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  1. #1
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Default Your top 5 tv series all time

    5 maximum, as the title says (don't be a jackass), but you can include a few honorable mentions. Explain, if possible (you don't have to). Like, what made it good, which seasons were the best, etc.
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    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Breaking Bad (pretty much all the seasons were good)

    Prison Break (up to season 3. In season 4, the characters couldn't stop talking about 'scylla'. The whole fucking season. Got very repetitive, and I felt like punching them all.)

    Misfits (up to season 2, it was absolutely awesome. Season 3 was fairly good, though it wasn't the same thing without Nathan. His replacement of sorts (Rudy) kinda sucks. From season 4 on, it is pure shit - all the interesting characters left.)

    Spartacus (season 1 was the very best, with Andy as Spartacus {he died of cancer and was replaced in season 2}. Got worse after that, but I was too hooked to care.)

    Being Erica (this show has increased my emotional intelligence a lot, and it was pretty entertaining. First 2 seasons were the best. 3rd season was 'good'. 4th season was kinda messed up because the show was forced to end sooner than planned due to low audience.)
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  3. #3
    To here knows when... Odi et Amo's Avatar
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    1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Brilliant characters (all of them), scintillating development, genius writing (it really is funny as hell), smart and yet soulful and never more than 2 episodes from breaking your heart or blowing your mind, or, sometimes, both. Season 2 moves me more than I thought was possible...Becoming is my favorite episode of anything ever. And this monologue -

    “Passion. It is born, and though uninvited, unwelcome, unwanted...like a cancer it takes root. It festers, it bleeds, it scabs...only to rupture and bleed anew. It grows, it thrives, until it consumes. It lives, so it must die. It lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting, and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir-open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us, guides us, some to despair. It drives others to murder and others to madness. Passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. Passion is the source of hope and the cause of despair. It is the source of life and the cause of death. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace...but we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead.”

    2) Mad Men
    Brilliant show, for so many reasons, but, more than anything, it's her because of the memories I have of binge-watching it with my brother and my friends. This quote from a wonderful article about the show sums it up better than I ever can...
    "Mad Men won’t tell us. It’s anti-theory. It’s about human behavior observed in the moment. It doesn’t explain. It observes. It’s not about the period, it’s about the question mark."

    3) Babylon 5
    Some of the acting is kinda craptastic, and the CGI is most definitely dated, and it took a season or so to get on its feet, and all of the actors are dying off early, but it broke ground as a telenovel, rewards the patient with its depth and universe, exudes so much atmosphere & soul, and is undeniably lovable and at moments utterly brilliant. The three season run from 2 to 4 is mostly just class. Londo and G'Kar, inexorably linked, are spellbinding and a masterclass in how to build up and tear down characters.

    4) 24
    Mostly the same reason as Mad Men - the memories. And the miracle, Jack Bauer. Season 3 is my favorite, with its adventure-like mirage dissipating as it grows more desperate and more personal.

    5) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Pitch black.
    Solitude
    Comes just as it goes
    Goes as just its umbra
    Comes


    “Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
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  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default My Top Five

    1. Breaking Bad. All seasons were solid, but I think things got interesting at the end of Season 2 (with the Jane/Walt/Jesse triangle), and just proceeded to get really crazy. We actually did watch a guy with a few lurking weaknesses, when put into a complex and stressful situation, eventually "break bad," as gradual as the frog in the slowly boiling water who doesn't realize how bad things are until he gets there. Some of the bad guys were good, some of the good guys were bad; and everyone was actually some kind of "mix." It is one of the few series that I've seen where season finales/cliffhangers actually were cliffhangers and were legitimately dealt with.

    I felt like the second half of season 5 meandered a bit, but the last three episodes of the series were some of the best TV I've ever seen. It's a credit to the writers, the actors, and the directors.

    Best season(s): Pretty much all of them, although Seasons 3-4 really had the series locked in, and Season 5 was more the resolution of the entire show winding down.


    2. Lost. Had some of the most interesting characters; introduced the idea of flashbacks (and later flashforwards) as an actual structural element of the show in order to explore characterization; and the actors were really solid, they were their characters. For some of the actors (like Terry O' Quinn, who really was John Locke), their Lost character will probably be one of the defining parts of their career, the role that everyone will remember.

    It was also a show that took chances, didn't promise any character a free pass, and was willing to spin mysteries without provide easy answers. The show really explored the idea of community in a setting that could have gone far more "Lord of the Flies." I think the last season was kind of a disappointment, unfortunately, some of the resolutions of ongoing enigmas just were not as satisfying (or coherent) as the mysteries themselves. Some of the series finale was mishandled, but I think they got all the big stuff right, and for me that last half hour (coming full circle to the series opener) was so worth it.

    Best season(s): The show started to get intriguing at the end of Season 1. What really made this 'must see' TV for me, though, was the beginning of the plot line with Henry Gale. Those who have seen it know which moment was just a, "OMFG!" and after that Lost just really bumped up a level. I love Charlie's arc, as he was not meant to be likable in some ways, but he was still driven by love (for Claire).


    3. X-Files. I think today's television owes Fox and X-Files a round of applause, because a lot of the great TV we're getting in the 'speculative" genre stems directly from X-Files really legitimizing shows about the paranormal and exploration of faith vs science. Before then, frankly, any kind of "fantasy" show was purely light-hearted entertainment and not taken seriously dramatically (although I guess shows like "The Incredible Hulk" tried to bring some pathos to the genre). X-Files was very different; not only did it explore the kinds of mysteries Leonard Nimoy popularized over a decade before in "In Search of," but it did it in a dramatically complex way, with two lead characters with wonderful chemistry who drew in both male and female audiences. X-Files also popularized the idea of a "show mythology," in this case the ongoing arc of government conspiracy + the existence of extraterrestrial life. The show also had a host of character actor and comedian guest stars throughout its run, including Tom Noonan, Bryan Cranston, Bruce Campbell, Michael McKean, Kathy Griffin, Lily Taylor, Nora Dunn, Tony Shalhoub, etc. Many many more than I've listed, and all appropriately cast for the episode at hand.

    Also of importance: Vince Gilligan got his start here and wrote some of the show's favorite episodes -- he had quite a way of mixing substantial character drama simultaneously with wry and goofy humor. It's not a surprise that he later went on to do Breaking Bad, which perfected that combination even further.

    Best Season(s): Probably Season 3-6 were the best, highlighting some of the show's most famous episodes (like Pusher, Leonard Betts, etc). The show tried to struggle on when David Duchovny (and thus Fox Mulder) left, but things weren't just the same despite the strong efforts of show newcomer Robert Patrick as John Doggett; the show likely would have done better just winding down at the end of seven seasons.


    4. Six Feet Under. Overseen by Alan Ball (American Beauty), the show explored life under the eaves of death (in a family-run funeral home). I didn't know any of the actors really (although Kathy Bates and Patricia Clarkson came in later, and the wonderful Lili Taylor for a season), and it had the interesting approach of the deceased dad appearing to members of his family throughout the series + the opening montage of someone always dying, sometimes in serious ways, sometimes in darkly funny ways. The show also had a strong gay character in actual gay LTRs on a show that WASN'T on Logo network nor a "gay show." The show also wasn't afraid to let its main characters be fucked up... and I don't use the word inappropriately. It was one of the first times I remember having main characters were generally positioned as 'good' but also very flawed... and some (like Nate) became even unlikable in some ways as the series progressed.

    Best Season(s): I don't remember the specifics of the seasons, and I think they were all mostly on par with each other. The most important thing I could say about the show is that it has arguably the best (or in the top five) series finales ever created. It doesn't wimp out for cheap sentiment and addresses the uncertainty of life and how we humans make the best choices we can, based on our values and the things we hold dear, and then... step (or drive) forward. The last 10-15 minutes usually leave me sobbing no matter how many times I've watched it.


    5. Seinfeld: I do hate putting this on here because so many people liked it, but I'm not jumping on the bandwagon, I genuinely found this show really really funny. Hilarity revolves around the absurdity of the mundane. I thought the series finale was terrible, and Jerry was actually the weakest "actor" of the bunch, but that doesn't diminish how hilarious the show could be with its main four cast stars + the amusing supporting cast. Who can forget "The Contest" or the show where George pretends to be a Marine Biologist or the great episode where jerry becomes Even Steven, George becomes successful by ignoring every one of his natural instincts, and Elaine becomes the scapegoat for the bad luck George is sloughing off?




    Honorable mentions:

    - The Simpsons: Started the cartoon prime-time revolution, where people finally took cartoons seriously as entertainment, some depth, and as social commentary. Futurama might be more "solid" but Simpsons started it all.

    - Family Ties: This is my 'sentimental' series, I loved it when I was a kid and it just leaves me feeling good when I watch it, this was a family that loved each other. Made Michael J. Fox a star.

    - Cheers: Just damned funny, and had a memorable cast. Was able to launch Frasier into its successful run, gave Woody Harrelson feet to move into a successful long movie character (with dramatic roles, wow!), gave John Ratzenberger his opening to become the Pixar voice mainstay, and even made Kirstie Alley look half-competent.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    5. Seinfeld: I do hate putting this on here because so many people liked it
    Why? Shouldn't the best shows be liked by a lot of people?
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Why? Shouldn't the best shows be liked by a lot of people?
    Because I'm a snob?

    More that I'm sure some people liked it just because it was popular, so I'm just saying I would have liked this show before it got popular, if I had run across it back then, and even if no one else had liked it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    1. Six Feet Under
    2. Farscape
    3. Lost
    4. Seinfeld
    5. Breaking Bad

    (@Jennifer - )

    Also Felicity and Arrested Development
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  8. #8
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    24 - Probably my favorite overall though latter seasons were not as good as the earlier ones. The first season was the best.

    Chuck - Close second to 24. Goofy but I love the idea, the primary actors and the chemistry between them.

    Smallville - Watched every episode but didn't discover it till it had been on for a few years. Very good show.

    Magnum PI - It's old but I enjoy watching the reruns.

    Game of Thrones - Really great characters and acting. For a TV show, I think it's remarkable. It's like watching a movie. I wonder how much it costs for them to make the thing.

    Honorable mention: Heroes Season 1 was one of the best things I've seen on TV ever. Green Acres - Sitcom from the 70s that is still on once in while and one of the funniest shows I've ever seen (arnold the pig - haha!).

    Edit: Oh Lost was really good too. I forgot about that.

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  9. #9
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    In alphabetical order, because I can't completely decide. Heavily influenced by the fact that I tend to really "bond" with science fiction and fantasy series. Not saying that these are the "best" series I've seen (but some are), they're just "my" best.

    Battlestar Galactica (the reboot, not the original): Showed that gritty, dark science fiction can be done well as a serious drama on TV. Yeah, the ending sucked. But that can't take away from the rest of the series.

    Breaking Bad: Maybe gets a little extra credit in my memory as it's so recent, but wow. Extremely solid from start to finish, and every time I thought that things couldn't escalate any more... they did. Mostly, it's the fact that everything fit together. The more the show went on, the more we understood why the characters were the way they were, and their actions (even from seasons in the past) *still* made sense, or even *more* sense, in light of the new information. That's very, very rare in long-running series. The garage scene and "Ozymandias" will be very, very hard to top for my top moments ever on TV (one exception, stated below).

    Chuck: Chuck was simply a fun, silly nerd-fantasy series. It was best in the first 2-3 seasons, before Chuck turned into more of a "superman" character and everyone knew his "secret". It struggled a bit with plot identity later on, largely due to the fact that it was under the threat of cancellation for most of its run. It had a couple of overused annoying characters. But it also made me laugh harder than almost anything else on when it was at its best. And yeah, I admit it. "Underachieving nerd falls into secret spy organization and falls in love with the beautiful kick-ass spy woman" is something that's pretty easy for me to identify with, fantasy-wise.

    Six Feet Under: Pretty much everything Jennifer said about this one goes for me too. The end of the final episode, in particular, is up there (and maybe above) those points in Breaking Bad for my "best TV moments ever". Seriously... it seems silly to say it, but the whole 4 seasons (which are good on their own) are worth it for the series finale alone. Another episode stands out as the only scene in any TV show / movie I've ever had to fast-forward through as it was too powerfully uncomfortable for me to watch (David forced to smoke crack at gunpoint).

    Star Trek - the Next Generation: I was sooooo excited when this first came on. Somehow my excitement let me sit through the first couple of seasons, which, in retrospect, are absolutely awful, often cringe-worthy. But in later seasons, it completely made up for it. Long-standing storylines got good, and episodes like "The Inner Light" (the one where Picard lives out the life of a man from a dead civilization) are fantastic standalones. I will say, though... this would have flopped, and flopped hard had they not convinced Patrick Stewart to take the role of Picard. Looking back, I'm not altogether sure how it managed to stick around past the first season or two anyway, but he made the show.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Game of Thrones - The books are better, of course they are. But the show is very well written, acted, and set, and as a fan of the books, I appreciate that it's at least reasonably close to the books as far as major plot points go. It gets a lot of extra credit for taking a genre that I enjoy (epic fantasy) and actually making a serious, quality go of it on TV. Most such crossovers to video are simply awful -- GoT shows that it *can* be done.

    Highlander - I hesitate to put this one here... but when it was on, I loved it, especially in seasons 2-4. It tapered off a lot at the end, and the movie followup was simply embarrassingly awful. Even the "good" seasons haven't held up all that well. But I enjoyed the flashbacks to different eras, and the premise was appealing. I still love to watch anything Peter Wingfield (who played Methos, and is now in medical school, if you can believe it) is in, I liked his character so much on this show.
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I forgot about Heroes. Yeah, season 1 was pretty amazing.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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