July 30, 2013

My (sort of) top 25 shows

Regular reader Don M., from my old home town of Richfield, MN, asks if I've ever considered posting a list of my top 25 television shows - series that not only count as personal favorites, but that others might enjoy discovering as well.

Well, proving that great minds think alike, I'd been pondering something like this for some time: a kind of memoir "as seen on TV," if you will. For it's undeniable that television has played a significant role in my life (if you haven't gathered that by now), and the shows I've watched probably can tell you more about me than I'd ever willingly disclose. So there was an idea: tell my life's story through the show's I've watched. See what it is that made me tick, formed my thinking, reflected something significant about my character and personality.

That's how I'd look at it, anyway.

Most people will probably read it and think, "Man, that guy likes some really stupid shows."

Over the course of the next two or three months I'll share with you the ten shows that I'd consider the most personally significant to me. They're not necessarily what I consider the ten "best" shows - having, for example, The Alvin Show on the list doesn't necessarily mean I consider it better than, say, Rocky and Bullwinkile - it just means I might have a very personal connection with Alvin, one that describes me better than Rocky. If that makes any sense.

Today, however, I'd like to list the "best of the rest" - numbers 11 through 25 on the list. I don't like the term "honorable mention," because most of them are better than that. They're shows I own on DVD or catch whenever they're on, shows I can watch more than once, shows that give me pleasure and enjoyment, shows I'm happy to share with others. Failing to mention them simply because they didn't make the "top ten" would not only be an injustice, it would present an incomplete picture of my TV likes and dislikes.*

*Does this mean a list of "bottom ten" might be in store? Until I typed that last sentence I hadn't considered it, but maybe I should. One thing about 10-worst lists, though: you make a lot more enemies.

I don't try to rank the "top ten," and I'm not going to do that with these, either. In the manner of Burke's Law, they're presented to you in alphabetical order. Let this be the start of a discussion on the topic. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your own favorites, and at the end we'll compare notes.

The Best of the Rest
11. The Avengers
12. Blackadder (particularly the last three series)
13. Burke’s Law
14. Columbo
15. The F.B.I.
16. M Squad
17. Masterpiece Theatre/Mystery*:
      a. I, Claudius
      b. Inspector Morse/Inspector Lewis
      c. Foyle’s War
      d. Poirot
      e. Wallander 
18. Mission: Impossible
19. Police Squad!
20. Rocky and Bullwinkle
21. The Rogues
22. The Saint
23. SCTV
24. Twin Peaks (especially the first season)
25. The Untouchables

*Yes, I know I cheated a bit by lumping in six series under Masterpiece, but it's my blog, and I get to set my rules.

Honorable Mention*
Hawaii Five-O (the original), Peter GunnRoute 66Top Cat, Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister

*Because 25 apparently isn't enough.

Tune in next Tuesday (barring any breaking news) for the first of the ten series that make up my TV bio.  Be here - aloha.


  1. My top shows I watched as a youngster, and not in any particular order:

    I Love Lucy

    The Twilight Zone

    Leave It to Beaver

    Looney Tunes

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    The Honeymooners

    The Ed Sullivan Show

    Perry Mason


    The Three Stooges

    Adventures of Superman

    Father Knows Best



    The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

    Tom and Jerry

    American Bandstand

    The Lone Ranger


    The Untouchables


    The Yogi Bear Show

    The Rifleman

    The Mickey Mouse Club

    The Red Skelton Show

    Have Gun – Will Travel


    Wagon Train

    Captain Kangaroo

    Candid Camera



Thanks for writing! Drive safely!