Set in America in the ’60s and early ’70s, Mad Men follows the life of Don Draper, an advertisement tycoon. Portrayed by Jon Hamm, the character of Don Draper partakes in alcohol, chain-smoking, and adultery. Mad Men takes viewers through the ups and downs of Draper’s crafty career and personal life.
A critically acclaimed and commercially successful series, Mad Men explores intense themes of feminism, adultery, racism, and homophobia. Mad Men depicts the politics and cultural trends of the ’60s via its characters and their perspectives. A pacey drama with excellent plot lines and well-written characters, Mad Men leaves audiences wanting more.
10 Social And Political Issues In Urban Life (The Wire)
Set in Baltimore, The Wire did not succeed when it first aired. A critical commentary on the crime and politics in Baltimore, The Wire has a very particular fanbase. Some dedicated fans consider The Wire to be the best crime drama ever.
While The Wire deals with crime, it also gives the viewers an insight into institutional dysfunction and corruption. A metaphor for the wiretaps used by law enforcement to gain access to the underworld, the title of the series allows viewers to look into the dangerous world created by The Wire.
9 Criminal Chemistry (Breaking Bad)
Breaking Bad is a crime drama set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although it got off to quite a rocky start, Breaking Bad soon gained a dedicated fanbase. Following Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher with no prospects and terminal cancer, Breaking Bad portrays Walter’s transformation from a pushover to a dangerous man in the drug industry.
As Walter tries to provide for his family by cooking and selling meth with his former student Jesse Pinkman, he realizes just how dangerous the drug trade can be.
8 Shenanigans Of A British Aristocratic Family (Downton Abbey)
One of the most successful British costume dramas of all time, Downton Abbey deals with politics, crime, scandal, and more through the aristocratic Crawley family and their estate of servants. From the news of the Titanic sinking to the imminent decline of the British aristocracy, Downton Abbey has it all.
The main protagonist is Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter of the Crawley family. Downton Abbey follows Lady Mary’s life through the choices she makes and her relationships with her family and the staff of Downton Abbey.
7 A Lawyer And A Retired Cop Break Bad (Better Call Saul)
Better Call Saul is a prequel series of Breaking Bad, one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows. Better Call Saul follows both former Public Defender Jimmy McGill, who now goes by Saul Goodman, and retired cop Mike Ehrmantraut, who is on a moral decline.
Thoroughly praised for its cinematography, direction, writing, and excellent acting, Better Call Saul is an action-packed take on the world of drugs and crime. As Mike begins consulting the restauranteur Gus Fring, Jimmy’s involvement with criminals increases. This leads him to adopt the flamboyant persona of Saul Goodman.
6 Beth Takes On The World Of Chess (The Queen’s Gambit)
Based on the book of the same name by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit follows Beth Harmon through the male-dominated world of chess while dealing with drug abuse, alcohol dependency, and messy interpersonal relationships. A well-received coming-of-age period drama in the form of a miniseries, The Queen’s Gambit has achieved tremendous commercial success.
As Beth juggles competitive chess, addiction, and her attitude towards the people in her life, she grows as a person. Orphaned, adopted, and finally independent, Beth learns about the trials of life firsthand.
5 The Origins Of Criminal Profiling (Mindhunter)
Mindhunter is based on the true-crime book by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker titled Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. Mindhunter is a series following the foundation of the Behavioural Science Unit in the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the late 1970s.
FBI Agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench set out to interview convicted serial killers to gain some insight into their psyche and eventually help the FBI solve ongoing cases. With the help of psychologist Wendy Carr behind the scenes, the agent duo interviews famous serial killers like Edmund Kemper and Charles Manson.
4 Exploring The Various Colors Of Death (Six Feet Under)
Six Feet Under is a critically acclaimed HBO drama series following the Fisher family and their family-run funeral home. Six Feet Under deals with aspects of interpersonal relationships, adultery, and religion. As well as exploring the personal, philosophical, and religious aspects of death, Six Feet Under is known for its writing and acting.
Each episode begins with a death, the cause of which ranges from natural death and untimely demises to murder. Most episodes see a living character have an imaginary conversation with the dead.
3 Royal Controversies Unveiled (The Crown)
Despite the criticism of certain historical inaccuracies, The Crown has received critical acclaim. In a dramatized version of events, The Crown follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II and depicts the various situations that shaped Her Majesty to become the monarch she is today.
The Crown follows her marriage in 1947 to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the tug-of-war between the government and the monarchy. The historical drama series also documents her ascension to the throne and her entry into the 21st century. The Crown is critically acclaimed for its acting, directing, writing, cinematography, and production values.
2 A Gangster Family In Post World War I Britain (Peaky Blinders)
Set in post-World War I Birmingham, Peaky Blinders is a crime drama loosely based on an urban youth gang of the same name. Peaky Blinders is centered on the fictional Shelby family (said to be of Irish-Romani descent) but mainly follows the ambitious and cunning patriarch of the gang, Thomas Shelby.
As stakes rise in each progressive season, the Shelbys get bolder and more boisterous. Crime, death, and politics closely follow the characters throughout Peaky Blinders. The gang sets foot in an even more dangerous world as they head into other countries.
1 An Anthology Crime Drama Like Never Before (Fargo)
Adapted from and based in the same universe as the movie of the same name, Fargo is a dark comedy crime drama directed by the Coen brothers. Fargo has new stories and characters, although has some minor overlap in the subsequent seasons. Fargo has enjoyed critical and commercial success.
Fargo contains easter eggs from the Coen brothers’ various movies and is heavily influenced by them. With an excellent cast season after season, Fargo indulges in some particularly dark humor that’s enjoyed by fans.