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June 27 2013

Buffy is Entertainment Weekly's eighth greatest tv show of all time. The website has a list of the top ten. A list of the top hundred shows can be found in the print/tablet edition of the magazine.

I think BtVS should be higher but am satisfied that it ranked #8 and that the #1 and #2 shows are perfect, though I personally would switch them. The Simpsons over The Wire, yeah.
I don't care for how they group dramas and comedies together in this list (they're completely different animals). Buffy is the #3 drama.
Here's that gallery on one page .
All "best of" lists are silly and arguing over the last few inches of silliness is particularly pointless (any argument about whether fabulously great work X is better or worse than fabulously great work Y ends up being either circular or special pleading). But it's nice to see BtVS being recognized as belonging to the conversation.
Yes and no. I think something like Arrested Development compares favorably to something like the Wire while the Simpsons doesn't because there's frankly too much sprawl and too many iffy episodes. Comedy and Drama are not directly comparable but you can compare them for what they are.

In a lot of different years, I would have made As Good As It Gets a best picture eventhough it is a comedy and had the misfortune of coming out when Titanic was unleashed.

The reason The Wire goes so high is honestly it makes so many moral, pragmatic, political, and philisophical points without resorting to Sorkinesque speeches. It's organically funny without being witty. It just trots out self-motivated characters that are compelling and lets them make the points for the narrative. Add to that the consistently shifting perspective and frankly, and I get why people find that the best ever. There's just so much that's attempted in it that works. All that and David Simon thought Buffy was the best show on television, so there you go.
I'd agree with The Wire, too - for all the reasons azzers stated. Plus, the whole time I was watching The Wire I never felt like I was even watching a tv show. It seemed much more like I was getting let in on the real lives of real people. After that, and Buffy, I would pretty much replace the entire rest of their list...
Some of the shows on the list are among my favorites, some are good but I never really warmed up to them (Seinfeld) and some I've never seen.

But in any case, the EW list of "best TV shows" is better than their lists of Best Films and Best Music Albums, which drew the following reactions from me: "Hmmm... Meh...I don't know" and especially than their list of Best Books, which made me go: "Um, no." They may have as well called it "List of our favorite books that were made into films lately, plus a few others we remember reading in high school." The very fact that 8 out of 10 books were written in English makes the title absurd enough. Yes, the greatest books of all time almost all came from the English-speaking countries... I don't think so. Why couldn't they have just called it "Favorite books of all time" instead of "Greatest of all time"?

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2013-06-28 01:47 ]
The Wire is tough for me, because I marveled how incredibly well-made it was, at the incredibly important things it was saying and how elegantly it was saying them... but outside of two or three episodes, I almost never felt any sort of emotional connection to the material. Which I think I value maybe too much sometimes, but only because Buffy and Angel got it out of me so often.

Anyway, now I have to go talk to a group of art aficionados about how the Sistine Chapel is, like, nice I guess, just not quite my thing.
sumogrip: heh. Well put.

I like to pair Buffy (with the occasional Angel assist) with The Wire as the greatest ever, because The Wire raises all those amazing, terrifying questions that azzers mentioned, and Buffy answers them. The fact that one's practically a documentary and the other involves vampires doesn't bode well for the world, but Buffy was always supposed to be an inspirational heroine...
I'm fine with that. Those are some good shows to be on a list with. I'm also glad Lost isn't on that list. I see so many lists that rate Lost better than Buffy, and I'm like, really?

And The Wire is definitely better than The Simpsons, but I'm not a big Simpsons fan. The Wire is one of the best shows ever made. Ever.
These lists are so goofy. Where's M*A*S*H and Cheers? I guess not in the top 10?

I can't agree with that.
For what it's worth, Buffy also appeared on their lists of greatest dramas (#3), greatest cult shows (#2), and greatest sci-fi shows (#1).

On the other hand, Freaks and Geeks was number 59 on the main list, which is at least 59 places too low. So I take these ratings with a grain of salt.
As I see it, The Simpsons influenced pretty much every comedy/sitcom on today, with the density of the writing (you couldn't have Arrested Development, 30 Rock or South Park without The Simpsons). I no longer watch it, but its first SEVEN seasons are pretty much canon in comedy; no other show can claim to be that relevant for so long.

I have complicated feelings about The Wire because it did some storylines (the drug dealers and occasionally the police) so perfectly, yet the show failed a lot of the time to dramatize the other stories they told: the politics, the schools, the newspapers... they often felt more schematic than dramatic. I especially had issue with the newspaper storyline in season five because it felt a lot more like David Simon taking personal aim at the industry than a real story, told with realism and respect. Obviously, opinions differ.
What? No Cop Rock?
Comedy and Drama are not directly comparable but you can compare them for what they are.

Every great drama is really just a comedy dressed in sheep's clothing, and vice versa.

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