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A definitive ranking of the 15 most iconic TV shows available to binge-watch right now.

It’s just a known fact that there are some TV shows you must watch during your lifetime, otherwise, you cease to be a fully formed human being.

Luckily for you, some of the most iconic TV shows of all time are now available to binge-watch on Stan, so if you have missing spots in your TV education, you can course-correct right now.

Here is the definitive ranking of the 15 most iconic TV shows you must watch immediately.

15. Dexter

A lot of the talk around Dexter now currently zeros in on the fact that the finale infamously left fans very disappointed, which is a disservice to this otherwise brilliant and, at the time, quite groundbreaking show.

Dexter is about a Miami forensics expert who he spends his days solving crimes but at night turns to murder. His crimes are fuelled by a compulsion to kill that he cannot control and in order to balance this urge with his work for the police department, he only kills those who are heinous perpetrators, hoping to somehow balance the scale.

14 . Scrubs

Comedy-drama Scrubs is the ultimate “rewatch-rewind-rewatch” series. It centres on Dr. John Michael “J.D.” Dorian (played by Zach Braff, who also executive produced the show) whose inner monologue guides the series through the antics of hospital life, which often descend into surreal fantasies.

It’s like an off-beat Grey’s Anatomy. 

13. Charmed

Charmed will forever be the late ’90s TV show responsible for every teen girl of that era hoarding a table of candles and attempting to construct her own Book of Shadows.

The first few seasons focused on San Fransico sisters Prue, Piper and Phoebe Halliwell, who all move back into the family home, Halliwell Manor, where they discover they are the most powerful witches ever known, wielding the Power of Three.

It’s a sign of the show’s strength and supportive fandom that it survived the departure of leading lady Shannen Doherty, who was replaced by Rose McGowan as long-lost sister Paige.

12. Will & Grace

Another classic show that was groundbreaking when it first aired and is just as relevant today.

The series follows Will, a gay man and lawyer, and his best friend, interior designer, Grace, living together in New York City. Although, the supporting characters of Karen Walker, an alcoholic socialite who “works” for Grace, and Jack McFarland, a flamboyantly gay actor, have become just as popular over time.

In a rare case of a TV reboot actually working, Will & Grace was revived in 2018 and the new seasons have been able to recapture the show’s original magic.

11. Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy is an epic family crime drama centring on Jax Teller. Jax struggles to find a balance between keeping his immediate family safe and his allegiance to his motorcycle gang, who are involved with gun-running in the western United States and face off against rival gangs and police.

10. Lost

I would go as far as to say the first season of Lost is a rare perfect season of TV, with a compelling plot that’s perfectly paced out while impressively sharing the drama and storytelling between a large cast of characters.

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Lost focuses on the survivors of a plane crash who find themselves stranded on a mysterious island. They attempt to work together for survival, but quickly work out they are not alone on the island.

9. Parks & Recreation

Before he brought us the excellent TV show The Good Place, Michael Schur created the American political satire sitcom Parks & Recreation for Amy Poehler to star in.

Amy plays Leslie Knope, an idealistic and ambitious mid-level bureaucrat working as the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.

It’s a clever workplace comedy with a lot of heart.

"Michael Schur created the American political satire sitcom Parks & Recreation for Amy Poehler to star in." Source: Stan.

8. 30 Rock

30 Rock is a satirical sitcom series created by Tina Fey and based on her time as a head writer at Saturday Night Live.

Tina plays Liz Lemon, at clever but hot-mess type New Yorker who is the showrunner of a sketch comedy series. Alec Baldwin turns in a particularly brilliant comedic performance as network executive Jack Donaghy, Liz's nemesis/colleague.

7. Supernatural

When Supernatural first aired, I watched the premiere episode and then said to my sister, "It's good, but it's just two brothers in a car driving around and killing monsters, I give it one season."

Supernatural is currently in its fifteenth season.

And while it's still centred on brothers Dean and Sam and their fight against everything from monsters to vampires and even God himself, it's created a rich universe with one of the most intense fandoms in existence.

6. How I Met Your Mother

The ultimate TV rom-com in reverse and another show that has unfortunately become known for a finale that disappointed fans. But if you look past that, it still offers up nine seasons of laughs, heart and in-jokes.

How I Met Your Mother follows Ted Mosby as he narrates the story of how he met the mother of his children, flashing back to his life with best friends Marshall, Lily, and Barney and his love interest, Robin.

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5. Dawson's Creek

This might be an unpopular choice, but I stand by it, because Dawson's Creek is the definitive teen drama of our times.

It follows the very dramatic love lives, hopes and dreams of teens Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen from the small town of Capeside and into their lives as university students in Boston.

The finale will both fill you with joy and break your heart in two.

For the biggest pop culture stories of the day and the best TV shows to watch this weekend, listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast The Spill. 

4. Breaking Bad

Best described as a neo-Western crime drama, Breaking Bad follows Walter White who, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, transforms from a law-abiding high-school science teacher into a ruthless key player in the crystal methamphetamine drug trade.

At first, he just does it to provide for his family, but as the action-packed story kicks along, it soon becomes about more than just money.

3. Friends

It feels unnecessary to even write a description of Friends, the iconic TV comedy that gave us unrealistic expectations of how big New York City apartments are and how much time you should actually spend with your mates.

And, yes, out of all of the shows on this list, it has perhaps aged the least gracefully (Fat Monica and homophobia spring to mind). But the intertwining story of Monica, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Pheobe and Ross is always a favourite.

2. Grey's Anatomy

There's a reason Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running primetime medical drama in history.

The show, created by Shonda Rhimes, has been able to constantly reinvent itself during its 16 seasons and is still brilliantly helmed by Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, the daughter of an esteemed general surgeon who becomes an intern at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, which is later named Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital after a series of just, frankly, sob-inducing events.

1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

There was no way any other TV show could have taken out the top spot on this list.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a supernatural comedic drama created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, a teenage girl who discovers that she is The Slayer, the latest in a long line of Chosen Ones. Into each generation, a Slayer is born to stand against the vampires, demons and the forces of darkness.

Buffy is a series that intertwines stories of epic romance and clever humour, while also just being a show about the realities of humanity.

It's a work of art form start to finish.

You can stream all these iconic TV shows now, only on Stan. 

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