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Favorite TV Shows

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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movieman1957
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby movieman1957 » June 11th, 2013, 8:17 am

"Written By" magazine has listed its 23 best written shows. (Never heard of it but that doesn't matter.)

23. Frazier
22. Friday Night Lights.
21. 30 Rock
20. Larry Sanders
19. Taxi
18. Six Feet Under
17. Daily Show
16. Arrested Development
15. Hill Street Blues
14. Dick Van Dyke
13. Breaking Bad
12. I Love Lucy
11. Simpsons
10. The West Wing
9. The Wire
8. Cheers
7. Mad Men
6. Mary Tyler Moore
5. MASH
4. All In The Family.
3. Twilight Zone
2. Seinfeld
1. The Sopranos.

My only thoughts are that I grew up in the Golden Age of television and that I have to get my head checked because I always thought "Seinfeld" wasn't funny. HBO was some good stuff.

Discuss!
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby RedRiver » June 11th, 2013, 2:19 pm

This is very interesting. I don't know all these shows. But those I'm familiar with are good choices. MASH was very clever and thought provoking, at least in its early stages. HILL STREET BLUES broke ground in impressive ways. THE WEST WING never pandered to the obvious and sensational. TWILIGHT ZONE leaned toward the repetitive. It's no wonder they show the same thirty episodes over and over. But never has TV packed more irony and poetry into half an hour. And that DICK VAN DYKE! Still, some fifty years later, it's so funny it could kill a person. Well defined characters, exceptional actors, and situations so ridiculous you just have to see how it turns out! With all respect to Mr. Seinfeld, this classic is the sitcom to beat.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby RedRiver » June 11th, 2013, 2:23 pm

If I made the list, I would acknowledge some of those early 1960's melodramas. ROUTE 66, BEN CASEY, THE FUGITIVE to a lesser degree. Hero meets strong guest star. High drama ensues. The very lack of pretense is winning. And good writing.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby MissGoddess » June 11th, 2013, 3:13 pm

"Gunsmoke" and "The Fugitive" belong on there, to be sure. I wouldn't doubt the die-hard intellectual prejudice against westerns is what prevented the former from being included.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby ChiO » June 11th, 2013, 4:36 pm

I'd add "The Defenders" and "The Wonder Years."

Oh, and "Johnny Staccato".
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 11th, 2013, 5:51 pm

Everybody Loves Raymond and According to Jim are excellent sitcoms as well ... I am surprised to see that Raymond is not on that list that Movieman1957 posted.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby JackFavell » June 11th, 2013, 7:08 pm

I'm guessing that some of those older shows were never even looked at by the folks compiling this list. Can you really imagine them sitting down to watch everything available before they worked out their top 23? There are only 3 shows included that ran before 1970. They are probably also much too hip to include westerns or The Wonder Years.

OK, I am crazy, because I tortured myself by compiling my own list. If the criteria is groundbreaking shows, or best of their genre, or influence over decades, in other words, MOST INFLUENTIAL, then this would be my list of best TV shows. I think they all deserve a mention if you are trying to compile a list of what has meant something to the majority of audiences over the years. I'm sure I've left off some shows that were worthy of inclusion. I have probably also made mistakes in chronology, who was first, etc, but this is how I see television over the years, and these are the shows I think are worthy of being on a best shows list. Only my opinion, and a couple of the shows are not even shows I like very much, but I felt they should be included. My apologies to shows like Mary Tyler Moore or Bob Newhart or Milton Berle or Sanford and Son; Hogan's Heroes/ Gilligan's Island/Bewitched. if I thought about it, I bet I could fit them in somehow, but my brain is now very tired. I'm surprised that some of the shows on my final list didn't end up on the above, much hipper list. Perhaps those choices on the hip list were confined to dramas and comedies.

Anyway, Here are my choices for Best TV shows :

Dick Van Dyke - best comedy show ever
I Love Lucy - best slapstick comedy, family situational
Twilight Zone - best anthology, sci fi, terror
Playhouse 90 - best drama anthology
Six Feet Under - best modern comedy-drama, mix of reality and fantasy, plays with time and flashback, deaths of main characters happen
The Forsyte Saga - best Brit drama, influenced every other Masterpiece Theater entry
The Daily Show - best news show/ taught us how to look at news in a different way
Hill Street Blues - first multi cast, multi plot drama
The Fugitive - weekly continuing drama, with new storyline each week, nighttime serialized story
Star Trek - most creative space /sci fi, highly influential
Good Times - not the first, but one of the best shows to feature an all African American cast, realistic struggling family
The Simpsons - longest running, first adult cartoon show
The Tonight Show - Every night-time show with a host has copied this one. Steve Allen, Jack Paar or Johnny? I don't know. I simply can't choose.
Prime Suspect - Deeply serious detective drama with a woman as boss
All in the Family - first sit/com to deal with real life issues of a political/social nature. a game changer
American Bandstand/Soul Train - teen music show, completely capturing youth market at a time when it was supposed there was no youth market
Roseanne - shows family that actually makes mistakes
Breaking Bad - topsy turvy hero and themes, what is bad and what is good? Highly subjective
Will and Grace - first sit/com to address LGBT issues, well G anyway
60 Minutes - THE investigative news show
Julia Child - first DIY show
The Carol Burnett Show/Your Show of Shows - best variety show ever
Gunsmoke - best longest running western, highly influential in western genre * I prefer Palladin
Superman/The Lone Ranger - best hero show
Bullwinkle - first kid's cartoon show to that adults could relate to
Jeopardy - longest running game show
Jack Benny / Burns and Allen - best comic character driven show
Saturday Night Live - Night time sketch comedy
Dragnet/Perry Mason - most influential detective shows * I prefer The Avengers and Columbo
The Prisoner - twisted secret agent show, one of the first shows to play head games with audience - reality/fantasy?
The Monkees - highly influential show style (of course, one could refer back to A Hard Day's Night or HELP, but we are talking TV here). If you are stuck watching Disney or Nick channels with your kids, you know how influential this show really was.
Family - best family drama
Barney Miller - multi cast serio-comedy
The Wonder Years - first night time family show to encompass children's feelings, thoughts, also memory of childhood. Many spin off shows came from this one.


And here are shows I didn't put on the list but loved so much that I tried to fit them in anyway, even if they were not influential or special in any way. Maybe they should have been!

It's Garry Shandling's Show
The Millionaire
Frank's Place
Dobie Gillis
The PJ's
My World and Welcome To It


I do really like Everyone Loves Raymond, it's such an old school comedy.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby Lzcutter » June 11th, 2013, 8:20 pm

I look forward to the day when The Sopranos is replaced by Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad ranks higher than it does on lists currently.

Oh, and Justified, too!

But glad to see they included Man Men.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby movieman1957 » June 12th, 2013, 8:48 am

My apologies to shows like Mary Tyler Moore or Bob Newhart or Milton Berle or Sanford and Son; Hogan's Heroes/ Gilligan's Island/Bewitched. if I thought about it, I bet I could fit them in somehow, but my brain is now very tired. I'm surprised that some of the shows on my final list didn't end up on the above, much hipper list. Perhaps those choices on the hip list were confined to dramas and comedies.


Wendy:

Never could stand "Hogan's Heroes." I have a friend who thinks its the best and we watched a couple recently and I don't think it's funny. Not much for Gilligan or "Bewitched" either. I don't know that either of Newhart's shows were groundbreaking but they were both very funny.

You make a good list. Nice to see "Rime Suspect." I think for groundbreaking shows "Laugh-In" would be a good candidate.
Chris

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby JackFavell » June 12th, 2013, 9:23 am

I'm getting a new appreciation for some of the older shows lately - I went back and watched a Hogan's Heroes episode recently and was surprised at how good it was - it was an episode that featured Kinch (Ivan DIxon) and Schultz (John Banner). Kinch was the only one of the group left after a Nazi raid when the men were out of the barracks, and so it was his job to get them all out of Gestapo headquarters and back to the camp. I thought it was great that they featured him, since generally speaking, there was still a color barrier in shows at that time. It also made a lot of sense, since Kinch could not impersonate an officer, Schultz was to impersonate Col. Klink and convince the Gestapo that they would be most severely punished at Stalag 13. Schultz was nervous, but in the end he was a better commandant than Klink, it really showed off Banner as an actor. There was a nice moment at the end - all the Nazis were laughing at of Schultz, saying he couldn't possibly be the man who impersonated Klink, but of course we and the Heroes know better. It ended with a shot of Schultz, looking a little sly, it made us see him a little differently, as a man who isn't as dumb as he acts.

The same goes for Jeannie, the episodes are silly, but the acting is always first rate. I think this is what I am appreciating lately, how good the actors were, even if the scripts were not.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby MissGoddess » June 12th, 2013, 9:45 am

Is it my imagination or do you think that Banner's "Schultz" could be based on Lubitsch's character(s) played by Sig Ruman (Col. Erhardt) and Henry Victor (Captain Schultz) in To Be Or Not To Be? I'm not that familiar with "Hogan's Heroes" but the clips I've seen of this guy reminds me of the movie every time. :)
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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby JackFavell » June 12th, 2013, 10:08 am

You know, I do think that's a possibility! I completely see a link (or a Klink) between the show and the movie. Whenever I see the movie the name Schultz jumps out at me for this reason. I always wonder about what happened to poor Schultz after his commandant threw him under the bus. :D

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby kingrat » June 12th, 2013, 11:50 am

Wendy, that's a great, very thoughtful list. If it's less hip, that's a plus in my book. All of the "best of" lists are skewed toward more recent programs.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby ChiO » June 12th, 2013, 12:06 pm

Re: Sgt Schulz - I always think "Stalag 17"'s counter-part.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: Favorite TV Shows

Postby RedRiver » June 12th, 2013, 12:13 pm

I think that's probably correct, Chio. Klink too, in a silly way. In fact, isn't the sergeant in Wilder's film even named Schultz?

SUPERMAN is my personal favorite. It's hard to call it "The Best," with its rock bottom production values and childlike tone. But the show is simply adorable!


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