Mental Floss’ The Curious Viewer Dives Deep into Popular TV Shows of Last 20 Years

Credit: AMC

We’re in the golden age of television with the quality of TV shows getting better and better, and audiences can sink into characters they love even more compared to a movie where it’s mostly one and done. But the quality of shows hasn’t always been like this. Through the decades, the medium has grown, and we can thank many shows for paving the way including X-Files, Game of Thrones, Sopranos, House of Cards, and more. If you want to learn more about your favorite shows, there’s the Mental Floss: The Curious Viewer: A Miscellany of Bingeable Streaming TV Shows from the Past Twenty Years.

This book covers popular television shows of the last 20 years including 24, Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dexter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Schitt’s Creek, The Sopranos, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, The X-Files and many more.

Credit: Mental Floss/WeldonOwen

The book contains illustrations, facts, inside information and lists of must-see shows. Check out a few of the features below:

  • The hardest role to cast on Game of Thrones
  • The DEA’s involvement in Breaking Bad
  • The lost Black-ish episode deemed too divisive for TV
  • The real-life inspiration for Mad Men’s Don Draper
  • The identity of “Ugly Naked Guy” on Friends
  • When George Lucas sued Battlestar Galactica
  • How Curb Your Enthusiasm saved a man from the death penalty
  • When Doctor Who’s TARDIS went to court
  • The story behind Law & Order’s iconic “dun-dun” sound effect

Lists also include the following:

  • “Actors Who Asked for Their Characters to Be Killed Off”
  • “The Most-Watched TV Series Finales Ever”
  • “TV Characters Who Were Inspired by Real People”
  • “Bizarre TV Crossovers”
  • “Amazing One-Season Shows”
  • “Important Moments in LGBTQ+ History on TV”
  • “Unforgettable Television Cliff-Hangers”

Jennifer M. Wood, the managing editor for Mental Floss, is the editor for The Curious Viewer. The illustrated book is now available at and select book stores.

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