The top 20 TV shows of all time IMO

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BobDigital

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Homeland lost it's way last season, almost as though the writers forgot their bible. Characters whose intelligence was their hallmark made inexplicably stupid decisions not under the exigencies of the moment as we had at times seen in the past but simply because the writers needed them to in order to get things that were nonsensical to happen. If this season hadn't completely righted the ship and then some the debacle that was last season would have kept this show out of my top 50 never mind top 10. When a show you've come to respect urinates on your buy in like that it can be hard to forgive. The world of intelligence/counter intelligence isn't the main draw to me in this show but at it's best it is chillingly believable. The true draw of that show is the acting talent, an absolute tour de force.

All In The Family continues to resonate with me because it held up a mirror to our society from the cozy confines of a casual bigot's blue collar living room, it challenged us just as it challenged Archie to be better and made real change happen in our society. A small screen Blazing Saddles, set in Queens. Seinfeld's mirror was aimed back at the cast, reflecting vapidness and self interest. It had it's moments but I agree with you at the end of the day it was fluff, funny is entertaining but to be great it needs to be about something. Family Ties had some episodes where it rose above being the Michael J Fox show and handled some powerful issues in a meaningful way but it also produced some sadly indulgent stretches.

ST TNG just took too long to find itself, the first 2 years were some seriously weak stuff. ST TOS on the other hand found it's weaker episodes largely as the result of the budget constraints it was being choked with, some bad episodes were made simply because they were cheap to produce but overall it is hard to hold that against it considering everything else it brought to the table.

The Americans could have been a signature series for FX. That it isn't the most talked about show on the air is just further proof the marketing and scheduling people at that outfit should all be serving Happy Meals or bagging groceries.

The shows I struggled the most with placing was GOT since it's inclusion pushed Breaking Bad off my list. When I began thinking of shows it was one of the first to come to mind so I felt I had to include it in my top 10 even though in the past 2 seasons it has at times fractured it's own logic to near the breaking point. Time and it's constraints in a world that moves on hoofs or feet used to be part and parcel of the shows storytelling now it apparently is bent at will. The best shows stay true to their in universe conditions and characters. Rome and Boardwalk Empire work not because their characters don't do stupid things but rather because those things make sense out of the character doing them instead of a writer needing something to happen and having the character do it with no thought to continuity.
I think I'll give homeland another shot. I gave up after season 4. It may have been too early from what you're saying.
 

maust1013

Just Another Guy
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I think I'll give homeland another shot. I gave up after season 4. It may have been too early from what you're saying.
The show definitely took a downturn in season 4 but coming off the better than the Manchurian candidate Brody Manchurian candidate story arc that was forgivable since the first three seasons were built around it and the chemistry between the leads was incredibly dynamic. Not to give it away but the tapestry gets much richer and the supporting cast deeper play in Season 5 than was seen in the brooding aftermath that was so much of Season 4. Seasons 5 & 7 are every bit as good as 2 & 3.
 
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Brady_to_Moss

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The Wire is #1 for me. That show will never get old or age. Baltimore was bad then..and bad now. God what a series.

Omar comin

Got that WMD

Season 2 gets a bad wrap..but I really like it
 

tom444

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Next to The Wire, my favorite was Homicide: Life on the Street. Unless I missed it no one else picked it, I'm surprised.

 

chris_in_sunnyvale

In the Starting Line-Up
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Question for the posters here: Do you have kids? Finding time to even binge watch anything is a chore for me and forget watching shows as they air. I'm honestly jealous as I feel I'm missing out on a lot of quality entertainment listed here.

Regards,
Chris
 

maust1013

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Question for the posters here: Do you have kids? Finding time to even binge watch anything is a chore for me and forget watching shows as they air. I'm honestly jealous as I feel I'm missing out on a lot of quality entertainment listed here.

Regards,
Chris
Our kids now have their own kids
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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The Wire is #1 for me. That show will never get old or age. Baltimore was bad then..and bad now. God what a series.

Omar comin

Got that WMD

Season 2 gets a bad wrap..but I really like it
I'm a Wire nut as well. It's the best although Games is right there.

S2 of the Wire was better than S1 imo. It was fantastic & I thought S3 was the best. That show is gold & Omar was brilliant. He deserves a ton of credit for one of my fav roles. Shame he's not in more stuff although he is working.
 

maust1013

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Game of Thrones having pissed down it's leg in season 8 has forced an edit

10. Deadwood
9. Homeland
8. The Sopranos
7. Star Trek
6 /5. Rome and Boardwalk Empire,
4. The Twilight Zone
3. All In The Family
2. The Americans
1. The Wire
 
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Hyped

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Holy old thread, Batman!

I'll put up my rankings later....like the OP (@BobDigital) I have watched more TV than I should have.... but I haven't completed GOT yet (stopped somewhere in season 3 close to the "Red Wedding" episode because I wanted to be sure George R.R. Martin would actually finish the books or HBO would end the show).

Some good recommendations in this thread of shows I have never heard of! And I have seen a lot!!!
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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1. Breaking Bad
2. The Wire
3. Sopranos

After that, I don't know. GoT would have been right here if not for its historical, colossal failure in S8. Just some shows that I've really liked a lot, a lot of them in more recent years better kept in my memory: Black Mirror, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Narcos, Mindhunter (one season), Bosch, Fargo, Better Call Saul, Homeland (sometimes)

Most overrated show of all-time: Mad Men (wtf)
 

Nikolai

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I didn't even go back and look at my list, but I'm going to say:

1. Breaking Bad
2. The Americans
3. Game of Thrones (Seasons 7-8 stumbled and knocked this down from #1, but 1-6 were amazing)
4. Narcos
5. Justified
6. Rick and Morty
7. The Office (U.S.)
8. The Patriot
9. Better Call Saul
10. The Wire
11. Chappelle Show
12. The Sopranos
13. The X-Files
14. Fargo

Can't figure out where to put the rest (or if they're Top 20)
Rescue Me, Arrested Development, Archer, The Expanse, Firefly, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, Futurama

EDIT - Went back and looked. Wow. Pretty close to what it was a year ago. Highly, highly recommend The Patriot and Better Call Saul, two newcomers to my list.
 

Zuma

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1. Game of Thrones
2. Lost
3. Breaking Bad
4. Deadwood
5. Battlestar Galactica
6. Rome
7. The Sopranos
8. The Walking Dead
9. Seinfeld
10. Taxi
11. Cheers
12. Monty Python
13. Star Trek
14. 24
15. Fargo
16. The X-Files
17. Curb Your Enthusiasm
18. Mash
19. Saturday Night Live
20. Xena / Legend of the Seeker
 
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Ice_Ice_Brady

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Shocked no one has mentioned Dexter.
Timely to bring that up. It’s been talked about throughout the Game of Thrones talk as a similar show with an ending that leaves really sour memories. Similar to GoT, the last season kind of melted down into a caricature of itself with terrible dialogue and plot jokes. However, I didn’t hate the finale as much as a lot of people. In fact, I didn’t mind the final sequence at all.

Dexter first few seasons were really, really good television. It’s been awhile since I’ve reminisced about that show, but I still recall the epic season with John Lithgow. That was one of the better seasons of television I’ve seen. Amazing chess match and acting.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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The Wire is #1 for me. That show will never get old or age. Baltimore was bad then..and bad now. God what a series.

Omar comin

Got that WMD

Season 2 gets a bad wrap..but I really like it
It’s an amazing show with a perfect ending. The ending isn’t really a climax, so much as an awesome montage to display the cyclical nature of it all. The only reason I rank it second is because I feel like it should be first be in a different category of television. I almost feel like I’m watching a non-fiction story of immense sociological and political insight, rather than a more classic hero/anti-hero series with a more traditional plot (with the classic story arc.)
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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Question for the posters here: Do you have kids? Finding time to even binge watch anything is a chore for me and forget watching shows as they air. I'm honestly jealous as I feel I'm missing out on a lot of quality entertainment listed here.

Regards,
Chris
Yes.

One hour afternoon nap.

Stay up past midnight frequently.

Be willing to sacrifice your sleep quality (which may effect other areas of your life) for the joy of a great television stories.
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
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1. Breaking Bad

2. The Wire

3. The Sopranos

4. Fargo (especially seasons 1 and 2)

5. Better Call Saul

6. Deadwood

7. True Detective - Season 1

8. Game of Thrones

9. The Shield

10. Peaky Blinders

11. Oz

12. The Pacific

13. Boardwalk Empire

14. Arrested Development

15. The Leftovers

16. Curb Your Enthusiasm

17. Justified

18. Sons of Anarchy

19. Narcos

20. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

GoT took a tumble from the top two in the last two seasons. All in all, the top 10 probably doesn’t move while the bottom 10 does and probably will. Chernobyl may place somewhere on this list two weeks from now. It’s that good.

EDIT: And apparently I really need to go try The Americans again. I got three episodes in and bailed.
 

maust1013

Just Another Guy
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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
The Americans really builds as it goes, every action has a consequence and those consequences carry a cumulative price tag. The show never once loses sight of it's in universe continuity or reverts to logic bending artifice. The writers always respect the viewer's intelligence, sometimes perhaps a bit too much. Not all of the folks watching have adult memory of the Cold War and may not understand some key reference points or cultural identifiers. Mostly it just works. The casting, writing, acting and directing are top notch, the real meat of the show isn't it's overarching premise. At it's core lies a fascinating look at interpersonal relationships, marriage and family dynamic albeit through a very fractured lens.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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Is there anyone here who likes Mad Men? I’ve yet to find a human being who gets excited about the show. Are critics real human beings? I admit I caved to the expectations and watched almost the entire series just kind of waiting for it to blossom. Other than a general taste for the 1960s culture and having strong acting, I just don’t know why this was such a highly rated show. The plot was so boring and the character development fizzled out after like two seasons. I got the sense the MM team thought really highly of themselves, like “it’s layered and artsy, so it doesn’t need to be interesting.”
 
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