Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

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PanzerMeyer
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Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by PanzerMeyer »

What are your top 10 shows and mini-series of all time? I'm talking about shows that you've seen multiple times, where you probably own the entire bluray set and where you can probably answer almost any trivia question about it if asked. I decided to include mini-series as well because there's a certain WWII era mini-series that a bunch of people always seem to mention even when the topic is strictly long running shows.

Here is my list:


1. "Rome" (HBO series)- In my opinion this has not been surpassed by any other show when it comes to the Roman Republic/Empire setting and I don't think it will be surpassed in my lifetime.

2. "Babylon 5" - To the best of my knowledge this was the first US sci-fi series to have a completely mapped out 5 year story arc from the beginning.

3. "The X-Files" - The show lost steam in the final 2 seasons but the first 7 seasons are absolute gold. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were truly lightning in a bottle.

4. "Battlestar Galactica" (2003 reimagined series) - It was pure brilliance how a cheesy 70's sci-fi show for kids was updated and transformed into a dark, serious and profound commentary on humanity.

5. "John Adams" (HBO miniseries) - Paul Giamatti's tour de force alone in the lead role makes this miniseries worth watching.

6. "Game of Thrones" - Sheer brilliance until the last season when unfortunately the narrative got rushed.

7. Star Trek TOS - Some incredibly well written stories and I don't think I need to say much about the pop culture impact of this series. There's also the triad of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley who were "lightning in a bottle" on screen.

8. Band of Brothers (HBO miniseries) - Probably the greatest ensemble cast for any miniseries in US television.

9. Westworld - Lots of shows have delved into the artificial intelligence theme but I think WW does it best.

10. Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Absolute comedy gold with brilliant riffing of some truly terrible movies spanning from the 1930's through the 1990's!
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Jedi Master
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by Jedi Master »

BSG, B5, GoT, all the ST series up till 2005, all the Stargate series, the Star Wars series (animated and live action since 2008), MST3K, and Monty Python.

There are others I have seen and enjoyed, both on your list and off, but not enough to buy them or watch them more than once.
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by Grifter »

I would agree with all/most of that list and Jedi's additions. In my opinion it's a rock solid list. I would add Breaking Bad, Sopranos, and DS9 to that mix. I would consider a surprising runner-up and underrated gem in The Fringe, aired for five seasons on Fox. Similarly, Lost and and Heroes may have been considered for runner-up but sadly both stories are incomplete or the writing fell apart in the case of Lost.
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by Jedi Master »

Lost and Heroes were great in the beginning but, to borrow a quote, "lived long enough to become the villain." Heroes turned around fast, S1 was amazing, S2 was ok, by S3 people were leaving in droves.

Lost took a more gradual decline so I'm not sure where the turning point was besides the fact that its final season was like GoT's as far as the problems with its storytelling. In both cases, the acting and production were still at the same level, it was 100% about the scripts.

I've heard some really good things about Mr Robot, which lasted 4 years and finished properly, so I'm considering watching it. It's free on Amazon Prime.
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by PanzerMeyer »

Everyone I know who has seen "Mr. Robot" raves about how awesome it is. I think I'll add this to my watch list as well. And besides, I have NO clue when season 4 of Westworld will be out and season 2 of the Mandalorian will be over before we know it so I'll need another show to check out eventually.
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by Grifter »

100% agree with Jedi. The problem with Lost, Heroes, and GoT was the script writing. The acting and production quality was fine, but the stories lost their way in the final seasons of the the show. It was particularly glaring in Lost and GoT, I thought. Heroes just abruptly ended because it was canceled.

I just finished all four seasons Mr. Robot a few weeks ago. I would the give the series a 7 or 8 out of 10. Very solid, smart story telling, provocative, well developed characters. Fair warning since you guys are computer people, I can tell they put in enough computer jargon to make it believable to a layperson like me, but a knowledgeable person might find the inaccuracies annoying. Even still, very creative and unique show with compelling characters. The series ended very well. I thought for an episode that the series was going to end very, very poorly but it actually turned out to be very satisfying.

Another show I'm watching now is Utopia. So far, a very interesting show with a good plot and interesting characters, if not a bit wooden. However, I'm thoroughly disappointed in their desire to kill off a main character only two episodes in for the sake of establishing tone and mood. They want a gritty, raw story that promises none of the safety nets you can typically count on as sign posts or touchstones. Even then, it's fair to say they're not entirely successful. While killing off this character forces the audience to feel the pain of this grim, merciless reality the writers are creating, which tests the ethical sensibilities of the audience, they do so at the expense of losing that one character the audience may have rooted for, that is, the marketing within the marketing of the tale, as surely the character's story would've been compelling in its own right and given the audience something to cling to. Shock value has its place in storytelling. Unbridled shock value can challenges the ability of the audience to both believe in and invest in the plot, as the plot becomes aversive. So, you can make the world as gritty as you want, but if you make it too gritty no one is going to want to visit it. he danger in testing the boundaries of thoroughly safe and outright storytelling suicide is that if you get it wrong you ruin the whole plot. It's like burning the sauce on the stove top. So, right now, with the wound of losing this character still fresh, I'm giving the story a 6 out of 10 and hoping that it redeems itself somehow.
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Re: Your personal top 10 shows/mini-series

Post by PanzerMeyer »

Speaking of major characters being killed off too soon, I still find it hilarious in retrospect just how many GOT fans who obviously had not read the books were so angry and disappointed when Sean Bean's character (Ned Stark) was killed at the end of the first season. He was a very likeable character and it was masterfully played by Sean Bean but his death also served the story quite well.

Oh and thanks Grifter for that mini-review of Mr. Robot. I am 98% sure this show will be a good fit for me.
I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious - Baron Munchausen

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