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What is the greatest television series of all time?

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Topic's like "the greatest animated television series" or the even narrower "the greatest anime" seem to pop up on the forums i visit rather often. But for some reason, the bigger question about what is the greatest television series period (as in, animated or live action, from any part of the world) doesn't seem to come up as often (at least, that's my own experience). So i thought it would be interesting to ask that question on a fairly large forum like this and see what comes up. Just remember to give at least some small explanation behind your answer.

As for my own opinion, im gonna have to say The Simpsons. I have a feeling that this is the most common (and therefore most boring :P ) answer to the question, but nevertheless, that's my honest answer. Of course, im speaking strictly of the first 8 or possibly 9 seasons of the show. First of all, the comedy was amazingly inventive for it's time and is hilarious even today (even if the kind of subversive, ironic humor that the show featured have become much more common in more recent years and doesn't seem quite as fresh as it did in the 90's). The show also had very likable characters, interesting and clever storylines, and actually managed to be quite emotional every now and then. Basically, the show first and foremost excelled as a comedy, but it also had some emotion behind it to give it an extra push. These qualities combined is what made it the best TV series of all time, in my humble opinion.

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The Simpsons easily. It's brilliance for so many years is what makes it huge decline especially painful. It had it godawful moments and it's hiccups even in earlier seasons such as "The Principal and the Pauper", "Homer Vs Dignity" and "Saddlesore Galactica" but those were pretty much outshone by plenty of other episodes that had meaning not to mention hilarious comedy that still stands up today because it's so well written.

The Simpsons intelligent comedy and realism back in the days before Mike Scully set the benchmark for the TV series that features a dysfunctional family. It's such a pity that it became such a sellout, lampooning/excessively parodying real life objects/events and seemingly now doing a Family Guy; Starting to rely on Cutaway Gags because the writers are just not clever enough nowadays to stick to what REALLY made/makes The Simpsons funny with it's self-referential humor and intelligent wit.

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In the past few years I've been watching more and more scripted dramas, mostly on cable, as we seem to be in a golden age of really good, well written TV shows, if you know where to find them.

Of all time, I'd have to give it to Six Feet Under, it's just so damn good. I picked up the entire series for $75 at best buy 2 years ago purely because Michael c. Hall (Dexter) stars in it and I had just gotten into that show as well.

Best show currently on TV, I must give to Breaking Bad, because it's just fucking awesome...pulse pounding, combined with some of the best cinematography in existence. Sadly few people even know that it exists...

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Avatar: The Last Airbender is my favorite show that you need to follow in order to fully enjoy it. No questions asked. It's freaking awesome. And it made me want to be an airbender SO badly.

Other than that, I like mostly funny stuff. American Dad, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Seinfeld, King of Queens.

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I'm probably the only one here who cares about this show, but...

If you think this is like a Godfather type show you're wrong.

It's actually pretty deep, covering topics of crime, morality, loyalty, identity, privilege, racism, psychology... Yeah a lot of stuff.

It's also pretty funny when it wants to be on account of great characters and writing.

Also if you're from New Jersey you might appreciate this show.

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I'd say MLP:FiM and The Simpsons but I really feel it should be a Live-Action TV show. Something like... Law & Order, maybe? I have thoroughly enjoyed that every time I've watched it. But I haven't watched much TV in my life. So I can't say. Maybe Doctor Who? But I haven't seen a single episode.

Edited by Dialga190

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Power Rangers. Naw just kidding but it is a fun show when done right. *Glares at Operation Overdrive in disgust*

Seriously though Modern Family is a dang good show if you don't watch it start.

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I'd have to say Breaking Bad.

It's thought-provoking, cleverly-written (I mean clever) and it's got its share of hilarious moments too. A truly gripping show that is far too underlooked.

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im accutally a fan of the wacky racers series and Dastardly & Muttley In Their Flying Machines tv shows ive always liked them and still do at this time

i also like ed,edd and eddy

AOSTH (adventures of sonic the hedgehog) Is also a fav of mine

Urm for now now shows i watch im not sure

family guy is quite good but ill prob watch almost any kids program

but im not always a kids tv show watcher as i used to be sometimes ill just watch a movie or somthing or Grown up channel like cake boss,Watchdog,Nightcops I donno im not sure ill watch anything good xD :lol:

Edited by Luke.

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Why, Ponies of course.

Probably M*A*S*H. While I absolutely loathe the first couple of seasons with an intense passion for how amazingly inappropriate it seems to make shitty 70's-era sitcom jokes about a war (with a laugh track, even!), once it got all of that nonsense out of its system by the third season it became timeless. It handled the themes it tackled really well, breaching topics that even today most shows try to avoid. And while it tended to lose the comedy aspect as the years went on (especially the final season), that only made it so the jokes that it did tell were that much more powerful and the concepts it explored that much deeper.

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The Twilight Zone. It's also one of the most influential series ever made, some of its more famous episodes are as ingrained in the collective conscious just as much as old fairy tales like "Jack and the Bean Stalk".

Edited by Phos

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - always gives me a great nostalgic kick and I love both the cast and the soundtrack to it :D I like most of the Seasons after it too, except pretty much all the ones Disney made <_<

American Dad - I don't find it that funny, but it's deeply entertaining to me somehow :huh:

Robot Chicken - I've always loved toys myself, couldn't stop playing with them as a kid and I didn't stop till I was about 14 (this is why I'm bored so much more these last few years :lol: ) and when there's a funny comedy series using toys, it's just a recipe for WIN!!!! B)

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Oh my GOD. WHAT ABOUT HOUSE M.D.?

House M.D. is hilarious for a Drama, very emotional at parts, and the characters have so much depth that even I can't climb out of. It has everything, from eyecandy (Olivia Wilde. :)) to amazing actors.

Also, Hugh Laurie drops the british accent for brownie points.

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Kind of depends on the criteria of the term "greatest." If you ask me for the most fundamental TV show, then it would definitely be something early that really added something with unparalleled importance to the medium, with large influence over its successors. To that, I might give the position to The Twilight Zone; its anthological structure made the most of television's episodic structure and helped translate the format of radio dramas into the world of television. That said, I'm not exactly a television historian, so I'm not saying this with a complete understanding of early television.

If you ask me for the most powerful TV show, then it would be something that shaped the spirit of a generation. To that, I'd have to say The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Despite being a comedian at the core, Stewart uses comedy as a tool of reason as much as a tool of entertainment, and his delivery and writing inspire his young viewers to understand politics rather than just eat up opinions from pundits, which is why the Daily Show has been found to have the most politically aware viewer base.

If you ask me for the most entertaining TV show, I'd have to say something that gave its audience a reason to keep coming back. I'd have to give that one to Lost. Say what you will of how it didn't answer all the mysteries it created, Bad Robot found a way to make character development as addictive as crack cocaine. And if not to learn more about the characters, it was to learn more about the bizarre nature of the island.

If you ask me for the most intuitive TV show, I couldn't really answer you anything other than My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I might have some bias as a brony, but I am a brony for a reason. It just takes some kind of unmatched genius to create a show targeted at a 12 and under female audience that ends up with a fanbase reaching into a college-aged male demo.

But if you were to ask me what I feel by my own ideas of the word what the greatest show of all time is, it wouldn't take much thought: Courage the Cowardly Dog. Where do I begin? First, it was basic. It revolved around only three characters because that was really all it needed. Courage, the hero, Muriel, a kind and trusting old woman and Eustace, a cruel and depressed old farmer. The threats all added their own twists that made each episode unique, but emphasis was placed on the three main cast members because they provided everything the show needed to work; any more or less would just break the balance that made the relationship so powerful. And the variable that made the show worth returning to was the threats. I say threats and not villains because the bad guys weren't necessarily bad or guys. Sometimes they were objective forces, psychopathic lunatics, vengeful spirits, enigmatic concepts or even the main characters themselves. Far too often narratives try to reduce the concept of evil into something tangible, something to blame for all the problems in the world, like the "dark side" in Star Wars. Courage just doesn't do that; there's rarely anything in his world that can be seen as evil by choice. And this leads it to being the most interesting and intelligently written series I've seen. This isn't Batman- stop the bad guy and the city's safe again. This is just about a dog who wants to keep his family out of harms way, and no matter what he does, they always find a way to get into more trouble. Sometimes, the premise doesn't even make sense. And it doesn't need to, because every experience they have feels fresh and unique. And most importantly of all, the show isn't patronizing; when it wants you to be happy, you're happy. When it wants you to be sad, you're sad. And when it wants you to be afraid, you're fucking terrified. It's ironic that the series finale is about Courage coming to grips with the fact he isn't perfect, because in my opinion, this show's the closest thing to it.

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what specifically is it about the show that makes you consider it the best TV series of all?

Well, because-

appealing characters, clever humor, and nice animation

That, basically.

And while you're absolutely correct that the storylines and plots themselves can be formulaic and cliched, I feel that the extremely fleshed-out characters make even the most stock plots fresh and interesting. That's what makes the episodic stories great- Though the premise itself is often nothing to write home about, the manner in which it is presented totally is. Taking a common storyline or premise ("Friend is jealous of another friend", "Judging someone based on their appearance", "Having to face your fears", etc.) and portraying it in a fresh and engaging way with lovable characters is what makes FiM work so well in my opinion.

The show doesn't resort to bland one-note characters who are utterly defined by a few quirks and traits, but rather gives each of the main cast (And a considerable amount of side characters) layers of realistic foibles and good points alike which remain consistent and actually develop as the series progresses. And to me, that's the most important aspect of any story: The characters. The plot is important too, but the characters are in my opinion far more vital to a story's success. A mediocre premise with great characters is always going to be better than a unique and interesting premise with uninteresting characters. (Not that I'm saying all of FiM's episodes have had cliched stories, some of them are really original) But yeah, the show's characterization is its biggest strength, and the main reason it's my favorite show ever.

Beyond those points, just subjective preference. I haven't ever been hooked on a series (Cartoon, anime, or game) quite like this, and it's difficult to pinpoint why exactly I'm so into it. But the show's obviously done a good job of engaging me as a viewer, so it gets credit for that.

But that's just my opinion- Like I said, I can respect people who just aren't into it, or people who are but don't like it as much as I do. There's not a single series that's for everybody, after all.

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I'd have to say Invader Zim. I was a huge fan of that before it became popular and over used. I'm not quite sure why I liked it so much. All I know is that my cousin was the one who introduced me to it.

I'd also have to say Sonic X, Robot Chicken, Avatar: The Last Airbender... More into the cartoons than anything. I'm a kid at heart.

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The show doesn't resort to bland one-note characters who are utterly defined by a few quirks and traits, but rather gives each of the main cast (And a considerable amount of side characters) layers of realistic foibles and good points alike which remain consistent and actually develop as the series progresses. And to me, that's the most important aspect of any story: The characters. The plot is important too, but the characters are in my opinion far more vital to a story's success. A mediocre premise with great characters is always going to be better than a unique and interesting premise with uninteresting characters.

I wholeheartedly agree with that.

And i suppose that maybe i haven't seen enough of FiM to truly get into the characters in the way that you and other devoted bronies have (i have only seen about six episodes).

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Man this is hard. There are so many shows. Quite a few rank up there for me.

I love Lucy

The Nanny

Family Matters

That 70's Show

The Simpsons(Old seasons for the most part)

Family Guy(Old seasons for the most part)

American Dad

The Flintstones

The Original Looney Tunes

The Looney Tunes Show

Scooby-Doo Where are You?

Tom and Jerry

Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporparated

SpongeBob SquarePants(First three seasons for the most par)

Ed,Edd,nEddy

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Time Squad

Cow and Chicken

Batman The Animated Series

Batman The Brave and the Bold

Ren and Stimpy

KaBlam!

Invader Zim

Avatar the Last Airbender

Adventure Time

Regular Show

Spectacular Spider-Man

Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends

The PowerPuff Girls

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Some of my favourite shows are shows that tend to push the boundries. Wether it be getting away with a lot of crap past the radar (Ed,Edd,nEddy, SpongeBob SquarePants(First three seasons), Adventure Time, Regular Show, PowerPuff Girls, Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated, Batman the brave and the Bold, The Original Looney Tunes, The Looney Tunes Show) or blurring gender lines(PowerPuff Girls, My Little pony Friendship is Magic). They are quite admirable.

It would be hard to pick a favourite. Honestly, even in general, it would be hardto compare them because they are so differn't and I love them for so many differn't reasons. The Art styles, the Animation/Sets, the Actors, the Stories, the Characters. They are all so unuique.

I also must say that I love shows that take their audiances seriously. Because, honestly, thats the way a show should be made. A show should always take it's audiance seriously.

For me it's just impossible to pinpoint my favourite show. Besides I appreciate the wide variety of shows there are. Some are more complicated, some are more simple, some are a mix and some are just a complete mindfuck out of WackoTown! How can you pick a best one out of a slection that is so great and unuique.

Edited by PeanutButterDimond

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