We all have them…well that is unless you are living under a rock and just don’t own or watch television…that is, favorite television shows. Throughout the years, I’ve seen my fair share of excellent TV and just downright bad TV. Some shows are extremely well-written and executed that you are in viewer heaven watching each week. Then others are pure torture to even stand for more than a few minutes, or seconds whichever the case may be. That said, here are my top ten favorite television shows of all time in no particular order.
1. The X-Files
Pure genius. That is how I describe the series that ran for nine years on the Fox Network. I recall tuning in for the premiere back in 1992 and from that point onward, I was a true fan. Even during the last couple of seasons when things got rough, X-Files was still one of the best shows on television. I admit, I was a huge x-phile, the term used to refer to fans of the show. I even had my own website dedicated to the show. It was called X-Treme X-Files and yes, I did have a good number of fellow fans who flocked to my site each day or week. Those X-Files years were definitely fun ones for me. The only X-Files disaster was the most recent movie. While it was great seeing Mulder and Scully again, wow what a disaster of a film! Yicks, that was bad. I have been trying to erase the two hours from my mind since I saw it opening weekend at the movie theatre. Sorry Chris Carter and company, that movie sucked.
2. Veronica Mars
This is the teen private eye show I had always dreamed of. It is true, I have even written teenage private detective stories, but mine were nothing like Rob Thomas’ tales of the witty and remarkable Veronica Mars. From the moment I laid eyes on the show, I was hooked and knew there was no escaping that hold. The writing was amazing and the characters believable and easily likable (or not if they were the villain). Kristen Bell’s performance really made the show, she was so great in the role, one definitely made for her. The supporting cast was also good and their talents continued to astound me each episode. Sadly, this series left the television airwaves too soon. It was canceled after it’s third season which still saddens me to this day. Always seems that the good shows never do truly find their audience for some reason. Alas, I still enjoy re-watching those awesome three seasons on DVD. Thank goodness for the existence of DVDs!
3. Gilmore girls
Right off, I have to admit that initially I never even considered tuning into this show. I always thought it was too “girly” and “gosipy” and what have you for me. Yes, I went through a number of years where I wouldn’t give shows like Gilmore girls even a thought. This proved to be a mistake, as Gilmore girls was one of the best dramas on television. I was only convinced to give it a try when I heard comic book writer Brian Bendis talking about how well-written it was and how the dialogue was so witty and great on a podcast. As a fan of Bendis’ writing, I figured I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and tune in. From that point onward, I was a Gilmore girl fan. The witty bantar between mom and daughter is so fun and amazing. The creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino is an amazing writer in my mind. She created a show that was beautiful done no matter how you look at it. I now enjoy re-watching this television gem over and over each year on DVD as well.
4. The Shield
The first time I saw a teaser spot on television for The Shield I knew I was in for the ride. It was a combination of the series star, Michael Chiklis and the theme of the show that did it. I was a fan of Michael Chiklis from back in his days as The Commish. I thought that not only was he an amazing actor, but that The Commish itself was well-written and executed. The second part of the equation that The Shield was a cop show was the topping on the cake, so to speak. I am a big fan of police shows, so this one was definitely up my alley. The Shield proved to be one of the redefining shows of it’s time. It make the FX network what it is today. The cast and crew that made up the series made it the awesome ride that it was. I was sad to see it end just like everyone else, but all good things must come to an end. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the ending of the series, just didn’t do it for me. But, a series finale isn’t going to satisfy every fan. Will never happen. Irregardless, The Shield was one of the best TV shows of all time.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
OK, what sci-fi fantasy fan didn’t love Buffy? This show came long before this whole jazz about Twilight (can’t forget Angel in there as well as a pre-cursor). Another show that I admit I wasn’t sure I’d be into right at the start. I mean, vampires and vampire slayers? The story didn’t sink it’s teeth into me until about season four or thereabouts. A friend picked up season one on DVD and couldn’t stop raving about it. So, I forked out the green backs and picked up that premiere season for myself to see what all the fuss was about. I mean, I saw the Buffy movie with Luke Perry and remember not being impressed even a little bit with the cheesiness of it. But, the TV series was something all together different. Yes, the slayer was still the focus, but this series was fun and quirky, not filled with the cheese like the film. By the time I finished watching that season one dvd set, I knew I loved the show and wanted more. I don’t know if I’d say Joss Whedon was my master, but he was most definitely the master of all things vampire and slayer. Buffy was and still remains a well done show.
Here is another show that I initially did not get on the bandwagon for. I mean, here is a show about nothing and people are loving it? My first impression of Seinfeld was that it had to be stupid and a lame show. Boy was I wrong. It is a show about seemingly nothing but nothingness *is* funny and entertaining. Again, giving something a chance can prove that it is not what you thought it was. Definitely a show that I turn to for a good laugh on a bad day as it always seems to turn my frown upside-down. 🙂
7. Arrested Development
Gotta love Ron Howard! Not only did he win our hearts over as a kid playing Opie, but his short-lived television series, Arrested Development also won me over. Here is another show that appears like it has a weak plot, but once you tune in for a couple of episodes, you realize that there is more than meets the eye to this series. Jason Bateman’s character really reeled me in to begin with and then the rest of the family continues to make you fall in love with the Bleuths and their madness.
Ah, and oldie but a goodie! I loved watching Richard Dean Anderson each week as a pre-teen. His portrayal of the amazing MacGyver always blew me away. Who wouldn’t want MacGyver as a friend or even an Uncle? The guy can get out of any problem seemingly by using what little might be around him or on his person. The ending of this long running series saddened me. I recall being thirteen years old and upset by the news that MacGyver would be dismantling his last bomb. I even recall trying to get a petition going at my school for the network to keep the series going. Alas, it was time for the show to end and end it did. I look forward to getting a hold of all of the episodes on DVD soon to re-watch all of the crazy adventures Mac went through.
9. Babylon 5
J. Michael Straczynski’s pride and joy known to fans simply as “B5” was airing while I was stuck in “there’s nothing better than Star Trek” land. I wouldn’t even give the series a second glance during the years it was airing on the network. I do remember catching a quick piece of the show and thinking, “what kind of ships are those?” and, “wow, what a weird universe.” Thankfully, once the reruns rolled about, I had opened my mind to experiences outside of Trek. And, I was wowed. Straczynski had created a universe that I came to decide was superior to that of Star Trek. Well okay, later Trek. I still love the original and Next Generation a good deal. The writing, acting and overall experience the B5 universe plays out is nothing short of extraordinary. Babylon 5 will always be one of my top favorites, and easily way up there in respect to sci-fi shows and movies.
Talk about a long running show, this is one that ran for what seemed like an eternity. I turned in to watch the first season of e.r. with my mom and became attached to the characters right away. I watched for the following season and then, somewhere during those first few years, I got distracted and didn’t watch for awhile. Guess life just sort of took over. Always loved the series though, and wanted to check in and see what the characters were up to. I did watch on and off though for a few seasons, but never with weekly dedication. Then, in 2008, I started to watch the reruns with my mom that TNT was airing. This was my chance to “catch up” on a series that I had been missing for so long. Being able to do this made me re-realize how great a show e.r. was.