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January 28 2009

Buddy TV adds the top 50 in their list "Top 100 TV Shows of The Last 20 Years". Veronica Mars, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Firefly, and Angel all make the top 50. Lost, BSG, and Buffy all feature in the top 25 here.

Still ain't sure about #1, but at least all the Whedonverse shows made the top 50. Cheers!

The Wire should've been at #1. Amazing show. Shattered that Buffy wasn't a little higher, and I took offence to the idea that Angel never lived up to it's parent series - two different shows that were both exceptionally well executed.
I can't believe people are still under the impression that Seinfeld is the best TV show of all time. Wake up!
I can. So many friensd of mine like Senfield, and they do have linked some nice clips from it. I never really got into it, but then again, I realize I'm not an average tv-show fan. That said, greatness is greatness, no matter who sees it, thus I'm pretty happy with the top50: about half of the list would fit in my top50, if not necessarily in that order.

And, all in all, pretty nice top100. Add B5 and I think I could find all my favourites in the list, remembering the criteria for the shows.
No foreign shows (no The Office UK).

I would love to see 'Our Friends in the North' go head to head with the US greats. I have a feeling it may pip them to the post.
A fairly decent list with the exception of Seinfeld as #1. All I can say is, they've got to be kidding. I wouldn't put it in the top twenty-five, much less in the #1 spot.
Just up The Wire from #2 to #1, bring Six Feet Under into the top 10 (instead of the indefensible #34), drop Seinfeld back to somewhere in the # 25-50 range (along with the insipid Friends) and I'd be .... um, ruler of the universe? ;

Then get rid of all reality shows (a plague on all their houses). And as someone else mentioned, add B5 to the list.

Also don't like the "three seasons minimum for shows still on the air" rule, which leaves out Mad Men and 30 Rock.
I'd also rate Carnivale a lot higher.
It could switch places with Lost, IMO.
Not that I could take seriously a list, that includes reality shows in its top 100, but leaves out sure top 10 candidates like Xena. But they also seem to have a problem with their own rules. Startrek: TNG for example started in 1987 and therefore shouldn't be on the list (and from a quality point of view, it should have been higher).
I have lots of comments about the list, but since I don't want to spend an entire comment saying "Right, yep, uh-huh," I'll confine myself to this criticism. Who in the name of all that's green and scaly still thinks that a show that PRIDED itself on being "about nothing" is the greatest frakkin' show of any period of time? Especially when TONS of shows on that list (and not just Buffy...BSG qualifies, as does The Wire) pride/d themselves on being ABOUT SOMETHING and saying things that MATTERED?!
I love Seinfeld. And I still love Buffy, Angel, Firefly, VM, MSCL...

And now I'll go away.
I must say I agree with most of the top 25. My only complaints are 24's spot on the list (I really don't think it should be in the top 25), Buffy's spot not being higher, Angel not being in the top 25, Seinfeld as #1, and Curb Your Enthusiasm being higher than Arrested Development. I'm okay with BSG being one spot higher than Buffy, but if it were me I'd probably have it the other way around.

Also, what BAFfler said.
Buffy is number one to me, hands down. But saying that, the shows that were above it, though I haven't watched most of them, are respectable choices.

I'm actually surprised that Buffy landed as high as it did. Not because it doesn't deserve it, but because it just wasn't a mainstream show.

The only shows I ever watched that came above Buffy on the list are The Simpsons and Seinfeld, but I think all the rest of them are shows that critics and/or the public loved. So good showing for Buffy, go team.
Seinfeld was nice, but the only episode that could be in that 1st place was this.
I'm proud of that list. 'Cuz of our peeps.

Buffy beat Friends! Hahahahahaha!
Seinfeld was "about nothing" in pretty much the same sense that Waiting for Godot was "about nothing." Watch "The Chinese Restaurant" some time if you want to see some of the greatest absurdist drama of the C20th. Dismissing Seinfeld because "its a show about nothing" is pretty much the same as dismissing Buffy because "it's that show about a cheerleader who kills vampires!"

Lots of great stuff in that list. Ranking gets arbitrary when you're talking about the greats. The Wire vs. Deadwood? Buffy vs Seinfeld? All I can say is thanks be to the TV gods that they all got made.

Lastly, Our Friends in the North would definitely be up there in my "greatest ever TV series." I'd say that anyone who loved The Wire would probably love OFinN, and vice versa.
I'm not sure that Seinfeld was "a show about nothing". It was a good phrase but in reality, it was about everything.
To be fair, whoever's writing this list says it's virtually a tie between The Wire and Seinfeld. I grew up on Seinfeld, so I can't say how I'd react seeing it now for the first time, but I remember it was unbelievably funny, and tackled a lot of "everyday" things (parking, waiting at a restaurant, masturbation). It is absolutely a contender for that #1 spot.

Also, I think reality shows can be pretty awesome, Survivor included (please don't throw things). Though I'd probably put Project Runway first.
Watch "The Chinese Restaurant" some time if you want to see some of the greatest absurdist drama of the C20th.

Ah, so that's why I never liked Seinfeld. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy.
Ah, so that's why I never liked Seinfeld. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy.

The best productions of Waiting for Godot, Happy Days and End Game I've ever seen have had moments of side-splitting hilarity. Just because it's funny doesn't mean its trivial.

I'm surprised that on a site devoted to Joss Whedon's work we'd have this kind of reflexive dismissal of a TV series merely because of its genre.
The West Wing in the top 5? Are they joking?
It is nice to see the Whedon shows make the top 50, but some of these ratings throw much doubt on the overall credibility of the rankings.
Hmm, I call cheat - 'Da Ali G Show' is pretty British (almost quintessentially British i'd say) even though SBC shifted it to the US to get a couple more years out of it and 'Planet Earth' may have been a Discovery/NHK/CBC co-production but it wasn't just "first aired abroad", if you cut it open it has 'BBC Natural History Unit' written through it like Brighton rock. If you're gonna open it out then open it out, don't bullshit to squeeze your own faves in there.

(not that i'd necessarily disagree with either of them being on there)

Just like every other list in the history of ever, i'd swap some different stuff in there (for MASH not to be in the top 50 has the whiff of travesty for instance, IMO) and juggle some positions but of the top 10 that i've seen I reckon they deserve their places. I've barely watched 'Seinfeld' (funnily enough that and 'The Wire' are two of my biggest "classics I will watch one day") but from what I gather, as the blurb says, it was a situation comedy where the situation was 'life' and even when it's about nothing, that's something (and I also agree that, as they say, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard" so in that sense it might deserve to pip 'The Wire' to the post ;).
I'm surprised that on a site devoted to Joss Whedon's work we'd have this kind of reflexive dismissal of a TV series merely because of its genre.

I like comedies. I love comedies. I love drama/comedies (as Joss' work often is.)

I just don't think Seinfeld is funny.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2009-01-29 23:02 ]
O.K., fair enough. Can't argue with that.

Except that you are, of course, wrong. Wrong as a wrong thing that's just completely and utterly wrong. Also: not right.

Waiting for Godot however - very funny.

I think there is something very subjective in what we find funny. I have tried to watch Seinfeld since my husband is fond of it. I have yet to crack a smile. Perhaps there's just not anything to which I can relate.

I also dislike Friends.

I think Frasier was hilarious.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2009-01-30 00:39 ]
Saje, M*A*S*H isn't in the top fifty because this is shows that premiered in the past 20 years. So, it's disqualified by about 17 years.

Da Ali G Show was a British import, but it also aired on hbo and those episodes included interviews with American politicians, and was filmed in the US--so I think it qualifies. (Sadly, Extras was not included, even though that's also an hbo production.)

On the other hand, Star Trek: TNG is a cheat. It premiered in '87, not '89. Maybe they're just pretending the first two seasons never happened? (Not a bad idea actually, although we'd lose "Q Who?" and "The Measure of a Man.")

I think that Seinfeld's insistence on being "about nothing" is a front. It's a very meta show--it's about sitcoms themselves, and their own history, and indeed the entire meaninglessness of the form. I don't think you can really appreciate Seinfeld and how much it changed sitcoms without recognizing the importance of sitcoms in television history--I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers. Seinfeld was "about" form without substance, but that doesn't mean it was actually form without substance. Seinfeld is in its own way as existentialist as Firefly, except that its characters never (or almost never) make the leap to form their own deep connections that Mal et al. do. I'm not sure if I'd put it at #1, but I don't think it's ridiculous, and nor should the show be dismissed because it's not about "important issues"--because in its own way it was. (Also: what snot monster said :P)

(Of course--if you didn't find it funny, that's cool. I did.)

I liked this list a lot in some ways. No, I don't like all of their choices. I hate what I've seen of Friends (except for Lisa Kudrow); I think that Lost is way too high. In fact I even think that BSG is overrated in this list--I love it dearly, and depending on how the final eight episodes play I might be prepared to love it even more, but it's not a consistent enough show on either emotional or plot bases to compare with the other top dramas, and is certainly not better than Buffy (which was inconsistent plotwise, yes, but was pretty much always on emotionally to me, even in the less popular seasons). Angel and especially Firefly and Dexter and even probably Arrested Development are too low. But it's a great mixture of the popular and the high-quality niche shows. These lists are subjective but this is one of the best collections I've seen in quite some time.
Whew! As the original poster, I'd like to add my two cents:

At the end of the day, I think we can all agree that an argument as subjective as favorite TV shows is never going to lead to a consensus. I think if we all made our own top 100, that would undoubtedly be radically different. So I think we can all agree to disagree on certain shows, and not let it become a personal issue.

That be said? Changes I'd make to the list if I had the power: I've never been a fan of Sienfield, though nearly everyone in my family loves it. It would be nowhere near #1. And though West Wing and Sports Night were fairly high, they neglected to include Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and while I realize that most people disagree with me, it's still one of my favorites. And where the hell was Titus?! That show was brilliantly funny AND poignant. Mythbusters and Insomniac with Dave Attell also seemed to be missing. To wit: the hell? Family Guy and Robot Chicken were too low, and the original CSI: being #93 was disgraceful.

And though Simpsons, South Park, RC & FG made the list, their inclusion of cartoon shows was lacking. Where was Invader Zim? Where was Courage The Cowardly Dog? Where was Daria?! And even though I NEVER found this show entertaining or funny, WHERE WAS SPONGEBOB?! That show is one of the most popular cartoon series of all time! How did it get skipped?

That is all. Cheers, all!
You know... I don't really need a 50 list. Angel and Buffy are the only shows I adore. Yeah, I like many shows: Cosby, My Wife and Kids and Friends and today Leverage and Reaper, but they just did not hold a candle to A/B.

While they are nice and entertaining shows, they are not really true, while Buffy and Angel, maybe because they dealt with issues we, real humans, did and do, they felt really organic.

Besides... Ask yourself

Would you buy comics from other shows?
I even buy comics that were never TV shows to begin with ! *gasp* ;)

Saje, M*A*S*H isn't in the top fifty because this is shows that premiered in the past 20 years.

Ah, yep, I remembered that the first time round, forgot it this time, oops, ta WilliamTheB ;).

Da Ali G Show was a British import, but it also aired on hbo and those episodes included interviews with American politicians, and was filmed in the US--so I think it qualifies. (Sadly, Extras was not included, even though that's also an hbo production.)

Yeah, i'm aware of that and I agree that if you squint a bit you can shoe-horn it in. It's still a British show though, not a remake of a British show - more like a British show on tour. When the Stones play the Bowl you don't call them an American band, right ? Though I guess with Ali G it's greyer since a lot of the writers of Ali G in Da US were Americans/non-Brits (Seth Rogen got an early non-Apatow related break writing for the show for instance). Interestingly BTW, the fact that 'Battlestar Galactica' is a co-production with Sky One (a UK TV channel) gets nary a mention - presumably because when it suits them, just contributing money doesn't say anything about whether a show's foreign or not ;).

(same with 'Extras' - HBO stumping up some cash and even editing scripts slightly by changing cultural references etc. doesn't make it anything other than a British show, so still foreign, still disqualified. IMO ;)

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