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Your favorite shows over the past twenty years. (1 Viewer)

Walter Kittel

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I thought that James Spader was excellent in Boston Legal. (Another show that in a longer list I would have mentioned.)

Personally, I always found the series The Blacklist to be flawed from the opening bell. It seems to me that a highly public arrest / surrender to the F.B.I. would not be the way to start your career as someone who will reach out to the underworld elements on behalf of the government. Red would be so radioactive that no one would deal with him. But maybe I'm overthinking it. :)

- Walter.
 

jcroy

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Frankly over the past few years whenever I watched through first-run episodes of The Blacklist which were really boring, I usually fast forward over the segments which didn't have James Spader.

If I ever purchase the complete series dvd set of The Blacklist for whatever impulsive reasons in the future, for my own amusement I would edit / splice together sequentially all the segments featuring James Spader into several large mp4 video files.

I've found that watching only just the Spader segments and skipping over everything else in an episode, already gives a good idea what exactly is going on in a particular episode.
:)
 

jcroy

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I think it's more odd to obsess over my comment.

I highly disagree with this ^ assertion. ;)


(On an offtopic tangent).

Since this is a message board which is likely to be attracting a hardcore crowd, it is highly likely there exists posters who are the types that pay close attention to details in an obsessive manner. Basically to the point of parsing sentences word by word.
 

jcroy

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I'm curious, since you have no titles from the past 20 years (or even 30), why you even came into this thread. Or felt the need to post.

I assume your likes tend to be for more vintage shows, which is fine.

But to come into a thread that is clearly targeted at recent shows, of which you have no interest, seems odd.

(On a meta-tangent).

This is actually not odd at all, for some folks. :)

Some folks genuinely enjoy indulging in "crap flooding" on threads, whether consciously or unconsciously.


No different when it happens offline in conversations with folks who like to interject with funny / amusing / sarcastic comments which are tangential or completely off the topic of discussion. In some cases even hijacking an offline person-to-person conversation and never going back to the original topic of discussion.
 

jcroy

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(This is a more general question about one's show choices).

When it comes to your top favorite shows, do you find there is a pattern to them (besides nostalgia) ?
 

jcroy

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For the longest time, my genre of choice was science fiction (scifi) type stuff.

The biggest reason why I don't have sci-fi shows in my top favorite lists, is that I tend to hold sci-fi to much higher standards than other non-scifi shows. When there's things like unresolved cliffhangers or even a lousy season, I've found that it literally "poisons the well" for me about a particular scifi show.

For example, the syfy show "Dark Matter" had three great seasons. Though it was canceled on a cliffhanger at the end of season 3. Since then, I can't even bring myself to buy the three bluray season sets.
 

jcroy

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Personally, I always found the series The Blacklist to be flawed from the opening bell. It seems to me that a highly public arrest / surrender to the F.B.I. would not be the way to start your career as someone who will reach out to the underworld elements on behalf of the government. Red would be so radioactive that no one would deal with him. But maybe I'm overthinking it. :)

I got the impression Red was the ultimate "underworld rolodex" who knows where all the "bodies are buried". The real world offline non-criminal equivalent might be a likeable person who is very good at person-to-person networking, and likes to talk a lot . Basically the local gossip type of person who can't keep their mouth shut.

The only way this might possibly work in a criminal underworld, is if the "gossip monger" is ALWAYS one step ahead of everybody else ALL THE TIME. Such a "gossip monger" would likely be a "mary sue" or "marty stu" type of character, where they are always one step ahead and never caught by the folks who want them killed/arrested for "talking too much". (ie. They are the ultimate repeated "escape artist").


In contrast, the offline real world in criminal and even non-criminal blue-collar type circles, the local gossip monger who runs their mouth indiscriminantly is frequently physically beaten up repeatedly or even killed.
 

Bryan^H

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To make it a top ten list here are the rest of my favorites:

10 - Star Trek Enterprise. The last of the "old Trek" I still enjoyed it, even though I thought some of the characters were underdeveloped.

9 - Enlightened. True story, a friend wanted to punch me out for suggesting this series to him (seriously pissed), I asked why he finished the first season if he despised it so much. Second season was better

8 - Spaced. This series written by Simon Pegg, and Edgar Wright was brilliant. Funny, and true, with maybe a bit too many nods to pop culture, but I'm not complaining.

7 - Rollergirls The life behind a group of girls in roller derby on A & E. The best kind of "reality show" More like a long documentary, and you could tell it wasn't scripted, or at least not too much.

6 - Firefly I made the mistake of watching this first run on Friday nights (Fox Friday). As the episodes progressed, and characters became more real, and vulnerable I was hooked like no other show has ever done. By the time the final episode (the premiere two hour episode Serenity 1, and 2) aired I already knew of the cancellation. I was devastated. The two hour film "Serenity" in theaters did an OK job of using the 7 season outline into a two hour movie, but I still wanted a full seven seasons of Firefly.
 

Walter Kittel

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Top ten? Sure, why not? :)

I'll start with two of my favorite comedies of the past 20 years.

10 - How I Met Your Mother - Mostly due to the cast, the storytelling mechanisms and the series' penchant for visual humor. I would agree with the criticism of the show concerning the handling of the final season and the Cristin Milioti vs. Cobie Smulders situation. Despite that misfire, I really enjoyed this series.

9 - 30 Rock - Endlessly inventive and filled with memorable characters. The relationship and chemistry between Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy never failed to deliver laughs. Loved everything about this show.

8 - The Americans - A series that tends to get overlooked by flashier productions, this is the show from my second grouping of programs that was nearly flawless in execution. Some seriously good acting and writing in this series. Loved the recreation of the period and the ethical questions raised by the series. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell were so damn good in this show. A great, great series.

7 - House - I said previously that it just missed the cut. Well here it is, mostly on the strength of Hugh Laurie's acting and characterization of the lead. As I said before the chemistry of the relationship between House and Wilson was another strong element. Liked all of the cast and I appreciated that the show reinvented some of the supporting members and foils for House as the series progressed. (The conflict between House and Det. Tritter (David Morse) in Season 3 was one of the highlights of the series.)

6 - Legion - It didn't always make sense (at least to me. :)) but - Man, I loved this show. The visual nature of the storytelling and the concepts that were explored were both high points for me. Another show that I would rank very highly in terms of its creativity. Aubrey Plaza was just a blast in this series as Lenny. :)

There are some gaps in my viewing experience as regards the more notable television of the past twenty years, but hey - there are only so many hours in the day and my video games aren't going to play themselves.

- Walter.
 
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Bryan^H

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I haven't watched too many comedies in the past twenty years, but whenever I saw "The Middle", I was entertained. It was very goofy, and superbly cast. I'll probably pick up the .DVD sets in the future and watch the entire series.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Elephant in the room, why wasn't "Game of Thrones" on my top ten list?

Mainly because of the multiple character storylines, I only cared for one, or two. And in an hour episode, that was like 15 minutes worth of screen time I was really tuned in to see. However, the final season seemed to bring things together nicely, and the final episode was pretty rad.
 
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TravisR

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8 - The Americans - A series that tends to get overlooked by flashier productions, this is the show from my second grouping of programs that was nearly flawless in execution. Some seriously good acting and writing in this series. Loved the recreation of the period and the ethical questions raised by the series. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell were so damn good in this show. A great, great series.
Another great series that I forgot (like you said, it isn't as flashy as other shows) but I hope that show manages to be remembered and seen because it was excellent.
 

Jeffrey D

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A comment on Walter’s #10 (How I Met Your Mother)- I’ve had this set for over 2 years, and still haven’t started watching it yet. This and Burn Notice are the only series made in the 2000s I have (still haven’t watched BN either, but have liked the handful of shows that I have seen).
 

Jeff Flugel

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While I prefer watching vintage TV shows (pre-1990s for the most part), I have watched episodes of most of the shows listed by everyone else here. I respect shows like The Sopranos, The Shield, Breaking Bad Et al., as being very well-made, but they wouldn't make my "favorites" list. If you extended the time period to the '90s, The X-Files would most certainly be on my list, but I can't in good conscience include the show if we're only talking about the last couple of seasons post 2000, which IMO are flawed. While I don't hold with the view that TV post-2000 is better than what came before, I do think that, as in all time periods, there have been some outstanding shows.

My list, in no particular order:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel
Firefly
Justified
Deadwood
Game of Thrones
Lost
Stranger Things
Endeavour
The West Wing
 

steveT77

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1. The Leftovers - it's the no contest winner. It's modern-day Shakespeare.
2. Breaking Bad
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Freaks and Geeks (cheating a bit here, it's been 22 years...)
5. Stargate Universe - the best scifi series no one ever watched
 

Montytc

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Most, if not all of these have been mentioned but here is my list:
The Sopranos
The West Wing
Bosch
The Mentalist
Elementary
Person Of Interest
Game Of Thrones
Lost (At least the first couple seasons until I determined the writers were the ones who were lost.)
Ozark
Burn Notice
In Plain Sight
Monk
 

Dave Lawrence

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This definitely isn't my preferred era of shows, but I'm not one who finds it all bad.

The Closer (2005-2012) is my favorite series from the past 20+ years.

Beyond that, here are 9 other series from this timeframe I've especially enjoyed (not listed in order of preference):

Any Day Now (1998-2002)
Boston Legal (2004-2008)
Boston Public (2000-2004)
The District (2000-2004)
Harry's Law (2011-2012)
House, M.D. (2004-2012)
Parenthood (2010-2015)
Reba (2001-2007)
Major Crimes (2012-2018) - While I don't enjoy this spin-off/continuation of The Closer as much as I do the original show, it had its moments and I do like rewatching it on occasion.

There are a few others - though not many - but I wanted to keep the list at 10 like some of the other posters have.
 
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Chuck Mayer

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I'll go with a Top Ten, since it has been a great two decades for television:

1) The Wire
2) Deadwood
3) The Americans
4) The Crown (still in progress)
5) Justified
6) Hannibal
7) Breaking Bad
8) Spartacus (STARZ)
9) Curb Your Enthusiasm (still in progress)
10) Penny Dreadful


Honorable Mention: Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones, Seasons 1-2 Outlander, The Great (only 1 season so far), Archer (Seasons 1-4), Sherlock, Arrested Development (pre-Netflix), Community, Scrubs
 

BobO'Link

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I'm of the "There have been many excellent shows over the past 20 years but as a whole it's worse than ever before." camp. That said, here are my "Favorites" from the past 20 years (and that's an odd thing to type realizing that's roughly 2000 onward). Many of these I've rewatched at least once (R), a few have had several repeat viewings (R+). At this point, none of these are in my all-time-favorite top 10 series though Firefly *is* in my top 20.

In no particular order:

Game of Thrones (R+) - Especially before the showrunners ran out of book from which to draw dialog/plotting and had to rely upon their own rather inept abilities. The ending was mostly satisfying but not so much the last 2 seasons. Had Martin actually kept up with his writing and the showrunners not been in such a hurry to move on it could have been at the top of the best fantasy shows ever made list. Sadly, that didn't happen.

Downton Abbey (R) - Surprised me that I enjoyed this mostly soap opera so much. Quite entertaining.

The Office (US version - I don't care for the UK original) - Who'd have thought a faux reality show would be so entertaining and funny.

Big Bang Theory - Mainly the pre marriage years. It was mostly good in the final few but the first 6-8 seasons were gold.

30 Rock - Best thing Alec Baldwin's ever done and the rest of the cast is pretty darn good too.

Arrested Development (R) - I was skeptical going in as Ron Howard's involved and his work is normally just bland/blah. Surprise!

Firefly (R+) - Just couldn't watch it on Fox as it felt disjointed. Then... I purchased it on physical and WOW! what a series! Fox was quite remiss in dumping it so soon. Had they aired it as it was meant to be aired it'd likely have made it to the end.

Monk - One of the best of the best. Lots of fun in spite of my not much caring for its final resolution.

The Orville (R) - The best Trek show on TV. And it's been shuffled off to Hulu... :( (Fox strikes again)

Deadwood (R+) - I really wanted more when it ended. The movie is OK but just... My favorite series starring Ian McShane since Lovejoy. He was born for the role (both actually).

Battlestar Galaxtica (R+) - What an update! Who'd have thought that cheesy 80s series could be so good.

Star Trek: Enterprise (R) - Outside that rather poor detour into the "temporal war" junk (and the worst theme song ever for a Trek series) I found it quite entertaining.

The IT Crowd (R) - Superbly funny.

Doc Martin - I find most shows with Martin Clunes to be quite funny and good. This was no exception.

Haven't seen enough to know for sure, but like what I've seen so far:
Parks and Recreation
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Vikings
Community
Scrubbs
Fringe
The Goldbergs
The Man in the High Castle
- OK... first 2 seasons were superb but it's going off the rails with S3 so we'll see...

I own one or more seasons of at least a dozen other shows from the past 20 years that I've just not gotten to yet and another 20+ I've seen in their entirety or just not enough to decide if I even like them and want to continue. There've been a few "stinkers" in what I've watched, several of which came highly recommended. At least two I disliked enough to give away the sample season I'd purchased (The Walking Dead and Westworld for those who care).
 

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