100 Best TV Shows of 2023 So Far

Updated April 14, 2024 • Staff

From the numerous shows released just this year, it can be hard to decide what to watch next. Rib-tickling comedies, mind-bending sci-fi epics, impassioned dramas… With so much variety, there’s surely something for everyone, but sometimes, all we want to know is what’s best. To help you find the crème de la crème of the small screen, we’ve reviewed and ranked this year’s shows that we think you’ll enjoy.

Whether you’re reading this when published, or reading later on in the year, here are our best TV shows of 2023. If you're looking for a more updated list, you can also check out our list of the best TV shows of 2024 so far.

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100.

Harley Quinn

Crass, violent, and deeply unserious, this adult animated series gets around its rough edges by acknowledging its title character’s reputation. Often seen only in the context of her twisted romance with a much more recognizable villain, Harley Quinn tends to be viewed as merely victim or vixen. But this show has her break free and claim her own story, taking shots not just at her emotionally abusive ex, the Joker, but at the entire DC Comics brand and at any other moving target it can find. The result is a series that has the tendency to feel scattershot, but whose anarchic energy still leads to the catharsis of untethering oneself from an unhealthy addiction and learning to be rebuild.

And though the show’s writing and animation can get too stiff or stilted (especially in later seasons), much of it still works thanks to its bonkers sense of humor, as well as an excellent voice cast. Kaley Cuoco is exactly as brash and expressive as Harley needs to be, and supporting turns from an extensive range of actors (including Lake Bell, whose Poison Ivy eventually becomes Harley’s most important relationship) ensure that every corner of this world has something hilarious to offer.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Crime, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell
99.

The Killing Vote

The Killing Vote takes the "vote to kill" storyline and pairs an anonymous vigilante with an ambitious yet apathetic officer, creating an intriguing setup that questions how everyday inequalities extend to the justice system. The first episode is quite disturbing as it tackles child pornography, but with this pilot, the series is able to cement an expectation it fulfills in succeeding episodes: this is a severe show that tackles severe cases and severe criminals. Coupled with immersive performances across the board (the star-studded cast includes K-drama staples Park Hae-jin, Park Sung-woong, and Lim Ji-yeon), The Killing Vote is already off to a high-intensity start. If it keeps this up, it very well could be one of 2023's best.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Kim Yu-mi, Lim Ji-yeon, Park Hae-jin, Park Sung-woong, Shin Jung-geun
Director: Park Shin-woo

Free Watching Options:

Watch The Killing Vote on Amazon Prime for free
98.

My Lovely Boxer

In the era of behind-the-athlete documentaries, the timing of a series like My Lovely Boxer is perfect. The series follows a young boxing prodigy, Lee Kwon-Sook (Kim So-Hye), who suddenly disappears at the height of her career to escape the toxicity of her home life and avoid becoming commodified as a boxer. In its first two episodes, it's clear that this isn't about the sport itself. Rather, as Kwon-Sook and sports agent Kim Tae-Young (Lee Sang-yub) cross paths, the exploitative practices in the sports industry are quickly exposed, showing the disconnect between sports as a profession - both a passion and a way to make ends meet - and sports as entertainment at any cost. The show wastes no time glamourizing an athlete's life but instead illuminates every dark corner waiting to make a quick buck. And like the tell-all documentaries, the horrors behind the scenes are upsetting, but keep you watching. 

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Kim Hyeong-mook, Kim Jin-woo, Kim So-hye, Lee Sang-yeob, Park Ji-hwan
Director: Choi Sang-yeol, Hong Eun-mi
97.

The Other Black Girl

A lot of things are at play in The Other Black Girl, a 10-part series adapted from the novel of the same name. The first half is a workplace horror that cleverly sets Nella’s career ambitions against the racial microaggressions she endures daily, while the second half is more of a mystery, with Nella digging deeper into Hazel’s sketchy past. At the same time, The Other Black Girl is also a comedy, a social thriller, and a revealing satire about the state of the publishing industry and companies at large. It doesn’t always succeed in balancing all the things it tries to be, but when it does, it soars; it becomes an exciting and meaningful piece of work you can’t stop watching. And even when it falters (it’s not as good at mystery as it is at commentary), The Other Black Girl remains largely enjoyable—addicting, even, since each episode runs for a breezy 30 minutes. Anchored by an extremely likable performance by Daniel and a chilling one from Murray, The Other Black Girl is easily one of the best multi-genre shows to come out in a while. 

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Ashleigh Murray, Bellamy Young, Eric McCormack, Garcelle Beauvais, Hunter Parrish, Sinclair Daniel

Free Watching Options:

Watch The Other Black Girl on Hulu for free
96.

Love After Music

Like the biopics of other musicians, Love After Music tracks the life of Argentine rock-and-roll musician Fito Páez. From his beginnings as a band keyboardist in 1977 to his 1993 solo concert for UNICEF, the mini-series delves into the themes and inspiration that drive his work through eight episodes. As Páez performs, the series flips between the song being sung and related flashbacks from Páez’s life, implying how Páez feels through images instead of dialogue. This approach can feel confusing at times, but it makes this account of his life a more personal and experiential biopic. Fans of the Latin Grammy Lifetime Awardee would most likely enjoy this series, however, for audiences unfamiliar with the singer, like myself, it’s still an interesting series to watch.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Gaspar Offenhenden, Iván Hochman, Micaela Riera
95.

Rough Diamonds

At first glance, Rough Diamonds seems to be a standard Netflix thriller with debts, deaths, and dirty deals. However, this Flemish-Yiddish series happens to also be a compelling family drama, centered around Antwerp’s Haredi Jewish diamond community. The series starts the season strong with the death that puts the family into chaos. It continues the series’ suspense with the return of prodigal son Noah, who, like Godfather’s Michael Corleone, initially disagrees with the family’s orthodox lifestyle, but can’t help but be drawn back to the family business. As the family scrambles to figure out their dead brother’s debt, they squabble with each other in a dynamic reminiscent of Succession, with an added organized crime twist. The resulting mix creates an intriguing thriller series that also happens to be a nuanced portrayal of a rarely portrayed community.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Casper Knopf, Els Dottermans, Gene Bervoets, Ini Massez, Janne Desmet, Jeroen Van der Ven, Julia Akkermans, Kevin Janssens, Marie Vinck, Robbie Cleiren, Sofie Decleir, Soroush Helali, Tine Joustra, Yona Elian
Rating: TV-MA
94.

Who Killed Jill Dando?

Looking at a photo of Jill Dando, you’d be forgiven for mistaking her for Princess Diana. Both beloved public figures have the same cut of blonde hair and exude the same girl-next-door warmth. Still like Diana, Jill was suddenly killed in the ‘90s and left in her wake a string of conspiracy theories surrounding her death. This docuseries from Netflix examines those speculations, along with official investigations, and invites us to ask why, despite an abundance of clues and advocates, the truth remains hidden after all these years. It’s a compelling, respectful, and well-made show that humanizes Jill and dramatizes her death in equal measure. And like any true crime series worth your time, it also reveals how slow real cases outside of film and TV actually move. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking, but also quite enlightening. You don’t have to know much about Jill to be gripped by the series, although you do wind up caring about her and the development of the case by the end of it.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Crime, Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
93.

Star Trek: Lower Decks

If you have the patience to get through its rocky first season, Star Trek: Lower Decks proves itself to be an adult animated series that's deeply committed to getting significantly better with every season. What started as a sort of budget Rick and Morty riff with grating humor and stiff animation has turned into an effortlessly witty sci-fi show with plenty of life in the way it moves. It's still mostly concerned with having silly little adventures at the end of the day, but what's striking is how complete its adventures and sci-fi ideas are in the span of its 20- to 30-minute episodes.

And as it's found its footing, Lower Decks has also gained the confidence to begin telling more overarching stories by its fourth season, with an even stronger focus on character. These kinds of animated comedies could easily avoid any profound development for its protagonists—and this show doesn't exactly have the most deeply-written crew members in Trek history—but there's real heart in how the lower decks crew reflect on the modesty of their stations and how they view themselves within a larger institution. If it doesn't seem too groundbreaking, that's part of the appeal too; smaller stories still deserve to be told.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Dawnn Lewis, Eugene Cordero, Fred Tatasciore, Gillian Vigman, Jack Quaid, Jerry O'Connell, Noël Wells, Tawny Newsome
Rating: TV-14

Free Watching Options:

Watch Star Trek: Lower Decks on Amazon Prime for free
92.

If I Were Luísa Sonza

Today’s child pop stars have a lot on their plate. On top of the already strenuous touring schedule, they have to deal with the fact that every move they make can be recorded, saved, and spread online just to cause their own downfall. Brazilian popstar Luisa Sonza grew up with the spotlight, and at the ripe old age of 25, has gone through two messy break-ups, a nude leak, and a racist controversy, all while creating two of her most captivating albums so far. If I Were Luisa Sonza portrays her at her most vulnerable– through the creating process, and the team meetings, and the doctor visits– but also at her most defiant, as she turns her scandals into art. The resulting intimate documentary might just be one part of her life, as she declares, but it’s just the precise viewpoint from this generation’s artists that is needed to question what it means to be a young artist in this day and age.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Luísa Sonza
Director: Isabel Nascimento Silva
Rating: TV-MA
91.

Stonehouse

As the real-life British politician John Stonehouse who, among other things, served as a spy for Czechoslovakia and faked his own death, Matthew Macfadyen is incredibly funny. He owns the role of the bumbling fool, a master at inducing laughs and sympathy at the same time. And with Stonehouse, he has endless material. The man is narcissistic and power-hungry, but he also has a habit of biting off more than he can chew, so seeing him stumble in his lies is both funny and tragic to watch. If I can use another metaphor—watching Stonehouse is like watching a train power through despite falling off the rails. It's a wreck to be sure, but one you can't quite peel your eyes from.

Another great thing about Stonehouse? It only has three (concise but jam-packed) episodes. So if you're looking for a one-day binge, this might just be it.

Our staff rating: 7.8/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Dorothy Atkinson, Keeley Hawes, Kevin McNally, Matthew Macfadyen
Director: Jon S. Baird
Rating: TV-14

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