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Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre 

Ranker TV
Updated November 13, 2019 3.7k votes 767 voters 11.7k views 53 items

List Rules Vote 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
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: ABC, Showtime

Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more

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2
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 22

Network: Channel 4

Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more

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3
The Eric Andre Show is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Hannibal Buress, Tom Kane, Gary Anthony Williams

Premiered: 2012

Number of Seasons: 2

The Eric Andre Show (Adult Swim, 2012) is an American surreal comedy television series created by Eric Andre. Hosted by Eric Andre with Hannibal Buress, the late night talk show features ...more
4
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
NealGafter added Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright

Premiered: 2016

Network: HBO

Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more

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5
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 156

Network: UPN, CBS

The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more

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6
Lost is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 121

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more

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7
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Premiered: 1969

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 45

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One, IFC

Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more

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8
Legion is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
NealGafter added Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza
Legion (FX, 2017) is an American cable television series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age, David Haller (Dan Stevens) ...more

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9
The Prisoner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
EricKarp added Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick

Premiered: 1967

Number of Episodes: 17

Network: ITV, AMC

The Prisoner is a 17-episode British television series first broadcast in the United Kingdom from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan, it combined ...more

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10
Maniac is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Sonoya Mizuno
Maniac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick Somerville and directed by Cary Fukunaga. Based on a 2014 Norwegian series, the show revolves around the ...more

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11
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more

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12
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday

Premiered: 2015

Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama–thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. Elliot (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety ...more

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13
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 103

Network: FX

American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more

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14
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield

Premiered: 2016

Network: FX

Atlanta (FX, 2016) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Donald Glover. College dropout Earn (Donald Glover) navigates through life with his ex-girlfriend (Zazie Beetz), his ...more

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15
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 154

Network: Showtime, Syfy, American Broadcasting Company

The Outer Limits is a US-Canadian television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The ...more

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16
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Watchmen Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson

Premiered: 2019

Network: HBO

Watchmen (HBO, 2019) is an American drama television series created by Damon Lindelof, based on the comic book series. Set in an alternate history where superheroes are treated as outlaws.

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17
American Gods is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
ewancocking added Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover

Network: HBO

American Gods (Starz, 2017) is an American television series developed by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. After being released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky ...more

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18
Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
NohaEssam added Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton

Premiered: 2015

Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A group of people around the world are suddenly ...more

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19
Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 125

Network: Cartoon Network

Adventure Time is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of Finn, a human boy, and his best friend and adoptive ...more

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20
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Luke Albright added Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

Network: BBC America, Space

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more

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21
The End of the F***ing W... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, Gemma Whelan

Premiered: 2018

The End of the F***ing World (Netflix, 2018) is an eight-part British absurdist dark comedy-drama television series, based on the comic series by Charles S. Forsman. 17-year-old James (Alex ...more

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22
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

Premiered: 2001

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 63

Network: HBO

Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended on August ...more

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23
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 24

Network: HBO

Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching ...more

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24
The Man in the High Cast... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Luke Albright added Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank

Premiered: 2015

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Video, 2015) is an American dystopian alternative history television series created by Frank Spotnitz, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. In an alternative ...more

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25
Wayward Pines is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Svetlana Pavlovic added Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones
Wayward Pines (Fox, 2015) is an American mystery, science fiction television series developed by Chad Hodge. A Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two ...more

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