Soul-Crushing TV Shows That Will Wreck You

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Is there anything more heartbreaking than an intensely moving finale or a tear-jerking season finale on television? You’ve just been through an emotional rollercoaster with the beloved characters in the show, the world around them, their struggles and triumphs. It’s a bittersweet feeling when it’s time to say goodbye to the show, it can go either way; a show you love may have been cancelled after its prime or you may have just developed a sincere bond with the story and characters. Whatever the case may be, if you’re a fan of gripping drama then we’ve got something for you.

We explore some of the most heartbreaking, soul-crushing TV shows that have had a massive effect on audiences all over the world. Depending on your intake, these shows can cause you to double over with grief or bring you to tears. These shows capture the darkness of human nature and their stories will stick with you long after you watch. Let’s take a look!

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is a show that needs no introduction. It follows the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher living in New Mexico. In an effort to secure his family’s future he walks into a life of crime when he starts manufacturing and selling methamphetamine. This is one of those heavily acted shows filled with amazing characters and nail-biting drama. It’s a slow burn but the ending will send chills down your spine and break your heart.

The Sopranos

The Sopranos is an absolutely legendary show and truly one of the greatest of all time. It follows Tony Soprano, an Italian-American mob boss struggling to keep his home and family life together while leading a crime organization. This show was one of the greatest of its time and it’s still held in high regard with audiences all over the world. It covers a range of themes from love and loyalty, to violence and addiction and is just as popular today as when it first premiered.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights is a critically acclaimed show about a small and fictitious town in Texas that lives and breathes high school football. While the show delivers in terms of football action and the drama that comes with the sport, viewers might not expect the emotional gravity of it. It’s not just about football; there’s a lot more to the relationships and bonds between the characters which are explored with intense realism.


Lost is an iconic show which also captures the essence of mystery and adventure. It’s about a group of plane crash survivors who find themselves stranded on an unknown island with no idea how they got there or what’s going on. Surrounding the survivors are all these inexplicable things like supernatural beings and other life forms. Lost has all the elements of a classic drama, from the great characters and the gripping storytelling. A show that’s hard to forget and still leaves many questions unanswered.

Game of Thrones

Of course, Game of Thrones needs to be mentioned in this list. It’s a show that’s known for breaking hearts and its dark and twisted journey through Westeros. You’ll find death, betrayal, and revenge in every episode and a cast of characters that you form emotional attachments to. The most memorable part about Game of Thrones is its ending which broke the hearts of its audience and left them wanting more.


Justified follows the story of US Marshal Raylan Givens, a law man with his own set of rules who works under the Department of Justice. This show is packed with crime dramas featuring corrupt law enforcement, underworld investigations, and some gnarly shootouts. Justified’s story will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and you’ll fall deeply in love with the characters and their stories.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers is a show that explores loss and grief, and it’s also one of the best shows on television. It stars an all-star cast and an underrated storyline about what happens when two percent of the people in the world disappears without a trace. The show follows the lives of those affected by this strange occurrence. The Leftovers packs an emotional punch and each episode builds on the intensity of the last.

The Wire

The Wire is one of the greatest shows that has ever hit the airwaves. It’s set in Baltimore and it follows a team of detectives as they go deep into the criminal underworld of the city. It’s packed with vivid characters, gritty drama, and heartbreaking scenarios. If you’re looking for a show that can make you feel like you’re part of the story then The Wire is the right one for you.

Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under is a drama series that follows the lives of the Fisher family and the people they come across while running the family funeral business. This show is full of complex character interactions and heartbreaking storylines. It’s a show with some of the best writing in television history that will leave you feeling moved and emotionally drained.


Fringe is an underground science fiction show that packs an emotional punch. It follows an FBI agent and his team as they dive into a strange universe full of her captivating moments and plenty of science fiction goodness. Fringe is one of those shows that will keep you guessing until the very end and its emotional depth will leave you wanting more.

Mad Men

Mad Men is a show that will take you through the turbulent 60s and follow the lives of a group of powerful advertising executives as they navigate their way through every challenge that comes their way. This show offers insight into the most primitive sides of human emotion, from the dark humor to the devastatingly heartbreaking storylines.

There are few things more emotionally compelling than a powerful television show. The shows mentioned on this list are some of the finest in terms of production quality, story, and the sheer amount of emotion they evoke. Which one of these soul-crushing shows is you favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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