Abyss of Silence

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Greatest TV Shows of All Time

Oh, how I dearly love making lists! I admit my blog is much more facile than others and so what? I’m having fun; so give me a frickin’ break! This time I’m making a list of my favorite television shows.

THE CLASSICS
Ok, so I’m not very original. These are the ones that are tried, true and widely loved. They are just as enjoyable to me now as when I first saw them. This is the true test of a classic. If you loved it as a child and can bear to watch it as an adult. Don’t believe me? Try, just try, to watch an episode of “Happy Days”. Truly painful! But on to the best…

The Andy Griffith Show
A sweet, wonderful show that makes one wistful for an ideal time that probably never truly existed. And funny as all get out to boot. Escapism at it’s best. “Poor Horatio!”


I Love Lucy
It’s true. I do love Lucy. She was a fearless performer who was never afraid of poking fun at herself. But the magic of the show was in the ensemble. Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and the tragically frumped up Vivian Vance were all fantastically funny as well. The show would have never become such a classic without them. The plots were simplistic and goofy and relied heavily on sight gags or mugs but it just worked.

M*A*S*H
I have a hard time finding people my age who love this show? I watched it when I was a little kid in reruns just before “Three’s Company” (a show I can’t bear to watch now). Perhaps some find it a bit too preachy? I don’t know. I still find it funny and I don’t mind stories with a moral. I developed a crush on Hawkeye Pierce and his manic laugh back then and I suppose it still holds true.


SCIENCE FICTION
Yes, I am a HUGE geek. As mentioned in a previous post I love science fiction and these tv shows in particular...

Red Dwarf
A sci-fi comedy? What...? It's true and one of the funniest shows ever. It's sort of the Anti-Star Trek in it's cynical humor, hopelessness and forced lack of heart. Funny as hell! It's a british show and I find a lot of people have never heard of it so I'm going to give a synopsis of the show's premise. It's originally set in the future (few hundred years or so) on a mining vessle in space. Dave Lister a grubby, lazy soup machine technician is put into suspended animation for smuggling an unquarantined cat onboard. While he is in suspended animation (called "stasis" on the show) there is a horrible nuclear accident which wipes out the crew. The computer lets Dave Lister out of stasis when the radiation reaches a safe background level which is three million years later. By now the ship is completely lost in deep space and he's probably the only human alive. The computer, Holly, has resurrected a hologramatic crew member of Arnold Rimmer, Lister's old bunk-mate in order to keep Lister sane. Lister HATES Rimmer as he is a completely officious, cowardly, ambitious, yet thoroughly incompetent wanna-be officer. They also find that the cat Lister had sealed in the cargo hold (which was pregant) had evolved into a humanoid race of cat people however only one is left. Later in the series they find a mechanoid named Kryten in a crashed space craft. The plot of the series is full of holes but you'll forgive it anything for it's biting humor.


Star Trek: The Next Generation
From the anti to the actual. I've already argued my case for this fantastic show. Please go back to that post for further elucidation. This is definitely one of the greatest shows ever made. If you don't think so argue it with Stephen Hawking! Go ahead!
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Firefly
Pearls before swine this was. This is the best written show in recent memory. Funny, witty, and interesting and it was cancelled for a piece of shit fast car, T&A show called "Fast Lane" which lasted a season. Jerks!
It also rang so true for a science fiction show. Rather than the idealized, squeaky-clean Star Trek world, this was set in the future after humans had left Earth to the point of "Earth that Was" has become a legend. Settlement was made in another solar system that had several habitable planets. The central planets are prosperous, the planets on the outskirts poor. A war had broken out a decade earlier that resulted in all the planets coming under one rule when those fighting for independence were defeated. The culture is a combination of American and Chinese (as is the language) and a mixture of very high-tech and a western, frontier feel on the poorer, recently colonized planets. The show centers around the crew of a "Firefly" (named so for it's shape) transport ship captained by ex-Independence Sgt. Malcolm Reynolds and the crew he picked up on the way. They each have a different, interesting, and very human story. The show is exciting and fun and amazingly touching at moments.
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Battlestar Gallactica (new series)
I believe I can safely add this to my list after two fantastic seasons. The difference between this incarnation of Battlestar Gallactica and the original is that this one is actually good. It doesn't really follow my typical rules of great sci-fi but it's a hell of a lot of fun and the only television series currently running (apart from House) that I make a point to watch.
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CLASS BY ITSELF
The Simpsons
How do you classify such a show? Completely ground-breaking and has been ripped off so many times since. I hardly need to explain The Simpsons to anyone. If anyone doesn't know about this show, please let me know which cave you've been living in for the last 15 years.
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BRITISH
Apart from being a sci-fi geek, I'm also a bit of an anglophile. Can't help it. My dad is from England and so I was brought up watching Monty Python and Fawlty Towers and the like.
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Black Adder Part III
I've enjoyed most of the Black Adder series but none like Part III. It is, in my opinion, the best written. Wicked, biting humor. Fantastic!
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Absolutely Fabulous
Jennifer Saunders is my god. Funny, Funny Funny! Did I mention how funny that damed show was?
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The Vicar of Dibley
Except for the aforementioned worship of Jennifer Saunders, I'm not a deeply religious person. Ok, I'm not religious at all but this show charms me to no end. Kooky characters in a small English village coming to grips with having a woman vicar. It has an Andy Griffith Show quality to it with the nutty locals and the hijinks and the idylic, charming setting.

5 Comments:

  • Oh, and the fun of those classic shows is knowing exactly where they were shot. MASH - Malibu Creek State Park. Andy and Opie fishing - the pond in Franklin Canyon (sorry folks, it wasn't North Carolina).

    I cannot vouch for the SciFi locales.

    By Blogger Fleeting Mind, at 4:53 PM  

  • OH MY GOD I LOVE RED DWARF. I make a curry dish Rock and I call "Chicken Lister" And Blackadder, though I prefer II and Rock likes IV. Now I will try the Vicar of Dibley cuz you said so.

    The Thin Blue Line was a goodish Britcom too...Rowan Atkinson....if you're ever coming up dry on Netflix.

    By Blogger Esereth, at 7:40 PM  

  • Fleeting Mind- Yes I remember seeing the MASH site on one of our hikes but I have no idea where Franklin Canyon is. Although that puts me in mind of another great TV show, “The Little Rascals” running around Toluca Lake.

    Esereth- Ah yes, Red Dwarf is, I think, probably my favorite show. That’s hilarious you have a “Chicken Lister” dish. Hilarious and a little gross. If I enjoyed curry, I’d probably have formed some sort of geek ritual of having a vindaloo and popadams every Friday night. (Friday night Britcoms on WLIW public broadcasting in New York introduced me to Red Dwarf.)

    Vicar of Dibley is VERY different mind you. There’s almost not bite to it. It’s quirky and funny but sweet too.

    And I really enjoyed “The Thin Blue Line” there just were never very many of them I don’t think; very funny though. I love Rowan Atkinson.

    By Blogger Abyss of Silence, at 9:16 AM  

  • I am as one with your opinions (those shows that I've seen, that is), other than...Star Trek, De-Generation. Steve Hawkings can kiss my tae-bo firmed butt! Except Dave might not like that, so never mind...

    By Blogger zhadi, at 4:19 PM  

  • I don't know Zhadi, Dave might be impressed if Steven Hawking kissed your butt, Tae-Bo firmed or otherwise.

    Oh and...
    TNG! TNG! TNG!

    By Blogger Abyss of Silence, at 10:47 AM  

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