2023 is around the corner, and television promises to be full of surprises. From highly-anticipated debuts to beloved series returning, TV is still experiencing a golden age. Television will also celebrate some milestones in 2023, including the ten-year anniversaries of some of the most acclaimed shows from the 2010s.
Ambitious sci-fi pieces, prestigious network dramas, scary thrillers, and scandalous shows all premiered in 2013. Few people could’ve anticipated how massive they would become, but they carved their place in pop culture thanks to critical acclaim and audience support, making their ten-year celebrations a special occasion for fans.
‘Bates Motel’ – March 2013
A prequel to Alfred Hitchcock‘s seminal horror film Psycho, Bates Motel stars Freddie Highmore and Academy Award-nominee Vera Farmiga. Norman Bates is the show’s villain and protagonist, with the plot centering on his complicated relationship with his mother, Norma, and the circumstances that lead to her demise and the film’s events.
Highmore and Farmiga give brilliant and compelling performances in the underrated show, which lasted five seasons despite never being a critical or ratings juggernaut. Still, Bates Motel amassed a loyal fanbase that endures to this day and helped it acquire cult classic status.
‘Orphan Black’ – March 2013
Before she was She-Hulk, Tatiana Maslany gave a tour-de-force performance in the Canadian sci-fi thriller Orphan Black. The show centered on Sarah Manning, a woman who discovers she has multiple clones spread around the world resulting from an illegal experiment.
Maslany was the show’s beating heart, elevating every episode with a raw and nuanced performance unlike anything fans had seen on television before. Maslany earned significant praise and won the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for her performance. Nowadays, Orphan Black is best-remembered for Maslany’s groundbreaking work, but the show remains an intriguing and thought-provoking look at the ethics and consequences of genetics.
‘Peaky Blinders’ – April 2013
Cillian Murphy leads a large ensemble cast, including the late Helen McCrory, Sophie Rundle, and Joe Cole, in the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. Set in the aftermath of World War I, the show follows the exploits of the titular gang in Birmingham, England.
A consistent hit throughout the years, Peaky Blinders lasted 6 seasons and attracted numerous A-listers, including Sam Neill, Anabelle Wallis, Sam Claflin, Tom Hardy and Anya Taylor-Joy. Peaky Blinders received near-universal acclaim, with many considering it one of, if not the best, most complex and stylish British show of the 2010s.
‘Scandal’ – April 2013
Shonda Rhymes might’ve built her empire during the 2010s on the back of Grey’s Anatomy, but it was shows like Scandal that truly cemented her as the producing queen of television. Kerry Washington starred as Olivia Pope, a former White House Communications Director who starts a crisis management firm in Washington.
Scandal is one of the all-time best female-led legal dramas. It introduced a complicated, sometimes unlikeable, but always compelling hero who got things done and was her unabashed, unashamed self. Olivia Pope is an icon of modern television, thanks to Washington’s refreshingly defiant performance, which helped usher in a new age for female leads.
‘Hannibal’ – April 2013
Hannibal Lecter came to the small screen courtesy of Bryan Fuller. Hannibal starred Mads Mikkelsen as the eponymous character, a brilliant forensic psychiatrist, serial killer, and cannibal who forms a complex bond with FBI profiler Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy.
Thanks to its tense atmosphere, layered characters, and twisty storylines, Hannibal is one of the best psychological shows on television. It also became popular because of the intense chemistry between its leading characters, prompting many fans to start shipping them and ensuring Hannibal a place among the new millennium’s most acclaimed shows.
‘The Americans’ – May 2013
FX’s The Americans is a period show set in the 1980s during the height of the Cold War. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell star as a pair of Soviet agents posing as an American couple to collect intelligence. Noah Emmerich, Alison Wright, and Margo Martindale co-starred.
Critically acclaimed and considered a modern classic, The Americans continued FX’s success streak in the 2010s. Rhys and Russell received unanimous praise for their performances, with Rhys earning the Emmy for the show’s last season. The Americans ended in 2018 after six seasons and 75 episodes full of thrills, suspense and the kind of prestigious drama audiences came to expect from spy shows in the 2010s.
‘Ray Donovan’ – June 2013
Liev Schreiber starred in Showtime’s Ray Donovan. The plot followed the eponymous character, a high-profile Los Angeles “fixer” who faces unexpected complications when his father is released from prison. Academy Award-winner Jon Voight co-starred.
A massive hit for Showtime, Ray Donovan received critical acclaim, with Schreiber receiving three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performance. Ray Donovan got canceled after seven seasons, but the network greenlit a feature-length film to conclude the storyline, which aired in January 2022.
‘Orange Is The New Black’ – July 2013
Netflix has many great originals, but Orange is the New Black was the series that put them on the map. Back in 2013, the streamer was just starting to make a name for itself, producing its first efforts in original content. Orange was based on Piper Kerman‘s memoir and chronicled a woman’s experience at a minimum-security prison.
Refreshing and groundbreaking, Orange is the New Black presented a bold and honest depiction of life in prison, race, sexuality and feminism. The show cemented Netflix as a force to be reckoned with and paved the way for several all-female shows that would follow in later years, becoming one of television’s new classics.
‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – September 2013
The police procedural received a healthy dose of comedy when Andy Samberg‘s Brooklyn Nine-Nine premiered on September 2013. The show revolved around the lives of several detectives and their lives under their strict and stoic new chief. Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher co-starred.
Shows that broke the crime genre’s rules became increasingly common throughout the 2010s, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine stood out because of its humorous approach to otherwise serious issues. The show escaped cancelation once and lasted eight seasons, amassing a huge following and ensuring its place as one of the best comedies of the 2010s.
‘Rick And Morty’ – December 2013
Animated shows aimed at adult audiences have been all the rage since the early 2000s. However, Rick and Morty is one of the genre’s best and most acclaimed examples, redefining the heights an animated show can reach. The show centers on the titular characters, a cynical grandfather and his well-meaning son, who go through numerous adventures across the multiverse.
Rick and Morty is one of the most daring shows on television. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, the show is still going strong, with the seventh season already confirmed. The television landscape is not the same as in 2013, but Rick and Morty remain, reminding audiences there are some constants in this ever-changing world.