I did a couple of these Pick 6 posts a while back and never went back to them. Jessica had some good ideas for more Pick 6s in my original post including this one, favorite TV shows. Let’s get right to it!
#6 – Whose Line is it Anyway?
Not only is this show hilarious but you get to sit back in awe of the talent these guys possess for improv comedy. My favorite is Ryan Stiles (host Drew Carey said of him one time “Nobody, and I mean nobody is funnier when they’re pissed off than Ryan Stiles!”), but Colin Mochrie is fantastic, and Wayne Brady’s mix of physical talent, impressions, and humor is amazing. And there are many other talented performers besides those mainstays: Chip, Jeff, Greg, etc.
I started out watching the British version and resisted the U.S. version for a long time, mainly because I didn’t like Drew Carey. But eventually I broke down and watched it and haven’t stopped since. And Drew Carey even grew on me. The revival version is pretty good but not quite as good as the original run so I haven’t been good about keeping up with it. My favorite games on the show are Two Line Vocabulary, Questionable Impressions, Song Titles, and well pretty much everything else.
#5 – Angel
Really had to think about the order for #4 and #5…if you ask me tomorrow I might flip them.
The first of three spinoff shows, Angel headlined his own series after spending three seasons on another show that we just might see again later in this post. Although it was set in the same world as Buffy it was very different in terms of writing, tone, and message. While Buffy was more black and white in a “here are the bad guys now we smash them” sort of way, Angel was all about the shades of gray and was overall much darker.
A lot of people don’t like Season 1 of this series but I thought it was fine. Seasons 2 and 3 are the best, Season 4 is OK, and Season 5 brings about some major shifts in the story. The ending of the series was a little weak to me, but it didn’t take away from the series as a whole.
#4 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Back-to-back spinoffs! I was (and still am) a huge Next Gen fan (that’s what we call foreshadowing, kids!) so I was pretty hyped when this spinoff came out in the midst of TNG’s run. Just like Angel, while it was set in the same universe as Next Gen, it had a totally different feel in terms of tone and atmosphere. It too was a bit darker, but it was also much more of a serial show, building up huge season-spanning plots, whereas Next Gen was mostly episodic with each show standing on its own. I always said that DS9 was actually kind of a dumb idea; the whole idea behind Star Trek is exploration (“to boldly go”) so having a show on a immobile space station didn’t make sense. But they were able to make it work thanks to the great cast, interesting characters, and continuing storylines*.
* – I always thought Star Trek Voyager (which will NOT be appearing on this list), was the exact opposite: a really good idea bogged down by the most generic boring cast ever assembled and weak writing. I mean, flinging a Federation ship into the opposite corner of the galaxy was a brilliant idea; you could write whatever you wanted and not have to worry about all the established races, rules, territories, etc. Too bad the rest of the show was so terrible.
#3 – 24
Ugh, talk about tough choices, it was tough to move this below #2…if I had watched this series more recently I probably would have put it there instead.
24, my gosh what a great show. Season 1 of 24 is still the best season of TV I’ve ever watched. I remember sitting literally on the edge of the couch watching and then falling back into the couch to relax during the commercials, then right back to the edge of the seat when the show was back on. The lure is supposed to be the fact that everything takes place in real-time and each season is only one day, and while that was cool the main draw is really the action, the acting, the writing, and the characters. Jack Bauer comes up with some pretty damn clever escapes and never lets things get dull. It’s actually been a while since I’ve watched the series, I want to start it up again RIGHT NOW.
Huh, while looking up vids on YouTube I found out there is something called 24: Legacy coming out next year, a new season of 24! But IT DOESN’T STAR KEIFER SUTHERLAND/JACK BAUER! What?! How is that 24?
#2 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The thing is, all the whole vampire slaying, supernatural, demons and monsters stuff isn’t really important. This show would be just as good without all that stuff (see the honorable mentions!). What made this show so great was the incredibly sharp writing, the fantastic ensemble cast, the humor, and…well OK the fighting was a part of it too 🙂
Sometimes I put 24 above Buffy because it ran for 8 seasons compared to Buffy’s 5, but they’re both incredible. Plus I recently rewatched this series, so it gets the nod :p That series finale…what a way to end a show. There are really only a couple bad episodes during the whole 5 year run, which is impressive. I really can’t even pick a favorite character because they were all so great and added to the show in their own way.
#1 – Star Trek: The Next Generation
I was never a fan of ToS (the original series) so when Next Gen came out I wasn’t too excited about it. But then I watched an episode and I was hooked. I’ve watched this series a lot of times and it never gets old. The thing I love about the series is Roddenberry’s vision; it’s not just about sci-fi tech, cool gadgets, and running around in space. It’s about humankind actualizing its full potential and becoming all that we can be. It’s about reaching for the stars in a figurative sense, not just the literal one. It’s also about a certain moral philosophy, about doing the right thing in a challenging situation.
And of course it’s also about the characters. Picard, Geordi, Data, Worf, Tasha. Great acting and great characters all around. Well, maybe not ALL around but mostly :p
It’s been my favorite show since it was on the air and I imagine it always will be. Engage!
Whew, there you have it! That ended up wayyyyyy longer than I thought it would be, thanks for making it all the way through if you did!
A couple honorable mentions:
- Veronica Mars – Oh man it hurts to leave this show off. It’s really Buffy without the supernatural stuff. Same sharp writing, same perky blond SoCal cheerleader main character, same geeky computer genius best friend, same brooding ex-boyfriend…Season 1 of VM was one of the best seasons of TV ever, but having only three total seasons really hurts this fine show.
- Friends – Best sitcom ever by a zillion miles, but I just can’t bump anything else off the list for it.
What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!