List of nonlinear narrative television series
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Nonlinear narrative is a storytelling technique in which the events are depicted, for example, out of chronological order, or in other ways where the narrative does not follow the direct causality pattern of the events featured, such as parallel distinctive plot lines, dream immersions, flashbacks, flashforwards or narrating another story inside the main plot-line.
In television, there are several examples of works that use this kind of narrative, although not all of them use it in the same way. In spite of it being more commonly used on dramas, it can also be found on comedies.
This technique is used for different purposes, such as serving as a narrative hook, to mimic human memory or to explore the past of the story without leaving its present completely aside. In addition, not all television series use this technique in the same extent; some of them use it only in certain episodes, e.g. Fringe, others only in certain seasons, e.g. Breaking Bad, while others do throughout their entire run, e.g. Lost.
|1959―1963||The Untouchables||Crime drama||ABC|
|2000―2006||Malcolm in the Middle||Comedy||Fox||Mainly through the use of flashbacks, especially episodes Flashback and Bowling|
|Arrested Development||Comedy||Fox (season 1-3)
Netflix (season 4-present)
|Especially season 4|||
|2005―2014||How I Met Your Mother||Comedy||CBS|||
|2006―2013||30 Rock||Comedy||NBC||Mainly through the use of flashbacks and smash cuts.|
|2008―2013||Breaking Bad||Drama||AMC||Only Pilot, season 2 and season 5|||
|2009―2017||The Vampire Diaries||Fantasy drama||The CW|
|2010―2014||Boardwalk Empire||Period drama||HBO||Only episode Under God's Power She Flourishes and season 5|
|2010||The Event||Science fiction||NBC|||
|2010―present||The Walking Dead||Horror drama||AMC|||
|2010―2017||Pretty Little Liars||Teen drama||ABC Family|
|2011―present||American Horror Story||Horror drama||FX||Flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2011―2016||Person of Interest||Science fiction||CBS|
|2011―2018||Once Upon a Time||Fantasy drama||ABC|||
|2012||Alcatraz||Science fiction||Fox||Only through the use of flashbacks and flash-forwards|
|2012―present||Arrow||Superhero||The CW||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|||
|2013―2014||Once Upon a Time in Wonderland||Fantasy drama||ABC|
|2013―2015||Hannibal||Drama||NBC||Especially season 3|||
|2013―2017||Orphan Black||Science fiction||BBC America||Especially Season 4|
|2013―present||Orange Is the New Black||Comedy-drama||Netflix||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|
|2013―present||The Originals||Fantasy drama||The CW|
|2014―present||The 100||Science fiction||The CW||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|
|2014―present||BoJack Horseman||Adult animation||Netflix||Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2014―present||Black-ish||Comedy||ABC||Mainly though the use of flashbacks|
|2014―present||Gotham||Crime-drama||Fox||Only certain episodes, such as Spirit of the Goat|
|2014―present||The Affair||Drama||Showtime||Using unreliable narrators, the same events are revisited twice, according to the perception of each character|||
|2014―present||True Detective||Drama||HBO||Especially season 1|
|2014―present||How to Get Away with Murder||Drama||ABC||In medias res narrative|
|2014―present||The Flash||Superhero||The CW||Time travel, parallel timelines and flashbacks|
|2014||The Honourable Woman||Political-spy thriller||BBC Two|
|2014||Manhattan Love Story||Romantic comedy||ABC|
|2014―present||The Missing||Drama||BBC One|
|2014―2017||The Strain||Horror drama||FX||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|
|2014―2017||The Leftovers||Drama||HBO||Through the use of dream immersions and flashbacks|
|2014―2015||A to Z||Comedy||NBC|
|2014―2015||Forever||Drama||ABC||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|
|2015―present||Aquarius||Period drama||NBC||Through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2015―present||Wayward Pines||Drama||Fox||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|||
|2015―present||12 Monkeys||Science fiction||Syfy||Time travel|
|2015―present||Bloodline||Drama||Netflix||Flashforwards used as a narrative hook|
|2015―present||Daredevil||Superhero||Netflix||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|||
|2015―present||Marvel's Jessica Jones||Superhero||Netflix||Through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2015―present||Master of None||Comedy||Netflix||Through the use of flashbacks|
|2015―present||Fresh Off the Boat||Comedy||ABC||Only through the use of flashbacks|
|2015―present||Humans||Science fiction||Channel 4 and AMC||Only through the use of flashbacks|
|2015―present||Mr. Robot||Drama||USA Network||Through the use of dream immersions|||
|2015―present||Sense8||Science fiction||Netflix||Only certain episodes, such as I Can't Leave Her|||
|2015||The Whispers||Science fiction||ABC|
|2015―present||Quantico||Drama||ABC||In medias res|||
|2015||You, Me and the Apocalypse||Comedy-drama||Sky 1 and NBC|
|2016||11.22.63||Science fiction||Hulu||Time travel|
|2016||The Night Manager||Espionage drama||BBC One, AMC|
|2016―present||American Crime Story||Crime drama||FX|
|2016||Vinyl||Drama||HBO||Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2016―present||The Path||Drama||Hulu||Mainly through the use of flashbacks and dream immersions|
|2016―present||Lady Dynamite||Dark comedy||Netflix||This series features three narrative times, two different storylines in the past and one in the present|||
|2016―present||Outcast||Drama||Cinemax||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|||
|2016―present||Preacher||Drama||AMC||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|||
|2016―present||Stranger Things||Drama||Netflix||Mainly through the use of flashbacks|
|2016―present||Westworld||Drama||HBO||This series features three narrative times, two different storylines in the past and one in the present|
|2017―present||Twin Peaks: The Return||Drama||Showtime||Mainly through the use of flashbacks. Some occurrences in 'Part 2' happens before some events depicted in 'Part 1', and most events in 'Part 8' happens in the 1940s and 1950s. Time travel and alternative timeline also occurs.|||
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