4/7/14

20 Favorite TV Shows of All Time . . .

I have NEARLY (I'll never say "fully") exhausted the filler blog post that is the "favorites" list (and - if I ever feel like I have hit the proverbial wall I'll just restart with LEAST favorite stuff) but I realized that I've missed a key/obvious one . . . TV shows. I'm not much for TV these days (with the cancellation of Psych last week I can honestly say there are only three or four shows currently on the air that I care about at ALL . . . this is due to a conscious decision to get rid of cable and TV in my life vs. me being better than (I watch a TON of Netflix, Google Play, and PBS on Roku so I'm not better than staring at a screen for hours at a time).

Without additional delay . . . my favorite TV shows of all time (in order).

20) This Old House - It is probably a mixture of my complete inability to be "handy" mixed with my obsession with those who are handy AND those who can fix and improve things. Great show. I miss Bob Vila but the new guys are pretty awesome, too. Plays on PBS app.

19) Chappelle's Show - NOTHING says white kid trying to be edgy like laughing at Wayne Brady threatening to choke a b*tch. Seriously. NOTHING says it better. Plays on Amazon Prime.

18) Rubicon - Such a smart show. So short lived. I hate AMC for dumping it so soon. Not streaming.

17) Harper's Island - It was NOT a great show but I loved every second of this modern take on "And Then There Were None" and for that, I make no apologies. I really did not see the twist coming at the end and that made it all the better. The show - naturally - only had one season. Grrrr. Not streaming.

16) Terriers - I love Donal Logue. I love detective shows. I love them together. ANOTHER show (you'll sense a theme here) that I wish was not cancelled so early. Streaming on Netflix.

15) Soap - In a word, hilarious. In another word, groundbreaking (gay couples, adultery, people sharing beds, drugs and booze). In a repeated word, hilarious. Not streaming.

14) Family Guy - If loving Family Guy is wrong . . . I refuse to be right. Hilarious for allllll the wrong reasons. Streaming on Netflix and HuluPlus.

13) House of Cards - I mean . . . come on. If you don't love it - swrongwitchu? I also love the original BBC series, too. BOTH are streaming on Netflix.

12) Sherlock - I have always enjoyed detectives (another theme) and this one is the legendary one himself. The BBC version, with just three episodes per season, means three TV episodes better than just about any movie you could watch with the same 90 minutes. Streaming on Netflix and the PBS app.

11) Murder, She Wrote - This is a show I started watching as a guilty pleasure with my parents in high school. I have loved it since the first episode . . . I just can't figure out why anyone invited Jessica Fletcher ANYWHERE (everywhere she went, people died). Love a detective. Love Angela Lansbury. Streaming on Netflix.

10) The Muppet Show - Watched it as a kid and love it (and own the DVDs today) and there are times when I put on an episode with my daughter and can smell my house as a kid and the shampoo my parents made me use (full of parabens and other horrible crap).

9) The Killing - I was a wee disappointed at the finale of season one but forgave the show because it was sooooo good up until and then after for seasons two and most of season three. Complex characters and great story lines. Also - detectives. I'll be anxious to see how the show concludes in a Netflix-only format this year. Streaming on Netflix.

8) Friday Night Lights - Coach Taylor and family and players made seasons of television that were loosely based around high school football but if you think Friday Night Lights is ABOUT football . . . you're crazy. SUCH good television. Streaming on Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Prime.

7) Six Feet Under - A lot of people thought Sex and the City or The Sopranos were what solidified HBO as a "game changer" for television but, for me, Six Feet Under was the best of that bundle. Amazing stories and characters . . . and the occasional detective. No one ever won anything on that show - sorta like life itself. You ultimately lose out when you die. Streaming on HBO-Go.

6) Lost - I'll admit it . . . the middle seasons (three and early four) were not my favorites but I'd put the FULL Lost experience up against just about any TV show of this century for being bring, complex, rich, funny, sad, moving, and engaging. So many mysteries I'll never even try to understand. And that is just fine. Streaming on Netflix.

5) The Wire - The GREATEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME. Amazing writing, amazing acting, amazing plots and stories, amazing everything. But it is not my favorite - it is just the best. I will openly and easily admit that I have a man crush on Idris Elba. He's amazing as is the whole thing. Also, detectives. LOTS of them. Streaming on HBO-Go.

4) Psych - Fake psychic (and real detective) Shawn Spencer and his fellow nutballs made some comedic gold over the years. This show was the hardest part about cancelling my cable a few years ago. Luckily you can buy a season for $25 vs. pay $200/month for cable. Choices, people. Seriously, though. Check out Psych. DETECTIVES. Streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HuluPlus and the USA Website.

3) Sports Night - Lots of people point to The Social Network or Newsroom or maybe The West Wing as examples of Aaron Sorkin's greatness. And they are all great and worthy of the pointed fingers but, for me, Sports Night was fantastic. Just sharp writing and great characters. Another "cancelled too soon" show, for me. Not streaming (that I am aware of).

2) Felicity - I will admit that this show came out when I was just a few years ahead of these kids in life's path but, much like Sports Night and Aaron Sorkin  . . . if the only thing you know about JJ Abrams is Star Trek and Star Wars - you need to get back to your roots. Also . . . Keri Russell is the first skinny, flat chested woman I ever lusted for. Pretty much the last, too. It was the curls. And her beauty. Streaming on Netflix.

1) Gilmore Girls - Yes, yes, yes. You never saw it. It looked silly. It seemed absurd. What network(s) was it even on? The Gilmore Girls was the best written, most charming TV show ever. It is the only show I ever had to pause and rewind to be sure I got all the zingy jokes AND the only show (other than the one game of Monday Night Football I watched when Dennis Miller was in the booth) I ever had to look up references to make sure I got them. Hilarious show. Touching show. Cheesy in the best possible way. Watch it. Love it. You are welcome. Not streaming.

Honorable mentions to Luther and Monk - two (detective) shows I really do love and Archer - the randomest show I have ever loved and laughed so hard at. I wanted them (all three stream on Netflix and elsewhere) on the list but could not kick anything else out of the top twenty to wedge them in and I thought making a list of 23 was odd and I could not come up with two more shows to get to 25. I guess It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia would get me to 24 (I love that show). I could put Justified in there and round it out but . . . then where to put these five . . . how to juggle them against the others . . . I was going to just do 20 . . . ugh.

This is my confused brain just puking up the words at this point. Yet you are still reading. Odd.