Top Five Favorite Shows of All Time

Welcome to the first ever Tuesday Top Five! I have a lot of TT5 ideas already (bromances, characters, episodes, etc) but since we’re all still getting to know each other here, I figured I’d keep it simple. So today, I list my top five favorite shows of all time. Now, I’m sure I’m going to slap my forhead later and remember a rather important show that should have made the list, but for now this is it. Drumroll please…here’s my favorite five shows!

5. New Girl

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Most of the TV I watch, and a lot of shows that take up my top favorites, are more in the supernatural category of story lines. However, it is hard to deny my love for Jessica Day and her crazy roommates. New Girl is an acquired taste, I realize this, but there is not a single episode that I haven’t burst out laughing at least once. While I tend to have very technical reasons for loving shows (writing, acting, plot), with this show it’s simple: it makes me happy. The story line isn’t really anything out of the ordinary, and the acting isn’t genius, but it’s one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time. It always seems to put me in a good mood.

4.  Avatar: The Last Airbender

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As mentioned with last week’s Korra article, Avatar the Last Airbender holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always loved the idea of the elements, and this show brought about a new way to look at them, or to controlling them. But this show didn’t only have a good plot and plenty of spiritual elements; it also just had a good message. The writers and creators used a kid’s show to instill basic life lessons in our heads: violence doesn’t solve everything, be a good person, that kind of stuff. So while I originally fell in love with Sokka’s jokes, Aang’s carefree attitude, and the mystical idea of elemental bending, I stayed in love with it because it rang true to some of my core beliefs. Being able to turn a kids show into a show adults can still love takes talent, and the ATLA crew had plenty of that.

3. Doctor Who

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There are a lot of reasons to love Doctor Who, so I’m just going to pick my number one reason. The coolest part to me is the whole concept of regeneration. The fact that this show can seemingly go on forever isn’t just unique, but it also makes me feel like I’m a part of something. I love being able to watch new episodes of a show that my dad used to watch when he was a kid. I love being able to see the technological differences between our generation and the one that came before us. But most of all, I love thinking about how many people have been a part of this show, and in turn, how complex the character of the Doctor has become. Each Doctor is different, adding another layer to the character himself. Not many shows can say that they have been around for fifty years, and this November the Doctor Who series will be able to say they have. So fifty years of successfully producing amazing episodes secures a number three spot in my book.

2. Supernatural

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I had seen a few episodes of Supernatural here and there when it came out originally, but I never kept up with it until the summer of 2012. I started watching a few episodes at school, and when I went home for the summer I started marathoning it with my parents. My dad is part of the reason I love all things supernatural (in the general sense of the word) so I knew he would love it. But my mom’s love for the show took me completely by surprise. So it wasn’t until I watched the series through with them that I realized what it was that made the show so good. To put it simply, it’s all in the writing.

Obviously you need good writing to make a good show, and the amazing chemistry between Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki doesn’t hurt, but the thing that makes this show really stand out is the writing. They do everything, from slipping in ingenious puns and classic rock references, to writing heartbreakingly touching scenes between Sam and Dean. They’ve even been known to surf the Internet specifically so they can see what fans are saying and sneak their findings into episodes. (Hence the moose references). Thanks to the writers, this eight-year-long show still keeps the interest of the viewers, and that is hard to do in such a long span of time.

1. Merlin

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Much to my own dismay, I was a little late to the party on this show. I had always seen it advertized on Syfy, and I’ve always been fascinated with the time period, but for some reason I never watched it. Then finally, the spring semester of my sophomore year of college, I saw it on Netflix and was like, you know what? I think I really need to watch this show. And I was right. I watched all four seasons in nine days, and my only regret is that I can’t go back and enjoy watching every episode for the first time.

So why is it exactly that Merlin steals the number on spot on The Top Five? Well, simply put, it is a great show. The writing is great, the acting is great, and the character relationships are great, but most importantly the story arch is great. A story arch can be hard to accomplish with TV shows, whether it’s because they end up getting canceled or the audience loves it and it has to be changed to fit more seasons. But what I’ve always thought about shows, even though it kills me to admit it: I’d rather have fewer seasons and great story line than more seasons and a show that fizzles out.

In my humble opinion, they should always end it with a bang, and that’s just what Merlin did. Though the finale was heart wrenching and I never wanted it to end it had to end where it did, because that’s where the story ended. After all, the whole show was about two things: the story of the destiny of Merlin and Arthur, and the blossoming of their friendship. Both of those goals were portrayed well by both writers and actors, so what more was there to do?

Start to finish, the story was told. And that’s really all it’s about in the end.

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