best tv shows
Sure, there are shows that were my favorites I'd like to see on the list, but those would be personal choices. The only problem I have is where the shows place on the list. For example, is Fraggle Rock really a better show than Spenser: For Hire, Miami Vice, and Kate and Allie (even beyond the fact that it might be an odd show to compare to the other shows in the first place)? Is Facts of Life better than MacGyver?
Another week, another list issue of Entertainment Weekly.
I'm not sure what to make of all of these lists. We do them here too, but it seems to me the more giant lists that are done the more meaningless they become. This EW issue is "The New Classics," the 1000 best TV shows, movies, books, and music of the past 25 years. Since this is a television blog, I won't get into their book, movie, and music picks (but if I can just say as a side note, they pick both Clueless and The Naked Gun before L.A. Confidential?!), but let's talk about their TV choices.
And argue about those choices in the comments, of course.
Quick, what do the following TV shows have in common: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, M*A*S*H, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson?
Answer: they're not on Empire Magazine's list of the 50 best greatest TV shows of all-time. Let the arguments begin!
I like lists as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure how useful a "100 Best" list of anything is. Twenty-five best? OK. Ten best? That's good too, because you're really picking what you think are the best. But once your lists gets into three digits, it seems more like history than opinion. I mean, what wouldn't be on the list?
Time's James Poniewozik picks the 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time (or All-TIME, as the web site cleverly puts it). Since he picked 100 shows, all the usual suspects are here. The obvious ones (The Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family, Your Show of Shows, 60 Minutes, Cheers, I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H, etc) and the not-quite-so-obvious but certainly deserving (Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Odd Couple, Friends). And it includes a few surprises too (American Idol, King of the Hill, Oprah).
If you had told me a year ago that the top three shows on my "Best of" list would be on NBC, I would have said you were crazy. Then I would have asked you how you knew this. Are you psychic? Can you see into the future? You're the devil I say, the devil!
But that's what happened. Below is my list for the 5 best shows of the year and the 5 worst, along with various odd and ends. Yeah, let me have it in the comments about what I got wrong.
Update: After a few days of thinking about it, I've changed one of my "worst" picks. I'm sure you'll see why.
5. The Backyardigans A preschoolers' show I'd watch if I didn't have kids. Yes, when you drove past my house the other day, that was me dancing along to "I love being a princess!"
4. Law & Order: Criminal Intent I thought I couldn't watch the show without Vincent D'Onofrio. But Chris Noth and Annabelle Sciora have the kind of vulnerable-yet-professional chemistry that I never dreamed possible between Chris and Sarah Jessica Parker or Annabelle and James Gandolfini.
3. Grey's Anatomy It's kooky, it's outlandish, and all the characters, I can't help but love 'em despite their annoying peccadilloes. And who knew I'd fall in love with Dr. Bailey?
2. Medium I'd watch it just for the family drama. But the mysteries are fantastic, the writing eloquent and witty, the twists always fool me until 52 past the hour.
1. The 4400 Sci fi that transports, characters that draw me in, and it's coming back in 2006. Hurray!
5. Saturday Night Live My husband still gets excited about Saturday nights. Until I remind him, honey, it's just not funny!
4. ER I'm so sad that I hate Thursdays now. I used to love Thursdays.
3. 7:30 p.m. timeslot There's nothing good on at 7:30 p.m., not even on the Food Network. I hate 7:30 p.m.
2. Sandra Lee's Semi-homemade Cooking Make it from scratch or buy it from the store. And either way, aren't we all old enough now to admit whether we can, or cannot, cook?
1. Out of Practice Stockard Channing, Henry Winkler, what have ye wrought?
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