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TV show meme 
25th-Jan-2009 11:10 am
Geek: LiveJournal
Yanked from plumtreeblossom

Empire Magazine has revealed its list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows ever:

[As mentioned in plumtreeblossom’s thread, this is a very idiosyncratic list. Empire is a UK magazine, so maybe some of the shows we Americans loved weren’t distributed over there.]

1. Bold the shows you watch/used to watch.
2. Italic the shows you've seen at least one episode of.
3. Post your answers.

50. Quantum Leap
49. Prison Break
48. Veronica Mars
47. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
46. Sex & The City
45. Farscape
44. Cracker
43. Star Trek
42. Only Food and Horses
41. Band of Brothers
40. Life on Mars
39. Monty Python's Flying Circus (unlike plumtreeblossom, I loved it)
38. Curb Your Enthusiasm
37. Star Trek: The Next Generation
36. Father Ted
35. Alias
34. Frasier
33. CSI: Las Vegas
32. Babylon 5
31. Deadwood
30. Dexter
29. ER
28. Fawlty Towers (and loved it)
27. Six Feet Under
26. Red Dwarf
25. Futurama
24. Twin Peaks (my friends Kate and Kanthan got me into this shortly before it was cancelled; I didn’t have a TV, but I’d watch regularly at their place.)
23. The Office
22. The Shield
21. Angel
20. Blackadder
19. Scrubs
18. Arrested Development
17. South Park (never watched it regularly on cable, ’cause I don’t have cable, but watched several seasons on DVD)
16. Doctor Who (love this and would love to watch more of it)
15. Heroes
14. Firefly
13. Battlestar Galactica
12. Family Guy
11. Seinfeld
10. Spaced
09. The X-Files (sionnagh was into it for a while. I wasn’t, so much.)
08. The Wire
07. Friends
06. 24
05. Lost
04. The West Wing (recently saw a few episodes cathijosephine was watching; really enjoyed it.)
03. The Sopranos (have seen bits of episodes when I was upstairs in my tenants’ apartment; wouldn’t mind seeing a whole episode)
02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (distinctly unimpressed)
01. The Simpsons (have seen several seasons on DVD)

plumtreeblossom writes:
So this best 50 of all possible TV shows? Where is 60 Minutes? Where is Nova? Where is Masterpiece Theater?
and I agree. And a commenter also asks about M*A*S*H and All in the Family. My own personal list of the ten greatest TV shows (I don’t think I’ve seen enough TV to get to 50) would definitely include M*A*S*H and All in the Family, and probably also Hill Street Blues. [EDIT:Oh, and The Twilight Zone, and maybe The Mary Tyler Moore Show.]
25th-Jan-2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, apparently you, me and moechus think along the same lines, missing All in the Family and M*A*S*H*. Twilight Zone is a really good call, too.
25th-Jan-2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
This list also ignores all children's programming. Sesame Street is nearly 40 years old and is possibly the most influential children's program in the history of television.

(Note icon illustrating one influence ;-))
26th-Jan-2009 04:49 am (UTC)
I know this may not be evident to folks who've never seen, much less read, an issue of Empire, but it is a genre-specific magazine that covers pretty much exclusively science fiction, fantasy, horror, and action films and television programs. True, shows outside those genres show up on the 50-greatest list, but there is no way anyone who'd actually buy a copy of the issue containing said list would expect a balanced survey of television greatness across the generic spectrum. As is true of most magazines, Empire's audience is self-selecting.

Furthermore, it's worth remembering that Empire is a British magazine published mainly in the United Kingdom, and as a result, many shows that were groundbreaking in the U.S. or elsewhere, but which never caught on (or even got shown in the first place) in the U.K., are unlikely to show up. beowabbit makes this point explicitly, but it seems to be lost on some of the folks I've seen post the list in their own journals.

People have been reacting to this list with a fair measure of earnestness and even actual offense, which surprises me (I may be wrong, of course, since tone is notoriously difficult to suss out on Ye Olde Internette). I guess I just mean to say that you should no more take the Empire greatest-TV-shows list seriously than you would a Fangoria countdown of the best movies of all time -- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, yes; Citizen Kane, not so much.

Edited at 2009-01-26 04:52 am (UTC)
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