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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby W » July 30th, 2011, 3:00 pm

#6. Monk (2002-2009, USA Network, Comedy/Drama) - The premise is brilliant. What kind of person would make the best detective? Someone with OCD and tons of phobias who notices everything would go to a crime scene and notice anything out of place. Tony Shalhoub plays the title character brilliantly winning three Emmys and at least nominated for one in each of his eight years as the character, the "defective detective." Besides the OCD another major premise is his wife Trudy's (Melora Hardin who's Jan on The Office US) murder and subsequent emotional and psychological breakdown which got him kicked off the police force (or more precisely on extended leave for over a decade).

He decides to become a private eye and takes on a nurse (Bitty Schram from A League of their Own later replaced with Traylor Howard from Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place). He works most cases with his best friend, police captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine). It's full of guest appearances ranging from Alice Cooper to Stanley Tucci to (my favorite) John Turturro who plays Monk's older, agoraphobic brother Ambrose. The theme song (written and played by Randy Newman) is one of the best in all of TV as well.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby Shrykespeare » July 30th, 2011, 3:04 pm

Love Monk. Just barely missed my list. It was so gratifying that not only was it a great show, but it was recognized for BEING a great show, something a lot of great shows aren't. It got better as it went along (liked Traylor Howard a lot more than Bitty Schram), and it had a few speed-bumps to overcome (the death of Stanley Kamel), but it was a great show. Few characters have ever been as unique as Adrian Monk.

And that clip of Fawlty Towers is one of the best from the show. (That and the moose-head.)
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby undeadmonkey » July 31st, 2011, 1:13 am

Show #5


undeadmonkey

The O.C. (2003-2007, Fox)



Premise: A troubled youth becomes embroiled in the lives of a close-knit group of people in the wealthy, upper-class neighborhood of Newport Beach, Orange County, California.


From the outside, i understand, that The OC looks like any other teen oriented psuedo soap opera, but from the inside it's a cleverly written, often self aware, indie pop culture referencing gem of a show. mainly though it's a story about family and friendship. The first season is one of the best seasons of any shows that i have personally seen, mainly because the characters drive the action of show forward. From the many people that i have gotten to watch the first season, no one has ever told me they didn't like it. While there were moments of genius in the other 3 seasons, they weren't near as great as the first, because, as what usually happens with these shows, they go on to long and revert to plots driving the action instead of characters. Nevertheless it was a great show and i loved it.




numbersix

The Wire (2002-2008, HBO)



The Wire had become a huge cult hit over here years before I decided to look into it. Honestly, from the outset it just seemed like another grim cop show, like Law and Order etc. A fried bought me Season 1 for Christmas and I reluctantly investigated it (excuse the pun). After a few episodes I was hooked.

Despite looking different, The Wire felt different. Characters were self-conscious but didn’t feel written. Criminals weren’t idiots or geniuses, but part of an intricate system of dealing but alos of their own social order. The show felt like an education, but also had great characters. Like Stringer Bell, who came from the slums but wants to make the transition from drug lord to businessman. Or workaholic (and alcoholic) Jimmy McNulty, who has a huge turning point when he loses everything due to his determination. The seasons are full of memorable characters that feel real, yet aren’t boring or average (one worry I had is that it would be dour and thus glib, but the scene above shows how humour could be injected to ensure some tonal variety).

As most fans of the show like to explain, its greatest strength was that the 5 seasons felt like an overall story, yet not a single arc. It felt more like an ensemble piece that explores how crime affects and is affected by all levels of society. Season 1 establishes the main cast, looking at the drug trade of Baltimore’s projects. Season 2 looks at the distribution of drugs and the impact of that on unions and the working class, Season 3 looks at politicians and how their self-serving decision can destroy the lives of regular folk. Season 4 looks at the education system and how its obsession with stats can create so many victims. And Season 5 deals with the media, and how they perceive and misperceive events.

So what we get is a powerful show that feels real yet is also entertaining, one that explores a formidable theme and does so with complexity and relish.



Shrykespeare



Star Trek: The Next Generation (CBS, 1987-1994)

Nearly two decades after the debut of the original Star Trek, which had found new life after a series of movies, Gene Roddenberry decided to create a new series, one that was slicker, sleeker, and more accessible to a new "generation" of fans, taking place nearly 80 years after the events of the original series.

In the beginning, I wasn't sure whether it was going to work. Patrick Stewart's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard seemed like a bit of a fuddy-duddy, Jonathan Frakes' Cmdr. Riker wasn't that interesting, and the uniforms that some Starfleeters had to wear (miniskirts... on MEN) were just horrible. Plus, when they killed off Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) before even the first season was over, I feared the worst.

However, things settled down and improved steadily after that. Recurring appearances by the all-powerful Q (John DeLancie), and the introduction of The Borg gave the show the element of menace and danger that it needed. Though the plots of most episodes were just one-off stories about whatever part of the galaxy they were exploring, the Borg were a constant threat, maybe the most pernicious ever created for a Star Trek audience.

I still watch many of the reruns today. It's aged fairly well.

Here's a scene from "The Inner Light", one of the most touching stories in the show's history:

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby englishozzy » July 31st, 2011, 4:19 am

No.5

Doctor Who (1963-1989/2005-Present)

A British sci-fi series following a time-travelling humanoid known as 'Doctor' as he attempts to keep the peace between alien races.

Not one show has been loved by more than one generation as this one, i remember watching the old series with Tom Baker as a kid with my dad and was instantly enthralled with the concept of this man travelling through time and exploring wierd and wonderful worlds. Since then i have familiarised myself with all eleven 'Doctors' and the show has never lost its essence.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby englishozzy » July 31st, 2011, 4:26 am

Hayley's No.5

Supernatural (2005-Present)

The series follows two brothers as they travel around America fighting supernatural occurences to stop evil from taking over the world.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby undeadmonkey » August 1st, 2011, 1:22 am

Show #4


undeadmonkey

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009, Sci-Fi Channel)




Premise: After losing the war against the Cylon robots, the Battlestar Galactica crew speed toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth. Galactica Commander Adama and President Laura Roslin face waning supplies, crushed morale, ... and the credible threat of Cylons aboard the ship.


Ronald D. Moore turned a cheesy ’70s show into a gritty, unflinching look at what it means to be human, and ended up with one of the best sci-fi series of all time. With the crew of Galactica encountering no aliens during its exodus, the show was free to pit religion against science, freedom against security and family against conscience—tensions with no easy answers. It’s an epic tale with few villains and fewer heroes—just flawed people fighting for survival.

"You can look at this saga any way you want—as political drama, religious debate, psychological suspenser, sci-fi adventure, deep metaphor or just plain fun—and it's scintillating from every angle."


Two quotes i found online that explain the series perfectly. Why add anything more when others have said it so well. If you haven't seen the show, i would say to at least check out the three hour movie/mini-series that serves as a pilot for the show. i was hooked after that.





numbersix

The Simpsons (1989-present, Fox)



What can be said about this show? Perhaps it’s worth noting how it changed television, not just in terms of making slightly adult-oriented animation, but in the way we see humour. The Simpsons could combine slapstick silliness with satire, mix family drama with referential humour and spoof (see the clip above for a perfect example of this mix), and we completely bought it.

I grew up with the Simpsons. As a kid I enjoyed the broader aspects, and of course Bart’s disruptive exploits. But as I passed through my teens the more subversive elements emerged from episodes I had already watched repeatedly. I saw the satire, the snarky critiques on commonly held beliefs, from the nuclear family to religion. The Simpsons works on multiple levels, and any singular understanding of it misses the point.

Like everyone else, I grew tired of later episodes. I think the First 10 Seasons were excellent, but later ones stank of a writer’s room agreeing “why don’t we send The Simpsons to Italy”, and got so irreverent that it felt like no one cared anymore. Plus, the satire weakened and it reduced itself to only one level. Still, when it was at its best, there were few shows that could rival it. I’ve watched most of the first 8 seasons over and over, due to being shown on terrestrial TV every weekday, and I never get sick of it. Hell, I could probably have a conversation with you entirely in quotes from the show.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby Shrykespeare » August 1st, 2011, 2:48 am

SHRYKESPEARE'S #4


John Doe (FOX, 2002-03)

Never in my life have I wanted a show to get a second season - and ultimately been disappointed - than in the case of John Doe. An absolute gem of a concept: a man with no memory of who he is wakes up on a mysterious island off the coast of Seattle, Washington... but he apparently knows absolutely everything about everything else. He uses his unique skills to assist the Seattle PD on a myriad of cases, while simultaneously delving into his own background.

Dominic Purcell (in his pre-Prison Break days) is terrific as John, who approaches every experience with the naivete of a newborn, yet he somehow manages to infuse the show with it's own unique blend of coolness and humor. William Forsythe is awesome as Digger, John's bartender friend with a past almost equally as mysterious as John's own.

I recently discovered that EVERY EPISODE of John Doe can be found on YouTube. Sometimes the audio/video timing is off by a couple of seconds, but other than that, they're all there. If you like this clip, you may like the rest of the show's all-too-tragically-brief run. Sadly, the show ended on a cliffhanger that will never be resolved, but one can always speculate.

Plus, the theme music was always one of my favorites. Hauntingly beautiful, and yet still mysterious.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby englishozzy » August 1st, 2011, 4:00 am

No.4

Dexter (2006-Present)

An American drama series that follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst working for Miami Metro Police Department who also happens to moonlight as a serial killer.

A brilliant concept for a TV series, pushing the boundaries of right and wrong, whether we should be cheering for our anti-hero or condemning him. Michael C. Hall is brilliant as our criminal mastermind, injecting enough emotion to humanise the character and create a relationship the viewer can relate to and yet still be ruthless and heartless enough to justify what he does. A series that just keeps getting better and better and may well find itself climbing further up my countdown.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby englishozzy » August 1st, 2011, 4:05 am

Hayley's No.4

Gossip Girl (2007-Present)

An American teen drama based on the books of the same name, the series revolves around the lives of priviledged young adults on Manhatten's Upper East Side.

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby silversurfer19 » August 1st, 2011, 4:40 am

5. Futurama (1998-2003, 2011), Fox

Like Malcolm in the Middle, during the late 90s I was pretty obsessed with The Simpsons and would devour up anything that was possibly inspired by or related to it. Little did I know I would go on to find a series which not only equaled The Simpsons, but indeed surpassed it. From the first bugle whistle as Fry flopped back from his chair and into his cryogenic freezer set for the year 3000, I knew this was something special. With such a rich and wonderful cast of characters and stories which are downright hilarious, I cannot think of an episode I haven't loved, and despite the series being dropped for a while it's come back recently just as strong as ever. And while obviously I love Bender, and Dr. Zoidberg's character is downright genius, not to mention Calculon as one of the minor players which emphasise just how much detail went into crafting characters, I think my absolute favourite character has to be Zap Brannigan. His egotistical machismo is just inspiring to watch. I have carved all my alluring skills with the female of the species from studying his charms. Obviously it paid off [wink]....

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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby transformers2 » August 1st, 2011, 8:33 am

Catching up...
10.Saturday Night Live (NBC 1976-present)- For decades, Saturday Night Live has been a staple of sketch comedy. They consistently have great casts and the amount of comedy superstars that have graced the SNL stage is beyond impressive. I wrote off SNL for quite a few years then I started watching it again a couple of years ago and it's great. There is as much talent on SNL right now as there was when it started. SNL is a consisently hilarious and iconic show.

9.The League (FX 2009-present)-The League is a simple concept: a group of guys who love fantasy football duke it out for the title every week. It's a completely hilarious show that really falls under the radar. It not only focuses on fantasy football, it also focuses on the characters family lives, work lives, etc. It's written by a couple of former writers for Curb Your Enthusisasm and the cast includes a lot of barely known actors that are all hilarious in their own ways. A great show that deserves more attention.

8-6 coming later today.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby undeadmonkey » August 1st, 2011, 9:20 am

loved John Doe, it was maddeningly unhelpful though that we never got a lot of the answers

can't stand the simpsons

have seen the pilot episode of Dexter and while i was entertained there wasn't anything that has brought me back to it yet. might someday though, if my quota of shows gets too low

Have seen every episode of gossip girl. it has some hilarious and intriguing moments but when the show gets 'serious' it starts to show it's cracks and i lose interest for a while. although it doesn't hold a candle to Josh Schwartz's other shows, i still enjoy it most of the time. ps, i found that intro bizarre, over here it only airs with the logo.

Monk is great, have only seen a few episodes though. Saturday NIght Live is fun too, as long as your not watching it live, the commercials are too long.

haven't seen any of the others.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby undeadmonkey » August 2nd, 2011, 12:36 am

Show #3


undeadmonkey

Pushing Daisies (2007-2009, ABC)





Premise: A pie-maker, with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.


pushing daisies is like dr suess for adults, thats the best i can describe it. The colorful and strange world, the quirky dialogue, outlandish characters and just like dr suess was nothing more than entertainment meant to entertain (with maybe a few morals here and there), so is pushing daisies. I have never seen a more fun show and it's a shame it got massacred by the writers strike. It's got mystery, it's got action, it's got comedy, it has adventure and romance. there is something there for everyone to love. just watch the two clips, if they don't put a smile on your face, me and you are just made from different cloth. i don't think i've seen any of the 22 episodes that i didn't find hilarious or didn't have a huge grin on my face.



numbersix

Father Ted (1995-1998, Channel 4)



I’m sure plenty of you have not seen this, and if not then get your hands on the complete series. Honestly, this is one of the best shows, and the highest comedy on its list. Not only are the gags great and the episodes rewatchable, but it is also the most consistent comedy. That’s why it just trumped The Simpsons.

The premise: three of the worst priests in Ireland are placed on a small rural island to keep out of trouble. Only they usually get into worse trouble. Even in the mid 90’s the Catholic church was somewhat sacred, and this show completed tore it apart. One episode is dedicated to the eponymous priest trying to seduce a famous writer. Few things are funnier than a priest with an erection. No wonder it was made with UK funding, Ireland’s national broadcaster never would have made it.

Writer Graham Linehan (Black Books, the IT Crowd) made his name with this show. It combines hilarious digs at national institutions and Irish parochialism (there’s a couple who run the shop, who are violent towards each other in private but when in public they act like angels, highlighting our culture’s repressed nature) with downright silliness, specifically in the characters of dim-witted Father Dougal and raging drunk Father Jack (who for most of the series can only exclaim “Drink! Feck! Girls! Arse!”).

Perhaps I value the show more because it enabled us to laugh at our own culture and seemingly sacrosanct beliefs, but the international part of me feel that this is just comedy at its peak. It ended after 3 seasons, the creators feeling it had run its course. Sadly, the actor who played Father Ted passed away a few weeks after finishing the last episode.
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby Shrykespeare » August 2nd, 2011, 3:22 am

SHRYKESPEARE'S #3

Burn Notice (USA, 2007-present)

Is there a cooler show on TV now? Come to think of it, has there EVER been a cooler show on TV? Not to me.

Going in, I wasn't sold on Jeffrey Donovan as a leading man, but that went away after one episode. I loved the premise: a CIA operative named Michael Westen (Donovan) gets "burned" (others might say "blacklisted" or "disavowed", you get the idea), and is stuck in Miami while he figures out just who it was that ruined his life. In the meantime, he uses his unique skills to help those in need (kind of like the A-Team, but a lot slicker), with the help of his explosive girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) - no kidding, she loves blowing shit up - as well as his Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, beer-chugging, woman-chasing best friend Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell). There's literally nothing this trio can't pull off.

But it's not just the slick coolness that makes the show great. It's the wry humor, the sense that even though the crises are real and the danger is serious, the actors don't take themselves TOO serious (the captions are always timely and hilarious). From Michael's sardonic narratives, to the motherly chidings given to him by his chain-smoking mother Maddy (Sharon Gless), this show hits all the right buttons at all the right times.

The only thing that sucks about Burn Notice is that the "seasons" only last like 10-12 episodes, and then I have to wait six months for the next one. The wait is almost intolerable!


I've never liked the song that accompanies this fan-made vid, but now that I've seen the two incorporated, I think I love it:




You can watch full episodes on line. You can start by clicking here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/BurnNoticeonUSA?v=3T6U7H_bSAI&feature=pyv&ad=7594969230&kw=burn%20notice
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Re: Favorite TV Shows: Top 10

Postby silversurfer19 » August 2nd, 2011, 4:00 am

4. The League Of Gentlemen (1999-2002), BBC Two

We are getting up to my absolute favourites now, with four series I could literally put no.1 on any given day. First up is The League Of Gentlemen, a comedy sketch series which, although played through a series of sketches had an overall arching theme which ran through an entire episode, and indeed an entire series. It was a comedy, but not like any comedy you've seen before. It is the blackest of the black, taking inspiration from the League's favourite horror movies (such as Don't Look Now, The Wicker Man etc) and transcending it into a comedy genre. At times it's creepy, at times even scary, but despite it's bizarre and horrific characters it was always, and I mean always, completely and utterly hilarious. The League, like Monty Python a few decades earlier, were made up of four men, although only three of them actually acted in the series (with the three playing most roles, male and female). They, like Python, wrote in pairs, but when their writing came together somehow it formed into a gruesomely dark but strangely compelling series centering around Royston Vasey, a small village in the middle of the English countryside, where it was compulsory to be 'local' and anyone not would meet a swift and horrific end. The series was littered with unique and iconic characters, from the household favourite Edward and Tubbs (an elderly couple with a fiendish desire to rid all invaders), Pauline, a job centre employee who thought all on benefits were "dole scum", and the mysterious but wicked Papa Lazarou. Throughout it's three series it challenged the stereotypes of the sketch show, to the point by the third series they had become so ambitious they had a series of 6 episodes all with an overarching narrative which would take place at one moment in time and then all come together at it's conclusion. I've mentioned Python quite a lot in my commentary, and there is a large comparison in their creative ambition and forever inventive sketches, but for me the League took it a step further and married that style with such a dark and wickedly fun sense of humour, and it's played so well on repeat viewings. I can't recommend this show enough.



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