So when we took stock of the best TV shows from the past two decades, we turned to one unimpeachable source as a guide for what we should include in our list. That’s not to say that a few of the shows might have an odd sword or two, but most of what we tried to single out here imagines a world markedly different from our own. Given the wealth of shows in this genre, we opted not to include animated or unscripted series in this particular list. As usual, we’ve also kept these picks to shows that premiered after 2000. As Richard Tyler, one of the 4,400 individuals plucked from history to be deposited in the year 2004 with mysterious abilities, Ali was one of the show’s most engaging performers, an empathetic presence who sold us on the show’s emotional drama while we waited to find out exactly how and why this seemingly random collection of strangers had been transported to the future. Batshit nuts at times, the show has created indelible scenes in which the Cluster or Sensates experience events around the globe as if they’re in the same room, whether it’s sex, swimming, executing a jailbreak or even childbirth. You watch a post-apocalyptic drama and you think, “Hmmmm, feels like they pulled their punches to some degree.” This is not true of “The 100.” One of the most brutal shows we’ve ever seen, “The 100” also happens to be rich with big sci-fi ideas, even as it pits its characters against each other in semi-regular battles to the death.

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