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10 Shows From the 2000s You Should Binge Watch Today

Following the fun, silly, vibrant television shows of the 1990s, the 2000s brought us stories and characters with more depth, precision and niche appeal. These shows, some canceled early, some leading to massive American franchises, are important parts of the history of television. They feature today's huge stars in earlier appearances, innovative sketch comedy and iconic teen drama.

Coinciding with a big boom in content creation, these shows were able to be more creative, interesting and weird without risking their competitive edge. Read on for the ten 2000s shows you need to binge-watch, right now. Whether you love the macabre, the angsty, or the sarcastic, there's something here for you.

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Ricky Gervais in The Office UK
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10 The Office

Ricky Gervais in The Office UK

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The Office debuted in summer of 2001 on BBC Two, for 12 episodes plus a 2 part Christmas special. The series inspired remakes in many countries, including Chile, Czech Republic and India. The most successful remake, in the United States, is widely referenced for its outstanding performances and writing. The original UK series was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who also co-wrote and co-created Extras.

The UK original is key viewing for any fan of the American version, or of television in general. It features a drier, darker humor than its US counterpart, and Gervais's portrayal of David Brent (who became Steve Carell's Michael Scott) is less likable, more petty and dark. It's an insanely influential show and great viewing for a nice binge, as it's only 14 episodes total.

9 Freaks and Geeks

Freaks And Geeks Cast Lockers

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This show was canceled after one season, due to possible scheduling issues and competition. It's a shame, because this is a heart-warming, funny, coming of age teen show that is a lot of fun to binge watch. It features a baby-faced Seth Rogen and James Franco before they were big stars, as well as Jason Segel, Martin Starr and Linda Cardellini before they were famous faces.

The series follows a group of slackers and a team of nerds as they attempt to navigate high school life. Created by Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin, Trainwreck) and Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters), this is one you don't want to miss.

8 Veronica Mars

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For fans of Eleanor on The Good Place, this was Kristen Bell's debut starring role and one for the books. It was created by Rob Thomas (Party Down, 90210, iZombie) and features Bell as a student who moonlights as a private investigator. This set comes with the movie as well, in addition to all 3 seasons.

The genre is a noir mystery, with each episode featuring its own individual case to solve, combined with an overarching mystery that spans multiple episodes. Hot on the heels of magical female protagonists like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, this show debuted after their season finales and featured a regular girl who acted as an action hero, sans special powers.

7 Chappelle's Show

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Chappelle's Show is an iconic part of sketch comedy history and was a highly acclaimed work created by Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan. It features performances of Dave Chappelle's most iconic character creations, including Lil Jon, Prince and Tyrone Biggums. The show is also famous for writer and comedian Charlie Murphy's retelling of his interactions with quirky celebrities.

Familiar sketches about Murphy's encounters include the Rick James story and the highly-referenced tale of Prince playing basketball and serving pancakes. This is a show for anyone who loves to laugh but was also a major influence on sketch comedy moving forward. This set includes seasons 1 and 2, plus the lost episodes of a partially finished third season, during which Chappelle departed from the show.

6 LOST

Intro Lost Character Guide

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There is plenty of content to binge with this series, as it ran for 6 seasons and a total of 121 episodes. It is a supernatural sci-fi drama, where survivors of a plane crash find themselves lost and stranded on an island, left to fend for themselves.

The show combines mystery, action, romance and drama to make for a gripping narrative that becomes more addictive as it progresses. Flashbacks and flash-forwards are used a lot in this show, so viewers can piece together information from characters' pasts and futures. Don't let anyone spoil the ending of this for you and you'll have a fun ride from beginning to end.

5 The O.C.

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This teen drama ran for four seasons and centres around the lives of teenagers living in Orange County, California. The protagonist is Ryan, a troubled youth with a difficult past, who is adopted by a wealthy couple in Orange County.

His foster brother is the nerdy Seth, and the two relate to one another over being different from their peers in the community. There are comedic moments as well in this show, and the characters are lovable enough to have you worried about them in between binges. The stories get dark and melodramatic, so it's a cathartic viewing experience with plenty of love, suspense and drama.

4 Gilmore Girls

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The fast-talking, witty, quirky, rhythmic dialogue in this show gave it a signature brand and made it a unique addition to the prime time canon. The series centers around Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory, who live in a peaceful, charming little Connecticut town called Stars Hollow.

Rory comes of age over the course of the series, while Lorelai has drama of her own to deal with in the close-knit community that is their extended chosen family. This show features Melissa McCarthy in her first big role on the small screen, as Sookie, Lorelai's cute, peppy best friend. This is a wholesome show with a bit of spunk that spans seven seasons.

3 Weeds

Weeds

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Weeds was a dark, thrilling comedy created by Jenji Kohan of Orange is the New Black. It has a similar grittiness and dark wit to Orange is the New Black, also following characters who have internal conflict between their humanity and their actions.

The show centers around a suburban mother of two who finds herself widowed and broke, resorting to selling drugs to make ends meet. She winds up caught in many situations foreign to her and swirling with danger, intrigue and corruption. The story spirals into darkness, while maintaining its sarcastic and edgy humor. Weeds ran for 8 seasons, so settle in for this one.

2 Party Down

Party Down

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Party Down was another great, short-lived, charming comedy. The show was created by Paul Rudd and the creators of Veronica Mars, and featured an all-star cast including Adam Scott , Martin Starr, Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge.

Fans of Parks and Recreation or The Office will enjoy this workplace comedy about a group of caterers who are working as servers while they chase success in Los Angeles. The show sadly only ran for two seasons, thought to have been canceled due to the loss of Jane Lynch (to Glee) and Adam Scott (to Parks and Recreation), and the resulting cast changes. The show is a sharp, smart comedy and has a feel-good undercurrent of kindness and love.

1 Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under Pilot

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This dark, macabre HBO series revolved around a family running a funeral home in Los Angeles. It was included in TIME magazine's "All-time 100 TV Shows" as well as Empire's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time".

It is a beautifully written and performed show, with themes of life, death (surprise, surprise) and family. Michael C. Hall was a key member of the cast before his portrayal of Dexter Morgan. The award-winning show is a sometimes uncomfortable and always addictive look at the lives of people who work with death on an everyday basis. It ran for five seasons and was respectfully laid to rest in 2005.

NEXT: Orange Is The New Black Gift Guide

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