Many television giants ended in the 2010s — Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men — but so many upcoming, innovative television shows also started in the decade. Here are just a few that give audiences a glimpse into the future of television:
Atlanta is the brainchild of Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino. A small, strange television show that started on FX in 2016, it follows the lives of two cousins trying their luck in the rap scene in Atlanta. The show is noteworthy for its stunning visuals, great performances, compelling writing and dry sense of humor. Atlanta often feels like the future of television, with innovative storytelling and strange thematic episodes like nothing else on TV. Atlanta concluded its second season in 2018 but has been renewed for two more.
Atlanta is available on Hulu.
Fargo is another FX hit. Though based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name, Fargo, directed by Noah Hawley, feels especially modern. Fargo is an anthology series, where each season follows a different storyline — though all are either related by character or themes found in the original film. Season two of Fargo is especially excellent, featuring stunning performances by Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Bookine Woodbine. Fargo is a dark, sardonic look into the world of crime, and the kind-hearted police officers who investigate it in the upper Midwest. The next season of Fargo is set to premiere in 2020.
Fargo is available on Hulu.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was somewhat of a cult television show. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows the story of Rebbeca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), a lawyer who moves across the country to win back an ex-boyfriend. Though critically lauded, it was often overlooked during award season and did not have a large viewership. However, that does not indicate the quality of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show shouldn’t be boiled down to a rom-com gone wrong — Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was a genre-bending, innovative take on mental illness, sexism and pop culture satire. The series was done in the style of a musical, and featured a diverse cast of talented singers and actors. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a must-watch of the decade, if not for its uniqueness, but for its grueling realism in writing about self-care and mental health.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend concluded its run in 2019 and is currently streaming on Netflix.
The Good Place (2016)
The Good Place is Micheal Schur’s look into the afterlife. The Good Place follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) after she dies and goes to a heaven-like afterlife called The Good Place. The Good Place found itself to be one of the most fun, enjoyable shows of the late 2010s. Full of silly jokes, recurring gags and relatable humor, The Good Place is currently one of the most well-crafted comedies of the decade. What makes the series so great is the intense attention to detail in every line of writing, unexpected twists and a charming cast, featuring the excellent Ted Danson as Micheal, a designer of The Good Place.
Bob’s Burgers (2011)
Though it started off rocky, Bob’s Burgers proved itself to be one of the most lovable, consistent shows of the decade. Bob’s Burgers is an animated comedy following the lives of the Belcher family who own a burger restaurant. Bob’s Burgers is a hopeful show that is full of an incredible amount of heart — it is a show that definitely cares about its viewers. Beyond hysterical voice acting by the main cast, the show also features great guest stars and has great holiday specials. The 2010s have been a pleasure to watch and grow with the Belchers, and the next decade is something to look forward to.
Bob’s Burgers is currently airing its tenth season and is available on Hulu.