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Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre 

Ranker TV
Updated March 24, 2020 3.7k votes 772 voters 12k views 55 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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#486 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #103 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time Wildly Convincing Black Mirror Fan Theories That Somehow Make The Show Even Crazier

3
Lost is listed (or ranked) 3 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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#32 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #31 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time The Best LOST Characters

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

Number of Seasons: 3

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
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

Number of Seasons: 2

Network: Netflix

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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#342 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #184 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

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

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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#8 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time Creepy Parallels Between 'American Horror Story' And 'The Twilight Zone' You Never Even Knew Existedlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

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

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
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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#354 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #688 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time The Best Characters on Legion, Ranked

9
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 9 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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10
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 10 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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#22 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #45 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years Scary True Stories That American Horror Story Should Make A Season About

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, 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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#115 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #272 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Best Seasons of Fringe

13
Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 13 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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#247 of 384 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time The Most Lumpin' Awesome Catchprases From Adventure Timelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

14
Maniac is listed (or ranked) 14 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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#964 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #25 of 160 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2018 #304 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

15
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 15 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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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

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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17
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 17 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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#180 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #25 of 310 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

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

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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#210 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #437 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

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

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 93

Network: HBO

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

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
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
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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#198 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #808 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

23
BoJack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great TV Shows That Are Totally Surreal And Bizarre
Luke Albright added Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie

Premiered: 2014

Network: Netflix

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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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

Number of Episodes: 14

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

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#656 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #9 of 153 The Best Sketch Comedy Groups

25
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 25 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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#373 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #315 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #167 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years