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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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June 20 2016

The 50 best TV shows ever. As voted for by the readers of Empire Magazine. Why is [insert name of show] not on the list? It didn't get enough votes. Democracy, eh?

This list does have a lot of my true favorites at the top. I do feel it suffers from listing shows currently on air. A lot can change and plenty of shows end up with 2-3 seasons that taint the over all feel of a show.
Anytime you poll the general public on something like this, the results will be heavily skewed toward the recent. Only the most famous old shows will ever make the list. Observe the absence of I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners.
Very true. It makes it surprising that things like Columbo made it on.
There are a couple of Scandinavian and British shows on there that I've never even heard of, which is odd considering the "usual suspects" nature of most of the list.
What would be interesting would be to poll older adults, like me, and younger adults, and the compare the results. Readers of Empire magazine almost certainly skew younger.
One of those Scandinavian shows, The Bridge, is fabulous, one of the best police/detective series ever.
The American remake is also very good.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is on it! I'm pleased :D

Buffy is a given of course.

Dana5140, I like your idea. Age targeted poll. Answer this is you were born before 1980 for example.
Didn't Empire do one of these a while back and Buffy was in the top five? I wonder why it's ranked so much lower this time.
Okay, I'm gonna rant a little

So sick of The Wire always topping lists like this. It's so predictable. And I have enjoyed other TV shows more than The Wire. I get tired of the effusive praise it gets.


Futurama > Simpsons

No South Park = Invalid List

No Angel = Invalid List

No Xena = Invalid List

No Firefly = Invalid List

Where's Married with Children?

Did they really not put Star Trek TNG on that list?

Also, if they're going to deep their feet in with animated shows like The Simpsons, that opens the door to a ton of other shows that should be on there like Batman the Animated Series, Avatar the Last Airbender, Ren & Stimpy, I could go on
The Simpsons in its prime was a better show than Futurama in its prime, although only just, but more importantly for me it sustained brilliance for considerably longer, too.

The dilemma with evaluating The Simpsons is that it's been an embarrassment to its original glory (Seasons 2-9) for close to two decades now. Still, to have been so good, so funny, cinematic, satirical, to have told such a wonderful array of stories and with such a credible emotional underpinning for so long, this for me negates what masquerades as The Simpsons nowadays on TV. You can almost view it as separate entities: the 90's era, and everything that came after.

The Wire as number 1 is perfectly worthy; however I personally think The Sopranos is every bit as good and possibly better so to see it not even in the top ten is very surprising. The most egregious entry here though is Friends: A fun show, iconic certainly, but to see it so far ahead of Seinfeld, a vastly superior and contemporaneous show, tarnishes the seriousness of the entire list.

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