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Empire's 50 greatest TV shows of all-time

Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 8:46am

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Simon K Jones

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Empire Online recently announced their 50 greatest television shows of all-time. Seeing as the list encompasses both UK and US shows, we thought it might be fun to see what you guys think of their selection.

Do you agree or disagree? Which shows would you choose for your top five?
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 10:41am

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Klut

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I wouldn't put Heroes that high. 2. season was crap.
And they were wrong about the funniest Arrested Development episode, it's not S2E03 it's S2E04 (and almost every fan I know agrees)

My top five is:

1. Arrested Development
2. South Park
3. Futurama
4. Scrubs
5. Friends
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 11:30am

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Mellifluous

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1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
3. Lost
4. Futurama
5. Monty Python's Flying Circus

I couldn't believe 24 was so high and stuff like Quantum Leap was so low.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 11:40am

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Simon K Jones

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Mellifluous wrote:

I couldn't believe 24 was so high and stuff like Quantum Leap was so low.
With lists like this, there seems to be a inverse relationship between the age of the show and the reliability of its position in the chart.

Older shows are probably in the place they generally 'deserve'. Newer shows, however, will be increasingly inaccurately place, particularly if they're also successful shows.

There's a lot of very silly stuff in there, but I'd say the positions of most stuff over 5-10 years old is pretty decent.

EDIT: For the records, my top 5 would be.....

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Babylon 5
3. Firefly
4. Farscape
5. Angel

And, yes, I know those are all genre shows, but that's because I've never really watch a non-genre show that has captured my imagination and interest to that level.

Although my #6 would be Band of Brothers and my #7 would be Extras, so hopefully that indicates that my tastes aren't quite as limited as my top 5 would indicate!

Seriously, though...when it's on form, there's little on television that is as risky, groundbreaking and innovative as sci-fi/fantasy television.

Of course, the flipside is that a lot of the WORST shows also come from those genres, but that's the rub. razz

Last edited Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 4:02pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 4:02pm

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Klut

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Was Buffy really that good? I only 4 episodes or something...
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 4:04pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, Buffy was awesome, but patchy. Most of the time it was really good, sometimes it was a bit crap, and sometimes it was the most astoundingly brilliant thing ever made for TV.

It did, however, take quite a bit of getting used to. In fact, I find that most brilliant shows take getting used to, mainly because they're usually completely different to anything else - hence why they're so brilliant.

Once you realise Buffy is half comedy and is very much 'in' on its own joke, suddenly it all clicks into place.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 4:25pm

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pixelboy

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One question...
Where the hell is M*A*S*H? confused
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 5:33pm

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Mellifluous

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Klut wrote:

Was Buffy really that good? I only 4 episodes or something...
Yup. Great show that could be incredibly funny and pretty moving too.

3. Firefly
5. Angel
Those would be in my top 10. Along with as you say more diverse stuff, like Peep Show. I'd sling in Alias Seasons 1-3 in there too, and Our Friends in the North.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 5:56pm

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Klut

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Extras was extremly funny. I saw it at a friends house, it never aired in norway, neither did the office. I would really recomand Arrested Development for you Tarn. Once you get to know the characters it's utterly fantastic.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 7:08pm

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Serpent

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I am SO glad some of these shows made even the top 50, because they usually go ignored.

House, Entourage, The Office US, and Extras should all be on there in my opinion, and I can pick the shows that I'd bump, but I'll refrain. I'm mostly pleased with this list because I never expect much.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 7:34pm

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SilverDragon7

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Simpsons should die. After 100-million seasons I don't see how they could keep it going. I also didn't think much of Buffy being the second either. At least they had Lost and The Sorpranos in the top 5.

My top 5...

1. Law & Order SVU
2. Lost
3. Family Guy
4. Chapelle's Show
5. The Sorpranos
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 7:47pm

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Coureur de Bois

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So I thought I was watching Family Guy the other day, turns out it was a new episode of the Simpsons.



Glad that Star Trek: TNG is rated best out of all the other Star Trek series on the list (Which were... all of them except Enterprise, but does that even count?).
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 8:52pm

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Serpent

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Alas, I forgot SVU and Gilmore Girls for shows that I might expect to possibly see on there that weren't.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 9:32pm

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Aculag

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I haven't seen many of the shows on that list, but some of them seem fairly tacked-on to me. As if they were like "Crap, we only have 40 great shows... Let's just watch TV for a few hours and whatever doesn't make us vomit goes on the list."

I really liked the first season of Heroes, but they act like it was 100% great all the way through, and of course, completely forget to mention the abortion of a second season...

This line from the synopsis for Heroes is especially damning, I think:

Empire wrote:

But eye-candy alone wouldn't have won Heroes its place on this list. Kring's genius was in bolting the flashy action onto a slow-burning storyline full of shadows and mystery. And having a really cute, invincible cheerleader in the cast doesn't hurt none either.
It also doesn't make Heroes worthy of being in the top 20 best TV shows of all time. Sorry. Maybe the second season completely ruined it for me, but the show isn't THAT great.

I hereby nominate CNN Headline News for a spot on next years top 50 best TV shows of all time list. They have some HOT anchors.

My top five is:

1. Lost (Depending on where the rest of the series goes, this may change...)
2. Twin Peaks
3. Arrested Development
4. Firefly
5. Mr. Show (Somehow this isn't on the list, but Family Guy is in the top twenty... Give me a break)

In other words, I don't really agree with most of this list, but I definitely see where they're coming from with some of them.

And I'm going to have to echo the "Why no Extras and M*A*S*H?" sentiment...
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 10:35pm

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Atom

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Klut wrote:

I wouldn't put Heroes that high. 2. season was crap.
And they were wrong about the funniest Arrested Development episode, it's not S2E03 it's S2E04 (and almost every fan I know agrees)

My top five is:

1. Arrested Development
2. South Park
3. Futurama
4. Scrubs
5. Friends
Arrested Development definitely beats Lost. It never 'lost' any of its appeal or momentum. I agree partially, Klut.

1 Arrested Development
2 ER/Scrubs (no pun intended, they're tied)
3 Friends/Curb Your Enthusiasm (again, CYE is ridiculously at #38?)
4 The Simpsons/Lost
5 Entourage/The Sopranos

There's no reason for Buffy to be number 2. A versatile and continuously-good show, sure, but there's no way (in anyone's book) it beats half of the shows in the top 20.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 10:46pm

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jmax

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klut wrote:

they were wrong about the funniest Arrested Development episode, it's not S2E03 it's S2E04 (and almost every fan I know agrees)
Agreed, without a doubt. Arrested Development is my favorite show ever, and shouldn't have been cancelled. (On the other hand, with that short of a run, it was never able to get tired or lame.)

My only other gripes, Seinfeld? That and the whole deal with there being a TON of sci-fi shows whose success is arguable, and practically nothing made before 1975. Gilligan's Island, anyone? Get Smart? Happy Days? The Andy Griffith Show? Leave it to Beaver? The Brady Bunch? The TV-Land list goes on and on, and it was unfair to exclude so many of the shows from yesteryear to make way for a list made up almost entirely of shows from the last decade or two.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 12:08am

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er-no

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What an interesting list!

I'm pleased that Red Dwarf made it into the list, and at a decent number! I feel Futurama should have been placed higher, quite easily. Angel should have been higher, I rate it's later series as among the best of any of the genre. Another few I would switch around.

As rankings and 'Greatest' lists go. That one isn't half bad.

Spaced should be in the top ten though. smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 2:31am

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

1 Arrested Development
2 ER/Scrubs (no pun intended, they're tied)
3 Friends/Curb Your Enthusiasm (again, CYE is ridiculously at #38?)
4 The Simpsons/Lost
5 Entourage/The Sopranos
Why don't you add another one to your number one spot to round your top "five" out to an even ten? Heh.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 3:40am

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SilverDragon7

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Aculag wrote:


1. Lost (Depending on where the rest of the series goes, this may change...)
2. Twin Peaks
3. Arrested Development
4. Firefly
5. Mr. Show (Somehow this isn't on the list, but Family Guy is in the top twenty... Give me a break)
I haven't seen Mr. Show for a long time, else it would be up in my 5.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 4:42pm

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Klut

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I still need to find time to watch Lost, Buffy and maybe Firefly... Which I haven't really heard of until now...

Hehe, me and a friend in my class have our own little "who said this quote from AD and why?"-Game.... We are also the only one in our school who can play it sad
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 6:32pm

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Atom

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OH MY GOD! We're having a FIRE!.........sale.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 6:46pm

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Aculag

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I think I made the fire... TOO real.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 8:43pm

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Klut

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Michael, you are quite the cupid. You can stick an arrow in my buttocks any time.
Posted: Thu, 10th Apr 2008, 10:03pm

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jmax

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Who wants a banger in the mouth?
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 12:52am

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Atom

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Are you forgetting I was a professional twice over? An analyst and a therapist. The world's first analrapist.
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 6:49am

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Aculag

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Hahaha. It really does look much worse written down...

Is this the "Quote AD" thread now? I'm game.
Posted: Fri, 11th Apr 2008, 7:47am

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

Hahaha. It really does look much worse written down...

Is this the "Quote AD" thread now? I'm game.
I don't know, Aculag. There's far too much AD to quote. Tobias is the easiest, by far. Are you going to buy one this time, or are you just curious?

-Oh, I suppose I'm ...uh...."buy-curious".

-*Painted blue* I'm afraid I just "blue" myself.

-Oh, I can just taste those meaty, 'leading-man' parts in my mouth.

-You need to decide, whether you want a man or a boy. I know how I'd answer.

-Even if it means me taking a chubby, I will suck it up.

God, when written down Tobias Funke is the funniest, awkwardly-inadvertently-gay character ever to be on TV.
Posted: Sat, 12th Apr 2008, 9:45pm

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Videoace123

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How the heck was Malcom in the Middle not on there?!
Posted: Sat, 12th Apr 2008, 10:39pm

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Aculag

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Because Babylon 5 is really really good, okay?
Posted: Sun, 13th Apr 2008, 4:32am

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Serpent

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Or because it sucks.
Posted: Sun, 13th Apr 2008, 3:58pm

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Atom

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I didn't see Entourage and I did see more than one version of Star Trek. Demerits for that one.
Posted: Sun, 13th Apr 2008, 4:22pm

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Klausky

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1. Dexter
2. Entourage
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm
4. Weeds/ Flight of the Conchords
5. LOST