The Best TV Shows You Should Watch Without Your Kids

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Best TV Shows You Should Watch Without Your Kids

By Tessa Boyce.

In today’s world of streaming, downloading and subscribing, we are inundated with different television shows to choose from. For those of us with kids, sometimes we want to take a break from watching age-appropriate shows and delve into the dark, creepy or funny shows directed only for adults. TV Guidelines uses the TV-MA rating for the shows with the most extreme language, violence and nudity — many shows out there exhibit all three.

PrettyFamous, an entertainment site by Graphiq, found the 10 best TV shows with a TV-MA rating. TV shows with more than 30,000 votes on IMDb were ranked by their Smart Rating, a score out of 100 that takes into account IMDb ratings and IMDb votes, as well as Emmy awards. Ties were broken by using the number of IMDb votes.



Networks such as HBO, Showtime and FX don’t have to play by the rules of basic cable, and most of the shows on this list originally aired on one of these networks. Netflix is new to the television game and also producing intense dramas with steamy sex scenes and graphic violence. However, these series don’t rely on adult content for shock value, but rather use themes to accurately depict the story and engross the audience. From historical dramas, bizarre sci-fi, riveting murder mysteries to comedy news satires, there are many great entertainment choices to choose from when the parental controls are turned off.

#10. Fargo

Smart Rating: 87.25

The series “Fargo” loosely follows the story from the successful 1996 Coen brothers film. Strange crimes center around Fargo, North Dakota and while there is no wood-chipper scene, there are plenty of brutal murders to give the show its TV-MA rating.

#9. Band of Brothers

Smart Rating: 87.36

“Band of Brothers” is an HBO miniseries about the Easy Company, a division in the U.S. Army and their horrifying experiences in WWII. “Band of Brothers” is the highest rated show on IMDb and won the Golden Globe for best miniseries in 2002.

#8. House of Cards

Smart Rating: 88.06

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey deliver stellar performances in Netflix’s political thriller “House of Cards.” They have each won Golden Globes for their roles as Claire and Francis Underwood, two power-hungry, manipulative players in the corrupt D.C. jungle.

#7. True Detective

Smart Rating: 88.39

Both seasons of “True Detective” display horrifying, disturbing images and it’s no surprise why this show is intended for mature audiences only. Season one, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, did better with critics than season two.

#6. Homeland

Smart Rating: 88.64

Claire Danes has continuously excelled in her role as Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative with severe psychological problems. “Homeland” is apparently President Barack Obama’s favorite show.

#5. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Smart Rating: 89.48

Since 2005, the crew from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has been making us laugh with crude jokes and hilarious observations about life’s absurdities. FX has renewed the season through 2019, which would bring the show to a 14-season run.

#4. Dexter

Smart Rating: 89.67

Of course, a series on Showtime about a serial killer garners a TV-MA rating. “Dexter” ran for eight seasons, engrossing fans as Dexter murdered 117 people throughout the series, but also tried to be “good” by weeding out the nefarious killers in Miami.

#3. The Walking Dead

Smart Rating: 90.34

Based off of the long-running comic book series, “The Walking Dead” continues to explore the post apocalyptic world of “walkers” (the term “zombie” is never used in the series). British actor Andrew Lincoln will have to keep his gritty American accent for at least one more year — AMC has renewed “The Walking Dead” for a seventh season.

#2. The Sopranos

Smart Rating: 94.79

HBO’s “The Sopranos” follows fictional mob boss Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini) and his foray into the crime world in New Jersey. Apparently, Gandolfini was contacted by real-life criminals who praised him for the show’s accuracy.

#1. Game of Thrones

Smart Rating: 96.82

With six completed seasons, “Game of Thrones” does not shy away from adult themes — and audiences cannot get enough. We have seen a young child burned to death, a newborn baby eaten by dogs, incest, rape, beheadings and torture. However, the show goes beyond brutality with strong characters and an intricate plot that leaves fans wanting more.

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