Before anyone gets super disappointed about the best show ever that's missing from this list, please calm down and give me a moment. I have not yet seen every bit of pop culture, even when you restrict pop culture to just good things. I just don't have enough time, or have not had enough time so far. So, if your favorite's missing, comment on the post and let the world know why it rocks your socks. Of course, I may have seen it and disliked it, but you won't know until you try!
Notable items missing from this list include Buffy (which has some episodes that totally would earn the show a spot, if not for the number of less good ones) and Mad Men (which is pretty, but not my favorite, since the characters are all huge jerkfaces - especially you Pete Campbell!).
Things that almost made the list: Six Feet Under (which I've still only seen half of), Castle (which I love pretty much because of the awesome that is Nathan Fillion), Criminal Minds (which is, to my mind, the best of the cop shows...however, I hear that Mandy Patinkin leaves after season 3, which could be a problem), Doctor Who (because I've only seen a few seasons, which I quite enjoyed, but, given how much I haven't seen, I couldn't quite commit to adding it to the list).
10. Coffee Prince
You may be aware that in the last year or so, I have developed a fondness for kdrama. I had to include something from that on the list, and this one is by far my favorite of the ones I have viewed thus far. For those wondering whether kdrama is for you, do be aware that it is as dramatic as you might expect. Still, I love it, because it's kind of like a manga come to life. I love Coffee Prince for its gender bending (a tomboyish girl with short hair is mistaken for a boy and offered a job, so she continues the charade) and for its acceptance of people outside the norm.
9. Star Trek: The Original Series
To be fair, I have not finished watching TOS, but from the amount I have watched, I do know that I get a pretty reliable glee from the show. I have little doubt that The Next Generation is a far better show, but, not having seen it since I was a young child, I did not add it to this list. TOS is cheesy, campy and includes way too much half-naked William Shatner. Still, it just can't be beat. I love this show because of Spock, Bones' antipathy for Spock, and the poor special effects.
8. Dead Like Me
This show may have the best first episode ever. It's two hours long and completely fascinating. Honestly, it's so good that the rest of the show is a little bit of a letdown. However, it is a still a great show and well worth viewing, if only for the amazingness that is Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride for those who somehow do not know). I love this show for Rube, a view of life after death, and George's total deadpan.
7. True Blood
Part of me really cannot tell whether this is actually a good show or whether its a really bad show, but a powerfully entertaining bad show. I somewhat expect the latter, but the amount that I enjoy it necessitated a slot for it here. Of course, I have not yet gotten to watch season four, which I've heard is crazy, even in the context of the show. I love this show for Eric Northman, LGBT inclusion, and for being based on fiction. I do not love this show for Anna Paquin's tooth gap or the way Bill says "Sookie."
6. Gilmore Girls
Recently, I started rewatching this show with a friend and was surprised to discover just how good it is, at least in the early seasons. The dialog really does pop and feel quite natural. The characters are all quirky, funny and strange in a totally believable way. Who doesn't want to live in Stars Hollow after watching this? Unfortunately, the show went downhill later, when the writers decided to change Rory's character, but oh well. I love this show for Lorelai (really, she's fantastic), Sookie and Jackson, and for believing that broody, classics reading boys exist.
5. Eli Stone
What do you get when a lawyer gets a brain aneurysm? Musical numbers that presage future events, of course! I know this may sound weird, and, to be fair, it is, but the show is incredibly amazing and totally sells it. The cast includes Victor Garber, who totally loves singing. I love this show for Maggie Dekker, random musical numbers, theological inquiry and for Jonny Lee Miller (even if he's not speaking in his British accent...such a shame).
4. Veronica Mars
This show convinced me, falsely, that Kristen Bell can do no wrong. Because of her tiny adorable badassness here, I have watched innumerable unfortunate movies and continue to watch Gossip Girl to this day. That's how amazing Veronica Mars is. Kristen Bell plays a teenage sleuth, who solves a ton of small crimes and some seriously terrifying ones, like the murder of her best friend. Warning: the third season is not as good as the first two. I love this show for Backup, the theme song (We Used to Be Friends by The Dandy Warhols), the reference to the theme song in one episode, Logan Echolls, and her dad.
3. Pushing Daisies
What brought me to this show was Lee Pace, who is an incredibly adorable nerd, despite his rather gigantic eyebrows. The cast is fantastic, also including Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Ellen Greene Swoosie Kurtz and Kristin Chenoweth. Additionally, the show is incredibly beautiful and reminds me somewhat in its intros of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love this show for Lee Pace, Digby, The Pie Hole (esp. its pie crust roof), nerdy jokes, cup pies, musical numbers and a Wonderfalls reference (Muffin Buffalo).
I have a tie for first place, because two shows have an equal part of my affection. Without further ado, two of the most amazing shows of all time!
1. One Tree Hill
The drama, the thirty year olds masquerading as high school students, the people getting married and reproducing way too young, the affairs, the backstabbing, the basketball. This really is the perfect show.
Or not. Did you believe that? If you did, for shame. Here are the real winners.
One of the most underrated shows of all time, Wonderfalls is unfamiliar to even some seriously hardcore nerds. Many thanks to my good friend Caleb, who I'm pretty sure was the one to introduce this show to me. I will not endeavor to explain the plot at all, because that tends to put people off. Suffice it to say that is incredibly well-written and quotable. I especially recommend this show to folks who enjoyed either Eli Stone or Pushing Daisies. I love this show for the wax lion, mace but no connection, the first woman to go over the falls in a barrel...and live, 'sodes, Aaron and Majandra, cow creamers, and incredibly clever, sometimes subtle jokes.
My love for this show knows no bounds. Every time I watch it, my love for it increases. Once, someone tried to tell me that Buffy was a better show; though I love that person, I have to say that she is incredibly wrong on this one point. If you're a Joss Whedon fan and have not seen Firefly, get on that right now. Ditto science fiction fans. Ditto all nerds. I love this show for the theme song, Zoe and Wash's relationship, Kaylee's combination of innocence and horniness, Vera, Inara's clothing, pretty floral bonnets, dystopian elements, and the entire cast being perfect.