Which TV shows should be canon, like ‘Great Books’ of the past? ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Art Streiber/HBO “Six Feet Under” -- A finely written melodrama about finding life in the company of death. Bill Records/NBC “Friday Night Lights” -- Brought realism to the notion of a “happy marriage” and showed a local community creating meaning. Larry Riley/HBO “The Wire” -- A haunting epic about crime, poverty, drugs, and helplessness, and the antipathy between individuals and social systems. Ursula Coyote “Breaking Bad” -- A tightly written, Kafkaesque portrait of personal transformation and a man driven to extremes by fear. Barry Wetcher/HBO “The Sopranos” -- Took TV drama in a new anti-heroic direction, told its stories through a fascinating psychological lens. Carin Baer/Castle Rock Entertainment “Seinfeld” -- Stripped the sitcom of sentimentality and sent-up small-mindedness and urban life. F. Scott Schafer/Fox/AP “Arrested Development” -- The age of the dysfunctional family got its own farcical opus. Fox Broacasting Co./AP “The Simpsons” -- The relentlessness of American pop culture, embedded in a family comedy. REUTERS “The Andy Griffith Show” -- Morality tales, family bonds, and small-town life gone by. United Press International “The Dick Van Dyke Show” -- A snapshot of America’s Camelot that brought situation comedy to a new level of honesty. MARIO PEREZ/ABC “Lost” -- It pushed serial storytelling to the outer limits, asking the viewer to work to piece together a global and cosmic puzzle. Frank Ockenfels/AMC “Mad Men” -- A fine literary melodrama, and an anti-nostalgic look back at an era of change. Read Matthew Gilbert's complete list of 30 shows.