the 101 best-written TV shows of all time


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the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby gh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:50 am

they pretty much nailed it, methinks

http://www.wgaeast.org/index.php?id=566
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Marlow » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:05 am

There's some real head-scratchers in there, but as far as just the WRITING goes, my faves [my comment]:

2. SEINFELD [brilliantly UNDER-written]
3. THE TWILIGHT ZONE [a superb anthology of short stories]
4. ALL IN THE FAMILY [only for its social commentary]
5. M*A*S*H [Numero Uno for me]
8. CHEERS [#2]
12. I LOVE LUCY [the template for ALL sit-coms that followed]
16. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT [absurdist, at its best]
17. THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART [there's only 10 good minutes every night, but it's hysterical]
79. MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS* - TIE [. . . nuff said]
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - TIE [The Twilight Zone of its era]
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby jeremyp » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:54 am

:D
gh wrote:they pretty much nailed it, methinks

http://www.wgaeast.org/index.php?id=566

Yeah. They just got the order wrong! :D "Downton Abbey" does not belong there, it's soapy glittery trash. The "Wire" should be #1 or #2. No way should "Mad Men" be ahead of "Breaking Bad." .I'm glad to see "Friday Night Lights" in there, and "Battle Star Gallactica." And "Friends?" are you kidding me? Ahead of "X-Files?" They've got apples mixed with pears and guacamole.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Never cared a whit about the X-files; by contrast just happened upon a show or two of Friday Night Lights and came away rather impressed in both subtle and not subtle elements.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby aaronk » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:42 pm

The Honeymooners just 31st??
Of course, that show was more Gleason's and Carney's slapstick than the words they said!

And NYPD Blue just 36th??

And what happened to Commander-in-Chief, that one-season wonder about our first female President, starring Geena Davis?
Surely the most realistic portrayal of Presidential politics....and First Family doings!!
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Marlow » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:51 pm

aaronk wrote:Surely the most realistic portrayal of Presidential politics....and First Family doings!!

??!! Which is to say, none are even CLOSE to reality.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby lonewolf » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:40 pm

A comprehensive list. Includes about every thing I watched, many I did not. I would not attempt to rank them. Too many categories, some I do not think of as "written"
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby batonless relay » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:46 am

jeremyp wrote::D
gh wrote:they pretty much nailed it, methinks

http://www.wgaeast.org/index.php?id=566

Yeah. They just got the order wrong! :D "Downton Abbey" does not belong there, it's soapy glittery trash. The "Wire" should be #1 or #2. No way should "Mad Men" be ahead of "Breaking Bad." .I'm glad to see "Friday Night Lights" in there, and "Battle Star Gallactica." And "Friends?" are you kidding me? Ahead of "X-Files?" They've got apples mixed with pears and guacamole.

I agree. I discount any list that puts The Sopranos over The Wire (and when you compare the two outside the prism of living in the US, The Wire runs away with it). The Wire is better. Period. Game of Thrones may end up giving The Wire a challenge, but it would have to keep up or exceed where it is now for a minimum of 3 more years (I think that is how many books are left).
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby George Matthews » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:47 am

DOWNTON ABBEY! You have to be joking! a plebeian fantasy of a never-never land where upstairs and downstairs seamlessly mingle and upper class toffs have searing social consciences, and it is truly hampered by some of the most inane dialogue ever foisted on the poor viewing public. Of course it LOOKS fantastic, and a Dame Maggie Smith barb is worth waiting through the rest of the dross for, but well written? Come on USA, we Brits can do so much better than this
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby jeremyp » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:26 am

George Matthews wrote:DOWNTON ABBEY! You have to be joking! a plebeian fantasy of a never-never land where upstairs and downstairs seamlessly mingle and upper class toffs have searing social consciences, and it is truly hampered by some of the most inane dialogue ever foisted on the poor viewing public. Of course it LOOKS fantastic, and a Dame Maggie Smith barb is worth waiting through the rest of the dross for, but well written? Come on USA, we Brits can do so much better than this

Ah but the written word is spoken and acted upon by Brits, which is enough to make 60% of Yanks think it's got to be good.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby jeremyp » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:30 am

26mi235 wrote:Never cared a whit about the X-files; by contrast just happened upon a show or two of Friday Night Lights and came away rather impressed in both subtle and not subtle elements.

I'm sorry but anyone who looks askance upon SCULLY and (mulder) is scarcely to be listened to. :D
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby gh » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:41 am

I didn't get X-Files at all either. I thought Chris Carter did a far better job w/ his next project, Millennium
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby lonewolf » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:54 am

I was aware of but, apparently, did not watch the X-files.. Now I ponder the significance of my grandson's hugely successful soccer team (197 W 3 L in five years) choosing the name Mighty X-Men six years ago when they were six years old.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Pego » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:14 am

lonewolf wrote:I was aware of but, apparently, did not watch the X-files.. Now I ponder the significance of my grandson's hugely successful soccer team (197 W 3 L in five years) choosing the name Mighty X-Men six years ago when they were six years old.


X-Men are mutants, right? Nothing to do with X-files.

This is my problem with the list.
Barney Miller 76th? :roll:
No Married with children, no Home improvement? :roll:
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby lonewolf » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:22 am

Pego wrote:
lonewolf wrote:I was aware of but, apparently, did not watch the X-files.. Now I ponder the significance of my grandson's hugely successful soccer team (197 W 3 L in five years) choosing the name Mighty X-Men six years ago when they were six years old.


X-Men are mutants, right? Nothing to do with X-files. :

I dunno. I'll have to ask the kids. :)
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Brian » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:38 pm

gh wrote:they pretty much nailed it, methinks

http://www.wgaeast.org/index.php?id=566


No.

Unless I missed it, the classic British spy show "The Avengers" starring Patrick McNee and (among others) Diana Rigg definitely belongs in the grouping. The first male-female partnership wherein both sexes were equally competent. Before this show, females in double-gender shows usually existed for the male to inevitably "rescue."

Diana Rigg's character, especially, shattered gender clichés and formed the template for action females from Honey West to Lara Croft.

"Mrs. Peel, we're needed..." --still endures.
.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby JRM » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:29 pm

Although I liked the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, I'm not sure it should be up there. I agree with most others, but I'm surprised (or maybe not) by the absence of WKRP in Cincinnati. Short-lived, but for my money some of the best comedy ensemble cast writing ever.

As for Arrested Development, the writing in the network episodes was amazing. The Netflix 4th Season.... not so much.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby DoubleRBar » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:15 pm

I think "The Dick Van Dyke Show" belongs in the top ten.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Bob Duncan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:05 pm

We're huge fans of the television shows on MeTV. They show the old Twilight Zone, Hitchcock, Perry Mason, westerns. Those old shows are so great to watch these days as they often included some major performers. I personally really miss all of those great westerns, like Gunsmoke and Rawhide.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Brian » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:03 pm

Bob Duncan wrote:We're huge fans of the television shows on MeTV. They show the old Twilight Zone, Hitchcock, Perry Mason, westerns. Those old shows are so great to watch these days as they often included some major performers.



Speaking of "The Zone", there's an episode (can't remember the title; too lazy to look it up) about a man and a woman, soldiers of opposing forces, in a war-devastated post-apocalyptic world who have to learn to get along so they can (assumedly) re-populate the world.

Elizabeth Montgomery (later [?] of "Bewitched" fame) shows her awesome acting chops in a role that is non-speaking. Co-star is a very young Charles Bronson.

The marvelous Ms. M. also did a top-notch job, post-"Bewitched", on a made-for-TV movie starring as Lizzie Borden in the early to mid '70's. I loved that she tackled a role that shook up her image as nice/wholesome magical TV-wife/mom "Samantha."

Another favorite 'Zone stars Donna Douglas as a girl with an ugly "disfigured" face who seeks an operation to "fix" her.

[Yes, Sherlock, these are indeed all my adolescent youth television fantasy babes. Don't get me started on Lori Saunders/"Bobby Joe" of "Petticoat Junction" fame...]
:]
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Dave » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:01 pm

The Americans should make later versions if they have a comparable second season.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Halfmiler2 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:52 am

The list has relatively few shows from the early years of television. I am of the opinion that writing has generally gotten worse, not better. The selectors thought otherwise.

A related note: the list almost ignores an entire genre - only one Western got picked as Gunsmoke managed to make the list at #85. Considering that Westerns may have been the leading television genre in the 1950s and early 1960s, it is clearly a snub.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby BusterZanga » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:34 am

A very invalid list of stuff. No Foyle's War.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby gh » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:52 am

Bob Duncan wrote:We're huge fans of the television shows on MeTV. They show the old Twilight Zone, Hitchcock, Perry Mason, westerns. Those old shows are so great to watch these days as they often included some major performers. I personally really miss all of those great westerns, like Gunsmoke and Rawhide.


Gunsmoke plays every night on The Western Channel (part of Starz network on Encore).

In fact, it plays 3 times.

Here's today's schedule, which also includes the best-written one of all, Have Gun Will Travel.

http://www.locatetv.com/listings/encore-westerns
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby br » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:20 am

Brian wrote:Speaking of "The Zone", there's an episode (can't remember the title; too lazy to look it up) about a man and a woman, soldiers of opposing forces, in a war-devastated post-apocalyptic world who have to learn to get along so they can (assumedly) re-populate the world.

Elizabeth Montgomery (later [?] of "Bewitched" fame) shows her awesome acting chops in a role that is non-speaking. Co-star is a very young Charles Bronson.

The marvelous Ms. M. also did a top-notch job, post-"Bewitched", on a made-for-TV movie starring as Lizzie Borden in the early to mid '70's. I loved that she tackled a role that shook up her image as nice/wholesome magical TV-wife/mom "Samantha."

Another favorite 'Zone stars Donna Douglas as a girl with an ugly "disfigured" face who seeks an operation to "fix" her.

Watch 'em here...

The Elizabeth Montgomery/Charles Bronson episode is "Two". http://www.tv.com/shows/the-twilight-zone/two-12650/

The Donna Douglas episode is "The Eye of the Beholder". http://www.tv.com/shows/the-twilight-zo ... der-12626/
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby gh » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:56 am

the number of famous (well, easily recognizable) actors who show up in T-Zone is amazing.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby DoubleRBar » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:40 am

It is amazing and a very well-written show. I believe in their first season on the air, there was a Twilight Zone episode called "A Passage for Trumpet" starring Jack Klugman. The person actually playing the trumpet in that show was Uan Rasey (one of the all-time great track and field fans). Of course Uan was one of the all-time great trumpet players, too.
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Re: the 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Postby Serafina8 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:50 pm

While I disagree with it being as far down the list as #71, I agree with the inclusion of "The Shield" -- the plotting of this show was the most intricate and gritty I've seen and made for riveting viewing. Not to mention superb, intense performances.
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