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TV Throwbacks: My 10 favorite 2000s shows

From the reappearance of low-waisted jeans to revisiting “vintage” bands, there is no denying that the 2000s are making a comeback. As a huge fan of 2000s shows, I feel it’s my duty to share some of my favorites with you.

Top 10 2000s TV shows
#10 - The O.C.
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#10 - "The O.C."

As an Angeleno, it is only fitting that this show made this list. Although "The O.C." only ran for four years, its first two seasons are full of memorable, fast-paced storylines. The show focuses on a core group of teenagers and their parents who live very California-like lives. It features iconic 2000s fashion and bands at its very own "Bait Shop," a concert venue. The O.C. is available for streaming on Hulu and Max.

#9 - Survivor
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#9 - "Survivor"

"Survivor" is the O.G. reality-competition TV show that set the foundation for similar popular shows like "The Circle." Over winter break, my family and I binged two random seasons of "Survivor"; all seasons have a new cast and don't need to be watched in order. The format of the game just doesn't get old — participants compete in challenges for immunity and rewards, hoping their fellow teammates do not vote them out. "Survivor" is filled with tension, comedy and quirky characters, including lovable host Jeff Probst. If you love "Survivor," you should also check out "The Amazing Race," another classic reality show. The show is available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix.

#8 - Parks and Recreation
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#8 - "Parks and Recreation"

Easily one of the funniest sitcoms out there, "Parks and Recreation" features Indiana bureaucrat Leslie Knope's journey to install a park in her mission to beautify her town. Co-produced by the same producer as "The Office," this heartfelt show is filled with hilarious characters and small-town shenanigans. The show's best seasons are two, three and four, and it is available for streaming on Peacock.

#7 -  Friday Night Lights
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#7 - "Friday Night Lights"

This is the best sports drama series ever. "Friday Night Lights" is set in Dillon, Texas, where high school football is the foundation of the small town. The show's range of characters and their situations feel very realistic. There is a sense of optimism consistently present in the show that reminds me of "Ted Lasso." "Friday Night Lights" perfectly captures the the magic of Friday night football in southern towns. The show is available for streaming on Netflix.

#6 - Greys Anatomy
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#6 - "Grey's Anatomy"

"Grey's Anatomy" is popular for a reason. The show's iconic characters, like Addison Montgomery, McDreamy, McSteamy and, of course, Meredith Grey, transcend generations. From complicated relationships to unique medical cases to dramatic storylines, "Grey's Anatomy" has everything you want in a drama series. While I admit the show's plot has gone stale, seasons one through 10 deserve credit and are worthy of your time. I recommend you check out the episodes "Losing My Religion," "Death and All His Friends" and "Flight." "Grey's Anatomy" is available for streaming on Netflix.

#5 - Gossip Girl
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#5 - "Gossip Girl"

"Gossip Girl" is a drama primarily following high school students who live ridiculously luxurious lives on the Upper East Side of New York City. The central appeal of the show is the unrealistic lifestyle portrayed, which sets trends in the fashion world as well as inspires the "New York It Girl" aesthetic. Gossip Girl, the show's namesake and trusty narrator voiced by Kristen Bell, is an anonymous blog that posts "tips" to expose scandals and the characters' deepest secrets. Gossip Girl's identity is not revealed until the series finale, keeping viewers invested through all six seasons. "Gossip Girl" is available for streaming on Max.

#4 -  The Sopranos
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#4 - "The Sopranos"

This year, fans are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the iconic Max TV series, "The Sopranos," which features an Italian mafia family in New Jersey. Often regarded as one of the best shows of all time, the acting in this show is unmatched. The show is realistic, suspenseful and most of all, has crazy plot twists. Each episode has a compelling, ingenious storyline that keeps viewers engrossed in the show, which is why it's no surprise it has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards. My personal favorite episodes are the season two finale "Funhouse" and "Pine Barrens" in season three.

#3 - The Office
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#3 - "The Office"

A fictional TV documentary series showcasing "normal" people working office jobs has received so much love and a huge fan base due in part to its slapstick comedy, but also because of its success in highlighting the beauty and joy of an ordinary life. It appeals to a wider audience of Americans who work typical 9-5 jobs in offices. This show is timeless because of the one and only Michael Scott, the boss, and also the laughingstock of the office. The episodes' hilarious pranks, along with Pam and Jim's love story, are why I love "The Office" so much. "The Office" is available for streaming on Peacock.

#2 - Breaking Bad
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#2 - "Breaking Bad"

"Breaking Bad" is truly one of the most captivating shows out there. The writing is perfection; the storyline of Walter White — a broke high school chemistry teacher turned formidable meth cook — is unable to be replicated. This show features the perspectives of the FDA, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, his partner in crime, and meth-distributing competitors. It's also an action-packed thriller without unnecessary filler episodes."Breaking Bad" is available for streaming on Netflix.

Honorable Mention - Gilmore Girls
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
Honorable Mention - "Gilmore Girls"

If you are looking to experience a show with the ultimate fall and cozy vibe, then "Gilmore Girls" is your best bet. Centered around the daily happenings of a mother-daughter duo who live in a charming small town, this is truly a feel-good Netflix show. My sister put it perfectly when she said, "It's a great show to have on in the background."

#1- One Tree Hill
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#1- "One Tree Hill"

Highly underrated, this TV gem earns the top spot on my list. It is the perfect mix of drama and romance, and its nine seasons make it a perfect binge-worthy 2000s show. "One Tree Hill" tells the tale of two estranged brothers who wind up on their high school's basketball team together. What makes this show unique are the female characters, who actually have personalities going beyond the classic "fighting for a boy's attention" trope. The show's strong female friendships and wild plot lines make it special. It also features the 2000s heartthrob Chad Micheal Murray, making the show even more visually pleasing — I mean, who could look away? "One Tree Hill" is available for streaming on Hulu and Max.

I hope this list inspires you to watch (or rewatch) some of the arguably best tv shows produced in the 2000s. Happy binging!

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About the Contributor
Surya Patil, Sports Editor
Surya Patil joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became Sports Editor in 2022. She is currently on the Archer varsity tennis team and on the Athletic Leadership Council. When she is not reporting or playing tennis, you can find her watching 2000s tv shows and spending time with her friends and family.

Comments (1)

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    Gabby KaplanJan 24, 2024 at 1:50 pm

    Amazing, Surya!