The Best TV Shows Of My Time (2000-2020)

Where have all the good tv shows gone?

Yes I did just ask that, at the risk of sounding like my parents talking about music. But, seriously. Whether it’s down to the changing tastes of the next generation or the rise of Netflix and other on-demand platforms, tv shows and films just don’t quite hit the same anymore.

Of course this post is going to be bias, but if you are a mid-90s baby like me and enjoyed some teen drama through your high school years then I’m sure we’ll be able to agree on some of these. So, without further ado… lets take a nostalgic look at the best tv shows of my time (or, like, 2000-2020)!

A special mention

A special mention has to go to The Vampire Diaries for being my ride or die. My two besties and I were obsessed, to the point we went to conventions to meet the cast, and have sleepovers watching episodes as they aired in the US (so at 2am for us). We did this for Pretty Little Liars as well. What an era.

The plot? The characters? The ships?! Perfection.

Joining TVD and PLL in the top 3 in my view, is Supernatural. Can you believe that the show started in 2005 and only just ended in 2020?! And what a following it had, one of the biggest of all time for a show I’d argue.

best of the best tv shows - the vampire diaries. photo of a screen, a candle and candy canes making a love heart. on screen, shows damon and elena from TVD kissing.

The full list of the best tv shows 2000-2020 (in my humble opinion)

  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Supernatural
  • Gossip Girl
  • Merlin
  • Sherlock
  • Doctor Who
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Orange Is The New Black
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Glee
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Schitt’s Creek

These are all such captivating programs that hold a special place in my heart to this day.

Only some of them have appeared on other lists of best tv shows oft his time, such as this one from Rolling Stone, or this Bazaar one. But that’s exactly the reason I made a list of my own… tastes in shows are personal. Sure, there are some good all-rounders but I found that teen dramas were mainly my jam, and I know plenty of you out there feel the same.

Why are they the best?

These shows were gripping because they made you feel. They made you want to be a part of the world they were portraying. They made you frustrated and heartbroken, happy and excited. They got your heart pumping. These shows were twisted but wholesome in all the right ways.

And once you watched a season, you were hooked.

I mean, PLL kept us guessing for years about who A was with insane twists. Was it going to be Delena or Stelena as endgame in TVD? Would Sam and Dean and Cas live happily ever after? What new monsters will the Doctor take down, and what new face will the character wear? How the heck do these two goofballs named Merlin and Arthur have my heart after a few episodes? Why would you kill off all the main characters, and why is it so addicting to watch?

To be honest, it may have been my age that was the main reason I was so invested in these tv shows. But I really do believe there was something special there that is hard to find these days.

best tv show of 2000-2020? doctor who scene on a laptop (showing rose tyler looking at tenth doctor) and a funko pop figure of said doctor lying on the keyboard

The ones I’ve just listed are only a handful of popular shows between 2000 and 2020, there were many more that I can still appreciate without having watched e.g. The Good Place, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, Breaking Bad, Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (possibly the first tv show I became aware of as a fantasy teen drama with a huge fanbase). Or ones I have watched but didn’t think they quite made my list of the best: Jane the Virgin, How I Met Your Mother, Bates Motel.

Today’s scene

In 2022, what do we have to watch? Riverdale is a sorry excuse that should have been cancelled 3 season ago (apologies if you love it). Its sister show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a little better yet that’s ended. Outer Banks is only okay and I have no real attachment towards it’s plot or the characters.

On the other hand, Black Mirror had amazing shock value when it first aired, and like many, I couldn’t wait to see more of it. However, in order to keep that shock value and engaged audience, you need to learn when it no longer has the same effect on people. I’d say American Horror Story has the same issue. Sometimes it’s best to quit while you’re ahead.

is stranger things the best tv show of today? photo of opening scene, a boy riding a bike down a street, on a tv.

Fair play to Sex Education and Bridgerton for being the strongest contenders for me at the moment, and actually being engaging with intriguing characters you want to continue following. And lets not forget Stranger Things (hurry up July 1st)! Yeah, Stranger Things has the same feel as the old ones that I love so much. Apart from this handful of shows though, the options look pretty bleak.

In fact, it seems like production companies know this as well, since they are still running off our tv shows to keep people happy… Young Sheldon is actually a not-so-bad one that is a prequel to Big Bang. Legacies is one I see on my twitter timeline quite often, a spin-off from The Originals and TVD. They are also currently running an extension show for Gossip Girl. And Glee might be next! But none of these will ever live up to the OGs unfortunately.

What a sad time for a fangirl. But I guess that’s growing up.

Image for pinterest titled The Best Tv Shows Of My Time 2000-2020, with stranger things photo on a tv screen

Do you agree with me here, were these some of the best tv shows of 2000-2020? What do you enjoy watching at the moment?

Until Next Time,


21 responses to “The Best TV Shows Of My Time (2000-2020)”

  1. As someone who is much older, this was a fun post to read – being able to view things from a twenty-something lens. As we get older, we are nostalgic for an earlier time. I loved the sitcoms of the 90’s and agree this was a great time for TV. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes! I was wandering if I should include 90s-early 2000s sitcoms and shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Friends but decided that was a whole other time and I only saw those shows later on hahaha thanks for reading, it’s definitely fun to take a look back x

  2. Loving Stranger Things at the moment still 🙌🏼

    1. Me too – It’s an action-packed one for sure!

    2. I’m finding it super scary but I love the 80s theme.

    3. This latest season was a little more horror wasn’t it!

    4. Absolutely, it’s the bones snapping that terrifies me 🙈🤣

  3. Love a good series!

    My go to is RuPaul’s Drag Race!

    You Betta Werk!


    1. I’ll have to watch a few episode of RuPaul to see what the fuss is about hah!

  4. There are quite a few shows on your list that I absolutely adore; I will have to think about what would be in my top ten! I really love Schitt’s Creek, Big Bang, Dr Who and Game of Thrones!

    1. Aww yay! Are there any shows that you love right now, in 2022?

  5. I’m forever nostalgic and can often be found watching reruns or streaming old shows like How I met your mother. There’s just comfort in something we know

    1. I’m with you on that, my life consists of rewatching all of these shows on my list!

  6. This was such a fun post to read! I never really put together all my favorite shows in one place, but maybe I should think about it, and should? Great post xx

    Melina |

    1. Thank you! Sometimes we need to lighten up with less serious posts don’t we? I think you should definitely do it x

  7. I loved Glee and Merlin, and Buffy (although surely that was longer ago?). Others on your list are on my to watch list, although I may never get round to them. There’s just too much out there to watch now.

    1. Yes, Buffy started in ’97 I believe but ran through the early 2000s so thought I’d give it a mention hah I agree, I have a long list of shows I still haven’t seen from this time that I would like to. Thanks for reading x

  8. I love The Big Bang Theory and I remember I used to binge watch the first two seasons of Sex Education. I really also love the old shows and movies. Are we like kinda stuck at how good TV used to be? I can’t watch much of it now.

    1. The Big Bang Theory is such a good one to rewatch over and over again haha …yes, something has shifted and it’s not entirely netflix’s fault

  9. Game of Thrones was the series that really made the difference for me throughout those years. Interesting choices!

    1. Game of Thrones was definitely on another level!

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