Watchworthy

The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief 

Molly Gander
Updated June 17, 2020 397 votes 97 voters 3.7k views 39 items

List Rules Vote up the shows that best center their storyline around grief and loss.

Grief can often be an all-consuming feeling that makes you feel all alone in the world. But the fact is, nearly everyone has gone through the stages of grief at one time or another in their lives, and sometimes the best way to understand grief is to watch how others deal with it. In our current age of television, there's no shortage of shows that deal with grief in utterly compelling, human ways that can go from heartbreaking to empathetic to hilariously satisfying all in one episode. 

Shows about grief and loss can be therapeutic for those suffering from grief, but they can also be cathartic and just plain entertaining for everyone else. Sometimes there's nothing better than a good cry, and the best shows about grief understand that. From dramas to comedies to big-budget epics, the shows on this list all manage to say something unique about loss and show the variety of ways that grief can affect us. Whether these shows are full on cry-fests or manage to wrap up their grief in a happy ending, these shows understand the complexity of grief in all its forms and are able to turn it into endlessly riveting television.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
House is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

Premiered: 2004

House, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An antisocial maverick doctor (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in diagnostic medicine does whatever it takes ...more
2
Sorry for Your Loss is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Elizabeth Olsen, Kelly Marie Tran, Jovan Adepo
Sorry for Your Loss (Facebook Watch, 2018) is an American dark comedy web television series created by Kit Steinkellner. The sudden death of her husband upends and transforms the life of Leigh ...more
3
After Life is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Ricky Gervais, Penelope Wilton, David Bradley

Premiered: 2019

After Life (Netflix, 2019) is a British dark comedy television series, created by Ricky Gervais. When Tony's (Ricky Gervais) wife suddenly dies he decides to get revenge on the world by doing ...more
4
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

Premiered: 2014

The Leftovers (HBO, 2014) is an American supernatural mystery television drama series created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, and based on Perrotta's novel of the same name. After the ...more
5
Dead to Me is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, Edward Asner

Premiered: 2019

Dead to Me (Netflix, 2019) is an American dark comedy web television series created by Liz Feldman. After the murder of her husband, tightly wound widow, Jen (Christina Applegate) meets Judy ...more
6
BoJack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie

Premiered: 2014

BoJack Horseman (Netflix, 2014) is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) was the star of the hit television show "Horsin' Around" ...more
7
This Is Us is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown

Premiered: 2016

This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a unique ensemble, as their paths cross and their life stories intertwine, from sharing the same ...more
8
13 Reasons Why is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh

Premiered: 2017

13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey. Told through a series of flashbacks, the ...more
9
A Million Little Things ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
David Giuntoli, Ron Livingston, Romany Malco

Premiered: 2018

A Million Little Things (ABC, 2018) is an American family drama television series created by D. J. Nash. A group of friends intertwined in each other's lives all realize they need to start ...more
10
Kidding is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener, Frank Langella

Premiered: 2018

Kidding (Showtime, 2018) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Dave Holstein. A children's television icon (Jim Carrey), who also anchors a multimillion-dollar branding ...more
11
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson

Premiered: 2005

Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 2005) is an American medical soap opera television series created by Shonda Rhimes. A group of young doctors faces the pressure that comes from practicing medicine in a ...more
12
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

Premiered: 1972

M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more
13
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard

Premiered: 2010

Parenthood (NBC, 2010) is an American television drama series created by Jason Katims. Four siblings share the joys and heartaches of parenthood in their California hometown of Berkeley.
14
ER is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

Premiered: 1994

ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and ...more
15
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky

Premiered: 2011

Shameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells, based on the 2004 British series. Led by drunk patriarch Frank (William H. Macy), the poor and ...more
16
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke

Premiered: 2011

Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more
17
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

Premiered: 2001

Six Feet Under (HBO, 2001) is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. A dysfunctional family attempts to run an independent funeral home in Los Angeles who has a ...more
18
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles

Premiered: 2006

Friday Night Lights (NBC, 2006) is an American sports drama television series developed by Peter Berg, inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H. G. Bissinger. A drama that follows the lives of ...more
19
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

Premiered: 2011

The Killing (AMC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Veena Sud, based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen. Seattle homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen ...more
20
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more
21
Looking For Alaska is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Charlie Plummer, Kristine Froseth, Denny Love

Premiered: 2019

Looking For Alaska (Hulu, 2019) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz, based on the 2005 novel by John Green. A new student (Charlie Plummer) at a boarding school ...more
22
Everything's Gonna Be Ok... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Josh Thomas, Kayla Cromer, Adam Faison

Premiered: 2020

Everything's Gonna Be Okay (Freeform, 2020) is an American comedy television series created by Josh Thomas. After their father's untimely death, Nicholas (Josh Thomas) and his two half-sisters ...more
23
The Unicorn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Walton Goggins, Rob Corddry, Omar Miller

Premiered: 2019

The Unicorn (CBS, 2019) is an American sitcom television series created by Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, and Grady Cooper. Wade (Walton Goggins), a recently widowed father with two daughters, is ...more
24
Servant is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Toby Kebbell, Lauren Ambrose, Nell Tiger Free

Premiered: 2019

Servant (Apple TV+, 2019) is an American psychological thriller television series created by Tony Basgallop. After the death of their infant son, a married couple (Toby Kebbell and Lauren ...more
25
Rectify is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Shows That Deal with Grief
Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron

Premiered: 2013

Rectify is an American television drama series created by Ray McKinnon, and is the first original series from SundanceTV. It stars Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron, Adelaide ...more