Patrick Pittman makes a good case for

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2005

Patrick Pittman makes a good case for Homicide: Life on the Streets being the best TV show ever. I loved Homicide and am convinced it would have found a great audience in this age of TiVo and quick-to-DVD (it was a difficult show to catch on Friday nights). Re: best TV ever, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and M*A*S*H have to be near the top of the list…what are your favorites?

Reader comments

sarahSep 23, 2005 at 8:22AM

My favorites are: Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, the short lived Freaks and Geeks, Seinfeld, I also liked the Cosby Show.

SandorSep 23, 2005 at 8:37AM

My fourteen-year-old self would say Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, though I’m not sure it’d hold up if I got a chance to watch it now.

AmySep 23, 2005 at 8:39AM

The Office is quickly becoming a favorite. The BBC version is brilliant, and the US version is close behind.

Old School? The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Two Stupid Dogs.

BurkeSep 23, 2005 at 8:40AM

The Wire - an HBO series about crime in Baltimore. It was created by David Simon, the same guy who wrote the book behind Homicide.

David JonesSep 23, 2005 at 8:43AM

Best ever: The Andy Griffith Show; Second Place: Seinfeld; Third Place: M*A*S*H

JohnSep 23, 2005 at 8:44AM

The Simpsons, M*A*S*H, Scrubs, The Shield, and though it only lasted part of a season, Firefly, because it was the best sci-fi I’ve ever seen on TV…

cramerSep 23, 2005 at 8:51AM

Seconding The Wire. In my estimation, easily bests The Sopranos.

Tom DolanSep 23, 2005 at 8:54AM

I second Homicide - Life on the Streets. Was great. As far as ground-breaking dramas that proved incredibly influencial, I’d also give props to Hawaii Five-O and Kung Fu. X-Files, Law & Order, ER all came with an uncommon level of quality for an uncommmonly long run.

JeffwaSep 23, 2005 at 8:58AM

Seinfeld, Scrubs, Hogan’s Heroes and The Brak show.

James Holiday-ScottSep 23, 2005 at 9:01AM

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned The West Wing. Although excessively idealistic at times, for sheer quality of scripting (the best dialog of any show I can think of) and camera work, it’s got to be right a the top.

DavidSep 23, 2005 at 9:04AM

If limited to name 1 show, The Simpsons for consistent writing quality.

The Cosby Show was awesome, and important.

Cheers was fun, and scandalous for a young me.

The Office was uncomfortably brilliant, but shortlived (more like an extended mini-series or a telenovela)

Ryan GuillSep 23, 2005 at 9:07AM

West Wing; I came in late to this show, but trust me, im catching up quick.

Jerry HalsteadSep 23, 2005 at 9:08AM

I prefer the science shows, like Nova, Nature, and Modern Marvels.

One has to wonder why the Science channel attracts such less-than-scientific (i.e. sleazy) advertisements .



jackieSep 23, 2005 at 9:14AM

Does anyone remember SportsNight?I thought that was a perfect show.

ReubenSep 23, 2005 at 9:15AM

Homicide is definitely at the top of my list as well. Other favorites include: Freaks and Geeks, Cupid, The Adventures of Pete and Pete (on Nickelodeon) and M*A*S*H.

R. Marie CoxSep 23, 2005 at 9:17AM

All that have been mentioned plus MythBusters, FrontLine and Recess.

SmartAssSep 23, 2005 at 9:19AM

I remember Sports Nights, and was gonna say the same thing. As for dialogue, I preferred the snappy, quick wit banter of SN over the West Wing any day. But, the show never found an audience and it was a quickly gone.

MattSep 23, 2005 at 9:19AM

Absolutely the West Wing.

jackieSep 23, 2005 at 9:20AM

Sort of a Fawlty Towers of our time and country

AndrewSep 23, 2005 at 9:22AM

Law and Order—Each series is unique in its own way. It’s hard not to be impressed
by the series’ longevity as well. Besides, how can you go wrong when the Law and Order crew works with
the Homicide crew? The occasional tie in between the two shows is great.

David TallanSep 23, 2005 at 9:22AM


Firefly didn’t last too long, but was pretty great. When Buffy was good, it was really good. The early years of Cheers. The Ed Sullivan Show had some pretty good acts. I can see why some would include The West Wing (again, early years for me). Up there with M*A*S*H, I’d put All in the Family.

Right now, the only show I watch with any regularity is Corner Gas.

J.D. RothSep 23, 2005 at 9:24AM

Freaks and Geeks and Sports Night are both great, and excellent to watch on DVD, but for my money nothing compares to Arrested Development. In fact, I can’t believe that nobody has mentioned it yet. This show is fantastic: absolutely hilarious. The first season is out on DVD, and the second comes out on October 11th. If you haven’t seen it, give it a chance. It takes a few episodes to gain strength (because each episode builds on the last), but by the time you’ve reached the middle of the first season, you realize just how great it is. It’s one of those shows that gets better every time you watch it. (My wife has watched the first season three times in the past three months.)

Arrested Development!

NelsSep 23, 2005 at 9:30AM

I can’t remember a cop drama that I watched on a more religious basis. I saw nearly every episode. And that’s B.B.C. (Before Bram Cohen.) I liked everything about it. The screenplay, the cinematic style, the dialog. The cases were almost never contrived, and yet so evocative. And of course, especially Andre Braugher’s character.

JeffSep 23, 2005 at 9:30AM

If I ever get murdered I want Pembleton on the investigation (and Nate Fisher to console my wife….hmmm, actually skip that).
I think Mystery Science Theater 3000 deserves to be on the list as well. It inspired me to never shut up while watching a bad movie.

NelsSep 23, 2005 at 9:31AM

Oh. And the freakin’ BOX!

BryanSep 23, 2005 at 9:40AM

I thought Moonlighting had some excellent writing and the chemistry between Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd was always engaging. I also loved Northern Exposure which was unique in its quirkiness. As for current shows, Lost has quickly risen to “all-time” status in my book.

Jason ColemanSep 23, 2005 at 9:44AM

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Northern Exposure yet. I loved that show, even after Rob Morrow left. Too bad most folks don’t want to watch a show after the lead character leaves.

All the shows here are greats. My wife and I also watch a number of BBC shows (no, not Eastenders). We really enjoyed Monarch of the Glen, which is kind of like a Scottish Northern Exposure.

EricSep 23, 2005 at 9:45AM

HBO’s Deadwood by far.

JasonSep 23, 2005 at 9:47AM

Arrested Development. easily the best written/acted comedy to grace the television screen.

Jason ColemanSep 23, 2005 at 9:47AM

Bryan, I’m glad you enjoy NX, too. Lost is really great as well. Both go to show that good writing can make any oddball idea turn great.

peteSep 23, 2005 at 9:51AM

My favorite show is a CBC comedy called “Made In Canada” which is about a Canadian TV production studio ,and it stars Rick Mercer

Phillip B OldhamSep 23, 2005 at 9:53AM

On my list there’s Mystery Science Theater 3000, ER, and Northern Exposure gets a nod too. Comming from the UK I’d have to add TopGear and Red Dwarf. Oh, and Transformers.

edierayeSep 23, 2005 at 9:56AM

And another vote for Sports Night. Best. Show. Ever.

Honorable mentions:
Couplings (BBC version - I’ve never laughed so hard at a TV show)
Anything by Joss Whedon
That Girl - because she was everything I wanted to be

AnonymousSep 23, 2005 at 9:56AM

The Wire is easily one of the greatest shows of all time.

Dan PSep 23, 2005 at 10:03AM

American Network TV: Northern Exposure & The Simpsons. American Cable TV: Mystery Science Theater 3000. British TV: The Office, Monty Python. Canadian TV: The Vacant Lot (Knee Slap!), Kids in the Hall.

Dan BrunoSep 23, 2005 at 10:03AM

Seinfeld, I’d say. For non-comedy shows, 24.

staceySep 23, 2005 at 10:04AM

My So-Called Life.

JoshSep 23, 2005 at 10:05AM

When I was a kid I used to watch this old cartoon from Japan called G-Force and then renaimed Battle of the Planets. I wouldn’t even know how to rate it today but as a little kid, it was the coolest.

NickSep 23, 2005 at 10:09AM

All of mine have been said, but I will reiterate: 24, Scrubs, and Sports Night. I have also gotten into Undeclared and Freaks and Geeks now that they are on DVD.

jackieSep 23, 2005 at 10:09AM

As far as the British comedies I vote for Father Ted. Another show with sadlt too few episodes but each one is a gem

Beerzie BoySep 23, 2005 at 10:18AM

The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Green Acres, Cheers

J.D. RothSep 23, 2005 at 10:22AM

The Wire is easily one of the greatest shows of all time.

Good point. All you Homicide fans (and I’m one of them — my wife and I have watched all seven seasons on DVD over the past couple of years) should be aware that HBO’s The Wire is produced by the same creative staff, led by David Simon (who wrote the books on which both of these are based).

The first season of The Wire is, to my mind, easily superior to nearly all of Homicide. It’s fantastic stuff, and if you liked Homicide, you should check out The Wire.

KirbySep 23, 2005 at 10:22AM

For comedy, I’d add “Mr. Show” and “Strangers with Candy” to the usual suspects (Simpsons, Seinfeld, etc). Would “The Daily Show” count?

esotericSep 23, 2005 at 10:22AM

Freaks and Geeks should definitely be at or near the top of the list. It’s cancellation is one of the greatest indictments against the television industry ever (besides the continued tabloidization of the news media).

AndySep 23, 2005 at 10:27AM

Here goes my list…Kinda newest to oldest…there are very few shows I watch religiously but these are a good sample:

Arrested Development - Has enormous potential. Just f-ing watch it already!
Scrubs - NBC is truly retarded!
Battlestar Galactica - New Series - Seriously…it’s very good!
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Northern Exposure
NCAA Basketball Tournament

LeeSep 23, 2005 at 10:33AM

Arrested Development
Family Guy
Freaks & Geeks (and on a lesser scale Undeclared)
Six Feet Under
The Office (BBC)
Quantum Leap

ShaneSep 23, 2005 at 10:39AM

Currently…favorite TV includes:
The Office (US version is really funny)
Alias (has fallen off lately, but is still great)
Family Guy

There are several new shows this fall that look pretty good. I’m glad to see that networks are returning to the realm of scripted television. Reality is tired.

MirtheSep 23, 2005 at 10:45AM

Father Ted, Black Books, The Office, Sopranos and Six Feet Under.
Oh, and a guilty pleasure, the Gilmore Girls.

Tato PedrosaSep 23, 2005 at 10:48AM

As for american TV, I’d go with:
- Seinfeld,
- Six Feet Under
- Friends (yeah, yeah… I know…)
- Cheers,
- E.R. (I particularly enjoy the latest seasons),
- Simpsons,
- Saturday Night Live.

We also have great tv shows down here in Brazil, which most of you don’t know:
- A Grande Família (“The Great Family” - hilarious!)
- Casseta e Planeta (A SNL policital/cultural satirical thing going on).

Jonathan DobresSep 23, 2005 at 10:55AM

The Daily Show, hands down. Absolutely the smartest, sharpest show on television, and I’m glad that they’ve finally started to get some recognition for it in the past few years.

Say what you will about the longevity of the Simpsons, that show is STILL hilarious, though when I catch earlier episodes in syndication I’m struck by how much more defined the “plot” of each episode was.

Also, Arrest Development, which I’ve been watching on DVD, has this bizarre blend of subtlety and madness in its humor that you rarely see on television. Definitely unique among current comedies, especially for FOX (on the flip side of that, stay the hell away from “The War at Home,” a comedy that is offensively bad.

JeremySep 23, 2005 at 10:57AM

I have to second a few nominations: Arrested Development (Only if they kill it at the end of this season. The current rumor is that Henry Winkler will be leaving only to be replaced by former Happy Days alum, Scott Baio.) , The Office (UK/US), Spaced (This is my personal favorite. If you haven’t seen it, do so.) And winner of the best premise, without any followthrough. G4TV. It seems like they’re always 2 steps behind the “blogosphere.” It feels a lot like getting an eCard from your grandmother, only to have her tell you later how novel it was..

Jonathan DobresSep 23, 2005 at 11:02AM

Sorry for the double post, but I can’t believe I forgot to mention Joss Whedon’s Firefly. Yes, it’s a space/western, so yes, people use hyperdrive to fly to planets where they then fight for cattle with shotguns, and while it takes a little getting used to, it is SO GOOD. Well worth the cost of the DVD. I can’t wait for the movie.

ZelnoxSep 23, 2005 at 11:03AM

I love House and Lost. The early seasons for Alias were good too (last year was meh). I loved The West Wing of a few years ago.

I saw someone mention Firefly.
Oooo, let’s not forget Due South!

CSI is entertaining, as is Numb3rs. Medium is all right. Prison Break too.

Keeping an eye on Invasion now.

I have not had the chance to watch Six Feet Under and the Office, but I’d like to. The new Battlestar Galactica: I only saw the pilot, and did not get to watch the rest. Promising.

ZelnoxSep 23, 2005 at 11:08AM

._. I tried to make a heart for Firefly, but the system wouldn’t accept it. Sorry. Fireflyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!! When I heard the actors use Chinese expressions, that tipped it for me. Hehe.

Babylon 5 is good too.

IHSep 23, 2005 at 11:34AM

I’d HAVE to go with Deadwood for sheer ‘engagingness’, scripts, direction, photography, performances, art direction, music..

Noel BilligSep 23, 2005 at 11:35AM

I think there are a lot of great recommendations here that I’d agree with (Kids in the Hall, the Office, etc.), but I’m surprised Futurama didn’t get a nod. Right when the Simpsons started to jump the shark, Futurama showed up and delivered the goods. I still blame Fox’s Sunday Night Football for killing it off.

M_JSep 23, 2005 at 11:56AM

Homicide: Life on the Street is my favourite of all time… but best? I think to be the best show you have to
demonstrate some sort of wider cultural impact. Because of the dunderheaded moves of the NBC schedulers
that never happened.

Jason MSep 23, 2005 at 12:04PM

Current fave: Dog the Bounty Hunter, featuring a surprisingly endearing and caring case of characters.

Eric BostromSep 23, 2005 at 12:09PM

I have the simpsons memorized. family guy is always a comfort. 6ft under was excellent, watched every season. we only got tv recently, but we rent or bittivo shows and we just completed season 1 of lost. that was good fun, and i’m pretty amped about season two.

we wait till someone recommends a show, then digest a season quickly.

billSep 23, 2005 at 12:10PM

I’d put St. Elsewhere slightly ahead of Homicide. Best comedy is Fawlty Towers.

KrimurSep 23, 2005 at 12:11PM

I really loved Homicide, but to me the Wire is even better. It’s good to see that so many other people feel the same way. For the uninitiated: it’s hard to get into at first, but once you do, there is nothing else like it.

daveSep 23, 2005 at 12:17PM

Two to pick up if you havent seen them: The Shield and Veronica Mars.

Out of the newer crop: Prison Break, Rome and Weeds are shaping up alright.

Bob NossSep 23, 2005 at 12:28PM

I was surprised to see that it took so long for Futurama to be mentioned. I love that show. The Simpsons is still great. And Mystery Science Theater 3000 is fantastic.

LaurieSep 23, 2005 at 12:31PM

Putting aside my early faves (The Patridge Family, The Brady Bunch, ugh), I’ll say The West Wing and X-Files. I also loved MST3K when Joel was on it.

AaronSep 23, 2005 at 12:32PM

I’ve got to second the nominations for Northern Exposure, Arrested Development, CYU, Seinfield, the Daily Show and the Sopranos. One that hasn’t been mentioned, and is really an excellent show, is the first season of Murder One. Its on DVD now.

gtSep 23, 2005 at 12:52PM

Homicide, without doubt. And better than the wire. I must be watching a different show than everyone else. It’s not even close.

And st. elsewhere ahead of homicide? Even worse.

DanSep 23, 2005 at 12:59PM

I’m not good at “all-time” lists, but I would like to point out my all-time favorites in two other categories…

Best Educational Show: Good Eats
If you get Food Network, give this show a shot. Alton Brown is a little dorky, but his show is intelligent, humorous, and certainly doesn’t “feel” like a cooking show.

Best Game Show: Press Your Luck
Pound for pound, this was the most exciting half hour of television there was in the mid ’80s. The remake of this show is horrible, and no other game show has matched its intensity. No whammies, no whammies and STOP!

NelsSep 23, 2005 at 12:59PM

A wider cultural impact is not a function of a “best show”. The width of cultural impact is a function of television programming and successful marketing, at least, it is in the States. Meaning and impact on a personal level is a function of a “best show”. Homicide nailed it.

All these people’s faves look like they were taken right off a list of top 20 rated adult primetime network television dramas. (http://www.rateitall.com/t-6-tv-drama-shows-current.aspx) What a surprise. (Of course, they look like my list too. :P )

LanceSep 23, 2005 at 1:03PM

Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica (the new one), the Venture Brothers

sweetneySep 23, 2005 at 1:31PM

hmm… think the author of this piece has seen The Wire?

i’d venture not — because that, my friends, IS the best TV show ever, far and away.

mknSep 23, 2005 at 1:44PM

Just because it hasn’t been mentioned: The Newsroom.

Crazy MonkSep 23, 2005 at 1:51PM

Wow, Jason, if you liked Homicide, you’ll be absolutely blown away by The Wire (and I know this has been said several times). Still, it’s an amazingly realistic and progressive show about the drug war, life on the streets, crime, and urban development. Each season is structured as one large plot — i.e., no single episode stands on its own — giving the show a novelistic feel. Season 1 is great, Season 2 is probably the best season of television I’ve ever seen, and Season 3 delves into social and urban policy worthy of Jane Jacobs.

Also, Deadwood is the closest modern television has ever approached Shakespeare. Seriously. Here’s a sample soliloquy from season 2:

A man, as it happens a rival of mine, learning the secret of a great
man’s lieutenant, would make that lieutenant his slave. My rival
knows that expanding the circle of the informed, dilutin’ his power,
will confound his intention, so he takes precaution to be sole sharer
of his secret. (chuckles) Then the world being the world…(drinks)
along comes a half-assed knight-errant, Utter, Hickok’s ex-partner, to
put all my rival’s plans at risk. I’d seek audience with Utter,
verify my thinking. He earns his bread shipping packages. And as the
dimwit nobility that made him intercede may now make him reticent,
you, Chief, will be my prop and ploy. Whilst I seek to draw him out.
(He walks over to the chair in front of his desk, a package on it. He
sets his shot glass down on the desk and sits in a neighboring chair.)
I congratulate myself on having kept you around. Why make a show of
disposing of you was my fucking thinking. (Pours another shot) It’s
not like we need the storage space. And if there’s a chance in a
thousand you people have been praying right, (looks up) why get your
bosses attention? (drinks) Anyways, I’ve no plans of us partin’
company. (He gets up, takes the package by a rope handle) As you will
note…I have inscribed – (opens door) no address. (He leaves)

danielSep 23, 2005 at 2:03PM

seinfeld has amazing replay value, sopranos for one time sitting: drama up the heeezzay

JasonSep 23, 2005 at 2:58PM

1. Seinfeld (Widest cultural influence of any tv show ever)
2. The Simpsons (Most brilliant writing for longest time)
3. Homicide (Greatest drama ever filmed, 110% influence of every single cop show since)
4. Picket Fences (Absolute height of David E. Kelly, one of the 5 best tv minds ever)
5. EZ Streets (Plotting, drama, atmosphere nearly perfect)
6. Saturday Night Live
7. Columbo
8. Curb Your Enthusiasm (Seinfeld with swears: what else can you say?)
9. Chicago Hope (Personal favorite)
10. Undeclared (Pitch-perfect comedy, excellent cast, re-watchable x 2)

LisaSep 23, 2005 at 3:47PM

Definitely Firefly (can’t wait for the movie…) and Deadwood are my favourites from the past couple of years.

I like Six Feet Under too (I’m only as up-to-date as the DVD releases) but I’m having a hard time watching them lately, as everything always always turns bad and characters seem to turn from good to evil within a season or so.

I can’t believe that a unique show like Arrested Development can get cancelled when something like that goofy, backwards sitcom with John Belushi that I can’t even remember the name just seems to go on and on.

Sex in the City, The Office, Lost and The Sopranos are also recent shows I’ve enjoyed.

digSep 23, 2005 at 4:03PM

Homicide is hands down my favorite tv drama show. They used have all-day tv marathon, when it was being syndicated on CourtTV.

NeilSep 23, 2005 at 5:35PM

I’m shocked no one has mentioned the godfather of great TV, Twin Peaks. The first season was absolutely incredible, and in my mind influenced a lot of what we take for granted now in good TV.

Besides that, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Office (BBC), and the Simpsons (seasons 4-6, roughly) would be my choices.

KarolSep 23, 2005 at 6:46PM

Definitely Weeds and Prison Break. And I can’t believe no one has mentioned South Park. Oh, come on, there’s so much hidden “value” in that one :) No, really. Like Satan having relationship problems, or that you’re always inevitably going to be voting between a turd sandwhich and a douche bag….

Gurn BlanstonSep 23, 2005 at 7:26PM

Bob Newhart Show

edSep 23, 2005 at 8:03PM

There are only two dramatic television series that matter, that go beyond mere craftsmanship designed to sell junk to the American public and, by almost sheer fluke, rise to become great art. They are Twin Peaks and The Prisoner.. All else is mere filler.

shadytreesSep 23, 2005 at 8:33PM

FUTURAMA! Seinfeld, Scrubs, The Office (US), The Daily Show, Arrested Development.

AugustSep 23, 2005 at 8:43PM

I’m going to have to agree with Homicide being the #1

And I’m going to add, in no particular order:

All in the Family
Law & Order (Michael Moriarty years only)
This Hours Has 22 Minutes (Canadian fake news show that’s been around for *years*, and of course only the years w/ the original cast)
The Simpsons

AugustSep 23, 2005 at 8:45PM


I forgot to add Farscape, the best made for tv SF show ever.

NickSep 23, 2005 at 8:50PM

Twin Peaks
Max Headroom

BarrySep 23, 2005 at 9:31PM

Since nobody’s mentioned any news shows, I’ll mention the only(?) ones worth watching:
- The Newshour with Jim Lehrer (really! try it!)
- Newsnight with Aaron Brown (yeah, he’s a real nerd, but who would you rather have dinner with, him or Chris Matthews?)
- The Daily Show

All great & previously mentioned: Deadwood, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office (UK), Freaks & Geeks, Sports Night, West Wing (w/ Sorkin), Arrested Development, NOVA (here, dog)

Thanks to all the recs here, I can’t wait to check out “Firefly” and “The Wire” !

MartinSep 23, 2005 at 10:37PM

The Office (UK)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
I also really liked 60% of the first season of both 24 and House, M D.

AsparagirlSep 24, 2005 at 12:07AM

Hello, anyone here remember a little show called Star Trek? For a little three-season show with rinky-dink sets and often-cheesy plotlines, it has had a tremendous positive impact on our culture. There was even once a study done at some engineering school that asked students what their main inspiration was in becoming an engineer, and a huge majority of the kids answered “because of Scotty”.

Also, Buffy. Absolutely.

CurtisSep 24, 2005 at 12:23AM

The Wire is the best television show ever made. I loved Sports Night and once saw the woman who played Dan’s girlfriend in the waiting room at my shrink’s office in Beverly Hills. I nearly couldn’t stop myself from saying, ‘Wow, you were great as Dan’s girlfriend.”

Freaks and Geeks is great (and holds up as a DVD) unlike Northern Exposure whose first two seasons were great at the time, but seem almost unwatchable now on DVD — I think that might also be true of Six Feet Under in the future.

LesterSep 24, 2005 at 12:52AM

Another vote for Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks. Curb Your Enthusiasm is also good. Family Guy for best cartoon. And Extreme Makeover: Home Edition would kick ass if they’d get rid of Ty and his fucking loud speaker.

FredrikSep 24, 2005 at 5:08AM

M*A*S*H and Twin Peaks. No competition.

Paul WatsonSep 24, 2005 at 11:59AM

I am a complete West Wing fan. I am South African so don’t take issue with the politics as some Stateside viewers might. I love the sound of politics I don’t understand wooshing past my head.

I never got into the Sopranos. I think you either take the West Wing route or the Sopranos route. Both are fantastically deep and require a lot from you, both together leaves you winded.

Otherwise Seinfeld, The Office, The Simpsons, Futurama, The Practice and, wait for it, Will & Grace. Rosario is classic.

Rob BrewerSep 24, 2005 at 4:36PM

Python among the classics, Spaced and Black Books more recently. Green Wing made me laugh till I cried in 2004, and hopefully there’ll be a second series very soon. Jon Pertwee / Tom Baker-eraDoctor Who was a childhood favourite. The recent revival was top notch; I only hope Tennant makes as good a job of it as Eccleston. Have I Got News For You is an enduring pleasure.

Among American shows, Northern Exposure is probably the one I have the fondest memories of. Twin Peaks was utterly brilliant at the beginning, nearly as good at the end, and rather disappointing in the middle.

Antti NannimusSep 24, 2005 at 7:40PM

The Watergate Hearings were the best TV ever.

“We’re currently experiencing technical difficulties—please stand by,” is pretty great too, compared to almost any of the other shows on American TV.

sacSep 24, 2005 at 8:03PM

Roseanne was the best sitcom ever. I’m serious. Totally funny, groundbreaking, dead-on about the realities of raising kids.

A few episodes of the Sopranos and a few seasons of Six Feet Under are the best I’ve seen TV get so far. Sublime.

Chapelle’s Show is probably the funniest shit ever on the TV. I’ve never laughed harder at television than I did at the Rick James episode.

BKMworldSep 25, 2005 at 7:34AM

I gotta throw a few more UK programmes into the mix. How about I’m Alan Partridge, League Of Gentlemen, Little Britain, Royal Family, Shameless and even…ehem…Coronation Street?

Amanda SmithSep 25, 2005 at 8:42AM

90210, Seinfeld, and BBC’s The Office

HosenpantsSep 25, 2005 at 5:07PM

I wonder if a favorite show is determined by when one reaches a certain age. I’ve thought this about Rush albums, i.e., Rush will always be there cranking out studio and live albums so that when you or yours become 11-18 yrs. old, you will have a favorite Rush album. Like the Mr. Show bit, “Your generation is all ‘Return of the Jedi’, while my generation is more ‘Empire strikes back’.”

Twin Peaks - first must see
Northern Expo
Ren and Stimpy cartoons
MASH - yes, cried at the end.

honorable non fiction mention:
early 120 minutes
those Aerobacize vids from early cable days - lordy

MarkSep 26, 2005 at 2:26AM

A couple of people have mentioned the early years of “The West Wing.” I’ve seen every episode of every season, many of them more than once, and to me, the show got its groove back last season on the campaign trail. Can’t wait to get home from work tonight and watch the season premiere. (And regarding the late, great “SportsNight”: It was written by Aaron Sorkin, the same guy who wrote the early “West Wings.”)

“Homicide” is one of my few faves from more than a couple of years back that still stands up (along with “Seinfeld” and, strangely, “Friends”; sorry, “Northern Exposure” and the non-Borg “Star Trek” episodes). A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I saw a “Homicide”/”Law & Order” crossover episode. She loves “L&O” (especially ADA McCoy) but knew nothing about “Homicide.” At the end, Falzone asked McCoy some “Homicide”-style philosophical question, and McCoy was stuck for an answer. So
my wife supplied one: “Look, I’m from a simpler show, where we don’t think about those things.” Obviously, she was impressed with “Homicide.”

I also never miss “The Shield,” “24,” “Over There” and the new “Battlestar Galactica.”

AmySep 26, 2005 at 7:52AM

I’m surprised to see Futurama on the list. I enjoy it, but it seriously pales in comparison to the Simpsons, which is the only reason I own a television.

I’m glad to see the League of Gentlemen on the list! That has to be the most disturbing, bizarre thing that’s been on TV. Along with Banzai which I am sad was cancelled so quickly. That show was freakin’ hilarious.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.