“You don’t own a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at?”
– Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, FRIENDS – S9E23; 2003
I probably watch too much TV, but I’ve always loved it. I’ve always loved storytelling and the long-form storytelling that can be done in an entire season of a show. As a youngster, I used to sneak out into the living room after I was supposed to be asleep and hunker down next to the couch to watch whatever my parents were watching. I’d always get caught. Good times!
Now, I tend to watch TV while I’m working on mobility. It may not be as “relaxing,” but it is certainly more productive to foam roll, roll around on a yoga ball, and smash my muscles between a weight vest and a softball while I’m watching something on the tube.
There are just so many good shows out there right now; I’m going to have to break them up into a few categories. As you can tell from the title, this list is all about scripted TV shows, so it will not include documentaries, travel and/or cooking shows, etc. I’ll also break it up into current and past.
I could certainly do a number of lists based on genre (maybe I’ll do that later), but today I will do my OVERALL TOP SHOWS.
TOP 5 Current TV Shows (still airing/producing episodes)
We arguably live in the greatest time in TV history… the New Age of TV. Some of the greatest storytellers, producers, writers, and all-around creative folks are working in TV and producing some of the best shows we have ever seen. Moreover, since Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other non-traditional outlets have started producing original content, we are in an arms race for high-quality shows. This arms race most directly benefits US, the consumers! WOOHOO! Anyway, here are my top 5 current shows:
- NARCOS (Netflix) – great writing with real historic photos and videos to enhance the story.
- Veep (HBO) – great, but sometimes mean-spirited, DC-insider humor.
- Episodes (Showtime) – great way of making all storylines come together; hilarious.
- Luke Cage (Netflix) – great super hero story with amazingly complex characters.
- Master of None (Netflix) – GREAT. WOW. Nothing like it on TV. Simply amazing.
Honorable Mentions/Guilty Pleasures: Catastrophe (Amazon), Ballers (HBO), Grace and Frankie & Stranger Things (Netflix)
TOP 5 Past TV Shows – We’ll call this the recent past (not including shows I watched as a kid).
- 30 Rock (NBC) – who doesn’t love a wacky, well-written comedy?
- Breaking Bad (AMC) – who doesn’t love some shock and amazing storytelling?
- Seinfeld (NBC) – who thought a show about nothing could really turn into something?
- ER (NBC) – who doesn’t love a great hospital drama?
- Friends (NBC) – who doesn’t love a good buddy/group sitcom?
Honorable Mentions/Guilty Pleasures: Party Down (Starz), The Newsroom & Treme (HBO), and White Collar (USA)
“In the New Age we’ll all be entertained…” – Father John Misty, Total Entertainment Forever; Album: Pure Comedy