Most shows have to be given a 3-5 episode grace period as they find their way into actually being good, but here are the shows I've watched that I felt were on top of things from the get-go.
  1. Lost (2004-2010)
    Controversial. From what I've seen people either think this show is absolute shit, or they think it's television's greatest masterpiece of all time, with my opinion falling somewhere in between. I recognize its faults without condemning it. And I enjoy it without deluding myself into thinking it's the perfect show. Either way, it has one of the strongest pilots I've ever seen. In fact, if the rest of the show had been like the pilot, it probably would have been a better show.
  2. Ouran High School Host Club (2007)
    This is so niche, but honestly this is the most well-written, beautifully crafted anime I've ever seen. I love re-watching the first few episodes. They're hilarious and they kick off the show in such a fun way. You feel like you already know all of the characters just from watching the first episode.
  3. Revenge (2011-2015)
    I re-watched this show over the summer, which gave me a newfound appreciation for it. It has such a strong premise that its pilot and following episodes can't help but be just as strong. I felt like it dove straight into what the show was going to be about right at the beginning, and just kept growing further from there.
  4. The Flash (2014-)
    Although this show definitely gets better with time, because it's meant to be the light and quirky CW superhero show to offset Arrow's darker tone, it works well as that from the beginning. I think the first season did a good job of introducing its characters and having fun stand-alone episode storylines as well as an intriguing overall arc.
  5. Jane the Virgin (2014-)
    Jane the Virgin has been a funny, crazy, socially-aware, lovable show from the start, and has remained that way throughout every one of its episodes thus far. Respect.
  6. Outlander (2014-)
    The first episode has kind of a slow start. But like... it's a slow show. Not that a lot doesn't happen—it's just that this is a carefully-constructed show that puts a lot of effort into its plot, dialogue, cinematography, etc. rather than just spitting out half-assed guilty-pleasure shit once a week. This show is such a work of art in my mind that I don't even care about its inherent European-ness making it feel slow at times.
  7. Sense8 (2015-)
    I don't have much to say about this one except that Sense8 has been weird as fuck but also undeniably compelling since Day 1.