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Jim A.

Favorite TV shows

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What are your favorite television shows?

I can't say yet what I think are the best I've seen--I'd have to give it some thought--but my favorites are:

1--The Prisoner, from the late Sixties, starring Patrick McGoohan (as "Number 6");

2--Star Trek, also from the late Sixties, with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy;

3--The Outer Limits, from the early Sixties; an anthology sci-fi series, which was started up again in the late eighties (?) and early nineties;

4--The Twilight Zone, started in 1959 and ending in 1964 or '65 (the two later Twilight Zone's in the eighties and nineties were completely terrible!);

5--The Fugitive, from the mid-Sixties, with David Jansenn;

6--Hawaii Five-O, started in the mid-Sixties, with Jack Lord;

7--24, with Kiefer Sutherland, at least the first few seasons.

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The Prisoner is by far the best show I have ever seen. I liked the original Twilight Zone series as a kid. My favorite shows now (even though we don't own a television) are Penn and Teller's Bullshit!, Modern Marvels, and various other History Channel/Discovery Channel shows.

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Cheers and The Andy Griffith show as far as sitcoms go, but I also like certain seasons of 24 and I'm an American Idol junkie. :P

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Current:

Mythbusters

Modern Marvels

How Do They Do It?

Hands On History

Law & Order (all versions)

CSI (the original set in Vegas)

Past:

Mission: Impossible (the 60s original)

Three's Company

Star Trek (all except 5/7ths of Voyager and about 9/10ths of Enterprise)

Babylon 5

Futurama

The Twilight Zone (the original)

Seinfeld

L.A. Law

Perry Mason (the original with Raymond Burr, and all his TV movies)

Get Smart

The Thunderbirds (or was it just Thunderbirds?)

The Pink Panther

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I share quite a lot of the same favorites as my fellow Objectivists. We must think alike. :P

Perry Mason (original with Raymond Burr)

Twilight Zone (original 1960s)

The Avengers (the version with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee). Diana Rigg was my first serious crush as a young adolescent. I used to stay up to 3 in the morning on Saturdays to watch her, the only time The Avengers was broadcast.

Star Trek (with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy). Captain Kirk is my all-time television hero, the man who unites mind and body, reason and emotion, and is therefore more efficacious than either Spock, who represents reason and repressed emotion, or Bones, who represents emotionalism.

Mission Impossible I re-watched some of these recently, and I like them as much as when I was a kid, although I can spot some unfortunate political correctness in the episodes.

Hawaii Five-O McGarrett is great and the opening sequence is the best one ever in the history of television, IMHO. I would watch it just to catch the opening music and helicopter shot of McGarrett on the balcony of his condominium.

As a young kid, I also loved Hogan's Heroes, but I cannot vouch for that show now, since I haven't seen it in decades.

As for current shows (although most of the above shows can be seen today as re-runs on cable), I love Law and Order. I rarely watch it anymore, but I watched it when the show began in the early 1990s. My favorite episode was the man whose kidney was stolen!! Watch it. He woke up in the middle of the night on a park bench, bleeding. It's a great episode.

I also like CSI, especially the Las Vegas version. The head guy (I forgot his name) is a scientist and a man of reason. Those qualities are made clear and that makes the show wonderful to watch.

I know I am missing something, but these are the shows I can think of right now.

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I will add a couple of humorous shows:

As a very young child, The Flintstones and The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show (I still love Bugs Bunny, Road Runner and Yosemite Sam.) Also, I Love Lucy.

Seinfeld. I still watch the re-runs.

On cable, Curb Your Enthusiasm (although in the more recent seasons, Larry David is too nasty) and Sex and the City.

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As a young kid, I also loved Hogan's Heroes, but I cannot vouch for that show now, since I haven't seen it in decades.

It makes fun of Nazis, that's always good. remember Sgt Schultz? He caught Hogan's men in compromising activities nearly every week. His response? He'd shut his eyes and say loudly: "I see nothing!" Humor out of evasion, nice.

I also like CSI, especially the Las Vegas version. The head guy (I forgot his name) is a scientist and a man of reason. Those qualities are made clear and that makes the show wonderful to watch.

Gil Grissom.

He has two great lines I can't resist quoting:

1) After exposing fraud from an expert forensic witness on behalf of the defendant, the fraudster accuses Grissom "This is all your fault!" grissom replies "I hope so."

2) A suave criminal decides to turn himself in rather than jeopardize his wife and daughter. he's the type that thinks of being pursued by the police as a game of skill. When grissom is collecting genetic evidence the guy asks "What misatek did I make?" meaning how he screwed up in getting away and put the crime lab on his trial. Grissom replies "You killed two people."

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I will throw in another show that I bet no one has heard of:

Dae Jang Geum

I intend to provide a more proper review of this series at a future date on my blog, but here is a quickie on why I love this series.

It is a Korean mini-series of about 54 episodes and tells the fictionalized story of a real life historical figure, Dae Jang Geum, which stands for "Jang Geum the Great." She was the first and only female court physician who personally served the king in 15th century Korea. Little is known of her life, except the above facts, and not much else.

The author of the mini-series took the above and created a story that is a remarkable work of art. It tells the story of Jang Geum from when she was a little girl, the daughter of a disgraced "court lady" and soldier who worked for the king. I will not tell much because anyone who sees this has to experience the plot first-hand and with no spoilers. I will add a little, though. Jang Geum rises from being the daughter of parents from the lowest class to someone who enters the royal court as a "kitchen lady" who prepares the king's food, and eventually becomes the king's physician.

Along the way, Jang Geum is revealed, not only as a beautiful woman, but one with a beautiful mind and a superb moral character. Above all, Jang Geum is first-handed. She forms all conclusions on her own, and then follows the conclusions of her mind to wherever it leads her, regardless of the risks she might face. There are tremendous scenes that illustrate her scientific character in a society that was quite primitive in many respects.

Along the way, she has the most beautiful love affair with a scholar-official from the king's court, and she has remarkable friendships with various women and men of the court.

The theme of Dae Jang Geum is integrity, both intellectual and moral integrity. In fact, the series ably illustrates how the two forms of integrity are aspects of the same attribute. Dae Jang Geum's moral integrity is driven by her intellectual integrity, which is that of a scientist.

Incidentally, this series is wildly popular in Asia, although it is unknown in the West. I hope that changes. If you watch it, you will have to read subtitles, which is not hard to get used to. Also, understand that the original Korean is more poetic and the subtitles sometimes imperfectly translate it, making it too short or altering the meaning slightly. I don't speak Korean, but a good friend of mine does, so I benefited from explanations when this was happening. However, it turns out to be a minor flaw, because the meaning of all the dialogue is eminently clear from the context of the story.

Much else can be said about this wonderful series, which I will do. In the meantime, I commend it to readers of this Forum.

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The Office. The American version. I can't vouch for the original version, though I just rented it and will be watching it in the next couple days.

The American version is great. Lots of great characters and acting, and the humor is great. It's a much different kind of comedy from the typical American comedy show. For one, it's actually funny. For two, there's very little in the way of the penis and fart jokes that seem to permeate. I'm not opposed to those necessarily, just that they're way overused and generally not well executed. Anyway, they do a great job at taking office situations and making great jokes around them.

I have not seen the first season. My favorite line from the second and third seasons, and one of my favorite lines from any TV show, was in the episode where they found out a black coworker had been in jail. At one point, one of their coworkers says something tame about the black coworker, at which point Michael (the stupid boss) says, "You're such a racist." "Why?" "You think he's black."

That is comedic gold right there.

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I enjoy The Office as well, both the American and English - though I have watched more of the American than English.

I go through tv watching binges - well, actually I watched littel on the actual tv...most of the shows I watch are when they are online. I got rid of our tv service over a year ago, so if it isn't available on the internet or the bunny ears, we don't watch it.

I started watching Lost last year online - and was able to watch the first 3 seasons online a few weeks before the new season started. That is the way to do it hahah. I like to wait and watch episodes within a few days of each other...though I couldn't help myself tonigth and have already watched last night's episode.

Notes from the underbelly is stupid, but funny. I do like stupid funny.

I love Ugly Betty - I enjoy the stupidity of the shallowness. I find it hilarious.

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Wow, so many good shows mentioned:

Perry Mason -- the ultimate in pursuit of justice through reason.

Twilight Zone -- so many great stories created in innumerable different settings.

Star Trek -- (original, 2nd gen too)

Get Smart -- I'm happy to see someone mention that. That was a very underrated comedy

Monty Python

The Saint

The Prisoner

Mission Impossible -- this tape will self destruct in five seconds

Kung Fu -- with David Carradine

Banachec (sp?) with George Peppard

Columbo

Fawlty Towers

Dr. Who -- Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee my two favorite doctors

Red Dwarf -- If you haven't seen this, then you are missing out.

Highlander

MacGyver

The Paul Hogan Show

Benny Hill

Seinfeld

Myth Busters

Junk Yard Wars

House

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There are plenty of documentaries I like, but for fiction/entertainment:

Currently on TV ...

Prison Break - For once, a proactive hero instead of a reactive one.

Jericho - The harbinger of cancellation looms, but I've enjoyed watching as the town attempts to maintain order and survive after a terrorist strike destroys 23 American cities and the country crumbles into lawlessness.

24 - I've like the show so far ... but I fear the shark was well-jumped in season 6

Battlestar Galactica - flawed in may ways, I'm grateful to have mature, dramatic science fiction

Nip/Tuck - completely absurd and outrageous, but quite entertaining nonetheless

House MD - for all the good reasons in Mr. Jekyll and Dr. House

The Tudors - a very entertaining dramatization of Henry VIII

Penn & Teller's Bullshit!

(Edit: Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about my new addiction, Lost. I never watched it until I got sick a few weeks ago and, on my sister's insistence, starting watching it from the beginning on ABC's website ... now I'm hooked!)

Previously on TV, wish some still were ...

Farscape - one of the best science fiction series ever

Firefly - probably the best science fiction series ever, I miss it so much :thumbsup:

The West Wing - not for its politics, of course, but (when Sorkin was writing it) it had great vision, style, script

Rome - very, very well-produced drama

Edited by Lemuel

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Get Smart -- I'm happy to see someone mention that. That was a very underrated comedy

"I run ten miles everyday"

"I find that hard to believe."

"Would you believe three miles?"

"I don't think so."

"How about three push-ups, out of breath?"

I think that was from one of the movies.

The satire of spy gadgets was priceless. The cone of silence is one the best bits. And there was Hymie.

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"I run ten miles everyday"

"I find that hard to believe."

"Would you believe three miles?"

"I don't think so."

"How about three push-ups, out of breath?"

I think that was from one of the movies.

The satire of spy gadgets was priceless. The cone of silence is one the best bits. And there was Hymie.

Hymie was a riot, a very literal character. "Hymie, kill the light, would you?". Pulls out his gun and shoots the light. :P

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Hymie was a riot, a very literal character. "Hymie, kill the light, would you?". Pulls out his gun and shoots the light. :P

There was a movie late in the 80s or early in the 90s. Max tells Hymie "Put the word on the street. I'll meet with Sigfried." Hymie proceeds to write on several sidewalks, with chalk, "Maxwell Smart Will Meet With Sigfried."

Sigfried was good, too.

Oh, and 99 was hot.

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Dead Like Me

That show had an interesting and novel premise. the lead actress was very good, very talented. But I fear the show lingered too much on George's family and, on the un-dead side, it was decidedly getting repetitive. It was well-written, though, and the Rube Goldberg quality to some action sequences was very well done.

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How It's Made is usually very informative and entertaining. I mean, how do they make...everything?? :)

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Favorite TV show of all time: Xena, Warrior Princess Dramatizes, for better and for worse, the warrior's life, of nobility, honor, and purpose. I especially like when Xena relies on strategy to overcome her foes as well as the more ridiculous acrobatic stuff. I also find the friendship between Xena and Gabrielle beautiful.

Other great shows:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Firefly

Law and Order: SVU

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

ER (some seasons)

Just about anything on the History Channel

Special category just for cartoons:

Ren and Stimpy

Rocko's Modern Life

Family Guy

Futurama

Cowboy Bebop

But still, I'll always love Xena. I can't believe it's been off the air for seven years now. It was such a big part of my growing up. Why, oh why did they have to mess up the last two seasons so badly...

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