The best and worst seasons of 6 iconic TV shows, according to critics

AMC‘Breaking Bad.’

Some of the best TV shows of all time have highs and lows, and critics have their favourites.

We turned to the review aggregator Metacritic to find the best and worst seasons of six acclaimed TV shows. Most of them started out rocky, with the first seasons rated lower than the rest. Interestingly enough, the fourth seasons of most of the shows were seen as their best.

Below are the best and worst seasons of six great TV dramas:


Best: “Breaking Bad” season five (of five)

AMC

Metacritic score: 99/100

Audience score: 9.7/10

What critics said: “Breaking Bad” is “a radical type of television, and also a very strange kind of must-watch: a show that you dread and crave at the same time.” – The New Yorker


Worst: “Breaking Bad” season one

AMC

Metacritic score: 73/100

Audience score: 9.2/10

What critics said: “In such rare instances [in the second episode], Breaking Bad achieves a perfect moment of nerdy believability, but too often the series fails to provide details that would help explain its characters’ illogical choices.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Best: “The Wire” season four (of five)

HBO

Metacritic score: 98/100

Audience score: 9.6/10

What critics said: “David Simon and his writers aren’t out to change the world; the slippery slope of civilisation is already in place on ‘The Wire’ and Simon is just out to document how each and every person survives. Or doesn’t, as this season quite devastatingly proves.” – Slant


Worst: “The Wire” season one

HBO

Metacritic score: 79/100

Audience score: 9.4/10

What critics said: “It slowly develops into an engrossing look at the methodical nature of police work and the limits of individualism.” – Time


Best: “The Sopranos” season two (of six)

HBO

Metacritic score: 97/100

Audience score: 9.3/10

What critics said: “Arguably the best reason to own a TV set.” – Los Angeles Times


Worst: “The Sopranos” season one

HBO

Metacritic score: 88/100

Audience score: 9.4/10

What critics said: “While refraining from slapping the comedy on too thick, creator David Chase has made Soprano’s inward search surprisingly affecting.” – Time


Best: “The Americans” season four (of six)

FX

Metacritic score: 95/100

Audience score: 8.9/10

What critics said: “A season startling in its intensity and its endless probing intelligence – not to mention the raw suspense that hangs over every moment of every scene … There is nothing that is the equal of ‘The Americans’ on TV screens now.” – The Wall Street Journal


Worst: “The Americans” season one

FX

Metacritic score: 78/100

Audience score: 8.4/10

What critics said: “‘The Americans’ at the moment seems to fall uneasily between the methodical and the campy.” – New York Post


Best: “Game of Thrones” season four (of eight)

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Metacritic score: 94/100

Audience score: 9.2/10

What critics said: “The show has stepped up its pacing. For the most part, that has been immensely satisfying, yielding crowd-pleasing moments that the and that the series generally avoided in the often-grim journey, especially for the Stark kids, which has led to this point.” – CNN


Worst: “Game of Thrones” season six

HBO

Metacritic score: 73/100

Audience score: 8.3/10

What critics said: “Ultimately, even if not every element satisfied, the sixth-season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ did what it needed to for me, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track and showing again that even with less and less of Martin’s published material to rely on, Weiss and Benioff know how to move it forward.” – The Hollywood Reporter


Best: “Mad Men” season four (of seven)

AMC

Metacritic score: 92/100

Audience score: 9.1/10

What critics said: “The writing remains remarkable, as it toggles between the rhythms and cliches of 1950s movies and the timeless resonance of mid-20th-century theatre. You rarely find such economical and evocative scripting on TV.” – The Boston Globe


Worst: “Mad Men” season one

AMC

Metacritic score: 77/100

Audience score: 9.7/10

What critics said: “As a serialized drama, the program’s situations aren’t especially stirring, even with its solid, perfectly outfitted cast. The sheer atmosphere, however, proves intoxicating.” – Variety

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