Critics and fans have nearly universally agreed that we are currently in the golden age of television, highlighted by masterful dramas like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards. It’s dramas like these, and so many others (that will be mentioned throughout this list) that have demonstrated how to present tense and believable drama fueled by raw human emotion, and how to truly disgust and shock viewers everywhere.

There are many television programs that live and die by this “shock factor,” but those won’t be mentioned here, because it’s easy to shock an ...

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