Top 50 Shows - Numbers 20 to 16

By Rev/Views

Well, this is it. We're into the big boy league now. My top 20 shows.

20: Top Gear - (1978 - ?)

"Aston Martin DB9, that's not a racecar, that's pornography. " - Clarkson

It's pretty much the quintessential boys toys show on television right now and it's the longest running show in this list. Top Gear is currently one of the most exciting, enjoyable and laddish/loutish shows the BBC produce. The current presenting team is nothing short of phenomenal; Richard Hammond, James May and of course Jeremy Clarkson are a superb trio that mesh together like cod and mushy peas.

The reason Top Gear works so well compared to other car shows is the gusto with which the presenters perform the various challenges. The challenges are the lifeblood of the show, without it Top Gear would just be average and uninspiring. But when you've got three men driving across Africa in road cars or racing a plane against a car, you have something truely special.

Petrol Heads, you have to love them while they're still around.

imdb: 9.6 9.2

19: Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000 - ?)

"Here's a question for "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"- what kind of an idiot is running ABC? " - Larry David

At 19 is Larry David's "other" creation, Curb Your Enthusiasm. A largely improvised show about a fictional (but very close) version of Larry David living his life as only he can manage. It's a wonderful showcase of Larry's talent and ability to turn even the most mundane of circumstance into an utter disaster. The show excels in 'painful comedy', showing a man who's trying to do right by other people but just keeps on screwing up in a fundemental way.

It's had 6 seasons now and there's not a bad episode amongst them.

imdb: 8.6 9.1

18: Frasier (1993 - 2004)

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these it might have been. " - Frasier Crane

A spin off which moved on to dwarfing the original show it came from, yes I know Cheers was a massive hit blah blah. I'm talking about in quality, Frasier took one of the semi-less outright comedic characters from Cheers, moved him to Seattle and turned him into an utter star. Frasier could be considered to be as high brow as comedy can get without being pretentious. But it is a little pretentious, that's the point.

Kelsey Grammer provides a wonderful foil for all the happenings and events in the show. But the real comedic star turn is provided by David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane. He's just fantastic, making Frasier look positively normal in comparison to his bundle of neuroses and snooty ways.

It also helps that Peri Gilpin is just completely red hot smoking as well.

imdb: 8.4 8.9

17: Fawlty Towers (1975 - 1979)

"I've been trying to get through to the speaking clock... Well, it's engaged... Well, it's been engaged for ten minutes. How is this possible? My wife isn't talking to it. " - Basil Fawlty

It has a ridiculously small amount of shows, but it just doesn't matter. Fawlty Towers is the comedy show that other comedy shows want to be when they grow up. Born out of the writing synergy between ex-Python John Cleese and Connie Booth the show has just about everything you could want from a comedy show. It's the genre of 'painful comedy' at it's most perfect and beautiful.

There is no doubt that this is the best comedy show in this list. But it doesn't take my top slot because personally I find the show frustrating and funny at the same time, this makes it hard work for me to watch. I find myself desperately wishing Basil would act differently and as such it means I don't watch the show as much as I should because it drains me.

imdb: 9.4 8.6 (wtf srsly wtf?)

16: Black Adder (1983 - 1999)

"Hello? Yes, yes, I'd like to leave a message for the head of the Flying Corps, please. That's Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Massingbird-Massingbird, VC, DFC and Bar. Message reads "Where are you you bastard". " - Captain Blackadder

Each series of Black Adder is listed by IMDB seperately for some inexplicable reason...

Black Adder is another example of classic British comedy. Now the first season of the show isn't really anything that special as far as Brit-Com goes, it's solid but not inspiring. No, it's the addition of Ben Elton to the writing team that changes the show in the second (and later) seasons into something truely wonderful. Each season is as good as the next, if not better and Black Adder Goes Forth is just, well.. It's magical.

It's a must watch.

imdb: 9.2 (Black Adder Goes Forth) 9.1


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