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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby NSpan » July 22nd, 2011, 4:45 pm

Well, he's a professional film reviewer. He gets paid to say "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." Within that constraint, I think he's made earnest attempts to bring true film analysis and criticism into the mix.

I think the internet opened a lot of doors for a more broad discussion of films--beyond simply rating them. When every film "critic" worked for a local newspaper, it was expected of them to simply inform their readers of what's crap and what isn't. Nowadays, you can post an essay on your website or blog about any given film--and somebody, somewhere might actually read it and respond.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Buscemi » July 22nd, 2011, 4:48 pm

The mediums of newspapers and television are different. While with newspapers you can explain and go in depth with strengths and weaknesses, you don't get as much time with television and you need to get to the point sooner.

Also, it's notable that the later seasons of Siskel and Ebert had commercials (the original run on PBS didn't). This led to reviews being a little shorter than usual.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby numbersix » July 22nd, 2011, 5:01 pm

Buscemi wrote:The mediums of newspapers and television are different. While with newspapers you can explain and go in depth with strengths and weaknesses, you don't get as much time with television and you need to get to the point sooner.

Also, it's notable that the later seasons of Siskel and Ebert had commercials (the original run on PBS didn't). This led to reviews being a little shorter than usual.


That's not an excuse for me. It's possible to be profound with a few sentences. Ebert and Siskel chose to speak about film in the way they did.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby NSpan » July 23rd, 2011, 4:36 am

Show #11
NSpan

Stella (2005, Comedy Central)

Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GiakvajdAY

Lasting only a single season (spanning a paltry ten episodes), such a small hiccup in the timeline of television doesn't seem like much. And, in some ways, Stella wasn't much. Stella (Michael Showalter, David Wain, and Michael Ian Black) formed out of the ashes of The State (also in my Top 25). The other members of the The State went on to do Reno 911! (ALSO in my Top 25).

Based on a series of internet videos, Comedy Central essentially paid these guys to recreate their "webisodes" as full-length TV comedies. The production was solid, the editing was professional, the music was better, there was a newfound sense of professionalism--but, most importantly, the comedy was honed and the performances were improved. The "Stella shorts" (as they are now known) were fun clips from the internet that were mostly hit-or-miss, but always worth watching. The TV show took the best of those and improved in every way.

These guys obviously have stage backgrounds--as many of the jokes come off more like improv-warmups and ad-libbing than traditional sitcom jokes. Oddly, it usually works. ... So much of this description doesn't seem like it'd be for my #11 pick... but it is. I hate improv--though I think standup comedy is an art-form. Absurd/silly/ridiculous jokes get stale fast--but Stella has plenty, and I don't get tired of them.

If you're into alternative-comedy and enjoyed The State, Reno 911!, Wet Hot American Summer, I strongly recommend giving this single-season show a chance. "Camping" is one of my favorites, though I couldn't find it through a non-pay VOD service....
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby NSpan » July 23rd, 2011, 5:00 am

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Last edited by NSpan on July 23rd, 2011, 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby englishozzy » July 23rd, 2011, 6:26 am

No.11

Spaced (1999-2001)

A British sitcom focuses on the lives of Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevensen) as they find new and unproductive ways of killing time.

My first introduction to the trio of Wright, Pegg and Frost, a funny as hell sitcom that i only wish went on longer than its two seasons.



another funny scene...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sqSQ5Vu ... ure=relmfu
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby numbersix » July 23rd, 2011, 6:28 am

I know this is sacrilige but I'm gonna say it: I don't get Arrested Development. Or more specific, I don't get why people like it so much. My reaction to it is very similar to 30 Rock. I get the jokes, they're just not particularly funny. Perhaps it's because they don't shock me. And they certainly don't make me think (I've always wondered why people say it has layers or is subtle. Either I'm missing somehting entirely or it really isn't that smart, or layered). One of my problems is that it feels like every character is in on the joke. It has this atmosphere of silliness that prevents what's known as "awkward" humour. There's no real character who takes it seriously (even Batemen's and Cera's characters are almost written to have a permenant smirk). Kinda like action movies where everything is so OTT that it's impossible to have any sort of connection to its world... it's too unrealistic. And AD is similar for me. Perhaps I'm not giving it enough credit, I've seen about 6-7 episodes and it lacked any really memorable jokes.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby englishozzy » July 23rd, 2011, 6:32 am

Hayley's No.11

Bad Girls (1999-2006)

A British drama about the lives of inmates in a fictional prison called Larkhall.

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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Shrykespeare » July 23rd, 2011, 12:09 pm

Spanny, you need to do your #10 on the "Top 10 TV Shows" thread.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby NSpan » July 23rd, 2011, 3:52 pm

numbersix wrote:I know this is sacrilige but I'm gonna say it: I don't get Arrested Development. Or more specific, I don't get why people like it so much. My reaction to it is very similar to 30 Rock. I get the jokes, they're just not particularly funny. Perhaps it's because they don't shock me. And they certainly don't make me think (I've always wondered why people say it has layers or is subtle. Either I'm missing somehting entirely or it really isn't that smart, or layered). One of my problems is that it feels like every character is in on the joke. It has this atmosphere of silliness that prevents what's known as "awkward" humour. There's no real character who takes it seriously (even Batemen's and Cera's characters are almost written to have a permenant smirk). Kinda like action movies where everything is so OTT that it's impossible to have any sort of connection to its world... it's too unrealistic. And AD is similar for me. Perhaps I'm not giving it enough credit, I've seen about 6-7 episodes and it lacked any really memorable jokes.

I knew long before reading that last sentence that you had only seen a handful of episodes. It's not like a traditional sitcom--you can't just watch episodes here and there. There is a real plot that moves forward each episode. When it was on TV, FOX kept changing what day and/or time it would be broadcast. So even people who started as fans (such as myself), eventually just gave up completely. But now that the complete series is on DVD, you should give it another chance. I honestly don't think you could watch the first season of Arrested Development without becoming a convert. The "layers" you hear people speak of are jokes that span entire seasons (and even some that span the entire series). Stuff that will just fly right by you (or come off as just silly or random) without context. In that sense, AD is more like an extended mini-series than a sitcom.
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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Buscemi » July 24th, 2011, 12:34 am

Day 19: Sledge Hammer! (1986-1988, ABC)

A hilarious parody of the Dirty Harry movies as well as the Reagan era with a great performance by David Rasche as the titular character. The fun of the show was that it was never meant to be taken seriously and that the element of absurdity would be pushed to the envelope. Like Police Squad before it, it was constantly screwed by the network (though this got the benefit of a second season after the first season's finale did so well) but its spirit could never be broken.

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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Buscemi » July 24th, 2011, 1:11 am

Day 20: South Park (Seasons 1-9) (1997-2005, Comedy Central)

A simple show about four kids and a strange little town in Colorado. The plot is rather thin but its crude and strange sense of humor keeps you watching and wanting more. Too bad that the show lost its way after Isaac Hayes left and it became three author avatars (Stan for Trey, Kyle for Matt, Cartman for Trey and Matt's more controversial opinions) spouting out their political views instead of trying to be funny. For me, The Return of Chef will always be the final episode of the series because that when the heart of the show gave out.

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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Buscemi » July 26th, 2011, 2:08 am

Day 21: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994, syndicated)

The best of the Star Trek series and the one that I saw first. Though many people consider the original and Captain Kirk as the definitive versions of the series, it will always be this show and Captain Picard for me. While Kirk was fiery and full of himself, Picard was cool under pressure and deeply cared for his crew. It also helps that Patrick Stewart played him.



Day 22: Tales From The Crypt (1989-1996, HBO/Fox)

A 30-minute anthology series (aired uncut by HBO and in edited versions syndicated by Fox stations, which is how I first saw it) based on the comic book series, wrapped around by intros and outros by the one and only Cryptkeeper (voiced by John Kassir). The Cryptkeeper was a master of the bad pun, which added to his campy little charm and created a balance with the often gory and nasty horror stories shown on screen. Many famous actors and directors did episodes, which added a very theatrical feel to a medium usually known for low-budget and cheesy shows. In fact, one could say that Tales From The Crypt made HBO what it is today: a place for high-quality television not hampered by restrictions.

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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby Buscemi » July 27th, 2011, 2:03 am

Day 23: Tales From The Darkside (1984-1988, syndicated)

Before there was Tales From The Crypt, there was Tales From The Darkside. Produced by George A. Romero and originally intended as a television spinoff of the movie Creepshow, this anthology series was surprisingly morbid and sometimes graphic for a syndicated series. However there was no denying that there were some good stories on the show, thanks to many great actors and some good scripts (Stephen King even wrote a pair of episodes). Though forgotten today, the complete series is on DVD so give it a watch.

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Re: Top 25 Favorite TV Shows

Postby transformers2 » July 28th, 2011, 3:30 pm

I need to catch up to the Top 10, so I am just going to post my 19-11 then do write-ups on 10-1.

19.Robot Chicken (Adult Swim 2005-Present)
18.Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Adult Swim 2000-Present)
17.30 Rock (NBC 2006-Present)
16.Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO 2000-Present)
15.The Office (NBC 2005-Present)
14.Flight Of The Conchords (HBO 2007-2009)
13.Prison Break (Fox 2005-2009)
12.South Park (Comedy Central 1997 -Present)
11.Justifed (FX 2010-Present)
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