Vox Populi Forum
I was thinking back on television shows and trying to make a list of my favorites. Bonanza was good but wouldn’t make a top ten. I really couldn’t choose just ten. The top picks, Original Star Trek or Monty Python, was easy; geek bonafide. I also enjoy Columbo (greatly); don’t think I’m alone there. So many shows that even though I could make the choice, I’d probably embarrass myself by forgetting something.
Here’s my list of Top Ten Television Shows that would not be on anyone else’s Top Ten list. I’d call this Top Ten Guilty Favorites, but these were actually well received programs and nothing truly to be guilty about. The ten listed simply would be less loved (for someone else) or wholly forgotten. Given that ten count restriction, something like Magnum PI would float upward and be shared by one of you. But the rest will probably be read with a mix of “good, but hardly best” and “really, that one?”
TV Top Ten Best NOT in another person’s Top Ten (no order)
Highlander: Only case where the TV exceeded the movie, not even talking about the sequels. Cast was better than original; plots were well thought and intelligent, from the vivisectionist in the opener to the inclusion of the watchers. Roger Daltrey as a immortal who no longer knows how to fight and hides in Churches was a nice foil. Too bad for Duncan’s apprentice, the last spawn of the immortals.
Night Flight: Better than MTV. Came on late at night; saw it in the service, while planning the destruction of the Soviets. They also packaged Dynamen long before the Power Rangers used the same public domain Japanese stock.
World at War: My introduction to history. Better than Ken Burns, even if British centric. Yes, a whole episode on Burma was a bit indulgent, but not when you consider the impact had the Japanese captured or allied with India.
Kung Fu: Now that I listed it someone will say that it makes their top ten. Liar. This was cool before cool knew it was cool. Mix of mojo and martial arts. Wish Bruce Lee made the show; he would have been better and not. Carradine had a number of understated performances in his life, this being his best.
Frontline: By far the best expose’ program, putting to end so many conspiracies and exposing all manner of social injustice. The narrator voice tone is classic (and much copied and parodied).
Married w/ Children: I laugh. When told he can’t go through life ordering dinner through a clown’s head, Al turns to Peggy and says, “make dinner.” (She laughs, too.) It’s not us at our worst; the show is anti-Cosby phoniness, the way it was originally pitched. It’s us at our best, holding on to small triumphs and snarking our way through the mundane. American Hero, everyman, Al Bundy, savior of space aliens (his feet funk is fuel).
Johnny Quest: The one cartoon I thought only I ever watched. I had to take a beating from the brothers to keep it on the channel. Sure, it’s homoerotic. Not like I understood that as a kid (or care now). I am always surprised when someone says it was their favorite cartoon as well. My wife is a fan. I still believe I’m the only one who watched it. There were no Johnny Quest kids in my 1960’s grammar school; lots of Looney Tunes or Disney-philes. For a while, I thought I imagined the whole thing or it was an early rpg solo adventure I conjured. Never saw the remake; just like Trek, don’t care. The dog was a dog, very cool, not patronizing.
Robot Chicken: This may be the only guilty pleasure on the list. The show is raunchy, small bits, great filler before going to work. I should wiki if this is the same crew who did Celebrity Deathmatch; animation seems similar in some ways. I guess it’s not.
Gilligan’s Isle: Saw them all too many times. Still fun, very clever, enjoy the music episodes. I even liked the made for TV movies as well, but miss original Ginger. TV that destroys the careers of the actors. Powerful that way. The castaways were in paradise all along and the forces of luck kept them there. Much better than that waste of time LOST.
Hee Haw: I like the cornball jokes in cornfield. I like banjo of picking and grinning. The guys wrote several new songs each week. I thought the whole was amazing, still do. I may be only talking about the first couple seasons (the ones that get replayed). When it went into dark web syndication, off broadcast, I don’t think I saw any of them. But what I did see and have seen in rerun is good fun. Won’t turn it off (like Monty Python) if I stumble on to it channel surfing. Bonus points, the ladies.
Here’s some of my actual Top Ten Television, which if it makes your list…sorry you failed the predicated discussion.
Star Trek (original), Twilight Zone, Remington Steele, I Love Lucy, Futurama…SNL – We only love one cast and one season (or not even one), but the talent pool produced from the whole is amazing. I find the sketches go too long, but nothing will ever top the Spinal Tap moment of “I need more Cowbell.” Many forget George Carlin was first host.
Looking forward to anyone asking, "It's worthy, but better than XXX?" (where XXX is not a legitimate Critic or Geek True Top Ten).
Thanks for listening; those were my favorites, not yours. Get your own brothers. Don’t want any of these to have better ratings than a channel of static. Too late, Gilligan's Isle may make the television hall of fame. But, you are not allowed to watch them (ever again). They’re mine and mine alone. I claim them, dibs.
It's worthy, but better than Mission, Impossible? -- red (posted: 3/15/2019)
Always liked Paris (played by Nimoy) -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
World at War is indeed amazing -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Are House and Hill Street too obvious for the list? -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Hillstreet? House? vs Hee Haw? (taste perhaps) -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Saw the A Team the other day -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
A-Team is a farse version of Macgyver -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
MacGuyver is pure Shite -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
House Meets the never turn off Criteria -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
Monk Meets the Never Turn Off Criteria -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
The Characters made A-Team -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
One in Three of Frontline is great ... worth the ride -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Life --- Impacted by Writer's Strike -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Life and Battlecreek -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Made me think also of Lucky -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Awake -- Worth a Repeat -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Did I see this? -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Like Fawlty Towers ... too hard to write -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
In the third Round, we select Banacek .... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
NBC Mystery Movie had several nice shows -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
McCloud grew on you .... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
Justified ... in the end it was all about the Coal Mine -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Banshee was on at the same time ... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/15/2019)
Psych is pretty special too ... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
Psych Undervalued -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Leverage and Nero Wolf -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
Throw some love out for the Closer -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
Farscape needs a spot too ... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)
First season was incredible -- red (posted: 3/16/2019)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker was great as well .... -- Iron Cuvieri (posted: 3/16/2019)