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Classic and/or popular series you've never really watched? (1 Viewer)

Peter M Fitzgerald

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Reading the threads for 'Your Top 5 Shows' of both the 1960s and 1950s got me thinking...

Sometimes a topic like this comes up on movie forums; you have a bunch of film buffs confessing to some major films they've, as yet, never seen, or have only seen bits of, which would floor people who would assume they've already seen all the classics. Unwatched TV series are more understandable in this regard, in terms of the time commitment involved. Oh sure, you may have caught a sampling of episodes, at some point, but nothing close to even a season's worth.

Here's where you can confess your shame.

I'm leaving out the one-season wonders and other obscurities, unless they are or were easily available for viewing on disc, broadcast or streaming.

Also, I figure if I've seen the bulk of one season of a show, I can technically cross it off the 'unseen' list, so it's not relevant here if you've not seen the whole of a given series, just a decent chunk of it.

And, clearly, there's just too much out there, and not enough time, to realistically see everything, even among popular series.

For myself, I'd break down the unwatched shows into three basic categories:

1.) Generally taken for granted --you were aware of them growing up... you know the main actors, characters, set-up, theme music... but you either avoided them completely, or you may have caught a few episodes down the line, but you couldn't recall a particular plot-line or episode title if your life depended on it... either it's a genre that doesn't generally appeal to you, or you weren't "ready" for them at an earlier age, or they were on in your home but you weren't paying attention, or you just assumed they'd always be on, so you'd catch up with them eventually:

Gunsmoke
Perry Mason
Bonanza
The Big Valley
The Andy Griffith Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Odd Couple
Dobie Gillis
The Phil Silvers Show
The Saint
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Adam-12
The Rockford Files
Hazel
Dennis the Menace
Sanford and Son
The Patty Duke Show
Mr. Ed
Wagon Train
Playhouse 90
The Lucy Show
Here's Lucy
F Troop
Mayberry R.F.D.
Bat Masterson
Branded
Laredo
The Loretta Young Show
The Lone Ranger
Cheyenne
Sugarfoot
Tarzan
Daktari
That Girl
The Real McCoys
Peyton Place
Dr. Kildare
The Mod Squad
Room 222
McHale's Navy
Father Knows Best
Streets of San Francisco
Barnaby Jones
Make Room for Daddy
Sea Hunt
Petticoat Junction
Burke's Law
Gentle Ben
Here Come the Brides
The High Chaparral
The Guns of Will Sonnett
The Doris Day Show
The Name of the Game
Marcus Welby, M.D.
Ironside
Medical Center
Julia
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
Nanny & the Professor
The Persuaders
Alias Smith & Jones
Cannon
McMillan & Wife
McCloud
Maude
Kojak
The Rookies
Police Story/Police Woman
Good Times
The Jeffersons
Starsky & Hutch
Baretta
S.W.A.T.
Chico & The Man
Family
Soap
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Charlie's Angels
Baa Baa Blacksheep
Quincy
Eight Is Enough
Lou Grant
Trapper John, M.D.
Benson
Vega$
The Dukes of Hazzard
B.J. & The Bear
Dallas
Dynasty
Knots Landing
Falcon Crest
Hill Street Blues
St. Elsewhere
Magnum P.I.
Simon & Simon
The A Team
The Fall Guy
The Greatest American Hero
Knight Rider
T.J. Hooker
Cagney & Lacey
Remington Steele
Scarecrow & Mrs. King
Hardcastle & McCormick
Airwolf
Jake & The Fatman
MacGyver
Hart to Hart
Fame
Murder She Wrote
Matlock
Newhart
The Facts of Life
Gimme a Break
Webster
Silver Spoons
Miami Vice
Highway to Heaven
Golden Girls
Kate & Allie
Who's the Boss
Growing Pains
Riptide
Hotel
The Equalizer
Moonlighting
Hunter
Spencer for Hire
21 Jump Street
Designing Women
Thirtysomething
Alf
Perfect Strangers
L.A. Law
Wiseguy
Murphy Brown
Hogan Family
Roseanne
In the Heat of the Night
Head of the Class
China Beach
Different World
Just the Ten of Us
Mr. Belvedere
Unsolved Mysteries
America's Most Wanted
Crime Story
227
Amen
Full House
Beauty & The Beast
My Two Dads
Baywatch
Empty Nest
Wings
Major Dad
Coach
Doogie Howser, M.D.
Dear John
Father Dowling Mysteries
Family Matters
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Beverly Hills 90210
The X-Files
Seinfeld
Stargate
Law & Order
Homicide: Life in the Streets
Jag
CSI
NCIS
Friends
South Park
Family Guy
Arrested Development
etc, etc...

--in my own case, while it's clear that my interest in new series was flagging in the 1970s & 1980s, by the 1990s, you also could count virtually everything new being aired, apart from The Simpsons, Get a Life, Ren & Stimpy, Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast and Mystery Science Theater 3000... it took The Sopranos, and the quality drama series in its wake (The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Dead Like Me, Lost, Dexter, Rome, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified, The Hour, Pushing Daisies, Boardwalk Empire, etc), to bring me back to watching any current, regular TV series at all. I spent the 1990s (and into the 00s) exclusively watching movies (all eras) and favorite classic TV series.

2.) On your DVD shelf, but you haven't gotten to them yet --either 'blind buys' or shows you've only slightly dabbled in, prior to buying):

M Squad
Route 66
The Naked City
Have Gun - Will Travel
Wanted: Dead or Alive
Mike Hammer
Johnny Staccato
Combat
It Takes a Thief
The FBI
Harry O
Callan
Tate
Brenner
Gigantor

3.) Hard to see these days --outside of public domain episodes or the bootleg world, or are on a channel/service you can't get:

The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
Amos & Andy
The Jack Benny Program
Burns & Allen
The Millionaire
The Lineup
Run for Your Life
Circus Boy
77 Sunset Strip
Hawaiian Eye
Surfside Six
Bourbon Street Beat
Richard Diamond, Private Detective
Adventures in Paradise
Ben Casey
The Defenders
East Side West Side
Our Miss Brooks
Bus Stop
Bachelor Father
Mr. Novak
The Farmer's Daughter
Iron Horse
Felony Squad

So, what are yours?
 

ljgranberry

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Mine would be (and these are ones I've never really seen, but would really like to):

Dobie Gillis
The Phil Silvers Show
The Saint
Playhouse 90
Peyton Place
Dr. Kildare
The High Chaparral
The Name of the Game
Cannon
Kojak
Police Story
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Wiseguy
M Squad
Combat
Harry O
Dragnet (1950s)
It Takes a Thief
The Lineup
Run for Your Life
77 Sunset Strip
Adventures in Paradise
Ben Casey
The Defenders
East Side West Side
 

Jack P

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In the "take for granted" category, I would put in the top echelon "Bonanza" which has a format I just do not find involving. The widower with three sons premise from different marriages just came off as artificially contrived to me compared to the set-ups for shows I find much superior like "The Virginian" or "The Big Valley."

"The Andy Griffith Show" and the "rural" sitcoms of the 60s do not enthrall me much. I have Griffith on the shelf (got rid of it once and then reacquired it) mostly because it's one of those shows that sometimes feels like an obligation to have in a TV collection even if it isn't a favorite, and there are a couple episodes with great moments I enjoy (the "Citizens Arrest" episode remains my favorite). "Petticoat Junction" is okay, but I have really no interest at all in "Beverly Hillbillies", "Mister Ed" or "Green Acres" (the former two having perpetual one-joke premises done over to death IMO).


"I Love Lucy" and "The Lucy Show" also fall under the category of "obligation" titles. I have them, and there are individual episodes within that I enjoy but would I ever want to do a marathon like I would for a show I love like "The Dick Van Dyke Show?" Never.
 

Ejanss

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Peter M Fitzgerald said:
For myself, I'd break down the unwatched shows into three basic categories:

1.) Generally taken for granted --you were aware of them growing up... you know the main actors, characters, set-up, theme music... but you either avoided them completely, or you may have caught a few episodes down the line, but you couldn't recall a particular plot-line or episode title if your life depended on it... either it's a genre that doesn't generally appeal to you, or you weren't "ready" for them at an earlier age, or they were on in your home but you weren't paying attention, or you just assumed they'd always be on, so you'd catch up with them eventually:
Looks like you missed most of the 70's and 80's, when TV was What You Watched--
Back then, reruns, like old movies were Just Always On, so people either trivialized them or just didn't pay attention.
I had no interest in I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith or Seinfeld, but I pretty much know half the episodes by heart just from hearing them pop-culture referenced. (Didn't even see the candy-line episode until a free promotional Vudu episode last year, and even then thought the series ran a little long and unstructured.)

And half the looniness of last year's Lone Ranger movie came from producers telling us, "Well, everyone's grown up with the series..."What?--I haven't! But it's on Netflix and Amazon now, I'm just a few episodes in to getting around to watch it.
Peter M Fitzgerald said:
2.) On your DVD shelf, but you haven't gotten to them yet --either 'blind buys' or shows you've only slightly dabbled in, prior to buying):
There's not enough time or money to blind buy--If I buy something, it's designed to last, so I choose carefully.
Peter M Fitzgerald said:
3.) Hard to see these days --outside of public domain episodes or the bootleg world, or are on a channel/service you can't get:

Amos & Andy
The Jack Benny Program
Burns & Allen
Public domain is all I ever get to see of disk collections for A&A, Bonanza, Jack Benny, Burns & Allen (and then, none of the later episodes where George was more fourth-wall and watched his own show on TV for plot developments) or Our Miss Brooks. :(


I was just starting to catch up the Green Hornet from one helpful YouTuber, who's now removed his account--
Which (with a little paranoid wishful-thinking) makes me start to wonder what ELSE is going on with Greenway's cleared-up licensing issues after Batman.

Greg Chenoweth said:
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Enterprise
- Cheers
I remember when we so desperately wanted DS9, Voyager and Enterprise to just go away, already.

But now that there won't be any more Star Trek--at least, no optimistic, lovable, comfort-characters Star Trek, just the overwrought Abrams movies--Deep Space Nine has started to look pretty good. Not for binge watching, just for the comfort having another weekly Friday/Saturday night thing. :) (And even then, Quark and Odo steal the whole series--Everyone thought the next Trek series had to have another "stalwart" captain after Patrick Stewart, but Avery Brooks' Commander Grumpy is an acquired taste, and seems to be a step behind the other actors.)
Started with catching up with Enterprise, and after that, just couldn't stop myself. I'm still saving Voyager for last, though, what a death march that was.

Similarly, we're far enough away from the 80's that with sitcoms now having developed a terminal case of the Fratboys, Cheers can seem like its own decade-iconic Dick Van Dyke Show.
Back when comedies had real flesh-and-blood audiences, barbs of dialogue, mixes of pathos, romance and slapstick, and weren't about immature high-school slobs whom writers determined somehow got married anyway. (No, not even Sam.) ;)
 

benbess

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Great idea for a thread.

Quick question: I wonder how many episodes of a show you need to watch to have really experienced it? I guess I'd say at least 10, and so by that measure I have seen Bonanza, because I own the 5th season and I've seen about half of it.

There are too many shows I haven't seen to list them all, and so I'll just list the ones that I've never seen that I have on my radar, including....

1. The Fugitive
The glowing recommends for this show have made me curious. I have a some other old shows and movies on DVD and blu-ray to watch that I really need to catch up before I buy it. Plus, if I wait long enough, perhaps there's a small chance of a blu-ray?

2. Mannix
There's a whole book on this show by one of our forum members!++ I'm probably going to buy that book in the next month or so, and then maybe start with the second season of this show. Or, maybe if fans recommend it, I'll start with the first? Not sure. I tend to like Desilu shows

3. Gunsmoke
Unless I'm blanking on it, which is quite possible, I've never seen a complete episode of the longest running show in TV history. I'm hoping Nextflix or Amazon Prime, both of which I subscribe to, will get access to some of the new high definition masters at some point.

4. The High Chaparral
My wife liked this show as a girl. It's supposed to be one of the best TV Westerns ever made.

5. Perry Mason
I've been getting into detective shows with my son. Saw one or two episodes long ago, but nothing recently.

Combat!, Naked City, Route 66, Dr. Kildare, etc., etc.
 

BobO'Link

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Shows for which I had (and still have) zero interest seeing but that were popular (I have seen at most 5-10 minutes of *some* of these):

Adam-12Playhouse 90Gentle BenMedical CenterCannonAlias Smith & JonesKojakMcCloudThe RookiesPolice Story/Police WomanGood TimesBarettaS.W.A.T.FamilyBaa Baa BlacksheepVega$The Dukes of HazzardB.J. & The BearKnots LandingDynastyHill Street BluesMagnum P.I.The A TeamThe Fall GuyKnight RiderT.J. HookerAirwolfJake & The FatmanFameGimme a BreakWebsterSilver SpoonsMiami ViceHighway to HeavenRiptideHotelThe EqualizerHunterSpencer for Hire21 Jump StreetWiseguyHogan FamilyIn the Heat of the NightChina BeachJust the Ten of UsAmerica's Most WantedCrime Story227AmenBeauty & The BeastBaywatchThe Fresh Prince of Bel AirBeverly Hills 90210Homicide: Life in the StreetsJagCSINCIS

I'm sure there are more but I took those off your first list.

Here are the unwatched shows for which I have done a blind buy, are single season shows, or have two or more seasons unwatched on the shelf:
A Fine RomanceAccording to JimAdventures of Jim Bowie, TheAdventures of Sir Lancelot, TheAgatha Christie's MarpleAgatha Christie's PoirotAncient AliensAt Last the 1948 ShowBeckerBig Bang Theory, TheBill Cosby Show, TheBlack Arrow, TheBlade the SeriesBlue Planet: Seas of Life, TheBonanzaBrady Bunch, TheBrandedBret MaverickBuccaneers, TheBuffy the Vampire SlayerCapricaCaroline in the CityCarry On LaughingChampionsCharmedChip & Dale Rescue RangersCimarron CityCleopatra 2525CommunityCosby Show, TheCracker (British)Dangerous Assignment (50's)Daniel BooneDave's WorldDesigning WomenDharma & GregDiagnosis MurderDick Van Dyke Show, TheDo Not Adjust Your SetDonna Reed Show, TheDuck DynastyEarth, Final ConflictEllenEllery Queen MysteriesFamily TiesFrasierFringeFrozen Planet (Attenborough)Galactica 1980GidgetGillmore GirlsGrosse PointeGrounded for LifeGuns of Will Sonnett, TheHart to HartHopalong CassidyHuckleberry Hound Show, TheI Love LucyI SpyIn Search Of…It Takes a ThiefJust Shoot MeKids in the Hall, TheKing of QueensKing of the HillLaredoLeave it to BeaverLegend of the SeekerLifeLife of Birds, TheLife of Mammals, TheLois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanLovejoyM*A*S*HMake Room for DaddyMan from U.N.C.L.E., TheMankind: The Story of All of UsMary Tyler Moore Show, TheMaverickMcHale's NavyMcMillan & WifeMission ImpossibleMister PeepersMod Squad, TheMonkMy Three SonsMy Two DadsMysteries of the Bible CollectionNaked City, TheNorthern ExposureOdd Couple, TheOffice, The (U.S.)One Foot in the GraveOuter Limits (New), ThePacific, TheParks and RecreationPatty Duke Show, ThePerry MasonPrisoner, TheProhibition by Ken BurnsProtectors, TheQuantum LeapRawhideRemington SteeleRobin of SherwoodRockford Files, TheRules of EngagementRumpole of the BaileySaturday Night LiveScarecrow and Mrs. KingScrubsShe-Wolf of LondonSpace: Above and BeyondSpin CityStar Trek: The Next GenerationStargate SG-1Superman: The Animated SeriesTales of the Gold MonkeyTales of TomorrowTekWarTen Items or LessThriller (Karloff)Two and a Half MenUntouchables, TheVeil, TheWaiting for GodWar at Home, TheWho's the BossWill & GraceWilliam TellWingsWitchbladeX-Files
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

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ljgranberry said:
Mine would be (and these are ones I've never really seen, but would really like to):
Yeah, my 'taken for granted' list was exceedingly long, because it included both the things I'm interested in eventually seeing (Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, more than the early handful of Dick Van Dyke Show eps I've seen, etc), along with popular/prolific series that I'm either lukewarm about or am pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy (for example, the kid-appeal 'family sitcoms' of the 1980s and 1990s, and the prime-time soaps). My "would like to see" list would still be long, but not requiring quite as much scrolling. :laugh:
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

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Jack P said:
In the "take for granted" category, I would put in the top echelon "Bonanza" which has a format I just do not find involving. The widower with three sons premise from different marriages just came off as artificially contrived to me compared to the set-ups for shows I find much superior like "The Virginian" or "The Big Valley."

"The Andy Griffith Show" and the "rural" sitcoms of the 60s do not enthrall me much. I have Griffith on the shelf (got rid of it once and then reacquired it) mostly because it's one of those shows that sometimes feels like an obligation to have in a TV collection even if it isn't a favorite, and there are a couple episodes with great moments I enjoy (the "Citizens Arrest" episode remains my favorite). "Petticoat Junction" is okay, but I have really no interest at all in "Beverly Hillbillies", "Mister Ed" or "Green Acres" (the former two having perpetual one-joke premises done over to death IMO).


"I Love Lucy" and "The Lucy Show" also fall under the category of "obligation" titles. I have them, and there are individual episodes within that I enjoy but would I ever want to do a marathon like I would for a show I love like "The Dick Van Dyke Show?" Never.
Bonanza, for me, would fall under the "it was on in our home, but I wasn't paying attention" umbrella, and it would've mainly been re-runs, since I was born in '68. The premise is a bit off-putting to me, too. The thing with Bonanza, Gunsmoke and many others, too, was that westerns didn't really appeal to me as a kid. I loved The Wild Wild West, but that usually involved mad scientists and other sixties-spy weirdness that had a high kid appeal, especially to an odd kid like me.

I developed an interest for westerns later, in my mid-late teens, so gobbled up Rawhide when it finally got aired during the early days of the FX channel (back when it was all classic tv series and hobby shows, broadcast out of a "real" NYC apartment). I was 'ready' for the western shows by then... but Bonanza didn't quite have the hook that Rawhide, Maverick, Have Gun - Will Travel (even though I only caught a very few episodes), The Westerner and others promised.

The Andy Griffith Show I'm sure I'll like, especially the earlier episodes, but it was (and is) so ubiquitous, I never watched more than a few episodes over the years. It may be a bit too folksy/gentle for my tastes... I tend to like sharper, more satirical comedy fare (even Leave It to Beaver seems a bit more pointed than TAGS), or just stuff that's a little more "out there". Same with Petticoat Junction. I'd probably mildly enjoy it as sitcom 'comfort food', plus for the girls. I saw lots of The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, growing up, but they wore out their welcome for me, although that was quite a long time ago. I'll probably give both another go (at least the early seasons) sooner or later. Mr. Ed... I don't know. I've seen a couple. A one-joke premise, although the Clint Eastwood episode was retroactively funny, and I might enjoy the beatnik episode, which I think I caught once on Nick @ Nite back in the late '80s. Whether there are further funny episodes of the show, that would appeal to me, is a big question mark.

I saw all (or most) of I Love Lucy, as a kid, in the mid-1970s, mainly because it was the only thing on immediately after school that wasn't a daytime soap opera. One of those "it was what was on, so I watched" shows. I saw all the classic episodes, up through when they all moved to the farm in Connecticut. I never thought, even then, that Lucille Ball was particularly funny. An annoying scatterbrain who got into troubles of her own making. Fred Mertz cracked me up, though. The later Lucy series I remember being on, probably before I ever saw an episode of I Love Lucy, but they washed over me with no impression made, although I was probably around 3 or 4 years old at the time, so that's to be expected.

As for titles bought out of obligation, I personally never do that. I either like it enough to own it, or else it's a case of taking a gamble on something obscure that I otherwise wouldn't get to see, and then only after I do enough research on it to determine whether it has enough favorable elements in place to be worth the risk of a blind buy. If something doesn't win me over in a rental, streaming or broadcast 'try-out' test, it never makes it to my shelves.

The closest thing to an 'obligation buy' are some nostalgia purchases... like getting the first few seasons of Bewitched. I love the cast; it isn't hilarious, but is generally fun, and only sinks to the level of a total kiddie show after the first color season. And I only make such purchases if the show stands up to my adult eyes, rather than relying on what I may have thought of the show as a kid... so these purchases are rather limited.
 

JoeDoakes

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Just about anything post-1985. Since then, I have seen Seinfeld (the latter seasons of which I liked a lot), one episode of True Detective, which was good, and various episodes of Friends and Modern Family, which I did not care for.
 

Frank Soyke

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From the classic side of popular shows (pre 1990), I've never seen one episode of Dr. Kildare, Name of the Game, Felony Squad, NYPD, Hec Ramsey, Mr. Novak, and The Good Guys. For some reason, these shows never ran in my area in sydication when I was younger

Where do I start with the stuff post 90's. IMO it is mostly garbage with the exceptions of Lost, Prison Break, 24, Cold Case, Mad Men, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, and the Soprano's and select others.
That being said, I never say even one episode of:

Mad About You (I detest Paul Reiser)
The Amazing Race
Duck Dynasty
Fear Factor
Survivor
American Idol, The Voice, and all their other clones - (Hey guys, do you remember with this "highly original" show was called Star Search?)
Suddenly Susan
Who Want's to Be a Millionaire?
The Bachelor
Hell's Kitchen
Modern Family
Breaking Bad (Always wanted to watch this but for some reason, I never did)
Big Brother
Game Of Thrones

Add these two as shows that I wish I had never seen an episode of (Full House and Family Matters). IMO possibly the two worst and poorly acted wildly popular shows in TV history.
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

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Ejanss said:
Looks like you missed most of the 70's and 80's, when TV was What You Watched--
Back then, reruns, like old movies were Just Always On, so people either trivialized them or just didn't pay attention.
I had no interest in I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith or Seinfeld, but I pretty much know half the episodes by heart just from hearing them pop-culture referenced. (Didn't even see the candy-line episode until a free promotional Vudu episode last year, and even then thought the series ran a little long and unstructured.)

And half the looniness of last year's Lone Ranger movie came from producers telling us, "Well, everyone's grown up with the series..."
What?--I haven't! But it's on Netflix and Amazon now, I'm just a few episodes in to getting around to watch it.


There's not enough time or money to blind buy--If I buy something, it's designed to last, so I choose carefully.


Public domain is all I ever get to see of disk collections for A&A, Bonanza, Jack Benny, Burns & Allen (and then, none of the later episodes where George was more fourth-wall and watched his own show on TV for plot developments) or Our Miss Brooks. :(


I was just starting to catch up the Green Hornet from one helpful YouTuber, who's now removed his account--
Which (with a little paranoid wishful-thinking) makes me start to wonder what ELSE is going on with Greenway's cleared-up licensing issues after Batman.



I remember when we so desperately wanted DS9, Voyager and Enterprise to just go away, already.

But now that there won't be any more Star Trek--at least, no optimistic, lovable, comfort-characters Star Trek, just the overwrought Abrams movies--Deep Space Nine has started to look pretty good. Not for binge watching, just for the comfort having another weekly Friday/Saturday night thing. :) (And even then, Quark and Odo steal the whole series--Everyone thought the next Trek series had to have another "stalwart" captain after Patrick Stewart, but Avery Brooks' Commander Grumpy is an acquired taste, and seems to be a step behind the other actors.)
Started with catching up with Enterprise, and after that, just couldn't stop myself. I'm still saving Voyager for last, though, what a death march that was.

Similarly, we're far enough away from the 80's that with sitcoms now having developed a terminal case of the Fratboys, Cheers can seem like its own decade-iconic Dick Van Dyke Show.
Back when comedies had real flesh-and-blood audiences, barbs of dialogue, mixes of pathos, romance and slapstick, and weren't about immature high-school slobs whom writers determined somehow got married anyway. (No, not even Sam.) ;)
I saw a fair share of 1970s and (to a lesser extent) 1980s shows, but they were the other things that were on, usually what my folks or siblings were into, or that had more kid appeal to me at the time. All in the Family, Flip Wilson, Sonny & Cher, MASH, Happy Days, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Grizzly Adams, Six Million Dollar Man, Incredible Hulk, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Wonder Woman, Donnie & Marie, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Real People, That's Incredible, Taxi, Barney Miller, WKRP, Cheers, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Night Court, etc. We also watched a lot of the network movie presentations, more often than not.

Yeah, I hear you on the choosing of purchases carefully. While I do have a large collection, there are very few that I've bought that are totally "blind buys", and in those cases, I have enough info about them to make an informed purchase, knowing that I'll enjoy them, as they are things I'd not really get to see otherwise (Stoney Burke, Soldiers of Fortune, 87th Precinct, Man in a Suitcase and Callan are among the very few that I've collected without actually seeing any footage or a representative episode first, and thankfully none have been duds).

I want to like Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9, Voyager, etc... and saw enough of them back in the day, but they were just too PC and bland for my tastes. But then, I didn't like Abrams' first Trek movie either, and have no interest in ST: Into Darkness, so it looks like I'll be sticking with TOS and the first couple of movies with Shat and the gang. Works for me. :)

Spot-on about the comedies... I'm especially picky and particular about what sitcoms I'll spring for, and while I may be overlooking (and missing out on) some funny modern material, I can't think of a major American sitcom since the early 1990s (exempting some early-era Simpsons, and a few UK shows like Spaced and Black Books) that I've enjoyed, or would enjoy. Seems like the general public and I have made a definite split in what we find funny, both on TV and in theaters.
 

benbess

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Peter M Fitzgerald said:
... it took The Sopranos, and the quality drama series in its wake (The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Dead Like Me, Lost, Dexter, Rome, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified, The Hour, Pushing Daisies, Boardwalk Empire, etc), to bring me back to watching any current, regular TV series at all...
Like you, almost all of my favorite 21st century shows are also cable shows, although my list is a bit different: I'd add Six Feet Under, Mad Men, and a few others, and take off the Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, etc. (organized crime shows, which to me seem to glorify the mob, even when they don't want to , are not my cup of tea). But once I got through my supposed favorites, I've slowly realized there's not a single one that I've ever watched again. I'm honestly not sure why, and have trouble analyzing myself about it. But probably it's because they are too "traumatic." Most of these shows get to some very grim places, for very long periods of time. That can be cathartic, but it can perhaps also just be depressing and traumatic. Anyway, I wonder how "favorite" these shows really are if I only want to watch them once? After all, shows I really am fond of, from Gilligan's Island, to the various Star Treks to The Virginian, etc., I like watching again and have—sometimes since childhood—seen favorite episodes many, many times.

But yes, those cable shows are the best of 21st century TV, as most people and critics seem to agree.

But where does that leave network TV? I have to say that I've felt let down by nearly everything on network TV in the 21st century, from Fringe to Once Upon a Time. I usually can't stand to watch medical shows or crime shows, because they sometimes get just too gruesome for me. And the "comedies," apart from Modern Family once in a while, are just not very funny to me.

The bottom line of all of this for me, as I've mentioned before, is a return to the classics, but with an emphasis on discovering and appreciating new shows I missed at the time. For many years I'd heard of The Virginian, and then finally took the plunge about 4 years ago, and I'm still enjoying it as I work through "new" episodes now.

They don't make em like they used to. But as your lists show, they made so many shows in the old days, that even if you skip 90% them, the 10% that's left leaves you with thousands of episodes to watch—if we ever have enough time for them....
 

Tooncy

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Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who has never seen a full episode of Star Trek. Any of them.
 

benbess

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Tooncy said:
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who has never seen a full episode of Star Trek. Any of them.
One of the few, perhaps. May I recommend an episode? I suggest the very early episode "Where no Man Has Gone Before?" This one was filmed in 1965, and is the first to feature Captain Kirk. I think it's available for streaming from both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
 

Ejanss

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benbess said:
One of the few, perhaps. May I recommend an episode? I suggest the very early episode "Where no Man Has Gone Before?" This one was filmed in 1965, and is the first to feature Captain Kirk. I think it's available for streaming from both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
And it was also the "pilot" episode for the series as aired. It's an ehh episode, but it'll do.
(Usually it's "City on the Edge of Forever" that keeps getting listed in 100 Greatest TV Episodes lists, but "The Trouble with Tribbles" is also iconic in fan lore.)
 

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