RiffTrax Forum

Members Hub => Board Games for the Bored => Topic started by: GregMcduck on July 07, 2007, 11:43:17 PM

Title: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 07, 2007, 11:43:17 PM
Here's how it works!

You were asked to send me a list of your 25 favorite television shows of all time. 9 ballots were received, and shows were ranked on a point system allowing 25 points for a #1 choice, 24 for a #2, and all the way down to 1 point for #25. The points were added up, and what follows are your selections.

Tiebreakers work like such: If two shows have equal pointage, the show that appeared on the most lists ranks higher. If those shows appeared on the same amount of lists, I went with whatever ranked highest on the individual list. A show that was someone's #4 beats another person's #6, for example. And then if they still were tied I just picked.

What we don't want: your entire lists posted, cloggin' up yer thread
What we do want: everything else. Bitch/kick yourself/pontificate as much as you want, because that's the point!

The countdown begins now. Let your conversations begin!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 07, 2007, 11:49:57 PM
(http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/1124/onefoo2rv7.jpg)

50. One Foot In The Grave - (1990) - 14 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #12 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098882/

One Foot in the Grave is a BBC television situation comedy series written by David Renwick. The show ran for six series, with several specials, over a ten year period, from 1990 to 2000. In addition, four episodes were remade for BBC Radio 2 and the series also inspired a novel.

The series featured the exploits of Victor Meldrew, an irascible pensioner with attitude. In the first episode, Victor, played by Scottish born actor Richard Wilson, was prematurely retired from his job as a security guard. From then on the series followed his struggle to keep himself occupied, often with little success. In particular, Victor fell victim to surreal misfortunes, bad luck and coincidences, which led to his oft-imitated catchphrase "I don't believe it!". His long-suffering wife Margaret, played by Annette Crosbie, was often left exasperated by her husband's many misfortunes, although it was always made clear that the couple had a strong relationship. Although there is no explicit reference that Victor and Margaret had children, the episode "Timeless Time" contained a melancholy, ambiguous reference to someone called Stuart; the suggestion was that they once had a son who had died as a child.

A number of complaints were made during the series' run for its depiction of animal deaths. For example, in one episode a dead cat was found in the Meldrew's freezer; in another a tortoise was roasted in a brazier. However, this was later cited as a positive feature of the programme's daring scripts in Britain's Best Sitcom by its advocate Rowland Rivron. The programme was censored, however, for a scene in the episode "Hearts of Darkness" where an elderly resident was abused in an old people's home, and following complaints, the scene was slightly cut when the episode was repeated. Another controversial scene saw the Meldrews visit Ronnie and Mildred on the understanding that Mildred had gone upstairs during a game of Happy Families and not returned; Ronnie then shows her feet hanging outside of the window, implying that she has committied suicide. The Broadcasting Standards Commission complained to the programme for this scene.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 07, 2007, 11:56:56 PM
(http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/849/spritleandchimchimzi1.jpg)

49. Speed Racer - (1966) - 14 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #12 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061300/

Speed Racer is the title of an English adaptation of the Japanese anime Mach Go Go Go, a series which centered around automobile racing. The series is an early example of an anime becoming a successful franchise in the United States.

Mach Go Go Go was first created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida as a manga series in the 1960s and made the jump to TV as an anime series in 1967. The central character in the anime and manga was a young race car driver named Gō Mifune. Yoshida selected the names kem and symbolisms in his creation very carefully. The M logo on the hood of his race car and the front of his helmet stood for his family name Mifune, a homage to Japanese film star Toshiro Mifune (and not "Mach 5" as the dub would suggest). His given name Gō is also a Japanese homophone for the number 5 (the number on his race car). This is also represented by the letter G embroidered on his shirt. The names themselves constitute a multi-lingual wordplay of the kind that started to become part of the Japanese popular culture of the time. Yoshida got his idea for Speed Racer after seeing two films that were very popular in Japan at the time—Viva Las Vegas and Goldfinger. By combining the look of Elvis Presley's race car driving image (complete with neckerchief and black pompadour) and James Bond's gadget-filled Aston Martin, Yoshida had the inspiration for his creation.

Speed Racer, along with Astro Boy, was one of the first truly successful anime franchises in the United States. The pivotal episode in which Racer X reveals his identity to Speed was selected by TV Guide as one of the most memorable moments in TV history. Many real-life race car drivers became fans of the show.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 08, 2007, 12:01:21 AM
wow, thats WAY more ballots than I assumed you would get (looks like the 'top ten 2007 movie' thread is back on... lol very few participated in last years ;) )

also wtf 50 ft in the grave?! huh?  Who said British shows were allowed ;D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:01:54 AM
(http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/525/peeweesunderpantsta8.jpg)

48. Pee-Wee's Playhouse - (1986) - 14 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #12 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090500/

Pee-wee's Playhouse is a children's television program starring Pee-Wee Herman. The playhouse is styled as a wacky, off-beat interior, wherein many objects are anthropomorphic.

The Pee-wee Herman character was created by comedian Paul Reubens and was an almost exact copy in clothing and persona of 1950s children's TV show host Pinky Lee. One commentator described the character as combining "a transgressive sexuality, unabashed materialism, obsessive neatness, and a sly anti-authoritarian pose, dressed up in a distinctive costume of white shoes, white socks, red bowtie, tight plaid suit, rouge, and lipstick."

At the beginning of each show, viewers were told the day's "Secret Word" and were instructed to "scream real loud" every time a character on the show said the word, which was given to Pee-wee by Conky. Immediately after receiving the Secret Word, Pee-Wee would try to demonstrate the usage of the word by usually trying to trick someone in the playhouse into saying it, usually followed by Pee-Wee accidentally saying the word himself. The word was always used continuously throughout the episode, and Pee-Wee always said it right before he got onto his scooter at the end of the show.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:04:22 AM
wow, thats WAY more ballots than I assumed you would get (looks like the 'top ten 2007 movie' thread is back on... lol very few participated in last years ;) )

Oh, WHOOPS!

Sorry, I copied and pasted that description from another forum I did this on. I actually got nine ballots, not 36.

Those guys were a lot more fun then you guys.  :P
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 08, 2007, 12:06:00 AM
figures, thanks for the cool thread regardless
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:11:21 AM
(http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/5185/castgd6.jpg)

47. Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist  - (1995) - 14 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #5 rocket9)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111942/

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist was an animated series that originally ran on Comedy Central and starred Jonathan Katz. It was computer animated in a crude, easily recognizable style called Squigglevision, in which all persons and animate objects are colored and have constantly squiggling outlines, while all other inanimate objects are static and usually gray in color.

The show focused on the title character, Dr. Jonathan Katz, who was voiced by, and visually based on, the comedian of the same name. Dr. Katz was a professional psychoanalyst who had famous comedians and actors as patients, usually two per episode. The comedians' therapy sessions generally consisted of them doing their onstage material while Dr. Katz offered insights or simply let them rant. Meanwhile, therapy sessions featuring actors and actresses offered more interpersonal dialogue between Katz and his patient to better suit their predisposition.

Much of the show's content, particularly dialogue between Katz and Benjamin, was improvised through a process called "retroscripting", in which a vague outline is developed but the actual dialogue is ad-libbed. This style, as well as Squigglevision, would reappear in Home Movies, a cartoon that features many members of the Dr. Katz cast and crew.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:20:56 AM
(http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/7987/xbomberde7.jpg)

46. Star Fleet (aka X-Bomber)  - (1980) - 15 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #11 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307741/

X-Bomber is a marionette tokusatsu TV series. Created by manga master Go Nagai, the show, produced by Cosmo Productions and Jin Productions, aired a total of 26 episodes (counting the pre-series pilot episode). This show was billed in Japan as being filmed in "Sūpāmariorama", a puppeteering process similar to Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation works. X-Bomber was renamed Star Fleet and dubbed by English speaking actors for broadcast in the UK. The show was broadcast there on Saturday mornings and it first aired on the 30th October 1982. Due to its broadcast slot, the advertisements shown before, during and after each episode frequently included children's Public Information Films.

The year is 2999 and the Earth is at peace following the Space Wars. The tranquility of the human race is ensured by Earth Defense Force (EDF). Shortly before the turn of the fourth millennium the peace is broken by the appearance of a gigantic alien battle cruiser. Powerless to defend itself, the EDF's Pluto base is completely destroyed and the evil Commander Makara reveals the same fate awaits the Earth unless the mysterious F-Zero-One is handed over to her. Oblivious to the existence of F-Zero-One, and fearful of Makara's terrible retribution, the EDF presses into action a new and untested weapon, the X-Project from its hidden moon-base.

The series then follows the adventures of the crew of the X-Bomber as they discover the nature of the F-Zero-One and try to protect it from the increasingly desperate and unstable Makara and her demanding overlord, the 'Imperial Master'.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 08, 2007, 12:24:19 AM
say it aint so greg... pee wee made your list?!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:26:32 AM
Hey, man. Pee-Wee's awesome. No dissing Pee-Wee in my thread.  ;)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 08, 2007, 12:30:10 AM
fair is fair, just never mention that show ever again
... ;D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:32:44 AM
(http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/7755/4castpj7.jpg)

45. Babylon 5 - (1994) - 15 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #7 mrbasehart)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105946/

Babylon 5 is an epic American science fiction television series created, produced, and largely written by J. Michael Straczynski. The show centers on the Babylon 5 space station, a focal point for politics, diplomacy, and wars. The series is noted for its heavy reliance on pre-planned story arcs over its five-year run. Because of this, it was sometimes described as a "novel for television."

J. Michael Straczynski was determined to produce a science fiction series for adults that would be done properly — consistent technology, "no kids or cute robots." He started out with ideas for two different shows, one a vastly-ambitious epic covering massive battles and other universe-changing events, and the other set aboard a single space station, before realizing both could be done in a single series. It was not a utopian future — there is greed and homelessness. It was not a place where everything was the same at the end of the day — main characters grow, develop, live, and die. Straczynski wanted the show to be a mirror to the real world and to covertly teach (an idea mentioned by Mark Twain).

Though conceived as a whole, and with Straczynski writing most of the episodes (including all of the episodes of the third and fourth seasons, a feat never before accomplished in American television according to Straczynski), it was necessary to adjust the plotline to accommodate external influences. Each of the characters in the series was written with a "trap door" into their background that, in the event of an actor departing from the series, the character could be written out with minimal negative impact to the story. In the words of Straczynski, "As a writer, doing a long-term story, it'd be dangerous and short-sighted for me to construct the story without trap doors for every single character. [...] That was one of the big risks going into a long-term storyline which I considered long in advance."
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 12:43:05 AM
(http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/9430/041222carnivalevlg12pwire8.jpg)

44. Carnivàle - (2003) - 16 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #5 AmazingThor)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319969/

Carnivàle  was an American dramatic television series produced by HBO. Created by Daniel Knauf, it starred Nick Stahl and Clancy Brown. The series is a period drama set in the United States during the Great Depression. It is an overarching story about the battle between good and evil as well as the struggle between free will and destiny.

The story consists of two main plot lines that are slowly converging. The first involves a young man with strange healing powers named Ben Hawkins, the “creature of light,” who joins a travelling carnival when it passes near his home in Milfay, Oklahoma. Soon thereafter, Ben begins experiencing strange dreams and visions, and finds himself on the trail of a man named Henry Scudder, a drifter who crossed paths with the carnival many years before...and who apparently possessed unusual abilities similar to Ben’s own.

The second plotline revolves around a Father Coughlin-esque Methodist preacher, Brother Justin Crowe, the “creature of darkness,” Ben’s opposite and his ultimate nemesis. Justin is also learning the extent of his strange powers, which seem to include the ability to bend human beings to his will, and to make their sins or “greatest evils” manifest in the form of terrifying, traumatic visions. Justin experiences surreal, prophetic dreams similar to those of his young counterpart.

The show’s ending after its second season and leaving so many plotlines unfinished has outraged many viewers. Some of them organized petitions and mailing drives to HBO in an effort to get the show renewed. According to HBO’s president, this generated more than 50,000 emails to the network in a single weekend. According to a February 2006 article on Mediavillage.com, HBO may be considering developing a movie or miniseries that would wrap up many of these plot lines. The article goes on to state that if the ratings are good, HBO may consider renewing the show for a third season.

More to come later today.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 08, 2007, 06:28:20 AM
also wtf 50 ft in the grave?! huh?  Who said British shows were allowed ;D

Oh and I have more than just British shows, there's two Japanese ones and a Irish one too. Cool three of mine have already turned up :) (I didn't rank B5 as highly as Mrbasehart)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: mrbasehart on July 08, 2007, 08:16:41 AM
Greg, seeing how you're doing this awesomely, put out another call to get some more votes in.  It'll mean more then. 
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 08, 2007, 08:19:22 AM
You might try putting up a version of this thread in the TV thread as well.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 08:24:31 AM
Well, I'm glad you guys like it so far. There will be more lists (top fifty superheroes, horror movies, Muppets, whatever we think will be fun). If this catches on, I might ask to make a sticky announcement on the general forum.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the list.  :)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 08:32:08 AM
(http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/5797/cheerstv2vk2.jpg)

43. Cheers - (1982) - 16 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #16 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083399/

Cheers was a popular American situation comedy produced by Charles-Burrows-Charles Productions in association with CBS Paramount Television for NBC. Cheers was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in the Cheers bar (itself named for the toast "Cheers") in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink and generally have fun. The show's theme song was written by Judy Hart Angelo and Gary Portnoy, and performed by Portnoy with its famous refrain, "where everybody knows your name", that also became the show's tagline.

Cheers maintained an ensemble cast, keeping roughly the same set of characters for the entire run. Numerous secondary characters and love interests for these characters appeared intermittently to complement storylines that generally revolved around this core group. The character of Sam Malone was originally intended to be a retired football player and was originally supposed to be played by Fred Dryer, but after casting Ted Danson it was decided that a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox would be more believable. The character of Cliff Clavin was created for John Ratzenberger after he auditioned for the role of "Norm". While chatting with producers afterwards, he asked if they were going to include a "bar know-it-all", the part which he eventually played.

Nearly all of Cheers took place in the front room of the bar, only occasionally stepping into the rear pool room or the bar's office. In fact, Cheers didn't show any action outside the bar until later into the series. Cheers had some running gags, such as Norm arriving in the bar greeted by a loud "Norm!" Early episodes generally followed Sam's antics with his various women, following a variety of romantic comedy clichés to get out of whatever relationship troubles he was in for each episode. As the show progressed and Sam got into more serious relationships the general tone switched to comedy on Sam settling down into a more monogamous lifestyle. Throughout the series, larger story arcs began to develop that spanned multiple episodes or seasons interspersed with smaller themes and one-off episodes.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 08:40:29 AM
(http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/9674/aquateennx5.jpg)

42. Aqua Teen Hunger Force - (2000) - 16 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #11 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297494/

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known as ATHF or simply Aqua Teen) is an American animated television series shown on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block.  ATHF is one of the four original Williams Street series that premiered on Adult Swim in 2000 (the others are Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law), and the longest running original series on the network alongside Harvey Birdman (which are the only two of those four to still be running). In 2007, an ATHF movie, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters," was released at selected theaters.

The show is about three anthropomorphic fast food items and their life together in New Jersey. The Aqua Teens were originally billed as a detective crime fighting unit; as the series progressed, however, the crime-solving aspect of the show was quickly abandoned. There is very little continuity between episodes; almost all recurring cast members have died at least once. The focus is instead on character interaction and a pervasive form of sarcastic and surreal humor. Gross out, brutal, and morbid humor were added as the series progressed.

On January 31 2007, LEDs depicting the Mooninites were installed throughout the Boston area by Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28 as part of an elaborate national guerrilla marketing campaign. The LEDs were taken to be suspicious, prompting authorities in Boston, Massachusetts to close down major road and waterways to investigate. Turner Broadcasting System later admitted placing the LEDs in ten major cities (including Boston), and apologized for the misunderstanding. Despite the uproar, Berdovsky and Stevens mocked the critics and the media in interviews despite being charged with "placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct". Turner Broadcasting has paid one million dollars to the Boston Police Department to cover the cost of their investigation and another million in good will funding. These actions were made to settle any criminal and civil claims, and the general manager of Cartoon Network has stepped down as a result of the incident. Boston was the only city out of 10 in which the LEDs (which resembled Lite-Brites) were seen as any matter of concern. They had also been up for weeks before the panic.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 08:51:21 AM
(http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/8830/175zl5.jpg)

41. Cowboy Bebop - (1998) - 17 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #9 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213338/

Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe consisting of 26 episodes (called "sessions") and one feature-length film. It follows the adventures of four misfortuned bounty hunters travelling on their spaceship, the Bebop, in the year 2071. In the slang of the era, "Cowboys" are bounty hunters. Most episodes revolve around a specific bounty, but the show often shares its focus with the pasts of one of each of the four main characters and of more general past events, which are revealed and brought together as the series progresses.

The plot of Cowboy Bebop commonly reaches into the following subplots: 1) Spike Spiegal, a former member of the Red Dragon crime syndicate, is haunted by a past love triangle between his former syndicate partner, Vicious, and a mysterious woman named Julia. 2) Faye Valentine, An amnesiac, is awakened from a 54-year cryogenic slumber. She is tricked into assuming the debt of the man that woke her, and constantly attempts to gamble on quick cash as a solution to her problems. Her past (a mystery, even to herself) is unravelled progressively throughout the series. 3) Jet Black, A former ISSP (Inter-Solar System Police) officer and the owner of the Bebop, he bears a cybernetic arm as constant reminder of what happened when he rushed into trouble without looking first. Like Spike, he is haunted by the memory of a woman: Alisa, his longtime girlfriend who left him without notice. 4) Edward, a wacky computer genius and master hacker with a popular confusion as to Ed's gender (she is a girl) and Ein,  a Welsh Corgi and former lab animal and referred to as a "data dog" by scientists that created him.

One of the most notable elements of Cowboy Bebop is its music. Performed by Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts, a band Kanno assembled to perform music for the series, the jazz and blues themed soundtrack helps to define the show as much as the characters, writing, and even animation. Many fans find the soundtracks enjoyable to listen to as albums on their own, independent of the series. Cowboy Bebop was voted by IGN in 2006 as having the greatest soundtrack for an anime.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 08, 2007, 09:00:34 AM
(http://img454.imageshack.us/img454/4289/ptitopstoryvk0.jpg)

40. Pardon The Interruption - (2001) - 17 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #9 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307800/

Pardon the Interruption (abbreviated PTI) is a sports television show that airs weekdays on various ESPN TV channels, TSN, XM and Sirius satellite radio services, and as a downloadable podcast. It is hosted by Washington Post columnists and longtime friends Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, who discuss, and frequently argue over, the top stories of the day in "sports... and other stuff" (as Kornheiser put it in the show's original promo). Either Tony Reali (host of ESPN's Around the Horn) or the uncredited "producer over the loudspeaker" serve as moderator for parts of the show. The show is filmed in Washington, D.C.

PTI is divided into several segments. It is not unusual for the last point or topic in each section to be about a non-sports-related pop-culture event. Occasionally the show will stray from its basic format, such as on August 9, 2005, when baseball commissioner Bud Selig was the guest at the very top of the show for an extended interview. A similar situation occurred two days later on August 11 with Terrell Owens and his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Another similar occurrence happened December 22, 2005, following the news that coach Tony Dungy's son, James, had committed suicide. On May 16, 2007, David Stern appeared to plead his rulings and suspensions involving the Robert Horry incident during the 2007 postseason series between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs. This change seems to only occur on rare occasions.

Pardon the Interruption is unique in its studio layout, featuring a "wall" full of cut-out cardboard heads of athletes and celebrities that have previously been used in the "Role Play" segment, bobblehead dolls of the show's hosts and Reali, Etch-A-Sketch art of Kornheiser and Wilbon, and several other toys and trinkets they have received, such as Kornheiser's beloved "Leg Lamp" from A Christmas Story.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 09, 2007, 07:04:56 AM
so any chance of getting more of these,  10-a-day might work rather nicely.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 10:17:58 AM
Yeah, I haven't stopped or anything, but there's only so much time per day I have to do this. Don't worry, the list will continue!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 12:03:05 PM
(http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/267/screenshothustle1iq5.jpg)

39. Hustle - (2004) - 17 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #4 AmazingThor)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379632/

Hustle is a British television comedy-drama series made by Kudos Film & Television for BBC One in the United Kingdom. Created by Tony Jordan (who also wrote many of the scripts), Hustle follows a group of London-based con artists as they attempt to dupe money out of their victims ("marks"). Despite their chosen trade, they adhere to codes such as "bad behaviour breeds bad luck". In particular they adhere to the first rule of the con "you can't cheat an honest man" because an honest man doesn't want something for nothing.

The series frequently breaks the fourth wall (usually at least once per episode) and uses cutaway scenes shot in a different style from the rest of the show. For example, in several episodes the characters appear to "stop time", interacting with other characters that are frozen in place, discussing the con either with each other, or even with the audience. The technique is used as a metaphor for how the main characters manipulate their environment at will, as opposed to normal people who have no clue of what is going on. Examples of this can be seen in the pilot episode, "Gold Mine", the first episode of the second series and "Signing up to Wealth", the second episode of the fourth series. Other fourth wall-breaking moments are more subtle - a character smiles at the camera as the con begins to take shape, or makes an editorial comment to the viewers. Some episodes insert fantasy sequences -- scenes shot like a Bollywood musical or a silent movie, for example.

The series got its own spin-off documentary, The Real Hustle, in which Paul Wilson, Jessica-Jane Clement and Alexis Conran travel the country demonstrating cons to real people with the aid of hidden cameras. It is aired regularly on BBC Three.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 09, 2007, 12:09:56 PM
Oh great show. That would defintly have been on my 26-50 list.

Incidentally I think Adrian Lester and Dulé Hill should play Fat Charlie and Spider in any adaptation of Anansi Boys
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 12:13:10 PM
(http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/4733/fng5iq8.jpg)

38. Freaks and Geeks - (1999) - 17 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #7 AmazingThor)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0193676/

Freaks and Geeks was an American television series, created by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow. Although the show, considered a "dramedy," garnered much critical acclaim and a devoted cult following, repeated preemption and scheduling changes hurt its ratings. The show centered on a teenage girl, Lindsay Weir (played by Linda Cardellini), and her brother, Sam (John Francis Daley), both attending McKinley High School during the 1980-1981 school year in the town of Chippewa, Michigan, a fictional suburb of Detroit. (The town likely got its name from Chippewa Valley High School located in Clinton Charter Township, Michigan. Paul Feig graduated from the school in 1980.) Their friends, respectively, constituted the freaks — Daniel Desario, Ken Miller, Nick Andopolis, Kim Kelly — and geeks — Neal Schweiber and Bill Haverchuck — of the title. Affluent parents Harold and Jean Weir were featured and Millie Kentner, Lindsay's geeky, highly religious former best friend, was a recurring character.

Early on, the creators of the show were not open to the idea of having guest stars on the show. Many of the program's crew, including producer Judd Apatow, thought that such guest star appearances would greatly detract from the show's quality and realism. However, more unknown "guest stars" would make occasional unhyped appearances on the show. Notable guest appearances were made by Joel Hodgson (in the recurring role of a salesman who loves disco), David Koechner (as a waiter), Kevin Corrigan (as Millie's delinquent cousin), Jason Schwartzmann (as a student dealing in fake IDs), Matt Czuchry (as a student from rival Lincoln High), and Ben Foster (who appeared as the mentally handicapped student Eli, and often hyped the show while promoting the film Liberty Heights).

In 2001, several of the actors featured in Freaks and Geeks appeared in a new Judd Apatow college "dramedy" called Undeclared, airing on the FOX Network. While Seth Rogen was the only holdover from Freaks and Geeks to join Undeclared as a regular cast member, Jason Segel became a recurring character, with Samm Levine, Busy Phillips, and Martin Starr guest starring in various episodes. Despite garnering a cult following, that show was also canceled abruptly during its first season. Six years later, actors from the two shows comprised the bulk of the starring cast of Apatow's film, Knocked Up, and James Franco made a brief cameo appearance as himself. The collection of main male actors in the movie is nearly completely made up of stars from Undeclared and Freaks and Geeks. In addition, many of the extras starred as teachers and principal tertiary characters from both shows.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 12:22:00 PM
(http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/6852/chippendale20skitzq7.jpg)

37. Saturday Night Live - (1975) - 18 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #8 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072562/

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is a weekly late night 91-minute American comedy-variety show based in New York City. It is one of the longest-running network entertainment programs in American television history. Each week, the show's cast is joined by a guest host and a musical act.

Saturday Night Live will never, ever get cancelled.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 12:33:00 PM
(http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/385/koth5kx9.jpg)

36. King of the Hill - (1997) - 18 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #8 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118375/

King of the Hill is an American animated television series created by Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butt-head) and Greg Daniels. It depicts the Hills, a suburban Methodist family proud of its Texas heritage. Unlike some other animated sitcoms that feature unusual or improbable events, King of the Hill attempts to retain realism, seeking humor in the otherwise conventional. The show documents the Hill family's daily life, regularly forcing characters to question their values when they are confronted with the values of others. Themes range from the everyday, such as friendship, to more serious issues, including gender roles, women's liberation, and drug abuse.

The general theme is that Hank is always willing to do the right thing, even when those around him may be more inclined to do wrong for the sake of ease. Hank Hill is the most virtuous character on the series, and, it could be argued, on current television; his character is a modern updating of the type found on 1950s sitcoms such as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. For the most part, Hank acts in an honest, loyal manner; his "by-the-book" lifestyle is highlighted in almost every episode. For example, at one point he refuses to tape a Major League Baseball game because it is technically illegal to record televised professional sporting events without expressed written permission from the broadcasting network of the game in question. However, Hank's desire to achieve complete conventionality often leads him to live with fear or shame. Hank disapproves of his son's hopes of becoming a comedian, and the issues of his health conditions (a narrow urethra and "diminished glutes," which render him basically unable to sit down without the aid of a hidden prosthetic) are of great embarrassment to him. Hank is also uncomfortable with intimacy, which is demonstrated on the numerous occasions that he refuses to kiss Peggy in public (instead offering her a firm handshake). At one point, while standing in the alley with Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer, he sarcastically says, "What are we supposed to talk about? Our feelings?"

Boomhauer is referenced in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring the movie Squirm. A character in the movie mumbles something incoherently, to which Mike Nelson replies, "Thanks, Hank Hill's friend."
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 10:03:09 PM
(http://img469.imageshack.us/img469/4828/00000084452006092015301dk1.jpg)

35. Eureka - (2006) - 18 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 YooHooRiffer)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796264/

Eureka is an American science fiction television series. It takes place in a secret town of that name inhabited entirely by the best minds in the United States. After World War II ended, Albert Einstein realized that the future belonged to science. Given the close call with the deployment of the atomic bomb, the U.S. government decided it could not risk being surpassed by other nations. With Einstein's help and that of other trusted advisors, then-President of the United States Harry S. Truman had a top-secret residential town built in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest, one that would serve to protect and nurture the country's most valuable intellectual resources. In the fifty years since the town's founding, its residents are responsible for almost every leap in science known to humanity. However, with experimentation inevitably comes failure, and over fifty years worth of trial and error they have had a number of experiments go awry. Global warming has in passing been mentioned as an example of a Eureka project gone awry.

While transporting a fugitive (who is revealed to be his rebellious teenage daughter, Zoe) back to Los Angeles, Deputy U. S. Marshal Jack Carter gets himself tangled up in the town's latest mishap, and soon becomes its new sheriff after the old one is injured on the job. Though Eureka's residents suffer many of the same problems that ordinary towns do, having a town full of geniuses and virtually limitless resources tends to make their problems a much larger concern than those of a regular town. It has been noted that its mortality rate is twice the national average

The episodes were not aired in the order intended by the show's creators. This is suggested by the episodes' production numbers which are displayed on the Sci-Fi channel's Eureka website next to episode titles quite often. There are some small inconsistencies when watched closely, but such inconsistencies are minimal and were intentionally controlled. In podcast commentaries with the show's creators and star Colin Ferguson, they confirm that the production order is in fact the order they intended the show to air, but the network executives changed the order to try and place stronger episodes earlier in the run as to help attract viewers. As such, the creators were able to make minor changes in editing and sometimes ADR dialogue in later episodes (such as removing the explicit mention of Zoe's first day at school) to try to eliminate audience confusion.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 10:11:00 PM
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/1261/ff102brown1fbs3.jpg)

34. Good Eats - (1999) - 18 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #11 rocket9)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0344651/

Good Eats is a television cooking show created and hosted by Alton Brown. Likened to television science educators Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye, Brown explores the science and technique behind the cooking, the history of different foods, and the advantages of different kinds of cooking equipment. The show tends to focus on familiar dishes that can easily be made at home, and also features segments on choosing the right appliances, and getting the most out of inexpensive, multi-purpose tools. Each episode of Good Eats has a distinct theme, which is typically an ingredient or a certain cooking technique, but may also be a more generic theme such as Thanksgiving, or "man food."

The show has a distinctive visual style involving Dutch angles and shots from cameras placed inside and on various items in the kitchen, including the ovens, refrigerator, and microwave oven. In some episodes, Brown and other actors play various characters to tell the story of the food. For example, in the episode "The Big Chili," Brown played a cowboy trying to rustle up the ideal pot of chili. In the episode "Give Peas A Chance" (a parody of The Exorcist), Brown plays a Father Merrin-like character who tries to convince a "possessed" child to eat (and like) peas. In other episodes Brown is simply himself, but is surrounded by fictional characters such as his eggplant and tomato wielding neighbor Mr. McGregor, or a city councilman who refuses to eat fudge. He also uses various makeshift teaching aids to demonstrate scientific concepts.

Although it is his most prominent production, Brown says he makes no money from the broadcast of Good Eats. He spends the entire budget allocated by Food Network on producing the show and receives no residuals. Instead, all of his personal income comes from DVD sales, book royalties, speaking engagements, and corporate consulting.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 10:16:39 PM
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/6105/badbookswideweb430x306tm7.jpg)

33. Black Books - (2000) - 19 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #7 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0262150/

Black Books is set in the eponymous "Black Books", a small, independent, second hand book shop in the Bloomsbury area of central London owned by foul-mouthed, eccentric, misanthropic Irish drunkard Bernard Black (played by Dylan Moran). The show is based around the lives and often surreal antics of Black, his assistant Manny (Bill Bailey), and their friend Fran (Tamsin Greig). The series revolves around Bernard's misanthropic loathing of the outside world in general and the people who live there in particular, represented mainly by his customers. Bernard displays little enthusiasm for or interest in retail (or, indeed, anything outside drinking, smoking and reading) and refuses to interact with the outside world. Many episodes revolve around Manny and Fran's attempts to force him to do just that, however—as they themselves are remarkably ill-equipped to interact with the world outside the shop—their efforts usually result in chaos, sucking them back into Bernard's nihilistic view of everything and everyone.

The series is notable for its surreal and off-beat sense of humour, particularly when regarding the state of the shop; it is frequently depicted to be in an unhealthy state of dirtiness, with sea-water molluscs living on the water pipes and, when it is in a particularly bad state, dead badgers blocking the way. The series also uses a great deal of surreal wordplay.

A subtle running gag in the series is that inside the bookshop there is a chalkboard, on which is usually written bizarre, contradictory, unintelligible or incomprehensible rules and instructions that, keeping with Bernard's general misanthropy, are generally rather grumpy in nature (such as in one week the instruction simply reading "DON'T"). The writing on the board is usually a near-illegible scrawl, to the point when even Bernard cannot decipher what he has written (as in "Manny's First Day", when Bernard attempts to explain the rules of the shop to Manny, but is stymied by his own handwriting).
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 09, 2007, 10:25:20 PM
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/5476/800pxdavehatjr3.jpg)

32. The Late Show With David Letterman - (1993) - 19 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #7 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106053/

The Late Show with David Letterman is a multiple Emmy Award-winning hour-long weeknight comedy talk show broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway in New York City. The Late Show is well known for its repeated absurdist segments, often taking the form of competitions or audience participation. The charm of these segments is often that they are completely pointless, yet are taken seriously by Letterman and all involved. Currently, the show's regularly scheduled segments consist of "Small Town News" on Mondays (coincidentally and possibly competing with Leno's similar segment, "Headlines") and "Fun Facts" on Fridays. Thursdays often feature a rotating set of three audience participation segments: "Know Your Current Events," "Stump the Band," and "Audience Show and Tell."

Every Halloween, Letterman stands in a house-like set on stage, where he answers a door and greets a series of trick-or-treaters dressed in elaborate, humorous costumes (a recent example being a gas station sign with changeable prices). The children are then given "treats" which have consisted of unusual items such as Lipitor, useless Yankees World Series tickets, and a Tonight Show tote bag. Every Thanksgiving, Letterman visits his mother at her Indiana home via satellite, and tries to guess the two pies she has baked for her family dinner. Letterman will also show footage of that year's company Thanksgiving party, which often includes a particular clip from a previous party in which Letterman serves food while dressed in a pilgrim costume. For Christmas, Letterman will often dedicate a segment to toy expert Shannon Ice, who demonstrates many of the newer toys that will be available during the upcoming season. The main appeal of the segment is Letterman's tendency to engage in horseplay with the various toys on display.

In a 1995 Late Show episode, as a birthday present, actress Drew Barrymore stood on Letterman's desk and flashed her breasts, as part of an erotic dance. (The cameras only showed her from the back, during the flash). The dance shocked the usually unflappable Letterman; it was reportedly a gift from Barrymore, for his birthday. Letterman later said, 'I couldn't have been more pleased.' A later skit on The Late Show entitled "The David Letterman Story" referenced the incident where Letterman claimed his most memorable and favorite moment on the show was "when Drew Barrymore got on the desk and took her shirt off."

No, Conan O'Brien is not on the list for some reason. But, hey, neither is Jay Leno.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Sharktopus on July 10, 2007, 01:26:05 AM
Incidentally I think Adrian Lester and Dulé Hill should play Fat Charlie and Spider in any adaptation of Anansi Boys

Good casting, although I don't see it ever happening. I always thought Brock Peters would be perfect for Mr Nancy in an American Gods movie. Unfortunately he died a couple years ago.

Uh-oh. I smell a fantasy casting thread coming on...
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 10, 2007, 04:10:39 AM
WTF?! (My first time using that abbreviation,)
How did Eureka make it on this list?! It's got a great little concept, but the actors only know how to express sarcasm! No other emotions! Scifi Channel acting talent killed this show, and people are trying to prop up it's rotting corpse as #35?
AAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 10, 2007, 05:27:41 AM
Incidentally I think Adrian Lester and Dulé Hill should play Fat Charlie and Spider in any adaptation of Anansi Boys

Good casting, although I don't see it ever happening. I always thought Brock Peters would be perfect for Mr Nancy in an American Gods movie. Unfortunately he died a couple years ago.

Uh-oh. I smell a fantasy casting thread coming on...

I thought that was the same Sharktopus on the IMDB board. I'll continue this discussion in hmm Books 'n Readin' (http://www.rifftrax.com/smf/index.php/topic,4278.0.html) I think.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 10:24:13 AM
How did Eureka make it on this list?!

Look at it this way. Scrubs was #51. Without Eureka, Scrubs would have made this list. That's a scary thought.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: AmazingThor on July 10, 2007, 11:53:08 AM
Whats wrong with Scrubs?

And I can't believe Freaks and Geeks didn't make it higher. Come on, it had Joel and Trace!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 11:59:39 AM
(http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/1066/muppet051107093727103wiwl8.jpg)

31. The Muppet Show - (1976) - 19 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #11 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074028/

The Muppet Show was a television program featuring a cast of Muppets (diverse hand-operated puppets, typically with oversized eyes and large moving mouths) produced by Jim Henson and his team. The show stars Kermit the Frog, who was also a guest star on Sesame Street. Whereas Kermit was a happy, perky and somewhat avuncular character on Sesame Street. Here he is trying to keep control of the varied, outrageous, kinetic Muppet characters (and his temper), as well as keep the human guest stars happy and secure. The television show depicted a vaudeville or music hall style song-and-dance variety show, as well as the backstage antics involved in putting the show on.

The show was well-known for outrageous, highly physical (slapstick), sometimes absurdist comedy, and particularly for using its puppet characters to create uniquely humorous parodies. Each show also featured a human guest star; after the show became popular with audiences, many major celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in film. The diverse roster of guests included Christopher Reeve, Johnny Cash, Twiggy, Sandy Duncan, Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, characters from Star Wars, Mummenschanz, Diana Ross, Ethel Merman, Paul Simon, John Denver, John Cleese, Gene Kelly, Alice Cooper, and over a hundred others.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, The Muppet Show was the most widely viewed program in the world, with an estimated audience of 235 million in 106 countries in August 1989.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 10, 2007, 12:00:52 PM
Whats wrong with Scrubs?

And I can't believe Freaks and Geeks didn't make it higher. Come on, it had Joel and Trace!

And apparently is set in the town where I live, sorta, never knew that.

 I live just down the road from Chippewa Valley HS
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 10, 2007, 12:05:08 PM
I also like Scrubs, not familiar with 'freaks and geeks' but high school drama/comedy crap doesn't usually rate very high on my radar.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 12:09:10 PM
(http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/3342/blackadder32zy7.jpg)

31. Blackadder - (1983) - 19 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #9 mrbasehart)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084988/

Blackadder is the generic name that encompasses four series of an acclaimed BBC One historical sitcom, along with several one-off installments. The first series was written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, while subsequent episodes were written by Curtis and Ben Elton. The shows were produced by John Lloyd, and starred Rowan Atkinson as the eponymous anti-hero, Edmund Blackadder, and Tony Robinson as his sidekick/dogsbody, Baldrick.

Although each series is set in a different time era, all follow the fortunes (or rather, misfortunes) of Edmund Blackadder (played by Atkinson), who in each is a member of an English family dynasty present at many significant periods and places in British history. Although his intelligence levels rise over the course of the series (the character starts as being quite unintelligent in the first and gradually becomes smarter and more perceptive through each passing generation while ironically decreasing in social status), each Blackadder is similar in that they are all cynical cowardly opportunists concerned with maintaining and increasing their own status and fortunes in life, regardless of their surroundings. In each series, however, Blackadder is usually a cynical (almost modern) voice puncturing the pretensions and stupidity of those around him, and what might - through modern eyes - be seen as the more ludicrous and insane follies of history (from the cruel and unjust medieval religious witch-hunts and the petty whims and insanities of various British monarchs to the pointless bloodshed of World War I).

The first series, written by Curtis and Atkinson and without the involvement of Ben Elton, is the most different from the three others. It is noticeable that, as Blackadder is more cunning in series two, so Baldrick develops even further into a dimwit. It is clear that in the first series, the latter is smarter than his superior, saving the day on several occasions, whereas Edmund is despised by all and never accomplishes a thing. In the unaired pilot episode these relations were different, more like Series Two, where Blackadder is not completely successful, but not completely ridiculous either.

And frankly, I can't make heads or tails if Blackadder should count as one or four tv shows.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 10, 2007, 12:14:02 PM
And frankly, I can't make heads or tails if Blackadder should count as one or four tv shows.

it's four that's why I listed them in order of goodness rather than chronological order.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 12:15:58 PM
(http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/1350/fatherteddownwiththissoyr7.jpg)

29. Father Ted - (1995) - 20 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #6 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111958/

Father Ted was a popular 1990s television situation comedy set around the lives of three priests on the extremely remote (and fictional) Craggy Island off the west coast of Ireland. The series was responsible for propelling a number of highly successful actors and comedians into the limelight, including Graham Norton, Tommy Tiernan, Brendan Grace, Patrick McDonnell, Don Wycherley and Joe Rooney. Other Irish comedians who featured included Jason Byrne who made a cameo appearance as a referee in one episode and Ed Byrne who played a teenage pranskster in another. Dermot Morgan, who played the title role, died from a heart attack the day after filming the final episode.

The show follows the exploits of three Roman Catholic priests who preside over a parish on Craggy Island, located off the west coast of Ireland. Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal McGuire and the retired Father Jack Hackett live together in Craggy Island's parochial house, along with their housekeeper Mrs. Doyle, who "keeps Craggy Island Parochial House floating on a sea of tea" according to official synopses. The three priests answer to the fierce, uncompromising Bishop Len Brennan, who makes frequent visits to the island, often to cast his disapproving eye over the trio and their backwater parish. He is apparently responsible for their exile to the less-than-desirable island parish - the reasons for the move are hinted at across the several series

In January 2007 a dispute arose between Inis Oírr (pop. 250) and Inis Mór (pop. 1,200) over which island can claim to be Craggy Island, and thereby host a three-day Friends of Ted Festival. It was decided that in appropriate Father Ted fashion the dispute would be settled by a five-a-side football match held on February 25th 2007.This was won by Inis Mór in a 2-0 match allowing them to use the title of Craggy Island until February 2008.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 10, 2007, 12:19:27 PM
Excellent, and that's one of the best pics from the show too.

Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 12:24:57 PM
(http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/5120/q2xr9.jpg)

28. Quantum Leap - (1989) - 20 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #13 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096684/

Quantum Leap is an American science fiction television series. In the near future (1995), at a highly classified U.S. government-funded research facility somewhere in the desert of New Mexico, physicist Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) is working on a grand experiment to prove his time-travel theory. Sam is working alongside Gooshie, the lead programmer of Project Quantum Leap. Gooshie also works the controls for the imaging chamber. However, the funding for the project is about to be cut. Sam's colleagues protest that they're not ready, but in a last-ditch effort to prove that his theories are correct, Sam steps into the project's "accelerator chamber" too early and vanishes.

Sam appears in the past with no memory of who he is or where he is. This side-effect of uneven amnesia is called Swiss-cheesing or (as a technical term in the show's universe) magnafluxing, which prevents him from remembering most of the details of his own life. His friend from his original time, Albert "Al" Calavicci (played by Dean Stockwell), appears to him as a holographic projection from the "imaging chamber", usually only visible and audible to Sam, but also small children, and animals ( Al often jokes "blondes" too). Al is the project observer and a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral. It is revealed that Gooshie made a frantic call to Al when Sam vanished in the project accelerator and called him in to work on the situation. Gooshie continues to work alongside Al in Sam's original time. Along with the (possibly) sentient supercomputer named Ziggy, Al is able to help Sam "set right what once went wrong" before he leaps out into the next person. At the beginning and end of nearly every episode, as Sam leaps into a new person and speaks his catch phrase. Another notable exception is in the episode "Dr. Ruth", in which the leap is shown from the leapees' point of view rather than Sam's. When the leap takes place, we are with Dr Ruth in the waiting room, and see her character transform into a man who resembles a vampire, who smiles and laughs in order to show his fangs.

The series (created by Donald Bellisario) is somewhat unusual in that it has a science fiction premise, but little science fiction- or fantasy-oriented storytelling, instead focusing on the personal journeys of Sam Beckett and those he encounters. Even in its final episode, the show refuses to resolve many of its own technical and holistic questions, choosing instead to leave things open-ended and focus tightly on what is arguably the series' overarching message: that a single person can change the world one life at a time. Some feel the bartender in this last episode portrays God and what he tells Sam is that his project was messed up for a purpose: to change history for the better.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 10, 2007, 12:37:52 PM
(http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/8054/housefunny1wideweb430x3kd2.jpg)

27. House - (2004) - 20 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #2 mrbasehart)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412142/

House, also known as House, M.D., is a critically-acclaimed American medical drama television series created by David Shore and executive produced by Shore and film director Bryan Singer. House stars British actor Hugh Laurie as the American title character, a role for which he received the 2006 and 2007 Golden Globe Awards and 2007 Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor in a Drama. Dr. Gregory House is a maverick medical genius, who heads a team of young diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Most episodes start with a cold open somewhere outside the hospital, showing the events leading to the onset of symptoms for that week's main patient. The episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose the illness.

The team arrives at diagnoses using the Socratic method and differential diagnosis, with House guiding the deliberations. House often discounts the information and opinions from his underlings, assuming their contributions to miss relevant unconsidered factors. The patient is usually misdiagnosed two or three times over the course of each episode, almost always including such diseases as sarcoidosis, and treated with medications appropriate to those diagnoses that cause further complications. Often the ailment cannot be easily deduced because the patient has lied about symptoms and circumstances. House frequently mutters, "Everybody lies", or proclaims during the team's deliberations: "The patient is lying", or "The symptoms never lie." Even when not stated explicitly, this assumption guides House's decisions and diagnoses.

An apparent in-joke in the series is that one condition, lupus, is suggested as a cause of the patient's symptoms in many episodes, although invariably this is quickly dismissed. In one episode, House produces some of his secret Vicodin stash from inside a hollowed-out Lupus textbook; by way of explanation, he says, "It's never lupus." Lupus is one of the medical conditions known as the Great Imitator, because it can present with a wide variety of symptoms.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 10, 2007, 12:40:27 PM
WTF?! (My first time using that abbreviation,)
How did Eureka make it on this list?! It's got a great little concept, but the actors only know how to express sarcasm! No other emotions! Scifi Channel acting talent killed this show, and people are trying to prop up it's rotting corpse as #35?
AAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

Well Eureka was my 3rd favorite choice so I guess I'm the one you hate.  Personally I love the show.  I really don't see the acting as that bad other than Taggert's bad accent.  The concept is great and I'm really looking forward to the second season premire tonight.  Everyone get's their own opinion and that's mine.  Plus it's not like 35 is that great on the list especially since only 9 people contributed.  If it's any consolation to you I bet it would be lower if more people participated.  Nevertheless I think it's great.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: mrbasehart on July 10, 2007, 06:35:30 PM
^

I like Eureka as well, though I didn't include it in my list (I don't think -- I honestly can't remember what I've chosen!), because I think it still needs a bit more time to grow.  Hopefully this upcoming season will sort everything out.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 10, 2007, 06:43:51 PM
Well, I'm glad other, less easily annoyed people were able to enjoy it.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Sharktopus on July 11, 2007, 12:40:00 AM
I also like Scrubs, not familiar with 'freaks and geeks' but high school drama/comedy crap doesn't usually rate very high on my radar.

Call Freaks & Geeks crap and I hit you with a tube sock full of doorknobs.

Incidentally I think Adrian Lester and Dulé Hill should play Fat Charlie and Spider in any adaptation of Anansi Boys

Good casting, although I don't see it ever happening. I always thought Brock Peters would be perfect for Mr Nancy in an American Gods movie. Unfortunately he died a couple years ago.

Uh-oh. I smell a fantasy casting thread coming on...

I thought that was the same Sharktopus on the IMDB board. I'll continue this discussion in hmm Books 'n Readin' (http://www.rifftrax.com/smf/index.php/topic,4278.0.html) I think.

Uh-oh, I've been spotted. That's the only time I've ever lowered myself to posting in that godforsaken cesspool. Gaiman fans usually don't have their heads up their asses, thankfully.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 11, 2007, 12:54:01 AM
meh, in the world we live in pre-judging shows is essential. If its about 'high school students' I'm not giving it a second glance, just not my cup of tea
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Sharktopus on July 11, 2007, 12:59:53 AM
meh, in the world we live in pre-judging shows is essential. If its about 'high school students' I'm not giving it a second glance, just not my cup of tea

I can't stand 90% of television, but trust me, dude. Do you have Netflix? Put this on your queue. (http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Freaks_Geeks_The_Complete_Series/60035712?strkid=1167607192_0_0)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 11, 2007, 01:10:59 AM
If you insist, I'll check it out on youtube, netflix spots are far too coveted. Hey Shark did you get to vote in this TV thread? something tells me we share'd the same number one choice, thats gotta count for something ... even if the rest of your tastes may or may not suck ;D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: googergieger on July 11, 2007, 04:28:34 AM
this thread reminds me. i need to go buy a new hammer tomorrow.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 11, 2007, 10:23:38 AM
this thread reminds me. I need to go buy a new TiVo tomorrow.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Sharktopus on July 11, 2007, 08:45:58 PM
If you insist, I'll check it out on youtube, netflix spots are far too coveted. Hey Shark did you get to vote in this TV thread? something tells me we share'd the same number one choice, thats gotta count for something ... even if the rest of your tastes may or may not suck ;D

Sadly, I never noticed it. (Sorry Greg.) I'm guessing the number one spot is probably a certain cowtown puppet show, considering the voters. I'm not sure what my #1 vote would go to. It's hard to compare, oh, say, Futurama and Homicide. Freaks & Geeks would be in my top ten, by the way.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 11, 2007, 08:57:46 PM
*coughfuturamacough* I'll leave it at that, don't want to ruin anymore of the suspense(... but sadly mst3k didn't break my top 5.)
edit, actually I was mistaken Futurama was only number 2 ... okay I better shut up now least I incur the wrath of greg ;)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 12, 2007, 11:16:24 AM
(http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/9002/dansemacabreqs2.jpg)

26. Buffy The Vampire Slayer - (1997) - 21 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #5 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated American cult television series. It was created by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy. The series narrative follows Buffy Anne Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. Like previous slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang."

The concept was first visited through Whedon's script for the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which featured Kristy Swanson in the title role. The director, Fran Rubel Kuzui, saw it as a "pop culture comedy about what people think about vampires." Whedon disagreed: "I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was crushing." The script was praised within the industry, but the movie was not. Several years later, Gail Berman, a Sandollar Productions executive, approached Whedon to develop his Buffy concept into a television series. Whedon explained that "They said, 'Do you want to do a show?' And I thought, 'High school as a horror movie.' And so the metaphor became the central concept behind Buffy, and that's how I sold it." The supernatural elements in the series stood as metaphors for personal anxieties associated with adolescence and young adulthood. Whedon went on to write and partly fund a 25-minute unaired Buffy pilot that was shown to networks and eventually sold to the WB Network. The latter promoted the premiere with a series of History of the Slayer clips, and the first episode aired on March 10, 1997.

Buffy has inspired a range of official and unofficial works, including television shows, books, comics and games. This expansion of the series encouraged use of the term "Buffyverse" to describe the fictional universe in which Buffy and related stories take place. The spin-off Angel was introduced in October 1999, at the start of Buffy's fourth season. The series was created by Buffy's creator Joss Whedon in collaboration with David Greenwalt. Like Buffy, it was produced by the production company Mutant Enemy. At times, it performed better in the Nielsen Ratings than its parent series did.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 12, 2007, 11:25:12 AM
(http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/5088/artiepv6.jpg)

25. The Adventures of Pete & Pete - (1993) - 21 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #5 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105933/

The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a U.S. television series produced by Wellsville Pictures with Nickelodeon. The show featured humorous and surreal elements in its narrative and many recurring themes, centered on two brothers both named Pete Wrigley, and their various interactions with family, friends and enemies. The show was created by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi and began as minute-long shorts in 1989 that aired in between regular programs. Owing to the popularity of the shorts, five half-hour specials were made, followed by a regular half-hour series that ran for three seasons (1993-1996) and continued in reruns until around 1999.

The show's primary narrator, Big Pete often acts as a voice of reason in contrast to the strange occurrences and people around him. Typical sibling rivalry aside, he and his brother are best friends. Four years younger than his brother, Little Pete is often engaged in struggles against adults and other authority figures. He frequently uses insults like "Jerkweed" and "bite my neck hair." On Little Pete's arm is a tattoo depicting a woman in a red dress, named "Petunia". It is frequently made to "dance" and gets its own credit in the show's opening sequence; the origins of that tattoo, and one of a sailing ship on Little Pete's back, are unclear. The Petes' mother, usually just called "Mom," has a metal plate in her head from a childhood accident; it can pick up radio stations — and, in the case of little Pete's "WART Radio," it can broadcast them too. The plate in Mom's head, like Petunia, gets its own opening credit. Usually known as "Dad," Don is the Petes' father. He and Joyce met when the metal detector he was using on a beach led him to the metal plate in her head. He is an extremely competitive driver, particularly on the family's excursion to Hoover Dam.

Little Pete has personal superhero named Artie, who is very eccentric but quite powerful — for example, he can skip stones on Neptune, move an entire house by an inch, and hit a golf ball 300,003 feet. His catchphrase is "For I am Artie — the strongest man ... in the world!" His trademark word "pipe!" aggravates the adults of the community. He left the show after the 2-part episode, "Farewell My Little Viking". His spot in the opening credits would later be replaced in the third season with Nona's. Ellen is Big Pete's best friend; though romance develops between the two on rare occasions, Pete generally sees Ellen as "a girl and a friend, but not a girlfriend". Over the course of the show she demonstrates some obsessive tendencies. In season one she labored under the misconception that she was "a dot," due to her placement "riding the I" in the Wellsville marching band's show. Later that season she became fixated with metallurgy while in shop class. In season three she was fanatical at getting an A in Mr. Slurm's driver's ed course and near the end of the season getting a pizza on time to Endless Mike as a delivery girl. She played French horn in the band.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 12, 2007, 11:31:18 AM
Wow, I had completely forgotten the existence of Pete and Pete , great choice Greg!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 12, 2007, 11:33:51 AM
(http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/849/21vm9.jpg)

24. Sliders - (1995) - 21 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #2 YooHooRiffer)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112167/

Sliders is an American science fiction television series. The series focuses on a group of travellers who "slide" between parallel worlds by use of a wormhole referred to as an "Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridge." Quinn Mallory, a graduate student of physics, creates a device capable of opening vortices to alternate universes. With a little help from his double from another universe, he develops the technology to the extent that not only can he send items through the gateway he created, but also, with the use of a timer, to return them to their point of origin. He uses himself as his first living "guinea pig." His best friend Wade Welles and his professor/mentor Maximillian Arturo join him on his second test. However, the wormhole grows unstable and spirals out of control. Singer Rembrandt "Cryin' Man" Brown, driving by Quinn's house, is accidentally sucked through with them. When the timer is activated ahead of time, more than four hours before it was scheduled to, it loses its original coordinates, and the Sliders cannot return home. This leaves them unable to control when the vortices open or which universe they lead to. The Sliders continue moving from universe to universe, trying to find their way back home.

The nature of the show changed throughout the seasons. The first two seasons focused on alternate histories and social norms. These stories explored what would have happened, for example, if America was conquered by the Soviet Union, or if Britain had won the American War of Independence, or if penicillin had not been invented, or if men were subservient to women. The third season introduced the first significant changes to the premise of Sliders. As a result of increased FOX Network oversight (and forced reduction of day-to-day creative control by creator Tracy Tormé), episodes became far more action-oriented, even going so far as to devolve into short, copies of parts of major feature-films (including Species, Twister, and Anaconda). This culminated in the firing of John Rhys-Davies by the network (in an attempt to attract a "younger" audience-demographic via the Maggie Beckett character), and Tormé deciding to leave the series he had created, in light of the massive creative interference by network executives. The fourth and fifth seasons saw the series moved to the Sci-Fi Channel, and a restoration of the series creators' original "alternate history" premise; the other major storyline (begun at the end of the second season, but de-emphasized during season three) involved the growing war against the Kromaggs.

The Sliders would often stay at the same hotel on different worlds, and in a recurring plot device, would usually stay in the same room. In Season One, this was Room 12 at the Motel 12 in San Francisco. In Season Two, it was the Dominion Hotel in San Francisco (this may just have been a different name for the Motel 12, as they were often both managed by the same person, Gomez Calhoun). In Season Three, they stayed at the Chancellor Hotel in Los Angeles; however, the real-life Chancellor Hotel in San Francisco objected to the use of the name, so in Seasons Four and Five, they stayed at the Chandler Hotel, in Los Angeles.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 16, 2007, 05:31:54 AM
Everything Ok Greg?

Let's see a few more.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 16, 2007, 06:27:31 AM
GregMcduck has been abducted by Sliders and is now in an parallel dimension with John Rhys-Davies.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 16, 2007, 06:32:45 AM
Well as long as it isn't Cro-Mags everythings hunky-dory.

Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 16, 2007, 06:54:08 AM
Actually, whoever is next on the list kidnapped him to shut him up, rather than have the world remember their existance.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 16, 2007, 07:04:50 AM
Actually, whoever is next on the list kidnapped him to shut him up, rather than have the world remember their existance.

Or perhaps you kidnapped and killed him Junkyard.  You did seem pretty upset about Eureka being on the list.
:deadhorse: <- (You beating GregMcduck who is, in fact, not a duck but a horse)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 16, 2007, 07:13:25 AM
I'M NOT DEAD! JUNKYARDS HOLDING ME IN HIS BASEMENT WITH DAILY BEATINGS! GET HELP I'M AT 836 W-
WHUMP

Hah, Ha, just a little mad cap Junkyard humor, guys. Nothing to worry about. You shouldn't make such jokes, Yahoo Riffer.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 16, 2007, 07:21:01 AM
Oh you know I'm just kidding Junkyard you know......wait what the Hell...Who are you?..... Junkyard! ..... What are you going to do with that potato sack and that baseball bat......:scared: Oh please NO!  I'm sorry, I didn't mean it!!!  AHHHHH! *WHUMP*...........................................
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 16, 2007, 08:18:59 AM
Ha ha, aren't these running gags fun? I remeberer bacGET HELP OH GOD HES INSA-
WHUMP!
Such fun we have. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 16, 2007, 08:33:31 AM
...Um...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD Everything's fine...I'm okay HELP ME...Junkyard and just had a little HE"S BROKEN BOTH OF ME LEGS chat...All that stuff about baseball bat beatings I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG HE WILL LET ME LIVE was just a joke...ha*SOBBING*hah...Really i'm fine...GOD HELP ME
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 16, 2007, 08:36:05 AM
He did this to himself! He, uh, fell down the stairs. Yeah.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 16, 2007, 11:20:31 AM
So does this make sliders number one?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:14:04 AM
Sorry, guys. Been busy. Let's try and finish this list by the end of today.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:21:55 AM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/9596/fearnot13wv7.jpg)

23. The Storyteller - (1988) - 22 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #4 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092383/

The Storyteller is a live-action/puppet television series. It was an American/British co-production created and produced by Jim Henson. The series retold various European fairy tales, created with a combination of actors and puppets. The framing device had an old storyteller (John Hurt) sitting by a fire telling each tale to his talking dog (a realistic looking puppet, performed and voiced by Brian Henson). The series was scored by Rachel Portman.

Each half-hour episode was written by Anthony Minghella. Only nine were completed. The first series featured many actors who went on to become famous. These include Jane Horrocks as Anya (The True Bride), Sean Bean as the True Bride's love, Mark Williams as Fearnot 's brother, Alison Doody as Sapsorrow, Miranda Richardson as the witch in The Three Ravens, and Gabrielle Anwar as Fearnot 's love.

Henson later attempted a follow-up, The Storyteller: Greek Myths, which had a different story-teller (Michael Gambon), but the same dog. Only four episodes of this series were made.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:31:11 AM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/4097/heroesii6.jpg)

22. Heroes - (2006) - 22 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #4 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813715/

Heroes is an American science fiction drama television series, created by Tim Kring. The show tells the story of several people who "thought they were like everyone else... until they woke with incredible abilities" such as telepathy, time travel and flight. These people soon realize they have a role in preventing a catastrophe and saving mankind. The series follows the writing style of American comics with short, multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing arc. Even with small story arcs that move the story forward, Kring said "we have talked about where the show goes up to five seasons."

The show features an ensemble cast of twelve main characters. Among them include Peter Petrelli, a former hospice nurse with the ability to absorb the powers of others he has been near and recall them, Hiro Nakamura, a programmer from Tokyo with the ability to manipulate the space-time continuum, Claire Bennet, a high school cheerleader who lives in Odessa, Texas,  with a spontaneous regenerative ability, and Sylar, a a serial killer who hunts super-powered individuals in order to take their abilities.

When the writing team works on an episode, each writer takes a character and writes the individual scenes surrounding that character. These stories are then combined and given to the episode writer, allowing every writer to contribute to every episode. This allows the writing team to finish scripts faster so the filming crew can shoot more scenes at a location. In keeping with the comic book thematic elements used in the show, professional comic book artist Tim Sale was brought in to provide the artwork used as the work of Isaac Mendez. Mendez's work in the 9th Wonders! comicbook on the show is also the work of Sale. Additionally, the font used throughout the show in the various captions and credits is reminiscent of traditional hand-rendered comic book lettering. The font was created by Sale and is based on his handwriting style.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:38:56 AM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/7672/hartnell1bb1.jpg)

21. Doctor Who - (1963) - 23 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056751/

Doctor Who is a long-running award-winning British science fiction television programme. The series depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as "the Doctor" who explores time and space in his TARDIS time ship with his companions, solving problems and righting wrongs. The programme is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television series in the world and is also a significant part of British popular culture. It has been recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects during its original run, and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). In Britain and elsewhere, the show has become a cult television favourite and has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series.

The character of the Doctor was initially shrouded in mystery. All that was known about him in the programme's early days was that he was an eccentric alien traveller of great intelligence who battled injustice while exploring time and space in an unreliable old time machine called the TARDIS. The TARDIS is much larger on the inside than on the outside and, due to a chronic malfunction, is stuck in the shape of a 1950s-style British police box. However, not only did the initially irascible and slightly sinister Doctor quickly mellow into a more compassionate figure, it was eventually revealed that he had been "on the run" from his own people, the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey. As a Time Lord, the Doctor has the ability to "regenerate" his body when near death, allowing for the convenient recasting of the lead actor. A Time Lord can regenerate twelve times, for a total of thirteen incarnations. The Doctor has gone through this process and its resulting after-effects on nine occasions, with each of his incarnations having his own quirks and abilities.

Between about 1967 and 1978, large amounts of older material stored in the BBC's video tape and film libraries were destroyed or wiped. This included many old episodes of Doctor Who, mostly stories featuring the first two Doctors — William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. Archives are complete from the programme's move to colour television (starting from Jon Pertwee's time as the Doctor), although a few Pertwee episodes have required substantial restoration; a handful have only been recovered in black and white and several survive only as NTSC copies recovered from North America. In all, 108 of 253 episodes produced during the first six years of the programme are not held in the BBC's archives. It has been reported that in 1972 all episodes then made were known to exist at the BBC, whilst by 1978 the practice of wiping tapes had ended
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 17, 2007, 11:45:23 AM
Wow I can't believe I'm the only one who thinks this show kicks ass. ???
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 11:48:09 AM
I'm amazed at how British heavy this list is... never seen Dr. Who... it's on Netflix "watch now", I'll give it a go for ya Trippe
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:48:27 AM
(http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/2143/1395581436b60fa341bovw3.jpg)

20. 24 - (2001) - 23 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285331/

24 is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning American television series created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and produced by Imagine Television. 24 is presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer, who works with the U.S. Government as it fights threats on its soil. Bauer is often in the field for the fictional Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) as they try to safeguard the nation from terrorist threats. Based in Los Angeles, the show also follows the actions of other CTU agents, government officials and terrorists associated with the plot.

24 employs fast-paced and complex plots. A recurring theme of 24 has characters faced with the decision of whether or not to let something tragic happen for the sake of a greater good. In Season 2, a member of the presidential staff has the chance to warn CTU of an imminent attack on their building, but believes that doing so would put the culprits on alert and thus cause a valuable trail to go cold. A similar situation occurs in Season 5, when terrorists plan to release a canister of nerve gas inside a busy shopping mall. In Season 3, the President and CTU agents must choose between the life of a high-ranking CTU official and the imminent threat of further attacks, while Season 4 is notable for a scene in which two men — one of whom possesses crucial information about a nuclear missile strike, and the other is the ex-husband of a major character — lie dying in an emergency room, creating the ethical dilemma of whom to save. In addition, the sitting President often has to deal with a similar quandary. For example, in Season 6, President Wayne Palmer asks Jack Bauer to sacrifice himself in exchange for the location of a known terrorist. The first season began and ended at midnight, leading to the situation that the main characters had to go almost two days without sleep. Later seasons have tended to use a less punishing time window, starting in the morning or early afternoon.

The success of 24 has led to the series being extended into other arenas, including media specifically created for mobile devices and the internet. In addition, the series has spawned video and board games, toys, soundtracks from both the series and the video game, and a number of original novels inspired by the series, as well as a number of "behind-the-scenes" books. A feature film based upon the series is scheduled for sometime in the future.

The last season kind of sucked, though.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:49:25 AM
Wow I can't believe I'm the only one who thinks this show kicks ass. ???

From the little I've seen (all the available First Doctor adventures and only a small handful of the others), it's a pretty fun show, but I know so little about it, so I didn't put it on mine.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 17, 2007, 11:54:18 AM
[The last season kind of sucked, though.

 ;D
I like your honesty Greg.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 11:56:03 AM
Meanwhile, out of left field:

(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/4350/monkeymagicdi9.jpg)

19. Monkey - (1978) - 25 points
(1 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 TripeHoundRedux)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078659/

Monkey is the English language version of a Japanese television series, based on the classic Chinese novel "Journey to the West" by Wu Cheng'en. The show, originally titled "Saiyūki", is unusual in that it was performed by Japanese actors in China and then dubbed into English. The English language version, Monkey, was produced by the BBC. Monkey, the title character, "born from a stone egg on a mountain top", was a brash king of a monkey tribe. He achieved a little "enlightenment" and proclaimed himself "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven". After demanding the "gift" of a magical staff from a powerful Dragon king, Monkey is approached by Heaven to join their host in the lowly position of "Keeper of the Peaches of Immortality". Monkey being greedy eats them all, becoming immortal and running amok. Having earned the ire of Heaven and being bested in a challenge by an omniscient, mighty, but benevolent, cloud-dwelling deified Buddha (specifically Avelokitesvara aka Guan Yin, Buddha of Compassion), Monkey is imprisoned under a mountain in order to learn humility.

Eventually Monkey is released by the priest Tripitaka' in AD 630, who has been tasked by the Boddhisatva Guanyin to undertake a pilgrimage to India to fetch holy scriptures. The pair soon recruits two former members of the heavenly host who were cast out as a result of Monkey's transgressions: Sandy, the water monster and ex-cannibal, expelled from heaven after his interference caused a precious jade cup to be broken, and Pigsy, a pig monster consumed with lust and gluttony, who was expelled from heaven after harassing star princess Vega for a kiss. A dragon, Yu Lung, eats Tripitaka's horse but upon discovering the horse was carrying Tripitaka, assumes the shape of a horse to carry him on his journey; later in the story he occasionally assumes human form to assist his new master.

Monkey is considered a cult classic in countries where it has been shown, especially in Australia, where its immediate widespread popularity superseded that of Japan and the UK. Among the features that have contributed to its cult appeal are the theme song, the dubbed dialogue spoken in a variety of over-the-top "Oriental" accents and the fact that the young priest Tripitaka was played by a woman.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 17, 2007, 12:01:29 PM
Oh Yeah baby, the indisputably best show EVAH!!!! ;D

Except you know it's position would indicate that it's disputable  :D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 17, 2007, 12:04:59 PM
I'm amazed at how British heavy this list is... never seen Dr. Who... it's on Netflix "watch now", I'll give it a go for ya Trippe

Watch something with Tom Baker in it (4th Doctor) or John Pertwee (3rd)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 17, 2007, 12:06:14 PM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/4350/monkeymagicdi9.jpg)

We should use this picture in the Photo Riff thread.  It makes me laugh.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 12:06:15 PM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/2773/138068891e55873fa0codk6.jpg)

18. Star Trek: Voyager - (1995) - 25 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - 2 #4 votes, RVR II, YooHooRiffer)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112178/

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded 70,000 light-years from Earth while pursuing a terrorist Maquis ship. Both ships' crews merge aboard Voyager to make the 75-year journey home. Voyager was created to launch UPN, a television network planned by Paramount. (Paramount considered launching a network on its own in 1977, which would have been anchored by the now-abandon TV series Star Trek: Phase II.) Planning started in 1993, and seeds for the show's backstory, including the development of the Maquis, were placed in several Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes.

In the pilot episode, "Caretaker," Voyager is on a mission to locate a missing ship piloted by Maquis terrorists. Captain Kathryn Janeway brings Tom Paris, a former Starfleet member, out of prison to help find the ship. During a chase through the dangerous Badlands, an ancient alien known as the Caretaker transports both vessels to the Delta Quadrant, on the other side of the galaxy. While pulled across the galaxy, several members of Voyager's crew are killed, including the first officer, helmsman, chief engineer, and all medical personnel. Both ships are attacked by Kazon raiders intent on capturing the Caretaker's Array, used to transport the ships. The Maquis ship collides with a Kazon ship, destroying both, after the Maquis crew transport to Voyager. Believing the Kazon will use the Array to harm the Ocampa, Janeway decides to destroy it rather than use it to return home.

As with all other Star Trek series, the original Star Trek's Klingons and Romulans appear in Star Trek: Voyager.[1] Majel Barrett again voices the ship's computer. Voyager saw appearances by several characters and races who initially appear in The Next Generation: Q, William Riker, Deanna Troi, and Reginald Barclay. The Borg, Cardassians, Bajorans, and Ferengi also appear, as does the Maquis terrorist group. The Borg Queen, the antagonist from Star Trek: First Contact, makes several appearances in Voyager; Alice Krige, who played the character in First Contact, reprised the role for the series finale. Quark from Deep Space Nine appears in Voyager's pilot.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 17, 2007, 12:09:58 PM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/4350/monkeymagicdi9.jpg)

We should use this picture in the Photo Riff thread.  It makes me laugh.

Done (http://www.rifftrax.com/smf/index.php/topic,189.msg117041.html#msg117041)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 12:15:36 PM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/5351/ship72ga9.jpg)

17. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - (1993) - 25 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 RVR II)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106145/

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television program. A spin-off of Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9 began while its parent series was still on the air, and there were several crossover episodes between the two shows. In addition, two Next Generation characters, Miles O'Brien and Worf, became regular members of DS9. However, unlike its predecessor, DS9 often broke the rules laid down by Roddenberry, such as the prohibition against interpersonal conflicts between the main characters. Also, unlike the other Star Trek programs, DS9 took place on a space station instead of a starship. This made continuing story arcs and the appearance of recurring characters much more feasible. The show is noted for its well-developed characters and its original, complex plots. The series also depended on darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and an emphasis (in later seasons) on many aspects of war.

Conceived in 1991, shortly before Gene Roddenberry’s death, DS9 centers on the space station Deep Space 9 (original Cardassian designation Terok Nor), which is under the joint control of the United Federation of Planets and Bajor, a planet recently liberated from a long, brutal Cardassian occupation. In the first episode, Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko takes charge of Deep Space Nine. He and Jadzia Dax stumble upon the first stable wormhole ever found, allowing access to the distant, unexplored Gamma Quadrant, and discover that it is inhabited by beings who are not bound by normal space and time. To the religious people of Bajor, the wormhole aliens are the Prophets and the wormhole itself is the long-prophesied Celestial Temple. Sisko is hailed as the Emissary of the Prophets. The station quickly becomes a center for exploration, interstellar trade, political maneuvering, and eventually open conflict.

DS9 is also notable for breaking several cultural taboos during its run. Most prominent among these is the issue of homosexuality. Gay and gay-friendly fans of the franchise had been waiting for a Star Trek television spin-off to address how the utopian society dealt with the issue of sexual orientation, since Gene Roddenberry had promised to tackle the issue in 1987. While Star Trek: The Next Generation would occasionally gingerly address the issue through gender identity, DS9 had two episodes with lesbian kisses.In addition to sexuality, there were several instances of potentially offensive language during the series' run, unprecedented for the Star Trek franchise (although Star Trek: Enterprise went much further, even using the phrase "you son of a bitch" in its pilot). The episode "Far Beyond the Stars", much of which takes place in 1950s Earth, features a scene in which Cirroc Lofton, as an African-American man, claims that blacks will never get to space except to "shine the shoes" of whites, to whom his character feels blacks "would always be niggers." Although not the first time the word had been used on American television (it was commonly used in dramas in the 1970s as well as the groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family), by the late 1990s, the word had all but vanished in any context in mainstream media. Another occurrence likely went unnoticed among American audiences; in the episode "Time’s Orphan", Irish Chief O’Brien utters the British and Irish swear word "bollocks". In addition to these, the series spawned and used several racial epithets for alien races in the series, namely "spoonhead" and "Cardies" for Cardassians; however, given that the series revolved largely around the Cardassian's occupation of Bajor, this is more a matter of theme and scriptwriting than actual offensive terminology.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 12:21:23 PM
(http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/3700/homemovieswalterperry17gl3.jpg)

16. Home Movies - (1999) - 25 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 rocket9)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0197159/

Home Movies is a dialogue-driven American animated television series. It is about eight-year-old Brendon Small (voiced by the creator, head writer, and lead musician of Home Movies, Brendon Small), who makes home films with his friends, Melissa Robbins and Jason Papadopolous, in his spare time. He lives with his divorced mother, Paula, and his adopted baby sister, Josie. He is also friends with his alcoholic, short-tempered soccer coach, John McGuirk.

A recurring visual theme within the show are lawn gnomes, which tend to make random but subtle appearances in the background of many scenes (even a gnome-shaped guitar appears in a music shop in the episode “Guitarmageddon”). At least one lawn gnome can be found in every episode of the series, as well as on the DVD box art.

In its first season, Home Movies utilized Soup2Nuts’s patented Squigglevision technology to animate the show but later abandoned that for the cheaper, more malleable Macromedia Flash animation. The switch was initiated for several reasons: scattered negative response to Squigglevision (from both critics and potential fans), limitations in regard to movement (fluid motion is rare in Squigglevision), and the view that Squigglevision was inherent to Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and that Home Movies should develop its own unique style.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 12:22:02 PM
I need to run out and do some things, the list will continue in about half an hour.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 17, 2007, 12:29:34 PM
Oh, hey Greg. Sorry about the basement/bag of rocks thing earlier.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: googergieger on July 17, 2007, 12:38:07 PM
so you have home movies going for this list, what else is here?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:00:35 PM
(http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/1820/htg0001georgethetimelespr2.jpg)

15. Seinfeld - (1990) - 26 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #10 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098904/

Seinfeld is an Emmy Award-winning sitcom. The series was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, with the latter starring as an eponymous, fictionalized version of himself. Set predominantly in an apartment block on New York City's Upper West Side, the show features a host of Jerry's friends and acquaintances, including George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).

Seinfeld was pitched, like the self-parodying "show within a show" of season four, as a "show about nothing". It is a show about four friends and their misadventures in the upper west side of Manhattan. Seinfeld stood out from the typical family- or coworker-driven TV sitcoms of its time. None of the Seinfeld characters were related by blood or worked together. Unlike most sitcoms, its episodes didn't revolve around central dramatic events or contrived comic situations; instead, the plots focused on real life minutiae—such as waiting in line at the movies, going out for dinner, or buying a suit. The show generally begins with Jerry Seinfeld delivering a stand-up comedy routine in a club (in reality, the studio); the theme of his act set-up the plot of each episode. This device deliberately blurred the distinction between the actor and his character. It also revealed where Jerry (the fictional comedian) got his material. Originally, the clips bookended the episodes, as well as functioning as cutscenes during the show. After season three, the cutscenes in the middle of the episodes became less common; after season five, the clips that ended the shows also became less common; and after season seven, the clips were discontinued. The show's main characters, and many secondary or one-shot characters, were modeled after Seinfeld's and David's real-life acquaintances. Other recurring characters were based on well-known, real-life counterparts, such as the Soup Nazi (based on Soup Kitchen International manager Al Yegenah), Jacopo Peterman of the J. Peterman catalogue (nominally based on John Peterman), and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

On the set this was expressed as the "no hugging, no learning" rule, which held that the characters should not develop or improve throughout the series. This quote is almost referenced in an episode ("The Secret Code") where Kramer says to Jerry "Well the point is, you learned something" to which Jerry replies "No, I didn't." Seinfeld community is possibly well known for the large amount of in-slang, "a lexicon of Seinfeldian code words and recurring phrases that go unnoticed by the infrequent or 'unknowing' viewer." Episodes with phrases "double dipping" or "close-talking" would appreciate the additions like "Not that there's anything wrong with that" by someone trying to take the edge off a politically incorrect remark.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:10:49 PM
(http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/2938/bsgweb014kc8.jpg)

14. Battlestar Galactica - (1978) - 26 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 RVR II)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076984/

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series. In a distant part of the universe, a civilization of humans live on planets known as the Twelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies have been at war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons, and are in the midst of negotiating a peace treaty with them. However, it was all a ruse, and with the help of a human named Baltar, the Cylons launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations. A few thousand of the human survivors flee into space aboard any spacecraft they can reach. Of all the Colonial Fleet, the Battlestar Galactica appears to be the only military ship that survived the attack. Under the leadership of famed military leader Commander Adama, the Battlestar Galactica and her crew take up the task of leading the ragtag fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth.

Though it is often stated that all this took place "thousands of years ago", that is not so. The era in which this exodus took place is never clearly stated in the series itself. Various implications on screen in fact suggest the series was taking place concurrently with the broadcast of the episodes. That is, the thousand year war with the Cylons would have started somewhere around the year 978 AD (by our calendar), the destruction of the Colonies occurred around 1978 AD, and the episodes of the series took place in the years 1978-79.

In 1978, 20th Century Fox sued Universal Studios (the producers of Battlestar Galactica) for plagiarism, claiming it had stolen 34 distinct ideas from Star Wars. Universal promptly countersued, claiming Star Wars had stolen ideas from their 1972 film Silent Running (notably the robot "drones") and the Buck Rogers serials of the 1940s. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in 1980 as being "without merit".
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:17:45 PM
(http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/659/joelmchaleha2.jpg)

13. The Soup - (2004) - 26 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421460/

The Soup is an E! Entertainment Television bi-weekly series. This is a revamped version of Talk Soup that focuses on recaps of various pop culture and reality show moments of the week with host and co-writer Joel McHale providing sarcastic and very biting commentary on the various clips.

The program was originally called "The What The? Awards", but was quickly reformatted, renamed and refocused (after four episodes) after receiving low ratings and unflattering comparisons to VH1's competing "Best Week Ever." The shows have some similarities, but The Soup has managed to create its own unique niche with the one-host format and use of skits to skewer pop culture, along with the ability of the show to make fun of shows on its own network such as The Girls Next Door, Gastineau Girls, Paradise City, Sunset Tan and Taradise, while promoting them at the same time. One of Joel's favorite quotes is, "It's not A&E. It's just E!" The show also uses frequent ad-libbing

The only item on the list that truely has me scratching my head. Even moreso then Monkey.



Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:24:15 PM
(http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/2014/family20guy20xmas203ib4.jpg)

12. Family Guy - (1999) - 29 points
(4 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #7 YooHooRiffer)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0182576/

Family Guy is an American animated television series about a nuclear family in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. It was created by Seth MacFarlane. The show revolves around the adventures of Peter Griffin, a bumbling but well-intentioned blue-collar worker. Peter is an Irish-American Catholic with a thick Rhode Island / Eastern Massachusetts accent. During the course of the series, he discovers he is part African-American and has been known to have Spanish, Mexican, Scottish, "Huttish" (fictional species from Star Wars), and German ancestors. He is known for his trademark laugh. His wife Lois, who has a similar accent, is a stay-at-home mom/piano teacher, and is a member of the Pewterschmidt family of wealthy Protestant socialites. Peter and Lois have three children: teenage daughter Meg Griffin who is frequently the butt of jokes for her ugliness; goofy and unintelligent teenage son Chris Griffin, in some respects a younger version of his father; and diabolically evil infant son Stewie Griffin, bent on world domination and the death of his mother. Stewie speaks fluently and eloquently, with an Upper Class English accent and stereotypical arch-villain phrases.

While other characters can hear and understand Stewie, most of his dialogue is ignored or not taken seriously. Brian (the talking pet dog) is the only character that regularly interacts with Stewie on an intellectual level. Stewie refers to his mother and father as "Lois" and "the fat man" respectively. Brian is anthropomorphized in that he walks on two legs, drinks Martinis, owns his own car (a Toyota Prius, circa 2004) and engages in human conversation, though he is still considered a pet in many respects. Occasionally, Brian will act in a stereotypically canine manner, usually for comedic effect (such as his inability to stand up in the back of a car, chasing tennis balls, fear of vacuum cleaners and barking uncontrollably at black people—which he blames on his father's side of the family). He does, however, object to any overly submissive domestic behavior.

The show uses frequent "cutaway gags" — jokes in the form of tangential vignettes that do not advance the story. The show was mocked in a two-part episode of South Park, in which characters call the show's jokes interchangeable and unrelated to storylines. In the two-part episode "Cartoon Wars," the writers of Family Guy were portrayed as manatees who wrote by pushing rubber "idea balls" inscribed with random topics into a bin.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:31:26 PM
(http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/7076/rodserlingzf5.jpg)

11. The Twilight Zone - (1959) - 33 points
(3 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 Junkyard)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052520/

The Twilight Zone is a television anthology series created (and often written) by its narrator and host Rod Serling. Each episode (156 in the original series) is a self-contained fantasy, science fiction, or horror/terror story, often concluding with an eerie or unexpected twist. Although advertised as science fiction, the show rarely offered scientific explanations for its fantastic happenings and often, if not always, had a moral lesson that pertained to everyday life. The program followed in the tradition of earlier well written radio programs such as The Weird Circle and X Minus One. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to serious science fiction ideas through television.

Twilight Zone’s writers frequently used science fiction as a vehicle for social comment; networks and sponsors who had infamously censored all potentially "inflammatory" material from the then predominant live dramas were ignorant of the methods developed by writers such as Ray Bradbury for dealing with important issues through seemingly innocuous fantasy. Frequent themes include nuclear war, mass hysteria, and McCarthyism, subjects that were strictly forbidden on more "serious" prime-time drama. Episodes such as "The Shelter" or "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" offered specific commentary on current events. Other stories, such as "The Masks" or "The Howling Man," operated around a central allegory, parable, or fable that reflected the characters' moral or philosophical choices.

Despite his esteem in the writing community, Serling found The Twilight Zone difficult to sell. Few critics felt that science fiction could transcend empty escapism and enter the realm of adult drama. In a September 22, 1959, interview with Serling, Mike Wallace asked a question illustrative of the times: "...[Y]ou're going to be, obviously, working so hard on The Twilight Zone that, in essence, for the time being and for the foreseeable future, you've given up on writing anything important for television, right?" While Serling's appearances on the show became one of its most distinctive features, with his clipped delivery still widely imitated today, he was reportedly nervous about it and had to be persuaded to appear on camera. Serling often steps into the middle of the action and the characters remain seemingly oblivious to him, but on one notable occasion they are aware he's there: in the episode "A World of His Own," a writer with the power to alter reality objects to Serling's unflattering narration, and promptly erases Serling from the show.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 01:37:59 PM
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 Minnesota)

The only item on the list that truely has me scratching my head. Even moreso then Monkey.

whats not to understand? funniest show ever!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:43:40 PM
(http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/9963/xfiles243qg1.jpg)

10. The X-Files - (1993) - 34 points
(3 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #5 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106179/

The X-Files is a science fiction television series created by Chris Carter. In the series, FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are tasked with investigating the "X-Files": marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder plays the role of the "believer," having faith in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, while Scully is a skeptic, initially assigned by her departmental superiors to debunk Mulder's unconventional work. As the show progressed both agents were caught up in a larger conflict, termed "the mythology" or "mytharc" by the show's creators, and developed a close and ambiguous friendship which some fans saw as more than platonic. The X-Files also featured stand-alone episodes ranging in tone from horror to comedy, in which Mulder and Scully investigated uniquely bizarre cases without long-term implications on the storyline. These so-called "monster of the week" episodes made up the bulk of the series.

As The X-Files saw its viewership expand from a "small, but devoted" group of fans to a worldwide mass audience, digital telecommunications were also becoming mainstream. According to The New York Times, "this may have been the first show to find its audience growth tied to the growth of the Internet." The X-Files was seen to incorporate new technologies into storylines beginning in the early seasons: Mulder and Scully communicated on cellular phones, e-mail contact with secret informants provided plot points in episodes such as "Colony" and "Anasazi", while The Lone Gunmen were portrayed as Internet aficionados as early as 1994. Many X-Files fans also had online access. Fans of the show became commonly known as "X-Philes," a term coined (from the Greek root "-phil-" meaning love or obsession) on an early Fidonet X-Files message board. In addition to watching the show, X-Philes reviewed episodes themselves on unofficial web sites, formed communities with other fans through Usenet newsgroups and listservs, and wrote their own fan fiction.[3] As has also become commonplace in television today, episodes never displayed their titles on screen or in TV Guide; the producers disseminated the information via the Internet.

The writing staff were prohibited from reading unsolicited scripts or fan fiction for legal reasons, but an online fan base and their critiques of the show became crucial to its early survival. "Beyond the Sea", a 1994 episode which received acclaim, was made (over the objections of FOX executives) partly because "several fans had written messages criticizing Scully's character... they decided the fans had a point" in asking for more depth. In the episode "E.B.E." from the same period, Deep Throat is "shown to be an unreliable character with questionable motives." According to Morgan, "[the network] thought he was just a guy who should feed Mulder information. We went in with the online comments, which, at the time, were presenting some very challenging, articulate notions about who Deep Throat was and his impact on the show." As a result, FOX aired the episode without forcing any changes. Fans also paid close attention to continuity: "Early on, people were really talking about themes and character, and then they became overwhelmed by people who were totally focused on plot points," according to Morgan. The writers received instant criticism from Internet fans when 1994's "Little Green Men" gave an account of Mulder's sister's abduction that contradicted an earlier episode. Writer Frank Spotnitz came up with the idea for the 1996 mythology episode "Apocrypha" when X-Philes at an X-Files convention reminded him of an unresolved plot thread about Scully's sister.

Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 01:51:29 PM
(http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/4390/kryten2xi6.jpg)

9. Red Dwarf - (1988) - 34 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 mrbasehart)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094535/

Red Dwarf is a British science fiction comedy franchise. Despite the pastiche of science fiction used as a backdrop, Red Dwarf is primarily a character driven comedy, with many off-the-wall science fiction elements used as complementary plot devices. For example, in the early series, a recurring source of comedy was the "odd couple" relationship between Dave Lister and Arnold Rimmer, the two central characters of the show, who have an intense dislike for each other but are trapped together in an isolated deep space scenario.

The mining ship Red Dwarf is a spaceship 6 miles (10 km) long, 5 miles (8 km) tall, and 4 miles (6 km) wide belonging to the Jupiter Mining Corporation. In the first episode, an on-board radiation leak of Cadmium II kills everyone except for low-ranking technician Dave Lister (a genial Liverpudlian slob, albeit a more intelligent one than is initially apparent), who is in suspended animation at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who is safely sealed in the cargo hold. Lister had smuggled Frankenstein aboard the ship following shore-leave on Titan, but had been caught in possession of the illegal life form and chose to be sentenced to eighteen months in stasis imprisonment rather than surrender his pet to be dissected. Following the accident, the ship's computer Holly has to keep Lister in stasis until the background radiation dies down — a process that takes three million years. Lister therefore emerges as the last human being in the universe — but not the only life form on-board the ship. His former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Rimmer (a fussy, bureaucratic bully obsessed with rank and rules, who is at heart a neurotic coward), is resurrected by Holly as a Hologram after the accident to keep Lister sane, while a creature known only as The Cat is the last known surviving member of Felis Sapiens, a race of humanoids that evolved in the ship's hold from Frankenstein and her kittens during the millions of years that Lister was in stasis.

A pilot episode for an American version (known to fans as Red Dwarf USA) was produced for NBC in 1992, though never broadcast. The show followed essentially the same story as the first episode of the original series, substituting American actors (including Craig Bierko as Lister, Chris Eigeman as Rimmer, and Hinton Battle as the Cat) for the British; exceptions being Llewellyn, who reprised his role as Kryten, and the British actress Jane Leeves, of Frasier fame, as Holly. It was directed by Jeffrey Melman and written and produced by Linwood Boomer of Malcolm in the Middle fame.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 01:57:08 PM
Quote
Morgan

For the curious "Morgan" is Glenn Morgan. He and fellow x-file cohort now do Hollywood movies. The list includes Final Destination 1 & 3, The One, and Willard. Also the x-files series spawned a blockbuster movie (of which a sequel is due out next summer)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 17, 2007, 01:58:09 PM
Red Dwarf before X Files AND TWILIGHT ZONE!!??
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 02:00:34 PM
lol, more British shows I know nothing about ;D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:02:05 PM
(http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/3181/fireflydossier203gc3.jpg)

8. Firefly - (2002) - 41 points
(3 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 AmazingThor)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/

Firefly is a science fiction television series created by writer/director Joss Whedon. Its naturalistic future setting, modeled after traditional Western movie motifs, presents an atypical science fiction backdrop for the narrative. The series is set in the year 2517, after humans have arrived at a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a Firefly-class spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things". The show explores the vicissitudes of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war, as well as the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in a fusion of the two cultures, as well. According to Whedon, nothing has changed in the future: there are more people with more advanced technology, but they still have the same problems politically, morally, and ethically.

The show takes its name from the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity that the central characters call home. It resembles a firefly in general arrangement, and the tail section, analogous to a bioluminescent insectoid abdomen, lights up during acceleration. Into this mix are thrown the protagonists of the show. The captain of the crew of Serenity is Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the episode "Serenity" establishes that the captain and his first mate Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) are veteran "Browncoats" of the Unification War, a failed attempt by the outlying worlds to resist the Alliance's assertion of control. A later episode, titled "Out of Gas," reveals that Mal bought the spaceship Serenity in order to continue living beyond Alliance control. Much of the crew's work consists of cargo runs or smuggling. One of the main story arcs is that of River Tam (Summer Glau) and her brother Simon (Sean Maher). River was a child prodigy, whose brain was subjected to experiments. As a result, she displays schizophrenia and often hears voices. It is later revealed that she is a "reader," one who possesses psychic abilities. Simon gave up a highly successful career as a trauma surgeon to rescue her from the Alliance and as a result of this rescue they are both wanted criminals. In the original pilot "Serenity," Simon joins the crew as a paying passenger with River smuggled on board as cargo.

The show featured a blend of elements from the space opera and Western genres, depicting mankind's future in a different manner than most contemporary science fiction programs in that there are no alien creatures or space battles. Firefly takes place in a multi-cultural future, primarily a fusion of Occidental and Chinese cultures, where there is a significant division between the rich and poor. As a result of the Sino-American Alliance, Mandarin Chinese is a common second language; it is used in advertisements, and characters in the show frequently use Chinese words and curses.

And for my money, Jewel Staite was the most attractive woman on the show.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:12:59 PM
(http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/7678/48tm6.jpg)

7. The Wonder Years - (1988) - 43 points
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - 2 #2 votes, AmazingThor, GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094582/

The Wonder Years is an American television dramedy created by Carol Black and Neal Marlens. Set in 1968-1973 (each season took place exactly twenty years before the then current year) tackles the social issues and historic events of that time through the eyes of main character Kevin Arnold. Kevin also deals with typical teenage social issues, including those prompted by his main love interest, Winnie Cooper, as well as typical family troubles. The story is narrated by an older, wiser Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern), describing what is happening and what he learned from his experiences in an alternately nostalgic and ironic tone.

The story begins with Kevin (Fred Savage), Paul (Josh Saviano) and Winnie (Danica McKellar) on the verge of starting junior high school in 1968. In the pilot, Winnie's elder brother gets drafted and sent to Vietnam and is killed there. Kevin meets Winnie in a nearby wooded area called Harpers Woods, and they end up sharing their first kiss. This unsaid relationship between Winnie and Kevin remains dormant for a long while. Winnie starts dating a popular 8th grader named Kirk McCray. Kevin briefly goes steady with Becky Slater, but soon breaks up with her realizing his feelings for Winnie are too strong. Becky Slater bears a grudge against Kevin for many following episodes.

The show achieved a spot in the Nielsen Top Ten for two of its six seasons. TV Guide named the show one of the 1980s' 20 best.[1] After only six episodes aired The Wonder Years won an Emmy for best comedy series in 1988. Fred Savage would also gain the honor of being the youngest actor ever nominated at the age of 13 for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy Series through this show. It was awarded a George Foster Peabody Award in 1989, for achieving two seemingly contradictory effects. On the one hand, its concentration on one family evokes the tradition of American situation comedy, from Father Knows Best to The Cosby Show. At the same time, its imaginative use of the techniques of modern television push the boundaries of the sit-com and point the way to new modes of storytelling.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:26:03 PM
(http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/1759/arresteddevelopment2la5.jpg)

6. Arrested Development - (1988) - 44 points
(3 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #6 AmazingThor)

Arrested Development is an American progressive hip hop group, founded by Speech and Headliner as a positive, Afrocentric alternative to the gangsta rap popular in the early 1990s. It took the group three years, five months and two days to be offered a record deal, when Chrysalis Records sent A&R director Duff Marlowe to Atlanta's Bosstown Studios to meet with the group's manager Michael Mauldin. Arrested Development had already been offered a single deal for the song "Tennessee". Hence the nam...

Wait, I just got handed a memo.

*reads memo*.

Oh.

.......

Oops....

...... :-.....

Uh, let's start again.

(http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/5272/arresteddhx7.jpg)

6. Arrested Development - (2003) - 44 points
(3 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #6 AmazingThor)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367279/

Arrested Development is a character-driven American comedy television series. It is about a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional family. The series is presented in a fashion reminiscent of documentary film/cinéma vérité, with omniscient narration (by Ron Howard), archival photographs, and historic footage.

The plot of Arrested Development revolves around the members of the Bluth family. Michael Bluth is a relatively honorable man. Michael strives to do the right thing and keep his family together, despite their materialism, selfishness and manipulation. His son, George Michael, shares his father's qualities of decency. George Michael feels a constant pressure to live up to his father's expectations, and is reluctantly willing to follow his plans, even if they sometimes conflict with his own plans and values. There is constant sexual tension between George Michael and his cousin Maeby. George Bluth Sr., Michael's father and the patriarch of the family, is the founder of the Bluth Company, whose primary operations are building and marketing mini-mansions. Lucille, Michael's mother and George's wife, is equally manipulative, as well as materialistic, and hypercritical of every member of her family, and also seems to be the alcoholic of the family.

G.O.B., Michael's older brother, is an unsuccessful professional magician whose business and personal schemes usually fail. He primarily uses a Segway for transportation, and sometimes converses with others from it while stationary. Buster, Michael's younger brother, is a professional graduate student who studied cartography and other obscure subjects as a youth. He is extremely immature, unstable, socially inept and prone to panic attacks, which is probably a result of his mother's dominance and sheltering. Lindsay, Michael's twin sister, is a self-proclaimed activist, who is flamboyant and materialistic, continually desiring to be the center of attention. She enjoys being objectified, but also protests it. Tobias Fünke, Lindsay's husband, is a former "never nude," who became an aspiring actor after his psychiatrist's license was revoked. He was also the world's first analyst and therapist combined, which he termed "analrapist".
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:33:51 PM
(http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/9612/worfwillaw9.jpg)

5. Star Trek: The Next Generation - (1987) - 48 points
(6 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #2 RVR II)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092455/

Star Trek: The Next Generation is a science fiction television series, part of the Star Trek universe created by Gene Roddenberry. Set in the 24th century, about 80 years after Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation features a new crew and a new starship Enterprise. The show gained a considerable following during its run and, like its predecessor, remains popular in syndicated reruns.

The episodes follow the adventures of the crew of the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise. As the United Federation of Planets flagship, the Enterprise is designed for both exploration and diplomacy but capable of battle when necessary. The Enterprise's crew contact and discover many races and species with whom they interact as a means for exploring the "human" condition. Dramatic devices such as time travel or temporal loops, natural disasters, and other internal and external conflicts often occur without alien encounters, though these, too, are used to explore issues of humanity.

The show's theme combines the fanfare from the original series theme by Alexander Courage with Jerry Goldsmith's theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The Next Generation has other similarities to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, itself spun from the plans for Star Trek: Phase II. The movie's Willard Decker and Ilia bear similarities to The Next Generation's Will Riker and Deanna Troi. The series' second-season premiere was based on a Phase II script, as was the courtroom drama "Devil's Due".
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 02:38:01 PM
Damn, there are a lot of Trekies on the board... I'll try not to hold it against you guys ;)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:39:36 PM
(http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/6131/southparkmomfj9.jpg)

4. South Park - (1997) - 59 points
(4 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #4 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0121955/

South Park is an American animated television comedy series about four third/fourth-grade school boys who live in the small, backward mountain town of South Park, Colorado. The series was created and is written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It is well-known for its handling of current events and its pop-culture parody. South Park began in 1991 when Trey Parker and Matt Stone, at the time students at the University of Colorado, met in a film class and created an animated short called Jesus vs. Frosty. The crudely made film featured prototypes of the main characters of South Park, including a character resembling Cartman, but referred to as "Kenny", an unnamed character resembling Kenny, and two near-identical unnamed characters who resembled Stan and Kyle.

Prior to season four, the main characters of the show were four third grade students (often called "the boys" when as a group for easier reference): Stanley "Stan" Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Theodore Cartman and Kenneth "Kenny" McCormick. There are many recurring characters on the show, including the boys' families, school staff, other students such as Leopold "Butters" Stotch, Chef, Mr. Hankey, Towelie, Jesus, and Satan. There are also many other minor characters and one-off characters.

The show has faced numerous controversies. The show depicts what many people find to be taboo subject matter, from its use of vulgarity ("It Hits The Fan") to its satire of subjects such as religion and cults (such as "Trapped in the Closet"), sexuality ("The Death Camp of Tolerance"), and natural disaster hysteria ("Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow"). Stone and Parker are self-described "equal opportunity offenders" and episodes often lampoon all sides of a contentious issue, rather than taking a concrete position. South Park has parodied Scientology in a couple of episodes. Most of them, however, never mention Scientology by name, although they are obviously meant to poke fun at it. The episode that caused the most controversy was "Trapped in the Closet", which caused what the media dubbed 'Closetgate'. The episode poked fun at the religion and its celebrity followers, including Tom Cruise. After Comedy Central pulled the episode from a scheduled repeat at the last minute, it was alleged that Cruise threatened Paramount with withdrawal from promotion of his latest film if the episode was re-broadcast (both Paramount and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom). Matt Stone and Trey Parker countered this by allowing it to be freely distributed on anti-Scientology web sites. This situation led to Isaac Hayes, who played Chef and is a scientologist himself, to quit unexpectedly days before the spoof on Scientology was to re-air. Many people feel this was hypocritical, as he had never complained about any of the numerous episodes making fun of other religions.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Nunyerbiz on July 17, 2007, 02:41:22 PM
Damn, there are a lot of Trekies on the board... I'll try not to hold it against you guys ;)

Heh... I will bite my tongue as I was too lazy to provide my own list... but if Enterprise, Star Trek and Star Trek: The Animated Series comprise the top three... then all of my hope for humanity is lost.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 17, 2007, 02:44:03 PM
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 Minnesota)

The only item on the list that truely has me scratching my head. Even moreso then Monkey.

whats not to understand? funniest show ever!

I was the other person Minnesota!  It's a great show!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:46:30 PM
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/1338/simpsonsptadisbandsml6.jpg)

3. The Simpsons - (1989) - 64 points
(5 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #3 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096697/

The Simpsons is an animated American sitcom created by Matt Groening. It is a satirical parody of the "Middle American" lifestyle epitomized by its title family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole, and television itself. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening sketched an outline version of a dysfunctional family, and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show.

The Simpsons are a typical family who live in a fictional "Middle American" town of Springfield. Homer, the father, works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant - a position at odds with his careless, buffoonish personality. He is married to Marge Simpson, a stereotypical American housewife and mother. They have three children. The eldest, Bart, is a ten-year-old troublemaker. His sister, eight-year-old Lisa, is precociously intelligent. She takes part in left-wing activist causes and plays the saxophone. The youngest, Maggie, is still a baby who never speaks, but carries a pacifier in her mouth. The family owns a dog, Santa's Little Helper, and a cat, Snowball II. Both pets have had starring roles in several episodes. Despite the passing of yearly milestones such as holidays or birthdays, the Simpsons do not physically age.

The show includes an array of quirky characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, and local celebrities. The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokesters or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. However, a number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the comedy show SCTV.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 02:57:21 PM
wonder whats gonna be number one (and two)?
;) I'm guessing they both feature robots  8)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 02:57:40 PM
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/9397/god2ox3.jpg)

2. Futurama - (1999) - 78 points
(6 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #2 Minnesota)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149460/

Futurama is an animated American sitcom created by creator of The Simpsons Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. The series follows the adventures of a former New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, after he is cryogenically frozen at midnight, December 31, 1999, and is revived one thousand years in the future. He gets a job at Planet Express, a company owned by his closest living relative, Professor Hubert Farnsworth. Also working there is Leela, the competent, one-eyed captain of the Planet Express Ship. Abandoned at birth, she grew up in the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium believing herself to be an alien from an unknown race. And then there's Bender. Bender is a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, cigar-smoking, kleptomaniacal, human hating, egocentric, ill-tempered robot originally programmed to bend girders for suicide booths. He is Fry's best friend and roommate. He has a dislike of almost all humans and other beings, excluding Fry and—to a lesser extent—Leela. Bender sometimes works as the ship's cook, but has a reputation as a terrible chef. He primarily assists in delivering cargo from ship to planet. Bender was built on a production line in Tijuana, Mexico by Mom's Friendly Robot Company. He secretly wishes to be a folk singer, a desire which reveals itself on a few occasions when his inhibition unit becomes affected by magnetism.

Futurama is set at the beginning of the 31st century, in a time filled with technological wonders. Various devices and architecture are similar to the Populuxe design. Global warming, inflexible bureaucracy, and substance abuse are a few of the subjects given a 31st century exaggeration in a world where the problems have become both more extreme and more common. In a jab at segregation, for example, the show depicts the human prejudice against mutants as being so great that the latter have been forced to live underground in the sewers. The characters' home on Earth is the city of New New York, built over the ruins of present-day New York City, referred to as "Old New York".

The series developed a cult following partially due to the large number of in-jokes, most of which were aimed at "nerds". In commentary on the DVD releases, David X. Cohen points out and sometimes explains his "nerdiest jokes." These jokes included mathematical jokes, such as "Loew's -plex" (aleph-null-plex) movie theater, as well as various forms of science humor. For example, Professor Farnsworth complains that judges of a quantum finish "changed the outcome by measuring it", a reference to the observer effect in quantum mechanics. Over its run, the series passed references to quantum chromodynamics (the appearance of Strong Force brand glue), computer science (two large books in a closet labeled P and NP respectively), and genetics (a mention of Bender's "robo-, or RNA"). The show often featured subtle references to classic science fiction, most often Star Trek - many soundbites are used in the series as homage - but also others, such as the reference to the origin of the word robot made in the existence of a robot-dominated planet named Chapek 9.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 03:04:46 PM
(http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/5361/10joelmikecw0.jpg)

1. Mystery Science Theater 3000 - (1988) - 115 points
(7 of 9 lists. Highest ranking -  3 #1 votes, Junkyard, YooHooRiffer, GregMcduck)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094517/

Mystery Science Theater 3000, often abbreviated MST3K, is an American cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc. It features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch particularly bad movies, especially (but not limited to) those of the science fiction genre. The premise of the show is that the man and his robots make a running commentary on the film, making fun of its flaws and wisecracking their way through the film in the style of a movie theater peanut gallery. Series creator Hodgson originally played the stranded man, Joel Robinson. When he left in 1993, series head writer Michael J. Nelson replaced him as new B-movie victim Mike Nelson, and continued in the role for the rest of the show's run.

Two mad scientists, Dr. Clayton Forrester (named after the main character in The War of the Worlds), played by Trace Beaulieu, and his sidekick Dr. Laurence Erhardt, played by Josh Weinstein, launch Joel Robinson (Hodgson), a janitor working for the Gizmonic Institute, into space and force him to watch truly horrible B-movies. They do this in order to measure how much bad-movie-watching it takes to drive a person crazy, and to pinpoint the perfect B-movie to use as a weapon in Dr. Forrester's scheme of world domination. Forrester's scheme was that when he found a movie so bad that it broke Joel's spirit, he would unleash it on an unsuspecting populace and turn everyone into mindless zombie slaves. The sycophantic TV's Frank, played by Frank Conniff, replaced Dr. Erhardt in the second season premiere following Weinstein's departure from the series.

Trapped on board the Satellite of Love (S.O.L.) — a reference to the Lou Reed song — Joel builds four sentient robots that populate the ship (ostensibly because he is lonely, and as a homage to the 1970s film Silent Running). The robots are Tom Servo (voiced first by Weinstein, then by Kevin Murphy beginning in Season 2), and Crow T. Robot (voiced first by Beaulieu, then by Bill Corbett beginning in Season 8 ), who accompany Joel in the screening room; Gypsy (voiced first by Weinstein, inhaling as he spoke, then by Jim Mallon and later by Patrick Brantseg, both using a falsetto voice), who does not appear in every episode but handles the "higher functions" of the S.O.L. (such as steering the ship); and Cambot, the recorder of the experiments who is visible only in a mirror during the opening credits and occasionally interacts with the others. Also making intermittent "appearances" in the show's early years is Magic Voice, a disembodied female voice whose primary role is to announce the start of the first commercial break in each episode.

Joel has no control over when the movies start, for, as the theme song states, "he used those special parts to make his robot friends". He must enter the theater when "Movie Sign" flashes, as Dr. Forrester has numerous ways to punish Joel for non-compliance (including shutting off all oxygen to the rest of the ship and electric shocks). As the movies play, the silhouettes of Joel, Tom, and Crow are visible at the bottom of the screen, wisecracking and mocking the movie (a practice they often referred to as "riffing") to prevent themselves from being driven mad.

Writer/performers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett have recently applied the format to major studio films by selling riffing-only audio tracks, called RiffTrax, on the web. The three have also revived The Film Crew which, much like the later MST3K seasons, features Kevin, Michael, and Bill riffing on old movies (but in a different setting).
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 03:05:50 PM
Alright guys, despite the low turn-out that turned out pretty well. Are you people interested in doing more like these?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: mrbasehart on July 17, 2007, 03:07:44 PM
Wow.  MST3k top.  What a shock!  ;)

Alright guys, despite the low turn-out that turned out pretty well. Are you people interested in doing more like these?

Now that people see how awesome you're going to do them, then absolutely!

Nice work Greg.

:clap:

Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 17, 2007, 03:08:46 PM
After all that, you're willing to do another one of these?
Sure, I'm game. However, maybe you should try the next one in General Discussion. Might get better turn out.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 03:10:58 PM
 :clap:

Thanks Greg, very fun... might I suggest movies or video games as the next topics (shouldn't be hard to figure out which section those belong to ;) not sure I can even think of 25 books unless I put a lot of effort into it... lets save that one for last ;D)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: mrbasehart on July 17, 2007, 03:19:03 PM
If you do films next, may I suggest that you do it by genre or decade?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 17, 2007, 03:39:08 PM
Yeah, TV shows was almost too broad as it is. Here's an example of lists that were done on another forum, just to give people an idea of what could be done:

-Top 50 TV Shows
-Top 50 Comedy Films
-Top 50 Robots
-Top 50 Holiday Songs
-Top 50 Monsters
-Top 50 Muppets
-Top 50 Movie Directors
-Top 50 Action Films
-Top 50 Nintendo System Games
-Top 50 Animated Films

Just to give you guys a hint of what we could do.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 17, 2007, 03:52:53 PM
now that I think about it maybe movies isn't such a good idea for the next one, watch Star Trek dominate again ;)

How about these
-Top 50 Albums of all-time
- Top 50 90's Movies
- Top 50 00's Movies
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 17, 2007, 04:05:29 PM
Ugh. I don't think he wants to get too specific. Imagine having to sort out all the pre-and-post 90's movies that accidentally make it into people's lists.

I like the Robots and Monsters idea.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 17, 2007, 04:47:58 PM
(2 of 9 lists. Highest ranking - #1 Minnesota)

The only item on the list that truely has me scratching my head. Even moreso then Monkey.

whats not to understand? funniest show ever!

I'll throw in some support for that, it wasn't in my top 25 but it is certainly very funny.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: googergieger on July 18, 2007, 12:32:38 AM
this is the most painful thread i've ever read in my life.

hurts like eight bitches on a bitch boat.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 05:19:04 AM
Can we stay away from the games for a bit since I have little to no knowledge of the area.

Movies would be good.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: YoohooRiffer on July 18, 2007, 06:19:39 AM
 :clap:

This was fun Greg.  I'm certainly up for more.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: RVR II on July 18, 2007, 06:36:21 AM
WOO HOO!!!
MY TOP 4 MADE IT!!
Battlestar Galactica (1978), and Star Trek's TNG, DS9, & Voyager!
EXCELLENT!! :clap:
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 06:50:24 AM
Most of mine were there.

Damn I wish Steptoe and Son had made it however.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Johnny Unusual on July 18, 2007, 08:29:18 AM
Other suggestions for later (even though your list of lists is sort of long)

Top Fifty Candies (I have a sweet tooth)
Top Fifty DVDs (as in Extras and stuff as well as the film)
Top Fifty Kids Shows (Specifically for the Preschool and elementary school crowd)
Top Fifty Video Game Systems  (I think there are that many now)
Top Fifty Comic Book Series
Top Fifty Board Games


Oh, and sorry for not contributing this time around.  I mean some I just can't agree with.  Heroes is a fun show, but certainly not in the top fifty.  And I don't really like Voyager.  Why is there a chef?  MASH's Radar would make a better crew member.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 08:37:56 AM
I could be down with most of those but the candy one especially will again prove a rich source of consternation from Minnesota as he puzzles over Curly-Wurlies, Mr Freezes and Spangles.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Douglin on July 18, 2007, 08:43:59 AM
Top Fifty DVDs (as in Extras and stuff as well as the film)
Top Fifty Comic Book Series

I second both of these, especially the dvd one, but it's probably better to do comic-book characters than actual series
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Johnny Unusual on July 18, 2007, 09:32:39 AM
OK but be careful.  One would have to consider whether we are including Japanese comics, Comic strips (which are collected into books) and the like.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Pak-Man on July 18, 2007, 11:04:08 AM
We could come up with the top 50 list ideas and then do all those. :^)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 18, 2007, 11:41:03 AM
I could be down with most of those but the candy one especially will again prove a rich source of consternation from Minnesota as he puzzles over Curly-Wurlies, Mr Freezes and Spangles.

Damn you Tripe now I have an intense craving for Mr Freezes... the true puzzle might be choosing the best Mr Freeze flavor ... ahh hell who am I kidding ... everybody loves red best
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 11:42:19 AM
I could be down with most of those but the candy one especially will again prove a rich source of consternation from Minnesota as he puzzles over Curly-Wurlies, Mr Freezes and Spangles.

Damn you Tripe now I have an intense craving for Mr Freezes... the true puzzle might be choosing the best Mr Freeze flavor ... ahh hell who am I kidding ... everybody loves red best

Hang about those aren't just British? Wicked where can I get some in Detroit?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 18, 2007, 11:52:36 AM
Every groceries store ever  ???

(http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/mrfreezebox.jpg)
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 11:58:34 AM
Every groceries store ever  ???

(http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/mrfreezebox.jpg)

Hmm same concept different product, sort of like how there's two Dennis the Menaces
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 18, 2007, 12:03:55 PM
well that was just a google image search, I'm sure there is only one Mr Freeze. So are you a former brit? I have a hard time imagining a fellow Midwesterner growing up without mr. freezes ;D
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 18, 2007, 12:10:36 PM
Yep, I'm from Stratford-on-Avon (hence the preponderance of British TV shows in my nominations).
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: GregMcduck on July 18, 2007, 04:31:29 PM
Alright guys, I've been given permission for a trial run on the General forum. It's the Top 50 Superheroes! Everyone go over there and contribute so that this is worthwhile to keep on the General forum!
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Minnesota on July 18, 2007, 04:41:15 PM
I do question the thread name??? but other than that look forward to the thread I'll probably end up using Wikipedia to choose names because my comic book knowledge is based off of a small handful of movies and tv shows
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Junkyard on July 18, 2007, 05:07:45 PM
I do question the thread name??? but other than that look forward to the thread I'll probably end up using Wikipedia to choose names because my comic book knowledge is based off of a small handful of movies and tv shows

You want me to just send you my list? I know good charicters when I see them.   ;D
....
I had to try, right? :-[
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Sharktopus on July 20, 2007, 12:06:26 AM
-Top 50 Muppets

I'd be hard pressed to name 50 Muppets, let alone rank them, and I'm borderline obsessed with Henson stuff. Maybe 25, including Fraggle Rock and movie characters?
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Tripe on July 20, 2007, 04:58:37 AM
That'd be alright; Greg makes his top 50 list from contributed top 25s.
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Thom_Serveaux on July 27, 2007, 08:23:33 AM
I think it goes without saying just how large a percentage of these forums are populated by die-hard Misties (myself included).  Furthermore, with mindset that entails, I'm quite surprised that there hasn't been a call for another say, 50 or 100 worst Movies TV shows,Video Games, ETC......
Title: Re: 50 Best TV Shows Countdown!
Post by: Hebs on July 27, 2007, 11:44:51 AM
Oh no, with any more countdowns this board will turn into VH1!!