Great TV Shows!

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 21 2013 12:07pm

Sorry charlie or silly rabbit or whatever, but its not the commercials. Yea, I'm sure the sound-bite technicians lodged some word phrases in you brain, but its the shows themselves where the juicy fruit center is found. Can't remember the last time I actually watched a commercial as everything I watch is commercial free. What's your favorite TV show of all time? If your criteria is its influence on the culture? Some will say its definitely Star Trek. That's because a whole generation of kids grew up thinking about and imagining space travel. So we funded NASA and engineered getting into space, the whole venture. Or I Love Lucy? Because that gave rise to the idea of women being independent of their husbands, so the whole movement to feminism.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by MikeFairbanks » Sep 21 2013 1:25pm

Identifying my favorite TV show is about as hard as identifying my favorite song, band, movie, etc.

The way I see things is that there is a top-level at which a performer, writer, actor, director, band, etc. reaches, and that top level cannot be passed by another (in my opinion). It's a top level that many reach (but most do not).

For example, I find "Stairway to Heaven" to be a top-level song. So is "Hotel California." Neither song can be called better or favorite for me because they are both as good as it gets.

So, for TV shows, I can't say that there is a favorite. There are only those that reached the top level (this is all in my head, of course, and others have different opinions). With that in mind, these are shows that I will regard as top-level the rest of my life:

Breaking Bad
Star Trek (the original)
Leave it to Beaver
Popeye
The Dukes of Hazard
Fantasy Island (first few seasons until it got silly. It was great when it was a drama. Once they got cute is died big time).
Gilligan's Island
Battlestar Galactica (the original)
Monday Night Football (especially in the 70s and early 80s).
Saturday Night Live (some seasons yes; some seasons no...depends).
I Love Lucy (perfect until they brought in Little Ricky to boost ratings. That's when I turned off to it....even though I was born after the show ended).

Seinfeld (pure genius...unbelievably good writing and acting...plus, the irony that Jerry is a comedian in real life and on the show, but his character on the show plays the straight guy--a comedic term for the serious one who makes the funny ones appear funnier). Actually, my mind sees Seinfeld as the funniest sitcom ever made. I could watch every episode over and over. I might be a bit biased, however, as my wife's family is connected to a few of the actors, particularly Wayne Knight.

I know I'm forgetting a lot, so I'll think of some and come back.
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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 21 2013 2:17pm

MikeFairbanks wrote:Identifying my favorite TV show is about as hard as identifying my favorite song, band, movie, etc.... I can't say that there is a favorite. There are only those that reached the top level
Yea, why I can only narrow it to the "Top 100 or so", but of that there is definitely a top 10.
Seinfeld (pure genius...unbelievably good writing and acting... Actually, my mind sees Seinfeld as the funniest sitcom ever made.
Ya, I've got Seinfeld on my top 100 too. But note that I've got Louie up in that list. Give it a try if you're into sitcom.

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Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh   10 MW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Sep 21 2013 11:09pm

yeah bob's burgers & colbert report are the only two shows that i'm in danger of falling off the wagon.
whenever i get that craving to check 'em out i lapse into dr. strangelove where my left hand has a will of it's own to push the red button that i'm forced to bite into my thumb to keep from clicking back on to the dark-side.

but dooode, i'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt that you had a brane-phart not so much for including The Outer Limits
but for completely ignoring Twilight Zone. :oops:

one of the greatest shows ever, definately top 10 all time.
most of the episodes have become timeless classics like modern-day aesop's fables & brother's grimm.
or if you can only relate to tv it ranks alongside bugs bunny & star trek TOS amongst the (very) short list of shows i can stand to watch over&over&over till my brain melts.

adding to the greatness is you get to see a lot of the up & coming great actors (famous anyways) of the day before they were famous in some of their first tv gigs.
like william shatner, leonord nimoy, burgess merideth recalling a few just off the top of my head but there's so many more.
practically every episode you get to see a young version of someone you recognize either featured or in the background.
besides being a great show the phrase has embedded itself into american culture to the extent that it's now a permanent addition to the english language, not many shows can say that.

give your head a shake man & correct this eggregious oversight immediately. :P
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Around the world or around the block Everywhere I go the kids wanna Frock.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by dnmun » Sep 22 2013 2:24am

i never watch that stuff but PBS had some of my favs:

"Earth from space" on nova is my fav

also on American experiences series the program called "Silcon valley" is one of my favs and the one on the panama canal is another.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by dogman dan » Sep 22 2013 5:23am

I quit cub scouts because they wouldn't change the day of the pack meetings. Star Trek or cub scouts. It was a no brainer to stay home and see Star Trek.

I just couldn't believe they wouldn't change the night of the meeting. 4 of 5 parents in my neighborhood were real rocket scientists working for NASA or WSMR. You'd think they'd have gotten it.

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 22 2013 10:29am

Dudes, I acknowledge that there are shows better than the ones I listed, including the much acclaimed Twilight Zone. But my list is shows I've actually watched, at least enough episodes to warrant a slot. Sad to say that many great shows just had no appeal for me and there is only so much vibe a brain can process. I'm sure the ghost of James_Gandolfin (Tony Soprano) understands and will forgive. If ES and characters here were to be compared to a TV show, I'm sure the Twilight Zone would figure. My hope, however, is that Northern Exposure would at least be considered. :lol:

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by MikeFairbanks » Sep 22 2013 1:18pm

See, when someone mentions something like "The Twilight Zone" I have to do a forehead slap. Yes, should be on anyone's list.

But that's kind of the point I was making. It's impossible for me to say that one is better than all the rest because they are so good.

Recently I was on vacation and caught some new Scooby Doo cartoons. They are brand new and have the same characters, but they've gone back and written jokes that play on the stereotypes of the original show.

For example, the episode I saw had Fred constantly asking out Daphne, but she wasn't interested. And the bad guy in that episode was a Puritan guy who kept yelling, "you shall be judged" and was trying to smash everyone with a huge gavel. The funny part was when he had them all cornered and yelled, "you shall be judged," and then looked at Velma and said, "Well, except for you. You're the model of wholesomeness. Nothing tempting. You may go."

And the whole time Velma was offended because the bad guy wouldn't go after her. It was classic.
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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 22 2013 1:57pm

dogman wrote:I quit cub scouts because they wouldn't change the day of the pack meetings.
Explains everything, dogman! Heehee.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Joseph C. » Sep 23 2013 3:36pm

Very good thread, Ark.

In no particular order here is my limited, though unapologetic, list judged by today's standards not nostalgia nor cultural context :mrgreen: :

Boston Legal
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Enterprise
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Love/Hate
Sapphire and Steel (The only television series that has survived the distorting lens of my childhood/youth and is still eminently excellent while viewed by the same standards as today's efforts. A tour de force reification of the concept less is more.)
Sherlock
Farscape
House of Cards (2012)
Fraiser
Mr. Bean (Unfortunately, now somewhat ruined by constant repeats.)
The Big Bang Theory
The Thick of It

Introspectively looking at what's wrote above, it's largely a mix of North American, UK and Irish.

No Aussie programmes on the list despite there being a plethora of their stuff on Irish TV. No non-English series either which is slightly depressing when you think about how constricting that is upon how your world viewpoint is filtered. I suppose television series are more language-limited than foreign language films but in the post-DVD age that should be changing.

Edit: Gattaca is a film not a television series.
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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by footloose » Sep 23 2013 10:21pm

Something was niggling at my subconscious re Ark's Top 100 list... just realized... Red Dwarf isn't on it.

Red Dwarf, first few seasons especially... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094535/

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 25 2013 3:42pm

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Just premiered on September 24, 2013. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sharing continuity with the franchise. A team works together figuring out newly emerging superhuman individuals in the world. Marvelous special effects on par with its forerunners. Complete with 50's vintage cherry red Corvette made supercar convertible to aircraft named Lola.
Lola.png
Lola.png (228.64 KiB) Viewed 1830 times

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Sep 27 2013 10:15am

arkmundi wrote:Peaky Blinders
Here's another clip for ya from S01E03 which aired 26-Sep-13. Could have taken a 3 minute segment from any part of the episode and it would be the same high quality.

Anyway, just to demonstrate what sets a series apart for inclusion in a list of great shows. Here we see the main protagonist Tommy Shelby being confronted by his older brother Arthur, who is head of the family and therefore the family business of neighborhood gambling and ganging. The bloody luck was the Peaky Blinders discovery of a stash of machine guns being moved from post-WWI front lines into England. The gang itself does not conduct itself with such armaments, but as a hold over various factional interests, it has great value. Those include the Royal Irish Constabulary who want to keep the guns off the streets of Ireland, the Irish Republican Army who desperately want them in their hands, the Communist Party which is trying to provoke a revolution, and rival gangs.

What makes for great quality TV is the scripting, filming, scenery, characters and their development, the acting, commitment to detail, historical context, music, coherence and relevance. The conflict and tension between two brothers, one older brother on the way out as leader and one younger on the way up contrasts with larger issues and conflicts. Its palpable on the screen. If you watch it, make sure you start from the beginning. Its showing on BBC Two, so you'll need that channel - its not syndicated and probably will not be, going from broadcast to DVD after the season ends.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Oct 17 2013 3:47pm

There's no show that gets me laughing more than South Park. It just reaches in there and resurrects my male adolescence like no other show can. This latest episode, however, had an unusual amount of hilarity in it. The first part - catch the full episode from your media provider of choice....

Episode S17E04

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by FeralDog » Oct 18 2013 11:48am

Greatness in TV shows often depends on time and place.
Shows , like the Simpsons', that started great, end up stinking when they try too hard for broader appeal in the Nielsen ratings.
I liked Hank character from Beavis and Butthead before he got morphed and diluted to King Of The Hill.
TV made for everybody can view like visual pablum.
Last edited by FeralDog on Nov 16 2013 11:59pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Oct 19 2013 10:42am

Just in time for Halloween - American Horror Story. Moved it to the top of this list because of the currently airing Season 3 series. I posted some the reasons why at the Only four more episodes of Breaking Bad. What will happen? thread, along with a clip.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Hillhater » Oct 22 2013 1:35am

As Mike F said, its like music, food, or art....every ones taste is different.
On the comedy side, i surprised there is no sign of "2.5 Men" ?
..or for the older generation..."Only fools and Horses" from the BBC ?
Aussie shows ?.... "The Gruen Transfer" is a unique form of Critical humor.
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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Oct 22 2013 1:54am

Hillhater wrote:As Mike F said, its like music, food, or art....every ones taste is different.
On the comedy side, i surprised there is no sign of "2.5 Men" ?
Well, you just did and thanks! I'll try a lot of TV shows and then stop watching them because they're just not my cup of tea. So with two & half men - tried that and was just not a brew that I wanted to imbibe. Every once in a while I'll try an older show no longer being aired, as with Northern Exposure and be very surprised. I'll take a look at Only fools and Horses and let you know whether it got my thumb up, down or just the middle finger. :lol:

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Miles » Oct 22 2013 2:59am

arkmundi wrote:Could have taken a 3 minute segment from any part of the episode and it would be the same high quality.
Yes. Peaky Blinders was the best series on the BBC, this year. IMO.

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Oct 22 2013 3:07am

Miles wrote:Yes. Peaky Blinders was the best series on the BBC, this year. IMO.
So my nephew lives & teaches in London, so gets BBC. But sister is in Houston and we got to talking. Explored how to get BBC if you live in America and its apparently not easy. I use other, questionable, means, so no problemo. But a lot of folks around the globe can't make the statement you just did. Hmmm??

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Miles » Oct 22 2013 3:15am

I don't actually have a TV but I watch things that interest me on the BBC iPlayer.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Oct 22 2013 3:24am

Miles wrote:I don't actually have a TV but I watch things that interest me on the BBC iPlayer.
Yea, that's what I mean. To do it you've got pay more for a proxy server. I don't have a TV either, but use VLC on Ubuntu. Same thing, can't just get BBC here without paying through the arse. Only way is if one of the American public stations picks up the show for re-broadcast here.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by arkmundi » Dec 09 2013 7:53pm

In case you hadn't noticed, Treme is back for its fourth and final season, consisting of five episodes. This show is very high in my list of favorites. A music clip - Rockabilly Crazy Day

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Matt Gruber » Dec 11 2013 12:51am

Outrageous Fortune. no censors in new zeland, great plots, nudity and sex. stream for free.
In 1989 i put an antenna in my attic. now i get 40+ stations free. Never tried cable, always plenty of free tv in populated areas.

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Re: Great TV Shows!

Post by Dauntless » Dec 11 2013 2:33am

I have to admit I'm enjoying seeing Captain Hook and Rumpelstilskin as the good guys on 'Once upon a Time.' Even Prince Charming and Snow White are forced to with a certain evil queen to save --- I'm not sure "The World" is an accurate way of putting it. But they fight such villians as---Peter Pan.

Whom I don't believe really switched bodies with the kid. Note how whoever it is in Pan's body is in good spirits, which the kid isn't when things are good. And such a manipulator. The kid may not be himself, but Pan looks like Pan to me. I think he just put a spell so the kid THINKS he's Pan.

We'll see this Sunday, now that the kid got what Pan wanted.
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