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* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'': Understanding the human condition.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': Being haunted by past decisions.
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'': Maintaining professional integrity.
* ''Series/AlienNation'': Immigration and assimilation. Coping with an unexpected wave of immigrants who can't completely assimilate; coping with permanent exile to a society one cannot completely assimilate to.
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStory''
** ''[[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse Murder House]]'': Everyone is haunted and infidelity.
** ''[[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryAsylum Asylum]]'': Sanity and guilt.
** ''[[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven Coven]]'': Oppression and power corrupts.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'': Old fashioned heroics in a world lacking heroes.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Redemption. Specifically, how it's hopeless, thankless, endless and painful. Seek it anyway; there is nothing more beautiful than compassion without any expectation of reward.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': What it means to be a role model.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'': The need to survive at all costs. The power of forgiveness and reconciliation. Faith, Idols and God.
* ''Series/BeingHumanRemake'': Evil is in all of us, and it's up to us to choose whether to [[ThenLetMeBeEvil give in to it]] or to continue trying to retain our humanity.
* ''TheBigBangTheory'': Brilliance and wisdom are mutually exclusive.
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': There always have been smart and stupid people, and history is their conflict.
* ''Series/BlackMirror'': The ambiguity between the benefits and drawbacks of modern technology, and what kind of impact it's having on modern society and those who live in it; [[NewMediaAreEvil are we becoming slaves to new media? Is it changing us and how we look at the world around us for the worse?]]
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'': Conflict between duty and self-interest.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': The awesomeness of science.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': What is the toll that doing evil will take on your life, family and soul, even if it's initially (apparently) for good reasons?
** The seeds of evil were there all along, lying dormant. They were waiting for the right conditions to grow.
* ''{{Broadchurch}}'': Everyone has secrets. The more you look into people's private lives, the less you'll like what you find. The truth about a murder is never pleasant.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': The conflict between maturity and immaturity, and whether you can grow up and find success while still managing to enjoy your life.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': [[GrowingUpSucks Kids need to grow up sooner or later]]. We will lose the ones we love eventually.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'': Can you work with someone you don't like?
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': In the ongoing story-arc, what cost seeking justice for the wrongs of the past can have on the present and / or future. In general, the perils and opportunities of opening yourself and your heart up to someone else.
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'': Everyone needs to have somewhere to come home to.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': IJustWantToBeNormal vs. IJustWantToBeSpecial.
* ''Series/TheCloser'': Can you separate your personal life from work?
* ''Series/ColdCase'': No crime stays unsolved forever.
* ''Series/TheCollector'': Is a decade of happiness enough to [[DealWithTheDevil trade in your soul]], the only thing about yourself which will last for eternity?
* ''Series/{{Columbo}}'': How appearances can be deceptive; a seemingly [[ThePerfectCrime perfect crime]] might be full of flaws, and someone who is seemingly unintelligent [[ObfuscatingStupidity might be smarter than they appear]].
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** The series as a whole focuses on how people bond together to form [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin communities]] with one another, and what it takes to hold these communities together; in particular, how [[ThePowerOfFriendship friendship]] and accepting others, flaws and all, helps with this. Each season also develops a particular aspect of this theme, based around the class that the main characters are taking together for that year:
*** Season 1 (Spanish) - Communication; how do people of different backgrounds learn to speak a common language with one another?
*** Season 2 (Anthropology) - Unity; can people of different persuasions come together as TrueCompanions? And can they stay TrueCompanions without either tearing themselves apart or letting outsiders do so?
*** Season 3 (Biology) - Evolution; can the group stay together even as they evolve differently as people?
*** Season 4 (History) - [[CaptainObvious History]]; the group coming to terms with their pasts but also realizing how much they've grown.
*** Season 5 - Renewal and starting over; the show doesn't follow the characters as they study a particular class but as they try to make the school a better place, and thus try to figure out how start their lives over again after things have fallen apart for them. Later episodes dealt with conflict and how it is both avoided but at the same time needed to advance a story.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'': Why do people do terrible things?
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'': There is no perfect crime. The suspects always leave a clue behind.
* ''CurbYourEnthusiasm'': The superficialities of day to day social life
* ''Series/DadsArmy'': The contrasting absurdities and bravery of the British in wartime.
* ''Series/{{Dallas}}'': Can personal ambition take precedence over family loyalty?
* ''Series/DancingOnTheEdge'': When the going gets tough, how open-minded are self-proclaimed open-minded people?
* ''DeadLikeMe'': Picking up the pieces of your life, the importance of seizing second chances.
* ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'': Dealing with adversity can be tough, but if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can prevail. "Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through."
* ''Series/DharmaAndGreg'': Opposites attract.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Overall could be said to focus on pacifism ([[DependingOnTheWriter whether]] [[TechnicalPacifist technical]] or otherwise), the question of where "home" really lies and the ever-changing nature of reality. But breaking it up for each Doctor (mainly taken from the ''Series/DoctorWho Ratings Guide''):
** ''First Doctor Era'': The meeting of the primitive and the advanced.
** ''Second Doctor Era'': The dangers of technology. Also, the enemies outside and inside (this is the era where the 'base under siege' plot was most commonly used as a staple).
** ''Third Doctor Era'': Authority.
** ''Fourth Doctor Era'': Survival at all costs, climaxing with [[GrandFinale Season 18's]] message of 'change and decay' (Season 12 in contrast had an underlying theme of 'rebirth').
** ''Early Fifth Doctor Era'': "We're all in the same tribe!".
** ''Late Fifth Doctor Era'': [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism The failure of peaceful methods in a corrupt, violent universe]].
** ''Sixth Doctor Era'': Life under surveillance.
*** Also, as an extension of the "Late Fifth Doctor Era": What methods ''were'' necessary to exist in a corrupt, violent universe, and the toll this could have.
** ''Seventh Doctor Era'': "Unfinished Business".
** ''Eighth Doctor Era'': Having all your responsibilities cleared and being free to move on.
** ''Ninth Doctor Era'': "Everything dies. Everything has its time" along with [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Battle Not With Monsters]].
*** Nine's era also has "everyone can save the day." A majority of the episodes resolve themselves due to the Doctor's inspiring miscellaneous characters to be heroes.
** ''Tenth Doctor Era'': Life after the funeral. Also, the pain of immortality, and the delicate balance between being ''a'' hero and assuming that you are the only person left with the power to save people.
*** Arrogance and hubris, and the consequences of this, is also something of a theme. It's notable that whenever the Tenth Doctor lets his more arrogant tendencies get away from him, the consequences usually come back to bite him.
** ''Eleventh Doctor Era'': Fairytales and stories, along with "Time can be rewritten". And now in series 6, Becoming a legend will make you TheHero to some and TheDreaded to others, no matter how neutral your intentions.
** Also, anyone, even the most seemingly insignificant person, is important and matters even if that person can't see it themselves.
** What does it mean to be ''"The Doctor"''?
** The series as a whole has "the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism".
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': What is the human identity? Is it tangible? Can it be destroyed?
* ''Series/DowntonAbbey'':
** It's the EndOfAnAge and those that don't adapt to the changes are doomed to become obsolete.
** How far will people go to avoid scandal?
* ''Series/EarlyEdition'': How a single act can change the lives of others, [[NiceJobBReakingItHero or make it worse]].
* ''Series/{{Extras}}'': Can you achieve fame and fortune without sacrificing your integrity?
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** Faith in all its permutations. The terrible and glorious things faith can motivate people to do, how they react when their faith is taken from them, and the forms that faith comes in (religion, family, heroes, causes, love, friends, and so on). Faith ''itself'' can be more worthy than whatever symbol it's placed in.
** The film ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', though touching on that theme in the Operative and Mal's character arc, has a different one that may have surfaced if the series had continued, which is this: Flawed humans can't create perfect humans or a perfect world. The death of what is considered 'sin' would be the end of the human race; without evil, without wrong, without the ability to ''choose'' to be good (rather than being good because that's all we can be), we may as well be dead.
* ''FoylesWar'': The moral and ethical price of fighting a war on the people living in the home front. Can even murder be considered a crime when thousands more are dying through warfare every day?
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Friendship in all its forms (friendship among men and women, friendship that is broken and reforged, friendship that blossoms into romance).
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Each season has it's own central theme.
** Season 1: Honour.
** Season 2: Power.
** Season 3: Trust.
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': How involved should parents be in their children's lives once they've grown up?
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Popularity is a fleeting and unsatisfactory thing, and the more you try to achieve it the more you'll hurt yourself and others.
** Another theme that is brought up a lot on the show is [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits that we all have something "wrong" with us]], or something which makes us different or "freaks", but we should embrace that, take pride in our flaws, and turn our weaknesses into strengths.
* ''Series/TheGoodGuys'': Crimes can't be solved without getting one's hands dirty.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' used its central theme [[DrunkWithPower (Everybody goes drunk with power)]] to kick off silly, wacky plots involving violence and slapstick.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'': Power does not give you the right to hurt and oppress others.
* ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': The effects that investigating murder and being surrounded by death can have on those who are charged to investigate them.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': The cure sometimes being worse than the disease.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': The really, ''really'' long path to true love. Or more generally, [[http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/12/06/143195693/how-i-met-your-mother-the-optimism-of-inevitability how everything that has happened to you and everyone who came into your life is part of the story of how you got where you are today.]]
* ''ImAlanPartridge'': The emptiness of a life lived in narcissism and wasted seeking fame and recognition for it's own sake, rather than for anything of merit.
* ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk'': Anger gives you strength, which you may need to fight evil. But it also makes you stupid and prone to collateral damage; and frightens the people you want to protect.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': The military in general represents all thatís good about America, and although there are a few rotten apples in the barrel, the military as a system is never at fault.
* ''Series/{{Jericho}}'': What ordinary people are capable of when they are put in desperate situations.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
** Being a franchise where each Season usually operates under its own continuity, the CentralTheme tends to change from series to series.
** ''Showa-era Riders:'' There are a few exceptions, or at least, seasons where it is not as large an issue, but the basic unifying theme of the pre-Kuuga era is "Does becoming a monster mean losing your humanity".
*** This theme is still in effect in a number of the Heisei seasons given that many of the protagonists are related to or have powers related to the antagonists in some way.
** ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga:'' If violence is needed to combat violence, then when and how does it stop?
** ''Series/KamenRiderAgito:'' What does it mean to evolve?
** ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki:'' Are some wishes or motivations more 'correct' than others, and to what degree can people be justified in striving for them?
** ''Series/KamenRiderFaiz:'' Just because one is less evolved does not mean they are weaker.
** ''Series/KamenRiderBlade:'' A theme along the lines of ''Faiz'' and goes one step further: What is the final product of evolution - and is it a good thing?
** ''Series/KamenRiderHibiki:'' Behave in a way that you believe in.
** ''Series/KamenRiderKiva:'' The actions of the past will effect the future.
** ''Series/KamenRiderDouble:'' Alone you are good, together you are better.
** ''Series/KamenRiderOOO:'' Do people need desire, and if they do, how much of it do they need?
** ''Series/KamenRiderFourze:'' The Power of Friendship applies to both heroes ''and'' villains.
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard:'' People need hope, but do they justify the methods used?
** ''Series/KamenRiderGaim:'' What do I do with this newly obtained power? What do I destroy then if I don't want to destroy anything?
* ''Series/TheLarrySandersShow'': The contrast between the slick surface glamour of showbusiness and the backstabbing grubbiness behind the scenes. WordOfGod also indicates that the show is about love -- specifically, the kind of love between [[HeterosexualLifePartners lifelong friends]] who care deeply for each other but struggle to express it.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'': The strengths and flaws of the criminal justice system, and the difficulties in trying to find true justice while operating within it.
* ''Series/{{Life}}'': The difference between forgiveness and revenge.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Science vs. faith, and which one we choose to believe in during critical situations.
* ''Series/MadMen'': The contradictory roles men and women are ''supposed'' to play in society.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'':
** Life is unfair.
** Related: very few people ever get a leg up in life, so if you are lucky enough for an opportunity to fall into your lap, don't waste it or else.
** Also, your family is an essential part of your identity, no matter what paths you may later choose to take.
* ''Series/{{Mash}}'': The only way to deal with the horrors of war without going completely crazy is to let yourself go a ''little'' bit crazy instead.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'':
** Power (including magic) does not make a person good or evil, it is what a person chooses to do with it that defines them.
** Parents cast long shadows over their children.
** Secrets are destructive, especially when they exist between friends and family.
** Social status is not an indicator of worth and blood is not necessarily ThickerThanWater.
** YouCantFightFate and BecauseDestinySaysSo.
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' and ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'': Overlaping theme of tradition vs progress, showing that mindlessly climbing to either is bad.
* ''MissionImpossible'': People using each other as pawns.
* ''Series/MrBean'': Thinking outside the box.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'': Doing good for the sake of doing good and not for a reward or to avoid punishment.
* ''Series/TheNeighbors'': Finding common ground among people of different beliefs.
* ''Series/NewGirl'': How the inclusion of a new friend changes the dynamic of a group.
* ''Series/TheNewsroom'': Intelligence and Ethics vs Greed and Superficiality. Every character who's painted in a negative light abandons ethical and professional integrity to serve their own ends.
* ''Series/{{Nikita}}'': Accepting help comes at a price.
* ''Series/NipTuck'': Hiding the ugliness of people.
* ''Series/TheOC'': Starting your life over.
* ''[[Series/TheOfficeUK The]] [[Series/TheOfficeUS Office]]'' (Both UK and US): The demoralising and crushing tedium of white-collar work.
** Also, the debate on whether one should escape from the toil of this work to follow one's dreams (risking failure in the process) or to stick with it (enduring a lifestyle of monotonous labor that nonetheless grants financial stability).
* ''Series/OneTreeHill'': The struggle of children to try to be better than their parents.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'': Does man have the capacity to change his wicked ways?
* ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'': Has the same theme as ''Yes Minister'' and ''The West Wing'', but takes place on a smaller scale (city government rather than national government). It takes the idealistic approach for the most part.
* ''PeepShow'': The differences and conflicts between the appearances we present to the world and our secret inner thoughts.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': Who do you save and who do you kill? Do you even have the right to make that decision?
* ''Series/ThePrisoner'': The conflict between the individual and authority.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'': The power of keen observation.
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'': Life and death are not opposites. Life, death, and rebirth are the opposites of stasis.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'': SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Isolation.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': For the first season, the theme is what the world would be like if the power went off world-wide and stayed off for 15 years. As the first season demonstrates, the world would not be a very nice place to live without power.
* ''Series/RobinHood'':
** The BBC's version: For the first two seasons: what's more important, the needs of the individual or the impersonal greater good?
** For the third season: fight the good fight, even if (or when) it costs you everything you hold dear.
** The relationship between an individual man, the people in his life, and the legend that builds up around him (as epitomized in the gang's CatchPhrase: "We are Robin Hood".) With that in mind...no matter who dies, legends will live on, and ensure that there will always be people willing to fight against TheMan.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}'': How long till one's fortune runs out?
* ''TheSarahConnorChronicles'': True heroism sometimes means doing things people won't like.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': When the power to save or destroy people's lives rests in your hands every day, you need your friends to help you handle the responsibility, because you ''can't'' do it all on your own. After all, [[WaxingLyrical you're no]] [[ThemeSongPowerUp Superman]].
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'': How some people just will never learn a lesson, if there's even a lesson to learn.
* ''SexAndTheCity'': Never losing hope or becoming jaded in the search for love.
* ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': Human mortality, the inevitability of death, and the effect it has on those still living.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': Finding your calling.
* ''Series/{{Smash}}'': What would you sacrifice to make your dream come true?
* ''Series/TheSopranos'': BeingEvilSucks, no matter how one tries to deny or justify it.
* ''{{Spaced}}'': What it means to be a young adult in the early twenty-first century, and how that means figuring out who you are and what you want to do.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'': The possibility of friendship among races. As ugly and violent as human history has been, it is possible for us to achieve world peace and equality.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Whether it is possible to break free of the past, or whether people/civilizations will be forever chained by it, at least early on. Later seasons address the GodzillaThreshold, and whether it is possible to hold onto morality in the face of certain doom.
* ''Series/{{Suits}}'': Competition in the workplace and at home.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': [[CrapsackWorld Life sucks]]. [[TrueCompanions Family]] is the only thing you can really count on.
* ''Series/{{Touch}}'': Seeing things that others can't.
* ''Series/TheTudors'': Even absolute power has its limits.
* ''Series/{{Whitechapel}}'': HistoryRepeats, and it's only by looking into the past that we can solve problems in the present-day.
* ''{{Wilfred}}'': The conflict between what one wants (animal instinct) and what one is supposed to do (human conscience).
* ''Series/WillAndGrace'': The evolution of a friendship (from romantic to platonic to familial).
* ''TheWire'': Every human institution is run by petty, selfish human beings, and is therefore doomed to mediocrity. The effect of the drug trade and the resulting War on Drugs on society as a whole.
* ''Series/WithoutATrace'': [[HiddenDepths You don't really know someone until the day they disappear]].
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': What does it take to be redeemed -- if this is even possible?
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Trust vs. paranoia; specifically, can you trust even one person when it seems like the whole world is out to get you?
** The shady things those in authority will get up to when they think no one is looking and the ways they will manipulate you if they think they can get away with it.
** Is the "Truth" really out there? And if so, is it even possible to find it through all the lies?
* ''YesMinister'' and ''Series/TheWestWing'': The conflict between political idealism versus political realities, and how politicians and civil servants navigate and exploit this conflict in order to ensure the most favorable outcome for them. Interestingly, each series is set at opposite ends of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
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