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October 26 2015

IMDb staff ranks the top 25 TV series since 1990. A list by IMDb's staff to celebrate their 25th anniversary. A couple of familiar shows make the list.

Nortern Exposure - Never seen it, looks interesting, though.
The X-Files - Three seasons in I like it, but wouldn't rate it in my top 25. Not even close.
The Daily Show - Seen only small excerpts, not really interested.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once my favourite show.
Cowboy Bebop - I need to watch that somewhere down the line.
The Sopranos - It's on my watch-list, but not exactly high up.
The West Wing - Currently watching. It's decent.
Spaced - Reading the description, this seems interesting.
Freaks and Geeks - It's been strongly recommended to me. Maybe next year.
The Wire - Yes, it IS that damn good. Probably the best ever.
Firefly - Together with "The A-Team", "One Piece" and "Doctor Who" my very favourite show. I still need a fifth.
Chappelle's Show - Never heard of it.
Arrested Development - Never really considered it.
The Colbert Report - Same as "The Daily Show".
30 Rock - I'll probably try it out some day.
Breaking Bad - The most overrated show I've ever seen.
Parks and Recreation - I intend to try that one out.
Archer - Heard good things about it.
Luther - How is it that I haven't already watched that? It's Idris Elba, for crying out loud!
Sherlock - I'm in love with it.
Game of Thrones - As a fan of the novels from long before this started, this show disgusts me.
Black Mirror - Heard about that one a while back. It sounds potentially great.
Transparent - Not my cup of tea.
Silicon Valley - This rings absolutely no bell.
Last Week Tonight - From what I've seen, it has more hits than misses.
I remember watching Northern Exposure as a kid. I suspect a revisit might be in my near future.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2015-10-26 16:33 ]
Haven't watched all these series, but I certainly would include in my list Battlestar Galactica, House of Cards, and my new favorite, The Americans.
Eh. No Borgen.
I just remember the kinda cool and a bit cute Northern Exposure DVD sets -- they had genuine, fabric snowsuits covering them. Can't remember what the show was about and barely remember mentions of it when it was airing in the '90s, but I do remember that it was on my list of stuff to watch back when not as many shows were on DVD.

I would swap out The X-Files for some overall stronger shows like Six Feet Under and a ton of other cable dramas.

Regardless of whether one hates the changes in Game of Thrones from book to screen, you've gotta admit that it's one of the most ambitious and well-executed productions ever (well-acted, beautifully scored and shot, and pretty damn well-written as well -- even if it is doing its own thing and condensing and cutting). I imagine it's hard to separate feelings about book vs. adaptation, though. I have to do that for The Walking Dead -- I actually do like many of the changes, but there've been a few I've kinda hated (potentially last night's -- but I'll wait to see how they handle the fallout before I fully reject it). The comic and show are both fun and occasionally affecting in their own right.
Eh, I'm always a bit skeptical of lists that include mostly currently airing/very recently ended shows. Though I suppose a list "since 1990" sort of guarantees that. A few years back, HEROES and DEXTER dominated these sorts of lists. They tend towards the zeit-geisty.

Or maybe I just feel this way because seeing Sherlock above so much just hurts. I mean, it's fine, it's charming. I don't really see it's impression lasting powerfully beyond the decade. Though I'd be interested to hear why people so highly of it.

Anyway, my list would definitely consider AVATAR: The Last Airbender one of the best of since 1990. That's persistently ignored, being on a children's network. MAD MEN and LOST are surprising absences. As is TWIN PEAKS. VERONICA MARS and BSG would also be strong contenders. The list in generally also seems to skew hard towards male-led, anti-hero style storytelling. But that's hardly surprising.

A good reminder to get on SPACED and BLACK MIRROR though.
I've watched 7 of those shows in or nearly in their entirety (Game of Thrones, X-Files, Arrested Development, Firefly, Buffy, Northern Exposure, Spaced), and there are 4 others I actively plan to watch (Freaks & Geeks, Cowboy Bebop, Silicon Valley, Archer). A lot of the big "prestige TV" titles just don't have much interest for me.

I'm surprised Twin Peaks isn't on the list, but not particularly disappointed. I always thought that show had way more style than substance.
I'd add The Bridge (original version). It still haunts me 2 years after catching it on Netflix.

And another vote for Veronica Mars, strictly based on the re-watch count in my house.

So glad to see Idris Elba on the list!
The most glaring absence for me is "Mad Men". But to each his own.
Hmm yes, good. Many of my past and present tv obsessions are here. Needs The Adventures of Pete And Pete and Xena, though.

Northern Exposure was really awesome. People who like weird stories about a small town should check it out.

Currently Bob's Burgers, Bojack Horseman, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are my surprise comedy favorites. None of them sound appealing from their descriptions. But they're solid, smart comedies. Since Leslie Knope has deserted us. Not that I'm still sad about that. Nope.
I personally think Sherlock and Game of Thrones intensely overrated. Like, I always feel in their cases high production values and talented acting end up distracting people from, what I perceive to be, severe narrative flaws.
No Babylon 5, Terriers, The Americans, Jeremiah, Veronica Mars? And I could think of more, but what's the point? There are shows listed that I think pretty good, but not so much as others unlisted. And series that simply do not appeal to me in any way, shape or form. These lists are what they are, which is in no way definitive.
@Kris
Since you kinda reference my comment regarding "Game of Thrones"... I wouldn't take anything away from the show on its own. Of course, I can't praise it either, since I don't watch it anymore. Had enough after about four episodes.

@TenTonParasol
I would argue that there are different ways for a show to be good - or even great. There are very few shows, that have it "all". Perhaps none. Covering your flaws by playing up your strenghts isn't necessarily a bad thing.

And I agree with anyone who mentioned "Babylon 5". Personally, I find it a bit early for "The Americans" to be named, but it is awesome nonetheless.

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