There are a lot of TV shows on the air which are known for being controversial and some which didn’t last because they pushed the boundaries a little too far. A handful, however, find just the right balance and Preacher is one which fits into that category perfectly.

Based on the comic book by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, the show was recently renewed for a third season and that news came as no surprise after its second stellar year (which just so happens to be available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from Monday the 13th of November).

So, what you’ll find below is a breakdown of six of the most controversial shows of all-time, what made them so shocking, and why you might want to check (some of) them out…


6. Preacher

With the guys responsible for The Interview in charge, should it come as any real surprise that Preacher has been a controversial show? That’s no bad thing, though, as the way Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg push the boundaries is what makes the series great and season two, in particular, has proven itself to be brilliant because it never shies away from that.

Whether we’re talking about Herr Starr’s horrifying origin story, Jesse Custer’s increasingly morally dubious actions or the fact that Preacher somehow managed to humanise Hitler, the show embraced the comics in a major way this year and that’s good news for fans and newbies alike because season two made for a downright incredible run of episodes.


5. South Park

South Park is arguably a show which exists to create controversy and while Trey Parker and Matt Stone may have got a little more subtle with their approach in recent years, it’s hard to find a single episode of the long-running series which isn’t alt guaranteed to offend someone! However, despite the show’s frequent crudity, there’s no denying its brilliance.

Over the past twenty years or so, South Park has tackled everything from Barack Obama to gay marriage and while it’s often accused of being racist, homophobic, or just needlessly offensive, a closer look at this series shows that it’s ultimately trying to get a message across by poking fun at stereotypes and the awful people who actually buy into them.


4. 24

These days, the most controversial thing about 24 is how terrible it’s become, but the show is no stranger to negative headlines, especially as it launched so soon after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Some have accused the series of portraying Muslims in a stereotypical and offensive light but it’s actually the amount of violence which came to define this series.

Torture scenes became a staple of 24 and as it aired long before those methods of interrogation became unacceptable, seeing the lengths Jack Bauer would go to to get information from a suspect made for harrowing viewing and led to many debates about whether it should be shown on television and if that was truly what was necessary.


3. Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones is one of the most beloved and highly rated television shows on the planet but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t seen its fair share of controversy over the years. The show has never shied away from depicting graphic rape scenes and those have almost become a staple of the series, with one of the most recent coming in the fourth season.

That featured Jaimie Lannister raping his own sister next to their son’s corpse and it unsurprisingly made headlines for that very reason. Throw in graphic violence, shocking character deaths, and frequent nudity and Game of Thrones has never been a series which has shied away from controversial moments. Isn’t that why fans ultimately love it, though?


2. Family Guy

Another animated series no stranger to controversy, Family Guy has crossed the line on a number of occasions and often not for the right reasons. Seth MacFarlane’s unique brand of humour often seems to exist solely to rile people up and while there’s no denying it’s often funny, this is a show which has pushed the boundaries a little too often for some viewers.

Anti-semitism and domestic abuse are among the topics which Family Guy has attempted to make light of over the years and that’s just too much for some. Then again, if you can’t deal with the fact that one of the leads is a talking – and possibly homosexual – baby, then this probably isn’t the show for you as it shows no real signs of changing in the near future.


1. Luck

Now and again, a TV show is controversial for some horrible reasons that have pretty much nothing to do with its content. That was the case with HBO’s short-lived series Luck. On the surface, it looked set to another hit for the network, especially with Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman in the lead role but it’s what was going on behind the scenes that was a problem.

The horse racing drama frequently used real horses and was accused of animal cruelty from the start and it was only after Luck was cancelled that we learned three horses had been killed during the shooting of the show’s first season. As a result, despite strong ratings, it was clear that it simply wasn’t acceptable for the series to remain on the air.