Entertainment

Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre  

Ranker TV
3.6k votes 731 voters 10.5k views 50 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.

 

list ordered by
1
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.
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
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
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
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
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
5
Lost is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia
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
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
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
7
Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
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
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
9
Maniac is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
The Prisoner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
EricKarp added Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick
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
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
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
12
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
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
13
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday
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
14
Wayward Pines is listed (or ranked) 14 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
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
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
16
Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
NohaEssam added Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton
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
17
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown
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
18
Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny
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
19
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield
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
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
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
21
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy
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
22
The Man in the High Castle 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
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
23
Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer
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
24
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Luke Albright added Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo
12 Monkeys (SyFy, 2015) is an American television series on Syfy created by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, and loosely based on the 1995 film. In the year 2043, scavenger James Cole (Aaron ...more
25
Aeon Flux is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
hideo1212 added Denise Poirier, John Rafter Lee, Julia Fletcher
Æon Flux is an avant-garde science fiction animated television series that aired on MTV in various forms throughout the 1990s, with film, comic book, and video game adaptations following ...more