It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Just funny for the first couple seasons, then it suddenly gets perfect in season 3 and gets doubly better every nanosecond since. This is the greatest comedic accomplishment in the history of mankind.
Sopranos - A sweeping epic that justifies the existence of television. Every death of an important character stings forever.
Californication - I have a feeling this show is just David Duchovny re-enacting his life in front of the camera, as Larry David does in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Weeds - Has a boldness rarely seen in non-miniseries TV, changing locations and paradigms by season to tell an ongoing story with comedic and dramatic punch.
Six Feet Under - Stares death in the face constantly without obsessing over it. Has greatest series-ending episode of all time.
Flight of the Conchords - Impossibly funny, with catchy music set to inventive magical realism videos.
Wonderfalls - Killed off after only one season, which adds to its charm. The best quarterlife crisis drama.
Mad Men - Don Draper has the ability to get men and women alike to cheer for him to cheat on his wife with a different woman every episode. A phenomenal character and everyone around him is nearly as comepelling.
Breaking Bad - I don't care that this is set in New Mexico, it's straight-up Arizona through and through. A saga of a man confronting his mortality and morals, twisting them in a desperate scrap to make things right before his number is called.
Entourage - Excellent male daydream, in the same vicarious vein as Californication. Excellent characters and relationships, and a sense of authentic joy and optimism permeates the episode. Plus Ari owns.
Curb Your Enthusiasm - Definitive proof that Larry David was the brains behind Seinfeld.
Sons of Anarchy - Sopranos Lite, transposed to a motorcycle gang.
Battlestar Galactica - Delivers political and philosophical messages with elegance and great special effects. Terrible wrap-up though.
The Wire - Sometimes it's a slog and often its plotting is tough to understand, but it howls with street cred and delves inside a buried America most of us try to shield ourselves from. Each season focuses on a facet of what has broken modern society, and the final season, which rips apart the media, is its best.
True Blood - Moody, tense and sexy vampire action that somehow keeps its subject relevant in an era of Twlight overkill.
Big Love - Gets better each season, which is saying something because it started off amazingly. A stunning analysis of going against the grain with your scruples and sacrificing for what you believe is the greater good.
Deadwood - Its first season is the finest of any television show ever created, and the fourth episode is the best single hour in TV history. After that it trails off, but the cowboy Shakespeare dialogue always sings, and Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock are two all-time great characters.
Twin Peaks - A head trip that soaks you into an unsolvable mystery and keeps throwing you off by getting weirder and weirder.
Seinfeld - The best network TV could get, although it's severely dated now.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Best cartoon ever.
Beavis and Butt-head - Stinging satire of idiot culture.