Thursday, March 26, 2009

I ain't no couch potato

...but I've watched my share of television.
(blog assignment, by the way)

What constitutes good TV is rapidly evolving. Or perhaps that's not the best choice of words. In the last decade alone we've witnessed a change in format and content of television shows, in both what is allowed on the air and what is well-received by the public. In this sense, the progression of broadcast media is a win some/lose some battle. While some of the best stuff on television would have been considered too controversial in an earlier era, the steady decline in sophistication of most our programming is pretty embarrassing. With that in mind, we've been asked to make a list of the top 10 best TV shows of all time. Just 10? Well, I'll try. Here they are.

10. Pop-up Video: You probably remember your older siblings watching music videos on Vh1 when you were a kid. After school you'd sit on the couch with that big bowl of Cocoa Pebbles, and sing what you thought were the words to Lisa Loeb and Prince songs. Had you been old enough to read, you probably would have been laughing too hard at this show to hum along. The basic premise is that it's regular old music videos, but with witty frame-by-frame captions that pop up on the the screen. Ah the simpler days, when something so basic could entertain the masses. In a perfect world, the show wouldn't have died at the beginning of the century. But you can still see it on Vh1 Classic.

9. Cash Cab: Here's another example of a show with a simple but oh-so-good concept. Basically this cute guy drives around in a cab and picks up unsuspecting strangers who soon find out they are on a game show that takes place IN THE TAXI where if they answer a certain number of general knowlege questions correctly, they get cash. What's not to love? It's the closest thing to a reality show that still earns my respect. I could watch this all day.

8. Ren & Stimpy: This is a cartoon from the 90s about...well I guess they are supposed to be a cat and dog... who are best friends and have all kinds of crazy adventures. I love this show for the simple fact that it is absolutely ridiculous, disgusting, and should never have been shown on a children's channel.

7. My So-Called Life: Another 1990s gem. This was Claire Danes acting debut as an angsty child of the grunge era, who narrates her adolescent woes so relatably that you can't help but fall in love with her. And all the characters, really. My older brother watched this show when he was 15, and I started doing the same a decade later when the re-runs made their way onto The N. Sadly, the show only lasted for one season, buuut I bought all the episodes on DVD.

6. Sex and the City: I was never allowed to watch this show when it was actually on the air. But once I got a little older I tuned in and immediately became obsessed. It's about 4 single, successful New York women and their relationships with men. This show is extremely relevant to modern feminism and challenges stereotypes, and can be pretty shocking at times. Great fashion, great writing, very punny. Every girl wants to be protagonist Carrie Bradshaw, and I am no exception.

5. Seinfeld: There's a reason this show was on for so many seasons. The brain child of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld is a brilliant sitcom about 4 New Yorkers who are surprisingly likable despite all the crap they try to pull. It's one of those things you have to see to understand. But it's a classic, and will always be hilarious.

4. The Colbert Report: I have talked about this show once before but I'll continue to commend it. The media needs more intelligent hosts like Stephen Colbert, and could definitely use some tips from the shows writers, as well. Nothing gets a point across better than satire, and that's why this show is pretty much my main source of television news.

3. Family Guy: I like absurd things. That's the basis of this satirical cartoon about a family of oddballs (including two misfit kids, their idiot dad, and a talking dog and baby). The show is goes about social commentary in an unconventional, completely ridiculous way, and is abundant with wit and humor. Look away at any moment and you'll miss something brilliant.

2. Yo! Gabba Gabba: This is actually a children's show started by, and based on, the toy-design team Kid Robot. It's great to see something for children that's visually stimulating and encourages individuality and playfulness. They have celebrity cameos like Elijah Wood who came and danced like a crazy person, and Biz Marquee, who teaches the kids a new beatboxing skill in each episode. The show also has a pretty rad 80's-electro theme to it, so the soundtrack ain't too bad. My 4-year-old neice watches this show and loves it; although, I have to say, I introduced her to it.

1. 30 Rock: This has got to be, without a doubt, the best show on television right now. It's about a team of writers for a sketch comedy show (based on SNL) who are completely out of sync with one another and put eachother through complete hell. Starred and written in part by Tina Fey, the whole thing is a rich, clever spoof on her career with NBC. If writing for a television show is your dream job, then 30 Rock (short for the address 30 Rockefeller Center) is a gold mine. I'm obsessed with it.

So there you have it. Even with all the "Date My Mom"s and "Wife Swap"s out there, at least there's still a good handful of quality on the tube. And that's enough to keep me sitting on the couch. At least for now.

1 comment:

  1. Sex and the City doesn't even belong on the HBO top10 not to mention all time tv. But on the Yo Gabba Gabba you are correct.