Good Television - NOT an oxymoron

I hardly ever watch tv anymore. Most of it is so banal it’s insulting. (I don’t include A&E, History Channel, etc. I mean network crud.)

I’ll turn on the tube sometimes to watch Red Green and 3rd Rock. Oh, and Ben Stein’s Money on Comedy Channel; I’m addicted to that.

In the past, hey, what riches: MASH, WKRP (great writing and ensemble acting), Twilight Zone, Carol Burnett (w/ Tim Conway, at the top of their form), and some Sid Ceaser stuff I’ve seen rerun was the flat out funniest, sneakiest, cleverest stuff that ever hit the tube. Not to mention some of the Mobile Masterpiece Theater genre, when they wrote real drama for tv.

Oh, and Law and Order is okay if I happen to trip over it.

To be honest, my favorites are old, awful, grade B science fiction and horror movies. A big bowl of popcorn, some wine, a real bay-at-the-moon howler of a 1950’s SF movie and I’m happy.

Sorry, that isn’t really the intent of your thread, other than TV is the venue for this usually only on local features like “Creature Feature”, etc.

Some others I forgot about:

St. Elsewhere - The likes of Chicago Hope and ER don’t hold a candle to this show IMHO.

The Muppet Show - Not just for kids. Great musical guests too.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? - The original English version of the show. Totally funny.

And as for current shows that I go out of my way to watch, there is only one…

The Norm Show - I’m thinking this show and Norm MacDonald’s strange personality might be too odd for mainstream America to catch onto. God, I hope not… It’s the most consistantly funny show on TV right now. I hope it lives…

“Breakfast Time”, a morning talk show FX cable network carried several years ago was a hoot. It was hosted by Tom Bergeron, Laurie Hibberd (what a babe!) and an ugly puppet named “Bob” and had field reporters who went to various crazy places while Tom & Laurie had conversations with (as opposed to interviews with) normal people and second tier celebrities. It was a real treat. Then it went national on the Fox network, lost the formula that had been working for it on FX, and vanished quickly without a trace.

I think current shows

[ul][li]The Norm Show[/li][li]The Simpsons[/li][li]Futurama[/li][li]Family Guy[/ul][/li]
Past shows
[ul][li]Golden Girls[/li][li]Kate & Allie[/li][li]Newhart[/li][li]Dick Van Dyke[/li][li]Car 54 Where Are You?[/li][li]Mary Tyler Moore (was there ever a better sitcom??[/ul][/li]
Cheers and Mash were funny but when viewed through hindsight the first season were great and the last were mediocre. Cheers would’ve been much better had Diane been an intellectual instead of a psudeo one. Mash got too preachy.

The 4 networks and even the BBC (Python) get credits for good stuff.
Anybody see anything they like on PBS?
Anything by Ken Burns gets my vote.

Mystery Science Theater 3000. One of the most inventive, hippest, and funniest shows ever done. Naturally it was cancelled. Grumble.


“How about never? Does never work for you?”

“Frontline” is generally a very good show. I love the voice of the guy who narrates it. Also, “The American Experience” can be excellent as well.

I really enjoyed “The Farmer’s Wife” and this year’s “American Love Story”, about a bi-racial couple. Richard Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds” series is quite compelling, even if you don’t give a crap about birds.

Just to test my boredom endurance I like to tune in to “MacNeil-Lehrer” and see how long I can watch it before I crash to the floor in a heap of snoozes; and I find “Nightly Business Report” to be strangely fascinating because I have no bloody idea what they’re talking about–and those crazy fractions on the stock graphics! “IBM posted up 33 and 22/23, making for a weekly gain of 4 and 53/55…” HUH?


Tim
“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

Well, look at my sig line!

Remember, I’m pulling for you; we’re all in this together.
—Red Green

I Love Lucy
The Honeymooners
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Odd Couple
MAS*H
All in the Family
Cheers
Frasier
Everybody Loves Raymond
(The overwhelming majority of sitcoms today are SO lame, it’s laughable)

My So-Called Life
E-Z Street
Homicide
Law and Order
Felicity