My All-Time Top 20 Favorite TV Series

Writer Jordan Oakes recently posted a list of his all-time Top 10 favorite TV series. One could do worse than copying someone as cool as Jordan, so I slapped together my own list. 

(Except my list is twice as long. I didn’t feel like narrowing my choices down to a mere 10. That would be, in the immortal words of Maynard G. KrebsWORK…?!)

And, for all that, The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis didn’t make my list.

The shows are not ranked, just listed alphabetically. My all-time # 1 is probably either The Good Place or maybe This Is Us. Or Jeopardy!, really. BatmanThe Monkees, and Star Trek–a 1966 trifecta!–have had the most prevailing and pervasive influence on impressionable li’l me.

I’m an unabashed fan of television. I hate reality shows, but I do watch American Idol without shame (and without ever thinking it belongs on this list). I love game shows, though only Jeopardy! rises to the level of an All-Time Fave Rave. Syracuse University men’s basketball games are also must-see TV for me, but that can’t count as a TV series.

And there’s a lot missing from this list. Hell, I probably forgot something I would have absolutely included if I were, y’know, actually thinking about it. It’s important to note that I’m not under oath. From Get Smart to M*A*S*H to The Mary Tyler Moore Show to a number of Marvel Comics-based programs, my love of TV borders on the promiscuous. 

But there’s no shame in that. These are the 20 I think I’ve loved the most.

The Adventures Of Superman

Batman

Batman: The Animated Series

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Gilligan’s Island

Gilmore Girls

The Good Place

The Green Hornet

Jeopardy!

Mad Men

The Monkees

Pushing Daisies

Sherlock

Shindig!

St. Elsewhere

Star Trek

This Is Us

Veronica Mars

The West Wing

Why Gilligan’s Island instead of Dobie Gillis? Alas, our Dobie’s many loves included neither Ginger nor Mary Ann.

(And check here for an attempt at a comprehensive list of every TV series I’ve seen in its entirety.)

If you like what you see here on Boppin’ (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon, or by visiting CC’s Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.

I’m on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

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TV: Another Updated List Of TV Series I’ve Seen From Start To Finish

Last year, I posted a list of TV series that I’ve seen in their entirety, every episode. This is an update of that list, still missing a number of shows my memory won’t surrender, but adding some recent completions. 

Since that original list and its first update, I’ve fallen under the thrall of the wonderful NBC series This Is Us. Brenda and I binged the show’s first five seasons last year, and we were fully on-board for its final season in 2022. I now regard This Is Us as one of my all-time favorite TV series. Now that it’s completed its run (and while we’re still wiping the sting out of our teary eyes–oh, the feels!), it’s time for another update to the master list. Let’s get to that list, with its original introduction intact, and its later paragraphs given a fresh coat o’ varnish.

Above image by Tyrone Biljan, courtesy of 13thdimension.com

I like TV shows. This is an attempt to list every TV series I’ve ever watched in its entirety, from Season 1 Episode 1 through the blowout finale. It includes mini-series, broadcast series, cable series, and streaming series without discrimination. And it includes some series I saw piecemeal, as long as I’m sure I saw all of the episodes in whatever sequence I got to them. Some I saw on first run, others I watched after the fact. It is a woefully incomplete list–because, y’know, memory–but it’s a start. I may come back here to add more series as I remember them.

The Adventures Of Superman

Angel

Arrow

Batman

Being Erica

Bionic Woman [2007 series]

Birds Of Prey

Black Lightning

The Bob Newhart Show

Bosom Buddies

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Bunheads

The Crazy Ones

Daredevil

The Defenders[Marvel Comics series]

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Ellery Queen

The Event

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

Firefly

The Flash [1990-1991 series]

Flashforward [2009-2010 series]

Freaks And Geeks

Friends

Gilligan’s Island

Gilmore Girls

Glee

Go On

The Good Place, quite possibly my all-time favorite TV series (other than Jeopardy!)

The Good Place

Gotham

The Green Hornet

Hawkeye

Heroes

High Fidelity

Inhumans

Iron Fist

Jessica Jones

Krypton

Luke Cage

M*A*S*H

Mad Men

Marvel’s Agent Carter

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Middle Man

The Monkees

Moon Knight

Mrs. America

The Munsters

The Newsroom

No Ordinary Family

Pan Am

Police Squad!

*Powerless

Pushing Daisies

Quantum Leap

The Queen’s Gambit

Reaper

Ringer
Sherlock

Smallville

Smash

Square Pegs

St. Elsewhere

Star Trek

*The Steven Banks Show

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip

Supergirl

This Is Us

Timeless

Unorthodox

V [2009-2011 series]

Veronica Mars

The Village

WandaVision

We’ll Get By

The West Wing

The Wonder Years

Younger

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

If I forgot any series you think I must have seen from start to finish, I welcome attempts to jog my stubborn memory.

There are two series cited with an asterisk: NBC’s 2017 DC Comics sitcom Powerless and the 1994 PBS comedy series The Steven Banks Show. In both cases, I saw all of the broadcast episodes, but each had additional episodes that were completed but never aired. Haven’t seen those, so…asterisk.

This list arbitrarily excludes animated shows, only because I didn’t want to rack my brain to identify which cartoon series qualified; the cartoon list would include things like The FlintstonesBatman: The Animated Series (and the subsequent related Superman and  Justice League series that were part of that B:TAS universe), and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Among live-action shows, Arrested Development andTwin Peaks would have been listed on the basis of their original network TV runs, but both have since been revived, and I haven’t seen any of the latter-day episodes. (On the other hand, I have seen the continuations of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, and approve of both.)

Current series that will probably make this list some day include Firefly LaneThe Flash (The CW‘s version, which is distinct from the ’90s series), LokiThe Marvelous Mrs. MaiselStargirl, and the simply swell Superman and Lois. I bailed on Batwoman before its cancellation in 2022. Having seen the first season of Dollhouse, I may go back to see its second and final season. 

I own home video copies of just a handful of complete TV series. I have The Monkees on DVD and on Blu-ray, Batman on Blu-ray, Shindig! on an unauthorized set of DVD-Rs (and I really need to go back and finish watching those), homemade VHS copies of The Green Hornet, and Police Squad!, and, if we count non-physical media, the 2011-2012 series Pan Am on iTunes. I may write about Pan Am some day; the timing of its original network run coincided with some emotional turmoil in my life, and the idea of jetting off to Europe seemed mighty appealing to me. The pilot episode of Pan Am would serve as part of the climax in the first chapter of a long-gestating memoir I call Spain, a piece which, frankly, I doubt I’ll ever getting around to writing. 

There are still a lot of older TV series that should probably be on this list. It’s likely that I’ve seen every episode of Get SmartThe Beverly HillbilliesF TroopThe Odd CoupleThe Andy Griffith ShowWKRP In CincinnatiHec RamseySwitchWhen Things Were Rotten, and a big ol’ bunch of others, but my reasonable doubt is sufficient for me to omit them from this list. There are some other older shows–The Guns Of Will Sonnett, the 1960s Tarzan, Disney’s Zorro–I’d like the opportunity to re-visit, but for now, I don’t think I’ve seen all of those episodes.

Yet.

We’re gonna miss you, Pearson clan. Thank you for six superb seasons of This Is Us.

If you like what you see here on Boppin’ (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon, or by visiting CC’s Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.

I’m on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Mandy Moore / Silver Landings

Mandy Moore

Silver Landings (Verve)

http://www.mandymoore.com

Among the crop of teen singers she initially broke through with in the early 2000’s, Mandy Moore has taken the most interesting path. While the others became almost cartoonish in their willingness to hit the charts, Moore instead began a gravitation towards her own artistic satisfaction. 

Silver Landings finds Moore breaking free of Ryan Adams, and landing squarely in the somewhat-low-fi world of producer Mike Viola, who knows a little something about making nifty records. As co-writers, they’re a perfect fit, as these ten songs prove. “I’d Rather Lose” is slinky and cool, like a lost pre-MTV Fleetwood Mac track. “Trying My Best, Los Angeles” laments being stuck in life, and the beautiful closer “Silver Landings” is hopeful even as Moore sounds like she’s been crushed by sadness.

Her most mature work to date, Silver Landings is a record made to last, and I’m betting it will. The songs are just too deep not to.

D.P.