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Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre

Updated October 20, 2020 4.2k votes 844 voters 14.4k views58 items

List RulesVote up your favorite live-action TV series that have elements of surrealism. No animated series.

Surrealist TV shows keep viewers tuning in week after week by combining supernatural elements with everyday dramas. The best bizarre TV shows feature imaginative storylines that keep characters - and fans - intrigued. This is a list of the greatest surreal TV shows including everything from Mr. Robot to American Horror Story to Adventure Time.

What programs will you find on this list of the best surreal TV shows? David Lynch's twisted hit Twin Peaks originally ran for only two seasons, but over 20 years after its finale, Showtime picked up the show for another run. Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn, and Sheryl Lee are just a few of the talented cast members who keep this bizarre show rooted in reality. Lost is another one of the most popular surreal TV shows of all-time. And of course, it's impossible to talk about bizarre TV shows without mentioning the Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. Other good programs featured here include Tales From the Crypt, Baskets, and Black Mirror.

Do you have a favorite bizarre TV series? Give the best shows a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and please add any great shows that are missing. And if you're a fan of the surreal, be sure to check out our list of the best surrealist films of all time.

 

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  • 1
    Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    311
    98

    Twin Peaks

    Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn

    Premiered1990

    Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    195
    104

    Black Mirror

    Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell

    Premiered2011

    Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    130
    60

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    The Eric Andre Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    84
    24

    The Eric Andre Show

    Hannibal Buress, Tom Kane

    Premiered2012

    The Eric Andre Show (Adult Swim, 2012) is an American surreal comedy television series created... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Lost is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    180
    117

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    Lost (ABC, 2004) is an American drama television series created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Legion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    97
    48

    Legion

    Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller
    Legion (FX, 2017) is an American cable television series created by Noah Hawley, based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Westworld is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    149
    100

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

    Premiered2016

    Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    66
    27

    Carnivàle

    Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau

    Premiered2003

    Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Monty Python's Flying Circ is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    77
    41

    Monty Python's Flying Circus

    Graham Chapman, John Cleese

    Premiered1969

    Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    58
    31

    Atlanta

    Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry

    Premiered2016

    Atlanta (FX, 2016) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Donald Glover.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    89
    64

    American Horror Story

    Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott

    Premiered2011

    American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Fringe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    68
    43

    Fringe

    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson

    Premiered2008

    Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    79
    55

    Mr. Robot

    Rami Malek, Christian Slater

    Premiered2015

    Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    334
    324

    Sense8

    Aml Ameen, Doona Bae

    Premiered2015

    Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Maniac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    36
    13

    Maniac

    Jonah Hill, Emma Stone

    Premiered2018

    Maniac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Prisoner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    29
    10

    The Prisoner

    Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat

    Premiered1967

    The Prisoner is a 17-episode British television series first broadcast in the United Kingdom... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    38
    29

    The Outer Limits

    Bob Johnson, Ben Wright

    Premiered1963

    The Outer Limits (ABC, 1963) is an American horror and speculative fiction anthology... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Mr. Show with Bob and David is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    33
    28

    Mr. Show with Bob and David

    Bob Odenkirk, David Cross

    Premiered1995

    Mr. Show with Bob and David, also known as Mr. Show, is an American sketch comedy series... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    25
    22

    Orphan Black

    Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce

    Premiered2013

    Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    36
    36

    Tales from the Crypt

    John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith

    Premiered1989

    Tales from the Crypt, sometimes titled HBO's Tales from the Crypt, is an American horror... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    American Gods is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    10
    2

    American Gods

    Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning

    Premiered2017

    American Gods (Starz, 2017) is an American television series developed by Bryan Fuller and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    The Mighty Boosh is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    28
    28

    The Mighty Boosh

    Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding

    Premiered2004

    The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy troupe featuring comedians Julian Barratt and Noel... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Wayward Pines is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    19
    17

    Wayward Pines

    Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino

    Premiered2015

    Wayward Pines (Fox, 2015) is an American mystery, science fiction television series developed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    13
    10

    Six Feet Under

    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall

    Premiered2001

    Six Feet Under (HBO, 2001) is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    American Gothic is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
    20
    22

    American Gothic

    Gary Cole, Lucas Black

    Premiered1995

    American Gothic is an American horror series created by Shaun Cassidy and executive producer... more on Wikipedia

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