Top 10 Tuesdays 16: T.V Shows
If You’re like me, there’s nothing better than coming home from work, getting a hot shower, something good to eat, kicking your feet up, and flipping on the tube just in time for your favorite shows to come on. There are a million different T.V. shows out there, but I’m going to count down my favorite 10 non-animated T.V. shows. Your list may differ a little bit, but when your blog grows up big and strong like mine, you can go ahead and write your own list.
#10. Breaking Bad
This show is just awesome. Malcom in the Middle’s dad and some other little punk kid start making a ton of bank by cooking crystal meth. There are all kinds of twists and turns, and it just shows you what a slippery slope dealing drugs is. There are all kinds of close calls, and it doesn’t help that the main guy’s brother-in-law is a head honcho in the DEA. It’s full of drama, and 95% of the time will keep you on the edge of your seat. Give it a watch.
#9. Pawn Stars
I absolutely love, love, love the History Channel. Before you can say anything to the effect of “But Jester, this isn’t a real history show!” let me explain something. Yes, there are a lot of documentaries on the History Channel that I watch. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Nazi Secrets and the Occult, anything on the Civil War or WWI always catch my interest. But rarely do they have a series of documentaries that will catch (and hold) my interest. Pawn Stars is a break from all of that, which has entertaining characters and scenarios, and also offers a little bit of history of its own. I know this isn’t your average pawn shop. I grew up in Northern Virginia, and there were pawn shops a plenty. There was one man who lived across the street from one of my best friends at the time who owned 3 pawn shops. This man had more awesome cars than he knew what to do with. He had 2 Shelby Cobras that he competitively raced, an old mustang that had toeasily be worth 100 grand, I saw a few Corvettes (new and vintage) in his driveway a time or two, and I’m pretty sure there was a yellow Ferrari there for a little while. So the pawn business must have been pretty good to him. But I’ve been inside 2 of his shops, and it was mostly used electronics, jewelry, archery bows, and modern pistols and hunting rifles. He had a small section of car stereos and heavy duty tools, but there wasn’t much more than that. The Pawn Stars make me want to go to Vegas and buy something out of their shop just to say I’ve been there. Also, I like the idea of becoming a celebrity (however small) over your own family business, it’s a great sign of success. Another perfect example of that is American Choppers. Anyways, I love this show because the information you learn about each individual piece that comes into the shop. Did you know that Evil Kinevel’s first motorcycle was a Harley that he stole when he was 13? Pawn Stars taught me that.
I used to love watching medical dramas with my father. I’d wake up at all hours of the afternoon and he’d be watching Forensic Files, Dr. G: Medical Examiner, or anything on Discovery Health. I turned my dad onto watching House and he made it a point to start watching that show whenever it came on. He loved it, so maybe this one is more of a comfort blanket for me. In either case though, the cast is awesome, the plot is very detailed and finely tuned, and the characters are very vivid with a detailed past that shines through in every episode. It’s rare to have all of that in one show. PLUS(!) they play marathons of house on USA every week or so (at least a couple of times a month). A very enjoyable show with just enough comic relief to call itself a drama without it being solely run on the Lifetime Network.
#7. Everybody Loves Raymond
Some people might say this show is overplayed, old, stale, or lifeless. I say the exact opposite. I am a little biased though, because this was my fathers favorite show. he never missed an episode, even if it came on Nick at Nite at 3am. That’s how much he loved it. So this is definitely a safety blanket for me, I feel closer to him whenever I watch an episode. I don’t think I have to explain the synopsis or characters to anyone out there because I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has seen at least one episode. But here goes anyways: it portrays a borderline dysfunctional family with original characters and an amazing cast. Seriously, have you seen Peter Boyle alongside Gene Wilder in the old black and white movie Young frankenstein? Have you read the cookbook/partial autobiography written by Doris Roberts entitled Are you hungry, Dear? The cast is amazing and those two people are very accurate in portraying the stereotypical “crazy parents” that you’re always embarrassed of growing up. You know the kind, the parents you don’t want your friends to meet because “they’re just so weeeeeird”. It’s great.
#6. Two and a Half Men
I like this show because it’s kind of like watching a PG version of Charlie Sheen be himself. And who doesn’t really want to see what one of the biggest non-rockstar party animals of our generation is like? The mom is hilarious, as is the neurotic brother, Alan. Here’s a little known fact, Jon Cryer played a really weird character (I believe it was the son of Lex Luthor) in the movie Superman IV. He also won an Emmy over Neil Patrick Harris’ performance in How I Met Your Mother, so he must be doing something right. The only complaint I have for this show is that the little kid playing Jake has progressively gotten less and less funny as he’s gotten older. I know for this show, everyone involved has been at the mercy of Charlie Sheens personal life and reputation, and I hope for the shows sake that they find a replacement for Sheen and let everyone keep their job.
Here’s another show that everyone says is overplayed. But I think it was hilarious from the first season, to the last. It sucks that it was canceled.. twice for that matter. But it truly was an entertaining show. It launched Zach Braffs career as an actor, director, and if I’m not mistaken, as a writer. It made Donald Faison (the black guy) known for something more than the movie Clueless. It also made a lot of guys develop a TV crush on Sarah Chalke, the multi-talented, multi-lingual, and mega-hott actress. Here’s something interesting, Neill Flynn, the Janitor is a Bradley University Alumni. Bradley is where I spent my first 3 years of college. A very enjoyable show, and worth multiple viewings. It also inspired a spin-off where they got almost the entire cast back together and it was called: Scrubs Med School. I think that ultimately turned out to be a flop though.
POST SCRIPT: My apologies. Scrubs Med School was the unofficial title of the ninth and final season of scrubs, it was not a spin-off.
This is my favorite and undoubtedly the most popular spin-off of Cheers. It was definitely the most successful. I believe this is the oldest show on my list, and is only one of 3 that is solely in syndication. I just love the way Kelsey Grammer is hilariously pompus, and his voice makes his on screen radio personality eerily believable. I also love the back and forth Frasier has with his brother Niles, and his housekeeper Daphne (who is now on Hot in Cleveland with Betty White). My favorite character of all though has got to be John Mahoney as the father of Frasier and Niles, Marty Crane. The casting for this show was nothing less than outstanding. If you’ve never watched an episode, watch one. I’d be willing to wager that it will soon become one of your guilty pleasures, as it has mine.
#3. The Big Bang Theory
This is the modern day Frasier for a younger audience. Each one of the main 4 guys does an outstanding job at their role. All of them, at least once an episode, but usually more, get a really big laugh in with a quotable quote. Overall it is very enjoyable and I can’t wait for it to come on every Thursday night!
#2. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
This show is truly a rags to riches story. All of the main characters are the creators of the show. None of them had any previous Hollywood experience and now the show is in its 6th or 7th season! And the main guys (Mac, Charlie and Dennis) are writers, producers, and directors. Not to mention they star in their own show. Hilarity ensues with everything they do. It’s a little crude or raunchy, and it’s really not for everyone, but I can’t get enough of it. It’s definitely not for the whole family, so don’t go inviting your mom to watch the DVDs with you. And it’s perfect because the guys have really short attention spans, can’t stay focused on anything for very long, and everything they do starts out with good intentions but ends up in a horrible mess. Life is a slippery slope, and this show puts the exclamation point at the end of that statement.
The Winner, and #1. How I Met Your mother
This show is truly enjoyable from the pilot episode all the way up until the most recent one. I had never watched this show, but was strolling through best buy one day and bought the first season of it on DVD because it was on sale for very cheap. After that, I had to get every season the day it came out. This is a show you can watch with your mom, or brother, or anyone really. There are some awesome jokes, and running gags, as well as different subplots in each episode that tie in with something that happened in a previous season. The producers and directors do a fantastic job of bringing everything full circle in a timely manner. The main characters name is Ted, but Neil Patrick Harris’ role of Barney steals the show. Every. Time! did you know he got that role because of his appearance in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle? That’s how it happened.
See you on the couch from 8-10 most weeknights.
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