Pro Bowl Player
I think I'll give homeland another shot. I gave up after season 4. It may have been too early from what you're saying.Homeland lost it's way last season, almost as though the writers forgot their bible. Characters whose intelligence was their hallmark made inexplicably stupid decisions not under the exigencies of the moment as we had at times seen in the past but simply because the writers needed them to in order to get things that were nonsensical to happen. If this season hadn't completely righted the ship and then some the debacle that was last season would have kept this show out of my top 50 never mind top 10. When a show you've come to respect urinates on your buy in like that it can be hard to forgive. The world of intelligence/counter intelligence isn't the main draw to me in this show but at it's best it is chillingly believable. The true draw of that show is the acting talent, an absolute tour de force.
All In The Family continues to resonate with me because it held up a mirror to our society from the cozy confines of a casual bigot's blue collar living room, it challenged us just as it challenged Archie to be better and made real change happen in our society. A small screen Blazing Saddles, set in Queens. Seinfeld's mirror was aimed back at the cast, reflecting vapidness and self interest. It had it's moments but I agree with you at the end of the day it was fluff, funny is entertaining but to be great it needs to be about something. Family Ties had some episodes where it rose above being the Michael J Fox show and handled some powerful issues in a meaningful way but it also produced some sadly indulgent stretches.
ST TNG just took too long to find itself, the first 2 years were some seriously weak stuff. ST TOS on the other hand found it's weaker episodes largely as the result of the budget constraints it was being choked with, some bad episodes were made simply because they were cheap to produce but overall it is hard to hold that against it considering everything else it brought to the table.
The Americans could have been a signature series for FX. That it isn't the most talked about show on the air is just further proof the marketing and scheduling people at that outfit should all be serving Happy Meals or bagging groceries.
The shows I struggled the most with placing was GOT since it's inclusion pushed Breaking Bad off my list. When I began thinking of shows it was one of the first to come to mind so I felt I had to include it in my top 10 even though in the past 2 seasons it has at times fractured it's own logic to near the breaking point. Time and it's constraints in a world that moves on hoofs or feet used to be part and parcel of the shows storytelling now it apparently is bent at will. The best shows stay true to their in universe conditions and characters. Rome and Boardwalk Empire work not because their characters don't do stupid things but rather because those things make sense out of the character doing them instead of a writer needing something to happen and having the character do it with no thought to continuity.