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There are many omissions that may seem odd: Cosby Show, 24, Miami Vice, Prison Break, Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, Arli$$, The Larry Sanders Show, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, etc.. This would be because I didn't (or sporadically) watch many of the these series (especially those from the 80s).
They either didn't appeal to me or conflicted with my schedule.
Lastly, I'd just like to comment on the fact that 4 of my top 10 and 6 of the top 12 are all PBS' series (currently, or once aired there).
This is the greatness of PBS' programming: It is one thing to be greatly entertained, it is another to be greatly entertained AND to expand your knowledge! That... is the most important and fulfilling entertainment of all.
UPDATE: In the years since I started this list I've noticed a pattern of series starting off well and ending badly, sometimes VERY badly. Of course I'd noticed this before, but never realized just how prevalent it was.
Writers get bored, complacent... they get fired or leave... they lose interest in the story or just run out of ideas... for whatever reason most series usually begin to suffer from bad writing the longer they go on. I expect that... but I don't expect series to FALL INTO THE FREAKIN' ABYSS OF ABJECT RIDICUOSITY (yea, I made that word up)... but this happens more and more.. ahem... "Big Love", "Entourage", "Mad Men", "Dexter"
For whatever reason.. these series fell apart over the seasons until all that I was hoping for was for them to be put out of their misery (and me, mine).
Normally, I throw bad series on the trash heap of history with a quickness. But these series were once -- GOOD! After I've invested myself in the characters/story and have enjoyed what I've seen.. I remain a loyal viewer and hope for a turn-around -- which rarely ever (re:never) happens.
By the time they are canceled, I'm relieved!
The biggest problem with today's mega-corporate controlled networks is that everything... EVERYTHING.. is a bottom-line concern. No long view.. just a fiscal quarter by quarter view. If it ain't a hit immediately -- GET RID OF IT!
Well.. few of the really great series are ever immediate hits! Some of the biggest hits of the last 30 years: "Cheers", "Seinfeld", "Hill Street Blues" (come immediately to mind).. struggled to find an audience. Took two or more years before they went on to become legendary.
None, NOT ONE, of those series would make it in today's network tv. All of them would've been canceled!
The problem with creating a list like this is that many of the "canceled too soon series" from decades past have slipped from my mind... which is why most on this list have been from the last decade.
A list of my favorite foreign films (simply meaning that they were not made by the American movie industry -- as opposed to being in a foreign language... that being anything other than English in my case).
Some of these are great films ("City of God", "Amores Perros", "Revolver", "Old Boy"...) some aren't... but all are, at the least, very entertaining.
Could I be watching...
...one of the best dramas currently airing on television? It sure feels like it.
It's only been two eps, so far, so I hate to jump the broom & risk being married to a soon to be flop but.... This feels like the real deal!
I'm immersed... captured by this tale, right from the beginning. Kelsey Grammar shows his acting chops as he's nvr shown bfr (but I always knew it was thr.)
He plays the mayor of the greatest city in America with great feeling, complexity & depth.. and a menacing streak that takes him far from "Frasier". The eps have, so far,, been well written, smart & intense.
Can't wait to see what happens next.
Falling Skies (2011)
Considering that the producers involved have previously created "Band of Brothers", "The Pacific", "Battle Star Galactica", and even "Taken" (not the greatest series, but good sci-fi); not to mention Robert Rodat who also wrote the screenplay for "Saving Private Ryan"... the first two eps of "Falling Skies" was utterly disappointing.
Noah Wyle, as usual, sleep walks through with his normal bad acting. Seems he should have hung it up after "ER". The story and writing are completely clichéd and amateurish, devoid of anything new or exciting. The latest incarnation of "V" has better writing (say it ain't so!).
Can't believe that these producers, who have created some of the all-time greatest sci-fi, could cough up this fur ball and expect viewers to waste their time swallowing it.
I could go on but why bother, this will be off the air soon and frankly, good riddance.
The Chicago Code (2011)
Wow, so unbelievable it's almost comic..
OK, it's the first eps and it's fictional drama. But it's trying to be a hard hitting drama set on the streets of Chicago (my home town, so I'm more than a bit bias).
Good cast, esp. Lindo & Clarke (not impressed w/ Beals). But the supt of CPD is out chasing down bad guys and meeting w/ Gang leaders on EL platforms? Man, I laughed so hard I saw stars.. how stupid is that! This is Chicago, after all... hell, the police supt makes more than the mayor and sure as hell isn't running around the streets chasing down criminals! That alone makes this a comedy, but it doesn't stop there... yea, it's the Irish mob in Chicago that you have to worry about?! LOL Oh, man.. the laughs just keep on coming! I could name a few more, but really, what's the point.
The storyline has some good points that could prove interesting, maybe they'll kill off the supt. and get down to some real business. But as long as Beals is running around like some run-amok, rouge cop instead of the Supt. of Police of the 3rd largest city in America, they whole plot just becomes more comic by the second.
I'll keep watching it for now, 'cause it's my town and Lindo & Clarke deserve respect --they may be able to overcome the crapola until someone wises up gets some writers who know how to write a storyline that isn't such a joke.
Just a music fan..
I only watch 'Glee' for one reason... I love music! The fact is they could throw out all the story lines and just sing and I would like the show much more. But as the story lines are geared to introducing the varied musical styles/songs, I endure.
There have been several episodes over the past two seasons that have really stood out, musically, for me. Most notably, "Home" from season one with Kristin Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies".. and a superb singing voice) and Matthew Morrison ("Will Shuster") performing a mash-up duet of Burt Bacharach's "One Less Bell to Answer" and Luther Vandross' styled cover of "A House is Not a Home". Brilliant performance!
The more I watch the show, the more impressed I am with Lea Michele's ("Rachael") voice. Watching her sing last season I kept comparing her to a young Barbra Streisand and in a few performances she blew me away with her Streisand'esquire singing style and range.
In this episode she performs a wonderful duet with Chris Colfer ("Kurt") of "Happy Days Are Here Again" and pays homage to Streisand in voice and in dress. A Great Performance!
The duets by "Kurt" & "Rachael" and "Mercedes" & "Santana" duet of Ike & Tina Turner's classic "River Deep - Mountain High" are the two superb musical standouts of this episode.
An essential and powerful human truth at the heart of this movie..
I just finished watching this movie and I was completely blown away by the screenplay!! IT IS BRILLIANT! Throughout my life I've been confronted by the phrases, the quotes, the ideas behind this movie and it's only in seeing it displayed in this movie that the truthfulness of the idea has been crystallized before my eyes-- into a very real reality.
Sometime around the 1/2 way mark.. I could see it... the quotes, the words, the true meaning and I was just astounded! It is a truth that you may never realize, but it is as real as the world we live in. And within yourself, you know it to be true even if you're not conscious of it.
This is genius and, IMO, the best thing he's ever written! He has crystallized the very essence of one of the most powerful human deficiencies -- one that is at the heart of Napoleon Hill's famous treatise "Think and Grow Rich".
Kudos to Richie for using this truth in such forceful writing and visualizations to get the idea into the mind of the audience. I can only speculate, but IMO, if you didn't get the idea (whether or not you like the movie), you're not ready to get it... yet. But hopefully, one day, the truth here will be crystal clear.
I grew up in the era of Basil Rathbone as "Sherlock Holmes" but was much too young to appreciate it and never grew fond of it. I became a fan of "Holmes" when Jeremy Brett played the role in the early 80s (when I was a teen) and I never believed that anyone could top Brett's interpretation.
But, I'm really surprised to find that I like this modern/updated version of "Sherlock Holmes" and Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal.
I hope to be treated to many of years of these performances, but alas, that certainly won't be the case -- "Elementary my dear, Watson".
I just hope to get a dozen or so eps. That would be fine indeed!
One of Glee's best episodes...
... in regards to the musical selection.
This is probably my favorite eps, to date, with the best musical selection I've heard on the show (IMO). The cast sang several classic songs and Kristin Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") gave the best singing performance in the series' brief history! She should be added to the cast IMMEDIATELY! Each time I see her perform she impresses me more -- a beautiful singing voice.
I will have to watch this eps again, very soon, especially the mash-up of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "One Less Bell to Answer" and "A House is Not A Home" (using the cover version of Luther Vandross).
Musically... this was one of the best eps yet.
Not impressed at all...
It took me a long time to give BSG a try.. I'm old enough to remember the original series from '79-'80 and frankly it sucked so bad that I didn't even think to give the remake a try. I only relented because I kept seeing BSG at the top of 'best of lists..' from so many people. So last year I took a leap of faith and was completely rewarded by what I consider to be one of the best sci-fi series ever produced.
I started watching the first eps of BSG at the same time the series was airing its final few eps. A few weeks later I'd seen all of the series and was blown away.
I've watched Caprica from the start and I keep waiting for something... anything... to happen! I was hoping for brilliant sci-fi and what I have is mediocre soap opera.
I'm gonna stick with it.. sometimes the best series start off slow as molasses and end up being some of the best series ever (think "The Wire"). I'm starting to lose hope for Caprica, but maybe my time invested will begin to pay off soon.
This has to improve drastically before a good part of their audience is lost..
Doctor Who (2005)
30+ Years of Never Watching "Dr. Who" will now end.
In the mid to late 70s, during my 'tween and early 'teen years, I remember seeing the incessant promos for 'Dr. Who' on the local PBS station in Chicago. I tried watching it a few times, but by that time the series was about as old as I was and I just could not get into it. My (slightly) younger brother, on the other hand, developed a great love of the series and he and his best friend would talk about each episode with a joy I simply did not understand.
In all these years I have never watched an entire episode and here I sit tonight, some 30 years later, watching my first complete episode of 'Dr. Who' (well, I actually missed the first 10 mins or so and didn't even realize it was 'Dr. Who' until I had watched 30+ mins of it! LOL). And.. and.. I really enjoyed it.
This is the 'new' Dr. Who series begun in 2005, and while I don't quite know if this is a re-telling of the original storyline begun in 1963 or if this is a continuation of the storyline from the series finale of 1989 -- I'm sure a bit of research will answer this question.
When I finally realized that I was watching 'Dr. Who' a flood of memories came rushing back... mostly of my brother (who, coincidentally, died a few months after the final episode of the original 'Dr. Who' series aired) and his best friend (who I haven't seen or heard from in 8 yrs or so) and their long talks and excited recitations of 'Who' dialog.
Now I have small sons myself, and while they are too young to watch 'Dr. Who', I wonder if they will come to love it as their uncle did. For me, I think I will find the first 4 seasons of this 'new' series and give it a shot. If it's as entertaining as tonight's episode I may become a 'Who' fan after-all.
Better late than never, eh?
I've really enjoyed this first season..
I think the series is pretty good... a guilty pleasure. I'm not going to categorize it as 'great' TV, but it's entertaining. I love the music, the era, and Chicago is my hometown. I don't know what direction the series can/will take, but I'm willing to tag along for the ride... it looks like fun.
I was a kid growing up in the 70s (from Kindergarten to H.S.) but it is probably the decade that had the most influence on me... that core decade that leads from innocence to a shattering of childhood beliefs to a glimpse of the possibilities of adulthood.
The music, the dress, the look of 'Swingtown' brings that decade back to mind... the culture of America.. the "Spirit of '76" and the post-Nixon, pre-Reagan, 'Archie Bunker' era.
Having lived through the 70s and having fully conscious memories of it and a real connection to it may make 'Swingtown' a bit easier to digest. The nostalgia helps it all go down. The 'swinging' only adds a minor plot device and works more to bring the cultural era to life than as titillation.
IF the writers can keep it interesting, it could become a nice diversion, a nostalgia antidote. But they will be walking a fine-line and I don't really think they'll be able to keep 'Swingtown' from devolving (more) into a simplistic soap opera...
...but I'm hoping for more.
btw.. It just occurred to me that the young boy/son in 'Swingtown' is about the same age I was in '76.