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Favorite TV Shows

  • Oct 10, 2009
Here are some of my favorite TV shows, but not all, and in no particular order because my favorites change with my moods.
1
History
Okay, so this is kind of a cheat, but I enjoy just about every single program on The History Channel.
2
Gargoyles Logo
Easily the best American animated series ever... and it's from Disney. Gargoyles was an intelligent and thematically complex fantasy series for kids, but it's main viewer audience was young adults interested in the wonderful animation and smart storytelling. With an impressive voice cast and very well written plotlines, which covered every topic from Shakespearean characters to time travel to medieval history to police procedurals, this became a cult classic phenomenon.

3
MacGyver titles
My favorite show of the '80s. MacGyver was about Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson), a highly resourceful field agent for the Phoenix Foundation, who used his intelligence and all matter of objects to help people and get in and out of tricky situations. Refusing to carry a gun or to kill anyone, MacGyver was the thinking man and the pacifists' hero.

4
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (The Evil Dead and Darkman films), Hercules: The Legendary Journeys took inspiration from Greek mythology, but cleverly updated it with anachronistic humor and pop culture references. Hercules (Kevin Sorbo), born of a mortal woman and Zeus, the King of the Gods, travels the ancient world with his friend Iolaus (Michael Hurst) righting wrongs and defending innocents from the forces of evil.

5
Xena: Warrior Princess
This spin-off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys focused on Xena (Lucy Lawless), a former villainess turned hero, who traveled the ancient world with her sidekick, best friend, and lover (?) Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor). The show, like Hercules, combined humor, action, fantasy, and even horror elements to create a unique flavor. The show became notorious for its feminist characters, who also became lesbian icons, and their conflicts (both personal as well as supernatural) with each other and various villains.
6
Witchblade: The Complete Series DVD set
Loosely based on the Top Cow comic book series, this excellent show combined fantasy with urban drama. Sara Pezzini (Yancy Butler), an orphan and New York homicide detective, inherits a legacy of violence and mystery when she comes into contact with the legendary mystical weapon, the Witchblade. With intelligent stories and lots of suspense, the series touched upon abnormal psychology, metaphysics, demonology, and conspiracies.

See the full review, "Witchblade: The Complete Series on DVD... At Last".
7
Buffy logo
Joss Whedon's most interesting creation was given new life (after a terrible film) in this smart and popular television series about a teenage girl who must fight vampires and the forces of evil. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), her friends Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendan)  must join forces, under the supervision of Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), the school librarian and Buffy's Watcher, and overcome both the pangs of adolescence and adulthood while battling a host of demonic creatures and villains.
8
The Simpsons
Easily the funniest and most sophisticated American comedy and one of the all-time greatest animated series ever. Not only does The Simpsons feature an amazing voice cast, but also some of the best loved supporting characters. Who doesn't love Krusty or Apu? The first show to make me laugh so hard I had my drink come out my nose (which isn't as funny as I thought after all).
9
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Zany British comedy has always been appealing to me and other than Aardman Animation and Ealing Studios, Monty Python is perhaps the very best in British comedic series either in television or film. Written by and starring Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and the late great Graham Chapman, Monty Python's Flying Circus was a satire of the highest order. Combining pop cultural references, sly political satire, oddball humor, silly accents and ironic racial profiling, and intentionally offensive jokes, the Python gang challenged all preconceptions about what a comedy show could and should be. They virtually opened the door for people like Mel Brooks and Andy Kaufman.
10
Highlander: The Series logo
In many ways, this series improved on the films and introduced a greater level of thematic complexity, more in-depth charaterization, and smarter storylines. Adrian Paul was quite good as Duncan MacLeod, the immortal Highlander. For its time, the series featured rather impressive special effects and elaborate action scenes.

11
The Addams Family
If Gothic mansions and ghoulish families in the middle of suburbia is your thing, then the '60s was a good time for you because there were three shows on TV that dealt with the same theme. The Addams Family was the perfect combination of cultural satire and farce. More sophisticated than The Munsters and damn... Morticia was the sexiest mom since June Cleaver and a hundred times cooler.
12
The Munsters
The second-best Gothic family on the telly in the '60s. The Munsters were a lovely send-up of American normalcy in the '50s and '60s and portrayed the classic Universal monster acrhetypes as everyday citizens in a small West Coast American town. The real humor in this series was that the family never realized that they didn't fit in.
13
Get Smart
Mel Brooks produced this superb and quintessential spy spoof that lampooned film series like James Bond and TV shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Not only was the cast terrific, but Get Smart was fortunate in that it had some of the best written scripts of the entire decade. '60s satire at its cleverest and funniest!!!
14
The Prisoner
The best and most complex spy series ever!!! Patrick McGoohan played an agent known as Number Six, who is trapped in an elaborate world called The Village. There he experiences all matter of surreal adventures and head-trippy characters. Though the series lasted only 17 episodes, which aired between 1967 and '68, it is still fondly remembered as one of the most intelligent and beloved series on the BBC.

Buy it here!
15
The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Collection DVD
Rod Serling's classic science fiction show that had a moral message woven into each episode. The series  featured many future stars before they caught their big breaks. The Twilight Zone was also a springboard in the careers of many great sci-fi and fantasy writers. The typical episode of the show would focus on a character or a group of characters in seemingly normal environments and then completely subverted expectations by having it turn out that the entire town was on another planet or that the entire story took place in the afterlife. Easily one of the most influential and consistently entertaining shows of the early 1960s.
Favorite episode:
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
16
All In The Family
One of the best American satirical television series ever. With a perfect cast, intelligent writing, and one of the most painfully memorable theme songs ever, All in the Family won its way into the hearts of its audiences. Despite the deeply ironic stories and the use of controversial subject matter, ther series would go on to win numerous awards and great critical praise.

One thing I learned from this show was:
Generally, most liberals have no sense of their own hypocrisy, while most conservatives have no sense of either irony or hypocrisy, and most racists have no sense at all. ; )
17
The Complete First Season DVD
Walt Disney's take on the classic Californian crusader for justice turned out to be the most faithful and the most fun. Guy Williams made for a dashing Diego de la Vega and Zorro. For a series of its time, the production value was astonishing. Not only did the show feature top-notch stunt-work, an expansive episodic score, quality costuming and a great cast, but it also had interesting storylines. Easily, Zorro is the best show of the '50s!
18
Dark Shadows
A supernatural soap opera featuring relcutant vampires, evil witches, family curses, and some of the greatest plot twists in history. Undoubtedly, one of my all-time favorites and the closest I will ever come to day time television.
19
Farscape
A terrific and underrated Sci-Fi Channel series about an astronaut, who during an experimental test flight, is shot into a wormhole and finds himself in a foreign galaxy where he befriends the crew of a living spaceship and attempts to find his way home while battling a corrupt interplanetary police force and various space pirates and other colorful fiends. The series also employed subtle morality messages and was the best space opera since the original '60s Star Trek series. Quite simply, one of my favorite sci-fi shows ever.

Buy it here!
20
Biography (Manual)
Not only is A&E's Biography a great resource for reviews, but also it's a wonderfully enlightening and entertaining series.

Favorite episodes include:
Marlon Brando
Salvador Dali
James Dean
Johnny Depp
Clint Eastwood
Albert Einstein
Harrison Ford
Michael J. Fox
Ed Gein
Andy Kaufman
Stephen King
Lawrence of Arabia
Bruce Lee
George Lucas
Bob Marley
The Munsters
Sean Penn
Steven Spielberg
Robin Williams

21
Sliders
A bit cheesy, but fun as could be. This series told the story of a group of people led by three scientists, who are accidentally stranded on one alternate version of Earth after another and showed their attempts to return to their own reality (sometimes they thought they had until they met the alternate version of themselves, which was awesome). Their adventures on these parallel planet Earths lasted for five seasons and during that time the show's cast changed considerably, but the premise was golden and therefore it became a Sci-Fi Channel classic.
22
Grey's Anatomy Original Titles
A bit of a guilty pleasure. This series started off as an intelligent medical drama that focused on the doctors' personal lives as much as it did on their professional lives... however, since about its third season, the series has devolved into a messy soap opera of tangled relationships, weird afterlife and near-death experiences, and more love triangles than imaginable. It would be nice to see it return to a sense of realism and characterization, but that seems unlikely as the show's popularity shot through the roof, mainly because of the appealing cast. And what were they thinking... killing off George O'Malley, the glue that held the cast of characters together?
23
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven - The Complete Series
Surprisingly, this series took many of the themes of both the original film and the comic books and combined them to expand the "Crow" mythology. Mark Dacascos made for an excellent Eric Draven / The Crow and is the only actor other than the late, great Brandon Lee to create a faithful and memorable interpretation of the character. Too bad it only lasted one season.

What did you think of this list?

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Thought-Provoking
15
Fun to Read
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Post a Comment
October 19, 2009
nice list I did like MacGyver although I dunno how I'll feel about the show now. Where is  Angel? I did like Xena more than I did Hercules. These days, I only watch follow shows: Supernatural and sometimes Smallville after the cancellation of Sarah Connor Chronicles. I was following Fringe until stupid American Idol messed up my interest...
October 22, 2009
"Angel" didn't make the list because I've not seen as many episodes as the shows here, although from what I've seen it would probably make the list, but I don't like to be hasty.
 
October 11, 2009
Farscape was great -- never really trust SyFy network after they cancelled that show. I'm a fan of some other SciFi shows (Firefly, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dr. Who), but none of them were better than Farscape.
October 13, 2009
I miss a lot of the old '90s and early 2000 Sci-Fi Channel shows. Did you ever catch "Brimstone"? That was amazing, but it only lasted a year.
October 13, 2009
Brimstone was a lot of fun -- I always wanted to know where they planned to go with that show -- kind of get a series synopsis after they canceled it.
December 11, 2009
When did they change their name to the new SyFy instead of the old SciFi Channel?
 
October 11, 2009
Dark Shadows, Munsters, Monty Python, The Simpsons all timeless classics. I would add The Twilight Zone
October 13, 2009
Ooh, you're right. I loved those old Rod Serling shows. Some of those should get added too. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is my favorite episode of just about any show, so it's a no-brainer to add it here.
October 13, 2009
Mine was the one with Burgess Meredith as the bookworm. I think it was called Time At Last.
October 13, 2009
Oh, that was classic.
 
October 11, 2009
I miss Xena and Hercules so much!  I'm surprised that you have Grey's on here though.  It's my thing, but I didn't realize that it was yours, too.  Must be why we're 85% similar :P
October 13, 2009
Really? Well, I am truly honored to meet another Herc and Xena fan. There are so few of us around here where I live. ; ) Do you have any favorite seasons or episodes?
October 14, 2009
Yay! I was pretty young when I watched Xena and Hercules, so I don't remember any specific episodes. I just remember loving to watch them every weekend for years and wanting to go on Xena and Gabrielle adventures!
 
October 10, 2009
No "House"?
October 13, 2009
I'm afraid not, Queenie. It's not because I don't like it. I just haven't had cable for the last four years and Fox is a premium channel. In fact, since the switch-over to digital, I've only been able to watch PBS, which isn't a bad thing at all.
October 13, 2009
It's a premium channel? That's weird. Even in Florida you could pick it up with a regular antenna. Of course that WAS before the wonderful world of digital when they figured out how to make you pay for something you had always been able to get for free before.
October 13, 2009
Around here it's cable, but we have bad reception because of the mountains so maybe it's just that it doesn't come in. The thing that pisses me off about the whole digital conversion was that we went out and bought a converter box, and then found out that we'd also need a digital antenna, so we bought that too. Then after all that we found out that our area, because of the mountains, wouldn't be able to receive most signals... so we only got PBS. And then my stepfather put a doorbell with a magnet in the amplifier next to the converter box and ruined it. $60 down the drain and now we've got no TV.
October 13, 2009
On cable Fox is part of the basic package. It must have been the mountains.
 
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