Upon my return home, and becoming accustomed to life back in the nest, I have realized that within the past three years my need to watch television has drastically declined. It was slow at first, but now I find I rarely watch it, and if/when I do it is either because I am at someone’s house and they are watching TV, or because I’m honestly so bored I don’t know what else to do. In one of my bored states, I asked myself “Why don’t I watch TV much anymore?”. My eyes wandered over to my stack of DVDs, and I got my answer. All of my favourite shows are over, or I don’t get the channel. There are three of my favourite shows that are still creating new episodes, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered to wait for them to release the new episodes anymore. With my collection growing, I’ve been purchasing my favourite shows so I can watch them whenever I please. I suppose I still “watch TV” per se, however, I make my own schedule based upon the shows that mean the most to me. And with that, here is my list of Top 10 Favourite Television Shows of All Time, which everyone should watch because they are fucking awesome.
10. Star Trek: The Next Generation
I’m a huge fucking nerd so its no surprise that at least on Star Trek show is on my list. Sure the original show is classic and full of campy-good-fun, but this is the show I grew up on. I’ve been watching this show since I can remember – sure when I was three I had no idea what was going on, but I still watched it none-the-less. If anything, I’ve watched this show too much. This would probably be higher on the list if I could sit and watch an episode anymore, but like the Simpsons, I know all the episodes inside and out, and in that case I don’t really need to watch them. I suppose its on my list for nostalgic reasons, and the fact that it is a really great show. For anyone living under a rock or without a soul that have not seen an episode of this show, it follows the idea of “Problem of the week”, which of course (usually) resolves at the end of the episode. It’s got sci-fi, it’s got action, it’s got romance, it’s got comedy – basically it’s got everything. Watch it. Like, right now.
9. Penn and Teller’s: Bullsh!t
This is one of those HBO shows that I can’t actually watch on tv because I don’t get HBO, so I’ve been watching this on DVD. What I like about this show is that it can be quite controversial, often they touch on areas that may likely offend someone from time to time, and I kind of like that. I like challenging others, and I like how the questions they ask, and the facts the give may challenge my own beliefs and opinions. Sure, I don’t always agree with them, but I don’t have to. I enjoy hearing different sides of the story, and usually the way it’s presented is very humorous. I think for any intelligent person out there, this is a really enjoyable show to watch.
I almost didn’t count this on my top 10, but I had to consider the fact that this is one of the few shows out there that I can literally rewatch time and time again. Some of my favourite dramas (which are lower on the list) are great, but I don’t think I’d want to watch them over and over again every day – they can be too heavy. Cheers is one of the few shows out there that are still very funny even after all these years. Sometimes, but not often, there may be jokes or comments that are very dated, that are only really relevant within the time the show was aired; but aside from that, the show is about a group of friends and the humorous stories that follow them – and that’s something everyone can relate to.
7. South Park
This is one of those shows that I believe you either hate it or you love it. What I really enjoy about this show is how much it’s changed with each new season. I’ve caught a couple of first season episodes on rerun lately, and man, is it ever tame. It’s just interesting to see what was considered “edgy” around the time this show came out. First season South Park is about what Family Guy is now. But what I like about South Park above the so-called “outrageous” comedy that is Family Guy – is that South Park keeps going places that people are either afraid to go, or wouldn’t even consider going. They creators have pissed off so many countless people, and still create more and more fucked up episodes each week. And on top of that, the pace at which these episodes are pumped out amaze me – something could happen that week within the media or the news and count on South Park to have an episode about it. This show definitely isn’t for everyone, as there are episodes that are just completely fucked up and controversial (some that come to mind are: ”The China Problem”, “Scott Tenorman Must Die”, “The Return of Chef”, “Imaginationland”, and “Eat, Pray, Queef”).
A much more “family friendly” show (well, sort of – compared to South Park at least), this is really one of my top favourite cartoons ever. This show was cancelled for a while, and now that it has been brought back I’m a bit excited – I would be very excited but the new fucking episodes haven’t aired in Canada yet. I can’t fully explain why I love this show so much, especially when compared to the Simpsons. While the Simpsons have created a benchmark for all “adult” humor based cartoons, Futurama exceeds that benchmark in every possible way. The characters are extremely hilarious, and unlike some shows, I actually enjoy all the characters – from Fry, to the Professor, and hell, I even love Rusty. And the equivalant to “Meg” from Family Guy, the stereotypical character no one else really likes/pays attentions to – Dr. Zoidberg - is really funny. Good enough to carry a few of his own episode story arcs. With Family Guy and the Simpsons I can think of a number of episodes I really don’t like, and a few characters I don’t like. With Futurama, I have a very hard time thinking of one character I don’t like; even characters like Amy’s parents who are meant to be unlikable are really funny. And on top of the characters, Futrama goes further than just pursuing pure comedy – there are quite a few episodes that are emotional, and although only a few really explore deep emotions like sorrow, there are quite a few instances that kind of “tug-on-your-heartstrings”. The two really famous (or infamous if you don’t like emotional shows) is “Jurassic Bark” and “Luck of the Fryrish”. Futurama has great writing, great character development and is just overall a really enjoyable show. If you haven’t seen it, shame on you.
Yes, yes I know – pretty much half the female population in North America loves this show. And although I think this is probably the cheesiest show on my list, there’s something about it that I really love. Maybe it’s the fact that it is another one of the few shows out there with infinite re-watchability. Maybe it’s the characters – who although can be clichéd, they’re generally likeable, likeable enough I wish they were my friends from time to time. Although the writing isn’t perfect, it’s good enough for me. Something about Friends just softens my heart, and I can’t really explain anymore than that why I love this show.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This is a show I watched a bit when I was younger, and then stopped for quite a long time. It was definitely not my favourite show when I was 12, and now that I’ve rewatched it, I adore it. Though it’s not always a very “deep” show, it does have some very dark story lines, especially later within the show. Something about the campy feeling that comes with some episodes, and the other very dark episodes has a very unique mix to a show that I just adore. It’s like it gives you a few heavy emotional episodes, then lightens the mood for you. It’s like the show knows that too much at once can be bad, and like life, sometimes you need a mixture of dark and light. Or maybe I’m reading too much into my own emotional attachment to this show. The show is about a girl who fights vampires; it can be silly at times, but it has action, it has humour, and really interesting characters. And with the new (and very annoying) vampire resurgence, I think this is a show that any so-called vampire lover should watch (considering Twilight tried to rip it off). Plus, anything by Joss Whedon is at least worth a watch.
3. Arrested Development
This is by far my favourite comedy ever. If you enjoy the Office, then I know you’ll enjoy this show. A faux documentary style show that was cancelled like many other great shows. The Bluths are the dysfunctional TV family; if you don’t believe me give it a gander, and you’ll understand. It’s hard to explain why this show is great in any way other than “It’s awesome”. The show is exceedingly dry humoured, with so many “WTF” moments that you may have to rewind it and see if that actually just happened. This show becomes funnier with each new episode, as with a close friend, the show develops its own inside jokes that only faithful watchers will understand. I seriously hope they develop this into a film, because my god it will be fantastic.
I love action movies, and I love suspense. 24 delivers both, almost too much to handle some times. And albeit some of the things that happen are a bit “soap opera” like, but what good show isn’t a bit unbelievable? Don’t tell me a smoke monster is more believable than one man having 8 exceedingly terrible days. What I really like about this show is the character development. Usually there are at least five new characters within each season, with only a few recognizable cast members from previous seasons. What I like about this factor is that they have to overly develop these characters within a short frame of time, so the audience can develop a quick opinion of everyone, and start to get attached early within the season. I think with a show that is layed out in such a unique way, doing it this way makes the audience more involved within the story because they are almost forced to care (or hate) the characters early on within the season. And yes, it’s a bit “theatrical”, but it’s entertaining, and anyone who says it’s boring probably hasn’t watch the show from the beginning, or are honestly just honestly too unintelligent to try to understand it.
1. Babylon 5
I love this show so much, I would marry it. This show has everything that I love about TV. It’s got a really good story arc, it’s got characters that are well developed and deep, it’s political, it’s sci-fi, it’s action packed, it gives the audience questions and makes them wait for answers, it’s got recurring themes, and it can be very deep or very campy. Albeit maybe this show isn’t for everyone, but as far as Sci-Fi goes, I really believe this is the best written. Yes, it does have some cheesy moments, but so does every fucking Sci-Fi show out there. The graphics are cheesy compared to graphics now, but this show had a very small budget compared to other shows of the same caliber, and with what they had, they did an excellent job. The show at first gives enough to make the audience curious – just stringing them a long a little bit here and there, and once the second season hits and the larger story arc comes into play, it hooks you in. I can’t even begin to explain how attached I became to the characters the first run through of this show. And though some of the acting can be a bit campy, it’s charming in its own right. I think if anyone enjoy sci-fi, this is a show that you should watch. My recommendations – watch until the end of the 2nd season, if you don’t like it, you won’t. If you’re interested and intrigued, keep watching because it just keeps getting better (until 5th season hits, then it’s back down to season 1 good, but still really enjoying to watch).