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Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre 

Ranker TV
Updated July 6, 2020 4k votes 817 voters 13.3k views 61 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

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

Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. The show features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine ...more

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3
Lost is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Lost (ABC, 2004) is an American drama television series created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof. After a horrific plane crash, a group of strangers are forced to work ...more

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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

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
Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 5 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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6
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

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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7
The Eric Andre Show is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Hannibal Buress, Tom Kane, Gary Anthony Williams

Premiered: 2012

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
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
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

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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10
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Premiered: 1969

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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11
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 11 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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12
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

Premiered: 2008

Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. An F.B.I. agent (Anna Torv) is forced to work with an ...more

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13
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield

Premiered: 2016

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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14
Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny

Premiered: 2010

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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15
Maniac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Sonoya Mizuno

Premiered: 2018

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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16
The Prisoner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
EricKarp added Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick

Premiered: 1967

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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17
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Bob Johnson, Ben Wright, William Douglas

Premiered: 1963

The Outer Limits (ABC, 1963) is an American horror and speculative fiction anthology television series. The series is often compared to The Twilight Zone, but with a greater emphasis on science ...more

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18
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

Premiered: 2003

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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19
Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer

Premiered: 1989

Tales from the Crypt, sometimes titled HBO's Tales from the Crypt, is an American horror anthology television series that ran from June 10, 1989, to July 19, 1996, on the premium cable channel ...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

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
Wayward Pines is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Svetlana Pavlovic added Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones

Premiered: 2015

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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22
The Man in the High Cast... is listed (or ranked) 22 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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23
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
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

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24
The Mighty Boosh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
The Mighty Boosh Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding
The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy troupe featuring comedians Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. Developed from three stage shows and a six-episode radio series, it has since spawned a total of ...more
25
BoJack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Luke Albright added 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

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