Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Favorite TV Shows (That No One Has Seen It Seems)

When I normally go on a date with someone, one of the big conversation aspects that comes up is what television shows do I watch. I can easily say that the usuals of nerdom come up - Star Trek, Joss Whedon creations, anime - you know the drill. But I find often that the television series that I mention as my favorites get left out from the knowledge of most of the general public eye. Sure, most of them are from the first decade that my life encountered in, but that gives people of my generation at least 10 years to have seen it on television or VHS. The others though are from a few years before then or only lasted a season - so let's give them the respect they deserve: These are my favorite Television series, see how many you know!

10. HUFF!

HUFF! was a short lived, 2 season show from Showtime that came out around 2004. The plot revolves around Huff, played by Hank Azaria, who is a therapist that just happened to have a client kill himself in his office. He also happens to halluciente a homeless man, has a psychologically disturbed brother, a best friend with every addiction under the sun, and a mother living in the house next door to his, along with marital problems and raising his teenage son. In actuality, HUFF! is one of the best written shows on television I ever had the pleasure of viewing. Unfortunately, it's second season proved to be a huge misfire and I gave up about half way in - way too many characters, plots and issues were added to keep track. I wish the show could have at least gotten a much better ending then it got, but for the first season alone is worth checking out.

Favorite Episode: Christmas is Ruined
Favorite Character (s): Huff and Bird

9. Northern Exposure

I remember being introduced to this show through watching it with my family as a kid when it was re-aired on A&E. The Alaskan setting, weird characters and plot lines, not to mention having a Moose in the intro instantly made me fall in love with Northern Exposure. The story tells that of Dr. Joel Fleschmen, a young man from New York whose first assignment out of Grad school is to become the local doctor in an very wacky Alaskan town. Though I gotta admit, I did not know a single thing that was actually happening in the show: all I could figure is that these people were wacky, and I liked that. Sadly, similar to HUFF!, this show suffered from a few last miserable seasons that contained a generous helping of WHAT THE HELL. Nothing was understandable, even to the point when I was so young yet intelligent enough to realize WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Even when I wasn't following the plot extensively. It is 100% worth checking out seasons 1 - 4, for these episodes are magical and completely genius.

Favorite episode: Sex, Lies and Ed's Tape
Favorite Character(s): Ed and Chris.

8. Radio Free Roscoe

Back in the beginning of my high school career, there arrived a little TV show from Canada called Radio Free Roscoe. Playing around the same time slot as Degrassi, I thought I would give this show a try and by god, I am so happy I did. Out of all the shows that played over here in the states via the The N channel (also known as Noggin), RFR was the weirdest of the selection. The story is that of four friends that decide to run a rebel radio station at their local high school, going against the rules of the principal and talking about taboo subjects, silly stories and bringing about important matters dealing with being a teenager to the attention of everyone in their community. Though sometimes there was a lot of filler and silly bits, this show definitely had a lot of heart. Of course, if you ever watched the series everyone had a soft spot for Lily and Travis as a couple, with Ray being the third wheel who has loved Lily forever. If you are into Canadian Teen shows, I highly recommend this one since its a much different flavor in comparison to others shown at the same time. Cheesy, corny, and all around adorable.

Favorite Episode: More Than A Single
Favorite Character: Travis

7. Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World

Rick and Steve is a very silly comedy series about the lives of a fictional Queer community, where everyone in the town is LGBT and if someone straight comes alone, that's just bizarre. The main characters are of course Rick and Steve, who are sort of the more bland of the characters that help us enter their universe. My favorite couple is Chuck and Evan, an older man in a wheelchair with his drug addicted 19 yr. old boyfriend. Yes, if you can't tell this show is loud and proud and to many very offensive, but similar to South Park, I kept watching for the ridiculous and light hearted approach with the comedic flair to very taboo topics such as AIDS, Drugs and etc. But unlike South Park, Rick and Steve had a lot of heart and soul more then similar shows of it's type. I recommend it for those that need a good insane yet controversial laugh.

Favorite episode: Swallowing Pride
Favorite Character (s): Chuck and Evan

6. Daria

Though this show definitely had a lot more popularity then I'm giving it credit for, it seems that not a lot of people seem to actually remember it or almost like to discard it when its brought up in conversation. To me, Daria is an American treasure. I think everyone in their life has felt in some strange way a connection with the monotone heroine, as she to me was the voice inside my head whenever someone similar to the character of Brittany, the cheerleader, would come up to me in school. Daria's relationship with Jane reminds me of my relationship with my best friend at the time, along with many other similar instances. To say Daria was a one of a kind show is the understatement of the year, and nothing will ever be able to replace it.

Favorite Episode: Through a Len's Darkly
Favorite Character(s): Daria and Troy

5. Freakazoid!

I'm sure everyone had a favorite character in their youth that gave them their first discovery of comedy. Many would say The Animaniacs was theirs, or even Tiny Toons. But for me, it was Freakazoid. This is certainly one of the weirdest shows I ever had the pleasure of sitting down to watch, possibly weirder then the previous shows mentioned. But with a name such as it was given, how could it not be weird? The story is that of teenage kid Dexter Douglas, who one day turns on a computer program and becomes his alter ego, Freakazoid. I am openly convinced that me and many others being born into the generation that was extremely diagnosed with ADD, Freakazoid was our champion of random behavior and intelligence. As much as you would like to argue otherwise, this show was incredibly smart and ahead of it's time. It's definitely my favorite comedy show, period, because it took a lot of risks for the time and showed some really bizarre things when it comes to Children's programming in the 90's. If you haven't watched this in a while, I fully encourage a reviewing. You'll appreciate it even more now.

Favorite Episode: Bonjour, Lobey.
Favorite Character: Sgt. Cosgrove

4. Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Though only lasting one season, Jim Henson's The Storyteller was a brilliant show. Some back story: At the time, many different cable channels were springing up and needed programming for children, so a lot of Fairy Tale re-telling sorts of shows were being produced. The most notable of these was Sherry Duvall's Fairy Tale Theater, but the one I think deserves the most respect and I would love to see brought back (BUT NO CGI PLEASE) is The Storyteller. Starring one of my favorite voice's ever (John Hurt), the show revolved around The Storyteller, a wise older almost fairy like man that lived in an abandoned house with his faithful talking dog. All day they would tell stories, and the stories they would tell would be then shown to the audience. But what was unique about the show was that the character of The Storyteller himself was also involved in the stories, playing an actual part in the plot themselves or just fooling around with the audience to think he was important. But the voice of reason was definitely his dog, who would always assure the audience that he was only joking. Every single bit of casting and visuals were perfect, and with only 13 episodes, it left a lasting legacy for children's programming. 

Favorite Episode: Hans My Hedgehog
Favorite Character: The Storyteller

3. Beauty and the Beast

Yep, this show is cheesy as sin. But I couldn't not include one of my favorite versions of my favorite fairy tale. This show definitely is a huge part of my life, mostly because it got me into loving the people involved and their other work, especially (my number one old man crush) Ron Perlman. His portrayal of Vincent is his most iconic role, and should be on some sort of top 10 TV list. The show took a really great modern concept to the fairy tale, with sprinkling some (for the time) edgy elements. The plot tells of Catherine, a rich upper east sider who is brutally abused by a gang. She is saved by Vincent, who lives underneath the subways in a community known as the Tunnel Dwellers. He and Catherine grow to have an extremely tight bond, that begins to become supernatural in ways, and eventually they fall in love with each other. What made the show really cool was the incredible amount of action and complex drama. Also, there was a lot of poetry and older books mentioned, which got me into reading the material later on in my life. And of course, we can't not talk about the romance. Catherine and Vincent's relationship was lovely to watch, yet refreshing since they were not focusing on their physical attraction but rather their mental (yeah, you never really see them kiss ::shrug::)
Overall, even with it's awful ending,
this show was beautiful and hopefully it's current remake will do it justice (though I doubt it).

Favorite Episode: Arabesque
Favorite Character(s): Vincent, Devin and Joe.

2. My So Called Life
Confession: I had a huge crush on both Jordan and Brian. There, I've said it - though most girls would say they would chose Jordan over Brian, I had a big thing for both of them because they were real guys with huge flaws. Okay, so 95% of you probably don't understand a lick of what I am saying, so I'll break it down for you: My So Called Life was my teenage life on screen. I'm sure anyone that watched the show could equally say the same thing, but really, I can't find a show more similar to my real life story then this show (except that I didn't have a little sister or red hair.) But everything else was pretty similar, and thus the show has stuck with me. This show only lasted one season, but those 14 episodes continue to be marathoned in my room on an almost monthly basis. When I am sad, happy, or getting ready for a party: The show covers all my watching needs. It's a shame it never was given a proper ending, because it really was a great show and ahead of it's time. But maybe in some way it's good it never finished because then we might not want to know the real ending. To explain the plot is hard, so if interested just based on this paragraph - go watch it.

Favorite Episode: Life of Brian
Favorite Character (s): Gram, Angela, Ricky and Tino (get it?)
1. Disney's Gargoyles

Looking at this blog, you would think my favorite TV show is some kind of girly sparkle magic show. Well the answer is far from it. Gargoyles has and will always be my favorite TV show. The plot, action, animation and voice acting were perfect in almost every episode. It was beyond ahead of it's time and was nothing like anything Disney had made before or since. The story is that of the creatures known as Gargoyles, stone by day and warriors by night, who in Scotland a thousand years ago were cursed to sleep in stone forever. They are then awakened by billionaire playboy David Xanatos, and their lives are never the same after. I loved the relationships, the use of Shakespeare and the dynamic between all the characters. Sadly, in it's third season the show went down a slippery slope of fail, so I like to think Season 2 as the last season. If you haven't watched the show since you were a kid, I highly recommend checking it out now as it is a very different experience watching it. But truly it was a brilliant series, and continues to stand the test of time.

Favorite Episode: The Mirror
Favorite Character (s): Brooklyn, Puck, Fox and Griff

So those are my top 10 TV Shows, what are yours? Trust me, it was hard to chose just 10, so I'd love to know what others you would put down!


Victoria Suzanne said...

I own the DVD set of Northern Exposure - I love the lackadasical DJ, the doctor's assistant and of course the pharmacist. I gotta say though, I look at that moose in the intro and it looks mighty tasty!

Cat said...

Radio Free Roscoe-
I remeber this. I started wathcing it at the beginning of the summer holidays and I loved it. Shame it stopped it at the end of the holidays because I really loved it. Me and my little sister would watch it for ages. Thoes were good old days.

I came across it by accident on tv once. As it's an American show and I live in Europe. I belive I was zapping late one night and came accross it. I regret not writing the name down then but I've found it on Youtube recently so have been cathcing up.

Also knowe this one. It was new to Cartoon Network. I really disliked it. I think as a child he really freaked me out.

Jim Henson's The Storyteller-
I also vaguly remember this one from when I was really small. I used to love it.

Disney's Gargoyles-
Another favoriete one mine and my little sister. We used to watch this in German ( as we were living in Germany at the time). We loved it though after a few years they stopped it and replaced it with newer cartoons which weren't as cool. Real big shame. I used to like the little greenish guy (no idea what his name was again).

All of these series bring back so many memories from my childhood and make me miss it. They've earned a valuable place in my heart and mind.

Arika said...

Ohh I miss a bunch of those. I remember staying up way past bedtime to watch Gargoyles on Toon Disney, I think they were on at like 11:30, and then the Mighty Ducks cartoons were on after that, which I also liked.

One show that I still love that nobody remembers is News Radio, which is terrible because it was Dave Foley, Stephen Root, and Phil Hartman, 3 comedy geniuses. I would say the rest of the cast it well fleshed out too, everyone was so amazing! So sad...

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