I posted This yesterday about Parks and Recreation being one of my top 3 favorite shows, and was also asked, “What are the other two.”
So I will detail MY TOP shows from 1-10.
1. Friends - For me, this show is it. The end all, be all. This show embodies everything I love about television. First off, the cast. Just a brilliant crew of people.
Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Anniston, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc are all TV icons. This show was great from the beginning. I remember watching it when I was 14, 15 through my teens and through my adulthood. I had the RED Box DVD set of all 10 seasons. Hooked so many people on this show. I seriously have seen every episode minimum of ten times. Every summer around June 1st, I break it out and watch all 10 season until completion. I can recite every episode nearly word for word, including expressions, gestures, and feelings.
The person I closely resemble, is Chandler. Even my mannerisms. Followed closely by Joey, then Ross. I love, love, love Phoebe. Her quirkiness is something I often wished I could find in a girlfriend. Monica and Rachel, very amazing. Not one person of this cast did I dislike.
This show was the reason I wanted to become a TV writer. When I went to Warner Bros a few weeks ago, and walked by Studio 24 where Friends was shot, I seriously had heart palpitations. This show, is it for me. There will never be another great ensemble like this. Sure there are others that emulate it, but this, this cast, this writing, this level of greatness for 10 amazing seasons, will never be surpassed in my eyes.
2. Seinfeld - Jerry. Elaine. George. Kramer. Believe it or not, they set the bar for Friends. They were a fantastic ensemble of four that was tightly knit. And regardless of what happened inside of the group, they still stuck together while weaving wonderfully funny humor, bits, and interesting characters all into one. Who can forget, Jerry actually had a semi-mullet, Elaine’s wild hairs. This show actually taught me a few things before Friends emerged…sex was wild. None of these people seemed to have a lasting relationship for long, but somehow slept with hundreds of people (combined) over the course of the show. George, was my favorite. His over the top attitude, his creation of Vandelay Industries, and his nonchalant attitude was THE best. In my eyes, this show paved the way for a show like Friends. It showed that you can take a big starring cast, weave them together and make TV magic. Sadly, it only lasted 7 seasons, but they were all damn good seasons.
3. Parks and Recreation - What can I say about this show? 4 seasons in, and I sit on the edge of my couch watching every quirky, lovable moment. The best part, the cast is huge. You have legit 7-8 people in this show that could headline their own show. Sure, season one started off slow. But watch it. I mean the 6 episodes of season one were funny as hell. Where this show gets brilliant, is from Season 2 Episode 4 until it’s current episode that just recently aired. There is a certain magic that is created when a group of like minded comedians hone their craft perfectly. Poehler, Jones, Ansari, Offerman, Plaza, Pratt, O’Heir, Rhetta, Scott, Lowe. That is just 10 of the lovable characters. Each week the storyline brings laughter, sometimes to the point of tears. I am seriously addicted to this show. Even my son is addicted to it, and he’s eight. The on-camera interviews, sometimes are the best. When they are fortunate enough to add a “Directors Cut” of the episode (usually on HULU), watch it. It is by far THE best because they add so much, they always have to cut at least 8 minutes, and that sometimes makes the episode funnier. Trust me, I don’t pimp current shows often, but if there is one show on TV that you should be watching, it’s this one.
4. I Love Lucy - My ex-wife got me hooked on this show, and I appreciate that. For her, Lucy was it. And I’m always open to new shows. I’ve seen every season, plus “The Lucy Show,” and Lucille Ball was an American Icon. Not just a TV Icon, but an AMERICAN ICON. I know, it’s Black and White. WHO. FREAKING. CARES. It’s an old show, but a damn great one. Lucy, Ricky, Fred, Ethel. If you’re not sold, watch the following episodes, and you’ll see why: 1. Lucy Does a TV Commercial 2. Lucy is Enciente 3. The Freezer. You’ll walk away appreciating great humor. Lucy was ahead of her time. If she was on TV now, I guarantee you, she’d be making upwards of 5 million per episode. That’s how great at comedy, both physical and verbal comedy, she was.
5. Arrested Development - What is there to say about a show that was prematurely taken from the airwaves, but is now getting a new season and a movie. This show, in all honesty, epically brilliant. It’s a show that takes many angles, but always lead back to the main angle, family. The Bluths were unique. Level-headed Michael (Jason Batemen) takes over the family affairs after his dad is imprisoned. The rest of the dysfunctional family make Michael’s life miserable. It’s an ensemble show, with a brilliant cast. Definitely deserves to comeback. Will be interesting to see how they reintegrate the show after all of these years.
6. 7. 8. (In No Particular Order) The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy - Why did I group these 3? It’s simple, longevity, humor, and brilliance. Each show in it’s on way is amazing. The Simpsons, one of the longest running shows EVER is still good. I watch it week to week, much like I did when I was a kid. The Simpsons are icons, no doubt about it. I bet everyone has at said “Don’t have a cow man,” at least once in their life. That’s the Simpsons for you. South Park, takes a different spin on life, and adds a great twist to day to day bits. The cast is different and funny in their own way. Trey and Matt, are geniuses. Their humor is a bit twisted, but there is always some truth and laughs in everything they do. Finally, Family Guy. This show, is phenomenal. Funny. Insightful. Controversial. Innovative. You name it, that’s Family Guy. A creative play on the whole family dynamic. Seriously all are phenomenal shows, and I’ve seen every episode of each.
9. Cheers - Look at this cast. Talk about a TV show that took a cast and spawned immaculate careers. They are all still going strong. I remember fondly watching this at night with my mother and father, as I played with my little toy figurines. Theme song, iconic. I still think about it. I want to have a bar where everyone knows my name. This, was that, for 11 strong seasons. It was amazing, and funny. And even though I didn’t know what I was really laughing at, I still look back and say, that was actually hilarious. I’ve seen every episode of this show in the last five years, and it’s still great.
10. Married With Children - Prior to this show, TV was really considered “wholesome,” but this show actually changed that. Airing on the new “FOX NETWORK” Married with Children ran for 11 seasons and spawned some of TV’s (up until that time) crudest moments. Never really a big ratings winner, but consistently funny. My parents “banned” me from watching this show at the tender age of 8….but I snuck and watched every episode. The Bundy’s, were great. True pioneers for the FOX network. Three of the four family Members (Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate) all currently have top rated shows on TV, while David Faustino, hasn’t really done much. But nevertheless, this show is truly one of the greats.