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The Very Best TV Shows of 2023, According to W Editors

Presenting, in no particular order, our favorite series of the year.

GIF by Ashley Peña

The main theme of 2023 television ended up being its absence—with the on-going Hollywood strikes, this year reminded us of just how much work goes into making the entertainment that we love so much. With that being said, there were still plenty of great series that made it to air (and streaming). Below, find the shows that W editors loved most this year:

Reservation Dogs, Season 3 (FX on Hulu)


It’s not uncommon for me to end up in tears while watching (honestly, while just talking about) a TV series I love, and the final season of Reservation Dogs was no exception. A show that pulled in and wrapped me up into the lives of Bear, Elora, Cheese, and Willy Jack, a motley crew of Indigenous teenagers growing into adulthood while they grieve their late friend Daniel, embodied the power of quality over quantity for a perfect three seasons. I laughed, I cried, and I felt inspired. Pouring a Route 44 Sonic out for my Dogz forever. —Ysenia Valdez, Senior Social Media Editor

The Gilded Age (Max)


Did I need another period show to watch? No. Did I binge watch the first season of The Gilded Age while I had the flu, and then wait with bated breath for each new episode of the second season? Yes, I did. If you have a Downton Abbey itch that needs to be scratched, I highly recommend watching The Gilded Age. It doesn’t have the twang of the British Accent since it takes place in late 1800’s New York, but what it lacks in accents it makes up for in bustles and petticoats. —Che Baez, Associate Visuals Editor

Beef (Netflix)


A24 delivered yet again with Beef, a witty, compelling dark comedy spurred by a rather unhinged road rage incident. Ali Wong is stellar throughout the bite-sized series, and however chaotic the plot may be, it was made up for with the cast’s acting (most notably, a breakout performance from Young Mazino). What makes the series so special is the individual complexity of each character—I’d find my one moment of sympathy would soon be squashed by a screwball from the writers. —Matthew Velasco, News Writer

The Great (Hulu)

Christopher Raphael/Hulu

Once again, Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult came alive in this zany, sex-fueled historic comedy, with Tony McNamara’s quick and witty writing keeping the story moving forward at a brilliant speed for a third season in a row. The costumes were delectable, and that mid-act plot twist—which could have derailed the whole season—was handled with care. Imagine fans’ surprise, then, when the announcement of the show’s cancellation came with no warning following the season finale. At least, we will have that iconic last scene of Fanning’s Catherine dancing to "You Shook Me All Night Long" to bid us adieu. Huzzah! —Carolyn Twersky, Staff Writer

The Golden Bachelor (Hulu)


I entered The Golden Bachelor as a Bachelor Nation novice, having never watched a previous season in my life. While I knew all the same tropes would be at play, I was excited for the twist these septuagenarians would bring to the franchise, so I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed. The Golden Bachelor is a heartwarming, yet still humorous show that would make even the coldest among us break into a smile. From Gerry’s sappy professions to the womens’ inner relationships and drama, there’s no question if anyone is “there for the right reasons,” it’s all about the love. Come for the rose ceremonies, stay for the women dancing to “Hava Nagila” in the mansion pool. —CT

The Bear, Season 2 (FX on Hulu)


Like so many of its (many) fans, I was initially charmed by The Bear’s realistic mix of restaurant banter, stress, community and triumph (as a vet of the industry, I love a good kitchen show). Season two, though, got me hooked, as it really stuck the landing on crafting more layered relationships, rewarding character development and innovative, thoughtful storytelling. In a culture deathly afraid of being cringe, The Bear manages to be earnest, sincere and cool—and gives a strong second-hand hit of the euphoria only experienced when everything in a dinner service goes absolutely perfect. —Claire Valentine, Culture Editor

Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Bravo on Hulu/Peacock)

Charles Sykes/Bravo

Just as sure as I tune into NY1 for the morning news while I drink my coffee, more often than not my workday ends with Cohen and friends on Watch What Happens Live. And as much as I love getting updates from Bravo stars past and present, I also appreciate the show’s wide range of guests from all walks of pop culture (shout out to WWHL’s booking team), playing ridiculous games and talking about the gossip of the day. WWHL manages to be both hyper local and worldwide, and for that reason it’s always got my attention. —CV

Starstruck, Season 3 (Prime Video)

Prime Video

The fact that this already perfect little rom-com manages to remain as charming and compulsively watchable after three seasons is a testament to its creator and star Rose Matafeo. This year saw the deeply relatable Jessie (Matafeo) grappling with her not-so-clean breakup from the movie star Tom (Nikesh Patel) while her friends are all settling down and starting families. For anyone who’s looking for a show with all the honesty and humor of Fleabag but a bit less of the cynicism, this is a must-watch. My only complaint is that there are only 6 episodes in the most recent season which will leave you wanting more. —Katie Connor, Executive Digital Director

Succession, Season 4 (Max)


Why does everyone suddenly treat what television shows they watch like hipsters treated Indie Rock in the ‘00s? The medium was not created with art or niche personal taste in mind. It’s always been about mass entertainment, and the only times it transcends is if it keeps that in mind. So I’ll gladly make the single most obvious choice (at least amongst people who live in New York City and work in media), and go with Succession’s swan song. The show hooked a devoted audience by doing what TV does best: over-the-top soapy plot, snappy dialogue, a parade of increasingly convoluted cliffhangers, and the occasional network sweeps-worthy jaw-dropping stunt episode. Personally, I even grew to love how the show continued the sacred television tradition of being sloppy with its own continuity (“Whatever happened to [insert about two dozen or so completely forgotten characters here]?”). Really, the most fascinating thing about Succession came from the fact that it seemed everyone was watching (again, at least if you worked in New York media). It earned fans even by deliberately going against that particular audience’s growing consensus that somehow all media should reflect and coddle their better morals by presenting them instead with a cast of truly vile, irredeemable people. Then at the end, it left so many members of that same audience feeling remorseful that those characters got exactly what they deserved in the end: confirmation that they will never be more than the children of an evil rich guy. —Kyle Munzenrieder, Senior Editor, News and Strategy

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Season 4 (Bravo/Hulu)

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Otherwise, I’ve become too disillusioned with our current era of late-stage prestige television. Too many of these shows clearly think they’re very clever and important, when in fact watching them feels like a homework assignment. Then, when you find something you like, it gets canceled after two or three short seasons. Sick of the constant scroll and pressure, this was the year I decided to swallow my pride, turn off my brain, and give into Andy Cohen’s Housewives Industrial Complex. I had dabbled in college, but in recent years really only knew these women from the occasional Twitter meme (I like the one about the woman who made it nice). My entry point was the Jenna Lyons-led New York reboot, of course, but really I find the other series I’ve sampled more fascinating, none more so than Salt Lake City. Do I have any idea what’s going on? No, absolutely not. I still can’t tell Meredith Marks and Lisa Barlow apart. I am not sure why the woman Mary Crosby is there half the time. She doesn’t either. She’s like some Adult Swim character they occasionally insert in (Emma Stone is right, Yorgos Lanthimos should watch it). There is a chance that this season is following new cast mate Monica Garcia on a profound journey that touches on class, religion, mental health, complicated mother-daughter relationships, the cycle of abuse, and the subjective nature of the truth itself in a way more daring and nuanced than any scripted show could ever truly approximate, or maybe she’s just faking it all for cameras. Who knows? I’m not trying to think about it too much. I may not even end up finishing the season. I’m just reveling in the idea of television as pure diversion, and not a cultural duty. —KM

The Diplomat (Netflix)


Ever since Scandal ended I have been searching for something to fill the Olivia Pope-sized hole in my heart, and The Diplomat does just that. There’s great wit and enough political jargon to make me feel like I, too, could fix America’s government. Anyone who likes being entertained and feeling smart should watch. —Faith Brown, Social Media Editor

Hijack (Apple TV+)

If you're looking for a wild thriller filled with twists and turns, this Apple TV+ series is absolutely for you. (For what it's worth, I binged all seven episodes in two days with my parents—so yes, this show is family-friendly, especially if your family is into hair-raising suspense and international lawlessness.) Idris Elba plays the most believable and skilled business negotiator in Hijack, which premiered June of this year. The plot centers Elba as Sam, who is aboard a flight from Dubai to London when a highly organized crew of criminals takes control of the plane. It's up to Elba to use his skills in the boardroom to convince the hijackers to allow the passengers to land safely. Can he do it?—Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

Telemarketers (Max)


I've never watched a series as weirdly gratifying as Telemarketers. Although the three-part show is technically listed as a true-crime documentary, its roving nature and cast of superbly out-there characters transcend both genre and typical filmic subject matter. The series was directed and produced by Sam Lipman-Stern, who formerly worked at a seedy call center in New Jersey called Civic Development Center. His job? Persuading people to give money to charities benefitting firefighters and police officers. But when he and his coworker, Pat Pespas, stumble upon the truth behind the work they've been doing as telemarketers, they embark on a mission to expose the whole industry. The anecdotes from their days at CDG, as they fondly call it, are stranger-than-fiction. And Pespas is an incredible eccentric who makes the whole show. —MW

The Other Two, Season 3 (Max)


No other series this year made me laugh harder than The Other Two, which released its third season on Max in May. (The fact that this show was in its third season and STILL made me crack up regularly should be reason enough to give it a try, IMO.) There are so many things to love about it: Case Walker, who plays Chase Dubek aka ChaseDreams, a regular, if not Justin Bieber-esque kid who becomes a superstar once his teeny-bopper hit "Marry You at Recess" goes viral; the brilliant Molly Shannon, who plays his mom, Pat Dubek; and Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver as ChaseDreams's struggling-artist siblings Brooke and Cary, who are forced to reckon with their own failures once Chase becomes a sensation. Although this was its final run of show—the series will end with its third season—now is the time to get into the wackiness of The Other Two if you haven't already. —MW

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