Recently my wife and I were talking about the different television shows that we enjoyed in the past. Needless to say there were few. After talking with my wife I decided to come up with a list of my top 10 television shows.
Keep in mind that my list may be a bit limited in that I have not watched broadcast television in many years. This being the case I encourage you to post your top 10 television shows which will help me to refine my own list.
Here is a list of my top 10 television shows.
Did you know that Star Trek Deep Space 9 is said to have been based upon Babylon 5? This is the main reason why Babylon 5 makes my list of top 10 television shows of all time. Set in the future and aboard a massive space station, this series is a must see for any Sci Fi fan. I must warn you that the first two seasons of Babylon 5 are horrible and the acting is worse than that found on any daytime soap opera. Luckily the actors improve over time and once Commander Sinclair is pretty much kicked off the show things become very intriguing.
There’s a lot of drama, space battles, space alcohol, and space drugs littered throughout the series. I must also mention that there are some very strong acting skills exhibited by Richard Biggs, Peter Jurasik, and Andreas Katsulas. Conversely there is some extremely poor acting by Andrea Thompson who plays the role of Talia who has hidden “feelings” for Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova (again lot’s of soap opera drama mixed into an otherwise great Sci Fi series). Despite the fact that the African-American doctor turns out to be a futuristic drug addict, Babylon 5 is well worth a look.
My favorite line from the show: “They struck without provocation, there was no reason. Animals! Brutal! They deserve no mercy!” – Delen
Matlock is a television series that is set in Atlanta, Georgia. The show is about a defense lawyer who goes through any and all lengths to vindicate his clients; running, jumping, fighting, getting hit by cars, you name it: Matlock does it! Funny, quirky, and at times ridiculous, the show is like a down-south murder mystery drama with a little bit of racism sprinkled here and there.
Matlock is played by Andy Griffith who does a great job eating hot dogs, whining to the judge to prove his case, yelling at people in the court room, cursing, and charging his clients $100,000!
Now I know what you’re saying, “$100,000 is not at a lot of money.” Well in 1986 that was a lot of money!!! Unfortunately in 2011 that kind of money might buy you a hotdog “all the way” leaving you with just enough money to catch a train at 5 points station.
It’s also worth mentioning that Matlock had two black sambo sidekicks. The first sidekick was Tyler Hudson who is so stereotypical even I was offended. The second was Conrad McMasters. McMasters? Are you kidding me? And this show takes place in Atlanta, Georgia? Oh please spare me the slavery subliminals!!! McMasters?!!! WOW!!!!
While both sambo sidekicks were bearable I must say that they did a fairly good job at shuckin’ and jivin’. In any event, all racism aside the show is worth a look.
The best part about Matlock happens to be the Dixieland intro music.
Star Trek fans had to wait 20 years for Star Trek to return to their television sets and it was well worth the wait. Star Trek the Next Generation is what got me into Star Trek. In fact, Star Trek The Next Generation is what got me into Sci Fi!
Of course there are a lot of racist and sexist ideologies presented throughout the series but this is not uncommon within the Star Trek franchise. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the racist meter Star Trek the Next Generation weighs in at a strong 8 trailing only Gone with the Wind, King Kong, and The Jungle Book.
In terms of the acting on Star Trek The Next Generation Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Picard, is superb.
Most of the other main actors on the show are average to mediocre. Here are my rankings on a scale of 1 to 10:
Captain Picard = 10, Worf = 6, Beverly Crusher = 5, Dianna Troy = 2, Data = 8 , Riker = 7, LaForge = No comment
My favorite Star Trek The Next Generation Episode: Chain of Command
My favorite line from the episode: There are four lights!!!”
The Cosby Show may be the only television show featuring African-American characters that are not based upon degraded stereotypes. The Cosby Show features a stable and loving African-American family; the father is a doctor and a mother a lawyer. Wow, that’s a huge departure from something like “Good Times”, “The Jeffersons”, or “Yo MTV Raps”.
Though The Cosby Show promoted family, professionalism, and financial success, I must say that the show is not without due criticism. However, in an age wherein African-American actors are tight cast within racially devolved roles we must be careful to appreciate the positive images that The Cosby Show has brought to the masses.
One big question “If the mother is a lawyer and the father a doctor, then who is raising the children?”
My two favorite episodes: 1. When Theo learns how to shave. 2. The Gordon Gartrell dress shirt episode.
The standard by which all Sci Fi productions are to be measured, Star Trek The Original series makes my list of top 10 television shows for nostalgic reasons.
Though mired in racist ideology, sexism, and overacting (Captain Kirk), the series was far ahead of its time and set the stage for modern day sci fi productions.
Nichelle Nichols was a fine maama-jama and Spock was an intriguing character to say the least. Captain Kirk aka Captain Roman Catholic Church was a well known womanizer which is more than enough to bump Star Trek The Original Series Down to the number 8 spot. But I am feeling extra gracious today so number 6 it is…..for now.
Did you know: Originally Spock was to appear with red skin!!! Red skin? Yes! Spock, and his pointy ears, was going to be painted red for the show. I guess the producers didn’t want to have Satan on board the Star Ship Enterprise and risk losing their Christian fan base while promoting racism, sexism, and racial stereotypes.
Perhaps the most symbolically challenging television series of all time, The Prisoner is a must see. The 17 archived episodes are more than enough to have you thinking for days, weeks, and months.
The plot line features a former British intelligence agent that is abducted and taken to a strange seaside village. He is given the name “Number 6” and spends the rest of the season trying to escape. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout this television series.
My favorite line from the show: “I am not a number! I am a free man!!!”
Alfred Hitchcock was way ahead of its time. The show featured excellent story lines, plenty of twists and turns, and wonderful episode intros and outros by Hithcock; a definite classic for its ingenuity, cinematography, and challenging content.
These things being said, Alfred Hitchcock can be somewhat grim at times, or should I say borderline psychopathic in terms of particular story lines. I recall that this show scared me as a child which is why I am somewhat reticent about placing it on my top 10 list. My advice? Viewer beware.
My favorite episode: The Monkey’s Paw