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Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST!

 
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Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 12:52:37 PM   
Mozza

 

Posts: 8089
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The CIC
Right.  This project has been cursed since day 1.  It took me 5 goes to post it originally, Counting was a right bitch (thanks a million to crayon, Lilibee and Captain Black for their help) and the less said about the great blurb hunt, the better (Once again, massive thanks to all blurbers.  Especially the ones I harassed over MSN to do one).  On Friday, it was ready to go. 

But then I got a nasty computer virus that destroyed a fair few of the scribblings people had winged my way.  Which was incredibly annoying.  So I said "Fuck it!" and decided to publish the list.  If you see an empty space under your favourite show, write 100 words about it and send it to my PM inbox and I'll update it.

Can I also ask people to refrain from posting in here until the full list is up.  It ruins continuity.

So, here goes!
Post #: 1
RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 1:01:03 PM   
Mozza

 

Posts: 8089
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The CIC
100.  Edge Of Darkness (1985)
 

 
Quite simply, possibly the greatest piece of TV. Ever.

Starring the sadly departed BAFTA winning Bob Peck (without question one of our best actors as he demonstrates here, tracking the path from grief to losing his mind), the mini-series followed the investigations of a bereaved father, a police inspector, on the trail of his environmentalist daughter's killers. Via the sublime double act of Pendleton and Harcourt (Charles Kay and Ian McNeice) and eccentric CIA agent Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker), he follows the twists and turns of an often slowly-paced but never less than compelling complex narrative, never bettered on TV.

The show was made at a time of some paranoia worldwide, particularly wrt the nuclear threat. Shows like Threads had recently made it onto TV.  The show exemplified that pessimism.

Martin Campbell got his career from this– the style is hauntingly bleak and you are unlikely to finish watching without tears. There is some argument over whether Campbell or writer Troy Kennedy Martin was responsible for the key idea of having Craven 'haunted' by his daughter, played by Joanne Whalley (this and The Singing Detective the next year took her to Hollywood) – but the idea, perhaps not that good on paper, works wonderfully on screen as a demonstration of Craven's crumbling hold on reality.

The show contains many memorable sequences with perhaps the most so being the eccentric Jedburgh deciding to take his own measure of vengeance – as he stands at the front of the hall before the man ultimately responsible for Emma's death and brings his hands together. After wandering about with plutonium in a Harrods bag. Watch it – no more spoilers.

This show had it all – a superb cast, a masterpiece script – part thriller, part political analysis with a deeply moving take on grief and how it affects us (helped poignantly by a soundtrack featuring Clapton) and a unique style thanks to superb direction from Campbell.
By: elab49.

99.  NYPD Blue (1993-2005)
 
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98.  Without A Trace (2002-Present)
 
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97.  The Adam and Joe Show (1996-2001)
 



The Adam and Joe Show was underrated comedic genius not of its time and truly not appreciated for its wry humour, for which the blame can clearly be laid at the door of their obvious geek roots visible in their home movies made with Star Wars figurines. While clearly hysterical, these films were a victim of their own ingredients because of much of the potential (and drunk due to the scheduled time of airing) audience saw the graven images and immediately associated the show with childhood Christmas afternoons surrounded by inebriated distant relatives and the original films on the television.
 
This show was not just all low-budget, hastily-scripted skits either, there was intelligent advice for the country's future filmmakers in the guise of auteur and genius Ken Korda, with his insightful and misguided attempts to mould the course of British cinema in his own twisted vision which was far too clever for the critics of the time, or of today.
 
Making the show a fulfilling whole, the titular Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish embellished their product with an array of delightful ditties disguising a post-modern commentary on the society in which they, and we, reside, such as the infamous and misunderstood "Footie Footie Footie". Complete with videos fit for any MTV viewer, it just goes to show how cruelly the majority of the18-30-year old population discarded this pair like so many emptied alco-pop bottles.
By: Sahara Desert
 
96.  Steptoe & Son (1962-1974)

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95.  M*A*S*H (1972-1983)

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94.  Spider Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)

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93.  Dad's Army (1968-1977)




Taking place during World War II, Dad's army follows the mostly elderly members of the Home Guard in the town of Walmington-On-Sea, Lead by Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe). While Mainwaring my be she show's star, the characters are all great and highly memorable, from Sergeant Wilson (John Le Mesurier) and Lance-Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn) to Godfrey (Arnold Ridley), and of course 'stupid boy' Private Pike (Ian Lavender), and played perfectly by the various actors. The scripts, by David Croft and Jimmy Perry are also consistently good, containing both gentle, and slapstick comedy. Dad's Army has been the subject of endless repeats on the bbc since it's finish in 1977, bringing it's brand of humour to new generations, and it remains very popular to this day.

By: Dignan

92.  Police Squad (1982)




Two years after David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker hit comedy jackpot with Airplane!, one of the most hilarious films of all time, they moved to TV, hoping for a hit. They created a comedy show based on an incompetent cop named Frank Drebin, fused it with wacky style of Airplane! and hoped for success. They were left disappointed, it bombed.   But don't be misguided by its lack of success, this is one of the funniest pieces of television ever made. So funny, that it single handled spawned the Naked Gun series of films, where half the jokes were stolen off it. If you loved the Naked Gun films, then this is simply heaven. Only 6 episodes were ever made, but it's arguably better than any of the films. From the opening credits, the jokes fly in – from the opening credits with the guest star who dies and doesn't ever feature in the episode, to the shoeshine who knows everything in world including life after death, to the closing credits where Drebin and his boss stand still doing an action whilst the closing credits roll on top of them.

By: Underscore

91.  Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)




The concept was spot-on for the time period it was made. Send a Starship a vast distance across space and get the franchise back to its roots. No longer would a federation starship go boldy....where someone else had already gone, as was the case with the Next Generation. Nor would they have to wait for excitement! drama! etc! to come to them as they did in DS9 (until they got the Defiant anyway).

Initially, the elements were there; in particular adding the twist of a potentially rogue number of crewmembers absorbed from the Maquis and consequently a section of the crew who were less than the 'aw shucks' goodness of previous Roddenberry influenced casts. However, overall the cast/characters were a hit and miss afair; Kate Mulgrew was a solid Captain Janeway, though she lacked Picard's gravitas and Sisko's intensity (thankfully she also lacked the latter's mesianic streak); Robert McNeil's Tom Paris started of with the potential to be a natural sucessor to Kirk (honest, he did!), similarly roguish and spirited, though without 'The Shat's' screen presence and u-nique delivery I'd mark him down as something of a missed opportunity; Robert Picardo's Doctor (Sci Fi's second 'The Doctor') was sublime, the natural sucessor to Data he was managed to be the character to best explore human nature whilst simultaneously being the most charismatic and funny ('I'm a Doctor, not as insurgency operative!') on the show; and finally Jeri Ryan, introduced in Season 4 - no doubt cast for her body, she thankfully had the acting ability to back it up. The rest varied from underwritten or underacted to both. And anyone who says Neelix was the worst character should be hit in the face with a piece of two by four. Or Chakotay as he's more commonly known. Boom boom.

It was of course, not without other flaws. It suffered from incessant treknobabble throughout its run and was the first real indicator that the franchise was in decline. In addition, other science fiction shows had caught up with Star Trek and surpassed it, particularly with the use of ongoing story arcs, something almost wilfully opposed by (in particular) Rick Berman, who went from arguable franchise-saver around the time of TNG to primary-coffin-nail-hammerer. On going method to get them home, integrated into the story would have been more effective.

What weakens Voyager's reputation was that often this was not followed through, usually due to dependence upon the accursed reset switch. Episodes that hinted at quality were often undercut with a sense that they often highlighted what was wrong with the show (especially meta episode Flashback from Season 3, which sees Tuvok recall when he served on the Excelsior, captained by a certain Cpt. Sulu). While The Borg were considerably weakened by the end of the series (a shame as at their peak they are still Star Trek's most fearsome villain), most of the episodes centred around them were pretty good (especially Scorpion), even if they did tend to contradict previous continuity regarding The Borg themselves.

Nevertheless it did have some great standalone stories and consistently good premises, there were also flashes of brilliance that sadly weren't maintained, witness the embitterd Harry Kim in timeless, by far Garrett Wang's best performance in the series. Chakotay's still rubbish though. Then there's The Bride Of Chaotica! (deserving of its exclamation mark) a fabulous homage to the 30s Sci Fi serials and the favourite episode of George Lucas. Probably.

So, a show perhaps less than the sum of its parts, if you just take the best episodes you've maybe got three years of excellent stuff. Nevertheless, what it does show is that even in a Utopian future where mankind's prime desire is to explore and seek out new experiences, there's quite simply little better than coming home.

Best Episodes: Scorpion, Year Of Hell, The Brid Of Chaotica!, Timeless, Relativity.

By: Captain Black
 

90.  Spongebob Squarepants (1999-Present)

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< Message edited by Mozza -- 29/5/2006 1:02:30 PM >

(in reply to Mozza)
Post #: 2
RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 1:18:20 PM   
Mozza

 

Posts: 8089
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The CIC
89.  Prison Break (2005-Present)




Probably one of the most entertaining shows to air on television in years, Prison Break was mid-season filler for 24 with a total of thirteen episodes planned.  Its huge success changed all that and it has already been given a second season.
The original concept was simple.  A young, successful structural engineer Michael Scofield, played by Wentworth Miller, intentionally gets himself thrown into the same prison as his older brother Lincoln, who is on death row for a crime he didn't commit.  Rather than following any sort of rational thought, Michael has ingeniously tattooed the entire blueprints for the maximum security prison onto his body in a complex code which only he can decipher.  Along the way he must acquire the skills or help of some of the inmates and staff, amongst them a Mafia hoodlum Abruzzi (Peter Stormare), a disturbing yet quite funny paedophile (Robert Knepper), the prison's go-to guy C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar), his cell mate Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and the very beautiful prison doctor Sara (Sarah Callies).
The show relies on some over-the-top set pieces, crazy twists and implausible ideas but comes together to make one of the most entertaining and fun TV shows of recent years.

By: Furrybastard

88.  Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005)

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87.  Malcolm In The Middle (2000-Present)




Originally perceived as a live action version of The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle quickly established its individuality in the first season.  A situational comedy with clearly defined characters, it centers on Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), the middle child of four boys and their dysfunctional family life. 
The show separates itself from other US shows by having Malcolm speak explicitly to the viewer and removing the laugh track or live studio audience.  Malcolm is a gifted child, which separates him from his other siblings, namely his older dimwitted brother Reece, his younger brother Dewie and Franics, whose bad behaviour has resulted in him being sent to military school (later, he escapes and each season has him in a new place, most of which are even less desirable than the last).  The show's real strength however, lies in the parents, Lois and Hal who are the good cop/bad cop respectively.  Lois is the restrictive, dictatorial mother while Hal is a naïve, well-intentioned but blundering father. The unique camera style and odd, hilarious storylines helped the show become a hit for Fox but has recently been cancelled and its seventh season will be its last.  With the boys growing up, the show has struggled to maintain its audience but will be fondly remembered for its fresh outlook on the common, dysfunctional family sitcom.

By: Furrybastard

86.  The O.C. (2003-Present)




This show about the residents of Orange County was a revelation when it first aired on FOX during the summer of 2003. The show was an instant hit among both teens and adults, pushing its young stars Benjamin McKenzie, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson into the limelight. The original premises was simple, kid from Chino is introduced into a world where he doesn't fit in. Through this, we were introduced to beautiful rich people, parties, music and pop culture filled dialog. The key to the shows initial success was that, unlike other "teen shows” such as Dawson's Creek, the adults in the show had just as big a part as their teen counterparts. While teenagers were thrilled by the "will they, won't they” aspect of Summer and Seth's romance, adults were kept entertained by the antics of Julie, Sandy, Kirsten and Caleb. While the kids hung out in the Bait Shop, watching The Killers or Modest Mouse perform live, the adults dealt with drinking problems, illegitimate children and affairs. The show does have some problems, its inability to have a character other then the main four stay in the show for more then a few episodes being one, but everything it rapped up in a package of fun, humour, and good music.

By: The Mighty

85.  The Two Ronnies (1971-1987)

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84.  The Wire (2002-Present)




Created by Homicide alumni David Simon, The Wire covered a wide range of problems over the first 3 series – endemic drug crime (season 1), crooked Polish dockers and the unions (season 2), and politics (season 3) with an amazing solution to low rent drug buying in 'Amsterdam'.

The show centres on a diverse group of cops initially brought together to pursue a drug lord – Avon Barksdale – after the murder of a federal witness kick starts judicial interest. As well as the central team led by Lieutenant Daniels (McNulty – perennial fuck-up but good police, Kima – excellent cop but losing her way in her personal life, Freamon – stuck in pawnshop for nearly 15 years for doing his job properly, etc) there is a recurring cast of characters who help (Bubbles, Kima's PI, McNulty's partner Bunk and the amazingly charismatic Omar) and hinder (Dep Commissioner Burrell and Commander Rawls) the team's attempt to bring down Barksdale and his right hand man, Stringer Bell using the eponymous Wire.

The intricate plot covers the lives of those on both sides of the law offering no easy solutions to where the line lies between right and wrong as cops beat suspects and you root for Omar - a thief and killer.

The writing is superb, and includes contributions from people like George P Pelecanos as well as Simon himself. It is a show that is not afraid to deal with ideas and make you think about who the good guys are and how far they should go - particularly the 'solution' to drug crime, a current political hot potato, posited in season 3.

There is not one bum performance in 3 series. It also stars a few British actors with Dominic West, Idris Elba and Aidan Gillen all taking lead roles.  This is an extremely intelligent piece of TV and is, quite possibly, the best cop show ever made.

By: elab49

83.  Nip/Tuck (2003-present)

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82.  Pride and Prejudice (1995)




Why do people love this series so much?  Is it because it's the archetypal romance, brought to our screens with a searing intensity?  Is it because we can identify with at least one of the well-written and imaginatively realised characters?  Is it because it charts preoccupations about love and relationships that are still relevant today?  Is it because it gives us hope that we will have our own happy endings in the complicated minefield of love?  Or is it because it contains the best wet shirt scene yet committed to screen?

By: crayon

81.  Never Mind The Buzzcocks (1996-Present)




Most quiz shows nowadays are full of intelligence and brimming with clever hosts and guests, but Never Mind the Buzz cocks still happens to be a cut above most quiz shows, especially with its panning and scathing of music and the artists involved. Mark Lamarr is an excellent host, and is dryly sarcastic and superbly funny at the same time, taking the glorious Mick out of everyone and everything with perfectly toned glee. The team captains are glorious fun, and in Bill Bailey provide the highlight of the entire programme, as anyone who's seen Bill Bailey live can attest he is one of the funniest people on the entire planet, and Phil Jupitus is great fun as well. The rounds are all gleeful fun, and the theme of music and the artists involved provides some great humour, including the infamous line-up round and the obvious favourite, the Intros round. Altogether, a great and definitely classic quiz and comedy format that should still keep going for years to come...

By: DJ Rob C: Mark II!


80.  The Muppet Show (1976-1981)





It's time to start the music. It's time to light the lights. And anyone who was a child...or an adult in.. well, ever.... will instantly find themselves bouncing up and down with anticipation on hearing these immortal words, for they heralded the arrival of one of the most hilarious and downright inventive shows ever to grace the small screen.
Well, they had me at "it's a sketch show with puppets!" But the Muppets was far more canny then most sketch shows, rather than just resorting to the same punch line over and over they came up with some interestingly varied themes. We all knew something was going to go wrong in Muppet Lab, but the fun was that it was done in an unexpected way. "Beaker, I have turned this gold bar into cottage cheeeeeeese!"

The show was of course benefited by a selection of the greatest characters ever to grace a "sketch show." From Kermit's often futile attempts to keep the whole thing running smoothly, to Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, Rowlf, Swedish Chef, Animal, Sam the Eagle, Statler and Waldorf, Dr. Honeydew and Beaker, Gonzo, Pigs In Space. And that's just scratching the surface. Chances are that reading that list will provoke a thousand lines and memories.

Also, the show became notorious for it's parade of guest stars. Everyone from Orson Welles to John Denver wanted in. Personal favourites include Elton John being eaten by crocodiles whilst singing Crocodile Rock and Mark Hammil gargling George Gershwin.

Nowadays, the Muppets are most seen in movies of varying quality (A Christmas Carol, great, Treasure Island, not so great) and an attempt to kick start the show - Muppets Tonight - was only moderatly succesful (replacing Kemit as the host was a big mistake.)

I could prattle on, but the forum would collapse. So it just remains for me to say...

Mahna mahna.

By: Bulletproof_Monk

79.  Our Friends In The North (1995)


Originally written for the stage Peter Flannery's Our Friends In The North is one of the best TV dramas from the BBC. Focusing on a small group of friends & their changing circumstances from the 60s to the 90s it courted controversy from the start, not only because it used up half of the BBC's yearly serial budget but also because of its plotlines involving characters based on real political figures & focusing on the housing scandals of the labour party in the north east & police corruption in the Met. The excellent cast (including Christopher 'Dr Who' Eccleston & Daniel '007' Craig) are superb & following their journey from young adulthood to middle age is never less than gripping. The various time periods are authentically brought to life & a suitably era-defining song ends each episode. Mixing the personal & the political it's not only an engaging drama about the lives & loves of a small group of friends but also an important & accessible examination of modern British history.

By: Monkeyshaver

78.  Life On Mars (2006-Present)



DCI Sam Tyler is the victim of a hit & run & wakes up to find himself still a policeman, still in Manchester, but now in 1973, that's the premise of Life On Mars. What could have been little more than a one joke show (a pastiche of The Sweeny) is a fun fantasy tinged drama with not only the engaging prospect of whether Sam is indeed in the 70s or lying in a coma in 2006, but also contains involving stories & a brilliant supporting cast. Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt steals every scene he's in & Liz White provides not only a possible love interest & ally for Sam but a representation of how women were viewed in the police force of 30 years ago.  The 70s atmosphere is well realised, almost a hyper real version, maybe based solely on Sam's memories, & the choice of music also helps in creating a sense of place. One things for certain, this quality show is definitely not a "god awful small affair.” 

By: Monkeyshaver

77.  Cracker (1993-1996, 2006)
 

 
Created and written by Jimmy McGovern, Cracker's arrival on TV screens in 1993 pulled viewers out of their comfy chairs and placed them on the edge of their seats; its graphic depictions of violence a lifetime away from the cosy, popular detective shows of the time like Inspector Morse and Murder, She Wrote. The show contains a veritable who's who of respected British character actors, including Ricky Tomplinson, Christopher Ecclestone, Geraldine Somerville, Clive Russell, Barbara Flynn and Lorcan Cranitch. However, the undisputed star of the show is Robbie Coltrane as Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, a chain-smoking, foul-mouthed psychologist who is more Marlowe than Morse in style. Cracker was an instant hit, propelling Robbie Coltrane to higher fame than that which he had found as a supporting player in various TV comedies, amongst them The Comic Strip and Tutti Frutti. Its gritty realism, along with that of Taggart and Prime Suspect, paved the way forward for crime drama on TV and helped ITV to move ahead of the BBC in the ratings during the early '90s.  One of the most notorious storylines, To Be A Somebody, saw Robert Carlyle in a prominent early role as psychotic killer Albie Kinsella. In a surprise announcement, ITV recently revealed that Cracker will return for a new storyline later this year, giving this excellent psychological drama its first new episodes in 10 years. 

By: TobiasFunke

76.  American Dad!



Some say that American Dad is the lesser child of Family Guy-creator Seth McFarlane. However, this show is only in its first season over here in the UK and is set to become a classic. Throughout the thirteen episodes, the six deranged members of the Smith family cover every non-PC issue from teenage fondling to the alien menstruation cycle. The show centres on Stan Smith; father of rebellious Hayley and "get boob” Steve; husband to Francine and harbourer of alcoholic alien Roger and the German mutant fish, Hans. This is political satire at its comedic best. Every episode is brilliantly well-paced and features great quotes:

"Francine Smith: We're so glad you could make it. Where's your wife this evening?
Bullock:  Handcuffed to a radiator in Fallujah. She wanted to come, but I do not negotiate with terrorists. Hey, do I smell meat loaf?”

American Dad is destined to become a classic.

By: i007_Bond_007i

75.  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

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74.  Match Of The Day (1964-Present)

"You know when a TV show or a film becomes so synonymous with it's subject that
it's theme becomes the very representation of what it depicts.  OK, now hands up
all of you that have hummed the Match of the Day theme tune to yourself while
playing football in the playground/park/living room/back garden.  I imagine that
most of you will have your hands up now.  I don't know for sure - this being
t'internet, I can't see.

Match of the Day is basically the quintessential representation of the beautiful
game in England.  It's a Saturday night tradition.  It's perfect post-pub
entertainment.  It was where I was first introduced to the genius of "The Silver
Fox" Des Lynam.  And if your team has done the business that day, it's the best
way to relive those moments.

Thank the Lord that the BBC won the rights back.  It wasn't the same without
MOTD!"

by: thatlittlemonkey


Extras (2005-Present)

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    72.  Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969)

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    71.  Third Rock From The Sun (1996-2001)

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    70.  Quantum Leap (1989-1993)

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    < Message edited by Mozza -- 20/7/2006 7:46:52 PM >

    (in reply to Mozza)
    Post #: 3
    RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 1:51:23 PM   
    Mozza

     

    Posts: 8089
    Joined: 30/9/2005
    From: The CIC
    69.  WWE (1999-Present)
     
    No picture really did this show justice-so I didn't include one-Mozza.

    There's a stigma that comes with being a 'wrestling' fan. In usual discourse, what immediately comes after that revelation is the patronising questioning of whether I 'know it's all fake?' In fairness to the unenlightened this query comes out of ignorance rather than anything else with the fact of the matter being, if one strips away all the caricature gimmicks, make-up plastered 'divas', logic-defying stories, than the drive and athleticism of the 'WWE superstars' becomes obvious.
    It is quite difficult to attribute an apt description of World Wrestling Entertainment's television in that it has been shunned by all of the possible genres that would encapsulate it. The determined nature of competition and the sculptured artistry of the matches mean that 'sports fans' have pejoratively referred to professional wrestling as 'fake' (an apt if somewhat blunt description.) Alternatively, the implausibility and general lack of ethical forethought that comes with narrating professional reasoning denies it being considered a performance art or fitting in with the kitsch product archetype.
    Instead the WWE prefers to flout their product as sports-entertainment and this reviewer is finding it arduous to summarize it any better. The fact is the label of 'sports-entertainment' is perfect in definition. World Wrestling Entertainment is a hybrid of different products and programming. It's appeal should be universal but due to the company's reluctance to embrace both the acerbic mentality of Generation Y and the nostalgia of antecedent generations, along with its penchant for nepotism, most viewers just dismiss it. However, perhaps that is one of the WWE's biggest strengths. A sense of exclusivity. Whether it be Edge or Carlito exuding charisma on 'RAW' or Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle and the late Eddie Guerrero defying human limitations on 'Smackdown!' there is a sense of pride among WWE viewers; a knowledge that through all the diatribe and pained storylines there are nuggets of television/sporting gold that all of the nay Sayers will never know.
    And ironically, at the end of my review, I realise there is a better description of World Wrestling Entertainment's programming: 'a diamond in the rough.'

    -Jack of Blades
     
    68.  The league Of Gentlemen (1999-2002)




    Grotesque. Bizarre. Disturbing. Not the usual words you'd conjure up when thinking of a comedy.  However The League of Gentlemen is not your normal kind of comedy. A mix of Monty Python's sketch based ludicrousness, Hammer Horror and David Lynch like weirdness, the gentlemen in question are Mark Gatiss, , Mark Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson, the latter being the only writer who doesn't also perform in the show.
    The show is based in the fictional Northern town of Royston Vasey and was the genesis of a successful stage and radio show. Featuring some of the oddest cast of characters imaginable and hilarious, quotable dialogue, the League was a cult hit, loved by some and hated by just as many who didn't take to its densely referenced dark humour.  Edward and Tubbs, Papa Lazarou, Hilary Briss, Pauline, Geoff, Herr Lipp; all these characters were unique, obscene and funny.
    For its third series, the League experimented with their format, influenced by their success with the BBC Christmas Special, arguably their finest piece of work. It was a bold move that showed off a complexity missing from most shows of this ilk. The show was successful enough to garner its own movie, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, which rounded off the show in a unique and poignant manner.

    By: Furrybastard.

    67.  Porridge (1973-1977)




    Porridge being prison slang for prison sentence is about just that a man serving his sentence in prison. After being found guilty of 'breaking and entering,' Norman Stanley Fletcher (Ronnie Barker) was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Every episode we would see Fletcher, a quick witted man, serving his time with cell mate Lennie Godber, getting up to good, manipulating the easy going Prison Guard Barraclough, and annoying Officer MacKay.

    Although the show only had a short life, like many of the BBC's great comedy shows (lasting only 21 episodes over a span of 4 years). The show was blessed with being created during British comedy's golden era, and although the show will always be in the shadow of such shows as Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers, it will always be a firm favourite of many.

    By: Sexual Harassment Panda

    66.  Cheers (1982-1993)

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    65.  Little Britain (2003-2005) 




    Once in a while, we find a phenomenon comes along to make us natter at the watercoolers in all the offices of the country and throw constant catchphrases into every day speak. Little Britain was one of these shows. A mainstream critique of society today, Matt Lucas and David Walliams' twisted and unsentimental take on the Britain we live in today established itself in mainstream culture for some time. It's occasionally childish, not funny (surely a flaw for a comedy show) but don't be fooled. When Little Britain hits, it hits hard - very hard.

    From 'yeah but no but' to 'I'm a lady!!!' to 'I'm the only gay in the village!', Little Britain manages to pull off classic running gags continually. Perhaps it's greatest weakness, it's sheer amount of characters and sketches is also it's greatness. For every Bernard Chumley, you have a Daffyd, Lou and Andy, Majorie Dawes and Dennis Waterman. For every Denver Mills, there's a Sebastian, Emily Howard, Vicky Howard and others. Just looking at that list of characters reminds you just how funny this show is, and why it deserves a place up there with the best.

    By: Underscore


    Alias (2001-2006)



        Created by Lost's JJ Abrams, Alias is the story of Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), a young woman who struggles to reconcile her complicated private life with her career as an international spy within SD-6, a shadowy agency posing as a classified branch of the CIA, led by Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin). After the murder of her fiancé, Sydney becomes a double agent for the actual CIA to take down Sloane and company. Then she finds out her estranged father Jack (Victor Garber) is a double agent too. Not to mention she has to keep all of this a secret from her friends.

        That's just the first episode.

        Alias is a smart, thrilling piece of entertainment that's more fun than at least the last decade's worth of Bond movies. It's well played by the ensemble cast, especially Rifkin as the obsessive and downright nasty Sloane and Garber as the overprotective father with a wonderfully vicious streak (think an older, more patient Jack Bauer). It's action-packed, it's sexy — Garner has a different revealing costume almost every episode (not that I'm complaining, of course), it's funny, it's often quite daft. It's a shame, too, that meddling network executives screwed around with the format of the show so it never fully realised its potential, but it remains a stylish, exciting show.
        By: Angelus


        63.  Due South (1994-1996)




        Due South centred on a Canadian Mountie (is there another kind of Mountie?) travelling to Chicago in search of the killer of his father. For reasons 'far too technical to go into here', he liased with a streetwise Chicago cop and they struck up one of the most enjoyable modern day buddy partnerships. Of course, the real star was the deaf, half-wolf Diefenbaker, who is quite simply one of the coolest TV characters of all time.

        Its greatest gift was tone, largely due to the performances of lead actors Paul Gross (who also wrote a number of episodes) and David Marciano, both of whom always played everything dead straight, even when the episodes themselves were essentially going for every laugh they could and in truth it's as funny as any American comedy of the time. It was often surreal (including the inspired concept of having Fraser and Ray both able to see their own dead fathers) yet always remained fundamentally grounded in reality, consequently it never sacrificed dramatic elements for the sake of being quirky.

        Standout episodes inlcuded the sublime All The Queen's Horses, where an entire train of Mounties is dosed with knockout gas; leaving Fraser, Thatcher and (if he can get there in time) Ray to stop the train being crashed into a nuclear power plant whilst carrying explosives; and Empire's own Helen O'Hara favourite Victoria's Secret, which featured an astonishing 428 plot twists in the last 20 minutes of part II alone. This remains a record for a TV programme shot in Canada.

        It's also got dozens of in-jokes and references; most notably 'John' Diefenbaker was a former Canadian President, Margaret 'Meg' Thatcher was Fraser's senior officer from S2, other detectives were called Huey, Dewey and 'Lewis'; Ray was constantly losing his prized 1971 Buick Riviera before miraculously having it replaced, the character Leslie Nielsen played was described as 'having an uncanny resemblance to the actor Leslie Nielsen', Diefenbaker's taste for junk food was a consistent running joke and as replacement Ray's real name was Stanley Kawalski, could his ex-wife be named anything other than Stella?

        Due South was unfortunately a show troubled during its existence. It was initially cancelled after its first season, only to be given a second run at the last minute. Then cancelled again after season 2, ending on a rather poor clip show for budget reasons. Then (and with the greatest impact on the show) production company Alliance Atlantis decided to go it alone, with some partial backing from the BBC (Where it was a big hit on Saturday nights) among others. By this point, David Marciano had other commitments (including shooting a pilot for a show that wasn't picked up) and had relocated with his family back to LA, resulting in the need to recast his role (Callum Keith Rennie - you may remember him from guest spots in every TV show ever shot in Canada), which was explained in typically offbeat Due South fashion. By this point, series exec Paul Haggis had moved on to greater things and fellow writer David Shore would go on to win a writing Emmy for House. While Haggis may currently have more Oscars than Scorsese, Hitchcock and Kubrick combined, I very much doubt he'll ever make something I like more than Due South.

        It had a charm, wit and style all of its own and it's highly recommended if you've not seen if before.

        Thankyou kindly.

        By: Captain Black

        62.  My Name Is Earl (2005 – Present)




        The sole reason for this show's initial success could be entirely due to the inspired casting.  Jason Lee is the ideal choice for Earl, a down on his luck loser who sees the light and seeks redemption through karma.  He makes a list of everything he's ever done wrong and each episode shows him trying to make good on all his past mistakes.  A rather simple, somewhat poor concept could have resulted in a quick death for this show but the writers quickly realised where the real comedy lay. 
        On his journey towards redemption, Earl is accompanied by his dim-witted younger brother Randy (Ethan Suplee), his hilarious, white trash ex-wife superbly played by Jaime Pressly and the beautiful cleaning lady who works in the motel that Earl and Randy are staying at, Catalina (Nadine Velazquez).  Relying on a simple feel good message, quirky directing reminiscent of the Coen Brothers' Raising Arizona, bizarre secondary characters (including Giovanni Ribisi, Beau Bridges and Juliette Lewis) and some truly odd but hilarious set pieces, My Name Is Earl is this years biggest hit for NBC and testament to the fact that the American sitcom is still alive and well.

        By: furrybastard

        61.  Farscape (1999 – 2003)




        Farscape was a different breed of sci-fi show.  Produced in Australia, it featured the talents of the Jim Henson Company, most famous for the Muppets.  The cast consisted of a human astronaut John Crichton who, during a test flight, accidentally gets sucked through a wormhole and into the middle of a space war.  Here, he becomes involved with a group of escaped prisoners who travel on a Leviathan, a living, breathing spaceship with a multiple-tentacled Pilot.  Amongst the fugitives are a huge alien named D'argo, a blue priestess Zhaan, the small, brutish and fowl Rygel, and a fleeing Peacekeeper called Aeryn Sun.

        Pursued by the Peacekeepers, specifically a revenge driven Crais and an unusual, half-breed reptilian-like commander named Scorpius, the crew travel the edges of the galazy, looking for a way home.  The show initially wore its low budget charms on its sleeve and relied heavily on character dynamics and inventive, ingenious ideas for episodes.  It only really found its feet half way through the first season, introducing the more maniacal and interesting Scorpius as villain and the sexy, blue-toned Chiana as a fellow fugitive.

        After four seasons, it was cancelled despite having initially been commissioned for a fifth.  Through a huge fan outburst, the show received a miniseries which wrapped up the loose ends and provided closure for the series.

        By: furrybastard

        60.  Stargate: SG-1 (1997-Present)



        Stargate SG-1 picks up a year after the events in the film and it soon becomes apparent that SG-1 (being the flagship team) will have to defy orders and go through the Stargate for what is intended to be the final time (as the first Series ends on a cliffhanger) and save the planet.  Naturally, they succeed and the adventures continue with their main aim in visiting other planets is to obtain technology which will enable us to fight the Goa'uld. 

        Despite various cast changes it's still going strong, with the latest enemy possibly being the most difficult to defeat yet.

        Best episodes: Window Of Opportunity, Abyss, Lifeboat

        By: Peppermint

        59.  Sex And The City (1998-2004)

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        58.  Top Gear (1978-Present)

         
        Why The Stig? Because he's the coolest.
         
        Top Gear returned in 2002 with a new studio, a new format, more Clarkson and of course, The Stig. They added Richard Hammond (who's apparently had he teeth whitened) for the girls and (originally) Jason Dawes who was presumably seen as a less suspicious alternative in the used car market to 'old Top Gear' presenter Quentin Wilson.

        The final element was added at the start of the second series, where top fop James May joined the presenting team in places of Dawes. The balance of the three main personalities was improved and continues to shine, especially in outside segments - usually involving cars that are falling to bits and bought for a tenner. Essentially for all the laddishness that the show could be accused of, these sections are devoid of the ego that could justifiably be aimed towards the show when they're reviewing the most expensive supercars.

        The reviews themselves are fabulous (the critical ones usually being the most fun), although Hammond does often come across as Clarkson light with his delivery and comparisons, May brings his own particular views that are often the polar opposite of Clarkson (and this balance is part of the success) and Clarkson himself virtually invented (at the very least redefined) the method of reviewing cars on camera with the old series.

        Most importantly (and as time progresses it's becoming more exaggerated), Top Gear is no longer a motoring magazine show (if you're interested in buying a car, seek other sources), it's three blokes excelling in the art of 'cocking about'. It's pure entertainment based loosely around the motoring industry (it's noticeable how many fans the show has who claim to know nothing about cars), not that there's any lack of enthusiasm for the cars themselves - compare the raw energy and general appreciation of all that is good and car related (and criticism of its worst aspects) to the dull approach of rival Fifth Gear, in which failed racing driver Tiffany Dell[sic] spends every review trying to get his 'back end out' (his words) and complaining how a Ford Focus doesn't handle as well as a Porche 911.

        Top Gear have now added another continuing feature to great success. The race - where Jeremy screams 'power' for the whole segment while James and Richard encounter no end of obstalces trying to beat him point to point in another form of transport. How realistic these races actually are is a moot point, they're always tremendously entertaining and they occasionally even mention the cars as well. Recently they've demonstrated another example of branching out into other areas with a Winter Olympics themed element featuring a Hechler & Koch MP5, launching a Mini off a ski jump with rocket propulsion, and the best game of Ice Hockey ever (unless you worked for Suzuki's marketing division).

        Finally there's fabulously imagined driving automaton The Stig. A cult character, his faceless persona has proven to be an inspired creative decision, also fueled by the 'who is he?' questions (Mk I was Perry McCarthy). And if anyone asks why I don't spend so much time on the forum while Top Gear's being filmed? Well, say no more....

        By: Captain Black

        57.  The Mighty Boosh (2004-Present)



        Given this task, The Boosh is quite a difficult one to define. Although it seems to follow every comedy convention under the sun (odd couple leads, career-orientated setting in which the comedy takes place), it does feature a creature man purely out of sandpaper whose greatest detriment is the fact he cannot masturbate.

        The show features Howard Moon and Vince Noir, two zoo attendants and then band-mates, who are antipodal to each other. While the former is determined to make it as a Jazz master, the latter is just concerned with how to shape his hair using an anti-gravity solvent. Throw in an ensemble featuring a gorilla that has perfect diction, a millennia-old genie-like entity, and a mildly retard moon. The series strength is that it knows what it is and revels in it. It doesn't try to get above its station. It does not demonstrate attempts at emotional arcs such as Little Britain Anne being rejected after two series of autonomy. The two protagonists remain as fanciful and vain throughout their weekly adventures where they search for the Fountain of the Youth or battle a grandmother-deity, all the while boasting sporadic spouting of philosophy from the idiotic satellite that orbits the earth.The Mighty Boosh is escapism for people who like jazz and they like both of those things a lot.

        By: Jack Of Blades

        56.  Battlestar Galactica (2003-Present)



        The original Battlestar Galactica followed in the wake of Star Wars and was - oooh let's be generous - a cheesey fun low quality sci fi show that gave people a weekly fix in the wake of Star Wars and before The Empire Strikes Back was released. It had lofty ambitions, but won't be fondly remembered by anyone with anything other than their thickest pair of rose tinted glasses. Its stable mate, Buck Rogers (in the 25th Century) was arguably a more succesful venture. Buck aimed low and hit the mark, BSG aimed for the Stars and was way off.

        Nevertheless the seeds of a terrific story were there, a rag-tag fleet making it a 'wagon train in space', some rather nice spaceship designs (What can I say, I'm a geeky bloke), some generous references to mythology (Greek in particular) and, most importantly, terrific villains in the form of the Cylons. Great theme tune too.

        So in 2003, with a failed restart from Bryan Singer behind it and former Star Trek scribe Ron Moore as show runner, Battlestar Galactica (and seriously, isn't that the best name for a show you could possibly imagine?) returned, this time in a post September 11th environment, where arguments of security vs civil liberty were prominent in America, a miniseries with a similar plot to the original was released. The 12 colonies are decimated, with a single, outdated Battlestar left to guide an all new rag tag fleet in search of a home,the mythical 13th colony - called Earth.

        That really is where the similarities end. The 'fun' elements of the original are cast aside in favour of the most intensive first season of a TV show I've ever seen. Lorne Greene's Commander Adama is replaced by Edward James Olmos and what I like to describe as his 'burning stare of command', delivering a performance that outside the stigma of being on a show categorised as Science Fiction would have earned an Emmy nomination. Genders are reversed, most notably (and cause of initial controversy) Cigar-smoking, womanising Starbuck from the original series is now female, yet remains arguably the most masculine character on the show. Further class is added by Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin (an entirely new character), James Callis is superb as the slimey manipulative (and mad as a hatter) Gaius Baltar; and poster-girl-former-model and as-it-turns-out-bloody-great-actress (her ability to play a number of distinct versions of the same character sometimes within the same scene is consistently impressive) Tricia Helfer as (Number) Six, who manipulated Baltar to gain access to the colonies defensive systems, initiating the Cylon attack. Six, in another major development over the original, is one of the 'human form' Cylons who are indistinguishable from ourselves. This adds a tremendous sense of paranoia and fear of the enemy within. Season 1 is quite simply was of the most impressive debuts of any show, dark, complex and yet accessible, it maintains an astonishing level of energy and fluid plot progression throughout. And the ending is a shocker.

        As season 2 has now ended it has demonstrated (despite a few mis-steps in the latter half) a willingness to progress and change, indeed (and without giving anything away) the end of season 2 changes the whole nature of the show and demonstrates icy nerve on the part of Moore & Co.

        This version aimed for the stars and still overachieved.

        By: Captain Black

        55.  Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)

         

        Back in a time when franchise was still a dirty word, and not so closely associated with comic adaptations, Star Trek was riding high. It had reached film number IV: The Voyage Home (that's the one about the whales for non-fans)and it was time to launch the first element of the franchise that didn't have a certain James T Kirk in the Captain's chair. Consequently (and let's be honest), the success of the show rested squarely on the shoulders of Patrick Stewart - need a Shakespearian thesp to play a 25th Century Frenchman in command of a starship? Try looking in Yorkshire. He brought conviction and gravitas to dialogue that any lesser actor would have struggled with, indeed subsequent Trek spinoffs merely accentuate this. The remainder of the cast was fairly strong, with Brent Spiner as Data given the bulk of the non-Picard episodes that focus on one character, they were very much the 'supporting' cast however.

        The first season was something of a learning curve, with the exception of introducing the magnificent John De Lancie as Q, it was mainly a season of settling in, re-establishing the Trek Universe in an updated (at this point in time the cold war was drawing to a close, this mirrored events in Star Trek, they had Klingon Worf serving in starfleet) setting. It did have one particularly memorable episode, 'Skin of Evil' - which included the death of Tasha Yar - shocked on two counts: it was a lead character and it was in typical red-shirt fashion. Wisely, Yar wasn't directly replaced and to some degree it did aid in balancing the cast. S2 opened with Riker sporting a beard and Worf taking over ar's station. It included a number of excellent episodes that really get to the very core of Star Trek, Sci Fi dealing with matters of ethics and philosophy, in particular the episode The Measure Of A Man - where Data is put on trial to question his humanity:

        Picard: Your Honour, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. (pointing to Data) Well there it sits!

        By season 3 it was absolutely in top gear (or high warp perhaps), ending with possibly Star Trek's finest hour - The Best Of Both Worlds. Featuring (for me at least) Trek's greatest villain: The Borg, and one of the. great. cliffhangers.  It's possibly the last great Sci Fi show that doesn't have a long running narrative, consequently each season has at a good number of truly memorable episodes, there aren't huge peaks and troughs in quality after the first year, a remarkable model of consistency for such a long running programme.

        Although the next generation crew lived on in feature films (including the rather excellent First Contact), the final episode is the strongest closer to any Trek series (All Good Things), utilising Q to send Picard into three separate, parallel storylines across time and space.

        Set a course for the stars....Engage.

        Best Episodes: The Best of Both Worlds I & II, Tapestry, The Inner Light, All Good Things I & II, Chain Of Command I & II, Time Squared.

        By: Captain Black


        54.  Deadwood (2004-Present)




        Filthy and chaotic, HBO's Deadwood is a startling take on life in the 'Wild West'. Created by David Milch , the show is set in 1876 and follows a large array of characters. Milch manages to blend fiction with reality, placing historical characters (Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane) alongside those not found in any records. Most memorable is Al Swearengen, owner of the Gem Saloon. Played by Brit Ian McShane, Swearengen is one of the greatest television characters ever – hideous yet hysterical.

        Deadwood has become infamous for its foul language. Nary a sentence goes by without a 'fuck' or a 'shit' being uttered. It is nothing short of brutal – death occurs on a regular basis, usually not caused by any natural means. Drink flows freely and there is almost enough whores for each person. Deadwood is an amoral town, with everybody fighting for wealth. Deception is rife and alliances are uneasy. The evolution from camp to town is fantastic to watch, and Season 4 has already been commissioned even though Season 3 has yet to be aired.

        By: Barefoot Doctor

        53.  The Shield (2002-Present)

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        52.      Smallville (2001-Present)



        Smallville focuses on Clark (Tom Welling) as a teenager, showing him as he slowly realizes who he is and who he will become, as well as developing some amazing abilities along the way. Smallville also shows the life of his soon-to-be nemesis, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) and his ongoing struggle with the darkness inside of him. So far, over the five seasons, there has been a gradual and inevitable deterioration between Clark and Lex, with many hints and visions being thrown at the viewer as to what their futures hold.

        The rest of the characters are essentially supporting cast to this main storyline. Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) is the love of Clark's life, and yet there are constant trust issues due to Clark's secret. Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) is fantastic as the upcoming reporter, who always saves the day. Other characters include the intriguing Lionel Luthor (John Glover), the lovely Martha and Jonathon Kent (Annette O' Toole and John Schneider), with the eventual appearance of Lois Lane (Erica Durance).

        Although Smallville doesn't always follow Superman lore, it still remains fantastic viewing, all adding up to an exciting and interesting chapter in the Superman story.

        By: AgentGoth

        51.  QI (2003-Present)




        Ah, QI.  It's hard to describe this show (hence why it's fallen upon me to do this), but I'll give it a crack.  A programme that's more about funny people's trivia knowledge than actual answers, it never fails to give you priceless trivia and hilarious banter that you really have to see to get.  For example, The inhabitants of (and things coming from) Bologna are known as Bolognese but no one in Bologna would ever use the expression spaghetti Bolognese - they call it spaghetti al rag.

        Bet you didn't know that, did ya? 

        For this and other "Quite Interesting” tidbits, watch the show.

        By: Mozza

        50.  Bottom (1991-1995)




        After The Young Ones, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson made this bizarre, gross, slapstick sitcom in the early 90s.  Richie Richie (Mayall) and Edward Elizabeth Hitler (Edmondson) are two dole-sponging layabouts with violent tendencies who share a flat with one another in West London.  Richie is the dim-witted pervert who constantly thinks he is outwitting his more laconic, gleefully violent flat mate. 
        The violence in the show is outrageously violent (frying pans, burns, heads getting smashed in refrigerator doors) and are usually accompanied by some over-the-top sound effects.  The humour is, for the most part, blatantly gross and stems mostly from the stupidity and downright pathetic nature of the pair.  Yet these two need each other, mostly because no one else would want them as a friend.  Richie's sexual desperation (he's still a virgin) is a main focal point for many of the show's plots while Eddie is usually, reluctantly or unknowingly, along for the ride.  The two operate almost as a bickering, violent, disgusting married couple and once you get past the obvious toilet humour, Bottom is really about the utter pointlessness of life and the pair's attempts at finding some meaning or satisfaction for themselves

        By: Furrybastard






        < Message edited by Mozza -- 30/5/2006 12:37:58 PM >

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 4
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 2:17:33 PM   
        Mozza

         

        Posts: 8089
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: The CIC
        49.  Veronica Mars (2004-Present)
         
        Show-Runner Rob Thomas brings Chandleresque noir to high school.

        Neptune is a town of extremes with a clear gap between the rich (the 09ers) and the not so – including the Weevil-led PCHers. Veronica used to be a de facto member of the 09ers – her dad was sheriff, she was dating Duncan, the son of the richest man in town and his sister Lily was her best friend. But then things went wrong – Duncan dumped her, she was raped, Lily was murdered and her dad last his job after trying to pin the crime on Lily’s dad.

        So now Veronica is an outcast – but a sassy, intelligent one who works part time for her now PI dad (with a dog whose name provides one of the best lines in the pilot).

        Season 1 addresses these questions – why the break-up, who raped Veronica and the biggie – who killed Lily Kane. Season 2 continues with the fall-out from these as well as adding a season long mystery of it’s own – a shocking happening at the end of epi 1.

        The dialogue sparks – lightning repartee more reminiscent of a bygone age of cinema. It has already had the seal of approval from Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith – both of whom have also had cameos.

        Other main characters include Veronica’s dad Keith, best friend Wallace (whose job in the school office provides a valuable source of info), ex-boyfriend Duncan, his best friend Logan and Frank Capra’s great grandson(!) plays biker Weevil. All have more depth than initially meets the eye. And the peripheral characters often have a touch of genius – dry-witted lawyer Cliff, not nearly as easily bested as he might first seem Vice-Principal Clemons, sleazy PI Vinnie Van Low and the even sleazier new Sheriff, Lamb.

        Easily one of the best things to come out of the US last year it has, with a slight lull, maintained that very high standard in season 2. Kristin Bell is a major factor in that and a name to watch for the future.
         
        By: Elab49

        48.  The Fast Show (1994-2001)
         


        You see Paul, writing a review of The Fast Show is very much like making love to a beautiful woman.....

        If ever a comedy programme did exactly what it said on the tin, it's The Fast Show. Long time Harry Enfield collaborator Paul Whitehouse and a veritable who's who of British comedy talent from the era, Charlie Higson, John Thomson, Arabella Weir, Caroline Aherne, Simon Day and Mark Williams all created a multitude of endlessly quotable characters who started a scene, delivered their catchphrases before rapidly moving on to the next sketch. In comedy, timing is everything and The Fast Show packs as many genuine laughs into its running time as anything else.

        Its greatest strength was how malleable each the characters were; it's simply so easy to perform small variations on a particular catchphrase or scene and apply it to real-life scenarios. Just try talking about Jazz and resisting the tempation to describe it as 'great' or ending any sentence with 'which was nice', even Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright gives Dave Angel (Eco Warrior!) a big shout out whenever he plays Moonlight Shadow. A special mention must go to Ted & Ralph; two characters so expertly played by Higson and Whitehouse and a heart and poignancy that marks it out among some of the other characters on display. Though I bet Chris Waddle hates it.

        In a word? Brilliant!!  

        By: Captain Black

        47.      Shameless  (2004-Present)
         
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        46.  Thunderbirds (1965-1966)

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        45.  Neighbours (1985-Present)

        On March 18th 1985, the Australian Seven network first aired its new soap, Neighbours. They had high hopes for it, they thought they were onto a winner, they cancelled it shortly after. That should have been it for the soap if if it wasn't for Network Ten. They picked the show up, freshened it up and gave it a shot, a damn good shot. A wise decision seeing as the show became one of the countries biggest exports, and 20 years on, it's still going strong.

        The show has made household names of some of it's stars, Natalie Imbruglia, Jason Donovan and .... erm.... I guess Kylie Minogue too! Certain stars have gone onto sucessful acting careers. Guy Pearce with Memento and most recently The Proposition, Alan Dale who has gone onto have a part in The X files and a regular role on The O.c.

        Admittedly the show does have it's faults, I seem to remember Bouncer The Dog having a dream in which he married another dog 




        See, I wasn't lying.Sadly.

        But it has always managed to redeem itself with fantastic storylines, Todd's death, the recent plane crash, Karl and Susans break up to name but a few.

        Whether the show manages to continue for another 21 years remains to be seen, but for whatever reason I still think of it as my favourite show and will continue to watch for many years to come.

        By: Joedini

        44.  Babylon 5 (1994-1998)


        'A novel for television' was the original pitch for Babylon 5. Execs - in a time where virtually all television outside the realm of soap opera consisted of single stories wrapped up within the hour - weren't interested. 'It's Casablanca - in space!' (as rumour has it) finally won them over. Never before (or arguably, since) has a television series so effectively told a complete story from beginning to end over three acts of continuous and consistent story and character development. A novel for television and the only true epic story the medium has yet produced.

        Starting in the year 2258 (I'll ignore the frankly awful pilot movie set a year earlier as it contains numerous changes and inconsistencies from the full series), with a year passing for each season, Babylon 5 is quite simply: a space station 'two million five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal - all alone in the night'. Initially a form of interstellar United Nations developed with the intention of preventing further interplanetary war, and although under Earth control, it focuses on five major races (Human, Minbari, Centauri, Narn and Vorlon) headed by their Ambassadors, who are the key characters throughout the series along with the humans who work on the station.

        Despite of its labyrinthine plotting, series creator J. Michael Stracynski (JMS) was able to write around even the most troublesome real world development. Originally the show was to focus on Station Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare), but he was replaced (reports vary as to why) by Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) in the first episode of season 2, delivering (for my money) a more charismatic performance that anchored the show and may just have kept it on the air.

        I've gone this far and barely mentioned the cast and characters, all of whom evolve considerably (and believably) throughout the series and most of whom have developing relationships with each other. Given space I could happily summarise each of them, but I would like to highlight two characters in particular who really stand out; Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) Ambassador of a once great, now faltering Empire desperate to regain the glories of the past, borders on Shakesperian tragedy. G'Kar (played by the late, great Andreas Katsulas) evolved from manipulative, reptillian schemer to wisdomed, spiritual mystic including acts of heroic self sacrifice and even greater displays forgiveness. Some of G'Kar's speeches are among the highlights of the series.

        Further kudos must go to composer Christopher Franke's fantastic score, and the digital FX department whose CG creations (while technically a little dated, the designs behind them are superbly imaginitive) really opened up a world of possibilities that hadn't been seen on TV before, particulary the starships constructed from curved organic surfaces and the huge space battles. At the time, Star Trek simply couldn't do an episode like 'Shadow Dancing'.

        I'd like to say that it went on to influence the way succesful TV shows that have followed it were written, particularly with regard to longer story arcs and characters who change over the seasons, but I honestly don't know how influential a relatively obscure science fiction show could have been. Were it made today it would no doubt be even better, with fewer stand alone episodes. Regardless, it will always be the benchmark that I personally use to judge all television now and in the future.

        Casablanca in space?  Really, it's about your relationship with your parents and finding your own path in life. Remember: 'At the end, go to the beginning.' And watch it all over again.

        Favourite Episodes: The Coming Of Shadows, Severed Dreams, Z'ha'dum, Into The Fire and Sleeping In Light

        By: Captain Black

        43.  Desperate Housewives (2004-Present)




        Desperate Housewives’ should have been a generic soap opera. That is what creator Marc Cherry had planned when he pitched the show to numerous networks (with each pitch being met with the same response of rejection.) Its ‘operatic’ roots are obvious in its highly paced exaggeration of storylines and simultaneous tragedies. But it does not carry some sort of intrinsic quality that makes it greater than the usual mould of soaps including the beloved ‘Neighbours’ and its air-traffic problems.
        Although ‘Housewives’ revolves around the one-streaming plotline of the death of Mary Ellis (one of their own), the plethoric amount of sub-plots and constant stream of new characters keeps the show with a universal appeal. Ironically the involvement between the housewives is little and for a show that boasts ‘that everyone knows everyone’s dirty linen’, the characters’ storylines rarely intermingle presenting an hour of television that is multi-faceted in its construction presenting a variety of set pieces. In one hour, Cherry demonstrates Bree Van Der Kamp’s alcoholism before switching to Susan Mayer’s life-saving surgery all the while featuring Edie Britt’s contempt for the patient and then switching between the Solis’ attempts to adopt and the Scavo’s ever-decreasing state of marriage.
        To quote Kim Newman on his review of ‘28 Days Later’: “the power of the show (was film originally) is not that it hasn’t been done before, but that it hasn’t been done recently.” With a serious lack of murders and sexual content in most soaps today, ‘Desperate Housewives’ provides more than enough to cover for any deprivation as well as demonstrating a great selection of talented veterans, young actors and MILFS.

        By: Jack Of Blades

        42.      Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003)




        Voted the number one British sitcom of all time in a recent poll, Only Fools and Horses, it’s fair to say, has set the standard for comedy for over two decades. First broadcast in 1981, the early chances of the show becoming the most popular programme on TV did not look good, however, seven series and numerous specials later, the Trotter family have become one of the greatest comedy institutions in Britain.
        Whilst obviously being very funny, the success of the show must also be partly attributed to the wonderful sense of emotion it creates. Not in any other show can we see characters as well constructed as extrovert, but deeply caring Del, plonker-ish but lovable Rodney, and useless but hilarious Uncle Albert. These characters provide an emotional backbone to the show which no other comedy can boast, look no further than the episode in which we see Grandad’s funeral to realise just how moving this show can be, whilst masterfully dropping in classic comedy at the same time.
        Some nowadays criticise OFAH for the fact it was a programme firmly rooted in the eighties, others point to the decline of quality towards the late stages of the programme (it’s admiteddly probably best to pretend the latest trilogy doesn’t exist), but look beyond these niggles, and at it’s peak, this was unquestionably the warmest, and one of the funniest, sitcoms ever made. Cosmic!

        By: Spider

        41.  Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights (2001-2002)




        Written and created by Peter Kay, ably assisted by Neil Fitzmaurice, Phoenix Nights is an example of the most English of comedies, yet still is universally funny. Born out of an episode of ‘That Peter Kay Thing’, Phoenix Nights is the story of wheelchair-bound club owner Brian Potter, and his pride and joy, the Phoenix Club. Supported by a cast of well-observed characters and continually challenged by meddlesome breweries, jealous rivals and the odd disobedient horse, Brian Potter attempts to tuen the Phoenix into the jewel of clubland, by any means necessary.

        The first series concerned the club’s efforts to bag the best show in clubland, the annual ‘Talent Trek’. After 6 episodes the club was burned down, and series two dealt with the Phoenix rising from the flames. Running alongside the main action were subplots such as compere Jerry St.Clair’s cancer scare, doormen Max and Paddy becoming hired hitmen, and the continuing saga of DJ Ray Von and his mysterious missing girlfriend. But amid all the hilarious turmoil of the ensemble cast was a simple premise – something threatens the Phoenix’s rise to glory, and Potter puts a stop to it. Classic comedy

        By: Doubleshiny.

        40.  House, M.D. (2004-Present)




        Just imagine the casting meeting: you need a brilliant, sarcastic American man whose apparently carefree attitude is only there to mask his inner bitterness, and at no point should anyone have suggested: Bertie Wooster?! So, enter Hugh Laurie, sporting designer stubble, a limp and a faultless American accent. He's absolutely superb, making a potential git of a character both sympathetic and terrifically funny. Indeed, with the possible exception of Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer (24), his performance in the lead is the one that is most important to the success of any show currently on American network TV.

        That's not to say the supporting cast is poor - House's three young charges, Foreman, Chase and Cameron, have gradually developed into much more defined, compelling characters in their own right.

        It borrows from the classic procedural formula so refined by the likes of CSI in recent years, including the camera shots right into the patients' bodies. It surpasses the basic cop show formula as the audience is always with the victim throughout the drama, instead of only witnessing the aftermath, this gives it an emotional power that most procedurals only manage in the closing. Its dialogue is also consistently sparkling, and while it may initially give the impression that House has the last word in most arguments, it's often his put upon best (only?) friend Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) and his boss Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) who put him in his place, it's this dynamic that prevents House (the character) and House (the show) from becoming too self-absorbed.

        So in summary, it balances drama and comedy better than anything else on TV, and has a Brit delivering an utterly magnetic performance in the lead. What's not to like? It teaches as well, ER may have brought the world defibrillators, Dr. Greg House brings you these final words: 'less reading, more TV'.

        Best Episodes: We're only in season 2, but Three Stories is essential.  

        By: Captain Black

        39.  The Young Ones (1982-1984)
         

         

        A British sitcom based around four students attending Scumbag College, The Young Ones was an anarchic, subversive, surreal and downright hilarious television show written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer. 

        Violent punk Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson); poet and anarchist Rick (Rik Mayall); longsuffering hippie Neil (Nigel Planer); and pint-sized Mike (Christopher Ryan) were often joined by special guests like Alexei Sayle, bands such as Motorhead and Madness and talking animals/soup/toilets or anything else that came to mind.  In the second series, flash frames were often used in episodes for only a fraction of a second, satirizing the paranoia at that time concerning subliminal messages being used in television. Characters would also break the barrier by talking directly to the audience, commenting on scenes or sometimes even stepping out of them completely!

        Their brand of violent slapstick and surrealist edge means The Young Ones will always have a unique place in the lexicon of British sitcoms.

        By: Furrybastard

        38.  Black Books (2000-2004)


         

         
        Bill Bailey is a comedy genius, so is Dylan Moran… so what would you call a program that teams both geniuses up for a comedy melee? In a word: supreme. Taking the wacky premise of working in a book shop, and pairing these two comedy supremo’s together is one way to inspire a classic comedy show and guess what, that’s exactly what we get… Some of the episodes exploit some of the funniest situations ever and come up with some of best sight gags ever witnessed and performed to delirious perfection by Moran and Bailey. There are some genius cameos also, especially Johnny Vegas and Simon Pegg both turning in deliriously outrageous and funny performances in their small roles. In short, this is a genius comedy series and the performers need more material and movies to work with, especially together. Everyone should watch this show basically to know exactly what a comedy show should be like. A great comedy sitcom that deserves way loads more series, and a ton of acclaim too…….
        By: DJ Rob C: Mark II!


        37.  Have I Got News For You (1990-Present)




        So, a topical news quiz… doesn’t really sound like great fun does it? However, Have I got News For You is just that. Starting in 1990, the show has lasted many years now without wearing thin. Hosted by Angus Deayton, with team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, who would be joined by different guests each week, ranging from comedians to politicians. . Since Deayton’s 2002 departure from the show has kept going with a string of guest presenters. Through a series of amusing rounds, the show would always be kept hilarious by the sharp, witty comments of the participants. Not only would it be entertaining though, it was also good at keeping you up to date with current affairs. While one might think that each show would lose relevance as time passed, watching one of the best of dvds will show that even if the news is out of date it’s still extremely funny .

        By: Dignan
         
        36.  Spooks (2002-Present)


        If you like your drama intellegent, gritty and with heaps of realism, then you can't go wrong with Spooks. At a time when shows like 24 get criticised for being absurd (no loo breaks!?!) Spooks is the definitive British drama that tells a story about spies, without falling into the many cheesy cliche's that litter the subject. As the creator David Wolstencroft said; this isn't James Bond. In Spooks, very bad things can and will happen. The good guys get hurt, as viewers who are familiar with the superb second episode will be aware.

        With scripts that are practically torn straight from the front pages of a newspaper, Spooks isn't afraid to dive headfirst into the most controversial of topic areas; the last episode of season 4 focused on the death of Princess Diana. Spooks is a convincing, and often brutal, look into the behind-the-scenes action of MI5 and the struggle to keep Britain safe. And, of course, it's about spies; therefore it's effortlessly cool.

        Da Big Cheese

        35.  Peep Show (2003-Present)




        I didn't like this programme at first. Now I can't believe what I was thinking. One of the funniest shows currently on TV with two fantastic leads and great support. David Mitchell and Robert Webb are two flatmates who are disasters in life, Mitchell's Mark being useless in love and making a fool of himself at work because of it, and Webb's Jeremy being just generally useless. The writing's funny and some of the scenes rival anything in The Office. Added to this the fact that every shot is from a person's point of view makes this not only hilarious but also brilliantly innovative for a British TV comedy.

        By: Rinc

        34.  Brass Eye (1997-2001)



        In my eighteen years of existence, there is one thing I have learned throughout. One constant that makes itself ever-present. Everything has limits. Patience, tempers and sensibilities. It is this last limitation that has disallowed ‘Brass Eye’ from being as giant a comedy great as its close relative, ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ and as culturally recognisable as ‘Only Fools and Horses.’

        Brass Eye’s premise was simple. The television, the thing that we actually use to watch episodes of Christopher Morris’ opus, lied. As did all other mediums: radio, print, music. Morris cleverly noticed that social descent combined with the media’s intent focus and prosecution of social descent was making life a surreal experience featuring prejudice and unwarranted fear. And what better way to show his disgust than satirically lampooning what he despised. Throughout Brass Eye’s stunted lifespan of seven episodes (including the 2001 special) Morris and his cronies set about to offend anything and everyone they had come into contact with. And they also employed numerous ignorant celebrities and wannabes (except Noel Edmonds, of course) to do this as well with these confused stars discussing the issue of elephant trunks often being lodged in the animal’s own anus in an attempt to escape the barrenness of their careers. Christopher Morris’ deceit of celebrities was not the only other predicate of genius within Brass Eye either. Whereas other comedians and social commentators shied away from the issue of the nihilistic 90’s preferring to show Delboy falling down the stairs once again, Morris faced it head on and butted it back. He even entitled an episode of this precious series, ‘Decline.’ A prime example is Morris dividing those infected with HIV into people who have ‘Good AIDS’ or ‘Bad AIDS’ in a time when a government contingency plan had been to force those infected with the virus to dwell in concentration camps.

        And yet, Brass Eye was a victim of what it set out to destroy. The media got to it. Claiming it often went to far and pressuring Channel 4 to do something (See the ‘Grade Is A Cunt’ incident), the leniency towards the show was broken in Morris’ paedophile special where Dr. Fox described a crab as being genetically similar to a child molester. Although Brass Eye will probably not live on in the mainstream consensus of comedy shows, it revolutionised the genre like ‘The Young Ones’ did before it and ‘Little Britain’ is doing now.  And it only took seven episodes to get the Daily Mail to promote Morris as the new Aleister Crowley.

        By: Jack Of Blades


        33.  The Sopranos (1999-Present)





        "I'm like King Midas in reverse. Everything I touch turns to shit"
        Tony Soprano.

        I first stumbled onto The Sopranos back on it's first run in 1999 thinking it was going to be a film. An hour-or-so later, I was hooked, and from that first episode to now I can honestly say that I've never missed an episode.
        It's to the credit of creator David Chase that he can take a story strand as old as the hills - a contrast between the "family" of the Mafia and the real families of those involved - and yet consistently breathes new life into it. This is generally achieved by some of the most stunning characterisation and performances ever seen on TV.

        Central to The Sopranos' dynamic is James Gandolfini. To me, he was only familiar from his token thug roles in True Romance and Get Shorty, yet he's really taken the role by the balls and made it his own. Tony Soprano is torn between his desire to be a good family man and to live up to his mafia responsibility. Never before had TV seen such an unpredictable character - part of what makes the show so damn watchable is that you're never sure what Tony is going to do next. Any normal scene is undercut with the tendency to explode into violence, and Gandolfini's terrific performance as Tony struggles with both his inner and outer demons is central to this. It's also to his credit that he makes such an aggresive thug a strangely charming and likeable character at the same time

        Gandolfini is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast - most of whom were fellow Mob film bit players (and one of whom was a guitarist for Bruce Springsteen!). Over the past five or so seasons, they've each taken characters that could have easily been one dimentional and made them truly memorable. There's nary a bum performance on display. Personal favourites have to be the strange dynamic between Paulie and Christopher - the episode (season 3?) when the two were lost together in the woods is probably my all time favourite - and the season-long appearences from the likes of Joe Pantoliano (terrific as the amitious Ralph) and Steve Buscemi (who did his best work for years in the last series.)

        Tie all this in with brilliant fantasy sequences, a soundtrack to die for and some of the best swearing that David Mamet never wrote and the result is a powerhouse of a show that in five seasons has never dropped below hilarious and gripping.

        By: Bulletproof_Monk

        32.  CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-Present)



        CSI originally differed itself from other cop shows by making forensic investigators the central characters. The show follows the a team in Vas Vegas, lead by the all knowing Gil Grissom (William Petersen). The storylines are consistently gripping, with the writers coming with endlessly inventive ways of killing people. It has never been afraid to shock either, with many episodes venturing into highly disturbing territory. Often episodes would use a murder as a means of exploring all sorts of bizarre human pastimes. The main focus though, was always on the investigation itself, using state-of-the art equipment to show just how forensics work, and always filmed in a very slick, stylish manner. It still leaves enough room for character development though, as each of the characters battle with their various flaws. Since it began nearly 6 years ago, the show’s popularity has, justifiably, increased immensely, making it the number 1 US TV show.

        31.  Monty Python’s Flying Circus


        This Space For Rent! Just send 100-150 words and a photo to my inbox and it’ll be updated!


        30.  The Day Today (1994)




        The Day Today. Because fact into doubt won't go.

        The Day Today was by far the highlight of the Armando Iannucci-produced comedies of the 1990s (except, perhaps I'm Alan Partridge) and, IT Crowd excluded, (for not being that good), easily the most accessible thing Chris Morris has ever done. Presented by Morris as a kind of nightmare hybrid of Michael Burke and Jeremy Paxman, it was a note-perfect current affairs spoof. The show featured other memorable yet instantly recognisable characters such as useless reporter Peter O'Hanrohanrohan ("You've lost the news!"), business reporter Collaterlly Sisters, Environmation presenter Rosie May ("My milk is green; come drink me") and the soon ubiquitous Alan Partridge.

        The cast became the faces of comedy and other things in the 1990s - Chris Morris continued his furrow in increasingly disturbing satire with Brass Eye and Jam, Doon Machinen appeared on Smack The Pony, Patrick Marber wrote sweary angry film Closer, and Steve Coogan got off with Courtney Love. But it is still The Day Today - and it's radio predecessor On The Hour - that many of them will be remembered for.

        They repeated them a couple of years ago just before Newsnight. It was hard to tell them apart. In years to come, people will look at the Day Today with the same kind of prophetic reverance that we look at Brave New World or 1984. Except the jokes were better.

        By: Mikey C

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 5
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 2:44:23 PM   
        Mozza

         

        Posts: 8089
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: The CIC
        29.  Six Feet Under (2001-2005)




        Along with The Sopranos and Sex and the City, this is the show that made HBO the place to go for intelligent, adult and brilliant programming.  Six Feet Under revolves around the Fisher family and stars Peter Krause as Nate Fisher who, on returning for the funeral of his father, reluctantly becomes involved with helping to run the family's Funeral Home with his brother David (Michael C. Hall). 
        Six Feet Under is funny one moment and heartbreaking the next.  It deals seriously with the issues of life and death but never loses its sense of humour and brilliantly displays how strange life can be, or how even the smallest moment can be important and powerful.  It also boasts what is possibly the best final episode of a TV show ever, a touching, fitting tribute to the show's characters and meaning.

        By: furrybastard

        28.  ER (1994-Present)


         

        Cast your mind back, if you will, to the mid nineties. You may remember this guy Michael Crichton, an author blessed with the ability to turn doodlings into bestsellers (it even got the point where studios bought the film rights to books he hadn't even written yet.) One day, Michael Crichton met with this other guy you might have heard of, a certain Mr. Spielberg, to discuss the possiblity of them doing a film together. Crichton bought two stories with him that day. One was about dinosaurs running amok, the other was about the running of a hospital in Chicago. After much conversation, Spielberg went with the dinos. Crichton, however, wasn't done, and eventually came up with the idea to turn his hospital script into a TV series. The result, as they say...

        It's hard to convey now how groundbreaking ER was when it hit, now that it's style has become overly familiar - the pacy (sometimes improvised) dialogue, the lenthy tracking shots that follow one character through the hospital only to veer off after another one. The result was to keep up a frenetic pace that really served the series well, allowing the viewer to experience what the hell it must be like to work in one of those places. Save someone's life, then another critical patient rolls in almost instantaniously.

        ER has always - in a twelve year run! - been blessed with a strong (and ever changing) ensemble cast. Whilst today none of the original 1994 cast are still going (the longest runner, Sherry Stringfield's Dr. Lewis, bowed out recently) such is the dynamic of the show that they're rarely missed. This is probably the only show on TV that could stand to lose George Clooney and carry on as if nothing had happened.

        There are some complaints from die hards that the kids of today (Parminda "Bend It Like Beckham" Nagra, Shane West) don't cut it compared to the original Clooney-Goose From Top Gun- Noah Wyle dynamic but as the show goes unrelentingly on it the actors settle into the roles and ER remains compelling viewing. Balancing as it does moments of high tragedy (few series can make you feel emotional over the loss of someone you only met in one episode being wheeled in on a trolley) and comedy (I'll never forget the brawling rival football players and cheerleaders) ER is a rarity - a show which does pretty much the same thing week in week out and never gets boring.

        By: Bulletproof_Monk
         
        27.  Seinfeld (1990-1998)



        The show about nothing where plenty happens, Seinfeld is the brainchild of comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, who decided a show about a comedian's life was an original premise for TV. The duo decided that Jerry should star as a version of himself, with the rest of the cast consisting of eccentric layabout Kramer (Michael Richards), based on a former neighbour of Larry David's, and George Costanza (Jason Alexander), the angry, self-loathing, underachieving best friend of Jerry, based on David himself. The show started slowly in 1989 (then titled The Seinfeld Chronicles) and faced cancellation, its survival ensured by a warm critical reception. As more episodes were commissioned and the writing became comfortable, a female lead was added to the main cast in the form of Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), an ex-girlfriend of Jerry's whose selfish streak and ruthlessness made her more than capable of holding her own in the male-dominated show. The show gradually became a comical dissection of life and all its intricacies, questioning why people must kiss each other hello and why its necessary to thank somebody again when you've already thanked them once. Seinfeld took the sitcom to new places, sometimes literally, with many episodes taking place outside the confines of Jerry's apartment, in locations including a Chinese restaurant, a parking garage and the back seat of a limousine. Later episodes further subverted the rules of sitcom, with the story arc of season four focusing on the attempts of Jerry and George to launch a sitcom about nothing called Jerry. All along, the show ignored the need for displays of emotion and character development, most controversially seen in the season seven finale, The Envelopes, where the death of George's fiancee Susan left the gang, including George, seemingly untroubled. By its final season, Seinfeld had become America's highest rated comedy since Cheers. Ingenious plotting, the handling of taboo subjects, a great cast and the sharp satire of modern life make Seinfeld one of the finest sitcoms of all time.

        By: TobiasFunke

        26.  Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
         


        From the writer and co-creator of Seinfeld, Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm was an uncompromising, sometimes unbelievable and often hilarious insight into the mind of Larry, a lazy, stubborn misanthrope whose skewed view of the world and its social necessities offered up a whole new kind of American sitcom.  Its documentary-like feel and mostly improvised dialogue helped blur the line between reality and fiction as well as making the show one of the most outrageously funny of the past few years.

        The show is loosely based around David's own life as a semi-retired millionaire, famous as "the guy who did Seinfeld" as he struggles with the obstacles life throws at him, most of which are of his own creation.  The supporting cast of his wife Cheryl, manager Jeff Greene and his vulgar, angry wife Susie are all seasoned improv comedians.  Each season has its own story arc which provided a playground on which David could take on the social oddities which outraged him and the often bizarre aspects of personal relationships.  Guest stars often popped up throughout the show's five season run, usually starring as themselves, from Ted Danson and Richard Lewis to Ben Stiller, Mel Brooks and even Martin Scorcese.

        It is as yet unknown whether the show will return for a sixth season but it has already proven itself as one of America's funniest ever sitcoms, the smaller, sneering brother to Seinfeld.

        By: Furrybastard

        25.  Band Of Brothers (2001)

         

         
        One of the most realistic and authentic representations of World War II on the screen, Band of Brothers followed Easy Company as they fought their way through the end of the war.  Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the show boasted an amazing cast, all based on real people, and the events, challenges and suffering they faced.

        From their training in Currahee, through D-Day and the horrors of Bastogne to the very heart of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Germany, the show maintained a bleak, harsh outlook on the horrors of war.  Yet its real strength lay in its concentration on the characters, specifically Winters (played by British actor Damian Lewis) and the men in the company who daily put their lives on the line.  This is not your normal, everyday TV miniseries, it does not sacrifice historical accuracy for dramatic purposes or distort characters for gaining sympathy with the audience. Some scenes linger long after the credit roll, such as the discovery of a concentration camp in Episode 9 or the sheer harshness and hopelessness of Bastogne in Episode 6.

        A truly affecting, powerful and memorable show that blurred the lines between television and movies.

        By: furrybastard

        21.      Arrested Development (2003-2005)
         



        "Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep the all together.”  So begins Ron Howard's narration of the funniest mockumentary ever made.  This summary of the plot may make it seem cliché, but the genius behind it doesn't lie in the inter-relationships of the family, it doesn't lie in some of the absurdly post-modern pastiches and parodies of pop culture (everything from magic shows to the Star Wars Kid is referenced), it doesn't even lie in David Cross' wonderful closet-case Tobias Funke.  It lies in the cross-season gags, the jokes that can take episodes to pay off, the asides and small references that truly help redefine the term "Gag-laden”.  If not the most popular US Sitcom, but its definitely the smartest.

        By: Mozza

        21.      Frasier (1993-2004)




        Once time had been called at a certain bar in Boston in the 1993, Frasier was born.
        The series found Frasier moving to Seattle to take up a job as a radio psychiatrist after his divorce from the acid-tongued Lilith. Happily embracing his new found 'fame' and the single life; this got cut short by his brother, Niles, suggesting that he look after their ex-cop father, Martin, who is still not fully recovered after being shot on duty. Once Daphne, Martin's physiotherapist, was introduced, there lay the foundations of a cast that would continue on for 11 seasons and win many awards.
        The success of the show has to be put down to great writing and inspired casting (Kelsey Grammar, David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney in particular) and by the final episodes, you knew you'd miss what had been one of the greatest modern sitcoms, that gave us such great quotes…

        "Daphne: Oh, come on now, Dr Crane. It's not like men have never used sex to get what they want.
        Frasier: How can we possibly USE sex to get what we want? Sex IS what we want.”  

        By: Cat5

        21.      I'm Alan Partridge (1997-2002)
         



        What is it about British sitcoms and lead characters with painful delusions way above their station? David Brent, Basil Fawlty and Alan Partridge all feel themselves to be much better than they are. In the latter we find one of the sharpest drawn comedy characters of the 90s. Desperately unaware of his own crass squareness, Alan has an overreaching sense of who he is and who he wants to be. He just doesn't have the talent to back it up. Indeed, Alan's sorry attempts at attaining his second series form the core of the show. With his blithe disregard for others,  Partridge would be a monster if it wasn't for the inner desperation that shines through ("basically I want to understand man's inhumanity to man, and then make a series about it”)... The writing is exacting, there's hardly a line that doesn't strike true to the character. And there's the amusingly, quintessentially English world of minor celebs, MOR local radio rock and his uber Madeley turns of phrase and worldview. The end result is a hilarious, unmistakably English comedy cocktail that serves up some of the funniest moments of the 90s:   Arm Wrestling with Chas and Dave? Monkey Tennis ?

        By: Sparkwood

        21.      Doctor Who (1968-Present)
         


         
        On November 23rd 1963, around teatime, a legend was born. The Doctor, a mysterious immortal who travelled through time and space, fighting foes and witnessing history, enchanted viewers with his blue box, the TARDIS, his sonic screwdriver, and his ability to regenerate, truly creating an air of mystery with the many actors playing him. His foes, from the genocidal Daleks to the sinister Cybermen, made many of us hide behind the sofa. But Doctor Who isn't just an ever changing format of actors and monsters, be it rubbery or CG, but it is an enduring show that will last and return in any format, like it did spectacularily in 2005, because it is a show about the short lives we have, the course of history, and our own morality and loves within our lives, be we mortal or immortal. It all comes down to what we do with the time that is given, and frankly, long may the Doctor defend our teatimes from mutant facist tin cans.

        By: Doctorolorinbats1975

        20.  The West Wing (1999-2006)
         



        In Washington D.C, a group of dedicated but flawed characters battle against all sides in an effort to serve President Bartlet  as best they can. Created by Aaron Sorkin, the show was an expert blend of drama and comedy. A spectacular array of actors (ranging from Martin Sheen to Allison Janney) handled the dialogue skillfully, creating characters that will live on forever. Memorable plots will also stay with us – the President's battle with MS, the kidnapping of Zoey Bartlet and the assassination of Abdul Shareef.

        The show has not been without controversy – Rob Lowe left the show over pay disputes. Aaron Sorkin departed due to a multitude of reasons. Tragedy struck the show recently with the death of John Spencer., who played Leo McGarry. He will never be forgotten.  When 'The West Wing' completes its seven season run, it'll be the end of an era. We won't see how the new President fares, but we're left with the memory of what was. We remember the astounding cast, the beautiful direction and the masterful writing. For seven years 'The West Wing' made us laugh, made us cry, and put a little faith back into a world so desperately in need of it.

        By: Barefoot Doctor
         
        19.  Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
         



        "She's dead. Wrapped in plastic.” And so begins one of the most important US television shows of all time. Lasting only two seasons, from August 1990 to June 1991, Twin Peaks has become synonymous for its bizarre characters, endlessly quotable dialogue and bringing audiences a dark, mature and sometimes terrifying vision of small town America. Combining the cerebral and disturbing work of David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Eraserhead) with the more TV friendly Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues), these two men created a seemingly conventional murder-mystery show and mixed in surrealm, black humour, melodrama and horror, pervaded by a haunting score courtesy of Angelo Badalamenti.

        The show revolves around FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan), sent to the small, isolated town of Twin Peaks to investigate the death of a young highschool girl named Laura Palmer. As the series progresses, events become weirder and more unsettling. The reveal of Laura's killer due to network and audience pressure irreparably damaged the show and resulted in Lynch walking out because of this interference. He returned for the finale, a no-holds barred mindfuck that refused to pander to expectations and cemented Twin Peaks' reputation.  Its influence is still felt today, from Buffy and Lost to the adult, cinema-esque Sopranos and dark humour of Six Feet Under. Twin Peaks challenged audiences in a way few shows ever have and will be remembered as an important turning point in television's history.

        By: furrybastard

        18.  Angel (1999-2004) 



        After an interesting graduation ceremony Angel left Sunnydale CA for Los Angeles. A regular character in Buffy from episode 1, 300 year-old Angel had once been Angelus – one of the most creatively evil vampires on the planet. But, about 100 years before, his soul had been returned as a result of a gypsy curse.  The discovery of the Shanshu prophecy, the possibility of becoming human after the apocalypse and being able to experience true happiness without losing his soul,  became a very important plot point through the 5 years of Angel.

        Angel set up a detective agency to help those in need – supported by, of all people, the vain Cordelia Chase. Half-demon Doyle of the visions didn't last long but the third wheel part was taken up by erstwhile and incompetent Watcher Wesley Wyndham-Price. Unusually for genre shows – but not for Whedon – these characters developed during the 5 year term – Cordelia to a champion in her own right who ascended to the Powers That Be and Wesley? Well, he had several of his own dark nights of the soul. Along they way they were joined by anti-vampire gang leader Charles Gunn, Fred Burkle (trapped in a demon dimension for 5 years, soon to become one herself) and the deliciously green empath Demon Lorne. Angel also had a son – Connor. Not a major fan favourite, but even he redeemed himself in the end.
         
        Through the 5 years their main antagonist was pan-dimensional demonic law firm Wolfram and Hart. Their main aim was to ensure Angel chose the right side in their Apocalypse and the series ended with Team Angel in charge of their LA office trying to do right from within. Wonderfully in this final season Spike arrived from the defunct Buffy.

        The show hit the ground running at the wonderful pre-credits start to the second season (going to the gym!) and never really looked back.  Action packed with a sly line in one-liners, the series easily ran the range from moving drama to slapstick humour.  The series finalé is incredibly moving, violent, bleak and heartbreaking.

        Genius.

        By: elab49

        17.  Blackadder (1983-1989)



        What can one say about Blackadder that hasn't already been said? Voted 2nd in Britain's greatest sitcoms of all time, it is one of the most loved comedy programmes ever made. So what is it exactly that makes this show so unique?
        Firstly, and at the heart of the programme, is the 'hero' (if we can call him that) Edmund Blackadder, he must sit highly in the ranks of greatest comedic characters ever written, and coupled with a flawless performance by Rowan Atkinson, instantly gives the programme a brilliant edge. Blackadder has some of the cleverest and funniest lines ever, giving him a legendary status as the comedy king of insults. One could argue that the central character of a comedy show needs some sort of sympathetic side, it's very difficult to find one here, Blackadder is simply plain nasty, but luckily incredibly funny.
        Along with Blackadder we get the lovable fools Baldrick and Percy, who, along with a collection of other characters, provide the subject for Blackadder's dry wit.
        The show produced three brilliant comedy series, added to which are a variable first series (which still has it's own merits but was not the developed show most of us love today), a Christmas special and a 2000 comeback 'Blackadder: Back and Forth', however most would agree that the shows finest hour was it's brilliant fourth series, set in the trenches of World War One. Crucially, it manages to provide great humour out of such a sobering and difficult subject. If one image of Blackadder is remembered, it would be the final scenes as Blackadder and compatriots make a final dash over the trenches, with death a certainty. Not only is this one of the bravest and greatest endings in a comedy show, it is a poignant and touching tribute to the men who fought the Great War, and it is with lasting moments such as this that the genius of the programme will live for generations to come.
                                                                                                                                              
        By: Spider

        16.  Red Dwarf (1988-1999)




        This series shouldn't have worked.  It had only 4 main cast members, a depressing premise (last human in existence) and the requisite techno babble.  It shouldn't have worked.  But it did.  This is due to the comedy powerhouses that were the four central characters: Chris Barrie as the neurotic Arnold Judas Rimmer, the forgettable one in a family of space adventurers and fleet admirals.  Craig Charles as the most unworthy sole survivor of a species ever conceived, more obsessed with Poppadoms than air.  Danny John-Jules as the egocentric Cat, the foil to Lister's slobbery nature.  And Norman Lovett as the dimwitted Holly.  With the addition of Kryten in the third series, this went from strength to strength.  And yes, I include series 7 and 8 in those strengths.  The renewed budget and the understated Chloe Annett as Kochanski gave the series a sexual edge that it didn't have before.  As well as some priceless Kryten/Kochanski antagonism that is up there in my top 5 moments of the series, particularly when they compare their walks.

        Without a doubt, the funniest sitcom starring Craig Charles as the last human being in the universe in the world.  You have to see it.

        By: Mozza

        15.  The Office (2001-2003)




        "If you were to ask me to name three geniuses, I probably wouldn't say Einstein, Newton..... I'd say Milligan, Cleese, Everett. Sessions."

        And my dear Ricky you can add yourself and Stephen Merchant to that list because you created the most perfect television programme ever. I'd even pick this programme over any film as well, it is that good. And what makes it so good? Well this isn't just a comedy; it's a tragedy, a docusoap, a romance, a drama, and a hero story all rolled into one. Add to that its endearing characters and unbelievably funny and quotable dialogue and you have one monster of a comedy. And Gervais' David Brent is a comedy god although he is a man we shouldn't like. He's a liar, he's selfish, egotistical, unprofessional and a terrible boss and you know if your boss said the things Brent says, you wouldn't laugh just as the people at Wernham-Hogg don't. But you pity him and want him to succeed and when at the end of the Christmas specials his date actually wants to see him again followed by Brent telling Finch to "fuck off," you jump for joy. Everything else is perfect - the will-they-won't-they with Tim and Dawn, the incredibly funny and geeky loser Gareth, and all the other brilliant characters. And to leave on a David Brent note:

        Peter: How would you like to be remembered?
        David Brent: Simply, as the man who put a smile on the face of all who he met.

        By: Rinc

        14.  Firefly (2003)
         


         
        Firefly, created by Buffy and Angel's Joss Whedon, tells the story of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a war hero from the losing side trying to make a living by any means necessary. He is accompanied by first mate Zoe, the only surviving member of his platoon, her husband Wash, the wisecracking pilot, Jayne Cobb, a muscly mercenary and Kaylee, the sweet young mechanic. On their travels they have picked up preacher Shepherd Book and high class prostitute (or 'companion' in the year 2503) Inara. The last two crew members become Dr Simon Tam and his sister River, who he has stowed away in an attempt to keep her from 'The Alliance', the oppressive government who have been experimenting on her superior brain.

        The crew's struggle to keep Simon and River safe as well as make enough money to survive drives the narrative of what has been described as 'a western in space'. It's probably the simplest way to describe a piece of fantastic television, which was so popular with its small but insistent fan base that it became a DVD success as well as a full length feature film, Serenity, despite being cancelled after only 11 episodes.

        By: Doubleshiny

        13.  South Park (1997-Present)



        The show about four young yet crude school boys in the mountain town of South Park, Colorado originally started out as two short animated films. The first, entitled 'Jesus vs. Frosty' that the two creators made whilst at the University of Colorado. The 2nd short film entitled 'The Spirit of Christmas' depicted a battle between Santa and Jesus over the true meaning of Christmas, and introduced the four 3rd Grade (now 4th Grade) boys that the show is based around today. The short itself has since been written into the show in the Christmas special of Season 4: 'A Very Crappy Christmas'.

        The shows original intention was to be an outrageous adult comedy which would break many boundaries and TV taboos. And although the first few episodes were mainly for the shock factor alone, by keeping the show enjoyable on different levels it ensured it wasn't just viewed as a gimmick.

        Although many doubted it at first, during South Park's 3rd year, the show was successfully transferred onto the big screen in the form of 'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut' where the show became even more controversial due to their being less limitations on the big screen.

        Since then the show has evolved; cleverly written storylines play a much bigger part in episodes and because of this the show has managed to take the controversy of the first few seasons one step further by ridiculing groups and individuals involved in many current events.

        The show, now in its 10th season is going stronger than ever, and with a contract tying the show down for at least another 3 seasons, the show will become the 2nd longest running US animation after The Simpsons.

        By: Sexual Harassment Panda

        12.  Futurama (1999-2003)



        The fact that Futurama was billed as "From the creator of The Simpsons” may have done as much damage as it did good. It drew inevitable comparisons with Matt Groening's hugely popular family show and was cancelled after four seasons of lower-than-expected ratings by Fox. However, Futurama was an entirely different beast to the Yellow Ones.

        Revolving around a young, loveable loser named Fry who gets transported 1000 years into the future, it follows his adventures into the weird and wacky future world as conceived by Groening. Amongst the friends he meets along the way are Bender, a beer-swilling, cigar-smoking, foulmouth robot; Leela, a one eyed Amazonian beauty; Dr. Zoidberg, a hopelessly naïve lobster doctor and Fry's uber-great nephew Professor Farnsworth, an old, somewhat crazed scientist who runs the Planet Express Delivery Service where they all work.

        Futurama took great pleasure in poking fun at sci-fi conventions but it also had an identity all of its own. It could be laugh out loud funny one minute and sweetly poignant the next, recalling the earlier, better episodes of The Simpsons.  Futurama gained a smaller audience but a far more loyal one. It was intelligently written with memorable characters and great, often surreal storylines that reflected the present day and our own mundane, sometimes random lives. It is this which earned the show its diehard fans, resulting in Futurama being brought back for DVD movies, the first (of hopefully many!) to be released in 2007.

        By: Furrybastard
        11.          Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)




        Full of stock characters, ridiculous situations and barely disguised monologued ranting. But this is one of the greatest British sitcoms ever written. The simplicity of the structure, along with the quickly recognisable characters enables the viewer to get on with the important job of laughing, rather than ploughing through exposition and meeting a cast of thousands. We don't need to know how Manuel came to be working at 'Flowery Twats', nor can we imagine any time when Sybil and Basil were anything more than a 'nest of vipers' and a 'brilliantined stick insect. The joy of Fawlty Towers is simply that it is full of jokes, full of slapstick.

        From Mrs. Richards and her turned-down hearing aid to Mr Leeman the Dead Guest, any modern viewer of comedy knows the episodes by heart. Phrases like 'He's from Barcelona' have entered the modern vernacular, and we can all repeat the exchange between Basil and his unfortunate German guests ad nauseam. In particular, 'Waldorf Salad' is an example of the Britishness of the comedy, pouring scorn on the demanding American guest, whilst simultaneously apologising for our lack of regard to customers and foreigners alike. Fawlty Towers is a programme deservedly cherished.

        By: Doubleshiny

        < Message edited by Mozza -- 29/5/2006 6:21:33 PM >

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 6
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:01:31 PM   
        Mozza

         

        Posts: 8089
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: The CIC
        10.  The X-Files (1993-2002)


        For Christmas last year, my mum got me a rather surprising present. It was the first season DVD of the "phenomenon of the '90s", a show we know as The X-Files. Three months later and I've already finished watching the third season, now awaiting the fourth, of what I now believe to be one of, if not THE best, TV shows around.

        Holding the show together is our main characters Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who you don't have to have even seen the show to be well aware of. The two actors' chemistry is always a treat, and the writers have filled their characters with depth and humour. The most intruiging character however is William B. Davis’ the Cigarette Smoking Man (or the Cancer Man), who doesn’t even open his mouth until the second season, and I’m thankful he did at all because he says one of my favourite lines of dialogue (“You can’t threaten me, Mulder; I’ve watched presidents die".) Add to this a host of great writers, thankfully steady, un-eratic cinematography, and Mark Snow’s chilling music, and you have one of the most imaginative, gripping, and surprisingly funny TV shows ever conceived.

        By: Zatoichi

        9.  Father Ted (1995-1998)
         


        Set on a strange island that makes the location of Lost seem relatively normal, the best sitcom of the '90s focused on three Catholic priests: Ted Crilly, Dougal McGuire and Jack Hackett, the Unholy Trinity of Craggy Island. Each priest has been placed on the island for past sins, which are only hinted at for Dougal and Jack, but which for Ted involved some funds which he claims were "just resting in my account". Tyrannised from afar by a hypocritical high command (regularly seen in the form of Bishop Len Brennan) and looked after by insane housekeeper Mrs. Doyle, the three priests are very rarely seen performing Mass, the focus instead being on their wacky misadventures, which involve everything from burping sheep to competing with their villainous doppelgangers from the neighbouring Rugged Island. In turn, some of the finest sitcom episodes of all time were produced, amongst them the priests' useless attempts to give up their vices for Lent in Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading, and thehilarious action spoof Speed 3, set on a milk float

        The show worked so well because of the excellent writing of Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, coupled with the superb performances of the four main stars. A revolving door of supporting characters, including a young(er) Graham Norton as hyperactive Fr. Noel Furlong, ensured that the show kept fresh. Sadly, Father Ted came to a premature end in 1998 after three top-notch series and a Christmas special, when star Dermot Morgan died the day after completing filming of the third series aged 45. However, the show continues to remain hugely popular over a decade since it was first broadcast, and recently was voted 11th in a BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom.

        By: TobiasFunke

        8.  Friends (1994-2004)


        I can see why people might not like this show. There's six smarmy New Yorkers who don't have any other friends and turn little problems into full blown crises. They live in luxury and all look like models despite always moaning they're poor and can't find love. We should all hate them and yet I just can't. Sure the later series were poor and the writers seemed to think that shouting made dialogue funny. But the early series were brilliant with each character being appealing and funny without being preposterous (unlike Ross in the later series when he became a raving lunatic). You felt sorry for Chandler but laughed at his jokes. The women loved Joey and the men loved Rachel. And with storylines like Rachel and Ross' will-they-won't-they it was entertaining and interesting. Maybe always a bit smug but once upon a time Friends beat the hell out of any British comedy.

        By: Rinc.

        7.  Spaced (1999-2001)

         

        Before the genius of Shaun of the Dead was Spaced, a sitcom which is fondly treasured as one of the greatest comedy shows of the last decade. Still today, we can see the staggeringly inventive style which Simon Pegg and co. adopted to create not only a sitcom in the classic style but a show rooted firmly in modern culture.
        Spaced is centred around Tim and Daisy, two people who pretend to be a couple to move into a new flat. It is here they meet oddball characters Marsha, Brian, Twist and Mike. None of these characters quite fit in, Marsha is in a mid-life crisis, Brian is an experimental modern artist, Mike a combat obsessed army reject. It is these strange, yet oddly lovable characters which create such brilliantly quirky and bizarre humour that makes Spaced the great show it is.
        It would be close to impossible to notice just how many cultural references there are in the show, but rather than take the route of relying on these to make a great production (ala Dreamworks Studios), they fit in with the already brilliant storylines and character arcs. By the end of the second series we are left begging for more (something which Pegg and co-star Stevenson have remained tight-lipped about for several years), the perfect climax leaving a great modern comedy show spinning in your head for a long time to come.

        By: Spider

        6.  Scrubs (2001 - Present)



        When most sitcoms seemed to be average, Friends-esque , studio shows, Scrubs was a real breath of fresh air. It takes place in the unlikely setting of a city hospital, Sacred Heart. It follows the lives of a group of brilliantly written main and supporting characters, from daydreaming JD to the endlessly quotable Dr Cox. The writing is always superb, giving good storylines, hysterical one-liners, depth and emotion. What really sets Scrubs apart from other shows is it’s shear inventiveness. It does not have a studio audience and takes full advantage of it’s freedom, providing many bizarre fantasy sequences, voiceovers, montages and even experimenting with narrative. However, even with these elements the show still manages to touch on many life lessons, being by turns hilarious and poignant.
        All in all, one of the best comedies to come along in years, if not ever.

        By: Dignan

        Family Guy (1999-Present)



        Like The Simpson’s before it, this animated cartoon about a dysfunctional family is very odd but extremely funny. With its hysterical characters, especially the excellent baby genius Stewie who always comes out with the best gags and dialogue, this show almost bypasses The Simpson’s for genius and hysterical ness; especially the superb movie parodies and references littered throughout all the episodes. Its main character Peter Griffin is like Homer in every way, though he may not come close to matching the genius of Dan Castellnata and Matt Groening's genius comic creation. Though that doesn't mean this show doesn't deliver some excellent characters; there's the super pervy and hysterical Quagmire, the super intelligent dog Brian, and the funny old guy who talks in a quiet low voice all the time. Though it isn't quite as superb as The Simpson’s, Family Guy is still one of the funniest cartoons on television at the moment and deserves to be watched over and over.....

        By: DJ Rob C: Mark II!

        4.  Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
         




        Based on the idea of the helpless blonde female in horror films turning on her attackers and beating them, Joss Whedon wrote a script concerning a high school girl who realises she is a prophesised demon hunter. After the film was wrestled from his control and did not resemble the post-modern feminist masterpiece he had in mind, Whedon and producers Fran and Kaz Kazui brought the idea to television, and created a modern masterpiece of the genre.

        BTVS works with the idea that ‘School is hell’, and mixes the mundane day-to-day stresses of California teenagers with the more pressing issues of vampires stalking and killing them. Whedon’s signature scripts, featuring pop culture references, teen speak, humour and devastating honesty, are brought to life by a strong ensemble cast and a dedicated group of directors who manage to push the boundaries of science fiction television by using heightened reality (The Body, Normal Again), genre crossover (Once More With Feeling) and multi-layer storytelling (Fool For Love).

        Buffy’s journey from slayer-in-denial to superhero also takes in relationship breakdown, the death of a parent, addiction and abandonment. The title may seem light-hearted but this is a drama that can be deeply affecting and real.

        By: Doubleshiny

        3.  24 (2001-Present)





        24 is a television phenomenon, a series which continues to push itself season after season, changing and refining itself as it goes along. Characters come and go, things happen in the space of three or four hours which some television series take whole seasons to explore and its real time format keeps the show being like anything else on television. What separates 24 is that still five years after it was spawned, is that it’s still fantastic. This is never seen more clearly in the fact that the current season in the US is getting its highest ever ratings and critical acclaim, the fact people are still flocking to watch the show for this first time confirms this. Rarely can you find a television show which its fifth season might just be the show’s best, especially when its first season was called a television benchmark.   Some elements from the first series are still there, but the show is never a one horse pony. One of several reasons why the show is so darn good is because you simply can’t tie it down to one thing. You can find your action programme there, you can find your tension riddled thriller present; reveal some more and you’ll find the drama, the occasional laugh, the emotion layered inside this characters and the life and death moments they encounter on an hourly basis. People die, people live, people lose and people win. This isn’t a happy show, but it’s neither a depressing show, it can’t be, you can never know what’s around the corner.   Add the always amazing Kiefer Sutherland as the now cultural icon Jack Bauer, television’s best flawed hero; along with some amazing supporting characters. Then add some of the best writing on the block, cliffhangers which make Eastenders look plain amateurish, some jaw dropping twists. Top it all off with a presentation which gives most films a run for their money and that leaves you with the best television show on the box.

        By: Underscore

        2.  Lost (2004-Present)
         



        Lost, created by the brains behind Alias; J.J. Abrams, was meant to be ABC (and Disney’s) dramatised answer to Survivor the hit US reality TV show. With a pilot that cost $10 -$12 million dollars (the most expensive in TV history) this actually resulted in Disney sacking ABC Entertainment Chairman Lloyd Braun for even considering to green light the show. And it was soon to become ABCs biggest commercial success making back the money with ease.

        In a nutshell Lost is about the survivors of a plane crash, landing on a mysterious unknown Island, the survivors are literally fighting for their lives against the danger and on goings the Island throws at them. Some panic, some live on the hope that they are to be rescued, while others find an inner strength they never knew they had before.

        And every week without fail, the show leaves viewers full of questions and theories but without many answers. It’s this aspect that will keep the viewers coming back for more until the shows end.  

        By: Sexual Harassment Panda


        1.  The Simpsons (1989-Present)




        The greatest show ever made. You already know the characters, the quotes and the episodes in detail so there is no need for me to go into them here.  Starting life as a short cartoon on The Tracy Ullman Show, Fox's decision to give Matt Groening's odd brand of family dysfunction its own show proved to be the most important decision the network ever made and had an impact on popular culture that had never been felt before or is likely to be felt again.

        Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the residents of Springfield have provided laughs for 17 years now.  Seasons 3 – 10 are considered by many to be some of the greatest, funniest television ever made.  It has been responsible for giving animation credibility and shows like South Park, Family Guy and Futurama would never have existed if not for the Simpson family – even giants like Pixar owe a debt.
        The show is highly satirical, subverting the idea of the wholesome, American family epitomized by the Waltons or the Bradys. Here, the family is dysfunctional, anarchic and irresponsible but it still works out. It also satirizes popular culture, work, politics, religion and anything else you might care to think of.

        Some may question if The Simpsons has passed its sell by date with recent seasons being pale imitations of its former self.  However a movie has been commissioned and is on the way for 2007 and it would be foolish to write the show off yet. The Simpsons are now profoundly linked with popular culture and will go down in history as the smartest, revolutionary and funniest television shows of all time.

        By: Furrybastard






        So there you have it.  Right, I'm off to salvage what little of my day is left.  Feel free to squabble about the lack of old-time shows, the lack of Current Affairs or the lack of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 7
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:07:34 PM   
        Peppermint


        Posts: 10421
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Sussex
        An excellent job Mozza

        I would dispute Sexual Harassment Panda's contention that Porridge is in the shadow of comedies like Fawlty Towers and Only Fools And Horses though.

        I'll get on with my review of Stargate now.  Sorry I haven't done it already.

        Have you got someone to do Quantum Leap yet?

        Gawd, I forgot the photos.  Sorry.

        < Message edited by Peppermint -- 29/5/2006 3:29:24 PM >


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        Post #: 8
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:08:50 PM   
        Mozza

         

        Posts: 8089
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: The CIC
        Have a go at Quantum Leap if you like Pep.  Just send them through to my PM inbox when they're done.

        (in reply to Peppermint)
        Post #: 9
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:15:41 PM   
        Mikey C


        Posts: 5436
        Joined: 1/10/2005
        From: The internet
        Well done, Mozza, Now I need to get round to compiling the 100 Albums I said I'd do.

        Now, where is Quincy and the A-Team?


        _____________________________

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        Post #: 10
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:41:57 PM   
        nomimalone


        Posts: 2866
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Norn Iron
        Excellent work Mozza. Good list, not too many I'd disagree with, which just goes to show I watch far too much television.

        (in reply to Mikey C)
        Post #: 11
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:42:42 PM   
        Katamarang

         

        Posts: 1304
        Joined: 16/10/2005
        From: Generic tall building
        Well done Mozza! Brilliant, although I did die a little inside when I saw Buffy had only reached number 4. Very pleased with the inclusion of the Mighty Boosh though.

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        Post #: 12
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 3:52:42 PM   
        Zatoichi


        Posts: 2525
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        Well done, Mozza, and to all who helped you and all who voted (hey, that includes me, yipee). The Simpsons was an obvious choice for first place but in its good days it was the best thing around. Can't say I agree with Lost in second place; it's certainly on everybody's minds right now.

        _____________________________

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        (in reply to Katamarang)
        Post #: 13
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 5:34:19 PM   
        buffy


        Posts: 2380
        Joined: 23/1/2006
        From: Hertfordshire
        I think it's a good list it's a shame Smallville and Alias weren't a bit higher but overall there were mostly great shows.
        I'm glad Angel, Buffy and Firefly were in the top 20 although I thought Angel was better than Buffy.

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        Post #: 14
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 5:48:19 PM   
        Godzilla


        Posts: 2418
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Durham
        YAY Buffy at 4, and Bottom at 50. Not a bad list, a few too many new shows but overall more good than bad.

        I'd like to see a best Episode ever poll... come on Mozza you know you want to

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        Post #: 15
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 6:17:01 PM   
        doctorolorinbats1975


        Posts: 6787
        Joined: 30/10/2005
        From: Harrow
        Lost is good but not that good.

        Glad to see The Simpsons so high.

        The Next Generation is too low.

        Btw, Mozza, my name hasn't got a 'c' between Doctor and Olorin.

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        Post #: 16
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 6:20:49 PM   
        Mozza

         

        Posts: 8089
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: The CIC
        Bah.

        (in reply to doctorolorinbats1975)
        Post #: 17
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 6:31:45 PM   
        doctorolorinbats1975


        Posts: 6787
        Joined: 30/10/2005
        From: Harrow
        Thank you.

        _____________________________

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        Post #: 18
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 6:38:14 PM   
        Venkman

         

        Posts: 458
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        Its been worth the wait, with the double whammy of Seinfeld and Curb your Enthusiasm coming higher than I expected. Well done Mozza, if I was in charge of the poll I would of given up long before now

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 19
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 6:39:58 PM   
        TobiasFunke


        Posts: 2611
        Joined: 1/10/2005
        Well done, Mozza, you should be given a dedication in the next issue (hint hint mods)! Tho I disagree with the inclusion of Lost and Family Guy in the top 10, its refreshing to see a list where Only Fools, Fawlty Towers and loads of soapsdon't  fill up the top ten for once. But The Simpsons at one? Bah! Tho I'm surprised it wasn't Lord of the Rings for once!   Also interesting: 5 Channel 4 shows in the top 10! And only two British shows. Its a list that will make for good debate at least!

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        Post #: 20
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 9:09:09 PM   
        Captain Black


        Posts: 6722
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        A herculean achievement Mozza, we've waited with baited breath and you've delivered drama as compelling as any of these shows.

        Probably should apologise for my rubbish reviews and poor spelling now as well.

        < Message edited by Captain Black -- 29/5/2006 9:32:26 PM >


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        Post #: 21
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 29/5/2006 9:29:18 PM   
        emily1212


        Posts: 346
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Skull Island
        Excellent work all.  Monumental effort and it's paid off.  No one is going to be 100% happy with the results but that's life.  I'm glad to see all my favourite shows on the list but Arrested Development should have been higher.

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        Post #: 22
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 12:19:30 AM   
        clarabell


        Posts: 8409
        Joined: 14/10/2005
        From: An Oubliette
        Good work mozza!!  I'm gonna write a spongebob squarepants one and get it to you soon!!

        Annoyed the Simpsons was number 1 to be honest, don't get the love of that show at all

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        Post #: 23
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 1:31:13 AM   
        furrybastard

         

        Posts: 5180
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Ireland

        Great job, Mozza! What a massive feat this was!

        Very pleased to see my number 1, Twin Peaks, rate so higly at 19. Talk about a show with legs

        (in reply to clarabell)
        Post #: 24
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 1:49:01 AM   
        Joe


        Posts: 2549
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: Cork, Ireland
        Nicely done Mozza, disappointed, though not surprised by some of the entries, especially those who pushed some great TV down the list.

        Still The Simpsons no. 1, can't argue with that

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        Post #: 25
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 2:21:05 AM   
        Jim


        Posts: 1244
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        Nice work, Mozza! I'm glad The Simpsons is #1, where it deserves to be. The Next Generation was surprisingly low, I thought, but I was pleased Scrubs came so high up. I was also surprised Friends didn't rate higher, I would've thought that'd be top 5 for sure. There's quite a few shows there that I've heard a lot about but never seen so I've got some catching up to do...


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        Post #: 26
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 7:58:09 AM   
        Orbital

         

        Posts: 1183
        Joined: 18/10/2005
        no outer limits ?


        somebody should cancell the simpsons - its been going on too long

        (in reply to Jim)
        Post #: 27
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 8:58:14 AM   
        elab49


        Posts: 54599
        Joined: 1/10/2005
        Finally - thanks for the hard work Mozza (although I did wonder what happened to my submissions for Porridge and Band of Brothers!).

        Amazing the amount of crud that is sitting above Edge of Darkness though.

        All kudos to all the submissions. I particularly enjoyed reading Captain Black's B5.

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        (in reply to Orbital)
        Post #: 28
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 10:26:12 AM   
        Twizzle


        Posts: 1684
        Joined: 30/9/2005
        From: London
        Excellent job there, Mozza. Well done.

        (in reply to elab49)
        Post #: 29
        RE: Top 100 TV Shows-THE FINAL LIST! - 30/5/2006 10:55:05 AM   
        Orbital

         

        Posts: 1183
        Joined: 18/10/2005
        I fail to see how 'Lost' ranks at number 2,

        sure some of its fresh, new, intresting...a bit of drama, action, horror, love...but I doubt that the series will stand the test of time,
        This show is good and draws your attention but this ain't no robinson crusoe or twilightzone...forget the 'polar bears' and 'the others'
        the lead ladies all have a new make over and freshly ironed set of clothes each episode, the characters are stereotyped the good doctor, the iraqi torturer/terrorist played by an Indian actor, the quiet girl who's really bad, and the poor crazy junkie.played by a hobbit...the show is a giant bluff that manipulates the viewer into thinking the writers and directors can pull off another season

        (in reply to Mozza)
        Post #: 30
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