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May 28 2010

Best TV Shows of the Last 20 Years. Kristin Dos Santos ranks her list and our favorite slayer comes pretty close to the top. Also VOTE!

LOST is DEFO not the top show.

I chose FRIENDS, as it was my first TV show love, and, unlike many other shows (Buffy not included), it got better and funnier as it went along. Buffy was a close second, with 30 Rock trailing behind. I'm sad I couldn't vote for them.

[ edited by Frick on 2010-05-28 19:47 ]
My favourite alternates between Lost and Twin Peaks, sometimes on a daily basis. I voted for Peaks, since I'm coming to the end of a rewatch at the moment so its quality is fresher in my mind.
I can't rank, but Buffy, West Wing, Lost, Bsg, these shows are another level
The Buffy recognition is nice, I guess, but this is a list that ranks Survivor as a better television show than The Wire, so...
So the 1990-2000 dates in the article would be a mistake, yes? Most of those shows didn't debut until after 2000. Battlestar needs to be on there. Is there a problem with Angel that it couldn't break the top 20 of anybody's list? Weeds would be nice, too. Too bad all my other loves were so short lived.
Yea, this list is based entirely on her preferences. The Wire absolutely should have at least made the list. There is no arguing there.
I had to vote for Buffy on this, simply because it changed what I watch television for and what I expect great TV to do. If I could have selected more, then I would have to pick Seinfeld (as you can probably guess from my screen-name,) and The Simpsons. Both are absolutely brilliant shows that have me in stitches no matter how many times I see them, but always manage to keep the smarts. Special mentions would have to go to BSG, The West Wing and Six Feet Under.

Good to see that Buffy is ranking so highly on the readers' vote, but how on Earth is it being beaten by Friends?! Sure Friends is good, even very good at times, but it certainly isn't in the same league as many of the other programmes on that list. It isn't even the best comedy. Even 'How I Met Your Mother' has long since surpassed it.

[ edited by Vandelay on 2010-05-28 21:15 ]
I don't get why people love 30 Rock.
No surprises here. However, I bet there's a certain Willowy doing cartwheels out there about "Deadwood".
Friend is actually underrated because it's so popular if that makes sense
I've got to mention Green Wing as well, far and away my favourite comedy ever. As witty, funny and poignant as the best of Buffy, for my money.
Vandelay, 'How I Met Your Mother' will NEVER be as good as 'FRIENDS.' It is the king of comedies.

It's the same way that 'True Blood' or 'The Vampire Diaries' will never be better than 'Buffy.'

They are both genre-defining shows.

[ edited by Frick on 2010-05-28 22:26 ]
Obviously she has never seen Firefly, because that would have been her #1.
Firefly is great. With Serenity, it's fantastic. Not sure it would make my top ten, though.

Oh, also, just noticed how high Alias is. Um. Why? That show was as boring as they come.
I don't think I can choose. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Wonderfalls, Veronica Mars, Chuck, Dexter...they're all so amazing. >_<
Buffy hands down
Woot. Buffy in first place, with LOST close behind. Fred_Sonja | May 28, 17:41 CET

Firefly is a bad series. Serenity is a good action movie. Neither should really be on any best of lists, ever. It is justice that Firefly is not there.

See? That is my opinion. Much like the fact that friends should have ended around season 5, that How I Met Your Mother is a far funnier show, and Farscape should be on that list.
"Buffy" is indeed in the lead... awesomeness ("Angel" deserves many, many, many more votes than just 0.3%, needless to say).
Firefly is a bad series. Serenity is a good action movie. Neither should really be on any best of lists, ever. It is justice that Firefly is not there.

I'd be kind of curious to hear the reasoning behind aforesaid opinion...
Kristin is a fan of Whedon, so not a surprise to see Buffy on the list. I think the guys at E used to joke about her Spike screensaver of something.

Gouki, I agree that HIMYM is much funnier now than when it first started. I thought it was the worst thing ever season 1 - they've only gone up hill - which makes sense since I thought they were way below 0 when they started *mourns Kitchen Confidential*.

BUT, Firefly is amazing. I only came to it late after all was done - kinda resented it because it took Joss' attention from my beloved BtVS/ANGEL but I think it is one of the best pieces of TV out there. What else can get you so invested in so little time? BtVS/ANGEL/DH had to earn it. Firefly's quality/characters owned it right away. I am not as obsessed with it as with Buffy and Angel as I have a long history with those, but it's always so hard to pick the best at times.
Friends is actually underrated because it's so popular if that makes sense
Yes it does, and IMO you're absolutely right, Andy Dufresne!

Comedy on the whole seems to often suffer on these list (and it does especially the readers one here). If I had know Arrested Development, one of the most outstanding pieces of television I have ever seen, was stuck at only 1.6% of the votes, it would have gotten my vote.

Now I ended up voting for The West Wing. Cause, though I quit watching during season five, the first four seasons were simply that great.

ETA: And because I simply can't resist such listmaking, here's my top 10 in alphabetical order.

1. Andy Richter Controls the Universe
2. Angel
3. Arrested Development
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
5. Dexter
6. Firefly
7. Friends
8. Futurama
9. Sports Night
10. The West Wing

And some runner-ups: Better off Ted, Black Books, Community, Coupling, Extras, Monk, Peep Show, Six Feet Under, Veronica Mars, QI.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2010-05-29 17:07 ]
I voted for The West Wing as well. Season five dragged a bit, but the show hit its stride again in six and seven and ended on a lovely note, with a last run of episodes that made sure all the characters got their approrpriate due and had their story arcs wrapped up with respect. And Martin Sheen was just a tour de force on that show. As for Kristin's list, I can't respect it. No West Wing is bad enough, but no Shield? I will give her props for including Veronica Mars though. Farscape would have been nice too.
Buffy changed the way I interact with television. It is the only show that I watched in real time, instead of taping, it got me discussing it on the internet, reading fic, and most days I STILL watch a little bit of Buffy everyday while I fall asleep, or get dressed in the morning.

So though I laughed my ass off at Friends sometimes, it just can't compare.

[ edited by Xane on 2010-05-29 17:53 ]

[ edited by Xane on 2010-05-29 19:09 ]
Our Friends in the North
Doctor Who
Babylon 5
The West Wing
Black Books
Bloody Sunday
Life on Mars
Father Ted
Top 10 lists...okay, fine. These are my top 10 favorite shows. Not necessarily the best shows in TV history, but my favorites. Yes, I am verbose.

1. The West Wing: I could watch this show on a continuous loop. Everyone says it went south after Sorkin left. It didn't, it just changed. In some ways it became better. Sorkin's White House was often a liberal good guys vs. conservative bad guys fantasy (never more so than in season four, when Bartlet ran roughshod over, and repeatedly questioned the intelligence of, a thinly veiled George Bush stand-in during his re-election bid--and okay, yeah, I loved it, but still), while seasons 5-7 were a more realistic look at the halls of power. Sorkin's last episode ended with, for God's sake, Bartlet's daughter being kidnapped and Bartlet stepping down and handing power to a Republican. There is probably a universe that could happen in, but it isn't this universe. Sorkin's words were sublime but he sure liked his turgid soap opera theatrics. I think Alan Alda's Republican presidential candidate in seasons six and seven was indicative of the changes the show made, and why those changes were good things. Plus: that cast! That incredible cast. Josh and Donna! CJ! Toby! Sam! Leo! Jed and Abby! And Josh and Donna. Did I mention Josh and Donna?

2. The Shield--told a story for seven seasons that had a beginning, middle and end (a rare thing even in arc-based dramas, which tend to drop the ball toward the end, get cancelled before they can properly wrap up, or go on for too long at the network's request), and it was a great story. Never once lost sight of its characters. Shorter seasons than broadcast network shows meant there was never any filler. Vic Mackie is one of the most memorable characters in the history of television and his seven season arc was fascinating to watch unfold, and it was wrapped up in a bold and satisfying and most of all, true way. You simply couldn't take your eyes off the guy.

3. Farscape--Simply the best "space show" there has ever been. Unlike another space show I could name, they didn't make it up as they went along. Crichton and Aeryn are one of the great television love stories. For people who can't get past the puppets, well--your loss. The rest of us were entertained, thoroughly.

4. All in the Family--The greatest American comedy. 'Nuff said.

5. The Office--Could be the second greatest American comedy. And yes, I am aware of the irony that both this and All in the Family were adaptations of British shows. No fault of the Office UK, but as an American, I found a lot of the jokes on the UK version going right over my head, and I also found that I honestly didn't understand what the characters were saying at least a third of the time. Even if I did though, the American version of the show has set itself apart and gone its own way with Jim and Pam, and Dwight is simply an American classic character who will be remembered fondly for decades.

6. The X-Files--Mulder and Scully. Television has never seen chemistry like those two and during the good old days of monster hunting and the Conspiracy actually making sense, they were (to quote Leonard Nimoy) lightning in a bottle. Too bad about how they made up the conspiracy angle as they went along though, and very much too bad about how the network forced them to remain on air too long. Still, I love watching this show, because I love Mulder and Scully. And face it--so do you.

7. Veronica Mars--Hard to pigeonhole its greatness. It was a great mystery show, a great high school show. A great comedy, a great romance, a great straight-up drama. With great acting, a real star turn from Kristen Bell who deserves to make big-time movies forever, and plotting so tight it could crush you like a python. (Maybe Joss should have hired a few of their writers for Buffy.) Gone too soon.

8. The Simpsons--I wish I could place this higher. Brilliant for longer than the purists think, in my opinion--I loved it through season 10 or 11. After that it fell into "Let's have Homer be unrealistically stupid" shenanigans. Yes, Homer is stupid on occasion. But he isn't a Monty Python sketch character who can be made to do whatever is deemed to be amusing without giving any thought to his core identity. He actually is a character, not just a joke-delivery platform, and the Simpsons writers most certainly forgot this.

9. The Sopranos--Another one that should have gone higher. Brilliant in the beginning, it meandered along as the writers began believing their own legends. The season six episode with Carmela in Paris was a typical example of this show's unconscionable lack of creative discipline or real direction. Started with a bang, ended with an unparalleled whimper. And, for all the people out there who loved the ending and accuse those of us who hated the ending of "not getting it": we got it. We just didn't like what we got, because it was a creative cheat. If they ended this show with Christopher's death, rather than going on from there, it would have been number three on my list.

10. Buffy--Makes my top 10 because I have never been so passionate about a television show as this one. Doesn't rise above the last spot because the plotting was often shoddy--yes, plot matters, without plot all you have is characters standing around being interestingly snarky at each other--and because it failed so terribly and bewilderingly in the last season, truly damaging its legacy.

Honorable mentions:

1. Fawlty Towers. Pure brilliance. Most comedies don't actually make me laugh; they merely make me smile. Fawlty made me laugh my ass (or shall I say arse) off. If only it had produced more than 12 episodes.

2. The King of Queens. That bit about most comedies not actually making me laugh was never a problem with this show. I laughed loud and often. It didn't have big pretensions. It was a formula show. A show about people arguing in their kitchen. What it had was big, big laughs. I defy anyone to watch Jerry Stiller on King of Queens and not laugh until their jaw hurts.
Hellmouthguy, I'd replace The Shield and Farscape with Deadwood and Spaced. Otherwise, pretty awesome list. I too understand your King of Queens love. Doug is Homer. With maybe ten more I.Q. points. Fawlty does need to be on the list, and I've also never been more passionate about any show than Buffy. Deadwood comes very, very close, though. Also Friday Night Lights.
1 & 2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel: Can't separate them in my head, and I can't pick between 'em. The have to take the first two spots.
3. Veronica Mars
4. Lost
5. Six Feet Under
6. Freaks and Geeks
7. Supernatural
8. Firefly
9. The Office
10. Chuck

Still a bunch of shows I've gotta watch.

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