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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Most Amazing Hour Long Shows

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Most Amazing Hour Long Shows

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.

1. Wonderfalls

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.

1. Firefly

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.



Blogger Kelly said...

I totally agree with your inclusions of 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, and Firefly! I definitely own all of Gilmore Girls. And I'm glad you called out in Veronica Mars when they reference the theme song in the show. That is absolutely my favorite thing ever. I also agree with Dead Like Me. I think the pilot was the high point, but it is still a fun show. I think you should definitely watch more Doctor Who and then Torchwood, which is my favorite show ever. I would also include Numb3rs as one of my favorite hour long dramas. I'm not sure if it is actually a good show, but it has David Krumholtz and Rob Morrow and math, which are all things I like, and I am highly addicted.

October 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger mimz said...

lol You're scared me there with OTH for a bit XD Even though I used to love this show (Season 1-3) it just sucks so much now. I'm so glad it's finally ending. :D

Oh and I love both number 1 - Firefly and Wonderfalls are such amazing shows, it pains me that they didn't get the recognition they deserved. Gilmore Girls is a longtime favourite, like Veronica Mars :D I'd recommend you watch more Doctor Who. I also love Mad Men and Game of Thrones, but I'm not sure if they're your cup of tea.

March 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, got ya!

YAY for the Firefly and Wonderfalls love. So few people actually have even heard of Wonderfalls, let alone seen it. I try to make all of my friends watch it eventually.

I've watched doctors nine and ten, and I like Doctor Who, but it still wouldn't make this list. I enjoy Mad Men, but it too isn't favorite level. The clothing definitely would be, but I hate all of the characters, so... Game of Thrones I really want to see, but I've been told it would be better to read the book first, so I need to find time to do that.

March 31, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Christina Kit. said...

Love all these shows!!

Gilmore Girls was one of my faves:)

March 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Owl In A Cloak said...


Agree to all except Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, Eli Stone and Coffee Prince....because I've never seen them. heh heh. Some of my favourites (except the ones on the list) are: Doctor Who, Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, Dexter and Supernatural. :)

April 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

All except half...haha!

I've watched half of your list too: Doctor Who, Castle, Criminal Minds. All of those I do quite enjoy.

Haven't seen the others, but I do plan to watch them at some point, except maybe Supernatural. I rented it once and was terrified. haha.

I'm a wimp!

April 6, 2012 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Owl In A Cloak said...

Quite a lot of my friends find Supernatural scary. My father comments that most of the shows I watch are nonsensical haha. I never really found Supernatural scary as I really like watching scary stuff. I used to watch all kinds of shows on snakes as a kid. People always look at me weird when I say that! Also, Supernatural has that whole Biblical Apocalypse theme to it, with the Angels and Demons entering in the later seasons.

April 9, 2012 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm so easily scared it's ridiculous. I do not watch horror movies, because I'm so pathetic. :-p

April 9, 2012 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Kali Skittles said...

I've only seen a few of these, but I love Dead Like Me! I watched it all in two days a few years ago on Hulu (I think?) and it was great!!

April 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Alessandra said...

I watched maybe the first two seasons of One Tree Hill. I totally loved the theme song (you and me both) and Chad Michael Murray. I stopped watching after a while because I just couldn't suspend disbelief. Was this supposed to be a big cautionary tale against unprotected sex? Is True Hill the town that contraception forgot? What's the point of getting married at 16, when they're still in school?

The version of the show airing on Italian television, dubbed in Italian, made it even more ridiculous by pronouncing Keith's name as if it were "Kate". *facepalm* No kidding, I can't still wrap my mind around it; sometimes they get things wrong, but not like this.

August 10, 2012 at 2:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh man, revisiting this is hilarious, because I totally decided to give One Tree Hill another try and got addicted to it in the third season. I'm watching season eight now and it's SO bad. Oh well.

Still wouldn't be anywhere my top ten, but I did enjoy watching it. lol.

August 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM  

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