Top 50 Shows - Number 10

Category: By Rev/Views
There has been a little bit of a hiatus but I'm back and here's the number ten show.

Homicide: Life on the Street

Homicide is an critically acclaimed, award winning show set in the Baltimore, Maryland homicide division. It's based on the experiences of David Simon as written about in his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and is uncompromising in it's dark and gritty look at crime in America.

Homicide does show its age in the quality of film and setting; for example mobile phones are non-existant and the film grain is low definition. But in the story and character department the show is fresher than many of it's contemporary brethren and in fact fresher than a lot of modern crime drama. It's a show driven by characters and has some fantastic ones in the cast. The most famous of which would be John Munch who has appeared in no less than eleven shows including The Wire, Arrested Development, The Simpsons, Law and Order and the X-Files. But many of the others are fantastic, especially Meldrick, Bayliss and Pembleton.

Now this is where things get a little tricky, as I've only seen the first four seasons of the show so far. I'm stuck waiting for the rest to be released on DVD. So I don't know what happens later on and it's very difficult to read the various online articles without having other events spoilered. So I can't say much more except that the first four seasons have been enough to make me put this show in the number ten slot.

It's an underappreciated diamond in the rough.

IMDB: 9.1 9.1
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Top 50 Shows - Number 9

Category: By Rev/Views
Sitting pretty at the ninth position it's the highest placed Brit-com, Spaced.

Spaced (1999 - 2001)

"Skip to the end."

Even with only two seasons, this British sitcom is nothing but quality programming from one episode to the next. Written by (and starring) Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson the show follows the traditional sitcom format of 20 to 30 somethings lost in modern life. A pair of people who meet up, move in together and their experiences with their friends and the people who live in the same building as them.

But the presentation of this, the scripting, the dialog, everything in fact is just not typical. Pegg and Stevenson manage to spin perfectly normal experiences into something just a little fantastical. The situations experienced are almost all mundane at their core, going paintballing, going out clubbing, lose a dog, losing your job etc. But the way the characters experience these situations, the way they act in them is what turns it all around and makes it a remarkable viewing experience. A short segment in this show spawned Shaun of the Dead, another segment echos the future experience of Hot Fuzz. This show is directly responsable for so much in modern pop culture. Which in some ways is ironic because the show is also a homage to pop culture itself.

The cast is phenomenal, in addition to Jessica and Simon there is also Nick Frost (Shaun, Fuzz, Hyperdrive), Mark Heap (Green Wing), Michael Smiley in a memorable guest starring role as Tyres (Bleak House) and Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun, Run Fat Boy Run). Spaced is like Seinfeld, in that it is in essence a show about nothing.

Spaced is a geeky celebration of television and modern life at it's best. It's passionate about film, television, comics, games and all those little things that make up the chemistry of modern geek-life. It takes honest and fresh looks at subjects like relationships, modern theatre, war movies, escape movies, zombies and more. Even now; nearly ten years after it was first released, the show remains a classic. As fresh now as it ever was.

I am a little concerned about the American remake of this show. If it turns out like Seinfeld or The Office then it'll be an instant classic, but it could just end up sucking hard. Also it seems it has been put out without any consent or input from Pegg or Stevenson. Not a good sign...

Still, let's not end on a downer shall we? Spaced is an absolute classic, a show that should be watched by all who love comedy. While it's a shame it's so short, this is also an advantage in that it can be watched with ease. It's the best that British Comedy has produced to date.

imdb: 9.5 9.1
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Top 50 Shows - Number 8

Category: By Rev/Views
Seinfeld (1990 - 1998)

"Not that there's anything wrong with that!" - Jerry

Seinfeld is one of those comedy shows that has had a massive impact on the face of modern comedy. Seinfeld was created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David (see Curb Your Enthusiasm) and arrived in 1990 with a pilot episode that was very nearly 'it'. In this day and age it's unlikely that the show would have gotten any further than the pilot. It certainly wouldn't have managed to scrape through it's first three seasons, where it struggled to become 'known'. But in the fourth season the show was moved to a better slot, just behind "Cheers" on a Thursday night and the rest is pretty much history.

Seinfeld was unique at the time as it broke the traditional sitcom mold by providing "a show about nothing" (despite being packed with content) and characters who were pretty unpleasant. Both to strangers and each other they were frankly a horrible bunch of people. Jerry took great pleasure in other people's misery, George was a miserly, neurotic cheat, Elaine a self serving egotist and Kramer who lived in his own little world. It also bucked other trends by avoiding any hugging and teaching the principle cast absolutely no life lessons. Throughout the entire series no-one grows, no-one learns anything to make them a better person and the status quo remains constant.

Seinfeld is simply a seminal show (as are all of the shows in the top 10, of course) and it's an American comedy show that hasn't been rivaled until fairly recently. It spawned dozens of catchphrases and a lot of its dialog has sunk into modern culture.

It's hard to say exactly which season of Seinfeld is the best, it's difficult to even decide which episode is the best. But if pushed I'd settle on possibly either "The Contest" or "The Soup Nazi". The Contest in particular is notable due to it's subject matter, the contest in question being about which of the four friends can go longest without polishing the bishop or being "King of their Castle" as Jerry puts it at one point. The episode is so well written that if you're ignorant of what the subject matter actually is, you have a good chance of not actually understanding what they're having a contest about.

The show is filled with so many excellent storylines, top notch jokes, gags, word plays, pratt falls and more that it's in essence the comedy show that every other sitcom wants to be when it grows up. It's a show that has resulted in some Americans actually celebrating Festivus, it's a show that has more quotable lines per episode than just about any other show out there, it's a show that changed television history and it's a show that almost never made it.

Seinfeld stands as an example of what television can be if the executives are willing to give it a chance.

imdb: 9.4 9.2
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Top 50 Shows - Number 7

Category: By Rev/Views
I'd be suprised if anyone didn't expect to see this show on my list. It's one that appears in a lot of top tens and I feel it certainly deserves to be here. It's a show that combined fast, witty dialog, strong characters, point perfect plotting and placed it into a western. In space.

Yes, you must have guessed it by now.

7. Firefly

Firefly is Joss Whedon's finest hour and a cult classic. While it's only fourteen episodes (and a movie) long every single one of them is as close to sci-fi perfection as we've gotten so far. Firefly is set in the far future inside a somewhat dystopian setting where technology has both advanced and regressed at the same time. Essentially it's cowboys in space, but it's much more than that, telling the stories and adventures of a maverick Captain, his ship and his crew.

Firefly is iconic in every sense of the word, it's simultaniously bold, touching and funny. Able to flip from a deeply comedic moment into one that's shocking without feeling artificial. Of particular note is the decision to keep space scenes realistic by eliminating all non-radio sound in those scenes. A decision I wholeheartedly applaude as Hollywood's constant space sound nonsense just grates. The space scenes in Firefly do not lose any impact from a lack of SFX, in fact I'd go as far as to say they're stronger and more realistic as a consequence.

Leaving that point aside, Firefly stands as the greatest Sci-Fi show to date. It has everything that you'd want from a show and more. It will forever be a shame that FOX cancelled it, but at this stage that's no suprise to anyone. I'll always hold a small candle up in the hope that it will return, but I doubt it ever will. At least it's run was so short it didn't have a chance to jump the shark.

It is a must watch show for anyone, forget that it is Sci-fi and just enjoy superb storytelling with strong characters.

IMDB: 9.5 9.3

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Top 50 Shows - Number 6

Category: By Rev/Views
The Office (USA)

I should start with a nod and acceptance of the original UK version of The Office. It is superb British comedy, but the honest truth is it's not as good as the American version. Sorry Office fans, it's not. The USA version started off closely based on the UK one, the UK characters still have their USA counterparts even to this day. The original season heavily borrowed from the UK series due to time and scripting constraints as it was green lighted to come in as a replacement show partway through the year. But it's so much more than the UK one ever managed to be, it's managed to put a wonderful spin on the setting (which is Dundler-Mifflen's Scranton branch) and expanded it's own universe to incorporate more characters, plot and situations.

When you watch the first season, it is very easy to sneer and say "It's a rip-off of the UK one, they've just used the same plots!" and that's true, for the first season. But once you get outside that and into the second season (and onwards) the show becomes a very different and original beast. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott (USA's David Brent) is a very different character when compared to Ricky Gervis. While David is a pathetic weasel of a man, slimey and completely unlikable; Michael Scott is a far more complete character. He's still cringe worthy, pathetic, idiotic and well, the office clown. But there is a more vulnerable side to him, it feels like he's really trying to get it right. That he does actually care about his staff and he does want to be liked. But he just doesn't quite understand how to get it right. Steve has managed to bring a vulnerability and softness to the character that makes all the wrong things he does more understandable. He's added additional dimensions to the character that have allowed the writers to develop Michael Scott and show him not as a jerk but as a man who just doesn't understand people and society correctly.

The rest of the cast is also fantastic, but it's the other three "main" characters that make it, Rainn Wilson is superb as the part hick, wannabe action man Dwight Schrute, bringing a wonderfully pathetic level of macho to the show. He's got the attitude of a farmer, the skills of a survivor but the personality of a much weaker man. John Krasinski as Jim Halper is also fantastic, providing a wonderful "everyman" for the viewer to identify with and along with Pam he provides both many comedic and romantic moments. The way that John looks at directly at the cameras during the more outlandish moments sells them wonderfully. Last of all is of course Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly; who I've talked about before in this blog. The relationship she has with Michael, Jim, Dwight and pretty much the entire office is fantastic. Just about every man in the show (apart from Dwight) seems to find her attractive and enjoy propositioning her inappropriately.

This is not to take away anything from the supporting cast, they're all fantastic in their roles. Each of them willing to sit back when the plot doesn't really need them and enjoy what's going on. Angela, Kevin, Creed, Kelly, Ryan, Meredith, Phyllis, Andy, Oscar, Toby and the brilliant Stanley are all fantastic characters in their own right.

The Office is a must watch show in so many ways, it follows the tradition of 'cringe comedy' from Fawlty Towers by being hilariously painful to watch and tributes the style of the original UK version without being a direct rip-off. It's the best comedy show being aired on American TV right now.

IMDB: 9.4 9.2

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Top 50 Shows - Number 5

Category: By Rev/Views
Here's the start of the big ones. These are shows I will list without hesitation as my favourite shows.

First up is the highest placed cartoon and the best show done by that guy who created "The Simpsons".

5: Futurama (1999 - ? )

"Welcome to the world of tomorrow" - Terry

Futurama follows the adventures of a pizza delivery boy named Fry who falls into a cryogenic chamber and is frozen until the year 3,000. Upon exiting the tube he finds that he's escaped his dead end life and is now living in the future.

Fry is very much the everyman of the show, he's the one who experiences new events the same time as the viewer. But Fry is also dumb, he's possibly the dumbest character on television. He's certainly dumber than Homer and possibly dumber than Peter Griffin. The other characters in the show are a one-eyed woman named Leela, a foul-mouthed, kleptomaniac, beer chugging robot called Bender, a senile amoral crackpot professor (who is distantly related to Fry), a lobster like doctor, a rastafarian accountant, an wealthy intern from mars and a janitor.

Futurama is the best kind of sci-fi, it doesn't take itself too seriously but it does use very complicated science as the basis for a lot of its stories and jokes. It's a show that can be alternately hilarious and then touching. A few of the episodes are well known for actually making viewers cry. It's a show that parodies modern life by providing a vision of how mundane life in the future could be. There's a lot of fantastic stuff there, but people just take it for granted.

Futurama spans four seasons plus a movie and only really has one episode that I consider to be a bit duff ("That's Lobstertainment"). It has some of the most memorable side characters in any cartoon, especially Mom, Morbo, Zapp Braniggan and Richard Nixon. And it also follows solid continuity, so solid infact that certain events that occur in the third & fourth season are foreshadowed in the first episode and there are other points where later stories are foreshadowed. It's refreshing to see a show that's willing to set up long story arcs with hints and resolve them in a leisurely fashion.

Futurama is the best cartoon on the planet. For me there is no cartoon I'd consider higher.
imdb: 9.3 9.2
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Top 50 Shows - Number 4

Category: By Rev/Views
4. Arrested Development (2003 - 2006)

Will Arnett as George "G.O.B." Bluth II
Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth
David Cross as Tobias Funke
Tony Hale as Byron "Buster" Bluth
Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth-Funke
Alia Shawkat as Maybe Funke
Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth Sr
Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth
and Ron Howard as the Narrator

Arrested Development is the single greatest modern sitcom since, well I don't know. It's a mockumentry about a dysfunctional upper-middle class family called the Bluths. The series starts with a party celebrating George Bluth Sr's retirement from his development company and the promotion of his middle (and dependable) son Michael to the position of COE. But things go awry and the family ends up in significant trouble. Michael is forced to try and keep things going for the family, but as the members of his family are unpleasant, self-absorbed snobs who often cause problems with their own ignorance his job is far from easy.

Arrested Development has been called "the best sitcom you've never seen" and aired on Fox between 2003 and 2006. Where it was treated with the same criminally bad handling that also crushed Firefly and Futurama (amongst other shows). The show is critically acclaimed and won an Emmy amongst its many awards. But the American public just didn't want to watch the show and as Fox is ratings before content the second and third season were shortened and the series was axed.

Arrested Development is a very rare kind of comedy show, it makes extensive use of fantastic foreshadowing and callbacks to a degree that's never been seen before (more so than even Seinfeld managed). Providing a wonderful plot that feels natural. Of particular note are the events that happen to Buster Bluth in the second season, rewatching those is a great pleasure as you can see a whole level of jokes that you couldn't appreciate before.
That's one of the other spectacular things about this show, not only do they provide jokes that are funny the first time you watch the show. But there are jokes you can only get the second or third time you see it. The show is so deep in it's comedy that it becomes better with additional rewatching.

While the show was canned prematurely by Fox (a theme that occurs in much quality programming) there is light at the end of the tunnel for fans. I'm thrilled to announce that the show will be returning for a feature film in 2009. I'm hoping that it brings a whole new generation of fans to discover Arrested Development and maybe relaunches the series. But even if it doesn't I will be content to see the Bluths out for one last spin.

If you haven't seen this show, you should.

imdb: 9.7 9.2

That's a phenomenal score from IMDB, I don't think I've ever seen a higher one, but there is one other show that's tied with it and that's coming up...
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Top 50 Shows - Number 3

Category: By Rev/Views
First of "The Big Three" it's everyone's favourite serial killer!

3. Dexter (2006 - ?)

"Takes life. Seriously."

24 Episodes, renewed for a third season.

Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
Julie Benz as Rita Bennett
Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan
Erik King as Sgt. James Doakes
Lauren Vélez as Lt. Maria Laguerta
David Zayas as Angel Batista
James Remar as Harry Morgan
C.S. Lee as Vince Matuska

Dexter works for the Miami PD as a forensic blood splatter analysist geek by trade. But Dexter has another side to him, a dark secret. He's a sociopath who hunts down and kills other sociopaths. On the outside he is perfectly charming (if a little odd), living a seemingly normal life complete with a steady job and girlfriend. But it's all a mask to conceal his true nature.

Dexter is a show that challenges the perceptions of the viewer, it asks you "Is a monster who preys exclusively on his own kind acceptable?" In some ways it's almost old testament biblical as Dexter really does personify 'an eye for an eye'. Saving the lives of innocents by taking the guilty. Dexter (as portrayed by Michael C. Hall) is a charming and likable lead character he interacts in a pleasant, but often ironic way with his co-workers and his narration shows a great sense of humor about his situation.

Michael C. Hall is just outstanding as Dexter, but the performances from his co-stars (and I do mean all of them listed here) are also stupendous. The entire cast just seems to love their roles in this show and all of them play their parts to perfection. From the foul mouthed girl with a heart (Debra) through the dirty minded technician (Matuska) to the supicious ex-army sergeant (Doakes) the entire cast feels organic and alive. Even the characters without too much depth to them still fit and don't feel out of place.

It's not a show for everyone, it's graphic, violent and challenging. The average joe might find it rather uncomfortable to watch, but if you can get over the dark subject matter there is a real gem of a show here.

imdb: 9.1 9.2
(It was 9.4 for a while, but suffers from "show score envy" where fans of other shows attack a show to reduce it's score below their own prize pony.)

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Top 50 Shows - Number 2

Category: By Rev/Views
I had a really hard time working out the top two shows, I decided very quickly which ones they actually were. But I've struggled to decide which order they should be in. It's incredibly close between these two shows. I'll explain the thoughts behind my final decision tomorrow.

Here's the second best show I've ever watched.

2. The Wire (2002 - 2008)

Complete at 5 Seasons with 60 Episodes.

Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty
Wendell Pierce as 'Bunk' Moreland
Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels
Deirdre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman
Sonja Sohn as 'Kima' Greggs
Domenick Lombardozzi as 'Herc'
Seth Gilliam as Ellis Carver
Clarke Peters as Lester Freamon
Andre Royo as Bubbles
Michael K. Williams as Omar Little
Jim True-Frost as Roland 'Prez' Pryzblewski
J.D. Williams as 'Bodie' Williams
Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale
Idris Elba as Russel 'Stringer' Bell
Robert Wisdom as Howard 'Bunny' Colvin

"It's all in the game."

The Wire comes from the mind of David Simon, a name previously mentioned as the inspiration behind and one of the writers for 'Homicide: Life on the Street'. It has some things in similar, both shows are set in Baltimore, Maryland and are crime dramas. But The Wire takes a rather unique approach to the show, showing the lives of not just the cops but also the pushers, masterminds and users. This is a rather unique take on storytelling as it provides the view points of the protagonists and antagonists at the same time. The criminals the cops are chasing after become more than just 'the bad guys'. Some of them you come to appreciate and like, others you root for, some you just can't wait to see them get caught. It gives a great deal of depth to both sides of the law, giving you an insight into the why as well as the who.

The Wire is storytelling at it's finest, watching the show is like reading a classical novel, in fact Dickensian is often used to describe the show. Which is high praise indeed. The story opens when Detective Jimmy McNulty - an Irish cop with a stick up his ass and a hard on for the brass - gets irate about a major player named Avon Barksdale's acquittal from trial after the star witness retracts her testimony due to coercion. He proceeds to go behind his superior's backs and gets a judge to order up a detail to deal with this. McNulty doesn't play well with authority you see. McNulty turns out to be the rock that starts the avalance and the show rolls from there. But, it has plenty of twists, turns and suprises along the way.

The Wire is mainly about social issues in Baltimore, each season is driven by a driving topic that sets the theme. But it's the characters, dialog and their actions that really make the show so enjoyable. Every character is a fully developed being, reacting like a real person the way you'd expect them to. No other show has come so close to portaying real life, no other show has hit realism this perfectly, no other show rivals The Wire in these areas.

But, The Wire is a show that demands from it's audience. You can't sit down and watch the show without engaging in it. If you attempt to watch it passively you'll get confused, lost or possibly even angry with it. Many people fail to get past the first few episodes, which is the problem that stopped The Wire from hitting the number one spot. It's not a show that can be classed as 'light watching'. The average viewer of the show tends to be very different from the average television viewer. They can appreciate and enjoy the slower pace, they're able to understand that the show isn't going to explain everything to them and hold their hand through the plot. Instead they're going to have to understand what's going on and why themselves.

This isn't what everyone wants from a television show, but for those viewers who are willing to sit down and work at it they'll have that wonderfull moment where everything clicks, where they see the beauty and brilliance in the show, where they sit back and just suddenly go "Wow, why isn't more television like this?"

The Wire is an acquired taste for sure; but for those who get used to it, it's one of the best. Do yourself a huge favour and watch the entire first season. Don't judge the show before you've seen all of the first season, too many people do and as such they just don't get it.

It's well worth "getting". : 9.1
imdb: 9.7

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Top 50 Shows - Number 1

Category: By Rev/Views
Here it is, it's the big enchilada. The show that I feel is the best out of all the ones I've seen.

1. The Shield (2002 - 2008)

"Remember, the Team comes First" - Vic

6 Seasons aired, one final 7th seaon to come in the Autumn.

Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey
Walton Goggins as Detective Shane Vandrell
Kenny Johnson as Detective Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky
Benito Martinez as Captain David Aceveda
CCH Pounder as Detective Claudette Wyms
Catherine Dent as Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer
Jay Karnes as Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach
Michael Jace as Officer Julien Lowe
and David Rees Snell as Detective Ronnie Gardocki

Guest starring:
Glenn Close as Captain Monica Rawlings
Forest Whitaker as Lt. John Kavanaugh

The Shield first exploded onto our screens in 2002, inspired by The Rampart Scandal (a great read by itself) the show portrays the actions of a small group of corrupt policemen who work in a special detail named "The Strike Team". Through it's six seasons The Shield is a rollercoaster ride of gritty action, hard cops, dubious morals, politics, gang warfare and cop killings. This is a show which has taken the gloves off and covered it's fists in broken glass. The Shield pulls absolutely no punches and Michael Chiklis is simply phenomenal as Vic Mackey, he's easily the biggest badass on modern television.

But The Shield is not just about drugs, guns and machoism. It's also about other crimes and even family life. Detectives Claudette and Dutch are the main characters involved in the more 'normal' detective work (al la Homicide, CSI, etc) and Dutch in particular is a very sympathetic character as he's the bottom rung nerd in a station that is essentially a giant boys club. But while he's insecure in his personal life he's simpley phemomenal at detective work. Jay/Dutch's perfomance in the first season episode "Dragonchasers" is simply outstanding and worth watching even as a stand alone episode.
Vic himself has a softer side in his family life, he supports his wife and three children with a lot of caring and devotion. Also we get to follow the lives of Captain Aceveda, Officers Lowe and Sofer and many other aspects of the police station.

But there should be no mistakes made, this show is as macho as it gets. It's fast, smart, hard hitting and brilliant. Of particular note is the excellence of plotting, while it is possible to see the logical chain of events and sometimes notice upcoming plots the show is a master at twisting and turning in unexpected directions. There is an amazing amount of subtley in the show considering how brutish it appears to be at first glance.

The reason The Shield pipped The Wire to the top slot is it's accessability. While The Wire is in many aspects a superior show, The Shield is far more accessable. It's possible to dip into The Shield at any point and enjoy it without knowing what's gone on before hand. The Shield is a more traditional show with an unusual spin on the subject of police drama.

With the final season airing in October, now is the time to get into the show as even the slowest of watchers would be able to get through all 6 seasons in time for the final season. And considering how season six ended I can't wait to see what happens.

imdb: 8.2 9.1

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Top 50 Shows - Honorable mentions

Category: By Rev/Views
Before I start the list I'm going to quickly run through a few more honorable mentions/could haves and briefly explain why they didn't make it.

I've not watched the second season yet, so I don't know where the show goes after an excellent first season. But I've heard Sid is leaving, so I've lost interest somewhat.

The Dead Zone
A fantastic show that struggles in its six season, becomes brilliant again and then gets cancelled without finishing its story. Lack of resolution is all that kept this show out of the Top 50.

The 4400
The predecessor to Heroes 4400 failed to reach mainstream audiences despite it's brilliance. It was a little too sci-fi. Also it was cancelled at the same time as The Dead Zone and as such also failed to resolve it's story.

Honestly, it lost its way later on in the series. It became a victim of it's own successes. But I will watch the new movie as I'm fond of the show.

Flight of the Conchords
Funny, quirky and wierd with fantastic songs. I enjoy watching it but I don't think it's a classic... Yet.

2 Fantastic pseudo-fantasy seasons. It's let down by it's early cancellation which leaves it unresolved.

King of the Hill
I enjoy this, it's good fun. But I find it instantly forgettable after seeing it. Like the Simpsons really.

The Sopranos
I've not watched enough of it to be able to personally list it.

Heard good things, have the first season on my shelf. Haven't gotten round to watching it yet.

Criminal Minds
Excellent show, let down by the best cast member leaving (Mandy Patinkin)

Too much "crime of the week" not enough ongoing story/plot/metaplot. But it is very slick and fun.

Enjoyed it, need to get back into it.

South Park
I used to find it funny. But I no longer do. The World of Warcraft episode was brilliant, but then again I hate WOW so that helped.

Note to self: Watch this.

Men in Trees, Dirty, Sexy Money, Chuck & Mad Men
Heard good things about all of these. Need to watch.

Stargate & CSI
Both of these Franchises I just cba with.

Veronica Mars
Got canned too early, like 4400/Carnivale/Dead Zone

Buffy & Angel
Liked them, then got bored with them as they failed to evolve.

Just cannot be bothered with watching this. Not sure why.

Pushing Daisies
I really tried to like this, but I couldn't manage it. I don't know why this is, I should like it. I blame the narrator.

Justice League Unlimited
It's brilliant and would be in the top 100. But I couldn't fit it into the top 50.

I'm just fond of this show as it's a better version of the cartoon I loved when growing up.

It's fun, it's witty, it's clever. But I'm not convinced it's top 50 material.

The West Wing
On my must watch list after seeing Studio 60

Invader ZIM
This one very nearly made it on. But lack of resolution and not wanting too many cartoons in the list kept it out

Twin Peaks
I love this, but I've never managed to sit down and watch it all in order so I still don't really understand it. :D

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Top 50 Shows

Category: By Rev/Views
[Edgies continue when I can think of more random categories to use. I'm open to suggestions!]

Inspired by Empire's top 50 shows ever (brought to my attention by LJ user Jaxvor) I've decided to list the Top 50 Shows I've ever watched. My current top 50 so to speak, as it's possible others may creep in one day.

To start with I'm going to list Honorable mentions. Shows that didn't make the cut and why. Here's the first 5 honorable mentions. There is a possibility of mild spoilers.

Prison Break:
Prison Break's first season was phenomenal, I literally watched the first 9 episodes back to back and was blown away by how incredible the show was. Even after the show returned from it's break and finished the first season it was amazing. But the end of the first season struggled a little, then the second season arrived and things slid downhill. By the end of the second season Michael was locked back up inside and I tried to watch the third season but gave up early on as it was just retreding old ground and becoming a major sausage-fest. Historically Prison Break is the most misogynistic show in current TV, more so than even 24 - but season three was too much. As it's a show I turned away from it can't make the top 50, as for me - it jumped the shark.

That brings us nicely along to the second culprit of shark jumping. 24 had a phenomenal first and second season. I still love George Mason and his redemption in season 2, but by the time I got to season three things were already falling into a tired old rut. I got so fed up with things that I actually stopped watching about 4 episodes away from the end of the season and decided to read what happens from now on via wikipedia. It's less painful that way.
Additionally, I dislike Jack Bauer and find him unsympathetic. As he's the only non-disposable character in the show it's very hard to get attached to anyone or anything because 24 might just rip it away from you... Tony!

Jaxvor summed it up well "Probably one of the stupidest shows ever. It also contains some of the most awesome moments ever." Sadly I can't be bothered waiting for the awesome moments to happen.

Here's another show that jumped the shark, I adored the first season. Then immeditately hated the second season. I'm going to watch it once I know how it finishes... A bit odd I know, but I want to know if it has a good ending that makes sense before I slug my way through it again. I could go into it in more detail but basically it has the same problems the two above shows have.

Doctor Who (2005+):
I love Doctor Who, but it's not actually a good show as such. I think the main reason I can't put it in my top shows is the consistency. Doctor Who has some incredible acting talent in it, David Tennant is pushing hard to become my favourite Doctor and all of the companions so far have been most excellent. But the writing really lacks, a lot of the time it's just empty and feels like the writers had a great idea, but lost it along the way. I went through the list of episodes so far and here are the ones I enjoyed.

Fathers Day
The Empty Child
The Doctor Dances
School Reunion
The Girl in the Fireplace
Human Nature
Family of Blood

Most of these Episodes are written by Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat, if more of Doctor Who was written by these two the series would rise up and become one of the greatest, but it isn't. Too much of it is written by Russell T. "LOL DOCTOR R GOD" Davies. And the man is just not a sci-fi writer. He's a hack...

ftr, Blink is one of the best episodes of any show I've seen ever. More Mofatt please BBC, put him in charge of the show.

I freaking love the A-Team. I grew up on this stuff, it was the climax of Saturday evenings around my Grandparents house and the thing I always looked forward to watching. I have many fond memories of the entire family sat around the TV as jeeps got blown up, machine guns were fired into the air, windows, buildings and floor while men miraculously survived explosions with nothing more than dirty trousers.

But, the thing is. I know it's not a good show by critical terms. It used the same formula every week and you could almost predict the plot by drawing a set of pre-written cards out of a hat.
Still, that said. It's still immensely fun to watch!

Tune in soon for the remaining honorable mentions, maybe a DVD review of The Shield S4, some Edgies and of course... the Top 50 itself.
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Good News!

By Rev/Views
I was very happy to find out that in a rare double thumbs up the TV industry has both greenlighted a spin off from The Office and more importantly, saved Friday Night Lights from being canned.

I guess American TV isn't totally run by idiots.
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DVDs in Review #8 - The Shield: Season 3

Category: , , , By Rev/Views


Season Three is the longest of all The Shield's seasons at 15 Episodes. But, unlike many shows that have an increased episode count for a season it doesn't drop a single ball. Every episode remains as brutal, brilliant and ballsy as you'd expect from this seminal show. The action continues from the massive events of the previous season and continuity is observed closely, the long running plots of the season include dealing with the strike team's success in the previous season, a rapist who targets old women, Vic's continued domestic problems, Aceveda's political ambitions and more. Of the main characters it feels like Julien's stories takes something of a backseat in a lot of this season, but he's still present and accounted for.
There are also some incredible scenes in this season, it's one of the hardest to watch at times because of what's happening to the characters in it.



Despite being released (in the UK) several years after the first two seasons were, the packaging is a perfect match for the previous two seasons, it has it's own unique artwork and style, but overall it looks great on the shelf with the others. Consistency in style and small size are two things I value highly in DVD packaging. It looks great and matches up without being oversized, everything I could have asked for.



With Season three of The Shield, the extras have been a little better placed than the previous seasons, the deleted scenes are now located with the relevant episode. So you can watch the episode and then immediately watch the deleted scenes. Thumbs up for that change. Some of the commentaries are better than others, as always. But the single best extra is the "Making of" which is utterly brilliant and pushes it ahead of the previous two seasons.



Season three is now available for a very respectable £15, with it's additional episodes increasing the amount of action and viewing you're getting without sacrificing the quality this is nothing but good times. It works out as 572 minutes at 2.6p per minute. That's a superb deal for a superb show.



Show - 10
Packaging - 9
Extras - 9
Price - 10

Final Score: 95%

That's an incredible score, meaning this season has moved itself into the top slot by a massive margin. I'm not sure if the next three seasons can match that, but we'll see.

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