Unsplash | Glenn Carstens-Peters

15 Smart TV Shows Only The Truly Clever Can Appreciate

TV is a land of infinite possibilities — literally. While there are plenty of shows that are great for casual viewing, even more of them are ready to get the gears in your mind turning.

Consider yourself a smart, observant TV watcher? Then you've probably seen a lot of what the small screen has had to offer already. Even if you aren't, you'll probably still appreciate this list.

1. *Star Trek: The Original Series*

Or really, any of the Star Trek series. You kind of can't be one of the earliest science fiction series (not to mention one that's had a lasting legacy spanning over five decades) without having enough stuff to feed an audience's curiosity.

Sure, it's science *fiction*...

And not, like, science science, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't a lot going on that was impossible. A lot of the tech even inspired things we use everyday now.

2. *How to Get Away with Murder*

Sure, the show may have been frustrating at times, but it also did such a good job at giving you just enough crumbs to figure out the mystery of the season on your own.

3. *Sherlock*

I feel like this show got a pretty bad reputation thanks to the cringy internet fandom culture of the 2010s, but that doesn't mean this BBC mystery was any less clever.

4. *Black Mirror*

I feel like every time a new season of Black Mirror drops, the internet is running wild with theories about all the episodes. One neat detail I liked is how, even though it's an anthology series, some episodes had parts that connected to others.

5. *Mr. Robot*

You know how some shows almost feel too smart? Yeah, Mr. Robot is definitely one of them. But hey, that can be a lot of fun too, right?

6. *Rick and Morty*

Okay sure, you don't need a high IQ to enjoy the antics of the grandfather/grandson duo. But there are definitely a lot of jokes and little details that even the most diehard fans of the series won't catch at first.

7. *The Mentalist*

I mean, the name alone is enough to make you realize that watching this show is going to take a bit of brain power. You have to keep your eyes wide open to catch every detail The Mentalist has to offer.

8. *Breaking Bad*

At this point, it'd probably be hard to find someone who hasn't seen at least one episode of this show. Watching the descent of one man into a life of crime is pretty fascinating, after all.

And again, there are so many moving parts.

Of course, I'm sure the cleverest among us would have been able to figure out all the twists before they happened.

9. *House*

Dr. House is someone I'd hope to never have to see in my life, even if he is (mostly) good at what he does. When in doubt, just remember: it's never lupus (except for that one time it was).

10. *Westworld*

Is it a western? Is it science fiction? The answer is all of the above (more or less). Definitely a show for smarty pants viewers, that's for sure.

11. *Dexter*

A show about a serial killer who hunts down serial killers? That's only slightly confusing. But like the other crime dramas in this list, it's a definite mental exercise.

12. *Jeopardy*

Unlike literally every other show on this list, Jeopardy is 100% nonfiction. It also just so happens to be a gameshow.

And not just any gameshow.

The best one around, I'd say. As much as it's heartbreaking not to have Alex Trebek around anymore, it's still so much fun to flex your brain muscles alongside family and friends every weekday evening.

13. *Twin Peaks*

This is a definite TV classic that really stands the test of time. Of course, it isn't the only mystery show in the list, but it certainly feels like it's in a league of its own.

14. *The Witcher*

The first season of this fantasy book (and video game) adaptation is... confusing, to say the least. But I bet you felt pretty smart once you figured out what was going on.

The second season is easier to follow, at least.

But it still leaves you with enough room to guess where the series is going to go next.

Plus, it didn't have three separate timelines contending for your attention like the first season did.

15. *Lost*

This is one of those shows you probably either loved every second of, or decided it wasn't worth investing any more of your time into halfway through the series.

But one thing's for sure.

You probably didn't guess all of the mysteries this show had to offer by the time its series finale released.

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