10 Best-Written Current TV Shows, According To Ranker

With a plethora of streaming services and networks, it can be daunting for viewers to decide what to watch. while Stranger Things dominates Netflix and manages to reel in viewers with menacing creatures and beautiful friendships, there is plenty of other well-written shows on television right now.

With that in mind, fans at Ranker have voted for the best-written current TV shows. These series stand out above the rest with incredible performances and smartly written storylines that keep viewers wanting more. From comedic situations to dysfunctional families, these shows bring the drama and the brilliant scripts to create memorable experiences for audiences.

Note: Ranker lists are fan-voted, live, and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.


10 Atlanta (2016-)

Created by and starring Donald Glover, Atlanta follows an aspiring music manager and his up-and-coming rapper cousin navigating the music scene in Atlanta. The series is funny and dramatic while commenting on social issues including racism, poverty, and modern culture. Each episode is a self-contained story rather than a continuous arc.

Related: 10 Comedy Series From The Last Decade Starring The Series’ Creator

With the occasional odd storyline and violence, Atlanta will evoke a slew of emotions from viewers ranging from hilarious to tragic. The characters are vulnerable, emotional, and ambitious with unique identities. The series is well-developed, and Glover’s incredible talent shines through alongside Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz, making Atlanta a standout series.

9 Ted Lasso (2020-)

Ted looking confused in the locker room in Ted Lasso

Available on Apple TV+, Ted Lasso follows the titular character as he goes from being an American football coach to a UK soccer coach with zero experience. Starring Jason Sudeikis as Ted, the series is incredibly wholesome and warm. It is well-written and has the ability to make audiences forget the current events of the world. The characters are likable without being over-the-top.

Viewers who do not enjoy sports will still be entertained by the series. The writing does not alienate viewers who do not understand soccer because Ted has zero experience in the sport as well. He wins over his coworkers, the team, and he wins over audiences without being annoying.

8 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-)


A quick-talking 1950’s housewife becomes a stand-up comedian after her husband has an affair in The Marvelous Mrs. maizel. With her overbearing Jewish parents, Midge is charming, and audiences want to see her succeed in the male-dominated field. Her character is written to go against all expected norms of the period. She accepts a job at a department store and wants to live on her own. Midge embodies female empowerment.

Additionally, the unstoppable duo of Midge and Susie is hilarious to watch as the two banter and become the oddest pair of friends while Midge tries to make a name for herself. The series is refreshing, as Midge struggles on her own instead of being an immediate success. She must balance single motherhood with a career and is relatable to viewers.

7 Fargo (2014-)

Billy Bob Thorton in Fargo

With a new story and set of characters each season, fargo has almost nothing in common with the film of the same name by the Coen brothers. The television series finds small incidents that snowball into something bigger, generally happening in Minnesota and, later, Missouri. It is a dark comedy that is quirky with sensational characters.

Related: 10 More Actors Reddit Wants To See In Fargo Season 5

The series features plenty of famous faces including Billy Bob Thorton, Kirsten Dunst, Ewan McGregor, and Chris Rock. There is intense drama leading to violent deaths and unexpected twists. fargo is not easy viewing but will suck in the audience and make them root for their favorite characters. Fans of the original movie will enjoy how the creators kept the same peculiarity started by the Coen brothers, despite them only being involved as producers.

6 Barry (2018-)

NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) negotiating with Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) on HBO's Barry

Barry deftly combines dark comedy with intense drama. Bill Hader plays the titular hitman who unexpectedly finds himself loving acting classes and attempting to leave his killer past behind him. Barry has wild storylines that amplify the characters’ personalities, like when Barry offers to psychologically torture his ex-girlfriend’s boss.

Hader’s performance shows his acting range, as the audience can feel the myriad of emotions Barry cycles through in every episode just through facial expressions. With the addition of Noho Hank as the comedic relief, viewers can expect the unexpected. The series is full of twists that throw a wrench into Barry’s attempt to move on from killing. It is beautifully written to show Barry’s struggle with PTSD.

5 Succession (2018-)

The cast of Succession standing together in an Italian villa

Succession is a satirical comedy-drama series following the Roy family, the owners of a global entertainment company, amid the patriarch’s ailing health. The characters are imperfect with clashing personalities, greed, and pride getting in the way of the family business. The camerawork is reminiscent of a mockumentary despite no other indicators of the style.

The dysfunctional family is realistically written and believable, reminding viewers that it isn’t sensational and there are definitely people in the real world who mirror these characters. Succession has all the markers for a good drama: lying, cheating, backstabbing, and greed.

4 Stranger Things (2016-)

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things Season 4's Finale

Stranger Things has quickly become a beloved Netflix series around the world. Featuring a young cast trying to save their small town, the series has well-written characters and storylines that are thought-out and connected. Every season is a new piece of the puzzle in the mission to save Hawkins and determine why the strange occurrences are happening.

Though fans have questions after watching season 4 of Stranger Things, viewers will likely receive answers with the fifth and final season. No stone is left unturned as each episode builds upon the previous with new information revealed. The development is strong as viewers watch the characters grow from hesitant geeks into confident (still geeky) teens.

3 Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-)

Larry looking annoyed at a surprise party in Curb Your Enthusiasm

Created by and starring Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm follows a fictionalized version of David as a semi-retired television writer and producer and often features other comedians as fictional versions of themselves, including Ten Danson, Wanda Sykes, and Jon Hamm. The series has been consistently awkward and funny for 11 seasons, never losing stamina.

Related: The 10 Best HBO Comedy Series, According To IMDb

The protagonist often finds himself in compromising situations, such as inviting a sex offender to his home. The characters bring honest, original humor that complements one another against the realistic, yet also impossible situations. Curb Your Enthusiasm is largely improvised according to DGA Magazine, making the performances even more impressive and hilarious. The series is a smartly written comedy highlighting the best traits of each comedian.

2 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005-)

Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton in Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The Paddy’s Pub gang is dysfunctional in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. With bizarre storylines, the characters are so well-written that the audience will forget the actors are simply acting. Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie, and Frank are petty, narcissistic, and offensive, with the kind of dark humor that will make viewers think twice about watching.

The show has never won an Emmy, but having 18 seasons is impressive. From trying to drink the most beers on a flight to beating up a mall Santa, the gang’s antics are nothing short of hilarious. With a failing bar and often struggling to get by, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a more realistic portrayal of city living compared to other sitcom characters living in huge New York apartments on a waitress’ salary.

1 Better Call Saul (2015-)

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul

Now in the sixth and final season, Better Call Saul is the well-written prequel to Breaking Bad following the persona of quick-talking lawyer Saul Goodman. When viewers are introduced to the character in Breaking Bad, he is slick, gimmicky, and is used as a tool to move along the story. However, there is so much more to the character.

Better Call Saul makes the audience fall in love with the lawyer formerly known as Jimmy McGill. Bob Odenkirk’s performance is emotional and raw, giving the backstory of his questionable law office. Even though it focuses more on law than drugs like its predecessor, the story keeps audiences wanting more. Every storyline has a purpose, and the series delivers enough intriguing drama that any viewer will forget it’s a prequel.

Next: 10 Filler Episodes Of Better Call Saul That Are Still Great

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