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RLLMUK's Top 100 TV Shows Results: #1 in your referendum


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26 minutes ago, Gotters said:

 

or just save yourself the bother and publish the rest of the list

 

And the award for the most pointless suggestion goes to...

 

Amazingly enough, I'm more interested to hear Treble's thoughts on each of the entries, no matter how much time he needs, than just a list with some numbers on it.

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I really need to get round to watching Mad Men. I'm surprised how high Fraiser is actually, but it's well deserved. Such a brilliantly witty sitcom. Also a good place for TNG. And The Office.

 

But Lost? Nah, mate.

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Two entries today, as I missed yesterday plus have flap-all to say on number 9, I'm afraid.

 

9.  Firefly

 

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No-one can resist the draw of the Fillion!

So I've seen four or five of these and thought they were fun.  I'm no expert though, so must defer to you guys for comment:

 

Mentazm: " I only watched this last year, despite seeing Serenity at the cinema. It really holds up and it's a crying shame Wheddon hasn't used his now considerable powers to do something else with the universe."

 

BruceBruce:  "Nathan Fillion being Nathan Fillion.. in space."

 

Azrael: "Dear Diary, Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy.
Criminally cancelled before it even got properly going. What was there was just brilliant. Much like Buffy I loved the style, characters, writing and feel to the show"

 

Sandman:  "I kinda glad this got cancelled as at least it was all brilliant. Space Opera at its finest and the film was also awesome"

 

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I don't understand all the Beer Bad hate. Or maybe I do. Looking at it from an objective, non-nostalgic perspective, I can see why. But I first saw it when I was 11 or 12 years old and it just made me laugh a lot then, so I can't hate it as much as everyone else, although I do see its problems. 

 

Anyway, if it were up to me Buffy would be way up there on the top spot, but that's just my very own personal love for it. There are fantastic and amazing shows out there which I'm sure are deservedly gonna show up in the top 8, but no matter how brilliant from a cinematic and story point of view, no show has ever managed to make me care as much about its characters as Buffy has.

 

 

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7.  Twin Peaks

 

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A pretty young woman is murdered in a small US backwater town; police and FBI investigate.

 

From this basic premise, an involving mystery unravels in David Lynch’s singular psycho-drama. Bringing his surrealist sensibilities to primetime, Lynch succeeded in the considerable feat of making a slow-burn character piece (moving at what you could generously describe as a ‘measured’ pace) and turn it into the hit of the season.

 

‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ was the question on everyone’s lips throughout 1990, as the ratings rocketed and people were gripped by its intense atmosphere of threat, blended with mildly hysterical soap opera.

 

All great horror is about losing your mind, and watching Lynch’s milestone show is like taking a long conversation with someone's fragmented psyche. The TV-consuming public need a pat on the back for supporting a drama so challenging, and the super-producers of today – the likes of David Chase, JJ Abrams and Aaron Sorkin – incorporated its approach, especially its maturity and fearlessness, into their own projects.

 

A dark vision of the American dream and the country's turbulent subconscious, the fact that a sequel series is in the works after a 25 year hiatus is a real shocker. Due to its lack of compromise and its nuanced, carefully cultivated atmosphere, Twin Peaks is arguably the piece of art David Lynch will be most remembered for in the popular consciousness.  A true classic.

 

Lordcookie said, “The first season is so brilliant I can forgive any issues with what came after. It had everything that makes Lynch one of my favourite film directors: weird characters (but with depth rather than just being kooky […] something imitators seem to miss with great regularity), beautiful cinematography and music and a strange beguiling plot that you can't put your finger on. In many ways this first season might be the best thing he ever did which is high praise indeed”

 

Mentazm was equally struck, “The first TV show I ever got properly hooked on. It was the first 'water cooler' TV I remember - everyone at my high school was watching it, all the girls were reading Laura Palmer's diary, and it led to a lifelong love of Lynch for me. Phenomenally creepy and iconic score by Badalamenti too.”

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10 hours ago, Mentazm said:

I keep forgetting we're actually getting a sequel and have to pinch myself.

Yes, I'm so excited about this. Should be another amazing television "experience" regardless of clear narrative or plot structure. 

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for me TP is the only "water cooler" show I've ever really experienced. Everyone I knew was glued to it.

 

As for Buffy, its amazing how much influence it had on modern Tv shows. Arrow, Flash, Fringe, Lost, Supergirl etc can all trace their DNA back to Buffy

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6.  The West Wing

 

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Welp, we're really getting close now... but I'm sorry to say I've seen but 2 of these, and therefore can't really inject much into the conversation! You'll be pleased to hear I'm an expert (lol) on the top 5. So you can expect some pretty bloomin' long essays on those.

 

For TWW I can, of course, make the standard observation that Aaron Sorkin = Walkin' 'n' Talkin' but that definitely does him a disservice. Sorkin's writing is witty and trenchant. He can take a subject with great gravitas and retain the drama, whilst also making the protagonists personable.  This is a fantastic skill; one he used to great effect in films like Steve Jobs and (to my mind his best work) The Social Network.

 

TWW is the only  - mild list spoiler! - warm-hearted drama in the top ten, which is a feat unto itself and a laudable achievement in this day and age.


Benny:

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"Truly unbelievable writing from Aaron Sorkin. It takes a while to get sucked in, but even if you cannot understand half of what the characters are talking about, the sheer intelligence of the script kind of washes over you and it's impossibly compulsive viewing. It's a bit of a wish fulfilment fantasy for people tired of typical real world politics, but who cares. This actually made me interested in politics, which is something I never thought would happen."

 

 

 


JohnnyNolan:

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"I think this show more than any other portrays politics in a well measured and genuine way and as such could really make you think on how it impacts us all."

 

 

 

 

Cosmic_Guru:

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"I love this drama series now but it was a slow burner. There is some very dry content at the beginning with the appointment of a supreme court judge (IIRC) and after season one I confess I put it down. But I came back, and the core team of Jed, Leo, Josh, CJ and Toby start to worm their way into your life to such an extent you just storm through seasons 2-5 or so. Inevitably with such a long show it falls away a bit later on but the momentum is there to push you through."

 

Emjay2kay:

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"Oh God I love the West Wing. The cast and characters were brilliant, but of course it was the writing that propelled this along. How do you make a negotiation about the best way to conduct the US Census, or any other seemingly dry topic, a central part of your episode, and still interesting? How? I don't know, but thankfully Aaron Sorkin and co. did. I think your enjoyment of the show is possibly increased if you like politics and perhaps more again if you lean to the left. That said, I know plenty of people who don't care for politics really - my girlfriend hates politics and won't even register to vote - and yet they all love this. The West Wing also has what I think is my favourite episode of tv ever, which is the season 2 finale "Two Cathedrals". Anyone who's seen the West Wing probably knew I was going to say that. God it's beautiful, and I get goosebumps thinking about it even now."

 

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If I would have voted, this would have been my Number One, easily. It's pretty much perfect in the first 4 seasons. After that, it loses something with cast changes and different writers, but it's still massively entertaining. I love it to pieces. :wub:

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I just skimmed through the list to try and catch up, and comments on The West Wing seem to indicate that Northern Exposure will not be anywhere in the list. Criminal, given some of the rubbish that did make the grade.

 

Also, no Drop the Dead Donkey? 

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5.  The Simpsons

 

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There's so much to be said about how how radically marvelous The Simpsons was once it started to hit its stride, it brings on brainlock. Over a period generally agreed to span most of its first ten years, Matt Groening's little yellow fools brought to TV a comedy platform that was so broad in scope and full of such clear-eyed brilliance that it's hard to imagine such a thing happening again in our lifetime.

 

Informed by live-action stablemates Roseanne and Married...With Children, Groening's show would eventually outshine both. Using the medium to inject a layer of excess and mayhem that just doesn't fly in a three-camera studio set, The Simpsons see-sawed very deliberately between genres and styles (from prankish horror in the Halloween specials, to serious drama to outright surrealism and everything inbetween) to remain fresh. Although very family-focused early on, once the show hit its stride and a wider variety of characters introduced, a much greater depth and breadth of comedy possibilities could be explored and mined - Mr. Burns, Sideshow Bob, Moe, Chief Wiiggam, Ralph... the amount of comedy possibilities presented by their quirks and wonderful voice actors felt nigh-on infinite.

 

Voted your favourite comedy show by a clear margin, it's fair to say that if the producers had either managed to maintain its quality, or ended it once the inevitable rot set in, it'd be many more people's number one. Everyone's got a favourite moment, apt to be different from everyone else's. Oh yes, we all love Hank Scorpio, or "Stupid, sexy Flanders!" or Hans Moleman intoning, "I was saying Boo-urns!" or Itchy and Scratchy Land, or a dozen - a hundred - others, but there's so much genius packed-in that there's a line seemingly written just for you. There's also tenderness, earthiness and kindness rounding-out the experience, expressed in a way that never felt like heavy-handed moralising.

 

For an all-too-brief time, Bart's juvenile delinquency, Marge's repressed desires, Lisa's over-achieving selfishness and Homer's everyman stupidity were perfectly in sync both in the writers' room and the general public. Forget the later seasons - The Simpsons was the greatest thing on TV for a very long time, and we should always love it for that.

 

Nick R:

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Yeah, it's been poor now for a lot longer than it was good. But for an astonishingly long period (I'd say seasons 2 through to 8...ish), it was pretty near perfect (and the seasons either side of that weren't far off either). It was the programme I grew up with more than any other, and the one that had the biggest impact on my sense of humour and my understanding of pop culture (and of US history and society in general, to be honest).

 

ChewMagma:

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I started watching this when I was like 9 or something. I remember when we didn't know who shot Mr Burns. I can do whole scripts verbatim. I probably still unconsciously pepper my conversations with lines from it. Favourite episode: Lemon of Troy

 

Emjay2kay:

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Do I need to add the caveat about which seasons I'm including in this? If so, I specifically only mean seasons 1-8 (7 if I was being harsh, but "You Only Move Twice" is in season 8 and I can't exclude that). That we all need to add such a caveat did make me wonder whether I should really have the Simpsons this high up in my list. Certainly no other show would be given so much lee-way that I would say "Yeah, the last 15 seasons have been poor, but it's still one of the best shows of all time." It's tricky, but the brilliance of those early seasons really do deserve their place up here.

 

I don't know how many times I've seen those seasons, be it on Sky 1, BBC2 or Channel 4 or on DVD, but it must be 10 times each at the least over the course of my life. And they're still funny, still endlessly quotable and reference-able. Scenes, dialogue, entire stretches of episodes are tattooed into my brain and I think the same is true for a lot of people of a certain age. I have an "Eye on Springfield" t-shirt and I still sing the theme song whenever I put it on (and then repeatedly throughout the day - dit-dit-dit-dur-dit..... dit-dit-dit-dur-dit ) I went to the dentist for the first time in ages earlier this year and signed up for a dental plan, and on the way home my brain was just an endless loop of "Dental plan (Lisa needs braces)". And everyone reading this, I'm sure, knows exactly which voices to do those lines in.

 

I'm not saying something that's incredibly popular must be good, as that's not always true. But I do think, in this case, the brilliance of the writing on the show is truly evidenced by how re-watchable each episode is and how so much of them enters a sort of social consciousness.

 

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I'm surprised that Game of Thrones has come so high. It is entertaining and occasionally brilliant but most of the time a bit of a trashy soap opera and the plotting for the last two seasons has been extremely simple and mechanical.

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10 hours ago, Arc'Tan'Gent said:

For the not-very-initiated, from what season does the Simpsons really start dropping off in quality? I hear it was around S11 (which is still a mind-boggingly fantastic amount of ideas) but that's… 16 seasons ago? :blink:

 

I think you can see the beginning of the downward curve in Season 8, a bit more so in 9 and so on. It's a good few seasons past its very best by the time season 11 and 12 roll around. 

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15 hours ago, Ravern said:

I'm surprised that Game of Thrones has come so high. It is entertaining and occasionally brilliant but most of the time a bit of a trashy soap opera and the plotting for the last two seasons has been extremely simple and mechanical.

 

But newer shows/films tend to rate high in these polls, they are fresh in people's minds.

 

 

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