Thursday, June 28, 2007

Top Twelve TV Shows

Ok before we start the list there are two things that need to be said. One, when talking about shows I watch, I'm talking about watching them on DVD or DVR. To me that's the only way to watch a good TV show. There's no commercials, you can watch it on your own time, and you can start from the beginning of the season one. Two, I did not include Sopranos in my list. I am sure it is a good show, but I haven't got into it yet. I'm waiting until school starts again and I have more time. Other than that I'll be interested to hear your complaints/thoughts. Without further ado...

12. Prison Break Very entertaining first season, even if it wasn’t the most believable. Its pretty much downhill after season one, because, well, its hard to write a show called Prison Break after they break out of prison.

11.
Las Vegas This one features seven characters who are all involved in running a fictitious Vegas casino. The episodes aren’t really connected and its kind of predictable, but the female characters are all hot and its pretty entertaining, even if it doesn’t make you think that much. Its ahead of the next show because there are three watchable seasons.

10. House I haven’t really gotten into this one completely yet but I liked what I’ve seen so far. I’m a sucker for good sarcasm and the main character, Dr. House, is just dripping with it. As far as realism goes, House is somewhere between E.R. and Grey’s Anatomy. Anyway, I think its worth trying to get into, so that obviously means you should check it out.

9. Rome (HBO) This is a great show if you’re into drama and/or history. As a person who had to take Roman history for two semesters I can tell you that “Rome” is a very realistic portrayal of ancient Rome even though there a few minor historical inaccuracies. The show successfully intertwines the lives of two fictional, yet realistic Roman soldiers with the already dramatic story of Julius Caesar and Octavian/Augustus. If you like history at all, check this out! The only reason its not higher is because I know it probably won’t appeal to a lot of people.

8. 24 Another interesting case here. After watching the first season I probably would have argued that this was the best show on T.V. hands down. I think Cheff and I watched the first four seasons in about two weeks. The problem with 24 is that it hasn’t adapted. After every consecutive season it becomes more apparent just how similar the plots are and how predictable it is. I read somewhere that Kiefer Sutherland is under contract for at least a few more seasons, but if this show is going to survive they to inject some life into the writing fast. It’s ranked this high because any single season by itself is outstanding. If you haven’t seen it yet, rent it, and get ready to spend multiple hours in front of the TV.

7. LOST I’m not really sure how to describe this one. It may be the most creatively written drama on TV and I was basically addicted to the first season. Then there was the second season. It seems as though the writers got ahead of themselves, letting their creativity run wild so to speak. They were opening up too many questions without resolving any of the old issue and it started to get frustrating. I stopped watching it for awhile and only started up again at the advice of some faithful followers. It didn’t disappoint and season three is as good, if not better than season one.

6. Entourage (HBO) Probably the most fun show on the list—everyone in the show is living the life we all wish we could. It’s a must see every Sunday and the only reason its not higher is because its only a half hour, and frankly, sometimes you can watch a whole episode, enjoy it, and yet not really remember anything about it.

5. Rescue Me First let me say that I love this show. It stars Denis Leary and is focused on a group of New York City firefighters just after 9/11. There’s not another show that you can even compare it to. That’s actually why it’s not higher up on the list. You can’t say its funnier than next three or a better drama than number one, but it combines drama and comedy in a unique way that makes it completely unlike any other show. It’ll definitely make you laugh and maybe even cry. You’ve got to start this one from season one…the fourth season just started on TV this month.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) Absolutely hilarious and rewatchable. For lack of anything else to say about this show besides WATCH IT, I thought this might be amusing to some (from IMDB.com) ...
In 2003, a man named Juan Catalan was arrested for a murder in California. He repeatedly professed his innocence and asked to take a lie detector test, a request that the police denied. He also had an alibi: he swore that at the time of the murder he was at Dodger Stadium with his little girl, watching LA get creamed by the Braves, but his lawyer was unable to find him in any of the Dodger Vision or FOX footage he subpoenaed. Catalan's lawyer discovered that there was another possible source of crowd footage: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" had shot at Dodger Stadium that night. Although he Catalan did not make the final cut of the show, his lawyer was able to find him and his daughter depicted in the outtakes, and ascertain from the timestamps on the tapes that he could not have been the killer. When told that his show had released a wrongfully accused man from prison and a trial that could have led to the death penalty, Larry David commented, "I tell people that I've now done one decent thing in my life, albeit inadvertently."
3. The Office Another show that is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and that I would have my DVR set to record every week if I ever actually got DVR. Interesting fact: Many of the actors who play main and supporting characters have individually written episodes. The actors who play Kelly and Ryan have written the most.

2. Arrested Development I’m kind of nervous about putting this at number two although I think it is definitely the funniest and smartest comedy I’ve seen (die hard Curb fans will probably disagree, but whatever). Some people watch a few episodes and just don’t get it. That’s why you have to take my advice on this one and start it from the beginning. The jokes build on previous episodes and sometimes are so subtle that if you watch an episode again you’ll be laughing at stuff you missed the first time. The characters are ridiculous, the writing is clever, and it never gets stale.

Side note: If you think this show is funny, the guy who plays Tobias (David Cross) does stand-up and his stuff is absolutely hilarious. You can download it to your iPod and its great for car trips.

1. The Wire (HBO) This is the best show on television and I will argue that with anyone. It is a engaging drama that both entertains and comments on important social issues that people tend to ignore (inner city drugs, education system, etc.). I am absolutely begging you to give this show a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I also thought I would link to two separate Simmons articles that talk about the show, since he does a pretty good job describing the show and why it doesn’t get as good of ratings as Sopranos, even though it is a better show. Number 17 on this one and scroll to the bottom of this one.

20 Comments:

Logan said...

I just realized as soon as I posted this that I forgot to include Weeds. Its on Showtime and its really funny but also has a kind of dark serious side. Anyway its pretty good and I would probably put it somewhere around 9ish on the list, but I dont wanna edit anything cause I'm lazy.

BigLots said...

Good list Log. I'd like to reccoment "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" also. It's a comedy on FX that starts back up in August I believe. I promise that you will laugh your ass off.

Guy said...

I'm confused-- how is Arrested Development on here when the show is finished?

Logan said...

Yeah i was just listing some recent shows that are worth watching from beginning to end, they dont have to be still running, although AD should be!

Guy said...

I see I see... great list. The only one I watch religiously is Entourage. Sounds like I might have to get into The Wire.

Guy said...

Nevermind, add Curb and The Office to the shows I watch, too.

Buzzsaw said...

It's unbelievable to me that none of you watch the Sopranos .. Rome being above the Sopranos on any ranking of TV is a joke .. maybe if Chef starts watching it it'll catch on. I'm a little surprised you didn't include South Park and Mike's right about It's always sunny in Philadelphia.
Lost might be the dumbest show in the world, and after season two it was painful to watch. I definetly don't think it should be ahead of 24 .. especially when it was nominated for over 10 Emmys last year to Lost's 0.
I love the top two picks (even though I'm not sure how Arrested development is eligible) I also like the inclusion of Las Vegas, its a fun show to watch when your bored, and you don't need to have seen it before. -- sorry that was rambling, I'm in a very bad mood today with the Hawks situation

Buzzsaw said...

BTW, I'm sure Mike will agree that Flight of the Conchords might turn into one of the funniest shows on TV .. I actually think it already might be. Please just watch the first episode on HBO onDemand ... if you don't laugh out loud I'll be shocked

Buzzsaw said...

Lastly, the acting in Prison Break is absolutley atrocious .. I watched the first season just cause the story was pretty good. I have no desire to see the rest.

Logan said...

Buzz,

About Sopranos...I know its a good show. I started to watch the first season but then it was right before finals so I didn't get that far and I just don't have the time do it right now. I'm not saying all these shows are better than it. If anything I would guess it would probably be in the top five somewhere.

I hope youre not implying that Cheff deserves all the credit for finding these shows. I was the one who made people start watching The Wire (because of Simmons) for the record.

Totally agree with you on Prison Break...good storyline in the first season, after that its garbage.

Don't give up on Lost. Second season wasn't that good, but its making a comeback. I just have something against 24 now cause the writing is so unoriginal.

I can't believe I left Park out either. I guess I'm gonna go with the "its in a category of its own" defense. I'm thinking about writing a separate article about it or something.

Buzzsaw said...

I didn't say ALL the credit, but you can't deny his (and sous chef's [brian]) influence. The crazes I'd attribute him to starting at school would be Arrested Development, Curb, Entourage, Lost, 24, and Prison Break (i think). Not to mention Weeds which didn't make the list. I'm just bitter that I would make time to watch 24 and get verbally harassed for it, then a month later people are obsessed. I obviously didn't mean the Wire, I started for the same reason as you.
All I'm saying is if Cheff buys the DVDs, there are 5 people in his room watching them for 3 weeks straight, am I wrong?? Which is fine because all of those shows deserve to be there, I'm just saying Sopranos is awesome, and doesn't get it's due within our friends. I think 'guy' is about to come around though.

Logan said...

Ok fair enough. I think I'm the only one who liked Prison Break, I just checked it out from the movie store one day. And I the first thing I'm doing when I get back to Xavier is checking out seasons 1-4 of Soprano's from the library and starting back up again. I do remember you having started 24 before us now that you mention it...props on that one.

Guy said...

I'll be joining you for the Sopranos. My five favorite movies are Godfather, Godfather Part II, The Departed, Goodfellas, and A Bronx Tale. It is a crime that I haven't been watching it.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to agree with you about the Wire. I've gotten 3 new people to watch it on DVD. I came late and went through the first 3 seasons while watching season 4. I've seen the Sopranos too, but it hasn't had the same impact as the Wire. For those about to start watching it, it is a very demanding show. You have to at least go through the first 3 to 4 episodes before things start to make sense. But the season endings are phenomenal. I think this last season of the Wire was the best.

24 really went downhill this year. I wanted the show to end after last season with his death. I think that would've been an appropriate ending and made the show spectacular. When I heard they were doing 3 more seasons and a movie, I was very skeptical of the upcoming seasons. I only saw through hour 6 of this year and than recognized all the familiar subplots.

Props for giving the office some love. You should also check out Colbert Report. I prefer it to Leno/Letterman.

Brian said...

Buzzsaw,

A. 24 and Lost
You really need to watch this most recent season of Lost. It was one of the better television seasons I've ever seen. FAR better than any season of 24.

I will never watch another season of 24. It has gone on way too long and every season has the same basic storyline. There is a terrorist that has Snukes and Jack has to do a bunch of crazy shit to stop him. There is always either a mole or they suspect there is a mole in CTU. There is always some guy on the bad side that has a conscience and ends up helping the good guys. So repetitive.

How many times has Jack repeated these lines through the first 6 seasons?
- "Thousands of people's lives are at stake."
- "You're just going to have to trust me"

Probably like 4,734 times.

If you are still entertained by this show, go rent Lost and watch those seasons. It is so much more interesting.

B. No Southpark?

Southpark is one of the smartest comedies ever written. The bad language and crude jokes are funny but I thinks it's the writer's creativity that makes sets it apart from Family Guy (Puke) and other animated comedies. They've also created some of the greatest television characters of all time.

Who can forget the classic episodes we've enjoyed so much.
- Casa Bonita
- Awesome-O
- Scott Tenorman

that list could go on forever.

C. The Wire

I have to agree 100% here. Without a doubt the best show I've ever watched. It gives the viewer an accurate portrayal of a way of life we could never understand. It really opened my eyes to a part of society I was completely unfamiliar with. It allows the viewer to live vicariously through these well-developed characters. The cinematography is great as well. All of the footage is actually shot on the streets of Baltimore and the story is loosely based on real people and events.

I guess the reason I like it so much is because it's real. It's a realistic look into life on the streets. If you don't believe it's portrayed realistically, check out this link.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/

Baltimore is just like they show it in the Wire.

If you're into the Wire and have some free time on your hands, read this article. It discusses the cycle of death in New Orleans.

http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/


One more thing: I don't really watch Nip-tuck any more but I would definitely watch that before Prison Break or even Las Vegas.

Buzzsaw said...

Yes, the Wire is awesome .. I'll always like nip/tuck just because of the alligator/ham scene .. it's awesome. Las Vegas shouldn't be compared to it since they are totally different, Las Vegas is just a diversion, nip/tuck is a better story obviously

Buzzsaw said...

I'm not sure if you edited the post or if I just missed it, but I cannot understand why you'd say that the Wire is better than the Sopranos when you haven't watched the Sopranos ... I'm getting very annoyed. I like the Wire as much as anyone, and don't deny that it's close to the Sopranos, but you can't just state that as a fact when you can't possibly compare them ... I want that part deleted.

Logan said...

I don't understand what youre saying. If you read what I wrote, I said I'm not including it on the list because I havent had a chance to watch it yet. I can't rate it if I've never watched it! And no I havent edited the post. It seems like you just want to argue with people.

Buzzsaw said...

My bad, I re-read the article and thought you said it was better than Sopranos rather than Bill Simmons saying that. I don't appreciate the attitude though, even though I was wrong.

Medicine said...

Other than that I'll be interested to hear your complaints/thoughts.