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14 greatest TV shows of 2023 - and why we loved them

What was your number one TV show of 2023? 

Best TV shows of 2023
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
Updated: December 22, 2023
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There are many different TV show choices out there and sometimes it’s difficult to know what to pick - after all, with more streaming platforms and original series than ever, you want to spend watching the best of the best - but where to even begin? 2023 has been a fantastic year for TV, so the team at HELLO! have put together their top pick for the year - and why they loved it… 

Happy Valley ended with its third season© Matt Squire

Happy Valley - BBC

Season three absolutely managed to live up to the lofty heights of our expectations for this final outing of Sergeant Catherine Cawood before her retirement - and we couldn't have been happier by the way things were wrapped up. This time, Catherine deals with the devastating revelation that her grandson Ryan has been visiting his murderous father, Tommy Lee Royce, in prison, while a shady pharmacist's side hustle gets him into more trouble than he ever imagined would be possible. Emmy Griffiths, Digital TV and Film Editor

Costello Jones in Rain Dogs© James Pardon

Rain Dogs - BBC

Daisy May Cooper rose to prominence thanks to her hilarious turn in This Country, but her role in Rain Dogs showed a very different side to her and I couldn't have loved it more. The show is about single mum Costello who does everything she can to keep her and her daughter afloat, all the while dealing with a fractured relationship with her troubled best friend, Selby. 

There's dark humour, scenes that will leave your jaw open, and incredible acting from Daisy, Jack Farthing and more. Not one to be missed. - Francesca Shillcock, Senior TV and Film Writer

Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us© HBO/Warner Media

The Last Of Us - HBO/NOW

The Last of Us is widely regarded as one of the best shows to come out of 2023 – and for very good reason. 

Based on Neil Druckmann's popular 2013 video game, this sci-fi series stars Pedro Pascal as hardened survivor Joel, who is tasked with escorting 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic United States, which has become over-run with zombies following a fungus outbreak. 

It's got everything you want from an apocalypse drama: a gripping plot, big-budget effects and a healthy dose of gore. But what makes the show sensational is the relationship between Joel and Ellie – and the casting couldn't be more perfect. While Joel and Ellie don't see eye-to-eye at first, their relationship develops and deepens throughout the series and makes for very moving TV. - Nicky Morris, TV and Film Writer 

Sam Clemmett as Young Brimsley, India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte - Netflix

Like many Netflix watchers, I fell head first for the wonder and charm of Shondaland; eagerly anticipating the next love story from the Bridgerton clan in the ton. So, when Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story made her regal entrance, my love for all things regency was spiked.

Whilst this fictional period spin-off isn’t short of the jaw-dropping romances we’ve all come to know and love, it does take a darker turn when fans are given a deeper insight into the younger versions of Queen Charlotte, Lady Danbury, Brimsley and King George. All whilst introducing viewers to a new set of characters that provoke every emotion you could think of! - Nichaela George, Social Video Producer

 Kendall Roy is pals with Nate© Home Box Office

Succession season 4, HBO/Sky

Admittedly, my obsession with Succession knows no bounds, but I genuinely don't think I'm being biased when I say that season four of the HBO drama was genius television. In the final chapter of Jesse Armstrong's award-winning series, we said goodbye to Logan Roy and his four troubled children and Waystar Royco crowned its new monarch. 

If you're not familiar with the show, I implore you to start from the beginning and work your way through – you won't regret it. The entire cast provided masterclasses in acting throughout every single episode, but season four really allowed stars like Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin to shine. Emmys all round! - Francesca Shillcock, Senior TV and Film Writer 

The Bear - Hulu/Disney+

The Bear - Hulu/Disney+

The Bear's first season launched to great commercial and critical success. So how do you follow up on one of the best original shows of 2022?  Well, by dialing the hob right up to boiling point! 

The show's premise is a renowned chef comes back to his city of Chicago to take over his recently deceased brother's failing restaurant. Its breakneck editing and music not only give the show its distinct look and feel but also give the viewer a feel of what it's like to be in a high-pressure kitchen environment. 

But the genius of this season is how they slow certain episodes down to give not only needed pressure relief but also great character development. And that's not even mentioning the incredible all-star Christmas episode, which is genuinely one of the most tense things I've seen on TV this year. Go watch it! - Vali Raza, Video Editor 

ahs season ten© FX

American Horror Story season 12 - Disney+

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology show is back to its best – at long last. American Horror Story has felt like it's been dying a slow death for years (the less said about 'Double Feature', the better) but thankfully, season 12 'Delicate' has bumped it right back to the top of my must-watch list.

AHS fans have been relishing the return of fan favourite Emma Roberts, tasked with playing a likeable heroine for once in her career, and the controversial casting of Kim Kardashian as her wickedly blunt PR bestie has surprised us all by being a genius decision.  

Aside from a fresh feeling cast, which also includes model Cara Delevingne, 'Delicate' has been a much-needed return to true horror. By episode three I was hooked and hiding behind a cushion as the eerie events unfolded, screaming out loud when a good old jump scare spooked me.

 Most importantly, the storyline of a desperate young woman struggling with the mental toll of going through endless rounds of IVF (based on the book 'A Delicate Condition') is a slow burner offering real character development and absolutely no meandering sub-plots (hurrah!). It's fast becoming the most cohesive season since 2018's 'Apocalypse'. - Kate Thomas, Lifestyle Managing Editor 

daisy jones and the six riley keogh© Prime Video

Daisy Jones & The Six - Amazon Prime Video

As a Fleetwood Mac fan, I knew this drama would pack a punch. From the catchy music and 70s fashion to the location and casting, I was entranced.

Loosely based on the beloved band, the show follows songwriter Daisy (played by Riley Keogh) who, in the hedonistic haze of the late 60s into the 1970s, finds huge success with her band The Six. However, after internal romantic and artistic battles with the lead Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), the group eventually break up.

As a keen viewer, I was left hanging watching the two main characters communicate their love/hate relationship through songwriting and their performances. The on-screen chemistry between Sam and Riley was palpable, but really, I just loved how the show took a deep into the world of 1970s-era Rock 'n' Roll. - Sharnaz Shahid, Online Deputy Editor 

The Watcher was a hit

The Watcher - Netflix

I'm not one for bingeing TV shows. If  I'm enjoying a series, I like to draw it out for as long as possible. Case in point, it took me over two years to watch The Gilmore Girls, but The Watcher was one show I couldn't help but binge.

Drawn in by not only the incredible outfits Naomi Watts wore (never have I been so seduced by a neutral palette), I was also hooked on Bobby Cannavale's portrayal of a father who was slowly unravelling and Mia Farrow's performance as a slightly unhinged neighbour, which had me on the edge of my seat every episode.

Based on true events, I found The Watcher truly unsettling, with twists and turns making it gripping. You don't know who to trust, and that's what kept me hooked. - Melanie Macleod, Wellness Editor 

Loretta and Oliver sitting by the piano© Hulu

Only Murders in the Building season three - Hulu/Disney+

A murder mystery that genuinely keeps you guessing is hard to find, but Only Murders in the Building has eluded me each and every time. With Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, and Martin Short at the helm, this isn't your average detective drama, and you're always in for a good time. 

A welcome blend of crime and comedy, each season centres around a new mystery, but the third act is truly its finest. As True Crime fans Charles, Mabel and Oliver investigate the brutal murder of Broadway star, Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd), the trio are confronted with backstage betrayals, lies and deceit – but who forced Ben to take his final bow? It's very rare that a show keeps me completely captivated from start to finish, but the third season of Only Murders in the Building nailed the assignment.

Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small © Channel 5

All Creatures Great and Small - Channel 5/PBS

TV really doesn't get more feel-good than Channel 5's heartwarming period drama, All Creatures Great and Small. 

The popular programme, which is set in late 1930s Yorkshire Dales, follows the adventures of veterinary surgeon James Herriot, who arrives from Scotland to work at Siegfried Farnon's practice in the fictional town of Darrowby. The series is adapted from James Herriot's much-loved book series and heavily centres on the sweet romance between James and local farmer's daughter, Helen Alderson. 

In season four, which premiered this year, the year is 1940 and World War Two brings big changes for James, Helen and the rest of Darrowby. 

This delightful drama has everything a comforting period drama should – humour, drama and heart. Not to mention, the casting is perfect. It really is the TV equivalent of a warm hug. - Nicky Morris, TV and Film Writer 

Ronald Gladden in Jury Duty

Jury Duty - Amazon Prime Freevee

As a TV Editor, I watch a lot of shows - and while there were some absolute belters this year, I don't think I was more enthusiastic or recommended anything more passionately in 2023 than Jury Duty. 

The Truman Show-style documentary saw regular guy Ronald show up for jury duty - only to have absolutely no idea that everyone - his fellow jurors, the judge, the bailiff, the suspect - are all actors and that the entire show is an experiment to see how Ronald would react to the increasingly wild things happening in the trial. 

The show's rise to acclaim purely by word of mouth and social media - especially TikTok - was also something to behold - and what made it even better was that it was completely free to watch via Amazon Prime FreeVee. I don't think any other show can claim such a meteoritic rise to popularity - and I'll be eternally happy that Ronald is out there living his number one best life after such an experience. - Emmy Griffiths, Global Online TV and Film Editor 

VANDERPUMP RULES -- "Reunion" -- Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Sandoval -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo via Getty Images)© Bravo

Vanderpump Rules - ITVX

I'm the first to admit I love most Bravo shows, and the Vanderpump Rules franchise has always been one I (hate to) watch. And with a few past seasons definitely on the iffy side, 2023 saw Vanderpump rise and shine out of the Bravo family as the one everyone was talking about - yep this was the Scandoval season and boy, was it addictive viewing.

For the uninitiated, Vanderpump Rules follows a group of restaurant servers in West Hollywood, all under the watchful eye of owner Lisa Vanderpump (who was a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills until her dramatic exit a few years ago). Sounds cute and silly, and it is. As the show has matured, it's much less about serving patrons the goat cheese balls (early season fans will know they talk about these a lot...!) and more about the drama outside of LVP's eateries. 

This season saw the drama climax with Scandoval, the scandal of long-standing cast member Tom Sandoval cheating on his partner of 8+ years Ariana Madix with their BFF Raquel/Rachel (I've lost track of which name she goes by). The tight-knit friendship group was rocked by the deceit, and season 10 watches it play out. It's part pantomime, part heartbreaking but wholly entertaining. 

For those that have never watched Vanderpump, I'd head to HayU and start from season one; knowing the backstory, the friendships, the situationships, and the tangled web of the cast makes this season even juicer. - Carla Challis, Commerce Partnership Editor