The TV Roundup
A few weeks ago, I was talking with some friends about the new Bravo reality show, Work of Art. If you haven't seen it, it's fairly entertaining and leaves the art world just as confusing and hard to interpret as it was before I started watching, much like Project Runway does with fashion. But still, I like it.
I like reality TV - Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother as well as the Top Chef, Project Runway and others. But I was asked (by my mother, actually) if I liked any serialized TV these days.
But, the discussion reminded me that I was, long ago, going to put together a list of my all-time favorite TV shows. I just opened up my list and immediately started re-ranking, because ... well, I'm a terrifically large nerd. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that shortly, I'll look at my rankings and be disgusted with myself. I can live with that.
And, because of the aforementioned nerd 'issue,' there are some ground rules:
- The show has to have completed at least three full seasons. There are a lot of shows that had two great seasons, and then the great fall began. (Alias immediately comes to mind, for instance.) This is just a rule to try and corral my self-control, so that I don't go and state that Modern Family is a top ten show of all time, when in fact I have no idea whether the show will stay anywhere near the fun of its first season.
- Unless, that is, the show didn't last three years. I call this The "Sports Night" Corollary, one of my favorite shows that only lasted two seasons, because Aaron Sorkin decided to focus more on The West Wing, another favorite. (Also, the show itself never did squat in the ratings.) This also applies to the BBC version of The Office, though that show has it's own special treatment here. (Spoiler alert!)
- I haven't watched everything. To be sure, that applies to the shows I mentioned above like Breaking Bad, a show everyone I know who watches absolutely reveres. But this also really goes back to older shows that I know are fantastic; I just can't prove it. While I saw plenty of M*A*S*H., I don't really remember it as much as I should. Same goes with shows like The Bob Newhart Show, etc.
- All Your Seasons Are Belong To Us. Here's the deal - the show stands as a complete entity. If there were seasons that I didn't like - or, in at least one case, where I simply stopped watching, that obviously affects my ranking. I could go the other way, and rank "The first four seasons of The West Wing" or "The first five seasons of 24," but I can't really handle it and besides, that's stupid. So, those shows suffer their own fate.
- It's My List. Enough said. It's going to be a top-20, because that number seems right and it's also how it sort of worked out.
This post is going to be the longest, because it's a list of all the shows that just missed. Accordingly, I'll try to be brief:
- The Amazing Race and Big Brother. I really like both of these shows, but I can't say I've really LOVED as many seasons of either of them as I need to in order to make the list. I'm not going to try to convince you to watch these, but they're both great shows that have had lots of great moments.
- Mr. Show Honestly, this one hurts - this comedy show on HBO with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk was both hilarious and groundbreaking, but it is sadly uneven, and while I like watching old episodes, there are a lot more misses than I'd ever remembered. It's best sketches are among some of the funniest things I've ever seen, but I can't ignore the bad ones.
- The White Shadow I remember this show as one of the highlights of my youth. Back before DVR's, ESPN started re-airing episodes of the show at 7:00 AM, and I would (when I remembered) allocate enough time in my morning to watch before I left for work. It still held up - in fact, in many ways it is the natural predecessor of Friday Night Lights, which I'll talk about much later. But ... I was just a bit too young when it came out, and in all honesty, my memories of it are better than actually rewatching the show.
- Veronica Mars If you haven't watched the first season, you're simply denying yourself because it's fantastic. Witty, clever, well written and acted and very original. Season 2, however, was definitely a step down and Season 3 was just ... boring. That averages out way too low to make the cut. Trivia Point: For those of you siding on the side of Hottie in the "Hottie vs. Alien" debate over Amanda Seyfried, this is really where she got her start.
- Curb Your Enthusiasm This is pretty suprising, especially for how highly I have Seinfeld ranked (spoiler alert! Sorry, it still makes me laugh.) But while I really enjoyed the first few seasons of Curb, eventually it got incredibly one note, and even though its fans keep telling me to go back and give it another chance, here's the deal: I don't miss it. At all. That means enough to me to make it miss the list.
- The Twilight Zone This one, I know my brother is pissed about. Or, at least, he'd differ because he owns the entire series on DVD. I really liked this series, but just don't hold it quite dear enough to make the list.I also suspect that while many of the episodes would hold up well, that can't be said for many others, and that also counts here.
- Other Shows That Just Missed The Cut: Alias, Damages, The Larry Sanders Show, ER, The Real World, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MI5 (Spooks), South Park and CSI. Probably a few others I'm forgetting here, despite the incredibly anal nature of this list.
|Mr. Show with Bob and Ted|
|Hottie or Alien?|