Yes, ever. This will be completely biased. Likely head scratching at times. Anyway, here are my top ten tv shows I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the years.
My sister and I would watch this every Saturday morning. The first season was fun. The following seasons…frightening. Megabyte whaling on Bob. Hexadecimal. Holy crap. A generation of children (at least those with taste) traumatized. And then there was the whole Enzo grows up thing in later seasons that added some new cool characters. If nothing else, the musical that ended the 3rd season was awesome.
9. Space Above and Beyond
I was lucky enough to see this at a young age in real time. What an awesome show. Some of my favorite tv episodes of all time were from here (“Sugar” and “Who Monitors the Birds” and “The Angriest Angel). It was BSG before there was BSG. I loved all of the characters, the pure old school scifi fun, and remember that episode that was all underground? Yeah. And I was ok with the ending. And that old argument of “which is better, S:AAB or B5?” S:AAB was concentrated goodness. I’d rather have one year of awesome than seasons and seasons of waiting around for it.
What can I say? Dexter is everyone’s favorite serial killer. I have to admit I mostly keep hands off of Dexter himself. I watch his reactions with an interest, but I feel like as soon as I try to pass judgment on him something would be lost. Instead I love his sister and friends and lion and cubs relationship he can manage with them. He is a killer who doesn’t have the feelings that we can have, but he has something going on there that he makes work the best he can. Also, the opening sequence is almost more frightening than the show.
I ran across this right after college and out of work. It was a perfect fit. I find it completely hilarious. Just look up some clips online (the gun battles, A-Team club scene, or phantom menace). There is just the right amount of lost youth mixed with frustrated artist (cartoonist, writer, 1980s expresionist, romantic, territorial army…), and general geekdom. When Tim keeps drowning Lara Croft as an expression of his depression…awesome. And that time Tim takes drugs and thinks everyone has turned into zombies. Or that time Daisy is high and yells “girl power” at her interview at the fashion magazine. Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits…!
Pop in any episode any time of the day and I’ll have to sit and watch it out. If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only watch one series this would probably be it (including the movies). I love all of the celebrity heads that guest star. The Star Trek episode was priceless. And yeah, I cried during that episode about the dog. My favorite is the one where Fry spends all of his money on coffee. I love all of the characters, even Zoidberg. I love the romance between Fry and Leela, but it is just one of many things in the show I like. Which is a sign of a good show. If I am only in it for the relationship the show usually isn’t that good.
My favorite anime ever. I do love some other anime series…RahXephon, Ergo Proxy, KareKano, Samurai Champloo, Bleach to name a few, but Naruto has stayed good for an extended period of time and those shows either only ran one series or went to blah like Bleach has. It has a very large universe, long cast of characters, multi-generational, yet for all of that it feels like each has gotten their due, a story of their own…in that way it is a show a lot like DS9. Now with Shippuden in full force and the kids are older and the risks are even bigger…awesome stuff. It is the anti-Harry Potter and I love it. Naruto isn’t a whiny little bitch, doesn’t feel sorry for himself, and he sees good in everyone. And he doesn’t give up on his standoffish best friend who has gone to the dark side.
This was my Trek. I remember watching the first episode of TNG and onward as it aired, but that was my parent’s show more than mine. I remember hearing that O’Brien was going to be leaving the Enterprise and go to a new station/show and was a little worried at first, but of course I tuned in. It was love at first sight. Finally, a Trek for my generation, my ideologies, my battles. Yeah, it is the black sheep of the trek family, but I’m a little bit of a black sheep myself. I think the best part about DS9 is that by the time it ended I felt every character got their due, every thread was wrapped up to satisfaction, and that I could go back and watch it with no regrets or misgivings (looking at you X-Files and your horrible final seasons).
Not the stodgy Rome from the history books and not for the faint of heart. It is HBO after all. Actually, real Rome was pretty wild, but costume dramas from the 1950s have altered reality for a lot of regular people. This Rome follows two Roman soldiers during some of the most volatile years of the state with Caesar, Anthony, Brutus, Cleopatra, and Octavian. The show balances the life of the working man with the life of the elite very nicely. A lot of it feels like an account of all the little and great atrocities of the time. Some people are just trying to live their lives while others are battling over pillow cushions and wine, not caring who they hurt along the way. I am also ok with how this one ended. I’ve even heard there might be a big screen version coming out soon with the two lead men returning. I’ll be lining up for that one.
2. Band of Brothers
I put off watching this for a while. I am not sure why. My friends online would frequently use icons of the show and they all looked pretty. I think I became a fan of NBC’s show LIFE first and saw that the lead man from that (Damian Lewis) was in Band of Brothers along with pretty much any worthwhile male actor of today. Only it was from a while back and they were all little boys still. I mainlined this one after watching the first episode and knew it was love. I watched a lot of WW2 movies from past eras, refused to watch blockbusters like Saving Private Ryan, and while I watch stuff like Jar Head and Hurt Locker I don’t really connect with any of them. This I connected with. I also loved the documentaries of real people. These were ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They weren’t perfect people, but they were there and doing what needed to be done while trying to keep each other alive.
1. Doctor Who
What can I say. I grew up on this. My baby book says one of my first words was “doctor” (also “book” and probably “cookie”). It is really hard to tell the uninitiated why green, bubble wrap monsters are cool, but they are. You are just going to have to trust me on this. When I was little I loved it as if if were real. When I was a teen I loved it because it was funny, retro and mine. Now I enjoy the nostalgia, set design, storytelling, actors of course, tiny budget, epic-ness, and balls-out craziness sometimes. And I like the new series too for the most part. Mostly series 1 and anything by Moffat, but I can’t say I’m not enjoying it being in the spotlight after so many years being isolated in my adoration of it.
Honorable mention: LOST (need to see how it ends first), Carnivale, Damages, Deadwood, Mad Men, Alias (first few seasons), Life, Battlestar Galactica, Touching Evil, and Wire in the Blood