Thursday, July 19, 2007

Favourite TV Shows

Some of buddy Tim's comments (regarding my thoughts on The Wire TV show) got me thinking about trying to build a "20 Favourite TV Shows" list.

Unlike some other categories I've tackled in the past, like comics, movies or albums, this one's kind of tricky. For one thing, those other interests are more easily re-visited on a regular basis. So, for example, I'm fairly sure that I still consider The Day The Earth Stood Still to be a great film, having seen it many times, including in the last five years (on DVD). But most TV shows get watched once while they're on, and then rarely seen again unless you stumble on them in syndication somewhere (which is certainly possible, but not something I do much of).

So I decided that I'd probably end up with different groups of shows, and then - someday - I could build my list from that. Here are the categories I thought of:

1) The No-brainers. These are the ones that I don't even have to think about. It's a small list: The Dick Van Dyke Show (Rob & Laura Petrie), Babylon 5, The Rockford Files, Lost (so far) and Star Trek (original series). With the exception of Lost, all of those are series that have long since wrapped up, and have been watched by me in re-runs enough times for me to believe they've stood the test of time, and remain personal favourites.

2) The Probably, But Haven't Seen Them Recently Enough. On this list would be shows like Barney Miller, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hill Street Blues, All in the Family, and St. Elsewhere. I certainly loved them big-time when they were originally on, but are they more likely to induce newfound appreciation, or cringes, if I watched them today?

3) The Possibly, But Can I Ignore The Last Season Or Two? We've all loved some of these, I'm sure, and then been embarrassed when they stayed on the air just a little too long. I'm looking at you, Cheers, The X-Files, 24, E.R., Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons and Frasier.

4) Those That Should Be Considered But May Be Flashes In The Pan. These are some of the more recent (for us, anyway) shows like Buffy, Firefly, Heroes and 30 Rock that haven't yet had to stand the test of time, but possibly will. I think what I'd do with this group is simply gauge how much I enjoy them at the time of making the list, and acknowledge that they may slide over time.

5) The Guilty Pleasures. This would be the "just shut the Hell up and don't ask me to defend them" group, with titles like The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo and MacMillan & Wife. This is, after all, a "favourite" list I'm making up, not my idea of what constitutes "the best!"

6) The Forgotten Ones. Whenever I build a list of faves I always overlook some gems, so for once I'm going to set aside a slot for those to go in, as I'm reminded of them. Empty to start, of course. :-)

In looking over the above groupings, I notice I've got just over 20 TV shows listed. Even assuming The Forgotten Ones gets a few members as I think about (and hear about) this some more, it may not be all that hard to prune the collection down to a manageable twenty. Maybe that'll be something for next week?


Vicki said...

Mash came to mind when I was reading category #2 and I instantly thought of I Love Lucy for a personal guilty pleasure. I'll need to think on this some more.

boneman8 said...

M*A*S*H is a good one for sure, but the one I thought you would have in there that wasn't in the list (that I saw) was Twin Peaks! I've personally never seen it..but I seem to recall you liking it.

And I think All In the Family might make you cringe these days...what with political correctness as frigging "precious" as it is.

t said...

Picket Fences? You used to watch that a lot.

Kimota94 aka Matt said...

None of the ones mentioned so far in the Comments here would've cracked that list (for me). They're all good choices, though. M*A*S*H comes the closest, but it was lame for so many years at the end that it really turned me off (hard to watch those later episodes in re-run).