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The 5 greatest TV shows ever!

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The 5 greatest TV shows ever!

Old 12-13-01, 07:28 PM
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The 5 greatest TV shows ever!

#1 The Simpsons

The smartest, funniest, most entertaining piece of art ever created. How many TV shows have episodes you can watch hundreds of times and not get tired of them? In fact, Simpsons episodes get better with repeated viewing.
The show peaked and plateaued at seasons 4-6, but it still remains vibrant and more enjoyable than 99% of televison.


#2 Homicide: Life on the Streets

Forget everything you know about what a good police drama can be. Whatever you think, it can't be as good as Homicide. Well defined, interesting characters? check. Actors good enough to make you believe the characters? check. Smart, compelling scripts that don't treat the audience like children? check. A sence of urgency in the way the stories are told to really engage the audience? check. I miss this show so much.
The only thing keeping Homicide from the #1 spot was that unfortunate season of episodes after Andre Braugher left the show. The final season was a little bit better, but it never really bounced back. But it did enough right to secure the #2 spot.


#3 The Sopranos

Like Homicide, The Sopranos has really great characters and a great cast. Like any good gritty film, it has consistenly great scripts that are as hard-hitting as they are funny. No other show, or even movie, can run the gamut of emotions and situations that are even in one episode of the Sopranos.
There are only about 39 episodes so far. I would have ranked it higher if there were more.


#4 X-Files

From the first season up until about the sixth (it's on it's 9th now) this was one of the freshest, most exciting and most interesting shows on TV ever. The reason I don't like horror as a genre is because horror films are so poorly concieved and written. Not so with the X-Files. Part of this lies with the development of the characters. It's also one of those shows that does more with what it doesn't say than what it does.
Sure, some episodes are better than others, and the last few seasons have been a joke, but it did enough right to secure itself as one of the best shows on TV.


#5 Sienfeld

Again, the same formula: great characters and great scripts. It was a really consistent show as far as seasons go. Within the seasons themselves, it was a little more hit and miss. But it sure as hell hit a lot more than it missed. It never tried to deliver any silly sitcom message. There was never any "special" episode of Sienfeld. It just entertained you face!


Honorable mentions:

M*A*S*H*
NYPD Blue
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
LA Law (early episodes)
I Love Lucy (still makes me laugh)
Old 12-13-01, 07:49 PM
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I Love Lucy
The Honeymooners
Hill Street Blues
St. Elsewhere
All in the Family

These 5 shows defined television as we know it. I could give honorable mentions to hundreds of shows, but what's the point.

das

P.S. I find it hard to believe that the 5 best shows in the history of television are all in this last decade (OK, 1989 for 'The Simpsons')

Last edited by das Monkey; 12-13-01 at 07:56 PM.
Old 12-13-01, 08:11 PM
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1. I Love Lucy
2. The Simpsons
3. Cheers
4. L.A. Law
5. Will & Grace
Old 12-13-01, 08:13 PM
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No particular order:

Quantum Leap
NewsRadio
Law & Order
The X-Files (first 4-5 seasons)
The Simpsons


Honorable mentions:

MacGyver
ER


For the toilet:

Seinfeld
TRL (is that even a show?)


Yeah, maybe not the all-time best, but they're my favorite.
Old 12-13-01, 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey


P.S. I find it hard to believe that the 5 best shows in the history of television are all in this last decade (OK, 1989 for 'The Simpsons')
Watch a sitcom/drama show from the 70s or the 80s and try to tell me, with a straight face that it is better written than most of the shows on now.
I'm generalizing of course, and about 90% of what's on TV is just plain bad - regardless of time; but it really doesn't mater what "paved the way", what maters is out-and-out quality.
This is just hypothetical, but if the Honeymooners was a new show on TV now, it would hardly be one of the best shows.
Old 12-13-01, 09:05 PM
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Newsradio
Newsradio
Newsradio
Newsradio
followed by Newsradio
and then Seinfeld.
Old 12-13-01, 09:07 PM
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5 greatest tv shows ever, huh? Well, I can only say my 5 favorite shows of all time, based on what I would buy without blinking on dvd. I don't have any illusions that my shows are the "best" (other than Buffy and Batman, which I honestly feel are two of the greatest tv shows ever), and I know they are almost all recent shows, but I like what I like.

Buffy
Babylon 5
Xena
Wonder Woman
Batman the Animated Series (all versions - TAS, TNBR, etc.)

Honorable mention to:
Sex and the City (I have these on dvd already, so that'll show you how close the honorable mentions really are to the winners for me )
Angel
Farscape
Friends
Seinfeld
Quantum Leap

edited because Elektra reminded me of two of my favorite shows - I must be senile.

Last edited by WarriorPrincess; 12-13-01 at 09:32 PM.
Old 12-13-01, 09:22 PM
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Babylon 5
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Star Trek
Mash
Hill Street Blues

Subject to interpretation, I'm sure. With one exception on my list, all of these shows have constantly good writing, acting directing and character development. And there is a reason why there are no letters or acronyms after my third choice.
Old 12-13-01, 10:37 PM
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I can't believe nobody mentioned Saved By The Bell
Old 12-13-01, 11:02 PM
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1. I Love Lucy
2. Twilight Zone
3. Mary Tyler Moore Show
4. Hill Street Blues
5. Seinfeld


honorable mention
The Simpsons
The Sopranos (season 1 only)
Frank's Place
Old 12-14-01, 12:10 AM
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In my personal mind:

1. THE CHARMINGS - yes it was short lived. But, I am sorry, it kicked @$$. Even when they changed Snow Whites.

2. FRASIER - need I say more?

3. Matlock
4. Get Smart
5. Friends

6. Seinfeld


And just a side note, I enjoyed the Lucy Show (seasons w/ Viv) more than I Love Lucy. I'm odd.
Old 12-14-01, 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by The Hurricane
I can't believe nobody mentioned Saved By The Bell
I have every episode of Good Morning Miss Bliss, SBTB and SBTB: The College Years, and the two tv movies on tape. Plus when any of the original cast members guested on SBTB : The New Class (except for Screech since hey he was on the show).
Old 12-14-01, 12:40 AM
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1. Twin Peaks
2. Absolutely Fabulous
3. The X-Files
4. Monty Python's Flying Circus
5. The Sopranos
Old 12-14-01, 02:17 AM
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Twin Peaks
Saint Elsewhere
Northern Exposure
Homefront
Roots

Nod to Survivor. Like it or not, it has an impact.

So many runners up!

American Gothic
The Tonight Show/The Late Show
Seinfield
Friends
MASH
China Beach
Bonanza
The Fugitive
The Civil War (Ken Burns)
The Simpsons
Saturday Night Live
Star Trek
Tour of Duty
Old 12-14-01, 02:53 AM
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Seinfeld
The Larry Sanders Show
Get A Life
The Simpsons
Sanford And Son
Old 12-14-01, 06:43 AM
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randyc - I loved American Gothic and wish they would put it all out on DVD. I taped them off of Sci/Fi, but my VCR died and with Replay and DVD, I don't see a point in spending money to get a new one. Most of my tapes are gone and I didn't really use the one I had.

The Hurricane - As I stated in my post, these are subject to interpretation. I never really watched Saved By the Bell and what I saw didn't impress me, hence, it didn't make my list. I'm sure it will make yours and others. Depends upon what you like and watch.
Old 12-14-01, 08:39 AM
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Since most drama series don't really run for many seasons, I compiled a list of my favourite sitcoms instead.

#1 MASH - especially the first 3 seasons

#2 Seinfeld - except the first 2 seasons

#3 Absolutely Fabulous - actually, I feel a little gay liking it, not that there is anything wrong with that

#4 3RD Rock from the Sun - I never get bored of watching it

#5 Blossom - found it so funny when I was growing up
Old 12-14-01, 09:24 AM
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MASH
Cheers
Miami Vice
Twin Peaks
Northern Exposure/Ed
Old 12-14-01, 09:30 AM
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I made my choices by thinking of the shows that I can watch over & over & never get tired of:

The Simpsons
South Park
Seinfeld
Leave it to Beaver
The Brady Bunch
Old 12-14-01, 10:40 AM
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Buffy
Seinfeld
Simpsons
X-Files
Northern Exposure


Honorable mention:

John Larroquette Show
George Carlin Show
The Kids In The Hall
Larry Sanders
Mr. Show


If this isn't limited to sit-coms then I also have to include MTVs Unplugged. This show was great when it first started out and was hosted by Jules Shear.
Old 12-14-01, 10:44 AM
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1. Law & Order
2. The Simpsons
3. The Sopranos
4. All in the Family
5. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Old 12-14-01, 10:54 AM
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In no particular order:

The Simpsons
The Sopranos
Law and Order
Cheers
CSI/Ed
Old 12-14-01, 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by randyc
...So many runners up!

ect.
ect.
...aren't you the guy who dissed us for abusing the rules in your tracked poll?



Babylon 5
Perry Mason
Paper Chase
Cheers
M*A*S*H*
Old 12-14-01, 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by slop101


Watch a sitcom/drama show from the 70s or the 80s and try to tell me, with a straight face that it is better written than most of the shows on now.
I'm generalizing of course, and about 90% of what's on TV is just plain bad - regardless of time; but it really doesn't mater what "paved the way", what maters is out-and-out quality.
This is just hypothetical, but if the Honeymooners was a new show on TV now, it would hardly be one of the best shows.
Are you smoking crack? Aside from a few shows, like The Simpsons and Seinfeld (I have no problem with those being great shows), almost every sit-com on television is a carbon copy of The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, or The Dick van Dyke Show (and to an extent, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The writing on those shows was incredible and fresh, and they didn't have anyone to copy.

You can't take a show from the 1950s and claim that it's not worthy simply because people might not watch it today. It has to be judged by when it aired. That's like saying the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins aren't the greatest NFL team in history simply because today's Rams could probably beat them. And I'm sure Citizen Kane would get demolished at the Box Office by Martin Lawrence's Black Knight, but that doesn't mean much.

As for your comment about the 70s/80s, you can generalize all over the place, and find situations that fit any scenario, so I'll stick to the three shows I listed.

St. Elsewhere - The writing on this shows was incredible in a time when no one had ever done such a show. It's all well and good that shows like ER are great to watch (I enjoy it too), but St. Elsewhere already did everything ER does, but when they did it, it was fresh and new. They were telling stories about AIDS back when people were scared *****less to be near someone who had seen someone who knew someone who had AIDS. They were breaking the mold, creating the path for all these other shows to follow. And the writing is just as crisp, the characters just as strong as any today.

Hill Street Blues - The same thing here. I love the new gritty television programs that saturate the airwaves, but realism in a cop drama was a foregin concept until Hill Street came along. There's a reason every single actor on that show went on to do big things. The acting talent was top notch, the writing was some of the best dramatic writing in television history, and it never resorted to "a very special" episode to get people to tune it.

All in the Family - I am not even going to defend this show. It's hands down, one of the finest pieces of American heritage, let alone television, and I could spend all day discussing its merits, but frankly, I'd love to hear an argument why it should not be on a list of the top 5 shows in history.

I love all 5 shows you listed. They are great and would all easily make a Top 100 list. But there's something to be said for a show that was made in the 1950s and not a day has gone by since when you couldn't find it on the air somewhere. It's one thing for writing to be great for the current time period. But to not only be the highest rated show during its original airing, but to continue to be loved by people 5 decades later ... that's good writing. 25 years from now, we will have forgotten about 98% of the shows that are currently airing today. But I guaran-damn-tee you that we'll still be watching The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy. I would never claim that these shows are great, simply because they are old ... they contain some of the finest, most memorable writing and characters television has ever seen. The fact that these shows have stood strong for so many years only enforces their greatness. I have no problem with new shows ... I watch more television than anyone I know ... but to claim that the 5 best shows in the history of television have all been created within the last decade seems short-sighted to me.

das

P.S. Jboone, my top two honorable mentions would probably be The Twilight Zone and The Mary Tyler Moore Show ... I like your list.
Old 12-14-01, 11:50 AM
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Damn das.... I keep thinking of GREAT shows. Twilight Zone, Mary Tyler Moore, All In the Family, Outer Limits. These were all great. I have a hard time on a short list of 5, because it does not make sense to compare many of these. Outer Limits shares so little in common with St Elsewhere for example, but both were great for their time.


I agree with you on St Elsewhere, I actually feel sorry for people that missed it. It was truly wonderful....and one of the best endings to a series I have ever seen. That show had great writing...and very good actors (Denzel for example).

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