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What is the greatest television show of all time?


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#1 jaytan

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:31 PM

What do you think is the best TV show ever? Provide proof.

For many reasons, I think Xena: Warrior Princess is one of the greatest creations in the history of mankind. Basically, it chronicles the adventures of the title character – a tall, sexy, dark-haired half-goddess warrior trying to redeem herself for her evil past – and her lesbian lover, a short, muscular, feisty little blonde named Gabrielle. They’re bathing onscreen in a river or a hot tub in a lot of the episodes, and in at least three, you can see at least one of them naked if you watch the right scenes in slow motion.

While it is set in Ancient Greece in a historical period starting sometime before the days of the Roman triumvirate and a short while after the death of Roman emperor Caligula, the girls travel throughout most of the world and engage in the most exciting and violent adventures that anyone has ever documented. The scope of their travels is amazing, considering that all journeys were made on foot, on horseback or by boat and that they survived for so long.

Just off the top of my head, they spent time all over Greece, in Rome, in Britain, in Scandinavia, in China, in Japan, in North Africa, in Syria, in Egypt, in Siberia, in Gaul (that’s France) and in India, not to mention imaginary places like Tartarus, Valhalla, Heaven and Hell. How many people are so well-traveled even today? At least three episodes are set in modern America or Europe, featuring clones or reincarnations of the heroes. One episode even had a modern-day sensationalist TV reporter stalking them in the ancient world!

They didn’t just go around sightseeing, of course. They were instrumental in the outcome of most of the major events and inventions during that period of history. Xena played an important part in the end of the Trojan War. Xena helped David kill the giant Goliath. Xena was posing as Cleopatra when her romance with Marc Antony occurred, and she also caused the death of emperors and leaders Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Caligula, Crassus, and Pompey. Xena killed off the Greek gods and personally paved the way for the monotheistic age. Xena invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Xena made Lucifer the king of Hell. Xena fought alongside Boudica against the Romans in Britannia. Xena did the kite-key-electricity thing way before Ben Franklin. Basically, according to this TV show, she was the single most important figure in the history of the world.

This series also had the most exciting and the most consistent fight scenes of any program of its kind. There was at least one big battle in every episode and often many more, featuring riveting hand-to-hand martial arts, replete with characters doing wild flips and flying through the air. Sometimes, they’d jazz things up even more by making the combatants fight while balancing on top of ladders high in the air, or atop rickety old suspension bridges threatening to fall into a pit of lava. There were extensive scenes featuring battles between armies on the land and sea, and even gladiatorial contests. In one episode, there was a violent sword fight in the heavens between a group of archangels and demons invading from Hell. In another, two characters’ skeletons battled each other to the death in another dimension. The variety of weaponry used throughout the series was equally impressive, and the violence inflicted was usually up close and personal.

More importantly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a television program that featured as many attractive and scantily-clad women engaged as the victims and perpetrators of violence. Again, off the top of my head, here are all the ways a woman was killed or harmed on screen over the course of the series: Some were crucified, one was fed to flesh-eating crabs, many were kidnapped to be sold as sex slaves (including a group of ceremonial virgins), one was eaten by a shark, one got her arms chopped off, many were shot dead by arrows, some were whipped or beaten, several were hunted in the forest like animals, some were poisoned, a couple were strangled, some were beheaded, a few were impaled, one was shackled in an underground prison where she was chest-deep in dirty water, several were blown up by black powder or fireballs shot from a catapult, a couple were buried alive, some were caught in bear traps, many were stabbed by swords or knives, some were thrown down a fiery pit, at least one was killed by a terrifying monster, some had their throats slit open, some were tortured to death, a couple were tossed into lava and one was raped by a demonic god made of fire.

Also, this show was undefinable. While it was almost always an action show, there were also several absurd comedies, two full-blown musicals (one won an Emmy, I think), dramas and anything else you could think of. It was like a box of chocolates - you never knew what you were going to get!

The second best show of all time has yet to be made. It's going to be a sketch comedy show on ESPN2, and all the sketches are going to be irreverant and sports related.

Wait a minute, forget all that I said. Trailer Park Boys is the best show ever.
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#2 Lidstromrules16

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:58 PM

The Dead Zone......however that show is no more

#3 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 12:12 AM

Best cartoon of all-time...Looney Tunes

Best TV show of all-time which unfortunately I didn't watch as much as I should have...The Cosby Show

#4 interminded

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 02:08 AM


1. Seinfeld
2. M*A*S*H
3. Cheers

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#5 timothy1997

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 09:17 AM

tv guide did a listing of the 50 greatest tv shows of all time.

here is the list

1. Seinfeld (NBC, 1989-1998)
2. I Love Lucy (CBS, 1951–1957)
3. The Honeymooners (CBS, 1955–1956)
4. All in the Family (CBS, 1971–1979)
5. The Sopranos (HBO, 1999–2007)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS, 1968— )
7. The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS, 1993— )
8. The Simpsons (FOX, 1989— )
9. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS, 1960–1968)
10. Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975— )
11. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS, 1970–1977)
12. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC, 1962–1992)
13. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS, 1961–1966)
14. Hill Street Blues (NBC, 1981–1987)
15. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, 1948–1971)
16. The Carol Burnett Show (CBS, 1967–1978)
17. The Today Show (NBC, 1952— )
18. Cheers (NBC, 1982–1993)
19. Thirtysomething (ABC, 1987–1991)
20. St. Elsewhere (NBC, 1982–1988)
21. Friends (NBC, 1994–2004)
22. ER (NBC, 1994— )
23. Nightline (ABC, 1980–present {originally premiered as The Iran Crisis—America Held Hostage in 1979})
24. Law & Order (NBC, 1990— )
25. M*A*S*H (CBS, 1972–1983)
26. The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959–1964)
27. Sesame Street (PBS, 1969— )
28. The Cosby Show (NBC, 1984–1992)
29. The Phil Donahue Show (Syndication, 1970–1996)
30. Your Show of Shows (NBC, 1950–1954)
31. The Defenders (CBS, 1961–1964)
32. An American Family (PBS, 1973)
33. Playhouse 90 (CBS, 1956–1961)
34. Frasier (NBC, 1993–2004)
35. Roseanne (ABC, 1988–1997)
36. The Fugitive (ABC, 1963–1967)
37. The X-Files (Fox, 1993–2002)
38. The Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 1992–1998)
39. The Rockford Files (NBC, 1974–1980)
40. Gunsmoke (CBS, 1955-1975)
41. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB/UPN, 1997–2003)
42. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (NBC, 1968–1973)
43. Bonanza (NBC, 1959–1973)
44. The Bob Newhart Show (CBS, 1972–1978)
45. Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990–1991)
46. Star Trek: The Next Generation (Syndication, 1987–1994)
47. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (ABC, 1959–1964)
48. Taxi (ABC/NBC, 1978–1983)
49. The Oprah Winfrey Show (Syndication, 1986— )
50. Bewitched (ABC, 1964–1972)


#6 GMRwings1983

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 10:25 AM

I didn't see Married With Children on that TV Guide list.
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#7 interminded

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE (GMRwings1983 @ January 17, 2008 - 10:25AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I didn't see Married With Children on that TV Guide list.


And where is the Danny Bonaduce show ?

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#8 Legendary D In 03

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:08 AM

Sopranos. By a loooong shot.
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#9 OsGOD

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:31 AM

Greatest American Hero.... Because its the greatest smile.gif



Just one chance is all i ever wanted...just one time i'd like to win the game...from now on i'll take the chance if i can have it...just one just one

#10 dallas27

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

You can thank Seinfeld for any sitcom or any great show on tv right now. It's just that good.


It's a Festivus miracle!!!

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#11 HockeyCrazy3033

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 12:29 PM

Friends & Prison Break.
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#12 EuroTwinLove40

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE (timothy1997 @ January 17, 2008 - 09:17AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
22. ER (NBC, 1994— )

My absolute favorite show! The old seasons though, the new ones aren't as good. I miss Dr. Greene! sad.gif

#13 OsGOD

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (timothy1997 @ January 17, 2008 - 09:17AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
45. Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990–1991)


Nice! Poor Laura Palmer!




Just one chance is all i ever wanted...just one time i'd like to win the game...from now on i'll take the chance if i can have it...just one just one

#14 jaytan

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (timothy1997 @ January 17, 2008 - 09:17AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
tv guide did a listing of the 50 greatest tv shows of all time.

here is the list


blink.gif

The only shows on that list that I enjoy are the X-Files, Seinfeld, the Simpsons, the Twilight Zone (sometimes) and Fraiser.

Lists like that are always wrong because they try to give too much love to shows from previous generations. Unfortunately, it's a universal fact that TV and movies improve over time. Even though most of the stuff on now is poorly-written, unoriginal or stupid, it looks better and is more watchable. Plus, since there are so many channels now I wouldn't expect the quality of writing to be good everywhere.

This poll says I am (almost) right: http://www.tvvote.tv/

Edited by jaytan, 17 January 2008 - 03:17 PM.

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#15 TeeMan

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:42 PM

The Simpsons. I think there was only one season that sucked.
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M*A*S*H

#16 T-Ruff

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 04:08 PM

The Office....

Outstanding writing, unprecedented consistency, best cast on television, no laugh tracks, unique documentary style, realistic in setting/set..... so many little things, every character is an important part of the show.....

#17 interminded

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 04:18 PM


Let's not forget SOUTHPARK !!

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#18 Kp-Wings

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:19 PM

Seinfeld. smile.gif

#19 GMRwings1983

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:10 PM

QUOTE (jaytan @ January 17, 2008 - 02:17PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
blink.gif

The only shows on that list that I enjoy are the X-Files, Seinfeld, the Simpsons, the Twilight Zone (sometimes) and Fraiser.

Lists like that are always wrong because they try to give too much love to shows from previous generations. Unfortunately, it's a universal fact that TV and movies improve over time. Even though most of the stuff on now is poorly-written, unoriginal or stupid, it looks better and is more watchable. Plus, since there are so many channels now I wouldn't expect the quality of writing to be good everywhere.

This poll says I am (almost) right: http://www.tvvote.tv/


That's the exact opposite of the truth. Movies have gotten worse. You have to watch many great classic films to know what I'm talking about, or else you're speculating from only one side of the fence. Exactly how many great new directors have appeared in Hollywood over the last 10 to 15 years? I can only think of a few, and even they're borderline good. Movies suck now.
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#20 eva unit zero

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:01 PM

QUOTE (GMRwings1983 @ January 17, 2008 - 07:10PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's the exact opposite of the truth. Movies have gotten worse. You have to watch many great classic films to know what I'm talking about, or else you're speculating from only one side of the fence. Exactly how many great new directors have appeared in Hollywood over the last 10 to 15 years? I can only think of a few, and even they're borderline good. Movies suck now.


Movies are better in some ways and worse in others. Eight of the top 20 ranked movies on IMDB were released since 1988; compare that with 7 released between 1968 and 1987, 4 released between 1948 and 1967, and only one (Casablanca) released prior to 1948. That suggests that there are more top-end movies being made recently than in prior eras. That may be a function of quantity, but when you consider that the 88-07 period owns three of the top six, while the other three spread across two groups, that furthers the point.
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