The TV Talk’s Favorite Shows – All-Time FavesPosted: July 27, 2011
Since launching The TV Talk Blog started, I’ve been too busy to really write any editorials. In order to give readers more info as to what I’m all about, I’ll be sprinkling in some posts that give my TV perspective. I think the best place to start is to tell you my favorite classic TV shows, so here goes:
Nothing can top “Gilmore Girls” for me. Those season DVDs are probably so worn out by now I’ll probably have to buy new ones any day now. I can’t get enough of those Stars Hollow residents, from Lorelai and Rory to Mrs. Kim and Miss Patty. The show had no formula, other than fast-talking and witty characters, lots of coffee drinking, and lots of zany antics from the townspeople. Yeah, the later seasons weren’t the best, but for me no show is better at blending comedy, drama, and heart. Favorite Episode: They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? – The 24-hour dance marathon episode. Need I say more?
“Veronica Mars” is my number one pick for a show that was cancelled too soon. Kristen Bell is amazing as one of TV’s strongest female characters, while also having a vulnerable side. I loved the season-long mysteries, as well as the supporting cast, like Weevil, Mac, and Wallace. Not to mention the shows great run of guest stars, from Buffy’s Charisma Carpenter, to up-and-comers Krysten Ritter and Lily Kane herself, the terrific Amanda Seyfried. It’s crazy how smart this “teen drama” was, which could have contributed to its less-than-stellar ratings. Favorite Episode: “Leave It to Beaver” – The incredible conclusion to the “Who Killed Lily Kane” first season arc was hilarious, terrifying, and a great payoff to a well-paced murder mystery.
My runner up for “Best Cancelled Too Soon” series is “Pushing Daisies.” A casualty of the Writers’ Strike, viewers didn’t return after the 9-month hiatus. That doesn’t erase the show’s 22 brilliantly crafted and beautifully shot episodes. The show featured a great story of star-crossed lovers who can never touch and a breakout performance by Kristin Chenoweth, playing Olive Snook, whose love for the Piemaker went unrequited. The show felt like stepping into a fairytale, mixing its sweet nature with darker undertones so it never seems saccharine. Favorite Episode: “Pie-lette” – Not that the show peaked during its first episode, but while watching the pilot, I knew it was love at first sight.
“That ’70s Show” could have gone so wrong. It is so high concept and trying to recapture a past time period is no easy task. Yet instead of failing, it became a “Happy Days”-style success. The gang seemed like a group of people you might really want to be a part of, like gruff conspiracy theorist Hyde to the well-meaning Kelso. This show introduced us to adorable bossypants Jackie Burkhart, played by the insanely wonderful Mila Kunis, who is finally getting the spotlight she deserves. The show only gets better with age (other than the better-to-forget 8th season). Favorite Episode: “Cat Fight Club” – The episode pits Jackie against Eric’s trashy sister Laurie (my favorite character), spotlighting their characters while furthering the Kelso cheating storyline and introducing the so-crazy-it-just-might-work combo of Jackie and Hyde.
Mainly I’m just surprised “Arrested Development” lasted so long. It was a serialized comedy with largely unlikable (but not unloveable) characters and crazy plotlines (“nevernudes,” seal attacks). But these are the things that made me love the show the most. These were some of the most flawed people on television, but I just wanted to see what trouble part-time magician Gob’s next “illusion” was going to get him in. Everything about it was ridiculous, but it featured great comic actors like Will Arnett, Jessica Walter, and Portia De Rossi. Favorite Episode: Any one featuring teenager Maeby Fünke (the always-great Alia Shawkat) being mistaken for a film executive. I loved whenever someone would question her age and she would always reply, “Marry me.” Priceless.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is one of TV’s greatest shows of all time. The show began as a metaphor for teenage existence, dealing with the horrors of high school in a more literal way with the help of “the Scooby gang.” The earlier season’s in particular are my favorites, when the show was more humorous and had characters like Eliza Dushku’s Faith, the aforementioned Charisma Carpenter as mean girl Cordelia Chase, and Seth Green as werewolf Oz. The show had some great “Big Bads,” including a sinister mayor and a sarcastic demigod named Glory. As for Angel vs. Spike, I’m not even going to touch the issue of Buffy’s true love. Favorite Episode: Everybody’s favorite is always “Once More with Feeling,” the musical episode, but personally I love “Doppelgangland,” featuring the return of Anya and evil Willow.
What are your favorite classic show? Let me know in the comments!