Bests of the Decade - TV Series

Because we reckon you’ll not have had enough of voting for things yet, every day between now and Christmas Eve we’re giving you the chance to vote for The DreamCage Bests of the Decade. Today’s category is TV Series...

It’s nearly the end of 2019 and that means it’s also the end of the decade [according to some – Ed] so we asked our stalwart team of writers to give us some suggestions of what they considered to be the “Best of the Decade” in NINE different categories – English Language Film, Foreign Language Film, Documentary (Film or TV), TV Series, TV Mini-Series, Fiction Book, Non Fiction Book, Comic/Graphic Novel and Gaming.

Their nominations were collated, hard sums were done [there was even a spreadsheet! – Ed] and the list has been narrowed down. Now we want you, our readers, to decide which of the final four nominations will become The DreamCage Best of the Decade winners!

TV today is pretty unrecognisable from TV just 10 years ago, not least in the way we watch our favourite series. Almost gone are the days of one episode a week, with its associated anticipation and water cooler chatter (or at least it is now a novelty rather than the norm), as total season drops and binge-watching multiple episodes a night is the way we ingest our entertainment thanks to the prevalence of streaming services like Netflix and amazon Prime. Another big trend is the type of series we are bingeing on, as so-called "auteur" television began to become a thing with a single vision behind the camera, creating the characters, writing the words and directing the action as showrunners, with women's voices behind the screens also starting to be heard.

The other thing that multiple channels and streaming services have allowed to happen much more is niche market TV. Now before you raise your eyebrows, I don't mean "that" kind of niche, although I'm sure there are if you want to sully your browser histories and screening recommendations. I mean things like channels that just show detective shows, or just show Christmas movies or just show re-runs of Friends over and over and over and over... so whatever you fancy watching, whenever you fancy watching it, it will be available to you.

Talking of which, our team's four main recommendations are below as always, for you to vote on your favourite TV series of the decade but special mention must also be made of some of their other suggestions for this category. Of course Doctor Who is in there, how could you think otherwise from The DreamCage team, but another doctor that was mentioned was Chance, a two season show that saw Hugh Laurie as a psychiatrist stalking a stalker. If you prefer your detective work more literary, we'd point you towards Sherlock and Bosch and, if you want a slightly more historical twist to your shows, then Aquarius and Peaky Blinders are both great places to start. Comicbook tie ins do get a look in in our team suggestions with both Preacher and The Boys getting a mention and animation too gets a nod with the suggestion to check out Love, Death and Robots. But if weirdly spooky and decidedly ooky is more your thing then The House on Haunted Hill or Stranger Things have both kept us glued to our sets.

But it's drama of the first degree that seems to dominate our top four suggestions for you to vote on, with one of the ones on the list getting multiple recommendations within the team. I wonder if you can guess which one....

Here are our four nominations, in no particular order. Bear in mind that we couldn’t watch/read/play everything that came out in the last ten years, so your own personal favourites may not be here, but these are some of ours (and the choice is really difficult today!)…


"Idris Elba stars as maverick detective John Luther in this gripping, smart and entertaining thriller. A detective working for London’s Serious Crime Unit, Luther is a dedicated policeman, an inspired maker of connections and a whirlwind genius. He is dazzling, obsessive and sometimes dangerous in the violence of his fixations. Throughout the series, Luther faces a succession of psychological duels between hunter and hunted, predator and prey. But as the stakes get ever higher and more personal, Luther’s lonely path pulls him towards the very edge of temptation."

Mr Robot

"Mr. Robot follows Elliot (Rami Malek), a young and brilliant programmer who has perfected the art of computer hacking. Elliot suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder, making hacking into peoples’ lives his only means of human connection. He wields his skills as a weapon to protect the people he cares about from those who are trying to hurt them. Ultimately, he finds himself at the intersection between his day job at a cybersecurity firm and "F-Society," an underground hacking collective that is trying to recruit Elliot to help take down the “one-percent.""


"A dizzying ride through America's music-business landscape at the dawn of punk, disco, and hip-hop, the story is seen through the eyes of Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), a major-label exec with a dark past and darker present. With his company, American Century Records, facing a number of client crises, and with his A&R team having trouble landing important new acts, Richie, sober after years of drug and alcohol abuse, looks to sell his label to a West German conglomerate. But Richie's plans become complicated after the death of a sleazy Long Island radio-company owner. Facing jail time, not to mention the loss of his disenchanted wife Devon (Olivia Wilde) and their two kids, Richie ends up reverting to his old vices, but has an epiphany during a concert at a Greenwich Village theater where the roof caves in on him – literally."


"The US TV drama that examines the early relationship between up-and-coming FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and eminent psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Happily spending his days lecturing at the FBI academy, Will finds himself called in by Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), the head of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit, to help capture a serial killer who is on the rampage. Suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, Will struggles to control the thought processes that inform his uncanny ability to empathise with serial killers. In an effort to ease some of the pressure on the young investigator his superiors decide to enlist the help of the renowned forensic psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter, a move which has grisly implications for all concerned."

So, which will it be? There are polls running today on our Twitter page for you to vote for your favourite from the final four listed above (no prizes, it’s just for fun). Also, the polls will change every day so be quick if you want to vote in this one! The winners, as decided by you, of all nine categories will be listed on The DreamCage website in a special article on Christmas Eve when we announce The DreamCage Bests of the Decade!

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