Seinfeld. This show is the absolute epitome of TV comedy bar none! The humor is so tedious and dull, but overblown to such hugely comedic proportions that it's impossible not to laugh. This show revolutionized '90s TV and added countless words and terms into the cultural lexicon, such as "yada yada", "master of your domain", "shrinkage" and so much more. If you haven't seen Seinfeld, you've been living under a rock. Pretty much the best TV show of all time.
The Office. While the show has been far from perfect and arguably jumped the shark around season eight, the US version is still a great TV show because the humor is so damn cringeworthy but infused with enough heartwarming moments to keep it from getting too dark. It's an awesome show, no doubt due to the comedic stylings of Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and the other amazing cast members and crew that made this show a legend. A hilarious show, indeed.
Oz. It had its ups and downs, but was always incredibly entertaining. Adabesi and O'Reilly, to name a few, were classic characters who felt like mythic archetypes at times. Not to mentioned that it paved the way for great shows like The Sopranos and The Wire. The sheer quality of the performances particularly from Lee Tergesen, Chris Meloni and J.K. Simmons is superb. And the theme song is one of the catchiest you'll ever hear.
Rutland Weekend Television. People say it's So Okay, It's Average to So Bad, It's Horrible, but others simply have to love the chronicle of this immensely small, immensely low-budget TV station, the nervous and apprehensive announcers (from catchphrase -spewing talkshow fellows to stuttering army men to a capella groups to the Ricochet brothers, spelt Ricochet, but pronounced rick-ot-chet), the oddball programs they show ("So let's nonetheless as soon as possible!"), the Jerk Ass guards or policemen who do everything — from chasing actors away because "This is a fire lane!" before spending some time juggling in place to ignoring obvious typos for 'cancelling' a hanging with 'candelling' a hanging ("The executioner might want t'do it by candlelight!"). You have to love Idle's rant against critics causing critics to love him and then his rant for critics causing his cast to hate him, the roof collapsing, the champagne overflowing, every single Neil Innes song, Slaves of Freedom, with its cigar-smoke and the wine and the chorus. You might feel slightly ashamed of admitting your love, but this is Sugar Wiki and gushing is encouraged, and so the slightly can be gone.
The first season of Parks and Recreation was weak and felt like wasting an immensely talented cast and having no identity of its own.The second season exploded with awesomeness. But Parks has become one of the most hilarious, smartest, sweetest, most eminently watchable shows on TV. The cast is amazing. Ron, Tom, April, and Andy are four of the greatest supporting characters currently on any show, comedy or drama, network or cable. The whole show is just so funny and charming in a way that The Office hasn't been in a very long time. And then third season came. Which, unless the last two episodes turn out to contain an unbelievable amount of wall bangers, would have to be a strong runner for the most consistently funny, awesome and heartwarming season a live action series has ever had. Definitely gush-worthy show. It's just that good.
Warning; sickening gushing about to begin in 3....2.....1..... 24 is the best television series of the decade and one of the top 25 shows of all time. This show takes plotlines that would be patently ridiculous on another show and turns it into high-grade win. The acting is win, the special effects are win, and the music by Sean Callery is pitch-perfect win. 24 has caused all of television to Take a Level in Badass. And that's no small feat.
Twin Peaks, in all its dream-like, mysterious, gothic brilliance, IS the best live action TV show ever made. It's madness, and the quality varies hugely after the half-way point, but damn. A typical episode will mentally scar you for life, make you laugh, break your heart and leave you utterly bewildered, all within minutes. Get it watched!
Harper's Island. Sure, it might be a bit cliched, but is that really that much of an issue? First of all, it's a mini-series, so you can be absolutely sure that all of your questions will be answered in a satisfactory manner (which they were). It's great fun to try and guess who the killer is throughout the episodes, and the "at least one death per episode" rule creates plenty of tension as you'll be constantly wondering who will bite it next. On top of that, the acting is surprisingly good and you'll truly feel emotion when characters die, which is an accomplishment for a slasher series.
The muthafrakkin' The A-Team! The concept was absolute brilliance, four Bad Ass Special Forces buddies unleashed against every crook and mobster in 1980's America. Ass-kicking and pithy one-liners abound. And people can bash the "cartoonish" all they want. Those action scenes were cooler than some of the stuff in the movies. Long live the A-Team!
Anyone remember Vengeance Unlimited? It's up there with Brisco County, Jr. in the pantheon of tragically short-lived cool shows that finally gave a terrific character actor a break. (In this case, the redoubtable Michael Madsen.) That show rocked! How did he afford his We Help the Helpless gig if everyone always paid the favor rather than the $1 million?
Step by Step was great. Sasha Mitchell will forever be known as Cody — and that's probably for the best.
Carnivàle is the perfect example of what can be achieved in television. The intricate, incredibly well planned narrative, Jeff Beal's wonderful soundtrack, the performances, the superbly realised 1930s setting and the pervasive gothic atmosphere add up to create a transcendentally brilliant piece of storytelling. It's a crime it was cancelled just a third of the way through the story. Carnivale was just brilliant, and it holds up to repeated viewings years after cancellation. You can watch it fifty times and still discover something you'd never noticed before on previsous viewings. And knowing even a little of what's going on doesn't dilute the story at all - it just makes you appreciate all the foreshadowing and sly little references the writers and production team put into every episode.
Veronica Mars. Sure, the quality of the mysteries did decline during seasons two and three, but that never stopped how good the writing and acting were. The very last episode was a Tear Jerker, with "It Never Rains In Southern California" playing as Veronica walks away in the... well, rain. It was innovative, witty and despite being set in a highschool, it was never just a highschool show. It showed that a mystery show can be a vessel for smart, sassy, entertaining allegory.
Sweet Jesus, you gotta love Pushing Daisies. It's like watching someone announce that he's going to cartwheel on a high wire: you think "this cannot possibly work", and then the guy DOES it, and for an encore goes on to tap dance on the high wire, as if he'd been set free from gravity, and it is all just terribly, terribly awesome. Shows like this are so rare. It is so happy, so upbeat and optimistic, so heart-warming. There aren't words for the absolute love that fans have for this show. Each and every episode brought more joy than whole seasons of other excellent shows. It's an hour-long show that viewers can re-watch over and over and over again. Things to love most about it are: 1) Chuck and Ned and their ridiculously adorable skirting around the whole no touching thing; 2) Emerson and Olive and their weird, hilarious, touching friendship ("I'm Itty-Bitty again?"); and 3) Kristin Chenoweth, just Kristin Chenoweth. Bryan Fuller is a genius. And so is every actor on that show. The show's just so quirky and neat, you can't help but like it! That's it.
Knightmare was a classic of children's television and should be brought back. Watch it and petition to bring the series back! Does anyone else think Pickle the Elf is pretty hot?
Breaking Bad is one of the the best shows on television, period. The writing, the acting, the Scenery Porn, and all those many Moments of Awesome from season 3 that look like they belong on a big budget movie and not on small screen, such as the car exploding behind the cousins as they walked away (yeah, it's kind of a cliché scene, but the scene was so awesome it made up for it), Hank taking out both of the cousins by himself, and Mike killing four of the Mexican cartel members with only one gun and a handy bunch of balloons. Plus it has Saul.
Fans really, really love House. Not just the show but especially the main character. And it's all Hugh Laurie's fault. He's turned a character that should be evil and irredeemable into someone who is, of course, still a horrible person but is also so complex and brilliant and funny and sometimes so unbelievably vulnerable ("Three Stories", "Distractions", "Meaning"/"Cane and Able", "Frozen and The Itch" - to name but a few examples) that you just can't help but love him and hope that, by the time the series ends, the writers will let him be a tiny bit happier than when he started out. He's such a lovable misanthrope, and the way he solves those cases is amazing.
Supernatural is cool. The Winchesters have more issues than the world's best psychologist is trained to handle, and their dad's a dick, but the show deserves love anyway. For some reason, even though it's a Crapsack World and the cuties are broken, viewers got addicted. The mythology is really interesting, and when they're not being Wangst-y, the Winchesters are hilarious. Bobby wins at life, the car is sex on wheels, hotties all over the place (for EVERY taste), action, snark, drama, highly underrated acting... You gotta love this show. It's not afraid to make fun of itself, and the writers actually pay attention to what the fans say and manage to tease them for our insanity while at the same time giving them what we want. And if you can manage to avoid the darkerpartsof fandom, you find the really cool, funny, engaging, awesome fans who just make the experience a billion times better. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are two of the prettiest men and the show is smart, engaging, unapologetically dark, and snappily written, with an interesting mythos, a killer blend of tones (what other show could pull off an episode like "Mystery Spot"?), and very, very good acting. It can do hysterical comedy and heartbreaking pain in the same episode, and not make you feel like they're screwing around with you.
Mork and Mindy is just awesome. Mork is the most awesome alien ever. Okay, okay, maybe not... but he certainly is the sweetest and, frankly, the cutest. His relationship with Mindy is one of the best relationship ever on TV. It's really a shame it's not recognized as a "classic" sitcom. If not for itself, it should at least be recognized for launching the career of one of the greatest actors of all time.
30 Rock is one of the best shows on TV, and it make fans feel hope and faith that there is a place for quality, intelligence and originality in this business after all... You know a show is good when the network executives keep it on, despite the ratings not being high enough, because they like it.
Being Human does not get NEARLY enough press. While it stumbled a bit in the middle of season two the overall show is brilliant, funny, dark, and very human. And they get their vampires just right.
Firefly is just plain kickass. Wait, it is so much more than kickass. Firefly proved that television could be beautiful. Artistically, it was flawless. You could get technical about it, but the warm tones that permeated the set made viewers fall in love with the show before they got into the story. Musically, it was complex and interesting, with a beautiful orchestral western/Chinese fusion score that was nearly as eloquent as the cast members themselves. Firefly brought back the zoom. Firefly popularized the shaky cam. Firefly is eminently quotable (example: "I'm sort of liking this poetry idea... 'here lies my beloved Zoe, my autumn flower... not so attractive now that she's all corpsified and gross ...'") Also, it had the most attractive cast ever. It also had the most balanced cast ever. Every character could carry an episode by themselves, but didn't need to because the scripts let everyone shine without overshadowing the other. It was clever and interesting and funny, and browncoats will be forever furious with the Fox network for cancelling it. Firefly is 14 episodes of perfection and it has something for everyone. It's a show about family and honour and love, it has ethical dilemmas, political intrigue, adopted families and sibling loyalty, one of those that make you want to show it to everyone.
A specific gush-worthy moment from Firefly: The scene in "Bushwhacked", where all the Alliance goons are tearing through the ship looking for Simon and River, and then the camera slowly pulls through the window to reveal them clutching the outside of the hull. It was the most beautiful scene, and even more so because of the fact that it had no sound; just the heart-wrenching violins that always seem to come up in space scenes. River's ecstatic smile, and Simon's terrified look after he slowly and carefully turns to see what she's looking at. Perfect blend of humour and drama.
The Odd Couple is one of the most under-appreciated American sitcom ever. Witty, intelligent scripts, superb ensemble acting, including but not limited to leads Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
The Middleman is awesome, and it just kept getting better as it went on. It was really way too good to last. It had the uncanny ability to make every episode better than the one before. It is also THE show for tropers.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will always be the funniest, smartest, most awesome-est hour on TV. God bless you, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!. There are days when people think Jon and Stephen really are the only sane men left on the planet. Usually, nothing is less funny than comedians laughing at their own jokes. But when Stephen Colbert's genuine smile and laughter (like the infamous Filliam H. Muffman segment) occasionally break through the act, there is just something indescribably wonderful about it. Jon Stewart even admitted to being "totally fangirly" about interviewing Malala Yousafzai.
The new Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) is one of the best TV shows ever. The acting is consistently excellent, the CGI battles are brilliant and the plotting and characterization are among the best ever seen. It manages to keep a sense of hope in a Crapsack World (assuming things pick up, as they must do, after the S4 mid season finale) and have deep and moving plots while only rarely becoming anvillicious and we shouldn't let a few bad apples ruin the whole basket. It even manages a few sincere comedic moments and makes you care about the characters and believe in their plight. Tear-jerking moments that resonate with viewers. Plus Baltar is awesome. Furthermore the character development is the finest on television, the interplay between every individual and group is absolutely brilliant. The situations were so vividly depicted and beautifully played out, and the characters were strong, gallant, deeply flawed, and amazingly human. Plus the dialogue was great. It is so morally grey and full of multi-sided political dilemmas, and yet was SO riveting and intense. If it had a better sense of humour, it would be the perfect show. As the Joker said: "Ron Moore, why so serious?"
Torchwood deserves some serious love even if people say it's "bad Doctor WhoFan Fic". Even though Jack gets Wangst-y, he's still really funny, Ianto and Tosh are/were adorable, Owen became much more likeable in the second season, and even Gwen is sort of cool. Let's hope some day James Marsters will come back and reprise his role as Captain Spike — ooh, Captain John Hart. Even though his episodes had plotholes, he was still awesome in them.
Star Trek: The Original Series. It was groundbreaking when it came out, it's still fun to watch now, and some of the episodes are truly, truly awesome. Plus, redshirts getting eaten by bad special effects never gets old. Or hammyShatner. Or Spock. Just Spock.
Star Trek: Voyager is a great Trek series. The premise is awesome and the cast is just so darned good! So often, it's overshadowed by the other series and everyone forgets how good it was. It had not just a great cast, but a great set of characters that went through some believable and wonderful growth over the series. Not to mention the fantastic humor that didn't rely solely on guest characters (like Q) and lest we forget the kickass action sequences, with the captain herself taking point because she's The Captain, dammit, and nobody threatens her crew. The show is generally better than people give it credit for, and despite the appearance of some terrible episodes, which most shows have anyway, is still fun and engaging to watch. Also, Voyager makes absolutely kick-ass two-parters.
Star Trek: Enterprise rocked. People bitched about it and hated it, but you know what? Some viewers loved it. The cast came together better and faster than any of the previous Trek shows. Yeah, it had its flaws, but what Trek show didn't? It had some of the best characters — Trip was amazing and made up for any inept blandness displayed by the rest of the cast. It gave the world Malcolm Reed. And Scott Bakula is the man. It was so much more relatable and human than any of the other Star Treks. It just felt much more approachable, it had some great Funny Moments, and was cut short far too early in its life. It was a fabulous show that was handled very badly, but fans still love Enterprise and they always will.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the most human of the Treks for good reason — it wrote interpersonal relationships deftly, dealt with the consequences of its actions, had a ton of supporting cast who were all written with depth, had Cardassians every which way, actually dealt with religion and did it well, had an actual friggin war, the first same-sex kiss on Star Trek, while still managing to be damned hilarious, and wasn't above taking potshots at itself. Deep Space Nine was the very best of all the Treks and it had an awesome cast and writers whose love of Trek showed. Ron Moore cut his teeth here and on TNG years before Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) and you can see parallels between the two shows, with the aforementioned wonderful supporting cast and lots of moral gray areas. It had amazing, fully-developed characters on this show, including both the main characters and the outstanding ensemble cast. They all have real, believable backstories that actually go with the characters' personalities (Kira pulls off coming from a Crapsack World, being a Child Soldier in La Résistance, and learning firsthand that War Is Hell without a single drop of Wangst and plenty of Bad Ass and becomes one of the best characters on the show, and even Dr. Bashir's Insufferable Genius-ness ties in with the rest of his character) and most of them are just plain AWESOME. And as for the supporting cast's amazingness. Garak. Just... Garak. Also, Batlithe duels, Klingon mythology, and Worf/Jadzia, a great Battle Couple. And Quark, and all his scheming and comic relief mixed with his moments of Badassery when his family is in danger. Great show! It attained the perfect balance between the sometimes overly-optimistic Roddenberry vision of the other Treks and the sometimes overly-pessimistic Ron Moore vision of BSG. Just enough darkness to tone down the lightness of Trek and make it real, combined with long arcs that allowed for deeper story and character development, resulted in a great show that made all of its parts greater than they had any business being. Watching DS9, more so than any of the other Treks, was like watching real people and true stories. Everyone was incredibly flawed without being overly messed up or unlikable, all of their relationships were suitably complicated, and there were "always" two sides to every argument, conflict, plot, and character. The heroes were good without being right all the time and the villians were anything but pure evil—admit it, you were sad when Weyoun was gone for good. Just like real life, this show was hilarious, emotionally draining, complicated, depressing at times, heartbreaking, and uplifting.
Franchise Star Trek deserves gushing in general. Many trekkies and trekkers, or just plain sci-fi fans alike just love all the series equally, even the So Bad, It's Good moments (sometime especially those, actually). There are few other franchises or shows that can pull off having some episodes about incredibly sobering topics like PTSD and the nature of morality and others about random hijinks in the holodeck without making either seem out of place or giving everyone intense Mood Whiplash. Even the mundane or bad episodes contribute to the whole and seriously, it just wouldn't be Star Trek without them.
Strangers with Candy is the best sitcom you've never heard of. In a weird way, some fans were glad they cancelled it. It stopped it from outstaying its welcome. Three seasons and it never had a bad episode. Be sure to check it out.
It may have gotten off to a slow start, but once it got the ball rolling, Dollhouse became pure gold. Even before it got epic, it had potential. It's very nice indeed to see a mainstream show with Asians on it. It's like Joss Whedon saying, "Sorry for not putting any on Firefly... here, have lots of them!" It's pretty impressive how engaging this show is, despite the fact that, at the beginning, there is basically one main character who isn't either involved in really morally sketchy shit or can't remember anything from one episode to the next.
Just...Rome. A show that refused to shy away from both Fanservice and Squick with its portrayals of the ancient civilization's practices. With main characters who verge on sociopathy not out of choice but simply because that is how their society works. It had Moments of Awesome and Tearjerkers that simply blew you away. With great writing and great actors (Kevin McKidd and Ciaran Hinds), this show is one the best, if not the best, portrayals of ancient Rome.
Dexter is awesome. Where to begin with the gushing? Let's start with the title sequence. The extreme close-ups of a morning routine, made to look strangely gory. The show had people hooked from the first few seconds! Then hearing Dexter's thoughts, which are laced with exactly the right amount of dark humor delivered with deadpan perfection. And lets face it, it takes quite a special show to have a serial killer as its main character, but not only that, a serial killer that the audience can like. Then there are the other characters, each one of them filled with complexities, flaws and virtues so that it feels as though each one were a real person. Dexter could well be one of the best TV shows ever.
The Prisoner took a goofy, over-the-top genre like the '60's Spy Movie and used it to make an iconic, intelligent exploration of Individuality vs. Conformity. It raised questions that are still being asked 40 years later. It also showed us just how much fun, infuriating, and thought-provoking Mind Screw endings could be. During the finale it took an already pretty surrealistic series, completely ran it off the rails, and made no apologies. Not even an attempt to explain anything we had just seen. It was a conscious attempt to burn conventional storytelling to the ground. Some people who watch it believing they're entitled to answers may feel ripped off, but it was in a way truly amazing. It was uncompromisingly intelligent and compelling, even before the finale. It's the sort of show that requires the viewer to think long and hard about it, but rewards those who do with some truly great television. You will be impressed with the complexity of its plots, the cleverness of the dialogue, and the philosophical depth of its themes. And of course, Patrick Mc Goohan's acting and characterization of Number Six is exceptional. He's one of the best protagonists in television history.
NCIS has a cast of characters viewers can care about. It has neat plots. It has adorable actors. It has United States Marines. Go watch it and fall in love. Quirky, original characters? Mostly realistic situations? A plot that actually makes sense and can be followed relatively easily? Well-written scripts? Believable character interactions? Fan love? All of the above, and so much more.
Let's throw out The Mentalist. Because it is amazing; the characters are great, the relationships they have with each other are adorable, the arc plot is chilling and suspenseful, the crimes-of-the-week are usually really good... oh and the show has Simon Baker's smile. Tim Kang generally, and his arms especially — it makes it the Thursday Night Gun Show. Simon Baker and Robin Tunney work well as a double-act. It's consistently funny yet serious, too. Also, the one-off (for now) appearance of former True Blood actress Stacie Leah Rippy was great; she's under-rated, and doesn't get big roles.
Anyone can talk back to a bad movie, but how many can make it consistently funny and entertaining for years and years? Mystery Science Theater 3000, TV Tropes salute you. It's rare that somebody can mock Hamlet and actually be really, really funny. If you ever need a summary of Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy, it's hard to beat "I'm a chicken for not stabbing myself". The show is one of the greatest THINGS of all-time. It's funny and incredibly random (he tried to kill me with a forklift HUZZAH!) Smartass robots FTW. Even though a lot of MST3K reviews on IMDb point out that these guys are just doing what we do naturally — sit in front of a TV and talk at it — and that it's not creative or necessary because anyone can do that on their own, but that's the thing: anyone can do anything. It takes true brilliance to elevate something as simple as mockery to an art form.
Red Dwarf. At its height, it featured some of the funniest scenes ever shot on television. It was the best thing ever for the longest time.
You know what's a great show? Corner Gas. With consistently hilarious and endlessly watchable episodes, as well as a diverse set of quirky characters, the show is a true Canadian relic. Too bad it ended.
Scrubs. No show can be so touching and so hilarious at the same time. So human. It manages to give aesops without coming off stupid or preachy and it has quite possibly the best soundtrack of all live action shows... Yes, it started to get crappy after the fifth season, but god, it is managed to be one of the best shows. Season 8 rocked. People got hooked a few minutes into the first episode when JD asked Turk if, when they're singing along to rap music together, he could use "this one word that the singers sometimes use..." and Turk cut him off with a curt "No." By the time JD and Elliot were racing (compete with fantasy race elements and the great music that would be a highlight of the show), viewer got a new favorite comedy. And yet by the third episode it established itself as a solid drama with, "My Old Lady," showing emotional range perhaps not seen since Mash, if then. Also, the music... seriously, even if you aren't familiar with Scrubs, go to YouTube and search for "scrubs music scenes" or something like that.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Never has a show reached such heights, while shooting itself in the foot as often as it did... but when the heights are that high, why focus on the lows?
Season 1 was far better than people give it credit for, season 2 was famously epic and showed what a deep show this was, season 3 was made with pure class, and season 4, probably the worst, still had some of the most beautiful standalones of the show, if the arc was a bit of a let down. Season 6 was the bravest televisual move ever, and they pulled it off with aplomb. In general: Buffy is awesome.
Some fans supposedly hate season six and seven, but both of those seasons offer a tiny slice of life and they capture everything so incredibly perfectly, with layer upon layer of pathos, humour, irony, and some of the best damn characters ever put on a television. That is how awesome Buffy is. Seasons 6 and 7 may not have been as good as the rest of the series, but they were nowhere near as bad as everyone claims.
Episode "Once More With Feeling". Vamp!Willow's characterization, and how Willow actually was at the end of season 6.
The show's franchise! The show itself, thegames, Season 8, all amazing. How can you not like a show that changed TV forever? Also, without Buffy, TV Tropes would have never been made...
Buffy and Angel are wonderfully, amazingly hilarious. We're speaking Rolling On the Floor Laughing hilarious!
Angel is just as good as its parent show, Buffy, and for all the same reasons. Joss Whedon is a master at taking a real life situation, adding a supernatural twist, and having it come out more relatable than the original situation. Angel is even better, due in part to Angel being a bit of a psych geek and an INFP. There's too few of them in starring roles, because they come off as Wangsty to everybody else even in Real Life, but a Byronic Hero like Angel can pull it off (almost by definition) no matter how big the Deus Angst Machina or the Angst itself gets. From the amazing characters from Angel to Fred to their even more amazing character development, everything is just perfect and brings out some of the best drama and humor. It didn't just have great heroes but great villains as well. This show raised Affably Evil to an art form with Lindsey ("Stop it evil hand, stop it!"), Holland Manners' calmly awesome evilness, Lila's spectacular bitchiness, Darla's... it was endearing how she always seemed to end up failing at villainy), "Cordy" running her scheme while spouting hilarious quips no one got, even Jasmine had her moments, plus the King of hilarious badass-laden psychological/physical tormenty villainy, Angelus. Actually a lot of the minor villains like Skip and Archduke Sebassis were great as well. It had some of the greatest dramatic moments ever seen. Doyle's final episode or Cordy's last one are absolutely tear-jerking.
The West Wing deserves worshipping at the altar. A show that is not afraid to be smart, to be educational without being preachy and at the same, being absolutely hilarious and at other times heart-breaking. It is one of the most intelligent shows. It's engaging, funny and addictive, though some considered it to be so awful as to subject it to Fanon Discontinuity. It has John Spencer/Leo McGarry. Then the relationship between Will and Kate was great; shame their story was never concluded. Josh&Donna, C.J., Sam Seaborn, Ainsley Hayes, Will Bailey, Jed Bartlet are seriously awesome characters and this whole show is awesome, too. Get tired of it while marathoning? Never for its dedicated fans!
Mad Men. The smartest, most artistic, most compelling show on TV. Why it still hasn't caught on here, or for the general public, is a criminal offense.
The Office is the single most monumental series in the history of comedy. And no, I'm not talking about the American remake (which is actually very good in itself), but the original, 12-episodes, Christmas Special, Paper-company-in-Slough, UK "The Office". God Bless Gervais & Merchant.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles is, without a doubt, incredibly awesome and one of the best shows ever. It's intelligent, funny, armed with a great plot and character development, and an interesting assortment of screwed-up characters, plus takes full advantage of the Terminator mythos and the myriad plot elements it offers up. Plus, it has Summer Glau. Sarah Connor is just fantastic.
Fawlty Towers will always remain one of the most twistedly hilarious programs ever made. Even after watching it a million times, (and yes, US public TV stations probably have shown it that many times,) it still manages to be consistently funny. Kudos to John Cleese for choosing to end it before it could become stale and repetitive.
Tropers showing their nerditude and geekiness, but... Jeopardy!. Nothing like half an hour of random trivia, especially when you watch it with your family, and among them, well, some tropers know all the answers. Yes, all of them. Many a troper secretly wants to be on it since childhood. Perhaps you are one of them. It also has one of the best game show theme songs of all time.
Nothing wrong with nerditude. Seeming non-sequiturs can be explained by "I'm watching Wheel of Fortune!"
Legends of the Hidden Temple. Best game show ever. Even if the show's been cancelled for years, people still dream of one day facing Olmec's temple. That Silver Monkey is going DOWN. One of the greatest forms of entertainment known to mankind. The temple guards to be the best part and always jumped when they came out of the trees.
Arrested Development is awesome and it is the LOST of comedy. One essay said that "The complexity of a drama is measured by the number of plot threads and how they intertwine, the complexity of a sitcom is measured by how much media you have to have experienced for maximum enjoyment," and it that regard it certainly holds up. It's complex by dramatic standards too — the narrator is there for a reason—and the characters remain consistently fresh and interesting. It took one of the dullest subjects on the face of the planet and made from it an original sitcom without a single dull moment in its entire run. The cast was the total embodiment of their roles, and there wasn't a single joke with poor delivery. This show is the golden standard of what a sitcom should be, and let's salute all involved for making it perfect. Another amazing thing next to the BRILLIANT, dark humoured dialogue, is the fact that none of the characters is really likeable, yet viewers can be intrigued with each and everyone of them. Also, there are many little in-jokes and bits of foreshadowing. (For example, H. Maddas is Saddam H. backwards.) It's rare there's ever been a show with such great rewatch value.
The Closer deserves soo much more love. Unfortunately, you may find it dull at the beginning... but it's totally addictive! The gloriously dysfunctional and flawed main character, the strong ensemble cast, the dedication to realism... The show is just awesome!
Whose Line Is It Anyway?. No arguments between which version is better because both versions — American and British — rock, and Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson are genuinely awesome for coming up with Mock the Week afterwards. Whose Line is a very good candidate for the most underrated comedy show ever (though it was very popular in the UK).
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip might have sounded like it was going to be a rip-off of 30 Rock but it was an imaginative, very clever show that you get to see very rarely. Aaron Sorkin's and Tommy Schlamme's name appearing on the small screen again was way too cool for their fans. To the creators' credit, the series tried to wrap up everything very quickly when they realised it was going to finish. It was a great, very well done show; it was funny and it had very likable characters. It was simply great.
Power Rangers Wild Force is many fans' favourite series of the franchise, namely because of how the Zords were interchangeable. With the amount of Zords and amount of combinations that happened, what more could you ask from that series... more Zords! The show is completely different than ANYTHING on American television. It may have its weaker moments, but Rule of Cool always pulls through. Always.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. Yeah, it's different with the heroes' identities being revealed, but that's only part of the reasons why it's so awesome. The other reasons include the plot (the demons plotting to take over Mariner Bay), the twists (for example, Ryan, the series' first American-made Ranger, being revealed as Captain Mitchell's son), and the impressive cast! It had Carter the Red Ranger and one of the bestPower Rangers themes. Saying that this show Needs More Love is an understatement, even though some fans have come to respect the series in retrospect.
''Power Rangers Time Force is one of, if not THE, greatest Power Rangers seasons ever. It completely averted Never Say "Die" in its first frelling episode, it had great characters, cool action scenes, and one of the zords was basically Batman. How could this not be awesome?
Square One TV made some people appreciate Math and get them feel excited all week, waiting for a new Mathnet segment to come up. And it also taught its viewers logical and critical thinking. Oh joy, the debunking points in the Mathnet Bermuda Triangle episode...
Kids' game shows in the '90s were amazing. But the most amazing of all was probably Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? It created many a dedicated student of History and Geography. DO IT, ROCKAPELLA!
The Electric Company was one of the greatest children's shows of all time. It had witty humor, great songs, and a very talented cast. Not just Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno, but everyone. Them, the writers, the directors, everyone who worked on the show were people who knew what really entertained kids and adults. Not to mention the graphics were cool. Most importantly, they taught a whole generation of kids how to read and to love reading. Nothing made afterwards comes close, not even Between the Lions.
Most Extreme Elimination Challenge is the perfect show to watch when everyone but you is asleep and you need some good laughs. The fast pace of the Gag Dub narration makes all the puns funnier, and who wouldn't want to at least try a game of Irritable Bowl Syndrome?
Heroes: It's awesomesauce story telling and characters that are actually fallible and therefore interesting are what kept viewers coming back season after season! It had some bumps, but its Expansion universe and attempts at realism in a sci-fi setting is admirable. Heroes Wiki is full of fun trivia to explore. And it's great for fanfiction for the reasons previously mentioned. And while the later seasons may be lacking, the first season is still the best of the whole show.
The show Reaper deserves love and gushing for its ridiculously attractive main character, hilarious writing, adorable romance, and Satan fitting in all of that seamlessly.
Pre-Bobby Lee Mad TV. From that time, Nicole Sullivan, Debra Wilson and Phil LaMarr were awesome and popular cast members.
Babylon 5. The most amazing, brilliant, beautiful sci-fi show no one has ever heard of. The new Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) is likeable, but everything Battlestar has done, B5 did first and better. Some of the funniest moments ever put to television (Ivonava. Alien sex. Take your pick of scenes or episodes.), and some of the most incredibly heartbreaking (Marcus. Sleeping In Light.) The sci-fi show that did what Star Trek could never quite manage to do, and made sci-fi human. A sprawling, complex almost-fantastical storyline that maintains the perfect tension, tightly wound but not obfuscatingly so, complicated but not head-scratchingly confusing. Characters as complex and real as any modern-day people, immensely quotable ("You can get more with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with just a kind word"). Aliens who were more human than some humans. J. Michael Stracyznski is the only man who wrote like Whedon before Whedon. B5 is essentially Buffy in space — a speculative fiction show that is ten million times better at capturing the essence of humanity than many shows lacking sci-fi or fantasy elements.
While there is a fair share of headscratchers on Sex and the City, there's so many reasons why it deserves love in the first place. It really is one of the few shows out there where women aren't punished for liking sex, and where it's famous frank talk about it is taken for granted. While it is unlikely that four women like that would be such close, lifelong friends, they all bounce off each other hilariously. Charlotte and Harry are pretty much made of this and they have some of the sweetest moments on the show. It's also one of the few cases of Ugly Guy, Hot Wife (though Harry is certainly cute in his own way) that you see from the woman's point of view and why she loves him so much. Steve and Miranda made such an awesome couple too.
Six Feet Under is genuinely touching. Fans grew attached to all of the characters. Even the least likeable characters will have you crying for them at some point. Not to mention it had one of the best endings to a series ever.
QI is perfect television — intelligent, educational, astonishingly funny and beautifully hosted by Stephen Fry, a perfect culmination of the Reithian mantra and the perfect tribute to all that is wondrous and interesting in the world, upheld by the finest comic minds that the BBC can procure. It's got Alan Davies who is the most adorable patsy for everything ever. Warning: The love for this show may cause spouting even more random facts and trivia than is usual for geeks.
LOST: No show has devoted such lengths to Character Focus to set up so much license to get really creative. The mysteries are confounding yet irresistible, the villains mesmeric, the heroes flawed and all with a deep level of characterization. The plot is astounding in its depth and since the show set an end date the foreshadowing and general plotting ahead has been incredible. The twists are endless and fascinating, the mythology deeper than any other on television and the presentation is spectacular and unique. No show is more creative, exciting, frustrating, tearjerking, mindbogglingly awesome. Lost has one year left and is definitely one of the finest works in decades. For many fans, it is the best show they've ever seen. Not one of the best— the best. It even managed to save Jack and Kate. And on top of that, they totally sold the Jate/Sawliet final score of the Love Triangle, and that's a goddamn feat. It's also one of the few Anyone Can Die shows that could be trusted enough to get truly attached to the characters, and it never failed in that regard. It's been a hell of a half-dozen years.
Jonathan Creek has to be one of the best televisions programmes ever. It's about someone who's not just a normal hero but is weird and different and is surrounded by bossy women. There's awesome mysteries and it makes you laugh and it's fascinating and freaky and sometimes so gross that it makes you scream with horror. And it's acted by Alan Bloody Davies. So well written, genuinely surprising and Alan Davies in a duffle coat - brilliant! IT'S THE BEST THING EVER and there are no ways to explain how EVERYONE should watch it.
Black Books! It's one of those sitcoms that makes you laugh so hard that you realise that lesser shows are only making you smile. It has a misanthropic alcoholic bibliophile for its main character and Bill Bailey is in it! And his character is adorable. And Fran! And so much infinitely quotable dialogue! "Look, now he's bending over... and he's getting back up again! I knew he'd do that..." It's a shame it's so short. Also, Dylan Moran is wonderful.
The entire Stargate Verse is awesome. Everything since the original movie. The joy some fans get from trying to Hand Wave any inconsistencies away. Obviously, Hathur had used genetic engineering on her host to be able to produce new Goa'uld larva even while in a host body. That, or magnets. Magnets explains everything. And it has the greatestTheme Song ever! The episodes are clever and well written, more than just lip service is paid to the "science" aspect of science fiction...
Stargate SG-1 is awesome. The episodes are almost always interesting, the whole cast is incredibly likeable and the writing is simply good. Their Genre Savvy-ness is unique and O'Neill has brilliant Deadpan Snarker humor. And goddamn, some episodes are just so incredible you can watch them 2 or 3 times and find it awesome every time. And hell, if you're a real fan, you will love picking out the inconsistencies, too.
This franchise has awesome characters who are so amazingly likeable. Just O'Neill. The best thing about Stargate. Second best? A competent, smart, tough Hot ScientistAction Girl played brilliantly by Amanda Tapping. And it's hard to overstate just how awesome it is that there are two smart, competent, well-written female characters in Sam Carter and Janet Frasier. More shows should look to Stargate's example.
Cold Case is one of the best procedurals out there. It's intelligent and, while not totally realistic which would be asking too much of a primetime Bruckheimer cop show, it's still practical and clear-eyed. It has a sympathy for its victims and its murderers — and even its bystanders — that's almost unequalled in crime procedurals. We spend the entire episode getting to know the victim, with the result that their eventual murder can be almost unwatchable. It can break your heart and put it back together in an hour. Every episode qualifies for either a tearjerker or a a heartwarming moment. The character development of the main cast is a slow but steady build-up of faults and qualities. The central role of the cool-headed, cynical, workaholic detective is that of a woman? There's not enough lead detectives who are female and also don't fall into the category of Little Old Lady Investigates. Also, the show is set in Philadelphia! Finally a show NOT being set in New York or L.A.
How I Met Your Mother: This show is so AWESOME. Readers, we're gonna teach you how to gush. This gushing is gonna be LEGEN... wait for it... DARY! LEGENDARY!
It's the characters! This is one of the rare shows with which you find yourself loving and caring about every main character. And the fact that it can actually pull off something that other shows (particularly sitcoms) falter over: sentimentality.
It brought back the word 'awesome'. Some didn't use that word until after they started watching the show. And it has become addictive — both the word and the show.
The angsty-but-excellent Barney/Robin subplot in "Benefits", and "Three Days of Snow" was everything that a filler ensemble episode should be. Neil Patrick Harris is crushable, especially in suits. It's just cliche enough to be familiar, but original enough that you can really enjoy it.
Season 4 had a good twist and subsequent Character Development of Lily that came out of the episode "The Front Porch". Other great episodes are "Jenkins", "Milk", "Shelter Island", "Happily Ever After", "Spoiler Alert" and "Rabbit Or Duck". Very funny show, and seasons 1 and 5 among the funniest.
Barney deserves love for being the only jerk. It's nice to have a group of friends on a sitcom who actually act like friends, rather than a bunch of assholes shoved together because nobody else likes them. He really is a jerk with a good heart. And "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" simultaneously hilarious and awesome. Plus, he is the most awesome awesome to have ever suited up in AWESOME.
The continuity is really impressive with the ten million running gags, and all the website tie-ins, and how it lampshades or invents all these little social concepts and rules, like clubs not being awesome or the Hot/Crazy Scale for shallow guys - and shockingly, they all make perfect sense.
It's such a realistic sitcom - most of the situations aren't all that out of the ordinary, and the quickfire dialogue is played as dynamic that exists as a result of the long-running friendship between the main characters, and they will laugh at the jokes] instead of pretending everybody can talk like that.
It's cool how unreliable a narrator Future!Ted is, starting with "And that, kids, is how I met your Aunt Robin" in the pilot. What a great narrative device.
Barney/Robin storyline may bore some viewers, but they resolved it perfectly in "Of Course". Also, Of Course You're Still Single, Look at Yourself, You Dumb Slut is probably one of the funniest names for a self-help book ever.
Niel Patrick Harris again. Dr. Horrible caused some people to look for more Harris and made them watch this shoe. The gags! The montage with Marshall's websites! The Cat Funeral part causes TEARS of laughter. And the Mood Whiplash!
The music in the show! It's great, especially when the characters sing or play. "Let's Go To the Mall" is too good for words.
Be blown away by the acting and writing they put into a character we would never see in another episode. Holy crap, they did it again next episode! Add onto this all the Character Development and Continuity Nods for the detectives, and you get a great Police Procedural that averts Strictly Formula and manages to get episodic television right. It is never shallow or preachy, and it never takes the easy way out.
The characters! The show has cojones — a victim of sexual abuse in Derek Morgan? A fun-loving techno-geek hacker who is plus-size and it's never used for laughs? And the characters - every single one gives you multiple reasons to want to take them home and feed them soup and yet admire them. What an admirable job this show has done at making almost all its characters eminently huggable without in any way being saccharine. Penelope Garcia, you are the most lovable face of Mission Control out there. Spencer Reid, in spite of your stereotypical geekiness, you are never in the least bit an annoying or shallow character. Derek Morgan, you are the picture-perfect sensitive badass. We love you all, team. Spencer Reid, would-be stereotypical geek, and yet still pretty badass. Devoted father Aaron Hotcher, who's still married to the job. Emily Prentiss, ambassador's geek daughter. Jennifer Jareau, nowhere near a Dumb Blonde. Jason Gideon and David Rossi, fearless leaders with mysterious dark pasts. And aforementioned Mission Control hacker Penelope Garcia and her favorite flirtation partner, badass Derek Morgan. You just have to adore them all.
The cases! What an utterly fascinating show! And the cases are the most depressing and disturbing cases ever, the type that stay with you even after you've long turned the TV off. This show gets criminal profiling right. Who knew there were so many ways to kill someone? The variety of episodes is to be loved. We've got rapists, murderers, kidnappers, pedos, arsonists, bombers, and just plain creepers.
Criminal Minds can make you sickened by humanity and gushingly happy in the same episode. The BAU members grow on you. The victims grow on you. Hell, even some of the Unsubs can grow on you. Watching an abducted adult or kid reunite with their loved ones is so heartfelt. Watching a loved one find out that one of their own was murdered can glue you to the TV. And even through all the atrocities, the BAU can still act as a family. A very dysfunctional, gun-toting family, but a family nevertheless. Plus, it has some educational value. Reid's Motor Mouth tangent that occurs Once per Episode can teach you a lot. Made of Win!
Okay, so it wasn't faithful to the book or the movie — or history, for that matter — but Mash is an awesome series. Funny, dramatic, touching, an endearing cast of characters and some very interesting episodes. Sure it got caught up in itself and was sometimes preachy, but overall it was season after season of entertaining dramedy. The characters were brilliant (even Frank Burns got his very best episode when Margaret got engaged), it switched seamlessly from funny to depressing and Hawkeye and BJ had such awesome chemistry, whether you saw the Ho Yay or not. Hawkeye's conversation on the phone with his father in "The Late Doctor Pierce" is one of the best piece of television. Ever. A word of loving advice from TV Tropes: Don't watch the Grand Finale in one go. The heartwarming and the heartbreak will destroy your soul. But it's still the best Grand Finale ever. Many a great series couldn't quite nail their finale, but this one did. It's awesome.
The Wire is pretty much made of awesome. Lester Freamon is The Man. Omar is The Man. Jimmy is The Man. Stringer, Bunk, Bubbles, Mouzone, Daniels, Avon, the Greek, are all The Man. Several of the women are The Man. The City of Baltimore is The Man. David Simon is The Man, and he knows it. Sheeeeeeit... It is really the best television show ever. You read reviews about how complex, realistic and intricate the plot is, about how great the acting is, about how strong the messages are and about how it's miles better than any other show in existence? You think it is just massive hyperbole? You expect it must suffer from Hype Backlash? But they are right. It is that good. In fact, whoever is reading this right now, stop, and go watch The Wire. Buy a boxset, rent it on Netflix, download it off of fucking BitTorrent if you have to (though it'd be preferable if you didn't). This was a series that was made to be viewed on DVD, and even if you're not the type to usually watch TV, please, at least watch this. You owe it to yourself, and you won't regret it. P.S., it is fairly complicated, just so you know, so pay attention.
Psych... it's so damn funny. Maybe it's the constant lampshades, the genre savviness in some instances, or because it never takes itself that seriously, but Psych never fails to amuse.
The X-Files is the greatest show that ever has been and ever will be on television. Completely adorable UFO-chasing geeky FBI agent with that one special look that says, "You are the only person on the planet right now, in my opinion?"Smoking hot cynical FBI agent with a medical degree and a body to kill for? A sophisticated Myth Arc? Lots of Fanservice? Plotlines requiring an actual intellect? It doesn't get better than that! The X-Files is everything a show should be. It's smart, hilarious, touching, terrifying — it can give you nightmares for the rest of your life, or make you cry tears of joy. The characters and dialogue are all so well written that it feels like you've known them for years... and maybe you have, if you grew up with the show. There are many fans who did grow up with The X-Files and it was one of the first shows that got to be discussed on-line, which all gives it a very special place, making it a category of its own. It doesn't even compare to everything else; after all, you never forget your first. If you come to watch it without nostalgia goggles, read this: It should feel dated, but it doesn't. The X-Files makes the world seem like a huge, mysterious, amazing, bizarre place where anything can, and will, happen. It is, quite simply, the best show that has ever been made. Not to mention what's possibly the most amazing chemistry two actors have ever had, or ever will. The characters didn't even need to speak to generate enough electricity to charge a cell phone. A lot of other shows have tried to emulate it, but none have succeeded in matching the sheer levels of UST: there's a reason the term was invented on X-Files message boards.
In a network overrun with cliché teen girl sitcoms, find a single spot of hope in Phil of the Future. Male protagonist? Check. Ongoing storyline? Check. Recurring love interest? Check. Naturally, it was Screwed by the Network, but still... As well as the lack of Laugh Track, it also had engaging characters that were genuinely likable, and the actors were pretty good for Disney Channel. And it was honestly funny, even for people whose brand of humor might usually run more toward Monty Python-esque randomness.
The snarky commentary in Burn Notice is hilarious, Jeffrey Donovan is a really excellent actor, especially with changing his accents and being able to play a character playing another character, and finally, the action sequences are amazing. Not to mention Fiona is hoooot. All anyone should have mentioned is "Kyle from The Pretender is a secret agent, his ex-girlfriend is an IRA terrorist who blows shit up, and Bruce motherfucking Campbell is a Navy SEAL". And it's just awesome. The humor, the MacGuyvered gadgets, the bond between Michael, Sam, and Fiona, the Client of the Week, Madeline in general... What an awesome show!
Bones. Just... Bones. The characters are incredibly complex and well-developed. The entire cast has amazing chemistry. Booth and Brennan have a brilliantly written relationship- there's enough will-they-or-won't-they to keep the romantic tension up, but the friendship that they share is comfortable enough that even if they never hook up romantically, viewers can still be satisfied. It never makes the audience feel like screaming at the writers "oh, for God's sake, just frakking hook them up already!", which 90% of the time those kind of relationships can do. (Woody and Jordan in Crossing Jordan, Mulder and Scully, etc.) The supporting characters are also all really well-written and intriguing in their own right. The interpersonal relationships in the lab manage to be realistic, and though they sometimes verge into the soap-opera-ish, they make the show fascinating and relatable. The science might not be sound, but the writing definitely is. If you are a huge fan of Kathy Reichs' books, the pilot episode might turn you off by what seems like a ripoff of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation with an insufferable TV Genius and a crime-recreating magic holodeck. But it gets better -- it grows the beard!
Full House might be enjoyed for the nostalgic So Bad, It's Good cheesiness, but honestly? It can be enjoyed for non-ironic reasons too. Sure it's saccharine but it is - dare we say? - progressive. Think about it, a wholly positive portrayal of an alternative family structure? And hell, as an ensemble show it just holds up. They also DID have a surprising amount of crap they slipped past the radar.
Chuck. A gun-fight at a wedding while two geeks perform "Mr. Roboto" would be mocked on any other show. On Chuck it's undiluted WIN! So much so, that NBC just had to renew it. Anyone who has ever slaved in the bowels of Retail Hell while dreaming of something more should LOVE this freakin' show! Just one piece of awesomeness: Chuck saving the day by playing Missile Command set to background music of TOM SAWYER! This thing is made of win! Extra points for being the show that makes excellent characters out of other shows' Scrappies (looking at YOU, Kristin Kruek). The show has it all, a cool premise, incredible guest stars, such as Bakula, Chase, Assante, Boxleitner, Hamilton, Dalton, and SUMMER frakking GLAU. While most shows in Chuck's position would be cancelled in no time flat, the show has defied the odds and stayed on for five seasons, fitting of the underdog status that our man Chuck Bartowski has.
Quantum Leap: The sheer range of Scott Bakula's roles (Sam Beckett's... a test pilot! A laboratory chimp! A black woman in the Deep South! Dr. Ruth!)? The fact that you could always sit down to it and be sure to be entertained? The arc plot with the evil leaper? Even Al, who was the very definition of Lovable Sex Maniac? The episode where they switched places and Sam finally got revenge for all Al's holographic tricks? All those serious, schmaltzy, funny moments? You're leaving out all that? Well, don't expect us to write your Gushing for you. Wiki Magic has its limits. It deserves extra mention for how astonishingly well it has aged since its original run. Sure, the time travel plot allows for each episode to bounce to a new period setting, but it only works because the periods are so immersive. And then there's Scott Bakula's ridiculously broad array of skills.
Gilmore Girls: Cute, quirky, amazing characters, great dialogue, incredible acting. The characters are wonderful, the dialogue pitch-perfect, and the references hilarious as they are numerous. Characters like Rory or Lorelai are rare on TV, and their relationship is lovely and strong. The slight craziness of the town is ever so amusing. The Shout Outs to both pop culture and high culture go way beyond your average Small Reference Pools, and compliment the audience, thinking that Viewers Are Geniuses. The references are comparable to MST3K. Paris is one of the greatest tightly-wound neurotics in TV history, and Lorelei shows you can still be an adult and retain your inner child and Lorelei-ness. Rory is smart and cute, and Alexis Bledel is beautiful. This show is simply enchanting. A sample of Kirk's weirdness that was always welcome: "I'm not the first guy to name a restaurant after myself! What about Mr. Denny or Mr. E. Cheese?"
Golden Girls deserves gushing. All of the characters' chemistry, their personality, and all of the wonderful sarcasm. They just don't make television like that anymore. The best part about Golden Girls is that, aside from the characters, they made so many great episodes. They had a great deal of very special episodes (the Christmas episode where the girls help out at a soup kitchen, for example), but they never came off as Anvilicious unlike, say, pretty much all of even the kids' shows nowadays. That's how good it is. Nearly none of the prime-time shows do come close to this one.
Primeval. Yes, it's cheesy and scientifically inaccurate but it's fun and dramatic and the characters are great. You gotta love a show where you can truly like and enjoy all the people in it, especially if said show has a hot geek like Connor. If you're lamenting the lack of any good stuff on Sci-Fi channel, watch Primeval. Not bashing the new Doctor Who or anything but for those who prefer American science fiction with slightly more realism, less slapstick, and a little more emotional weight, Primeval is a GOD-send. The series is AMAZING. Amazing characters, good plots, well-written dialogue, and awesome CGI that actually makes the creatures look pretty creepy.
Castle is a great show. It's very entertaining and with complex characters with interesting backstories and intense relationships, and there's a lot of chemistry and UST all around. The show has an all-star cast of writers and directors with cool guest stars who all love other shows, films and series, so there's a chance that everybody will be treated with a Shout-Out or an Actor Allusion that might particularly enjoy. Nathan Fillion is charming as ever, Stana Katic is immensely hot, and they are both talented actors. Firefly fans might stick around for the Throw It Ins like seeing Castle as Mal, or it can even make up for not getting Mal/Inara resolution. It's Mal, but he's an adorable dad/good with the ladies! It's (kind of) Inara, but she's got a gun! And they solve murders! On Castle characters we love aren't getting killed left and right, and the writing is just as good, if not better. Oh, and Plucky Girl Alexis as a responsible teenager which is a wonderful aversion of Bratty Teenage Daughter because this trope is beaten to death. Plus Castle is one of the very few shows that has ever gotten Will They or Won't They? right. It's for once not achingly frustrating, it's fun!
Let's just be amazed at how goodThe Big Bang Theory is. Sheldon is a genius in all his awkward, Jerk Ass glory, Leonard is very funny and often adorable, the other two geeks are awesome. The entire cast is loveable and watching their wacky adventures every week just makes people happy. It's probably the best sitcom on TV. The characters are fairly relatable, the geeky references make its (mostly) nerdy fans smile, and it's hilarious! Jim Parsons got the Emmy he rightfully deserved! May it go on to live for long time.
The 1980s BBC adaptation of The Box of Delights. One of the most charming and magical children's series they've done, and the Christmas atmosphere is fantastic.
Good News Week, brilliant Black Comedy Aussie satire. Paul McDermott in particular has awesome comedic timing.
Thank God Youre Here, brilliant Black Comedy Aussie comedy. One day, Frank Woodley, Julia Zimero, Angus Sampson and Hamish Blake will all be on the show at the same time. That will be the most beautiful day for comedy.
Blackadder. The pinnacle of British comedy. It's always hilarious. Also one of the only comedies that could pull of a Tear Jerker finale and make it work so well.
Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena is a lot of fun if you take the blatant lesbian subtext and just run with it. And even aside from that, the writing really improved after the first two or so seasons, and a lot of the episodes were just hilarious beyond hilarious. Some songs from the two Musical Episodes might stick with you, so beware.
Life is one of the best, if not the best crime shows ever created. The plot is fantastic, the characters are hilarious, and it's just so awesome. The series finale of that show was one of the best on television ever.
Why did CBS cancelled The Unit just as it was reaching awesome levels?
Cops. The first, the best, and — to this day — the only real reality television series.
Do you have a great enjoyment for So Bad, It's Good horror? You might think the intentionally terrible medical horror show Garth Marenghi's Darkplace to be the funniest thing ever seen. They paid such careful attention to detail in making the production values bad, came up with so many great ideas for Narm, and parodied the hell out of Mary SueAuthor Avatars. Careful, though. It's known to induce laughter that hurts quite a lot. It is very, very good at being hilariously bad.
Merlin. It's the best thing to come out of British television since the newest season of Doctor Who. Best re-imagining of the Arthurian legend in ages. Also, it's one of the very few shows that can get the whole family hooked on. It's sweet without tasting like Diabetes, occasionally dark without reaching Wangst, and some of the best examples of complex, interesting, relatable characters that are still likable. Not to mention the hilarious behind-the-scenes antics you can find on Youtube.
Boston Legal. Even in its most Anvilicious episodes, it was amazing. Never kept characters on too long, developed almost all of them appreciably, played Last Minute Hookup for all its worth. It should never have been cancelled. It seemed like a show about two gay lawyers, but instead it was a raunchy dramedy that pushed its fourth wall for everything it was worth and managed to make even the most over-the-top cases not only make sense, but inspire sympathy (or rage, depending on what was going down) for the clients and their badass CPS lawyers.
Life On Mars. Life on Mars took a twisty turny Mind Screw-y premise that could have been the most ridiculous thing to hit television in decades, and turned it into a show about possibilities and roads not taken. It gave us five brilliant and nuanced main characters that should have been walking tropes and made your heart ache for them multiple times an episode. It introduced its OWN Epileptic Trees, and reveled in teasing us with possibilities. It made us analyze David Bowie songs. And it gave us DCI Gene Hunt, the Manc Lion, a dinosaur of a cop, but ultimately the one you want at your side when the shit hits the fan. When Sky One had a special of the 50 Greatest TV show endings of all time. Guess who took the Gold... LOM did.
Life on Mars had its worthy successor in Ashes to Ashes. Higher stakes, new Myth Arc theories, and more of the Gene Hunt who viewers love so much. Just the fact that A2A could take a character like Jerkass Ray Carling and build him up to where you didn't just love to hate him, you plain out loved him is just amazing. They cared for all of their characters and never once sacrificed quality for the easy shock value or ratings stunts. It was amazingly well-written, well-shot, and well-acted. They had Galex, and it actually did solve the grand mystery. The best thing about LOM and A2A is that after you see the A2A finale, you can go back to the beginning and see how it was all planned in incredible detail right from the start. The masterful Grand Finale of Ashes to Ashes might have even surpassed LOM's ending and it was just perfect.
Murphy Brown: A Jerk with a Heart of Gold leading lady who regularly gets into fistfights with elected officials? And who actually has no sexual tension with her male best friend? A Chick who gradually evolves from The Ditz into a smart and capable human being? A Short Guy With Glasses who you could knock down ten times and who would get up eleven? The Heart is, of all things, a scruffy painter who won't go away (but why would anyone want him to?) Forget about Dan Quayle and the dated political references for a minute and remember that this show is loaded with heartwarming moments, Friendship Moments, and normal, respectable feminism that actually went out of its way to mockStraw Feminism. It was also smart and wasn't afraid to pull out Tear Jerkers.
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe. Cynical, sweary, sharp, savage, quick-fire, sarcastic, occasionally puerile, occasionally high-brow, occasionally heart-warming. Charlie Brooker, we salute you, your sharp wit and your strangely cute nose. Charlie Brooker might be the Only Sane Man in television and he is right about everything!
Desperate Housewives. In spite of what people say, it's nothing like those boring and pointless things called soap operas - no, this is the show that wonderfully blends laugh-out-loud suburban humour and lovably quirky character traits with dark, edgy, deadly serious storylines. Every event has a purpose, every episode consistently doles out generous chunks of entertainment, every character has something to make us love (or perhaps love to hate) him or her, every story arc grips you hard - and, of course, every episode begins and ends with a beautifully written philosophical yarn, each one more unique than the last and blending with awe-inspiring seamlessness into the content of the episode.
The Addams Family was one of the best shows of all time. So hilarious, so witty, so... Addams. Morticia and Gomez, and Lurch, are awesome characters.
Nip/Tuck. It never seems to get the acclaim it deserves, despite being hilarious, heartbreaking, and absolutely insane! Amazing performances from Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh as the genuinely complex and interesting lead characters, a plot arc with The Carver, a string of bizarre and awesome guest stars, plus a brilliantly retro colour palette and a soundtrack to die for.
New Tricks doesn't seem to get much love, but it definitely deserves some. It manages to perfectly balance comedy and drama, it has consistently excellent performances and engaging mysteries, and it's one of the few programs which features a cast of primarily older actors in starring roles. Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, James Bolam and Dennis Waterman form probably one of the best central casts of a television show ever.
Thouroughly British sitcom ''AsTimeGoesBy''. Utterly adorable, full to the brim with clever Britishy witticisms (see Lionel), it's made even more awesome knowing that it ran for over 11 years... and starred friggin' Judy Dench!! What more can ya ask for?
Top Gear is absurdedly popular. So where the heck is it on here? But then, as the episodes became more and more random (and it is frequently lampshaded as doing this by the hosts), she started to enjoy it more than she ever thought she would a car show. The hosts are engaging, especially Badass Adorable Richard Hammond, the format well-balanced, and the humor absolutely hysterical. Not to mention that if you have any sympathy at all for the hosts, many of the tests, challenges, and crazy stunts are terrifying and exhilarating. Plus, the Stig is an in-universe Memetic Badass. How awesome is that? Some say he would be incredulous at the suggestion that he's merely an in universeMemetic Badass. And that you're asking for trouble by suggesting such nonsense. All we know is: He's called The Stig. Let's point out that he found the discovery of Baby Stig in a manger in Bethlehem, for comedic effect on a Christmas special specifically set up for it to be funny.
Fraggle Rock may be a children's show, but it's incredibly touching. The Muppets in general make people believe in humanity, but Fraggle Rock is something special. May Mr. Henson rest in peace, and may the upcoming movies not make him spin in his grave! May there be many more movies!
Hannah Montana. Sure, it's cheesy as heck, the acting starts at hammy and goes downhill from there and the over-acting is extreme, even for a Disney show, but it's snarky, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and some gotta luuuuuurve a Ham and Cheese show.
Glee! The show is mostly cretefiably insane, but it can also be heartbreakingly touching when it's called for. The characters are colorful, the gags are hilarious, and of course, the songs, the songs!! Most of the covers are nearly as good as the original, if not even better! This show has such amazing writing, being able to tie together absolutely over-the-top things with totally understandable situations and relationships. Jane Lynch is goood at Madonna! Oh, and that's another thing: SYLVESTER IS THE MOST AWESOME BITCH ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. Brittany is the sweetest Dumb Blondeever! The plot is brilliantly written and both the acting and singing are fantastic! Some of the best characters to come along in ages, great music, enough twists to keep you guessing, a version of "Dream On" in vocal range, the list is endless with this one. And the second version of "Don't Stop Believin'" from the Season One finale? Nothing short of incredible. (Check out the long form of the song on the CD, AWESOME does not begin to cover it. Glee is just... incredible. The Kiss and all the boundaries it decimated. The cast can act, sing, and dance, and are absolutely delightful to watch. Not to mention the fact that, most of the time, the writers actually listen to the fans.
Carl Sagan's Cosmos is completely awesome, any updates and improved effects just make it BETTER.
Jeeves and Wooster! It's such a lovely little show, with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, adapting the Wodehouse stories as close to perfect as they could get. It's just lovely and absolutely perfect. Even avid Wodehouse fans tend to agree wholeheartedly that no-one else in the world could play Jeeves and Wooster like Fry and Laurie. They are Made of Win anyway, and perfect perfect perfect as these characters; the blend of silliness and sweetness, the musical turns, the Heterosexual Life-Partners dynamic... best British television ever.
CSI:NY is a great show. Why? For one, it's in New York City (most of the time, it's Fake NYC but it's still NYC). Secondly, the actors are all great. Three, Mac and Stella.
Misfits! Dear god, that show is brilliant. It takes on the superhero genre in a way never seen in Live Action TV before, the writing and characterization are genius, and Nathan! Is! frickin'! Hilarious! The absolute worst aspect of the show is, of course, the British Brevity. Only six episodes for the first season? We want more!
The Tudors is a legitimate guilty pleasure. It is just so sexy. Even the guys who don't take off their clothes are eye candy sometimes (especially Max Brown, that guy brings on daydreams). If you are a fan of the actual history... it must be said that the liberties taken with the true story could get a bit further, but the actors MORE than make up for it. Jonathan Rhys Meyers might or might not fit Henry's real looks, he's got the character down to a 'T'. Each of the wives is the best version ever seen, with distinction for Maria Doyle Kennedy and Natalie Dormer (Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, respectively). Those two women convey a furious, to-the-death rivalry - and except for one confrontation, this is done with nothing but the way they watch each other. That's right, only one sequence of dialogue in an entire season, and you can feel the tension. Joely Richardson's Katherine Parr was also wonderful. The second Jane Seymour, Annabelle Wallis, actually made her Queen Mary-Sue an interesting character, Joss Stone's Anne of Cleves wasn't just a stupid German, and Tamzin Merchant's Kitty Howard managed to have a certain innocence even when she was playing a total slut. Henry Cavill's Charles Brandon shows the most Character Development of any character, going from playboy fool to jaded ageing man who gets one final chance at love and just wants to live the rest of his life quietly. Cromwell is finally so much more than a cut-and-dried villain, Thomas More's centuries of being whitewashed (OK, the man is a saint, that means nothing - look at Augustine!) are over (James Frain, Jeremy Northam, take bows!), and even secondary characters like Anne Stanhope (Emma Hamilton) are played by wonderful actors who make you want more of the people they play. The only real downside - the show ends with Henry's death, and doesn't include the reigns of his three children. Why, Michael Hirst, why?
The Office - The American version. Jim and Pam Halpert are loveable. They're awesome. This show is amazing. The past two episodes of season six have been so great.
Yes, Minister. One of the funniest shows ever, it pokes fun at Britain, politics, British politics, politicians, British politicians, the system, the British system... You get the drill. It was Margaret Thatcher's favourite show. That says something.
Gotta love, love, loveMalcolm in the Middle! It shows that you can have a Dysfunctional Family and still have genuine heartwarming moments that occur just as frequently as the show's funny moments. And boy, is it funny! There is no character who isn't funny (laugh-out-loud funny). Cloudcuckoolander Dewey is particularly great. It started the wave of sitcoms breaking the three-camera-and-a-laugh-track format, there's so much they did that a traditional sitcom couldn't!
Leverage might just be one of the best shows ever to air on TV. Stories of... creative justice are entertaining, and this show combines it with some of the best writing AND acting ever to see. AND one of the writers has a blog with behind-the-scenes info! Oh, and at least three people from Next Gen have been involved with the show at some point. Leverage is the most underrated show on television in The New Tens. Funny, witty, and absolutely brilliant with plot and characters.
Law & Order: Trial by Jury was taken from us too soon. Tracey Kibre is a gorgeous, fiery, brilliant lead character, Kelly Gaffney is walking cute with a side of Bad Ass, and there is something so fascinating about seeing the legal side of the system in the L&O 'verse. Also, Les Yay. Piles and piles and piles of Les Yay. And all those clingy tops Bebe Neuwirth walks around wearing and Amy Carlson's fuzzy sweaters... It was made of pure awesome. It had all the Les Yay you got from Alex and Olivia, the insane Courtroom Antics of The Mother Ship, Shirley Schmidt was a judge, Lilith was The Determinator, Lennie Briscoe was still ambling around being affable and it had my favorite DA ever, magnificent Good Ol' Boy Arthur Branch. It was friggin' Made of Win, and it still got cancelled. NBC are morons.
Friends: Best sitcom of all time. It's not about saving the world or finding fame, it's just about six ordinary people who care about each other, support each other and look after each other. It's about bout six dysfunctional individuals who find in each other the family they never had. And it's funny. It makes you laugh and feel better about the universe. It's given us the tense Will They or Won't They? saga of Ross and Rachel, and the enduring, breathtaking, uplifting love of Monica and Chandler and the crazy ditziness of Joey and Phoebe. It's timeless because you don't just come back for the funny. You care about them like they're your friends. For every person who felt alone or confused or messed up, they're there experiencing the same things and making you laugh with them. It's telling that nearly a decade after it ended its fanbase is STILL GROWING. Why wouldn't you want to watch that?
Seinfeld. Plenty of shows have tried to copy the brand of humour but nothing can ever be quite so funny as the original. Every character has perfect delivery and comedic timing that can leave you in stitches even if you've seen the episode a hundred times.
True Blood deserves love in all its campy glory. The show is consistently entertaining and fun to watch, especially with company. It takes a while to set up the plot at the beginning of each season, but when it hits a high, it really hits a high. It's pretty much like crack. Once you start watching, you're in danger that you honestly will not be able to stop. It sometimes crosses into ridiculous territory, but it always manages to be completely immersed in whatever the current storyline is.
The Adventures of Pete & Peteis childhood Up to Eleven. It captures the wonder and mystery of that age beautify, and uses its over-the-topness to delve into the emotions and contradictions and mixed feelings we all get about growing up and being a kid. It gets that kids are awkward and confused and are constantly looking for their place in the world, and that there's nothing wrong with that, because it also shows that kids can be insightful and and work through their issues. And it's not saccharine and touchy-feely; the shows heartwarming moments all feel natural and in-place, no doubt due to the writers and actors being on the same page and knowing exactly what they were doing. And yes, it was one of the funniest and most surreal shows ever to grace Nickelodeon with its presence. And yes, it serves as a testament to the fact that there was not just awesome but beautiful music in the 1990s. But more over, this show has something you rarely see today—two best friends taking on the world together. There's something wonderful about that. Cue Polaris's "Everywhere".
Wonderfalls is one of the best shows ever. The characters, the setting, the fact that the Jaye's special power of talking to inanimate objects in the form of animals really only led to tiny good deeds for the people around her... It was just so perfect!
White Collar is an incredible show not only because the characters are great and the writing is witty, but because the writers refuse to take the easy, cliche way out and yet never feel like they're subverting tropes just for shock value. Neal and Peter's Heterosexual Life Partner relationship is never milked for cheap Mistaken for Gay laughs— they're allowed to be two men who care about each other without having to prove their masculinity. Peter and El's marriage is possibly the strongest on television, with the writers actually treating a married couple like they might be interesting in their own way rather than having the relationship drama that bogs down 90% of other shows. Neal's charisma and intelligence isn't a get out of jail free card, literal or figurative. Diana is a black lesbian who isn't a Token Minority, and whose lesbianism isn't played for titillation but is just presented as fact. The arc is weaved deftly through the season, instead of having a lot of Monster of the Week episodes and then a few Wham Episodes with arc plots. And finally, it has the hallmark of every truly great procedural show— the Cases Of The Week are often just as interesting as the arc stuff and character drama.
Kitchen Confidential. It was totally screwed by Fox (what's new?), and it has its weak moments, but it's consistently incredibly funny, absurd without going out of its element, and even though Jack, Stephen, Mimi and Seth have unlikeable qualities, you can't help but love them anyway. Oh, and it had more than its fair share of Fanservice.
Rizzoli & Isles: To start with, look at the cast: Abbie Carmichael and Kate Todd as the leads? Made of Win. Then you actually watch the show, and it's even more Made of Win because they love each other so much. It doesn't matter whether you think they're Heterosexual Life-Partners or Les Yay-tastic closeted Lipstick Lesbians; the fact that they are so loyal to each other makes for the most heartwarming show. The regualar procedural nonsense is done well enough for the show to hold together, Jane's family are fabulously dysfunctional, and Maura is so sweetly backward, socially, but the main appeal - two people who love each other - is so good and so simple that you can't help but love it. Brilliant.
The Greatest American Hero: The character interactions are fantastic, the morals are relevant, and the writing more than makes up for the dated effects. A good feely inside show. How in the hell would ANY of us react if we got handed a silly lookin' Super Suit? Connie Selleca looking major hot, the late, great Robert Culp chewing no small amount of scenery, Michael Pare' and Faye Grant in early roles? What the heck's not to love?
Monty Python's Flying Circus. Watch a sketch from this show whenever you have a bad day and you will be instantly cheered up. Storytime for instance. Will there be a show as ground-breaking as this one ever again? Subverting and inverting every trope possible and reaching such memetic levels? Unfortunately, this doesn't happen often.
Modern Family is one of the funniest comedies. The cast is perfect. You also get the feeling that these people are actually family members, and really love each other. Why the face?
One of the greatest show ever aired is The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. The partnership between Lynley and Havers is exquisite, the lead characters are human, the mysteries are actually mysteries... It gave the world cranky, foul-mouthed, fiercely independent, heartbreakingly vulnerable, sweetly romantic Barbara Havers, one of the best character ever created in the history of everything, ever.
Marblehead Manor: This show lasted only one season, but it was one of the funniest shows on TV at the time. Each episode took a standard, overused, worn-out sitcom plot and then cranked it up to 11. For example: One episode had the male lead's mother-in-law and new pet llama both arrive on the same day. Because his mother-in-law is so persnickety, he had a list made up to remind himself what she liked. Of course, the llama came with a care list also, and the lists got swapped. Better than it sounds. Had a pre-Kramer Michael Richards in a minor role.
Green Acres is one of the best comedy show ever, hands down. What else can you say about a show where the Only Sane Man, Oliver Douglas, is actually a certifiable nutcase (he grew cornstalks in flowerpots in his New York apartment) who only appears sane by comparison to the rest of the townspeople (who are all Cloudcuckoolanders.
Kamen Rider. Showa, Heisei, movie reboots, whatever! It's an incredible series that perfectly ally strong storytelling with the merchandise, having healthy doses of humor while taking itself remarkably seriously. It's dark, but not too much; it's toyetic, but that isn't a problem. It's tokusatsu at its finest! There is something just plain cathartic about watching anthropomorphic bug men kick monsters in the face until they explode.
No Ordinary Family: It takes a new and realistic perspective on the Super Hero genre, subverting some of the most fundamental tropes of the genre (Instant Expert, Triple Shifter, Required Secondary Powers, etc.). In addition, it also takes the concept of the Dysfunctional Family and turns it on its head; the bickering and teenage rebellion seen in the first episodes is not portrayed as normal. Family is portrayed as something worth fighting for, and Jim and Stephanie's love for each other is given similar treatment. All the actors do a stunning job, and it has been astounding to see the Character Development the characters have gone through in just a few episodes. The episodes' plots can be a bit generic sometimes, but adding superpowers to the mix makes them feel fresh and new. The writers have done a great job of not bogging the story down with unnecessary drama and have not taken the easy way out with regards to story. Finally, to top it off, the Hidden Agenda Villains keep me in suspense and wanting to come back for more.
Community is the most engaging, brave and interesting comedy on TV! Greendale is such a wonderfully absurd place! This show completely changed the boundaries of what a sitcom could do and be. It's just so awesome and outstandingly funny. Whole plot references to disaster films, cult hits, spaghetti westerns, Star Wars, claymation Rudolph films, zombie and horror films, law and order parody pastiche, multiple timelines, parody clip show episodes, D&D episodes, a gamer episode, the conspiracy parody episode,... all this from a 30 minute sitcom. Plus: "Come on, I'm Dean, and my hands are so clean, in this moment, I am stap-a-ling." The characters are SO original you will never find anybody like them yet there is always that small amount of relatability that you'll find in all of them. Even the secondary characters like Starburns, Garret, Fat Neil, and of course Leonard. It's a shame that this show is always snubbed at Emmy's. Specific moments: Abed delivering a baby,), along with the countless little jokes that you only spot after a few viewings. Add to that the big, groundbreaking episodes (Trashing the set,twice, with paintballs?A Clip Show Bottle Episode with 100% new footage?An RPG episode without Deep-Immersion Gaming that still works brilliantly?), and you have yourself a fantastic comedy.
The Vampire Diaries: Awesome because it's what all these vampire shows and books and whatever out at the moment could be, if only they had a good plot, great writing and awesome characters. It subverts expectations, always surprises, and you can't not love all the subtle Take Thats at Twilight in Elena's character. Also, it brought us Damon. You can't not love Damon.
Spaced. As Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's work, this had to be cool. Every single episode is genius. Nearly every joke is funny and well-thought-out, the references are done in a funny and smart manner, every character is loveable, the directing style is epic, and overall, the show is just downright awesome.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is, hands down, one of the funniest shows on television ever. There should be no dispute about this fact. It has a wonderfully sociopathic cast of characters, surreal plots that manage to stay within the threshold of reality, an excellent use of Refuge in Audacity, Black Comedy and Crosses the Line Twice, that manages not to rely on just being offensive. The show is very well written, and is an absolute laugh riot. Just an amazing show.
My So-Called Life is probably one of the most brilliant shows ever written! Such a well-balanced ensemble of fascinating characters, and you feel so strongly for all of them, you really want all of them to be happy!
Sherlock is one of the most brilliant television shows to come out of Britain in decades. Not only is it a successful re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes himself, it is so true and respectful to the original stories. It has two brilliant (and unrepentantly geeky!) showrunners in Steven Moffat (yes, THAT StevenMoffat) and Mark Gatiss (yes, THAT Mark Gatiss), who pepper their writing with references to the original ACD stories. It has two amazing stars: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, both of whom embody their characters completely. You may not be able to take your eyes off Benedict and the "exotic animal" his Sherlock is (complete with gorgeous wardrobe and full-bore snark), but Martin's John is perfectly, wonderfully normal in the face of Sherlock's crazy. The rest of the cast is similarly wonderful, with extra special kudos to Mr. Gatiss pulling double-duty and providing a brilliant Mycroft Holmes, and to Rupert Graves's dryly paternal take on Inspector Lestrade. It's action-y, it's dramatic, and it's hilarious, and that ending cliffhanger will cause you to shriek at your television. It's faithful to the books, it's funny, it'd really frigging interesting and kind of creepy, it's surprisingly sweet and unrelentingly heartbreaking.
Sherlock Holmes, the Granada version. It was a genuinely well-done, intelligent, entertaining show. The writing, with a few exceptions, stays faithful to the original books, and where it diverges, it is, in more cases than not, for the better. The actors are all top notch (one episode features a very young Jude Law!), from the supporting cast like Colin Jeavons or Charles Grey, to David Burke's and Edward Hardwicke's Watsons, and the utterly amazing Jeremy Brett, who is always a pleasure to watch. He wasn't everyone's Holmes, but his interpretation of the character complex and fascinating. The setting, in general, has a great historical feeling to it, transporting you to the shady streets of London or to the moors of Baskerville.
Switched at Birth. It exercised a cliched concept and made it good, has entertaining and charming characters, and manages to make viewers tear up every time. Its depiction of deaf characters and the usage of their language is awesome! It's just so disarming and heart-melting!
That '70s Show. Before the eighth season of course, but even then there were some bright spots. You can fall in love with every character, watch their love triangles and law troubles, laugh at every remotely funny moment... Season 8 sucked, though. It's best to decide in your head who Jackie picked, and then just walk away. Don't subject yourself to the uselessness that is Randy.
The Sopranos. The only show where every episode feels like a short movie. Even when the show has its supposed "bad moments", it's still incredible.
Victorious. Seriously hot chicks left and right, great humor, and it's written by Dan Schnider. What's not to like.
Once Upona Time is awesome. It has an original story line with twists on fairy tale characters. There's this resurgence in the interest of folklore and fairytale, and it's not all done in the tweeny sort of way either. There is the amazing hammy-ness of Rumpelstiltskin who is just fucking awesome, and the Evil Queen also. Prince Charming is a Badass and a royal who actually does something. This show also turned Peter Pan into the ultimate evil, and it made it work so well.
Zen rivals Sherlock Holmes when it comes to Magnificent Bastard investigators for their leading men. While Sherlock is brilliant but aloof, Zen plays everyone and comes off better for it while still saving the day. Who cares if all the Italians don't even bother being Italian, it's just such a joy to watch.
Would I Lie to You? is one of the most consistently entertaining shows. The concept is simple: a panelist reads out a statement and the opposing team must determine whether the claim is true or not. Some of the claims are funny because they're ridiculous ("I once put out a fire using my neighbor's milk." "I once lost a game of swingball to a chimpanzee.") while others can turn out to be funny even if they might seem a bit innocuous at the start ("I once accidentally bought a horse.") through the way events unfold. The interplay between Mack and Mitchell and all of the guests makes this show a rare joy to watch with nearly every episode containing a Funny Momet.
Deadliest Warrior. Say what you want about Dan Browned facts and such, but it managed to get people interested in history, from the well-known pirates and ninjas, to the lesser-known (outside their home countries) Maori and Rajput. And Zombies vs Vampires... Brutality, monsters, and vampires taken back to their roots mythological roots, unrelenting predators that haunt the nightmares of their prey. No romantics, no angst, and most importantly no SPARKLING!
Friday Night Lights! The dialogue, the emoting, the amazing music by Explosions in the Sky, a Christian speed-metal band with Jesse Plemons as frontman, Taylor Kitsch frequently shirtless and showing off the saddest puppy eyes ever filmed, oh and there's a bull named named Kit Kat.
Fringe. Just Fringe. When this show started, it might have been dismissed it as an X-Files Re-hash as did everybody else but many viewers tagged along because hey, who didn't miss The X-Files? But the show has turned into much more as it went along. It got its own voice down the season and the Fringe later is nothing like the Fringe in season 1. The show at the centre is a heartwarming tale of a father and a son and their estranged relationship. With a hottie FBI agent as a throw in. Gotta love Fringe. It was loveable even when it awkwardly tried to follow a monster-of-the-week pattern. The concepts were brilliant and the show is so complex and layered... It is just a thrill to watch. Thank you, JJ Abrams. Thank you.
Girls is incredible, it is realistic and the characters are amazing and shitty and REAL.
Party Down had magnificent characters and and writing was tops. Fans hope the movie gets made. More Henry Pollard is needed.
Downton Abbey. It could get pretty soapy at times, but the writing was still great and the characters, even Thomas at times, make your heart ache. Besides, who would not watch the Dowager Countess verbally kick ass every week?
Farscape: Even after all these years, John/Aeryn remain a great canon-couple. And no other show has ever come close to besting Farscape when it comes to character development. For some other shows, when you watch the pilot and then watch the last episode, the characters are different because of different writers, or bad writing, or what have you. With Farscape, it's all character development. Love Farscape, people. It rules. Farscape may not be the best TV show ever made; it may be the best piece of entertainment ever made. And it's not just John and Aeryn who are great, developing characters. There's D'argo, Rygel, Pilot, Jool, Chiana, Crais, Talyn, and of course, Scorpius. All of tese characters grew and evolved over the years, and it was great getting to watch them do so. Not to mention the fact that while Farscape may not have had the biggest budget, it's effects were very well done, and most of the costumes and make-up still looks impressive 15 years later. And every single time they reached the end of a season, and needed to do something big, they always went out with a bang.
Batman. Fans don't care that it's campy. Fans don't care that everyone overacts, underacts or just plain doesn't act. Fans don't care that half the punches don't come anywhere near their targets. Fans don't care that the bad guys' plots don't make sense. You can keep your Darker and EdgierBatman, because he is never as good as when he's Adam West.
Critics didn't seem too impressed with The Hour. Don't let that fool you; it's great. Gorgeous cinematography and excellent acting.
BBC's House of Cards (UK). A genius political drama featuring the schemes of Francis Urquhart, who aims to be Prime Minister. We get to watch him manipulate everyone each step of the way, and you're always on the edge of your seat. And the best part is that Francis is keeping you informed Malcolm in the Middle style the whole time. That's right, the main character talks directly to the audience in a political drama, and it works. It even gives us great character examination moments, such as when he tries to justify particularly brutal acts to the viewers. Amazing.
Crash And Bernstein: Proof that show about a boy with three sisters, and a single mom, plus a Muppet, (yes a Muppet) can be good. It's a funny show that is at least worth checking out. And that's a huge understatement. It's hilarious. It's funny, and has a few Aesops here and there without being Anvilicious. Of course muppets aren't real, but if you have a show that suspends disbelief and still have an otherwise realistic feel to it, you got a winner.
The Haunting Hour is such an improvement over the Goosebumps show. The acting is great, the stories are clever and interesting, and on top of that it's scary. For a R.L. Stine show, it's dark, atmospheric, and they don't always have happy endings. It's just wonderful.
America's Funniest Home Videos has been around 20+ years now and is still holding its own as it chronicles the goofiest of real life moments. If anything, it's become better than ever since the Turn of the Millennium revamp that brought in Tom Bergeron as host — the voiceovers are wittier ("Sometimes a good ol' boy has a bad ol' idea!"), the music montages more inspired (clumsy rockers set to Spinal Tap!), and the self-awareness of its lowbrow nature just plain endearing (a baseball to the groin is accompanied with "To us, this is as classic as a Willie Mays catch!").
My Mad Fat Diary, set in England in 1996, is about a fat teenage girl and her struggle with depression, body image, and teenagers being, well, teenagers. It is uncannily, uncomfortably realistic, and thus both hilarious and heartwrenching, often at the same time. And the music's ace.
Hannibal is smart, well-written, and it's beautifully shot to boot - the murderers, for all their terribleness, are nonetheless extremely elegant.