Favourite TV series

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
4,448
Location
Huon Valley, Tasmania
Website
www.redhill.net.au
Essentially, I don't watch TV. But dimly remembered from back before I had a life (well, about three lives actually, but I'm trying to squeze them into one) these are the first ten things I remember watching at least semi-regularly.

RULEZ: Must be a series not a oncer. I've added hints for the ones that I don't expect everyone to know.

1: Fawlty Towers
2: Rumpole
3: Minder
4: Monty Python's Flying Circus
5: Get Smart
6: The Young Ones
7: The Gillies Report (Austrralian, 1990 or so)
8: Batman (1960s)
9: Hazel (English detective series, about 1980 or so)
10: ....... Can't think of a 10
 

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
4,908
Location
Somewhere in time.
I'm not much of a TV watcher either; in the last 10 years, I've averaged a few hours a year. Before that, I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Gen whenever I could. Same with X-Files till they got too paranoid. I used to enjoy Matlock and Columbo once in a while.

I got hooked on a show that was cancelled after a few episodes; I think it was called "Switchblade". An ordinary gal morphs into a supergal in times of crisis (she sprouts a sword as well). Was quite interesting. Maybe Merc will remember what I'm talking about.

I used to watch quite a bit of public television at one time. Programs like Nova, Frontline, etc.

My daughter is the main user (1 hour a day) of our sole TV, a 20" Sony purchased in 1986!
 

Fushigi

Storage Is My Life
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Messages
2,890
Location
Illinois, USA
mubs said:
I got hooked on a show that was cancelled after a few episodes; I think it was called "Switchblade". An ordinary gal morphs into a supergal in times of crisis (she sprouts a sword as well). Was quite interesting. Maybe Merc will remember what I'm talking about.
You had 1 too many letters in the name. Witchblade. Based on a comic book series (or other source material; I know the comics pre-date the show).
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,786
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
#1 - #3 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly
#4 - Futurama
#5 - Cracker (British version)
#6 - Nova
#7 - The Shield
#8 - Carnivale
#9 - The Sopranos
#10 - Deadwood
Honorable Mention: Millenium, Batman: the Animated Series, X-Files, The Simpsons, Monty Python's Flying Circus

Starting at the top, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" sounds like it should be catastrophically lame. I thought so every time I heard about it. Until I watched an episode. Turns out, it's well-written as a drama and as a comedy, really like nothing else there is.
Angel was a spin-off of Buffy. Less with the coming-of-age, more with the action, but still great entertainment.
Firefly was cancelled far, far too soon, but it works very well, with some great and memorable characters and, again, a concept that's a little bit outside typical science fiction.
All three shows were created by Joss Whedon. All three have well-written dialogue and true-to-life characters who develop over single episodes and multiple seasons. Which one I like best at any particular time depends on which one I've seen most recently.

Futurama managed to be funny, smart and irreverent throughout its run - sorta like the best years of "the Simpsons". I loved how the writers would throw in random, working science (e.g. see the equations on that piece of paper? They work out.) in the middle of whatever was going on. Futurama always made me laugh. Lesser animated comedy programs cannot do that.

Cracker is something I found on DVD. It stars Robbie Coltrane, who in the USA is probably best known as Haggrid in the Harry Potter movies. But in Cracker, he's a degenerate gambler, an unrepentant drunk and a slovenly fat guy. And a first rate psychologist who, bored with his teaching job and in need of extra cash, takes up criminal investigation. Robbie Coltrane is the complete opposite of a Hollywood leading man, and for me that's big part of the charm.

Nova is a science documentary program, the first one I can remember seeing. It's always very interesting and enjoyable, and is a compelling argument in favor of public broadcasting in the USA.

The Shield is an intense police drama. In the US it's shown on a cable channel, and therefore shown with less censorship than it might otherwise have. Again, there's strength in both writing and characterization, which is not surprising given that the series creator used to work for Joss Whedon.

Carnivale is very difficult to properly describe. It's a period drama, set in the dust-bowl western USA of the 1930s. Its pacing might be called slow or almost glacial, but there's a heightened sense of mystery and weirdness that shows like the X-files were never able to maintain. It also has some of the coolest scoring I've ever heard on a TV show. Carnivale was cancelled after only two seasons, and the ending was sadly rushed. I hope it'll be back in a different form someday.

The Sopranos. What's not to love? It's a family drama. It's a crime story. It's an ongoing tragedy. Sometimes there are naked women (yay!). "The Godfather" might be every mobster's fantasy, but the Sopranos is apparently so close to reality that a couple of real-life New Jersey gangster types were caught discussing whether or not the Sopranos were based on THEM.

Finally, Deadwood. I didn't really see myself enjoying a western. This is a show that's all about the taciturn walking contradiction that is Sheriff Bullock, and Al Swearingen, with a shakespearean command of the foul-mouthed soliloquy, he may very well represent the best-written character on any television show currently being broadcast.

It shouldn't be too surprising that all of the last three shows are HBO products. HBO, it seems, makes its business by not shoveling the same shit as US broadcast TV networks.
 

Buck

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
4,514
Location
Blurry.
Website
www.hlmcompany.com
Looking back over the past few decades, these were and are a few of my favourite Television Series' (in no particular order).

1. Waiting For God (English comedy)
2. Keeping Up Appearances (English comedy)
3. Six Million Dollar Man
4. Carol Burnett Show
5. Dukes of Hazard (I don't want to see the movie)
6. Wild Kingdom (the original with Marlin Perkins)
7. Adam 12
8. Cheers
9. Magnum P.I.
10. Simon and Simon
11. Top Gear
12. Almost anything on the Food Network :D
 

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
4,908
Location
Somewhere in time.
Fushigi said:
You had 1 too many letters in the name. Witchblade. Based on a comic book series (or other source material; I know the comics pre-date the show).
Yup, that's the one, thanks Fushigi. I only watched 2 or 3 edpisodes, then I think it got canceled. I didn't even know its broadcast schedule; just found it by luck on those few rare instances when I happened to veg out in front of the TV and was flipping channels.
 

Will Rickards

Storage Is My Life
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Messages
2,002
Location
Here
Website
willrickards.net
Yeah witchblade was on TNT for only a little while.
I think there was at least two seasons.
I watched the first and one a few of the second.

I tivo quite a few shows. Can't remember them all.
The show I miss is called 'Dead Like Me'.
It was on showtime but they stopped making them and then I stopped getting showtime.
 

e_dawg

Storage Freak
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,903
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
Here are my current faves that I...

Watch regularly:

1. 24
2. Alias
3. American Idol
4. Rock Star: INXS

Sometimes:

1. House
2. Gilmore Girls
3. ER

Occasionally:

1. Law & Order
2. The Apprentice
3. Hockey Night in Canada

Rarely Get to See:

1. CSI
2. Lost
3. Sopranos
4. West Wing
5. Everybody Hates Chris
 

e_dawg

Storage Freak
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,903
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
E-Ring also has potential from the couple episodes I saw so far...

I forgot to mention...

The Occasional Guilty Pleasure:

1. The OC
2. One Tree Hill
 

Bozo

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
4,395
Location
Twilight Zone
Not in any particular order

Howdy Dudy
Kucla, Fran & Ollie
Soupy Sales
Bonanza
Gunsmoke
I Love Lucy
Star Trek
Bewitched


Bozo :mrgrn:
 

Adcadet

Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
1,861
Location
44.8, -91.5
Here's my list:

1. PBS Frontline (see link above)
2. Scrubs (earlier seasons were better, and yes, this is lame given my choice of a profession)
3. Law & Order (original > Criminal Intent > trial by jury >SVU)
4. Sopranos (for now, just watching season 1)
5. ER (it's really gone downhill, and if it started today new I would just swear at it from across the room like I do with House)
6. Gray's Anatomy

Oh, and from my semi-medical perspective (54% through med school, but who's counting), by far the most medically accurate show of those I mention above is Scrubs, as they tend not to get bogged down in medical mumbo-jumbo and screw it up. ER tries to throw a lot of impressive medicine around, and they frequently get it wrong (I've even had a renal lecturer that referenced the previous night's ER episode and why it was wrong). Gray's Anatomy isn't horrible, since they don't dive too deep into the medicine, but the life of the interns is clearly in gross violation of the workhour restrictions. Oh, and every patient in the whole hospital is admitted to the surgery service. They had a patient admitted for seizures, and went straight to the surgeons - luckily for her she did end up having a surgical cause of seizures.

Oh, House is just plain ridiculous. Apparently the only docs who diagnose are in the Dept. of Diagnostics (or whatever), and Dr. House's fellows (I think they're supposed to be fellows, as in post-residency) do everything from admit patients, run lab test, operate MRIs, do surgery, and search patient's homes.
 

LiamC

Storage Is My Life
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
2,016
Location
Canberra
It would be easier to iterate what I hate, though longer :eekers:

Off the top of my head, the series that stick in my mind, in no particular order are:

Callan,
Early series of X-files
Seasons 2-4 of Babylon 5
Night Stalker
First five or six seasons of Law & Order
Late Melrose Place--go figure
The Glass House--Aussie comedy/current affairs--looks at current affairs and three comics (plus guests) take the piss out of everything.

and for the kiddy in me
Captain Scarlet
My avatar
60's/70's dub of Kimba--the "new" dub is lame

Undecided
Battlestar--very patchy writing, some episodes are great, and some are lame
House--adcadet has smashed it, but leaving the medicine aside, a couple of episodes I found very witty--the scathing comments in particular. Haven't watched all episodes, but some have been good, whilst others miss the mark.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,932
Location
Brisbane, Oz
Not necessarily in order of preference, although I think the first is special.
  • The Avengers (with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel). Saw this 1960's series on cable a couple of years ago and was just blown away by the rapier wit. The coolest show ever. Everyone associated with the copycat movie of recent years should be horse-whipped.
  • Star Trek - The Next Generation (mainly the episodes centered around Data).
  • Dr Who (2005). Easily the best TV series this year. The whole family eagerly gathered around to see this each week - which is extraordinary.
  • Black Books. Erratic but quite brilliant comedy.
  • American Gothic.
  • Carnavale.
  • Total Recall 2070. Incredibly underrated series with flawed characters and a compelling view of the future.
  • I'd agree with early episodes of the X-Files, before they turned to crap.
  • Aunty Jack. A legendary Aussie series that IMO rivalled its contemporary, Monty Python's Flying Circus. I'll also give points to Norman Gunston (who originated on that show) for inventing the fake interview and a few other tricks.
  • Fawlty Towers. The car thrashing used to be my favorite scene.
  • Callan. Classic British fare where all the characters are horribly flawed and the good guys never win. Also, very early episodes of The Bill.
  • I thought Night Stalker was pretty cool too, but it looked dated when I caught a rerun some time ago.
  • House is the current family favorite. It's far from perfect, and as Adcadet points out, not realistic, but it is very entertaining (thanks to the incredibly talented Hugh Laurie and great dialogue).
I'm sure I'll think of others tomorrow, as well as regretting some I included.
 

Stereodude

Not really a
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
10,865
Location
Michigan
I'd probably go with the following in no particular order

X-Files
ST: TNG
ST: DS9 (later seasons)
Simpsons
Law & Order (original only)
CSI (LV only)
House

I have a special place in my heart for the Magnum PI, A-team, and Airwolf reruns I watched when I was younger too.
 

Bung

What is this storage?
Joined
Feb 13, 2004
Messages
18
Adcadet, if you like Scrubs try Green Wing if you get BBC repeats. Has Tamsin Greig (Black Books) and almost no effort to be medically correct.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
To me, these are Great. They stand out from the crowd.

1. Stargate SG-1
2. The Andy Giffith Show
3. Dr. Who
4. The Avengers
5. Scientific Americian Frontiers
6. Mission Impossible
7. Star Trek TNG
8. The Carol Bernett Show
9. Mash
10. The Waltons
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,548
Location
USA
Mercutio said:
Has anyone managed to catch "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central?
Why is the only decent news on TV coming from the comedy channel?

I saw it this past Wednesday for the first time while I was visiting my buddy in Rhode Island. It wasn't that good. The jokes were lame. Other episodes might be funny, but the one last Wednesday was bad.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,058
Location
Flushing, New York
Anyone else here watch Meerkat Manor? It's basically live action footage of wild meerkats with commentary. The action is totally unscripted yet it reads like a soap opera. I've been hooked since late summer. The meerkats are also quite a bit cuter than most human actors as well. ;)
 

CityK

Storage Freak Apprentice
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
1,719
Anyone else here watch Meerkat Manor? It's basically live action footage of wild meerkats with commentary. The action is totally unscripted yet it reads like a soap opera. I've been hooked since late summer. The meerkats are also quite a bit cuter than most human actors as well. ;)
No, but it looks and sounds interesting .... hope the commentary isn't supplied by "celebrity" actors
 

Sol

Storage is cool
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Messages
960
Location
Cardiff (Wales)
I find it kind of hard to keep track of what I'm watching when there is nothing on at the moment but I guess some of my favorites:

Buffy/Angel/Firefly - Basically anything from Joss Whedon is going to be really well made, Firefly would have to be my favorite though.

Babylon 5 - The first time I saw this series I hated it, the acting wasn't the best (although it improved vastly) the scripts weren't exactly Joss Whedon standards and the SFX looked a little dated on release, but the plot line, written to be contiguous and deeply interwoven across 5 seasons before filming began, makes it my benchmark for plot development.

Dead Like Me - The first season was hysterical, the second season was better... The lack of a third a bitter disappointment.

Deadwood - It's really hard to say why this show is so good, it just is.

The O.C - Vacuous soap written nearly as well as a Joss Whedon series...

Robot Chicken - Fairly childish show made by Seth Green and some of his friends mostly using action figure toys from the 80s. Regularly vulgar but often hilarious.

The 4400 - Sci-fi, started like the X-Files, getting to be like the XMen...

Andromeda - Sci-Fi with Kevin Sorbo, promised to be Hercules in space but ended up being something much better. Also distinguishes itself with a constant stream of hot female cast members and guests, almost all of whom can actually act quite well.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,786
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
"Heroes" is another show worthy of consideration. It's people with superpowers in a nifty dramatic series that's played straight, rather than as schlocky Science fiction. Kind of like the early episodes of the X-Files.

Also, Battlestar Galactica deserves a mention or twenty in this thread. Completely forget the show with the weird mormon overtones and Lorne Green; everyone I've shown the mini-series (sometimes whole classrooms at a time!) has wanted to watch more. Hell, my mom likes BSG.

I really do want to sit down and watch Babylon 5 some day, but the early episodes are pretty "meh" to me.

I can't believe "Robot Chicken" got a mention before "Venture Bros." or "Boondocks", either.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,058
Location
Flushing, New York
No, but it looks and sounds interesting .... hope the commentary isn't supplied by "celebrity" actors
Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings does the commentary in the US. Yes, he's a celebrity but I think he does a decent job of it. Thank goodness they didn't use Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson or Paris Hilton, to name a few people I wish would just permanently disappear to the far side of the moon.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,548
Location
USA
I wouldn't even want to litter the moon with them...because when the earth dries up, they'll be the only thing to show for man-kind and that's pretty lousy. Although if Jessica wouldn't speak...she's not all that bad. Her sister could definitely go and I wouldn't be too sad.
 

i

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Messages
1,080
5: Get Smart

Would you believe ... the original Get Smart is back?

It actually happened. They released the full Get Smart series on DVD!

Apparently the release date was last month (November 15th, 2006 to be exact). And for whatever reason, Time-Life is the company that is offering it. The set includes all 138 episodes, 9+ hours of bonus material, and is supposedly very well done.

It's too bad Don Adams didn't live long enough to see it re-released. Missed it by that much!

(Forgive that quote ... I couldn't resist. It's really sad he wasn't around to see the re-release.)

I can't believe it's taken this long for the series to be released on DVD!!!

Ironically it's back-ordered until early this January. The good news is that Time-Life is giving a 10% discount as a result. My total will come to about $206 with tax and shipping ... and it'll be worth it.
 

P5-133XL

Xmas '97
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
Andromeda - Sci-Fi with Kevin Sorbo, promised to be Hercules in space but ended up being something much better. Also distinguishes itself with a constant stream of hot female cast members and guests, almost all of whom can actually act quite well.
Andromeda? I actually liked it at the start but but once the cast went through the "Route of Ages" it went far far away from good. The plot lines started becoming unintelligible...

Babylon 5 - The first time I saw this series I hated it, the acting wasn't the best (although it improved vastly) the scripts weren't exactly Joss Whedon standards and the SFX looked a little dated on release, but the plot line, written to be contiguous and deeply interwoven across 5 seasons before filming began, makes it my benchmark for plot development

Now, I really liked Babylon 5. It's plot lines produced a good SciFi soap opera. Unlike most of its genre, the episodes are much better if watched in sequence, otherwise you'll miss much of what's going on.
 

Sol

Storage is cool
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Messages
960
Location
Cardiff (Wales)
P5-133XL said:
Andromeda? I actually liked it at the start but but once the cast went through the "Route of Ages" it went far far away from good. The plot lines started becoming unintelligible...

Quite a lot of people didn't like the last season of Andromeda for much the same reason, I thought it was pretty much the best of them, they completely changed the plot and altered most of the characters personalities in this single event in a believable way (Well believable in terms of the characters, it is sci-fi) and then went on to prove that they were still basically the same characters with the same motivations. It was a far cry from many sci-fi/fantasy shows which leave me complaining that a particular character just wouldn't do something they had to make them do for the plot to work and showed an understanding of their own characters that is rare even in a lot of drama shows.

Of course you did have to be happy for the conclusion of the last four seasons plot lines to be little more than a footnote, which was a bit annoying, but I think it was worth it.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
My favourite at the moment is Dr. House, and my wife loves Lost. Don't have much time to watch TV at the moment, junior is keeping us busy :).

Merry Christmas everyone!
 

paugie

Storage is cool
Joined
Dec 13, 2003
Messages
702
Location
Bulacan, Philippines
I am liking House M.D., too

Went through The Practice. It understandably went downhill as it aged, but I am thinking I still like it more than Boston Legal.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
Heroes and Top Gear are the only shows I watch with regularity. Though the GF makes me watch Sex and the City, and I make her watch Good Eats.
 
Top