Thursday, April 03, 2008


I love lists. I love reading them, printing them, posting them, checking the items off as I complete them -- it doesn't matter if it's my to-do list or a list of Oscar-nominated films. Crossing every item off a list, which rarely happens, always feels like a triumph. Like you really accomplished something, although I suspect it's a delusion. Once one list is done, another always awaits.

My NY Post editor just asked me to do a list of the top 25 TV shows of all time, which I feel sort of unable to realistically list since I haven't seen every show on TV. But due to my list love, I cobbled something together for him.

The shows I feel strongly about are the ones I've watched recently: Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City (HBO in the glory days). But it did bring me back to some beloved shows of days gone by: Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Dick Van Dyke way back in the day, The Bob Newhart Show (has humor ever been drier?).

I did include some shows from today's TV: The Office, Lost and 30 Rock, although I'm not wholly convicted about any of those shows. I find them all uneven, although 30 Rock probably the least so. Lost wanders off track far too often and The Office is inconsistent -- sometimes it's pitch perfect (last season's episode in which the Dunder-Mifflinites have to play Survivor-like games to get Michael's job is the best of the series, in my view, followed closely by Boys and Girls, written by B. J. Novak) and sometimes it's almost intolerably awkward (Gay Witch Hunt in which Michael almost kisses Oscar. I hid my face.)

Shows that I'm LOVING right now: Showtime's The Tudors (which sadly I can only watch when Showtime takes mercy on me and sends me an episode) and HBO's John Adams. Paul Giametti and Laura Linney are stunning. I predict they will both win Emmys and the series will clean up come September.

Here's the list I turned in. I'll post what the Post ends up using later:

The Office (BBC and NBC versions)
30 Rock
The Sopranos
Sex and the City
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show/Colbert Report
The West Wing
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Saturday Night Live
The Little Rascals
Little House on the Prairie
Six Feet Under
Star Trek
60 Minutes

Here's Time's list of the 100 best TV shows of all time, which includes several shows I couldn't fit on my list, such as All in the Family, The Twilight Zone and The Carol Burnett Show.

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