack, a few good episodes, one classic episode, and the last four came together very well. Really, I'm cool with exploring the post-college "this is my life now" wasteland. Particularly coupled with Buffy's trip back from heaven.

 

In the end, the stain of Hell's Bells just leaves a sour note. While not a bad episode individually, it is arguably the biggest single misstep of the whole series. It was the moment that the season took one step too far, ripped apart the one ray of light in the season, and, worst of all, left one of the most interesting characters on the show, Anya, completely adrift for the rest of the series. For that moment, it was obvious that that they didn't think things through and just doubled down on the dark notes.

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