When you think of the most critically applauded TV shows of all time you’re probably thinking The Sopranos, The Wire and numerous other serious dramas. You wouldn’t be wrong, Metacritic holds those shows, as well as the likes of Breaking Bad and Twin Peaks as the highest rated shows of all time.
But what’s your favourite show is a completely different question. You may rate Homeland above The Simpsons but that doesn’t mean it’s the show you want to snuggle up with on the sofa every evening.
You can only really have one favourite show, and while you may suspect those in Hollywood would say one of the above dramas is there's, you would be wrong. Just like millions of us, even Hollywood insiders have a soft spot for Rachael, Joey, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler and Monica.
Hollywood Reporter asked over 2,800 industry people - including 779 actors, 365 producers and 268 directors - what their one favourite show was and, funnily enough, Friends came up top.
Close behind the Manhattan comedy was Breaking Bad, the recent drug fuelled drama that spawned the spin-off Better Call Saul.
26 Netflix shows you need to watch
26 Netflix shows you need to watch
1/6 Breaking Bad / Talking Bad
If 37 of your friends haven't convinced you to watch this masterpiece by now, I'm not going to be able to. If not the best TV series of all time then certainly the most entertaining, Breaking Bad tells the story of a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who throws his hand in and decides to cook crystal meth instead. If you're a devout fan and missing the series, its sister discussion show Talking Bad is also on Netflix and may be worth checking out, if just to reminisce on the weekly theorising that gripped us.
2/6 Orange is the New Black
Taylor Schilling plays a middle class woman who is forced to trade her comfortable New York apartment and Mad Men boxsets for a tough, tyrannically-run women's prison, but it’s the supporting cast you'll stick around for. As well as being very funny, OITNB packs an emotional punch as you learn how the rest of the Litchfield inmates came to be incarcerated, challenging your preconceptions of them. Season 1 is up now, and season 2 is right around the corner (arrives 6 June).
3/6 Trailer Park Boys
A seven season micro-budget mockumentary might sound like hard work, but actually you'll find yourself chomping your way through this hidden gem in no time. It centres on the recidivists and down and outs of a Canadian trailer park, whose daily struggles include scraping enough money together to buy smokes, repelling cats who piss on their weed plants and trying not to pass out drunk in the street. You'll instantly feel bonded to protagonists Julian and Ricky, while their neighbour Bubbles is comedy gold. Each episode is only 20 minutes, get binging.
4/6 Louie (US only)
Start by watching Louis C.K's stand-up Live at the Beacon Theater (also on Netflix) then plough on into this series. It sees the comedian play a semi-autobiographical version of himself gigging, raising his two kids and trying to cope with the world of dating far later in life than he expected to. It doesn't pack a high laughs-per-minute ratio, but that's not really what he's going for in this series. It's more Woody Allen territory really (indeed he went on to star in Blue Jasmine last year), and has a surprising emotional depth. Season 2 is shaky, but worth sticking through for season 3 which is brilliant and incredibly thoughtful.
5/6 House of Cards
For too long US political dramas were all flags slowly unfurling in the wind to bugle calls and overblown final-hour speeches, but this Netflix original takes a much dimmer view of Washington. Kevin Spacey plays conniving congressman Frank Underwood, who will walk over anyone's dead body (maybe literally?) to get into power. Season 2 is even better than the first and watching it is like sitting down to eat a 16oz steak, so dense is the political plotting.
6/6 Arrested Development
Living in a pre-fab show house with his shallow, avaricious family, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is surrounded by fakery. When patriarch George goes to prison Michael must take charge of the family business, which turns out to be something of a poisoned chalice. Very funny and very innovative, though the latest season, a half-Netflix original, may be too meta and ambitious for its own good.
In third comes The X-Files, which is getting a re-boot very soon, while in fourth is HBO’s blood soaked Game of Thrones. Rounding off the top five is Seinfeld, with Sopranos coming in sixth.
Many of the shows in the top 20 including Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Modern Family, Lost and Arrested Development only began airing in the last 12 years, while older comedies - such as Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and even Frasier - came a lot lower.
What's also interesting is that some more serious dramas, like the Wire (30) and Homeland (45) lost out to comedies such as Modern Family (14) and The Big Band Theory (25).
Here are Hollywood’s top 10 TV shows:
2. Breaking Bad
3. The X-Files
4. Game of Thrones
6. The Sopranos
7. Saturday Night Live
8. I Love Lucy
9. Mad Men
10. The Simpsons