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Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" (2 Viewers)

BobO'Link

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I read that Rolling Stone article at the Wal-Mart earlier today, and I saw that they listed Northern Exposure as one of the worst of all time. I dislike saying this, but Rolling Stone and I meet on the same page, as I never did like Northern Exposure, not now, or ever!
I'd have to disagree. While it's not "great" TV I find the first 3 seasons very entertaining. After that it went downhill. But I'm one who'd put All in the Family (or just about any of the Lear "comedies") in the "All Time Worst" column and many people consider them some of the best ever.
 

Darby67

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Very Easily.

Chef, Open All Hours, Two's Company, Are You Being Served?, The Brittas Empire, Keeping Up Appearances, Waiting For God, Coupling, Men Behaving Badly, Black Books, Blackadder, Marple
(any of them), Red Dwarf, As Time Goes By, One Foot in the Grave, The Thin Blue Line, To the Manor Born, Jeeves & Wooster, Inspector Morse, Cracker, Upstairs Downstairs (the original - has that been mentioned yet?)...

adding further: Agatha Christie's Poirot, The Avengers, Cadfael, Danger Man/Secret Agent, Foyle's War, I Cladius (If we're allowing miniseries), The Prisoner, Robin of Sherwood, The Saint, Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett), Sherlock (Benedict Cumberpatch), and many many more!
 

bmasters9

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But I'm one who'd put All in the Family (or just about any of the Lear "comedies") in the "All Time Worst" column and many people consider them some of the best ever.

I think you're right on AITF (and The Jeffersons and the like)-- I personally believe that if I spent the money on the lot releases (or any release) of any Lear "comedies," it would be money very much wasted. Then again, that's me and you-- AITF and The Jeffersons and the like do have their fanbases and those who esteem them as some of the best.
 

Neil Brock

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I'd have to disagree. While it's not "great" TV I find the first 3 seasons very entertaining. After that it went downhill. But I'm one who'd put All in the Family (or just about any of the Lear "comedies") in the "All Time Worst" column and many people consider them some of the best ever.

I like both Northern Exposure and All in the Family.
 

BobO'Link

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I like both Northern Exposure and All in the Family.
Which is what makes TV so great. There's something for all of us. Just one of the reasons I don't understand flack shows get from "certain groups" who complain about content. If you don't like it you don't have to watch it! Just change the channel! Don't force your idea of a "good" show down my throat and I'll not force mine down yours. Full disclosure: I'm a member of "that group" but disagree with many of the actions taken to censor society.
 

Susan Nunes_329977

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A post Bob made in the "Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to a end?" thread got me curious about this list.

Here's his post:



So... as any self-respecting TVonDVD aficionado would do I had to go take a look. Of course that's not as easy as it sounds in today's world of presenting *everything* as a "slide show," which I find unacceptable and a kludge to use, so I found several different sites which had bits and pieces and compiled the full list as a text version.

Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list:

01. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
02. The Wire (2002-2008)
03. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
04. Mad Men (2007-1015)
05. Seinfeld (1989-1998)
06. The Simpsons (1989-Present)
07. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
08. Saturday Night Live (1975-Present)
09. All in the Family (1971-1979)
10. The Daily Show (1996-Present)
11. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
12. Game of Thrones (2011-Present)
13. Late Night with David Letterman (1982-2015)
14. The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
15. The West Wing (1999-2006)
16. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
17. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
18. Star Trek (1966-1969)
19. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
20. Cheers (1982-1993)
21. The Office (U.K.) (2001-2003)
22. Louie (2010-Present)
23. Deadwood (2004-2006)
24. Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
25. Veep (2012-Present)
26. Friends (1994-2004)
27. Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013)
28. The X-Files (1993-2002, 2016)
29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)
30. The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (1961-1992)
31. Sesame Street (1969-Present)
32. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)
33. South Park (1997-Present)
34. 30 Rock (2006-2013)
35. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
36. Law & Order (1990-2010)
37. Orange is the New Black (2013-Present)
38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
39. Lost (2004-2010)
40. The Shield (2002-2008)
41. The Honeymooners (1955-1956)
42. NYPD Blue (1993-2005)
43. The Americans (2013-Present)
44. Columbo (1971-1978)
45. Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)
46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
47. The Rockford Files (1974-1980)
48. The Office (U.S.) (2005-2013)
49. Taxi (1978-1983)
50. ER (1994-2009)
51. Fargo (2014-Present)
52. The Colbert Report (2005-2014)
53. The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
54. The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
55. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
56. 24 (2001-2010)
57. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
58. Roots (1977)
59. Hill Street Blues (1981-1987)
60. Beavis and Butt-Head (1993-1997, 2011)
61. Your Show of Shows (1950-1957)
62. Sex and the City (1998-2004)
63. The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
64. Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006)
65. Happy Days (1974-1984)
66. Downton Abbey (2011-2016)
67. The Odd Couple (1970-1975)
68. The State (1993-1995)
69. The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971)
70. Roseanne (1988-1997)
71. Mr. Show (1995-1998)
72. Girls (2012-Present)
73. Transparent (2014-Present)
74. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1995
75. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson (2016)
76. Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993-2009)
77. The Walking Dead (2010-Present)
78. thirtysomething (1987-1991)
79. In Living Color (1990-1994)
80. The Fugitive (1963-1967)
81. Dallas (1978-1991)
82. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
83. House of Cards (2013-Present)
84. Real Time With Bill Maher (2003-Present)
85. The Real World (1992-Present)
86. Good Times (1974-1979)
87. Doctor Who (1963-Present))
88. Party Down (2009-2010)
89. Homeland (2011-Present)
90. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
91. Broad City (2014-Present)
92. American Idol (2001-2016)
93. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999)
94. Jeopardy (1964-1975 & 1985-Present)
95. Key & Peele (2012-2015)
96. Gunsmoke (1955-1975)
97. Portlandia (2011-Present)
98. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
99. Oz (1997-2003)
100. Eastbound and Down (2009-2013)

I have issues with many programs on this list. Of course, being a fan of TV from its beginnings I feel the early years are woefully underrepresented while the years since 2000 are incredibly over represented. That shouldn't be much of a surprise considering the history of RS and that, I'm sure, the majority of those polled are "millenials" or close to it which means what *they* think is "the best", not what historians and those of us with a large knowledge of the medium would consider to be "the best."

Here's a chart I found at MeTV's site that shows the disparity in years very well.

riFes-1474572188-embed-meta-chart_%281%29.png


Yeah... 11 shows from the 50s and 60s with 43 since 2000. Add the 21 from the 90s and you have 64 of the 100 from the last 25 years. Hardly representative *or* accurate if you're truly looking at TV history from anything other than a more recent perspective which would include those earlier shows you've seen in syndication.

Where's The Flintstones? The first animated series in *Prime Time* was a huge influence.

Where's The Bill Cosby Show? Sure Cosby is on the outs but the show is classic.

I Love Lucy
is only at #32?!? The Tonight Show ranks *below* Letterman *and* The Daily Show?!?

Ed Sullivan is at #69 but where are The Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, or The Dean Martin Show?!? These were all highly influential programs.

And these are all TV *series* so why is Roots on the list? Yes, it was highly influential and significant but it's a *mini-series* so does it belong on this list at all? And another mini - American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson? In the top 100?

I also question the inclusion of any programs which are still in production, unless they've been around longer than ~20 years or so. This list contains quite a few. Will any of those, even though hugely popular today, still be "significant" in 10 years? Sure, I *love* Game of Thrones but will it still be considered a "Greatest Show" 10, 20, or more years down the road? Without knowing how it ends, who can say with any reasonable accuracy?

In all honestly, I've only seen 4 of the top 10 and have not seen, or even heard of, most of the programs on the list that date from ~2000 as I've pretty much written off most of "modern" TV programming as just not worth the effort. Of those programs from 2000 and after which I *have* seen I question their inclusion, in spite of liking the programs. Downton Abbey, Deadwood, Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica are some I've seen that I very much like but do not believe they deserve a place on this list... yet. They, like all of the ones since ~2000, need some distance before we'll know if they're truly deserving of being in such company.

So... I've sounded off enough to start. What are your thoughts?


____

Thank you for saving me the trouble of reading the article. Such a list cannot be taken seriously at all.
 

AndrewCrossett

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Apr 26, 2004
Messages
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I found the list to be predictable and shallow, as lists like that usually are. They seemed to be more interested in "covering the bases" than in generating a true list of the best TV shows. But these list articles are written with the view of entertaining someone in 10-minute bites while sitting in the bathroom.
 

MartinP.

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I've read all the replies, but I ask, did this article set forth a criteria for choosing the titles on the list or did they just present it? Sometimes you also need to know how they define best? It's hard to have a very good opinion of any list when you don't know the criteria used to make it. Then we just fall back on, I like this or don't like that. Just like the respondents on this forum, most lists of movies or TV are also very male centric. What do you suppose a best list of TV programs would look like if the list makers were all women? The truth is, the only really good list is the one we each make up for ourselves.
 

Bob_S.

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Messages
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I'd put Northern Exposure in with that HUGE group of mediocre tv shows. Wasn't bad, wasn't great just ok to good. For me 2 of the all time worst that I can remember are Small Wonder and Full House. Never cracked a smile. Did a lot of eye rolling though. Just plain dumb.
 

bigshot

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If What's Happening didn't have Shirley Hemphill and the Henry Mancini theme song, it would have been as bad as Small Wonder. But my vote for the most excruciatingly awful sitcom of all time is One Day At A Time. But I watched it every week to reacquaint myself with Valerie Bertinelli's... uh... charms.
 

BobO'Link

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I've read all the replies, but I ask, did this article set forth a criteria for choosing the titles on the list or did they just present it? Sometimes you also need to know how they define best? It's hard to have a very good opinion of any list when you don't know the criteria used to make it. Then we just fall back on, I like this or don't like that. Just like the respondents on this forum, most lists of movies or TV are also very male centric. What do you suppose a best list of TV programs would look like if the list makers were all women? The truth is, the only really good list is the one we each make up for ourselves.
No qualifier other than "greatest shows in the history of the art form." IMHO it's a *very* loose interpretation of "history" as in "a hour ago is history." What they got was apparently a "what are you watching this week" type response.

Here's the intro as they put in on the web page:
There's never been a creative boom for TV like the one we are living through right now. Ever since The Sopranos changed the game at the turn of the century, we've been in a gold rush that gives no signs of slowing down. What better moment to look back and celebrate the greatest shows in the history of the art form?

So we undertook a major poll – actors, writers, producers, critics, showrunners. Legends like Carl Reiner and Garry Marshall, who sent us his ballot shortly before his death this summer. All shows from all eras were eligible; anybody could vote for whatever they felt passionate about, from the black-and-white rabbit-ears years to the binge-watching peak-TV era. The ratings didn't matter – only quality. The voters have spoken – and, damn, did they have some fierce opinions. On this list you'll find vintage classics and new favorites, ambitious psychodramas and stoner comedies, underrated cult gems ripe for rediscovery, cops and cartoons and vampire slayers. You'll find the groundbreaking creations of yesteryear as well as today's innovators. (There was nothing like Transparent or Orange Is the New Black or Game of Thrones a few years ago, but who could imagine this list without them?) Our list is guaranteed to start plenty of loud arguments – but the beauty of TV is how it keeps giving us so much to argue about
 

bmasters9

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For me 2 of the all time worst that I can remember are Small Wonder and Full House. Never cracked a smile. Did a lot of eye rolling though. Just plain dumb.

3 of the worst I can remember (never smiled once or laughed once) were Seinfeld, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond.
 

Raul Marquez

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A post Bob made in the "Is the b&w era of TV on DVD slowly coming to a end?" thread got me curious about this list.

Here's his post:



So... as any self-respecting TVonDVD aficionado would do I had to go take a look. Of course that's not as easy as it sounds in today's world of presenting *everything* as a "slide show," which I find unacceptable and a kludge to use, so I found several different sites which had bits and pieces and compiled the full list as a text version.

Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list:

01. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
02. The Wire (2002-2008)
03. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
04. Mad Men (2007-1015)
05. Seinfeld (1989-1998)
06. The Simpsons (1989-Present)
07. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
08. Saturday Night Live (1975-Present)
09. All in the Family (1971-1979)
10. The Daily Show (1996-Present)
11. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
12. Game of Thrones (2011-Present)
13. Late Night with David Letterman (1982-2015)
14. The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
15. The West Wing (1999-2006)
16. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
17. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
18. Star Trek (1966-1969)
19. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
20. Cheers (1982-1993)
21. The Office (U.K.) (2001-2003)
22. Louie (2010-Present)
23. Deadwood (2004-2006)
24. Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
25. Veep (2012-Present)
26. Friends (1994-2004)
27. Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013)
28. The X-Files (1993-2002, 2016)
29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)
30. The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (1961-1992)
31. Sesame Street (1969-Present)
32. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)
33. South Park (1997-Present)
34. 30 Rock (2006-2013)
35. My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
36. Law & Order (1990-2010)
37. Orange is the New Black (2013-Present)
38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
39. Lost (2004-2010)
40. The Shield (2002-2008)
41. The Honeymooners (1955-1956)
42. NYPD Blue (1993-2005)
43. The Americans (2013-Present)
44. Columbo (1971-1978)
45. Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)
46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
47. The Rockford Files (1974-1980)
48. The Office (U.S.) (2005-2013)
49. Taxi (1978-1983)
50. ER (1994-2009)
51. Fargo (2014-Present)
52. The Colbert Report (2005-2014)
53. The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
54. The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
55. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
56. 24 (2001-2010)
57. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
58. Roots (1977)
59. Hill Street Blues (1981-1987)
60. Beavis and Butt-Head (1993-1997, 2011)
61. Your Show of Shows (1950-1957)
62. Sex and the City (1998-2004)
63. The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
64. Chappelle’s Show (2003-2006)
65. Happy Days (1974-1984)
66. Downton Abbey (2011-2016)
67. The Odd Couple (1970-1975)
68. The State (1993-1995)
69. The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971)
70. Roseanne (1988-1997)
71. Mr. Show (1995-1998)
72. Girls (2012-Present)
73. Transparent (2014-Present)
74. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1995
75. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson (2016)
76. Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993-2009)
77. The Walking Dead (2010-Present)
78. thirtysomething (1987-1991)
79. In Living Color (1990-1994)
80. The Fugitive (1963-1967)
81. Dallas (1978-1991)
82. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
83. House of Cards (2013-Present)
84. Real Time With Bill Maher (2003-Present)
85. The Real World (1992-Present)
86. Good Times (1974-1979)
87. Doctor Who (1963-Present))
88. Party Down (2009-2010)
89. Homeland (2011-Present)
90. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
91. Broad City (2014-Present)
92. American Idol (2001-2016)
93. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999)
94. Jeopardy (1964-1975 & 1985-Present)
95. Key & Peele (2012-2015)
96. Gunsmoke (1955-1975)
97. Portlandia (2011-Present)
98. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
99. Oz (1997-2003)
100. Eastbound and Down (2009-2013)

I have issues with many programs on this list. Of course, being a fan of TV from its beginnings I feel the early years are woefully underrepresented while the years since 2000 are incredibly over represented. That shouldn't be much of a surprise considering the history of RS and that, I'm sure, the majority of those polled are "millenials" or close to it which means what *they* think is "the best", not what historians and those of us with a large knowledge of the medium would consider to be "the best."

Here's a chart I found at MeTV's site that shows the disparity in years very well.

riFes-1474572188-embed-meta-chart_%281%29.png


Yeah... 11 shows from the 50s and 60s with 43 since 2000. Add the 21 from the 90s and you have 64 of the 100 from the last 25 years. Hardly representative *or* accurate if you're truly looking at TV history from anything other than a more recent perspective which would include those earlier shows you've seen in syndication.

Where's The Flintstones? The first animated series in *Prime Time* was a huge influence.

Where's The Bill Cosby Show? Sure Cosby is on the outs but the show is classic.

I Love Lucy
is only at #32?!? The Tonight Show ranks *below* Letterman *and* The Daily Show?!?

Ed Sullivan is at #69 but where are The Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, or The Dean Martin Show?!? These were all highly influential programs.

And these are all TV *series* so why is Roots on the list? Yes, it was highly influential and significant but it's a *mini-series* so does it belong on this list at all? And another mini - American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson? In the top 100?

I also question the inclusion of any programs which are still in production, unless they've been around longer than ~20 years or so. This list contains quite a few. Will any of those, even though hugely popular today, still be "significant" in 10 years? Sure, I *love* Game of Thrones but will it still be considered a "Greatest Show" 10, 20, or more years down the road? Without knowing how it ends, who can say with any reasonable accuracy?

In all honestly, I've only seen 4 of the top 10 and have not seen, or even heard of, most of the programs on the list that date from ~2000 as I've pretty much written off most of "modern" TV programming as just not worth the effort. Of those programs from 2000 and after which I *have* seen I question their inclusion, in spite of liking the programs. Downton Abbey, Deadwood, Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica are some I've seen that I very much like but do not believe they deserve a place on this list... yet. They, like all of the ones since ~2000, need some distance before we'll know if they're truly deserving of being in such company.

So... I've sounded off enough to start. What are your thoughts?


No TWIN PEAKS ????????
 

AndrewCrossett

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
274
No WKRP. "Louie" ranked higher than "I Love Lucy."

Forgive them, Lord.

At least they did a poll, so they have some methodology to point to. Most lists like this are made by some copywriter on deadline sitting in a cubicle running down lists of TV shows on Wikipedia and picking out the ones he's heard of.
 

Tina_H_V

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Tina
No Sanford and Son on this list!!!???? That was a serious red flag for me. And what about The Beverly Hillbillies??? I already saw Naked City mentioned on this post also.
 

Randy Korstick

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Messages
5,532
The list was obviously made by people under 35.
The lack of westerns other than Gunsmoke and Deadwood (Questionable choice) as Howie pointed out invalidates this list more than anything.
Looking at basic facts westerns dominated TV from 1955 -1965 with 60% of the shows on primetime from 1957-1962 being westerns and they remained strong into the early 70's. There should be a minimum of 10 in any top 100 list.
 

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