We are lucky enough to live in a time when TV shows are better than ever. In the past, little was invested in them (perhaps in the actors if they were very famous), but the level of quality over the last ten years is unprecedented: the photography, the wardrobe, the settings, the writing… some of the current TV shows have episodes that look like the best motion pictures.
And yet, it seems like the good ones get lost and we are fed with filth. It’s just that simple. For example, I saw a few months ago an amazing TV series called Awake, starring Jason Isaacs. The plot was startling, as were the actors. And yet, it was cancelled after just 13 episodes, like it happens all the time…
And while shows like Awake die before they should, more than half of the present TV programming is an insult to our intelligence. All right, I can’t really speak about British television because I haven’t watched it that much yet, but I can assure you, in Spain we have a plague: it feels as if they wanted to turn the population into brainless zombies (and that is being optimistic).
So I have found myself missing some TV shows that I watched during my childhood (and more recently too) and I have tried to make a list of the ones I would include in every time slot filled with, well, trash.
(All right, there are lots of TV shows I would include, but I’m going to start with five).
Why: With hundreds of episodes, this sitcom is a must. It reached millions of people who (me included) cried when the show ended in 2004. I don’t have enough words to express how much this series meant to me.
Wise Words: Unagi!!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Why: A long time ago, before female characters in the vampire universe were silly girls who needed to be saved, Buffy existed. And she kicked everyone’s ass. She was powerful, witty and there wasn’t a single episode where she didn’t save the lives of all the residents of Sunnydale, basically. But it’s not really a surprise how amazing this show was, considering that it was created by Joss Whedon. Enough said.
Wise Words: –Giles, speak English, or whatever it is they speak in…-England?
MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS
Why: This show doesn’t need reasons. It’s… Monty Python! I probably know by heart most of their sketches. You don’t have a sense of humour if you don’t like these geniuses.
Wise Words: Why is it that nobody remembers the name of Johann Gambolputty-de von-Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crass-cren-bon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelter-wasser-kurstlich-himble-eisen-bahnwagen-guten-abend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwürstel-gespurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-schönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittleraucher-von-Hautkopft of Ulm?
Why: Again, a show that didn’t last enough, getting cancelled after two fantastic series. And while it wasn’t exactly accurate, the setting and the vast amount of characters set a precedent for ensemble cast shows, like Game of Thrones. After all, they both belong to the same network, HBO (which, in my opinion, makes the best TV shows currently).
Wise Words: Nobody’s a traitor until they are.
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR
Why: Let’s start from the premise that I would watch anything starring Will Smith. In Spain, this show was absolutely huge, and I still remember the lyrics of the main theme (in English and in Spanish). I loved it so much that I think I could still remember some of the dialogues if I watched it again.
Wise Words: I ain’t no bungee expert or nothin’, but I don’t think he’s supposed to be slamming into the ground like that.