best tv show EVER

How can cultural elitists like ourselves put TV in the Culture category? Well, where the hell else is it going to fit?
boston_jeff
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Postby boston_jeff » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:01 pm

Some (not all) of the mythologizing of AD and Firefly is def. due to their unwarranted cancellations...However, I generally agree that the best of today's TV is the smart TV. That said I love a good dick or fart joke as much as the next guy.

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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:05 pm

I'd like to change my vote to "The Real Housewives of Orange County". A smoldering train wreck leaking chemical waste... Peyton Place for the gilded age...

Actually, there are no words to describe it.

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Postby blunt » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:47 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:I'd like to change my vote to "The Real Housewives of Orange County". A smoldering train wreck leaking chemical waste... Peyton Place for the gilded age...

Actually, there are no words to describe it.


Except for the ones you used.

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Postby Shipley » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:18 pm

You know whats awesome? 30 Rock. for a 3rd place sitcom with more NBC cross promotion and product placement than their own commercial breaks, its consistently the show I pause most often to laugh like an idiot for an extra 10-20 seconds for a gag that flies by. And even then, the show is dense enough that I still watch re-runs.

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Postby boston_jeff » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:07 am

Its pretty good, I usually watch it along with the rewarmed US Office.

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:25 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:the soap opera format

I call "conscious effort to irritate the defenders and not-so-subtly deride the format" of shows like LOST, Heroes, 24, etc.

Y'know who else used the "(lots of characters and stories developing over many episodes or even seasons)" format? Shakespeare.

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Postby Beer Moon » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:34 am

TheBookPolice wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:the soap opera format

I call "conscious effort to irritate the defenders and not-so-subtly deride the format" of shows like LOST, Heroes, 24, etc.

Y'know who else used the "(lots of characters and stories developing over many episodes or even seasons)" format? Shakespeare.


Yeah the difference here with Shakespeare and Lost, 24, and Heroes (and Battlestar Galactica I would add) - is that unlike a soap opera, the characters and storylines don't suck.

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Postby Sideshow Bob » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:38 am

Shipley wrote:You know whats awesome? 30 Rock. for a 3rd place sitcom


That reminds me, 3rd Rock From The Sun was a simple but awesome comedy.

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:45 am

Beer Moon wrote:Yeah the difference here with Shakespeare and Lost, 24, and Heroes (and Battlestar Galactica I would add) - is that unlike a soap opera, the characters and storylines don't suck.

Ooh, burn. That's all right though, because I wasn't talking about quality, I was talking about novelty.

For the record, my list, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE OF HAVING BEEN BORN IN THE 1970'S AND NOT HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WATCHING RERUNS OR NICK AT NITE, is as such (in no particular order):

FICTION
The X-Files
Futurama
LOST
Twin Peaks
Homicide
The Simpsons

NONFICTION
Blue Planet
Good Eats
Mythbusters

I will say that I watch Scrubs and Dirty Jobs at pretty much every opportunity, but I consider them differently than the shows listed above.

Also, the very few bits of the Carol Burnett Show I have seen have been hilarious.

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Postby TAsunder » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:58 am

Interesting... David Simon's Homicide over The Wire, BBC/Discovery/Attenborough's Blue Planet over Planet Earth. I bet you like Reservoir Dogs over Pulp Fiction, and Mean Streets over Raging Bull too.

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:05 pm

TAsunder wrote:Interesting... David Simon's Homicide over The Wire, BBC/Discovery/Attenborough's Blue Planet over Planet Earth. I bet you like Reservoir Dogs over Pulp Fiction, and Mean Streets over Raging Bull too.

No, I love Pulp Fiction more than any Tarantino creation, although Kill Bill and Jackie Brown are close behind.

I have never seen Mean Streets or Raging Bull (sorry to say), and the times I've tuned into Planet Earth have not enthralled me the same way that Blue Planet did.

Also, I'm not in a place, financially, where I want to throw good money after bad paying for more TV, so The Wire is outside of my frame of reference, too.

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Postby Shipley » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:31 pm

boston_jeff wrote:Its pretty good, I usually watch it along with the rewarmed US Office.


While I love the BBC original, the NBC Office is what I would call just as good, just different. Save for that first season where it really was just the same episodes with different names.

but what makes The Office its own show isn't so much the stars(Michael, Jim, Pam), who behave pretty closely to the BBC counterparts; its the side characters. Dwight is a thousand times more abrasive than Gareth, and while I guess you could argue that Toby, Kevin, Stanley, and Creed all were based on one of the other BBC characters the absolute insantity Creed spouts on a weekly basis and the no-sell delivery of Stanley have no analogue. Its no coincidence the best of the NBC Office is exactly what wasn't in BBC Office.

And they made more than 13 episodes, which I like.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:59 pm

TAsunder wrote:I bet you like Reservoir Dogs over Pulp Fiction
I do. Wanna fight?

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Postby christopher_robin » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:07 pm

I like Book Police's list--I love Twin Peaks to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach--but DUDE. Off base a little with the Shakespeare/soap opera comparison? As Elizabeth Barrett Browning might say, "Let me count the ways."

Shakespeare's finest work is extremely tight, plot thread-wise. There are very few concurrent stories to follow--not at all like a soap opera.

If I tune into "Guiding Light" I have no idea WTF is going on, and won't without investing hours. With most Shakespeare, you can walk in cold in the second act and very quickly understand the story, and that's because the stories are so simple and accessible (with some exceptions, of course... A Winter's Tale come to mind. But even that one is pretty high-concept).

There are usually a very few central characters, unlike a soap.

Soaps were designed to sell soap--and go on forever. This is also true of Lost, 24, etc. The GOAL is to secure another season, every season. So resolution is the opposite of what you want.

Shakespeare worked in five acts. Beginning, middle, end. Ask a screenwriter, writing for the movies is very different from writing for TV. A play is a lot more like a movie in that is has a start point and end point. Don't you agree?

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:19 pm

christopher_robin wrote:I like Book Police's list--I love Twin Peaks to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach--but DUDE. Off base a little with the Shakespeare/soap opera comparison? As Elizabeth Barrett Browning might say, "Let me count the ways."

Shakespeare's finest work is extremely tight, plot thread-wise. There are very few concurrent stories to follow--not at all like a soap opera.

If I tune into "Guiding Light" I have no idea WTF is going on, and won't without investing hours. With most Shakespeare, you can walk in cold in the second act and very quickly understand the story, and that's because the stories are so simple and accessible (with some exceptions, of course... A Winter's Tale come to mind. But even that one is pretty high-concept).

There are usually a very few central characters, unlike a soap.

Soaps were designed to sell soap--and go on forever. This is also true of Lost, 24, etc. The GOAL is to secure another season, every season. So resolution is the opposite of what you want.

Shakespeare worked in five acts. Beginning, middle, end. Ask a screenwriter, writing for the movies is very different from writing for TV. A play is a lot more like a movie in that is has a start point and end point. Don't you agree?

I do agree. And my comparison was more of a superficial one, in that there are Shakespearean works that have very complex, if tightly-woven, stories that involve a large number of characters and past actions coming to bear in unforeseen ways (Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth come to mind first).

But yes, Shakespeare and soap operas are very different. My intention was to indicate that, generally, there are very different ways of categorizing serial dramas, to varying degrees of pejorativeness.

I do, however, have to come to the defense of LOST, a show you lumped in with 24 in an inappropriate way. Yes, they are both serial dramas. But LOST is not built to perpetuate. The final piece of evidence for that is the agreement between the producers and ABC to end the show at 120 episodes. The fact that this agreement was signed with 48 episodes still to go, on a series that could easily make 200 episodes based solely on popularity, shows that there are some TV creations designed for a creative purpose and not just $$$.

I would argue the same may be true of Heroes in the long run, and possibly Prison Break (although I don't watch that one).


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