A Decade on the Tube

After rounding up the decade’s albums and movies, it’s time for the small screen. The TV I watched in the 2010s included a lot of crime drama, a bit less comedy than the 2000s, a few reality shows (broadly defined) and documentaries, and a bit less SF/fantasy than I managed at the movies.

Students The Inbetweeners (2008–10) Fresh Meat (2011–16) Derry Girls (2018–19) Defending the Guilty (2019) Chat This Time with Alan Partridge (2019)
Relationships Peep Show, Series 7-9 (2010–15) Friday Night Dinner (2011–18) Detectorists (2014–17) Catastrophe (2015–19) Fleabag (2016–19) The State of the Union (2019)
Killings The Bridge (2011–18), Denmark The Killing, Series 3 (2012), Denmark Line of Duty (2012–19) The Fall, Series 1 (2013)† Happy Valley (2014–16) And Then There Were None (2015)
Trapped (2016–19), Iceland The Little Drummer Girl (2018) Killing Eve (2018–19) The Victim (2019) Giri/Haji (2019) Guilt (2019)
Americana Breaking Bad (2008–13), USA Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 8 (2011)†, USA Veep, Seasons 1–5 (2012–16)†, USA Silicon Valley, Seasons 1–3 (2014–16)†, USA Fargo (2014–17), USA Better Call Saul (2015–18), USA
What If Doctor Who, Series 5 (2010) & 11 (2018) Game of Thrones (2011–19), USA Black Mirror (2011–19) Years and Years (2019) Ghosts (2019) His Dark Materials (2019)
Historical The Hollow Crown (2012) Wolf Hall (2015) Taboo (2017) A Very English Scandal (2018) Les Miserables (2018) The Rise of the Nazis (2019)
Reality Would I Lie to You? (2010–19) The Great British Bake Off, Series 2–10 (2011–19) The Island with Bear Grylls, Series 1–3 (2014–16)† The Great Pottery Throw-Down (2015–17) Travel Man (2015–19) Taskmaster (2015–19)
Planets Frozen Planet (2011) Rise of the Continents (2011) Planet Earth II (2016) Blue Planet II (2017) The Planets (2019) Seven Worlds, One Planet (2019)
Political All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011) Bitter Lake (2015) Hyper­Normalisation (2016) Exodus: Our Journey to Europe (2016) The State (2017)  

Unlike in the movies and albums tables, the left-hand column here shows the broad categories of show in each row, while the cell colours indicate comedy (peach), drama (blue), and documentaries (green). The country of production is the UK unless indicated otherwise. Some series shown here started in the 2000s, so I’ve noted only the parts from this decade, except for Breaking Bad and The Inbetweeners, which I didn’t catch until the mid-2010s. Shows marked with a † carried on past the series shown, but I haven’t seen the later ones yet—apart from The Fall, which fell off after the excellent first series (I’ve also shown only part of Doctor Who, as Matt Smith’s and Jodie Whittaker’s first series were my favourites, while the rest were patchy).

Stars in red indicate particular favourites, with double stars for the very best. The show of the decade for me, without a doubt, was Mackenzie Crook’s Detectorists.

31 December 2019 · Television