Sunday 19 September 2010

Blogfest: Top 10 TV Shows

Here is my post for Alex J Cavanaugh's top 10 tv blogfest.
I seem to have misplaced the little list I had jotted down for this so there are bound to be glaring omissions but it's a testament to current US drama that the majority of shows here are fairly recent or current. Remember to check Alex's own list and Dezmond's at Hollywood Spy via the links listed in Visit These Places.

1. PRISON BREAK - Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) decides that the only way to get his brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) out of Death Row is to become a prisoner himself and use his engineering skills to escape Fox River prison, which he helped design.

A premise more suited to a movie you might think but this fantastic drama lasted 4 seasons (series to us in the UK) and had me rooting for an amazing cast of characters as they attempt to make their escape and clear their names. Special mention must go to Robert Knepper who managed to make the despicable Theodore "T Bag" Bagwell everyone's favourite character.

2. NYPD BLUE - David Caruso made a big mistake leaving this show after a year but if he hadn't I suspect it wouldn't have become the show it did thanks to Dennis Franz's Andy Sipowicz. In a multi-award winning performance Franz takes the alcoholic cop and makes him one of the most loved tv characters in history. Jimmy Smits played Bobby Simone for 5 years and he was Andy's favourite partner, he even returned for a couple of cameo appearances towards the end of the final series.

3. V - Forget the current re-make, the original show is by far the best and despite the dated look it still stands up today. Marc Singer and Michael Ironside head the resistance against the alien invasion.

4. Dexter - He's a serial killer but you'll love him. Michael C Hall plays the blood spatter specialist with the dark secret that he struggles to maintain while leading an ordinary life. Series 5 starts soon and I can't wait.

5. Dream On - Recently divorced Martin Tupper (Brian Benben) re-enters the dating game. Martin's thoughts are illustrated by cuts of old black & white movies that he grew up watching and it works surprisingly well. A fantastic comedy for grown ups, it lasted 6 seasons in the 90's.

6. Sons of Anarchy - This hard hitting drama follows the Sons Of Anarchy motorcycle club (biker gang) and has just started a 3rd series on US tv. Starring Britain's own Charlie Hunnam and Tommy Flanagan it's a refreshing change from cop based drama.

7. Only Fools And Horses - The only British show to make my top ten is one of the best loved comedies in UK tv history and it's easy to see why. London market traders try to make it big with hilarious results.

8. Monkey - This madcap Japanese show might not stand up today but I remember it so fondly it deserves a place. Join Monkey, Sandy and Pigsy as they help Tripitaka on his Holy quest. It got me hooked on martial-arts movies and some of the fight scenes were great.

9. Californication - Clearly inspred by Dream On this show follows the misadventures of struggling writer Hank Moody (David Duchovny) who just wants to get back with his Ex.

10. Life - Undeservedly cancelled after 2 series this cop drama starred Damien Lewis as Charlie Crews who upon his release from prison for a wrongful conviction returns to his job as a detective and attempts to find the people who framed him.

All of these shows are available on DVD and are highly recommended.


  1. Wow, I've only seen two shows on your list! I need to catch up with Netflix.

  2. Congratulations - I think you're the first!! Yeah the new V is just so... dull.

  3. Maybe I need to get out more Hannah.

    Yippee, 1st at something at last !!

  4. I also loved the original V back as a kid, it had great atmosphere!
    And Damian Lewis is always great in all shows and films.

  5. eeks! hannah beat me! i've only seen prison break... the first few episodes. i thought the premise, and the means, and the characters were well done though! :) that bad guy... *shivers*

  6. I've only seen Californication. What did you think of the last season? Is it me,or did it start to get a little much?

  7. Dez, V used to keep me up late, it's a habit I still have, sitting up watching stuff or reading even though I have an early rise. It's all V's fault.
    Hi Aspiring, Prison Break was brilliant and Knepper put in a fantastic performance. I reckon he should've had award glory.
    Miss, season 3 lacked something because a couple of characters wern't in it much (the ex and the crazy teen) but Kathleen Turner almost managed to fill the gap.

  8. oh! I forgot V and Monkey on my list!!
    (I used to have a crush on Marc Singer)

    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

  9. I heard of NYPD Blue and Prison break but have not heard of the others. Interesting what is out there.

  10. I'm sorry to say I've never seen ANY of these shows! But I do remember thinking Life would be a good one to watch sometime. :o I guess I'm a little late.

  11. I don't think I've seen any of the shows on your list! Except the V remake. I never saw the original. Interesting to see other people's taste in TV!

  12. I haven't seen alot of these shows, but i tried watching Dexter a few times. I don't watch much tv these days though

  13. I remember Dream On. It was on HBO and I was much too young to be watching such a show.

  14. Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the comments. I'm surprised that some of you haven't heard of some or any of the shows. I thought they were pretty mainstream. Stick around and check out some of my movie reviews, I wander out of the Hollywood safety zone pretty often. I will be having a look at your lists and commenting over the next couple of days. R.

  15. Finally, a list where I haven't seen absolutely anything. My daughter recommended that I might enjoy Dexter and I did read a Dexter novel that I really liked. Good presentation though.

    Tossing It Out

  16. Hi Lee,
    I think if you enjoyed the Dexter book you will like the show. Great characters.

  17. Monkey! Yay! This was such a cool show, which I could watch for hours. Ridiculous but fun.

  18. DREAM ON very, very nearly made my list. I even rented a couple of discs last week from NetFlix to see if I could still include it in my Top Ten as I hadn't seen an episode since 1994. As Maxwell Smart would say: "Missed it by that much."

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  19. I of course know of Only Fools And Horses being British. I enjoyed reading about your other favourites.

    Take care.

  20. My son is big fan of Prison Break. Never watched it myself

    Cold As Heaven

  21. I liked Life, too. It was a good show.

    And I happen to be a fan of the new V. I think it's a lot of fun. But then, I was never a big fan of the original. I recently watched a few of those old episodes and it just felt cheesy to me.

  22. I watched the first few episodes of Dexter when we had free Showtime for a few weeks. I loved it! I need to rent the DVD's and catch up!

  23. I'm a huge Dexter fan; This new season is going to be something! I love Robert Knepper, what an actor. Everything I have seen him in, he is brilliant~ Prison Break, great show, I haven't finished, it yet...

  24. Ooh, all shows I've never seen! I'm about to start on Dexter, and I'm looking forward to it even more now.

  25. Yay, another one with Dexter! I love a killer with a code ;) I didn't realize his real-life wife plays his sister on the show.

    Everyone here is hooked on Sons of Anarchy. Great show. I completely forgot about V. I watched the original religiously! Awesome list.

  26. Prison Break was great as was the first V! Excellent. I've never seen Californication.

  27. Wow - the only one I've seen on your list is V and I only remember the little girl with the lizard tongue! I actually liked the new one... maybe I need to check out the mini-series! :)

  28. I will be honest that i haven't heard of most of these shows but i may have to go look them up!

  29. Wow! My little Ghost Town of a blog has sprung to life thanks to Alex's blogfest.
    Lynda, most guys liked Jane Badler (Diana, who is returning in the remake) but I liked Julie (Faye Grant).
    Gregg, you should try Life, great cop drama, same goes for you Emily, try the dvds.
    Summer, I know I sound like a tv geek but these are quality shows, you may be pleasantly surprised.
    Budd, Dream On still rocks, if a bit dated.
    Ellie, glad to know theres another Monkey fan out there, lets hear it....Monkey Magic.....
    Stephen, Dream On used to be something I looked forward to every week so it had to be hear.
    Thanks Yvonne, remember Del Boy leaning on the bar? Classic.
    iZombie, he sure does, can't wait for the new episodes.
    Cold, your son has good taste, give it a try, it's top notch stuff.
    Karen, I just found out Jane Badler from the original will be in the remake, maybe I should give it another go.
    Kelly, you won't regret it.
    Ellie, Knepper didn't get the credit he deserved for Prison Break, it was one of the best tv performances ever.
    Ishta, I'm jealous, I'd love to be just starting Dexter !
    Angela, first mention for Sons Of Anarchy, it's quality drama and I met Tommy Flanagan (Chibs) when we were kids.
    RaShelle, Californication is very funny as long as you're pretty open minded.
    DL, my friend says I still model myself of Tyler (Michael Ironside) from the original. Give some of the others a try.
    Kelley, plenty of good stuff to choose from.

    Thanks for the great comments guys. R


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