- Entertainment and Media
My Top Eight TV Shows
I chose to make this list a top eight list because I only really like about eight TV shows. I'm not even joking. I'm much more into movies, but the shows I do like, I feel are really quality stuff. This is not meant in any way to be an objective piece. I'm sure a TV connoisseur would be able to compile a list of the best TV shows out there and be pretty accurate in regards to public opinion. This is just my words about the best shows that I've seen.
Number 8. Scrubs
Don't let the sitcom looking photo fool you. Scrubs is anything, but ordinary. Much of the humor consists of cutaway gags, ala Family Guy, in which the show will take a left turn and shows images and situations from a characters sub-concise. No other show that I know of had such bizarre and surreal humor throughout. Even when firmly in reality, the show is still anything, but average because of the quirky and well written characters. The best character has to be a tie between the janitor and the head doctor; Doctor Cox. The Janitor was ruined in later seasons as they tried to make him genuinely crazy rather than a smart, yet slightly unhinged antagonist to the main character. The less we knew about the janitor the better. Dr. Cox is an arrogant head doctor who can't stand the main character. He has a lot of charisma and even though you should hate him, you can't help but laugh with him at the expense of J.D (The main character of the show)
Number 7. Fear Factor
This is the only reality show I like, and it truly is reality. Anyone can drum up fake drama on Jersey Shore, but when faced with something truly horrifying, like eating scorpions, there's no acting on camera. People's reactions are almost always genuine. The best part of the show is when you get someone really arrogant and obnoxious on camera, and then seeing them get their just deserts in humiliating and money losing ways. Of course it also feels really terrible when those same types of people win everything. The format usually goes like this. Athletic stunt, gross out stunt (usually involving eating something disgusting) and then one more athletic stunt. The gross out stunts are the star of the show though. Watching people you don't like nearly throw up as they try to eat insects and other slimy things is satisfying. This show doesn't have a lot of depth or intricacies so theirs not much else to talk about. If you're hesitating to watch this because you don't like reality TV, well rest assured; I really do not like the trend of reality TV, but Fear Factor is something a little different.
Number 6. Man Vs Food
The appeal of this show is simple. You follow a wisecracking guy named Adam that dines in different cities each episode. The first two places he eats at are based on food quality alone. The last food place however is a challenge that is challenging in one of two ways. The portion is either too big for most human consumption, or It's extremely spicy. The point of the show is him taking on these multiple challenges and seeing if he can beat them. As cool as those challenges are, I think I prefer the regular restaurants and dishes he eats instead. They always look really tasty and his descriptions for food is top notch. The camera work also knows how to frame food in such a way to stir up your appetite every time. If you're trying to lose weight, I wouldn't recommend watching this show.
Number 5. That 70s Show
That 70s show follows Eric Foreman and his friends. They include his girlfriend Donna, foreign exchange student pal Fez, stoner/rocker Hyde, annoying and pampered girl Jackie and the complete idiot known as Kelso (who's definitely the funniest of the bunch.) The strength of this show is in the characters and there is a lot of good ones.The best character of the show, isn't even a main character or a friend of the main character. In fact, he's the main character's antagonist. The dad who's name is Red, is absolutely hilarious. He's a bitter, angry old man who's not afraid of strict discipline or even verbal abuse. Seeing the conflict between Eric and his dad is one of the shows biggest draws. Eric is a lazy slacker and often clashes with his results driven dad. This show comes highly recommended.
Number 4. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
This is an improv comedy show hosted by Drew Carey. Seinfeld may claim that it's a show about nothing, but it can't even come close to comparing to the meaninglessness of this show. There's no plot and while there are points awarded to players, as Drew Carey says, they don't matter. The mainstays on the show are Ryan Stiles, Colin Machrie and Wayne Brady. A fourth person is filled up with one of a few regulars. The concept is that the performers are given scenarios, and then they have to use their improvisation skills to create comedic gold. The amount of laughs packed into the average episode is second to none. The best part is the chemistry between each person. You can tell that they really are having fun with it all. That fun translates to us, viewing it. There's too many classic sketches and jokes to list them all, so it's up to you to check them out.
Number 3. Burn Notice
If you notice on my other entries on this list, none of the shows follow an overarching plot for the most part. I prefer shows that you can watch out of order rather than having to see them in the right chronology. I guess I find it tedious to be stuck with one story and can't deviate without messing up continuity. Burn Notice however has a consistent story, yet it still ranks high on the list. It creates a nice mix. It has an overarching story, but its usually regulated to the subplot. The main story follows Michael and his friends Fiona and Sam as act as good Samaritans to people in need. This always involves action and smart use of spy training. Michael narrates his thoughts behind the makeshift weapons and gadgets that he creates and uses. These are apparently accurate and can be used. Finding out the different spy tactics in what are essentially the coolest instructional videos ever filmed, is one of its biggest draws. The other big draw is the characters. In all my shows, its very character centric. I don't like the boring, gritty, humorless and straight-laced characters you find in the average crime show nowadays. These characters are light and funny. My favorite being Sam, played by Bruce Campbell. I'm a Bruce Campbell fan and he's what drew me into the show in the first place. He's rarely been better than in this show. He's a naturally funny person and he's hilarious in this show. The action is some of the best I've seen in TV as well. Michael can really handle himself when it comes to fighting. It's got some good plots and great characters. It's definitely one of the most entertaining shows ever created.
Number 2. The Twilight Zone
When it comes to shows without comedy, this is by far my favorite. Classic in every sense of the word. This scared the crap out of me as a kid, and the Black and White visuals add to the creepiness. I think this show holds up well, but then again, I almost always prefer older movies and shows to modern Hollywood. Written and narrated by Rod Serling, this show is a masterpiece of storytelling. Each episode takes place in a reality much like our own, but always has something that is just not quite right. That's what makes it the Twilight Zone. The show is suspense driven, but it does have some really cool monster and creature effects. The best episodes are more human and are much better than the completely sci-fi episodes. Almost every episode should be watched at least for the ending. The ending to an average episode often has an ironic twist. Rod Serling was doing twist endings long before M. Night Shamaylan came along. The entire series is streaming right now on Netflix so you have no excuse not to be watching this incredible show.
Number 1. Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
I said that I much prefer movies to TV shows in the introduction to this article. As much as I like movies, Will Smith has never been better or funnier than this TV show. This show seems popular even with young people. Go to the average 15 year old and star singing "This is a story all about how..." and I guarantee most would be able to finish the song. Besides having one of the catchiest theme songs ever, it's got some of the funniest characters. Watching Will mock his nerdy brother carlton, or his angry uncle Phil, results in some the funniest moments on television. The star of the show is Will Smith and even though this is one of his earliest roles, he show that he was always funny and he didn't need a lot of practice to perfect it on camera. Another great character is a posh British butler, who hates the family he serves and is not afraid to let it be known through snide comments, an action that would get most butlers fired. Even if you aren't a fan of Will Smiths movies, I'm positive you'll love this show.