TV The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time  

Ranker TV
2.4k votes 411 voters 5.8k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up the series that tried to be groundbreaking in their form or message, but in a self-indulgent way that makes you roll your eyes.

When it comes to the most pretentious TV shows of all time, things tend to get tricky due to the subjective nature of the question. How exactly does one define what some might call a pretentious TV series (or pretentious film), after all? For the purposes of this particular list, one might consider a TV show in question to fit the bill if it accidentally comes across as condescending, preachy, not as earth shattering as it thought it'd be, and/or amassed a following largely consisting of a hipster population. 

Here you'll find a collection of shows that some might just peg under the title of pretentious television. Whether they tend to be shows for TV snobs, hipster television series, or ultimately proved to miss the mark, it's up to you to decide which of these shall inherit the not-so-coveted title of the most pretentious TV shows of all time.

Take your revenge by voting up the most self-indulgent shows and feel free to add any of your own that you feel belong on the list.

list ordered by

1
172 27
Girls is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke Girls is an American television series that premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. Created by and starring Lena Dunham, Girls is a comedy-drama following a close group of twenty-somethings living ...more

2
73 29
The Real Housewives of Potomac is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
shellywin672 added The Real Housewives of Potomac (abbreviated RHOP) is an American reality television series that premiered on January 17, 2016, on Bravo. The show was developed as the 8th installment of The Real ...more

3
139 84
The Big Bang Theory is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show along with Steven Molaro. All three also serve as head ...more

4
68 32
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr. The Newsroom is an American television political drama series created and principally written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012, and concluded on December 14, 2014, ...more

5
84 47
House of Cards is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright House of Cards is an American political drama television series developed and produced by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the BBC's mini-series of the same name and is based on the novel ...more

6
32 11
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
1526317422263 added Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis This show is an American television romantic sitcom created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of 94 episodes. ...more

7
99 69
Frasier is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for eleven seasons, premiering on September 16, 1993, and concluding on May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David ...more

8
79 52
Mad Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on July 19, 2007 on the cable network AMC and is produced by Lionsgate Television. The ...more

9
78 57
Lost is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
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

10
48 33
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
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.

11
67 54
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
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

12
60 55
House is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard House is an American television medical drama that originally ran on the Fox network for eight seasons, from November 16, 2004 to May 21, 2012. The show's main character is Dr. Gregory House, a ...more

13
45 41
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

14
51 51
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

15
4 0
Keeping Up with the Kardashian... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Down in Florida added Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!, 2007) is an American reality television series focusing on the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian–Jenner blended family.

16
4 0
Saturday Night Live is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Down in Florida added Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers Saturday Night Live is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, ...more

17
30 34
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more

18
38 44
Gotham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz Gotham (Fox, 2014) is an American drama television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on the DC Comics characters from the Batman franchise. The story behind Detective James Gordon's (Ben ...more

19
1 0
Rick and Morty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer Rick and Morty (Adult Swim, 2013) is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. Cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his fretful, easily ...more

20
1 0
The First is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Sean Penn, Natascha McElhone, LisaGay Hamilton The First (Hulu, 2018) is an American-British drama web television series created by Beau Willimon. A team of astronauts become the first humans to visit Mars.

21
26 30
Iron Fist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, David Wenham Marvel's Iron Fist (Netflix, 2017) is web television series developed Scott Buck, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, a martial ...more

22
20 23
The Mist is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Morgan Spector, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney The Mist (Spike, 2017) is an American science fiction-horror thriller television series developed by Christian Torpe. Based on Stehphen King's horror novella, the series centers on a small town ...more

23
32 38
Star Trek: Enterprise is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction TV series and a prequel to the original Star Trek. The series premiered September 26, 2001, on the UPN television network with the final episode airing ...more

24
21 26
Marvel's Inhumans is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Anson Mount, Iwan Rheon, Serinda Swan Marvel's Inhumans (ABC, 2017) is American superhero series based on the Marvel Comics race of the same name. After a military coup, Black Bolt (Anson Mount), his wife Medusa (Serinda Swan), ...more

25
0 1
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas Hannibal is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in the novel Red Dragon by ...more

26
2 4
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Izzy Van Leesten added James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco The Sopranos is an American drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American Tony Soprano, the show portrays the difficulties he ...more

27
42 57
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
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

28
32 46
Flight of the Conchords is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby Flight of the Conchords is an American/New Zealand television comedy series that was first shown on HBO on June 17, 2007. The show follows the adventures of Flight of the Conchords, a two-man ...more

29
12 20
Utopia is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Alexandra Roach Utopia is a British thriller-drama action television series that debuted on Channel 4 on 15 January 2013 and ended on 12 August 2014. The show is written by Dennis Kelly and stars Fiona ...more

30
51 79
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Pretentious TV Shows Of All Time
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more