Gelbart is probably best known for his writing on M*A*S*H during its early years. The almost lyrical comedic dialogue he gave Hawkeye, Trapper, and the rest of the gang is what drew me to the show, and he influenced almost everyone who worked on the show afterwards, including FOS (Friend of Squad) Ken Levine, who was just "too devestated" to write a tribute on his blog (expect one on Monday, though).
Our list of the best shows of the '70s features many of the best shows of all time (here's looking at you, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'M*A*S*H' and 'Taxi'). Take a gander and let us know if you agree.
With finale season underway, we're taking a look back at some of television's best show-stopping moments.
Can you remember Hunnicut's final message to Hawkeye on 'M*A*S*H'? Or what happened to the 'Seinfeld' gang?
Test your knowledge with our end-all series finale quiz.
My list would include The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, The West Wing, The Andy Griffith Show, NewsRadio, Sports Night, Lost, Magnum, P.I., Kate and Allie, and Columbo. Oh, and Mad Men and 30 Rock have zoomed onto the list in the past couple of years. What's on your all-time list?
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?
But in TV land, the sisters were doin' it for themselves and finally getting respect as cops, war nurses and working moms; iconic shows like 'Hill Street Blues,' 'St. Elsewhere' and 'L.A. Law' would forever change (for the better) cop, medical and legal dramas; and no idea was too high concept to fill a primetime spot (time-travelling physicist? check; housewife-turned-CIA op? check; New York City beauty in love with a subterranean monster? check).
The bottom line: They all add up to 10 years of fine channel surfing -- and our awesome list of the 40 best series of the 1980s.
The big advantage of telling a story that way is, obviously, to get inside the head of one person, and get their insight into everything that's going on. Unfiltered, in real time. Scrubs plays with the point of view all the time, but when you stick with one long enough, it changes the feel of the story. In the first episode of season five, "My Intern's Eyes," Scrubs used the point of view of an intern, Keith, to show how awkward and frightening Sacred Heart could be. That was a great transition as J.D became an attending. We got to see J.D.'s new role, plus get a reminder of how the show began. The best of both worlds.
But still, if you haven't yet seen it, the combination of Muppet and Cylon is a marriage made in LOLheaven, and we can't let Adama and co. get away without witnessing a giant Animal enacting a nuclear holocaust across the twelve colonies. While there are plenty of mash-ups floating around YouTube, this one has most definitely stood the test of time (less than two years, that is), considering that it combines Bear McCreary and Jim Henson (which is essentially something we've been waiting for since the very moment Six blew up the planets and stuff in the BSG miniseries).
Match made in heaven? So say we all.
Everyone loves lists, and everyone has an opinion, so it's not always nice or productive to point out that another person's list might be lacking in some way. Having said that, let's talk about how this list is lacking in some way.
It's a list of the 10 best series finales of all-time. I'll get right to the point: Newhart should be on this list.
(Sun., 10PM, AMC) 2nd season premiere
See the performance that nabbed a Best Actor drama Emmy for funny guy Bryan Cranston.
He kicks off his sophomore season as Walt, the mild-mannered chemistry teacher who creates a meth lab to earn cash and secure his family's future after he's diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Walt and his former student/partner Jesse (Aaron Paul) think they may have made an error in judgment when their drug lord partner Tuco takes his violent tendencies to a new level tonight, but breaking up with a drug lord can be, well, tricky. Meanwhile, Walt's also fretting that his brother-in-law, local DEA agent Hank, is hot on his drug-cooking trail.
1. Current cast of Law & Order: I know, I know, who could replace Lenny Briscoe? No one, really. But the current pairing of Anthony Anderson and Jeremy Sisto as NYPD partners is the best the series has produced. They changed the feel of the show. Perhaps because we're still getting to know them, they are less predictable then previous tandems, and both evoke a certain hard-nosed quality that seems a bit more gritty and real. Plus, Anderson has chops as a stand-up comic, and could easily fill the wisecracker role, if need be.
However, she's had a chance to think it over and when asked again, she agreed to become a Hall of Famer, just like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby.
As I wrote previously, the TV Academy Hall of Fame will expand to include Bea Arthur, Merv Griffin, Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch), and ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel B. Burke. On December 9 in Beverly Hills, the awards will be presented.
Last week another terrific cable drama, The Shield, took its final bow in a series finale that still has fans talking. The talk is mostly about the last three minutes, which featured Vic Mackey's silent contemplation of the life he now leads after losing his friends, family and, some say, his freedom. Right before the screen went dark we saw Vic stride out of the cubicle that is now his home -- unsure of what his fate would be from now on.
Some fans of the series were unhappy with this ending, saying that there was no closure to the life that Vic had led over the last seven seasons. Some hearken the ending to the now-famous series finale of The Sopranos, which featured several seconds of nothingness before the credits rolled. This concept of not giving finality to a series finale is a new one for viewers to grasp onto. But, when you look at it further, it makes complete sense. Why should the lives of our favorite characters come to a complete ending when our own lives don't?
Rogue agents. It's been Far.Too.Long since Jack Bauer has entered our living room, and we couldn't be more gleeful about his return - both the 24 movie and the series in January. Welcome back, Jack! We missed you! Well, my son and I have! My daughter and husband don't get you, but that's ok!
Mad scientists. That crazy Walter Bishop really brightens up our Tuesday nights around here. My son goes to school on Wednesday, talks about Fringe with his buddies, then texts me back their thoughts on The Observer, the cylinders, Massive Dynamic and all the rest. Of course, Walter is the best thing about the show. We love him.
Paste has the latest list, their 40 best TV theme songs of all-time. Oh, we could talk about this for hours (and we probably will), but there are four thoughts that come immediately to mind after reading all 40 choices:
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