Top 50 Shows - Numbers 26 to 21

Category: By Rev/Views

Well, as I predicted no-one would give a hoot if I took a day off from writing my top 50. No. I'm not bitter, I just sound that way naturally. :P

25: The Venture Bros. (2005 - ?)

"You see Doctor Venture, I found the piece your father hid in the foundation years ago... then I thought about you in physics class. You were a daydreamer. A sassmouth! And, not infrequently, a bit of a gigglepuss! Somehow I doubt twenty years of amphetamines and failure have done anything to improve that. " - Professor Impossible

Sneaking into the top half of this list comes a show recommended to me by lj user Jaxvor. Venture Bros is a satirical take on the old 'boy adventurer' style of cartoon with a healthy dosage of 'making fun of the superhero genre' to boot. Venture Bros is adult cartooning at it's finest, it's got action, obscure humour, excellent characters and so much more all crammed into each episode.

Venture Bros. is about the Venture family, specifically Hank and Dean Venture. A pair of lads that are technically boy adventurers but are more correctly, morons. They live with their father Dr. Rusty Venture (ex-boy adventurer and rubbish scientist) and his bodyguard the ultra violent Brock Samson. There are a variety of outlandish villains who seek to see the end of Dr. Venture. But quite often they're either incompetent, pathetic or to busy screwing each other over to get the job done right.

Venture Bros is just sheer brilliance and is worth watching if you love cartoons, superheroes, Johnny Quest or are just a fan of parody humor.

imdb: 9.5 9.1

24: Dead Like Me (2003 - 2004)

"Who do I have to kill to get some attention around here!" - George

Dead Like Me was created by Ryan Fuller, who has most recently created Pushing Daisies. In some ways Dead Like Me can be seen as a blueprint for where he went with Pushing Daisies. But in my opinion DLM is the superior show. It stars Ellen Muth as a girl named George (Pushing Daisies has a girl named Chuck instead) who dies (just like Chuck) and discovers a second life beyond death for her (this is where the shows do deviate, I promise). George has become a reaper (no, not like the TV show Reaper, but they clearly cribbed notes from DLM) and it is her job to collect the souls of people about to die in unfortunate (and sometimes outlandish) accidents. George isn't too happy about this, both because she died so young and because it seems she can't even get any peace in the afterlife.

She's joined by the sassy traffic warden Roxy, the bum Mason, thrill seeker Betty, ex-actress Daisy Adair and the wonderful Mandy Patkin as Rube. The show is a essentially about depression, as almost every character in the show (apart from Betty and maybe Crystal) are suffering from depression. They may deal with it in different manners but it's clear for the viewer who knows where to look. The show is a wonderful celebration of life via the medium of death, it speaks volumes. But the most important message is, enjoy your life as you never know when it will be taken from you.

Despite being cancelled the series is returning for a straight to DVD movie, sadly Mandy Patkin isn't involved and they've ironically recast Sarah Wynter as Daisy Adair instead of Laura Harris. But I'm still looking forward to it as I love Ellen Muth.

imdb: 9.0 9.1

23: How I Met Your Mother (2005 - ?)

"Suit Up!"

Described as a love story in reverse HIMYM is the telling of how Ted Moseby came to meet his wife. In many ways it has a lot in common with friends, it's that 30 something age bracket comedy show with plenty of romance and fun. But it has the added twist of being told in retrospect, which allows for some great gags and story hooks to be used.

I've written about this show previously, so I don't feel the need to go into it with much more detail. But I do feel this is one of the best of the current batch of modern comedy shows. It's better than Two and a Half Men, or the current season of Scrubs is.

imdb: 8.9 9.2

22: Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (2000 - 2007)

"Did you get that thing I sent you?"

Spanning four seasons and 39 episodes Harvey Birdman is an exercise in quality over quantity. Taking a parodical look at what happens to cartoon characters after their series finishes we follow Birdman, who has retired from superheroing and has instead taken up working as an Attorney at Law for his old boss Phil Ken Sebben (aka Falcon 7). The show uses the backlog of old Hanna-Barbera characters as the fuel for the cases present in each episode.

The voiceover work in this show is fantastic, including amazing performances by Gary Cole as Harvey Birdman, Chris Edgerly as Peter Pottamus and Stephen Colbert as Phil Ken Sebben & Reducto (Stephen is also in Venture Bros as Proffessor Impossible and will be making another appearance in this list very shortly). The joy of this show is that each episode is under 15 mins long. Making it ideal for bite-sized watching and also jam packed with comedy moments.

imdb: 8.6 9.1

21: The Colbert Report (2005 - ?)

"Like any good newsman, I believe that if you're not scared, I'm not doing my job. " - Stephen Colbert

I promised you another appearance from Stephen Colbert (pronounced Colber) and here it is. Coming in at 21 is Stephen Colbert as well... Stephen Colbert, a parody of himself. The Colbert Report is a satirical look at current events in the vein of The Daily Show. But with a very unique spin on it, Stephen is a ridiculously right wing, god fearing, middle American republican who claims to be an independant.

Through a clever parody Stephen highlights so many of the inconsistencies and hypocritical actions of his country while sounding like he means it. It's clear that most of his opinions are ironic hyperbole or straight sarcasm, but they are delivered in such a deadpan manner that it sells the character and leaves many people unsure what bits are serious and which are not.

The show also spawned the utterly brilliant Tek Jansen

It's like The Daily Show, but better.

Just remember, Bears are soulless killing machines that are a threat to American life!

imdb: 9.2 9.1

Tomorrow I might not have time to start the top 20 as it's a busy day for me. But if I don't then I'll start it on Tuesday.


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