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Jim A.

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I always feel guilty if I watch T.V. shows where my mind isn't doing anything productive, so I usually just stick to shows that keep me thinking.

For the educational:

Good Eats


For just plain entertainment:


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I always feel guilty if I watch T.V. shows where my mind isn't doing anything productive, so I usually just stick to shows that keep me thinking.

There is such a thing as rest, even for the mind. But aside from that, a good TV show, be it a drama or a comedy, is akin to reading a good book. A good drama, like CSI or Babylon 5, will keep you thinking, so will a great many sports, commedies and, naturally, news programs. Regardless of your choice of entertainment, your mind will be as active as you want it to be.

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I just disconnected my cable tv this past weekend. From now on, if it's not a DVD, I won't be watching it. That being said, I am getting Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Start Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. I love the older Simpsons, but it hasn't been funny in the past 10 years. Season 7 is the best and I own it on DVD. I also have Family Guy on DVD but again, this past year it seemed to stop being funny and original.

On a side note - Has anyone ever noticed in the episode of The Simpsons when Maggie gets put into daycare? From Wikipedia:

The episode contains multiple references to Ayn Rand's novels and Objectivist philosophy. Maggie's daycare center is called "Ayn Rand's School for Tots", and Ms. Sinclair can be seen reading a book called The Fountainhead Diet, a reference to Rand's novel The Fountainhead. On the wall of the daycare is a poster that reads "Helping is Futile", an allusion to Rand's rejection of the ethical doctrine of altruism. Another wall sign reads "A is A," the law of identity, which plays a central role in Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.

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No one likes the old Untouchables series with Robert Stack? I thought it was great - good guys chased bad guys, and there was no outside family drama or relationship crap to distract from the plots. Also, there was none of this moral ambiguity - again, good guys chased bad guys.

I currently enjoy the show Futureweapons. The host, a former Navy SEAL, has the greatest job ever; all he does is travel the world testing out new weapons systems. The show is all about new and better ways to kill people and defeat your enemies, and is not the least apologetic about it.

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  • 7 months later...

Kevin, I remember that (and was going to mention it.) Thanks for saving me all that typing, plus your recollection of the references is better than mine!

We just disconnected cable yesterday, but that's because Mr. AMAI put up an HD Antenna. We're not getting all the channels we used to, but then again, we weren't watching all those channels anyway.

Another Red Dwarf fan over here. If you like comedy sci-fi, this will have you rolling with laughter. The earlier series are the best, but there's some great fun throughout the 7 or 8 seasons (or was it more?) Fun fact: Craig Charles, who plays Lister, is now a regular on Coronation Street (the British long-running soap, which we also watch all the time).

Recently been enjoying Boston Legal. Love Shatner & Spader, plus the whole cast is good. Last night's episode was great.

Used to watch CSI (the original) all the time. Forensics shows are fascinating and Gil Grissom was one of the best characters on TV.

A show that's very interesting is Canadian-made, called Survivorman. This one guy, Les something, goes out into various environments for a week, on his own, with cameras, and shows how to survive. He often sets it up to mimic the conditions one might encounter if there were a boating, motorcycle or parachute mishap that caused one to be stranded, so that one has some resources on hand to make use of. Making fire, building a shelter, getting water, food, and basically dealing with the elements. He's a little on the eco-side, but the show isn't too overbearing with that and is very informative. Anyone else ever watched?

There are other shows I like too, but this post is long enough for now.

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My new favorite show currently on the air is Sons of Anarchy. Can't wait for the next season to start! For anyone who doesn't know, it's on FX and it's basically Hamlet with biker gangs. Those who don't care for antiheroes may not like it but I think it is enthralling.

Also, Adult Swim has lots of great cartoons on these days.

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Another Red Dwarf fan over here. If you like comedy sci-fi, this will have you rolling with laughter. The earlier series are the best, but there's some great fun throughout the 7 or 8 seasons (or was it more?) Fun fact: Craig Charles, who plays Lister, is now a regular on Coronation Street (the British long-running soap, which we also watch all the time).

Here, here. RD is clever and funny. A good time was had by all. (especially those last few seasons)

I primarily watch scifi, but it is hit and miss right now.

I've started to follow the current seasons of Dr. Who, but what is even better by many magnitudes is its spinoff: Torchwood. British actors, plots, and it seems like the writers have actually read some of the great old scifi stories.

BSG: cuz it's shot locally, and cuz I'm waiting to find out who's who and what's what.

Long time fan and supporter of Babylon5 and all things related.

I tape & watch Sarah Connor, but only for the character development, not the Frankensteinian plot-theme.

I didn't like Fringe to start with, but it is exploring areas that I have some knowledge of, and they are doing their homework, which I respect given most of the crap out there.

I wish there were more hard science shows available, as Nova seems to be about the current quaint environmental context now, or supporting mainstream tenured government "science". I think they've lost their way.

Guilty Pleasures:

2.5 Men - so sue me. The funniest eps are when the entire family gets into the act.

Lipstick Jungle - Smart, strong, passionate, hot women. What's not to like.


Charlie Rose

Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert

News Hour - MacNeil Lehrer

60 Minutes

Sunday interview shows


Drama & related:

House, cuz, well, he's House. (and if people get pissed at or object to the truth as being cruel, well then chose the alternative. He cares about the lifesaving answer, not the patient - get over it, and live to whine another day)

24: Because if we are to believe people like Jack should exist, then they should be held to the Spiderman standard of being obligated to make the right moral choices. He usually does, given how many corrupt people are trying to tie him down and make him fail for their own petty blindnesses, and I'm not even talking about the terrorists.

New Tricks: Retired UK cops recalled to work old cases, interesting because it often illuminates how things have changed across the generations, and how basic decency wins in the end.

NCIS/The Unit, when I have time and the story revolves around moral questions and not just proby abuse.

I left the best for last: The Sandbaggers

The best espionage drama ever, and one that poses a moral conflict in each ep that is resolved often by exposing some bureacrats hypocricy or finding a clever mole or somesuch. It has been called a cross between Yes Minister and James Bond (Connery). The show was shot in the late 70's, and broadcast in the UK and Canada, and NZ/Oz soon thereafter, but due to a grassroots fandom, was finally cut to DVD in the 90s. Only twenty episodes, but every one a gem. And for those who think House is abrasive and hard to take, you haven't met Neil Burnside.

For more info, go to The Ops Room (www.opsroom.org)

Here's a clip from their FAQ:

What is The Sandbaggers?

It’s the best damned show most people never saw.

The Sandbaggers is a supremely entertaining and intelligent British TV series about the Cold War. Its central character is a ruthless, duplicitous, acid-tongued, lovelorn but often funny spy master named Neil Burnside. He is one of the most fascinating and complex antiheroes ever to have graced the small screen.

He is the Director of Operations (D-Ops) of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. Among his other duties, Burnside oversees a small group of officers who are to be are sent abroad on politically sensitive or dangerous missions: escorting defectors to the West, retrieving secret papers and photographs, or anything too hazardous for the officers the UK has posted to that locale. Burnside’s greatest opposition, however, often comes from the bureaucrats and politicians in his own country, not from the Soviets.

The Sandbaggers is remarkable for the many ways in which it inverts espionage genre conventions: Burnside doesn’t drink and is about as far from charming as you can get, his top Sandbagger hates violence, no one has any flashy cars or gadgets or sexual liaisons, and the whole series features very few action scenes. A typical 50-minute episode consists of men and women having intelligent conversations and heated arguments in government offices, in London parks, and in the Ops Room, where missions are planned and controlled.

Praised for its unflinching honesty, passionate acting, witty dialogue and shocking plot twists, The Sandbaggers has a worldwide fan following. The 20 episodes were first broadcast in 1978 and 1980 on Britain’s ITV network (not the BBC). Canada’s CBC, Australia's ABC and many American PBS stations aired the series in the late 1980s and the early 1990s.

You’ll probably like The Sandbaggers if you like John Le Carré’s spy novels, or anything acknowledging its audience’s intelligence.


Be seeing you...


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Be seeing you...

I'm assuming you're also a "The Prisoner" fan? I know I am! It's my favorite television show. I recommend it also to people who like spy novels "or anything acknowledging its audience’s intelligence."

A short summary from wiki:

"The Prisoner is a British 1960s television drama series starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan which combines spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory and psychological drama.

It follows a former British secret agent who, after abruptly resigning from his position, is held captive in a small village by the sea by an unidentified power that wishes to establish the reason for his resignation. Episodes typically feature the unnamed prisoner, labelled "Number Six" by his captors, unsuccessfully attempting to escape from or change the authority of "the Village." However, Number Six has numerous victories of his own, successfully thwarting the various individuals serving as the Village's chief administrator, "Number Two" in their attempts to break him or control the Village, causing a disconcertingly rapid turnover of personnel in the position. Eventually as the series reaches its surreal climax, Number Six's indomitable resistance and his mounting blows against the administration eventually threaten the viability of the Village itself, which forces its desperate warders to take drastic action"

Well, I was too lazy to read all of the prior posts, so I guess the Prisoner has already been posted, but who cares! It's worth another round of praise, IMO

Edited by athena glaukopis
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I'm assuming you're also a "The Prisoner" fan? I know I am! It's my favorite television show. I recommend it also to people who like spy novels "or anything acknowledging its audience’s intelligence."

Wow, I'm never going to go look something up without sending my current reply. I lost everything, and now have to recall what I wrote from memory:

I had heard about the Prisoner in the past, and walked into a video room at a scifi con one night where they were playing the last two eps. Before the ending, I correctly called how it would resolve (don't remember the details anymore). People in the room delared that I must have watched the entire series, but I just have that kind of mind. I tend to pick up on clues people miss, like typos leap out at me from the page, and really that is just a sign of good writing which in my opinion is more like reality when it both allows the important clues to be just part of the background noise, and sometimes allows others to conceal them for their own vested interests. That is why I like shows like B5, 24, Sandbaggers, and House. By watching them, you train yourself to be more objective by seeing if you can both find the clues seeded in the story, and whether you can figure out their relevance before the resolution is revealed.

I really enjoyed Patrick MacGoohan as number 6, but what threw me for a loop was that I never recognized him as the King in Braveheart. (hiding behind his beard and his acting)

Here's a list of the titles of Sandbagger eps to give you an idea of their content:

(once you see an episode, you'll realize that each title is moral lesson and a punchline to a very bad joke)

Series 1

First Principles

A Proper Function of Government

Is Your Journey Really Necessary?

The Most Suitable Person

Always Glad to Help

A Feasible Solution

Special Relationship

Series 2

At All Costs

Enough of Ghosts

Decision by Committee

A Question of Loyalty

It Couldn't Happen Here

Operation Kingmaker

Series 3

All in a Good Cause

To Hell With Justice

Unusual Approach

My Name is Anna Wiseman

Sometimes We Play Dirty Too

Who Needs Enemies

Opposite Numbers

Be seeing you...


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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Sanjavalen and I are hooked on Burn Notice on USA. I highly recommend it. We just got season one on DVD. The characters/actors are good, it's a clear cut story of good vs evil and, of course, we love the sarcastic humor, guns and bombs. :huh:


Edited by K-Mac
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  • 2 weeks later...

Any Star Trek

Any Stargate

30 Rock

The Office

Family Guy

South Park

Seinfeld (The funniest show to be on TV, EVER)

24 (The best drama on TV, EVER)

Mystery Science Theater 3000

The Sopranos (2nd best drama on TV)

Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld


Edited by Sir Andrew
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  • 5 months later...

So my first list was a little sparing...

Favorite shows of yesteryear.

Batman TAS and the New Batman Adventures. No series captures the feel of Batman and the voices of the characters so well. Mark Hamill IS the voice of the Joker, end of story.

Seinfeld. The characters are absolute comedic perfection. Kramer, George, Newman, Kruger, Putty, LLOYD BRAUN! Jew bless Larry David.

Twilight Zone. It features some of the most interesting short stories and can give you the creeps. I love the all-day Twilight events on Sci-Fi.

Monty Python. You won't find anything funnier.

Mystery Science Theater 3000. Such a simple and silly idea, combined with some pretty witty guys ended up to make the saturday mornings of many nerds who loved their humorously bad Science Fiction.

The Simpsons. It's in yesteryear because it just isn't funny anymore. It isn't the show I grew up watching after school. MST3K in the morning, Simpsons at night. Still, Matt Groening and Sam Simon created somethnig beautiful, and it still has more quality per capita than most.

Recent/Current favorites:

South Park. Though they've become a tad spotty, South Park has been pretty good throughout my young life and they occasionally have a great message too :).

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Ever wonder where the worst people in the world live? It isn't Afghanistan but rather Philadelphia, PA. This show is one of the most hilarious displays of the most common idiocies and evils in our culture.

Penn And Teller: Bullshit. Don't like Penn and Teller? We just can't be friends.

House M.D. I got addicted to this show recently, though I'm sad to see it spinoff into what seems like soap opera-esc plot tools.

RedEye. You probably don't even know this show if you're not an insomniac, but it's a goofy little show on FOX News at 3 AM weekdays.

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Favorite shows by far have to be:

Family Guy: I watch it on Adult Swim, always miss it on FOX.

brikufa, I have to agree with you Phineas and Ferb RULE.

The Big Bang Theory: my favorite primetime show

How I Met Your Mother: second favorite primetime

and lastly, Castle, a new Primetime show that I hope continues onto this season.

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Fawlty Towers

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Red Dwarf

Danger Man (a.k.a. Secret Agent Man)

The Prisoner

Arrested Development


Star Trek

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: Deep Space 9

Star Trek: Voyager


Cowboy Bebop

A Bit of Fry and Laurie

Jeeves & Wooster

Mystery Science Theater 3000

The Simpsons

South Park



Edited by Krattle
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*Penn & Teller's Bullshit: I love every season of this show. It doesn't hurt that Penn Gilette is either an objectivist or at least an Ayn Rand fan.

*Murder She Wrote: I love this show. Outside of the oddball premise of a murder occurring in every episode, the writing is intelligent and Lansbury's character is thoroughly enjoyable.

*Perry Mason: Top notch.

*Bones: I've only watched the first season, but I quite like the female lead- that she's rational and an atheist.

*Golden Girls: Always very funny, and I just love Bea Arthur in this sitcom

*Maude: A hilarious parody of a knee-jerk liberal

*Frasier & Cheers: Loved both shows

*I love Lucy: Who wouldn't love Lucy?

That's just off the top of my head.

Edited by kainscalia
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