If you guessed The Sopranos topped yet another “best TV shows of all time” list, you’d be correct.
David Chase’s biting mob drama has been universally praised for more than 20 years, clocking up dozens of industry awards and critical accolades. It has also been a perennial favorite of every attempt at defining eight decades of TV culture.
So, it’s no surprise that the highly influential The Sopranos has been crowned number one on rolling stone‘s “The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.”
If anything, it’s when The Sopranos isn’t top, that the shocked gasps (and sharpened claws) come out – like last year when BBC Culture’s poll omitted it altogether, leading to outcries from fans only for them to be reminded that the list only covered shows which premiered this century, making The Sopranos and its 1999 debut ineligible.
rolling stone‘s top three picks are unlikely to be controversial – number two is simpsons and in third spot is breaking bad – but there are some other decisions that may spark questions.
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Two shows from the past five years, fleabag (5) and Atlanta (9), made it in the top 10 while older, acclaimed series such as The Rockford Files (93), The Wonder Years (90), The Carol Burnett Show (89), Sex and the City (78), Fawlty Towers (68), The X-Files (51) and The West Wing (46) were lower on the list.
Or that the original UK version of office was ranked at 53 while the American remake came in at number 34.
game of Thrones – perhaps marked down for its divisive final season – was positioned in 31, while Freaks and Geeks (24) outranked other teen shows My So-Called Life (47) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (73).
And other shows you would expect to be on the list, such as Law & Order and Schitt’s Creekaren’t there at all.
Of course, these lists are always subjective and are frequently influenced by recency or geographical biases – the list is mostly American with a few British series littered throughout.
rolling stone revealed the panel of whose votes were counted, which included rolling stone writers as well as other prominent American TV critics plus industry figures including actors Jon Hamm, Carrie Coon, Ben Stiller and David Cross and TV writers including Paul Feig, Marti Noxon, Mike Schur and Rob Thomas.
The top 30 list (and you can find the remaining 70 at rolling stone):
1. The Sopranos
3. breaking bad
7. Mad Men
10. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
12. The Twilight Zone
14. The Americans
fifteen. The Larry Sanders Show
16. Twin Peaks
17. The Leftovers
18. Saturday night Live
19. I May Destroy You
twenty. 30 rocks
twenty-one. All in the Family
22. star trek
24. Freaks and Geeks
26. sesame street
28. friday night lights
30. Parks and Recreation