Top 10 TV Shows You Have to Watch Twice

Top 10 TV Shows You Have to Watch Twice
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
To catch everything, these are TV shows that you have to watch twice. We'll be going over the television shows that necessitate at least two viewings to fully appreciate everything in them. Also, if you haven't seen the shows we're talking about at least once, there could be spoilers ahead. WatchMojo ranks the TV shows you have to watch twice. Which TV show did you have to watch twice? Let us know in the comments!

We’re gonna have to watch that again! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Shows That You Have to Watch Twice.
For this list, we’ll be going over the television shows that necessitate at least two viewings to fully appreciate everything in them. Also, if you haven’t seen the shows we’re talking about at least once, there could be spoilers ahead.

#10: “Westworld” (2016-)

Set in a western themed amusement park filled with bio-robotic “hosts,” “Westworld” follows the management, guests, and robots as the hosts gradually become more self-aware, and rebellious, against those they serve. The series is a dense puzzle box of gradual reveals, from the backstory of the park, to some hosts who believe they’re human, to the wide reaching plans of various characters. “Westworld” may be intriguing throughout, but it isn’t possible to pick up on every bit of foreshadowing or character motivation the first time around, so it’s definitely worth another ride.

#9: “Community” (2009-15)

Comedies tend to require fewer rewatches, but this one is so dense it needs them. “Community” is ostensibly about a study group at a community college, but it’s actually more of a satire of the television industry as a whole. Chock full of references to other TV shows, as well as other aspects of entertainment, “Community” is best appreciated again and again, particularly as one’s knowledge of TV and pop culture expands. The numerous running gags, easter eggs, and other little details are also easier to pick up on the second time through.

#8: “The Leftovers” (2014-17)

Set shortly after an event similar to the Biblical rapture, “The Leftovers” follows those left behind as they try to make sense of the disappearances and move forward with their lives. The show’s deep character relationships are worthy of a second look on their own, but when you consider the strange, metaphysical aspects of the series, which get truly bizarre, multiple viewings are borderline essential just to understand what’s even happening and why. “The Leftovers” will tug at your heart and make your head spin, but you’ll want to feel both sensations again.

#7: “American Horror Story” (2011-)

This supremely creepy horror series is an anthology show with a new story every season. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t connections between each different series. Besides recurring actors, if not characters, “American Horror Story” has plenty of little details that weave its stories together that can be easy to miss; particularly if you’re watching the show between your fingers or from behind your couch, as we’re wont to do. While rewatching “American Horror Story” may not be for everyone, if frightening TV is your thing, then you should scare yourself up some time to view it again.

#6: “Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

Frequently cited as one of the best TV shows ever made, “Breaking Bad” chronicles the tale of dying chemistry teacher Walter White as he becomes a meth cook and rises in the drug world. Walter’s character growth, as well as that of those around him is so well plotted that it’s worth rewatching just to be reminded of how much they change over the course of the show. In addition, “Breaking Bad” contains plenty of foreshadowing that isn’t apparent the first time through. The show is also as addictive as the blue stuff Walt peddles, and once you start watching “Breaking Bad,” it can be hard to stop, even after it’s over.

#5: “The Wire” (2002-08)

Another drama considered one of the best of all time, “The Wire” follows the residents of various parts of the city of Baltimore and their relationship to law enforcement. Characters weave in and out of the many layered storylines and the show doesn’t hold the viewers’ hands at all, so paying attention is a necessity. It can be hard to follow everything though and a rewatch definitely helps you see more of the details and thematic elements you might have overlooked. “The Wire” is an onion of a TV show and peeling its layers will take more than one sit through.

#4: “Game of Thrones” (2011-19)

As one of the biggest TV shows in recent years, in every sense of the word, “Game of Thrones” practically requires multiple viewings. The epic fantasy series chronicles the conflicts between feuding houses in a fantasy world, who are also contending with outside threats. The massive cast and extensive lore can make everything difficult to keep track of for the uninitiated, so watching it repeatedly gives more context. Also, while the series has many unforgettable moments, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of them, even if some are hard to watch.

#3: “Arrested Development” (2003-06, 2013-)

While there are only a couple of comedies on our list, “Arrested Development” is the one most in need of watching twice. The show follows the lives of the Bluth family, a highly dysfunctional brood of misfits whose antics are documented in a pseudo-documentary format. “Arrested Development” has a plethora of running jokes and understated foreshadowing that can only be truly appreciated once you’re in the know. The show’s cult status has led many to rewatch it over and over again, to the point where the Bluths can feel like part of the viewers’ own family members. Really, really weird ones.

#2: “Twin Peaks” (1990-91, 2017)

One of the most famous, or infamous, cult shows, “Twin Peaks” follows an FBI agent as he investigates the murder of a teenage girl in an extremely bizarre small town. The series’ uncanny characters and frequently surreal sequences often require repeat viewings just to understand their motivations or what’s even happening, and even that’s no guarantee of getting it. Sure, the small man’s dialogue is backwards, but why is it backwards? The show’s many mysteries and strange mythology can be better appreciated the more times you experience it, like a damn fine cup of coffee.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Orphan Black” (2013-17)

“Fringe” (2008-13)

“Fargo” (2014-)

“Dark” (2017-)

“The Sinner” (2017-)

#1: “Lost” (2004-10)

When a plane crash leaves a group of survivors stranded on a mysterious island, their lives and those of anyone who watched their show changed forever. “Lost” is a show that demands to be reexamined by viewers. It makes frequent use of flashbacks and plays with time in other ways that seriously creates the need for a second look to understand what’s happened, and is happening, to Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the rest. In addition, the huge amount of subtext, literary and pop culture references, and heavy foreshadowing throughout, means that all but the most observant or savvy watchers are going to need to take a second look.