top three tv (cable or network) shows? | The Boneyard

top three tv (cable or network) shows?

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The wire thread made me think,

In no order:
MASH
West wing
Boardwalk emp


I know this is summer thread
 

RoderickSpode

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Of all time is a tough one. I'm gonna go ahead and give very safe answers, though you are not a cultured person if you haven't experienced these three series.

Best Current Cable Show: Breaking Bad
Best Past Cable Show: The Wire
Best Network Show: Seinfeld
 
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Breaking Bad
Arrested Development
The Wire

Those 3 are head and shoulders above anything else I've seen.
 
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Maybe after Boardwalk goes through its 5 seasons (that's how many the director has stated he wants to do) you could put it up there, but it's nowhere near a top 10 after just two seasons.
As a few others have said, Breaking Bad and The Wire are two of the best shows I have had the pleasure of wasting hours of my life watching.

Edit: Forgot to add a third, which would be The Sopranos. Great show in a number of different ways.
 
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Deadwood
Breaking Bad
The Sopranos / The Wire / The Simpsons

Easy to be biased to the present, but what a golden age for TV-as-high-art we are living in. It will be interesting to read a book - if it hasn't already appeared - on the wave of great showrunners (Davids Chase, Simon & Milch; Weiner; Winter; Gilligan; etc.) who've appeared on scene the last decade or so and the various paths, influences, and creative apprenticeships they put themselves through to become these new masters of the medium.
 
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Deadwood
Breaking Bad
The Sopranos / The Wire / The Simpsons

Watched the first season of Deadwood, is it worth continuing? I'm going to assume you'll say yes based on the fact that you included it here, but yeah.
 
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I think you almost have to grade on a scale kind of like evaluating MLB players only against the competition of their contemporaries. M*A*S*H* seems like a weak choice compared to recent premium cable series, but for its time it was great appointment television. More specifically Hill Street Blues would be comically naive compared to The Wire, but vs their peer shows they were similarly head-and-shoulders above.

For my TV viewing lifetime I think I give the nod to Saturday Night Live because I've got more enjoyment over watching that show than any other. Some major periods of unparalleled excellence (Orig Cast, Eddie Murphy era, JLovitz/DMiller era (ok medium), Phil Hartman/MikeMeyers/Carvey era, Farley/CRock/ASandler era, Will Ferell to Tina Fey era). SNL hasn't scratched the great TV show conversation in at least 5yrs but no question I've gotten more hours of entertainment watching and more 'stuff to talk about' from that show than any other.

1. SNL
2. Seinfeld
3. Breaking Bad and Mad Men duking it out depending on conclusions
 

RoderickSpode

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SNL is an interesting choice. There are tons of great moments, but to extend your baseball analogy their batting average has to be lower than most any show. For every great sketch there are probably dozens of stinkers.
 
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Watched the first season of Deadwood, is it worth continuing? I'm going to assume you'll say yes based on the fact that you included it here, but yeah.

Good guess, lol. Yes, I personally would recommend continuing, but not if you were like "meh" after a full season of it. The show is only three season long. IMHO, Season 1 & 2 are the bomb, and while Season 3 is badass too, I think there might've been some been uncertainty as to whether it would be renewed or not and that uncertainty may have affected the plot a little bit (in a slightly adverse, but not terrible, way).

I freaking loved Deadwood, though. I just think the writing is the cat's pajamas. And Swearingen is ridonkulous.
 
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crownfox2

1.The Wire
2. Breaking Bad
3. The Shield
Network series are too sanitized and casts actors who are more telegenic at the expense of realism
 
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SNL is an interesting choice. There are tons of great moments, but to extend your baseball analogy their batting average has to be lower than most any show. For every great sketch there are probably dozens of stinkers.
Good point and I think that's why the show doesn't get any consideration for best ever on individuals favorites or critics lists. Its pretty rare for an entire episode of SNL to be great in the way a Breaking Bad episode can be. But then if you are picking your favorite TV Actors ever don't a minimum 5 SNL people make the top ten (Eddie, Belushi, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Hartman & Meyers are all on mine)?

I contend that SNL is actually a lot like watching sports on TV and I considered putting UConn basketball games #1 on my list. With sports you get a handful of bad games and certain segments that are worse than any network show aka throw the remote against the wall bad. But the highs* are worth it and no one expects every game or every segment to be great. So my true 1-2 of things I've enjoyed watching the most on TV are SNL and UConn Hoops (hmm, if I have to include ballers as characters then Henefeld, Donyell, Ray, Ricky, Rip, Khalid, Emeka, Ben and Kemba are going to knock SNL cast out of top ten).
* particularly valid way to watch SNL
 
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Best network show: Twin Peaks
Best network comedy: Seinfeld
Best cable show: The Wire
Best TV Miniseries: Lonesome Dove
 
B

bob f'n barker

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm
2. The Wire
3. Breaking Bad

Just missed my top 3: The Simpsons, Sportscenter, The Sopranos, Louie(if has another season like the last one will move up to #1 on my list), Friday Night Lights
 
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  • Dexter
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Always Sunny
The Office when Steve Carrell was on it was the best though.
 

RoderickSpode

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Best network show: Twin Peaks
Best network comedy: Seinfeld
Best cable show: The Wire
Best TV Miniseries: Lonesome Dove

If I was doing a top 4 Twin Peaks would be right there. I would probably have that, Seinfeld and The Simpsons (only the first 9 seasons or so) as the top 3 network shows ever. In the sitcom world Frasier is awesome too, but I'm not about to make a top ten.
 

OkaForPrez

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Not 1 Lost fan in the joint?
 

Rico444

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Breaking Bad for dramas and Arrested Development for comedies are, by far, the two best shows I've ever seen in the respective genres.
 

caw

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The final turned a lot of people off but I still like: Battlestar Galactica (new one)
The Wire is up there as well.
I can't think of a third TV show but best mini-series for me was Band of Brothers.
 
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Best network show: Twin Peaks
Best network comedy: Seinfeld
Best cable show: The Wire
Best TV Miniseries: Lonesome Dove

Yes, sir. It's so hard to compare shows from different eras, especially one like Tyler Phommachanh. What an awesome show. I don't want to get into it again w/ the Wire (as I did on the other thread), but to play Devil's Advocate or, in the case of Tyler Phommachanh, "Bob"'s Advocate: which show was truly more groundbreaking: Tyler Phommachanh or the Wire? (I know I'm arguing against a Wire straw-fanboy, but, honestly, what do you think?) Definitely think Tyler Phommachanh and Seinfeld are right there as some of the best. Did you see "Fire, Walk w/ Me?" Did you like it? My wife preeeeetty much hated it. I fairly liked it, but I didn't watch it till well after it came out and so missed some of the hype/backlash that it seems like so many felt & reacted strongly against surrounding the original release.
 
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1. Curb Your Enthusiasm
2. The Wire
3. Breaking Bad

Just missed my top 3: The Simpsons, Sportscenter, The Sopranos, Louie(if has another season like the last one will move up to #1 on my list), Friday Night Lights

FNL - In which a marriage kicks insane ass. What a spectacular show. Sure, it had it's flaws. e.g., Riggins and Landry must've been about 11 years old when the show started according to the overall timeline. But still, that show was great. Definitely recommend going through it on DVD to some of the more family-oriented boneyarders. Great for everyone, really, except scrooge and the devil.
 
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Great thread. I usually miss shows on the first go-around by catch up watching seasons while traveling. Always looking for suggestions.

The Wire
Curb
Wise Guy (have not re-watched in a while, not sure if it held up)

Only thing keeping me from putting The Sopranos in the top 3...some of the acting in key roles was just god awful (Steve Schirippa, Little Stephen).
 
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Best Current Cable Show: Game of Thrones
Best Past Cable Show: Battlestar Galactica
Best Network Show: Lost
 
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I think in many ways, network TV has never seen anything like Twin Peaks. Whenever I hear someone talking about it, I'm still amazed that this drama was on network TV!

It was so innovative and radical, with a cryptic plot, bizarre character, and a completely non-standard narrative.

Many of the shows that weren't directed by Lynch were somewhat sub-par, and I think the show went downhill after they revealed Laura Palmer's killer, but I can't think of any other show that had me waiting week to week like that. The freaking network also hurt it by moving it to a late slot on Saturday night.

I saw Fire Walk with Me- I enjoyed it partly, but it doesn't stand up against the series.
 
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