TONY's top 50 TV shows of the decade

The best stuff on the boob tube from 2000 to 2009.

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  • TV shows of the decade: Wonderfalls (2004)

  • TV shows of the decade: Futurama (1999–2003)

  • TV shows of the decade: Firefly (2002–2003)

  • TV shows of the decade: Breaking Bad (2008–present)

  • TV shows of the decade: Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

  • TV shows of the decade: Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)

  • TV shows of the decade: Deadwood (2004–2006)

  • TV shows of the decade: Lost (2004–present)

  • TV shows of the decade: The Tick (2001)

  • TV shows of the decade: Six Feet Under (2001–2005)

TV shows of the decade: Wonderfalls (2004)

20

Wonderfalls (2004)

Unmotivated, depressed college grad Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas) shows up at her dead-end job at a gift shop one day to find the souvenirs giving her cryptic orders—and her failure to follow them inevitably results disaster. Bizarre, yes, but also surprisingly moving.—Ethan LaCroix

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19

Futurama (1999–2003)

The adventures of Fry, Leela, Bender and the rest were always hilarious (and smartly so, with pokes at Schrdinger's cat and the binary number system), but often surprisingly poignant. Here's hoping it proves more popular when it returns to Comedy Central in 2010.—Amy Plitt

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18

Firefly (2002–2003)

Fox killed Joss Whedon's Orwellian steampunk romp after only one season, but it featured just as much violence, romance and snap-talking camaraderie as Buffy. Yeah, we got a movie in 2005, but that was hardly enough space cowboys for one lifetime.—Sharon Steel

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17

Breaking Bad (2008–present)

When the going gets tough, the tough turn from teaching high-school chemistry to cooking meth. With his trusty sidekick (an ex-pupil) by his side, Bryan Cranston's Walt White is the quintessential '00s man caught between the forces of mortality and morality.—Allison Williams

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16

Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

Though set in the 1980s, this was a universal slice of modern adolescence for every slacker, pothead, loser, nerd or lovesick ignoramus. Bridging 1999 and 2000, it found a fan base only after it was canceled and its stars (James Franco, Jason Segel and Seth Rogen, not to mention writer Judd Apatow) moved on to bigger fame.—Sharon Steel

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15

Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)

The WB's gentlest show celebrated smart chicks with DIY style and bullet-fast quips. It showcased the comic chops of Lauren Graham, who managed to make consectutive references to Pippi Longstocking and Saul Bellow seem both believable and charming.—Allison Williams

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14

Deadwood (2004–2006)

The operatic cadences of Ian McShane's Swearengen monologues were works of art, especially when performed mid--blow job or to a decapitated head. With all due respect, Deadwood stands as one of the best Westerns ever. There, we said it.—Drew Toal

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13

Lost (2004–present)

The island. The polar bear. The plane crash. The scientist cult. The inexplicable hilarity of two characters trying to explain time travel to each other. Every element of the supernatural drama is unique, yet all fade into the background during character studies of the evil, conflicted and remorseful castaways. And again, there's a frickin' polar bear.—Allison Williams

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12

The Tick (2001)

This short-lived live-action translation of the beloved animated series had the potential for greatness. The big blue guy deserved better than nine episodes, but the silly parody remains a favorite.—Drew Toal

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11

Six Feet Under (2001–2005)

This was the decade we gathered round the watercooler not to discuss trifles like Friends but to talk about the tale of an icy, emotionally stunted family reeling from the death of their undertaker patriarch. Alternately funny and devastating—often both over the course of a few minutes—it remained rooted thanks to the haunting performances. And don't get us started on the tearjerking seven-minute epilogue.—Ethan LaCroix

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Users say

2 comments
Jennifer
Jennifer

Glad to see Alias, Gilmore Girls, HIMYM, and FNL in the list but you forgot ER ;)