Wednesday, August 15, 2012


A few weeks ago, I asked you, the readers, to come up with your own lists of the "Ten Best TV Shows of All-Time". I had two purposes for doing this, one, was to get more people commenting on my blog, because frankly, hardly anybody does. I even encouraged disagreement from me, and frankly, I still want more readers to comment on my blog. It's nice to have an ever-growing audience, last month for instance, was the first time we reached 2,000 hits in a month, so I know people are reading my blog, but nobody was commenting on anything I wrote, good or bad, and frankly I'd prefer to have some input by you as to what you guys think. So, the first reason, was to come up with a topic that would naturally gravitate and induced you, the audience, to respond, and I gave you guys multiple ways of doing that. Commenting on my blog, through my Facebook, or through my Twitter, in fact, I even created a hashtag for the occasion. #TENGREATESTTVSHOWS. So far, though, if you count me, I have a grand total of 3, people who have turned in a list of their "Ten Greatest TV Shows". So obviously, while I got literally, a couple, readers to respond, I didn't get enough. I want to thank "The Critic Show," which is now called "Beyond the Screen," for entering their choices, and trying to spread the word a bit, but still, I haven't received nearly the fan input that I was aiming for. Saying that though, I've decided to press, and ask people, once again to submit their lists, and the reason for that, is the second reason.  I brought it up a bit in my original blog post, which you can link to below:

But my main intention was to create a definite list of the Ten Greatest TV shows, of all-time, similar to that of the poll that "Sight & Sound" magazine takes every ten years for movies. Recently, they released the results of that poll, which I've already discussed heavily here as well, as most of you are aware. ("Vertigo" beat out "Citizen Kane" this year, if you haven't heard) I said that because one of the problems with other lists about television is that they try to take into account all forms of television, or genres for that matter, and determine a show's importance, on top of a show's quality. For instance, I noted that the "Today" show, ranked 17th on a TV Guide Top 50 list a while back, and while "Today" is an important and influential show, I argued that it's kinda ridiculous to even put it in such a conversation, and I think a lot of shows, can make that claim. Now, there's two ways to go about this, one, is to completely separate genres completely. Best Sitcoms, Best Dramas, best Soap Operas, Best talk shows, best reality, etc. etc. While, part of that, is somewhat fun-sounding, and it can be. I'm a list-maker, and I love ranking things, but if we're talking the very best of an art form, like television, if were start, breaking down and comparing genres, almost exclusively, it brings down television as a whole. There's this group, that's one group of television, and everything on television is separate, and in their own little. Now, we can do that with film too, and we do. We separate genres, we separate by length, short films and feature lengths, we can list comedies and drama, and the AFI even did multiple Top 10 lists of subgenres, like westerns, and animation and romantic-comedies and courtroom dramas and a bunch more. It's tempting to do that, and it helps make comparisons simpler and more distinct. With television, it's easier to do, 'cause there's more genres. That's why, I think a "Sight and Sound"-type structure, is more important though, to let's really include everything, and all cards on the table, what really are the absolute greatest of an art form, in this case, television. When "Sight and Sound," did their first poll in 1952, it varies a bit depending on when people consider the beginning of film, but moving pictures had been around, for about, 60 or 70 years maybe a little older, but it didn't start reaching the masses, until the around the turn of the century, which is around the time when it started developing as an art form. Around the time of Melies and the Lemiere Brothers, and all the others of that time. Television has an equally complicated beginning, some patents go back to the 19th Century, but Let's say from the '39 World's Fair, where it heavily found an awareness in America, and let's call the late '40s, as when TV started reaches the masses, across the Western World, so by that standard, TV's been around, about as long as moving pictures were when "Sight and Sound," took their initial poll. I think there's a good justifiable argument to be made that, it's really time to begin narrowing this down a bit, and really begin discussing, of all of television, what really is the greatest programs they've ever created.

So, so far, there's been three responses, including mine; so, really 2, and one of those was my Mom. (And I very much appreciate it, thanks Mom.) I want more people this time participating, and let's share and pass this blog around a bit. Get a lot of people interested. I'm sure some of you, must have your own thoughts on this. Remember, anything is eligible, as long as it was originally a television program. Any genre, any kind of show, daytime, primetime, late night, PBS, news magazines, reality,... whatever. However, you can only list 10. You can't list 11 (Although my Mom tried), you can't list 5. You must list 10, and only 10. It's your list entirely, but I want to stress, we're talking GREATEST. It's easy to pick favorites, and you can, but we're aiming for absolute best. (So, if you wanna put "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on there, you probably want to have decent argument, set. Just saying.)

Okay, here's the three ballots entered so far.

1. M*A*S*H
2. All in the Family
3. Cheers
4. Seinfeld
5. The Dick Van Dyke Show
6. The West Wing
7. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
8. The Honeymooners ('55)
9. Roseanne
10. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

MICHELE BARUFFI (My Mom's Official list)
1. The West Wing
2. M*A*S*H
3. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
4. Murphy Brown
5. Jeopardy! ('84)
6. Donahue ('70)
7. Law & Order ('90)
8. Married... with Children
9. The Twilight Zone ('59)
10. Saturday Night Live

PATRICK BENNETT (of "The Critic Show", nka "Beyond the Screen")
V (Series, '84)*
Knight Rider ('82)*
The A-Team
Magnum P.I.
Miami Vice
Battlestar Gallactica ('78)*
The Six Million Dollar Man
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ('79, Series)*
The Greatest American Hero

So, that's all I've gotten so far. You'll notice Patrick Bennett chose not to rank his list of the Top Ten. That's totally fine, you don't have to rank, 'cause the way this will eventually be counted is based the amount of times a show gets mentioned. Rankings may come into effect, in case of tiebreakers, but it's hard enough coming up with only 10, I'm not requiring people to rank them all, although I do recommend it. So right now, "M*A*S*H" and "The West Wing" have been mentioned twice, so they'd be 1 and 2, respectively and 28 other shows are tied for third. There's three interesting lists here, but we need a lot more than that. So, come up with your list, and like earlier, either post them on my blog, contact me on Facebook, or on twitter. I've been rethinking the Hashtag, but it's still in effect, so either #TENGREATESTTVSHOWS, or to my twitter account @DavidBaruffi_EV.

Note: The * next to a few shows indicates that there's multiple titles for the names given, and I haven't confirmed which exact series was voted on here. (Although I did write-in what I deemed a reasonable guesses for which series was intended) As soon as possible, we'll get confirmation on which exact shows were voted on, the list will be properly corrected if necessary.


Jenn M said...

Hmmm.... favorite shows of all time eh?
10. Raising Hope
9. Mork and Mindy
8. Angel
7. Big Bank Theory
6. Invader Zim
5. Lost
4. Dark Angel
3. Gilmore Girls
2. Chuck
1. Supernatural

My list is far from normal, but that's still the order I love them in. :) ~Jenn, the Ramblin' Reviewer

Jenn M said...

Ok I lied, #2 is NCIS... I don't know how I spaced it, but I did. So, bump everyone else one, and Raising Hope? Sorry, but they were on the bubble. :)

David Baruffi said...

Okay, I will move "NCIS" into position 2, and move out "Raising Hope". It is a far from normal list, but I'm glad "Mork and Mindy" found a spot on somebody's list. Now, you said these are your "Favorites", and that's fine, but I did mention that this is "GREATEST," and there can be a difference. I know many of my favorite shows, ("Siskel & Ebert", "Sports Night", "Get Smart", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to name a few) didn't make my list. I'll more than accept the list, but if you want to rethink "Greatest" and "Favorite," let me know.

Oh, and you do mean "The Big Bang Theory," and not "Big BANK Theory?"

Jenn M said...

Big Bang? Yes. My apologies. And to me, Greatest and Favorites are one in the same, at least for this purpose. :)