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There have been countless geeky television shows produced over the years, from comedies to dramas, from reality TV to science fiction. But which are the absolute best every self-respecting geek should have watched by now?

We decided to find out the answer to this question, and with the help of the MakeUseOf readership, were able to create a list of 18 of the best television shows for geeks. This is geek TV in all its geeky glory.

Geekovision

What follows is a list of 18 gloriously geeky television shows.

If you have seen all of the following shows then congratulations, you can consider yourself a true geek. However, we would like to know the secret to having so much time to waste watching television.

And if you haven’t seen all of the following shows then this is the perfect opportunity to add some must-see TV shows to your future viewing plans. Most of these shows would be absolutely ideal for binge-watching A Short Guide To Binge-Watching [Weird & Wonderful Web] A Short Guide To Binge-Watching [Weird & Wonderful Web] Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video have turned binge-watching into a mainstay of the mainstream. Before you begin binge-watching TV you should arm yourself with some important information. This short guide helps. Read More .

The IT Crowd

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The IT Crowd is a British sitcom starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson. It’s focused on the information technology 6 Soft Skills Every Technology Worker Needs For Career Success 6 Soft Skills Every Technology Worker Needs For Career Success Some special skills are lacking in the IT field. For career success, you need the right attitude. Here are six important soft skills that'll get you noticed at your next IT job interview. Read More (IT) department at Reynholm Industries, and is the origin of the classic line, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Person of Interest

Person of Interest is an American crime drama with a science fiction twist, as an omnipresent surveillance system predicts crimes before they have been committed. The system evolves into a sentient artificial intelligence, which brings to mind the equally geeky The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap is an American science fiction show following the adventures Dr. Sam Beckett and his assistant Al. Beckett (played by Scott Bakula) is a physicist who assumes the identity of a different person each week thanks to a time travel experiment gone wrong. Thankfully, he always changes their lives for the better.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is an American sitcom co-created by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head, Office Space). It follows a group of friends founding a startup in the titular Silicon Valley. With lots of jokes that will go over the heads of anyone not interested in technology, Silicon Valley is a show literally made for geeks.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Mystery Science Theater 3000, also known as MST3K, is a comedy series which ran between 1988 and 1997. The show centers on Joel Robinson, a janitor launched into space and forced to watch terrible B-movies. Robinson is ably assisted by two sentient robots, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, and the trio spend each episode making wisecracks about the movies.

Chuck

Chuck is a comedy spy drama starring Zachary Levi as the main protagonist and titular character of the show. Chuck is a computer expert working in a dead-end job until a friend at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) subliminally embeds a database in his brain. Thus he becomes a spy working for the United States government.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a British science fiction show everybody should at least be aware of by now. The show, which has been running on and off since 1963, depicts the adventures of a time-travelling alien known simply as the Doctor. There have been multiple Doctors and companions over the years, which is what led us to create a guide to the best Doctor Who episodes of all time.

Firefly

Firefly is an American science fiction drama written and directed by Joss Whedon. The show focuses on the crew of the “Firefly-class” spaceship Serenity. Firefly only lasted for one season of 14 episodes, but enough fans retained interest in the show for there to be a film sequel called Serenity.

Star Trek

Star Trek is arguably the biggest science fiction drama ever made, with multiple different versions appearing on TV since Star Trek: The Original Series first aired in 1966. Set in a future where humanity has traveled beyond the confines of our own galaxy, Star Trek has endured thanks to films, books, toys, and video games.

Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is an American space opera which follows the action on board the titular space station Babylon 5. This exists as a center for trade and diplomacy, with all of the various races seen in the series interacting on board. With countless story arcs to follow and multiple allegorical themes, Babylon 5 is geek TV for grown-ups.

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica is a science fiction franchise which began in 1978 before being rebooted in 2003. The show, in all its various guises, tells the story of the eponymous spaceship Battlestar Galactica and its crew, who appear to be the only survivors of a war between a human civilization and a race of cybernetic aliens called the Cylons.

Warehouse 13

Warehouse 13 is a sci-fi show which follows two Secret Service agents put in charge of the eponymous Warehouse 13. This is the building — as designed by Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and M. C. Escher — where supernatural artifacts are stored. Thus we get The X-Files meets Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf is a British science fiction comedy created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. It’s essentially a pastiche of some of the more serious shows on this list, most notably Star Trek. Red Dwarf shows what happens to the crew of the eponymous spaceship, which includes the last human being in the universe, a humanoid feline, an android called Kryten, and a hologram named Rimmer.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner is a British television series which somewhat defies simple categorization. The plot centers on a spy (played by Patrick McGoohan), who, after resigning from his job as a spy, finds himself imprisoned in a strange village where nothing is quite as it seems.

Misfits

Misfits is a British sci-fi comedy drama showing what happens when a group of youngsters obtain supernatural powers after getting caught in a freak electrical storm. Misfits is peculiarly British, and shows a wider range of the issues faced by people with unnatural powers than the standard Marvel fare.

Heroes

Heroes is a science fiction drama which shows what happens when ordinary people discover they’ve gained superhuman powers overnight. The series features lots of different characters and individual storylines, all of which contribute to the overarching plot.

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom starring Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco. The basic premise is watching how Leonard Hofstadter (Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Parsons), two physicists at Caltech, deal with life in the real world, with Penny (Cuoco), a waitress living across from them, acting as a foil.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The television version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy first aired in 1981, having made the transition from the radio series. Douglas Adams was a master at changing stories across mediums The Hitchhiker's Guide to Changing Stories Across Mediums The Hitchhiker's Guide to Changing Stories Across Mediums Mediums have different strengths and weaknesses, and adapting a text from one to another sometimes calls for substantial changes. No one understood this better than legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams. Read More , and this version of the original novel is still highly watchable to this day.

Continue the Conversation

In order to compile this list of the best TV shows for geeks, we asked for help from the MakeUseOf community. Those who responded to the request answered the question, “What’s Your Favorite Geeky TV Show Of All Time?“. Noteworthy comments include those from Peter, Xoandre, and PezLee.

This list features just a selection of the best TV shows for geeks we extracted from the discussion, but there are many more out there. Which is where you come in. Please continue the conversation in the comments section below. While some of you took part in the original discussion, there is always room for more opinions.

Image Credits: Erinn Simon via Flickr

  1. Nisma
    December 3, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    'Fringe' should definitely join the collection, with the memorable Dr. Walter Bishop - balancing comedy with brilliance laced with LSD. His 'absent-minded professor' role and the dark reasons behind it bring in undertones of ethical conduct in science. One of my favorite quotes-turned-life-motto: "Where would the fun be if we already knew what we need to know?"

    Also the show 'Bones', which is one of the few to showcase an unapologetically brilliant female scientist in a leading role - with lots of comedy, good drama and some action, and interpersonal relations that allow for character development.

    'Helix' on the SyFy channel was interesting in the first season - I have not seen the second season though. The first season of 'Blindspot' was fun too.

    As others mentioned, I love 'The Flash' as an action-packed superhero show with lots of science and tech that is also family friendly - wish there was more like this.

  2. damian
    October 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I would like to add "Halt and catch fire" and "Mr. Robot" to the list.

  3. Mishal
    July 12, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Oh you guys have missed - Black Mirror.

  4. Colonel Angus
    June 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I would add Blake's 7 to the list. British science fiction has always held a special place in my heart, and this series deserves more exposure than it has gotten. I think a reboot with today's f/x capabilities would be marvellous.

  5. Carol Bonkosky
    June 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Farscape and the Miniseries The Peacekeeper Wars, which kind of tied up loose ends in the series. Great writing, with humor and fun characters, and aliens from the Henson group.

  6. kimatthews
    June 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    "Scorpion", although it does stress personal interactions more than tech, it is rather geeky. Arrow, Flash, Agents of Shield, etc. all rely on the geek's "fondness" of graphic novels.

  7. Federico Durán
    June 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    "...Set in a future where humanity has traveled beyond the confines of our own galaxy, Star Trek..."
    Insert record-scratch sound. In the Star Trek universe humanity has traveled well WITHIN, not beyond, the confines of the Galaxy. Basic trekkie geek knowledge.
    Barring kidnappings, I think the TOS's Enterprise was briefly taken to Andromeda once, and of course ships from DS9 and Voyager were taken "only" to the far side of the Galaxy. Humanity has explored only part of the so called alpha quadrant.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      OK, you got me. I should have said solar system. Simples.

      • Federico Durán
        June 17, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        No prob. It's an occupational hazzard: anybody writing about anything geek will face at least one nitpicking geek he hehe.

      • Ritchie
        February 7, 2016 at 3:44 am

        Please hand in your geek badge at the the door when you leave ;-)

    • Joshua Belanger
      June 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      That last about the alpha quadrant is incorrect. As of DS9 and Voyager, parts of the Beta quadrant are explored and even the home to Federation member systems, per Star Trek Star Charts, Published in 2002. In fact, per the star charts in question, the entirety of the Klingon Empire is in the Beta Quadrant. Same for the Romulan Star Empire. We know that Captain Picard has traveled to Q'onoS, the Klingon homeworld. And he has been to Romulus in disguise once and with the Enterprise E another time (I know some fans prefer to forget Star Trek Nemesis, but it is there.

      • Federico Durán
        June 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm

        I was thinking of some old maps I saw in the seventies (God, I'm old!) that centered the alpha quadrant on the Solar System, so Cardassian and Ferengi space (then unexplored) would be to the left while Klingons and Romulans were to the right. But the canon maps are like you say, with the Solar system on the border between Alpha and Beta.

        It seems to me that the old maps are more logical, with the map making civilization in the middle of the quadrant and not bordering Beta, but me thinking that way does not make it canon, so... you are right.

        • Joshua Belanger
          June 18, 2015 at 4:23 am

          Yeah, the Cardassians are the only major competitive power to the Federation that I know of in the Alpha Quadrant. I'm not sure where Ferenginar is, though. And the Ferengi prefer economic to military competition. Aside from that, post-Dominion War, the Cardassians are an allied power. In the books they even become a signatory to the Khitomer Accords, as I recall. This leads to the formation of the Typhon Pact (Clearly a reference to the Warsaw Pact of the Cold War era) by the Romulans, the Tholians, the Breen, the Tzenkethi, the Kinshaya, and, sadly, the Gorn Hegemony. Non-Canon, of course, but as it has never had any onscreen contradiction, and likely never will due to the reboot, I like to consider it canon. In fact, pretty much any thing post-Nemesis in books that is largely consistent with the pre-reboot Star Trek timeline could be canon now because it will never be contradicted within its own timeline. Any differences are in the new branch where Jim Kirk is an orphan instead of his father being Starfleet and his mother staying at home in Iowa with him and his brother Sam.

  8. Daniel Escasa
    June 17, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Arrow, if only for Felicty Smoak
    The Flash, for STAR Labs -- or, for that matter, Barry's own lab, even if he spends more time on-screen at STAR, and not as the scientist that he is
    CSI Cyber, despite its flaws

    • Dave Parrack
      June 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      A lot of people seem to love both The Flash and Arrow, but I struggled to get into them for some reason.

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