Top 10 Current Shows for Nerds

Written by Garrett Alden These shows cater to our inner nerd… or geek, if you prefer. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Current Shows for Nerds. For this list, we’re looking at television programs now airing that most align with nerd culture, while also touching on the quality of the shows and their broader appeal. We’re excluding shows that aren’t actually targeting that demographic, even if they might be about them. Special thanks to our user Drew Brown for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Current+Shows+for+Nerds
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These shows cater to our inner nerd… or geek, if you prefer. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Current Shows for Nerds.

For this list, we’re looking at television programs now airing that most align with nerd culture, while also touching on the quality of the shows and their broader appeal. We’re excluding shows that aren’t actually targeting that demographic, even if they might be about them.

#10: “Star Wars Rebels” (2014-)

Nothing’s more synonymous with nerd culture than “Star Wars,” and it certainly is a great time to be a “Star Wars” fan. Not only have the recent movies nailed it; but this animated show may be one of the best “Star Wars”-related productions yet. While “The Clone Wars” animated series was well done, the fact that it was set during the prequels meant it had to walk a finer line than “Rebels” in terms of plotlines. Set between the prequels and the original trilogy, “Rebels” appropriately follows a small crew of Rebels in their fight against the Empire. Think “Rogue One,” but the characters get time to develop over several years. Plus, who doesn’t love more Darth Vader?

#9: “Steven Universe” (2013-)

It’s a great time for cartoons in general, as “Adventure Time” and especially “Steven Universe” have helped redefine how adults view quote unquote “kid shows.” “Steven Universe” follows the title character, who’s a young boy who inherits special powers from his alien mother, and his adventures with his mother’s more experienced former teammates. The series’ colorful art, engaging, relatable characters, complex world, and catchy songs, among many other things, have made “Steven Universe” a cartoon that appeals to nearly everyone. One definition of nerdiness is having boundless enthusiasm for something, and this cartoon certainly inspires that.

#8: “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (2013-)

It was only a matter of time before we got to a comic book show, but it may surprise you that this is the only Marvel series here. While Netflix’s Marvel shows are highly acclaimed, there’s a lot to be said for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” too. The show follows the eponymous agents of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, who monitor and respond to extraordinary people and events. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” features many ties to the Marvel films, but also forges plenty of its own interesting heroes, long-reaching story arcs, and excellent villains. The show might have had a slow start, but once it gets going, you won’t want it to stop.

#7: “Stranger Things” (2016-)

Set in the 1980s, “Stranger Things” is a sci-fi/horror/drama show perfect for people who grew up on ‘80s films like “E.T.” or “The Goonies,” both of which followed groups of young kids getting into extraordinary adventures. However, while nostalgia is a great hook, “Stranger Things” takes a more adult approach to the material that inspired it, and not just by focusing on the grown-up characters too. The show features strong character development from excellent performers, haunting atmosphere any horror movie would be jealous of, and direction easily on par with that of today’s cinematic presentations. Whether you’re an ‘80s kid or someone who enjoys the genres it effortlessly blends together, “Stranger Things” is definitely worth a look.

#6: “The Flash” (2014-)

DC movies may be struggling right now, but DC shows are killing it, and “The Flash” is arguably the best. Unlike a lot of superhero shows, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and manages to be a ton of fun, while also telling emotionally impactful stories about the Scarlet Speedster. While there are plenty of complex, nerdy elements like time travel and alternate universes, they’re balanced by a strong cast, great humor, fittingly fast-paced action, and one of the best musical scores you’ll ever hear on television. If you’re looking for a superhero show that’ll give you hope, make you cry, and make you laugh, this is one you should try to catch if you can.

#5: “Supernatural” (2005-)

This long-running show follows brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, as they travel and battle supernatural forces, including practically every mythological or fantasy being that humans have ever invented or believed in. While some have accused “Supernatural” of spinning its wheels from a narrative standpoint for several years, the depth of material the creators have mined is impressive and the strongly characterized core cast remains entertaining to watch, year after year. In addition, the show’s framing of religious concepts in modern day settings is thought provoking and its theme of familial bonds is relatable, even if its execution often verges on codependency. All in all, “Supernatural” is a road trip with enough highs to be worth the drive.

#4: “Rick and Morty” (2013-)

“Wubba Lubba dub-dub!” Cartoons for grown-ups have been on the rise in the early 21st century and “Rick and Morty” is one of the nerdiest. Rick is a genius scientist and full-time drunk, who drags his painfully awkward grandson Morty on bizarre, and often mentally scarring, misadventures. The pair, along with the rest of their family, frequently finds themselves involved in familiar sci-fi settings with unique or strange twists. The show’s patented blend of dark and bizarre humor and imagery, brought to life by impressive animation, has made it a surprise hit in recent years.

#3: “Sherlock” (2010-)

A modern update of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, “Sherlock” sees the detective and his erstwhile companion Dr. John Watson solving crimes in the 21st century in episodes that have cinematic lengths and production values. The show delves into the mentality of its heroes in a way few “Holmes” adaptations have, with Sherlock’s difficulties relating to people and his friendship with John being prominent features of many stories. “Sherlock” also manages to incorporate action and comedy into the traditional Holmesian mysteries. With its different spin on the characters, sleek direction, and clever scripts, this adaptation is anything but elementary.

#2: “Game of Thrones” (2011-18)

If you had told us in the ‘90s that the world would be obsessed with a TV series based on intricately detailed fantasy novels, we wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are. In case you’ve been living north of the Wall, “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy, action, political thriller drama about various factions’ power struggles over the throne of Westeros and dealing with threats from within and without. Chock full of three-dimensional characters, amazing battles, a dozen ongoing plotlines, and probably more lore than the appendices of “The Lord of the Rings,” “Game of Thrones” is the show that helped prove that things once considered the sole province of nerds can be really appealing to everyone.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Voltron: Legendary Defender” (2016-)
- “The Walking Dead” (2010-)
- “Arrow” (2012-)

#1: “Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)

A British sci-fi show about a mysterious, face-changing alien who travels through time and space in a police box that’s bigger on the inside… This may be the nerdiest thing we’ve ever encountered – and we’re glad we have! The thing about “Doctor Who” is that if you don’t like the current Doctor, you can travel back to the past and find one you do. At 50 years and counting, there’s always more of it to discover, not to mention the spin-offs. Over its long history, the show has done stories with nearly every genre, from horror, to action, to comedy. Just like the Doctor’s own adventures, the viewer’s enjoyment of them is theoretically endless.
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