What’s Your Favorite?

Other Shows We Like

Regular commenter MR2686 posed the question to another regular; so what are your other favorite shows apart from Chuck?

Make no mistake, I always hope for this to be a Chuck site first and foremost, but this could be a fun sidebar for a little bit; and  it sounds like a good community building exercise to me…

After the jump I’ll talk about mine, and I look forward to everyone’s input.

Well looks like I may be late to the party, as this discussion already got going on another thread.  But as that thread was already huge, let’s try to make a fresh start of it here.

The original question was top five.  Its hard for me to be that restrictive; so I think I’ll do two lists, one of only current shows, and the other for all time.

My current top five would be

5. Mythbusters

4. Grimm

3. Person of Interest

2. Psych

1. Castle

So a few thoughts.  Very sad not to have Chuck on that list.  Burn Notice would have been on it for a long time, but just isn’t anymore; and after tonight it no longer qualifies as “current” anyway.  At any given time I have about ten shows I’m watching, so this list is about half of what I watch.  I usually have a couple of sit-coms going (currently “The Middle” and “Last Man Standing”) but I really don’t take pure comedies seriously enough to count them.  I could just broadly say “football”; I’m a huge NFL junkie and Bears fan, but that seems like some sort of cheat.

My all time list

5. Firefly

4. Babylon 5

3. SG-1

2. Rockford Files

1. Chuck

I could broadly say “Star Trek”, I loved every incarnation of it, but no version can quite make this list.  My favorite comedies would be “Newhart”, “The Simpsons” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.  I have to admit to having a life long man-crush on James Garner, certainly my favorite television actor.

I thought about doing movies too, but I think that gets way too complicated.  So don’t be shy (like that’s ever a problem!), and don’t worry about repeating yourself if you already weighed in on the other thread.

~ Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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233 Responses to What’s Your Favorite?

  1. joe says:

    Oh, cool. Good start here, Dave.
    Of the current shows, I really have to recommend Perception (which just ended it’s second season) and Elementary. That one really grew on me.

    On your recommendation, I started watching Grimm last year, Dave. And I really grew to like that one too, I’ve been watching Once Upon A Time from the start, but I must admit, I haven’t enjoy it quite so much since they got their memories back.

    Go figure.

    • mr2686 says:

      Joe, I like Perception a lot more this season than season 1. I especially like the way they’re moving away from a WTWT between the two leads, and also bringing the ex-husband more in to the fold as a decent guy. Grimms another good one and definitely in my top 20 all time.

    • atcDave says:

      We watch and enjoy Elementary quite a lot, I wrestled with putting it in the “Five” slot.

    • thinkling says:

      Yeah Joe, I lost interest in Once Upon A Time about mid season 2.

  2. bundy says:

    Been a while since I posted here.I like Bones,Castle and Orphan Black. I’d add Dexter but that’s ending soon.After Chuck ended I hardly watch T.V. anymore.

  3. Louis Sytsma says:

    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to What’s Your Favorite?:
    Current
    5) Covert Affairs
    4) Arrow
    3) Orphan Black
    2) The Big Bang Theory
    1) Breaking Bad

    All Time
    5) All In The Family
    4) Breaking Bad
    3) FarScape
    2) Fringe
    1) Star Trek – Original

    Tough to restrict to 5 – shows I enjoyed over the years – Lost In Space, Time Tunnel, Quantum Leap, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea, Nowhere Man, Season 1 – 3 of Chuck, Rockford Files, ST:TNG, all the Gary Anderson puppet shows – special fondness for Fireball XL-5, The Wild, Wild West, Three’s Company, The Nightstalker, Adam West Batman, The Dead Zone, Castle, UFO, I Love Lucy…..etc

    So many…

    • Louis Sytsma says:

      Gosh how could I forget Lost and Firefly. So many shows.

    • Michael66 says:

      Nightstalker! Another one! And X-Files! The shame I feel.

      And there really should be favorite short series list;
      UFO
      Firefly
      The Prisoner ( mini-series list )

      And that last reminds me of the granddaddy of spy shows; Dangerman/Secret Agent Man.

      • atcDave says:

        I did recently re-watch Nightstalker, that one has held up quite well. It just misses a favorites list for me, but no doubt it is a solid and well done show.

        I think, as was typical of shows from its era, it was lacking in character growth, or anything related to the main character personally. But of course the monster of the week was often just a brilliant story. The zombie stands out as an all time favorite episode to me.

    • joe says:

      OMG! I thought I was the only person who remembered Fireball XL-5! As far as I’m concerned, it was the *original* Star Trek. I still remember that theme song.

      • Jason says:

        Joe my first brush with a star trek like story was called ‘King of the Rocketmen’ (even I’m not old enough to have seen it live, but I remember seeing it, then searched for it when I got older and found it on youtube, more or less. There were a couple series or serials using the ‘rocket suit’ made in the early 50’s, one had a little known at the time guest star named Lenard Nimoy. The IMDB summary of the show, ‘Jeff King in his experimental rocket suit battles the evil Dr. Vulcan.’

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041547/

      • atcDave says:

        I always think of Forbidden Planet as a true Trek predecessor. But of course that’s straying into movies…

      • anthropocene says:

        Fireball XL-5 had the theme song, but Thunderbirds had the best stories and way more explosions!

  4. mr2686 says:

    I’ll bring mine over from the other thread. I’m actually working on my all time top 100, but I’m actually trying to watch all of them and rank them so it will take a few years. As it is, I find that quite a few of the newer shows (2000 to current) have moved passed the older ones. Also, I used to be in to Sitcoms a lot more and since my tastes have changed they don’t seem to hold up quite as well, kinda like a joke you’ve heard too many times.
    Anyway, only two current shows on my top 10 list:
    1. Chuck
    2. Lost
    3. Veronica Mars
    4. Castle
    5. Leverage
    6. 24
    7. Sons of Anarchy
    8. Haven
    9. Firefly
    10. Heroes.

  5. Faith says:

    Pushing Daisies!

    I could go on and on why but really all you need to know is that I’m boycotting ABC because of it. That is pretty big right there as I used to watch 80% of my shows from there.

    Others:
    Sherlock
    Orphan Black
    Parks and Recreation
    Psych

    You’ll notice that most of those you can watch or catch up on via Netflix, on demand. The days of watching live for me has ended after Chuck.

    Those that aren’t on anymore:
    Smallville (<3333)
    Alias
    Golden Girls
    Murphy Brown
    Ed
    Wonder Woman
    L&C: TNAS

    I didn't mention Chuck coz that's obvious 😉

    • Faith says:

      2 more I forgot and while I wouldn’t call these two favorites, I do watch them fairly often: the Big Bang theory, Hannibal (Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal).

    • mr2686 says:

      Ah yes, Pushing Daisies. I’ve heard great things about it and is on the short list of DVD’s to purchase. Will probably watch it once the new season of shows comes to an end.

      • Faith says:

        Awesome! Yeah it’s the best!

        Also I forgot Legend of the Seeker :(. This is hard.

      • authorguy says:

        Pushing Daisies is a great show, I love the Jim Dale voice overs. It didn’t end the way I would have liked but what the hell, at least they tied off the plot threads. That can be painful, when they don’t. Wonderfalls also tied of most major plot threads. Tru Calling got killed in mid-season, at the darkest part of the arc, very depressing.

  6. uplink2 says:

    Copying from other thread:

    Top all time:

    1. Chuck
    2. The Wire
    3. West Wing
    4. Al in the Family
    5. Mash

    Honorable mentions, Dexter, TBBT, Cheers, 24

    Current is tougher as not much interests me right now.

    1. TBBT
    2. Dexter
    3. Newsroom
    4. Ray Donovan
    5. probably Homeland when it returns

    But those last 2 are a bit lukewarm. The only show on regular network TV I watch is TBBT. It really is a wasteland.

  7. FSL says:

    Tough call. Hard to pick only 5. And the shows I like are all very different. So I won’t rank them:
    – Chuck (Obviously!)
    – Star Trek (All of them)
    – Lois and Clark (It’s like Chuck from the 90s)
    – Boston Legal (Still amazes me how much dialogue they have to memorise each week)
    – Sherlock (If 3 episode every few years counts as a “series”)

    All off the air. I haven’t watched live TV in years.

    Lots of close seconds:
    – Elementary (It’s like the best version of CSI)
    – Doctor Who (the 9th and 10th era)
    – Life on Mars (Both the UK and US shows)
    – Batman TAS (I sometimes forget I’m watching an animation)
    – 24 (I had the CTU ring tone on for years)

  8. All time TV:
    1. Chuck, Farscape, and Babylon 5 (I refuse to break the tie)
    4. Sports Night
    5. Lois & Clark (especially seasons 2-3, which I’m rewatching now)
    6. Alias (seasons 1-2 are also tied at 1.)
    7. Stargate SG-1
    8. Highlander
    9. Friends & Frasier
    11. Castle (occasionally aspiring to 7th or 8th)
    12. Firefly (might move higher someday)
    13. Star Trek TNG & Star Trek DS9

    Current TV:
    1. Castle
    2. Once Upon a Time, Big Bang Theory, Suits
    5. 5 or so shows I like and DVR, but wouldn’t mind if they were cancelled.

    Fanfiction:
    1a. Castle (primarily because of chezchuckles)
    1b. Stargate SG-1 (primarily because of Rachel500 and Kate McCaye)
    1c. Chuck (primarily because of many of the people here)
    4. The three above are far better than any other, so why bother, although some people call the Star Wars extended universe books professional fan fiction. If so, the Zahn books would be tied with 1a.

    Discussion forums:
    1. Chuck This!

    • FSL says:

      I loved Farscape too, until they split Crichton into 2.

    • atcDave says:

      I expected Castle to be higher up your all time list Jeff!

      • There’s been a couple sinker episodes that were generally loved, but I dislike as much as First Class and what most people think about Mask. (The flight attendant episode, the billionaire, and the season 3 and 5 finales.) It’ll be higher if they don’t screw it up before it’s off the air. Also, it is sometimes too procedural, which is probably one reason why I like the fanfic more. Most FF writers skip that.

  9. Su Di Gio says:

    I’ve enjoyed a lot of TV over the years, but these are the ones I can remember planning my schedule around (spanning 60+ years, starting with the most recent and going back to childhood):

    1. Chuck
    2. Boston Legal
    3. West Wing
    4. Moonlighting
    5. The Waltons
    6. Room 222
    7. The Farmer’s Daughter
    8. Sky King

    Chuck depleted me, or completed me. Not sure which. I no longer watch TV.

  10. Su Di Gio says:

    Oops! Forgot to include Mash!

  11. JC says:

    Current
    1.Game of Thrones
    2.Person of Interest
    3.The Americans
    4.Sons of Anarchy
    5.Elementary
    6.Arrow

    All Time
    1.Buffy
    2.Rome
    3.Deadwood
    4.Fringe
    5.Friday Night Lights
    6.Veronica Mars
    7.Game of Thrones
    8.Angel
    9.The OC
    10.Chuck

  12. authorguy says:

    I don’t watch TV much at all. Most of the shows I love most I discovered after they were cancelled. I think Dexter, Bones, and Castle are all still running, but I can’t really call Castle a favorite, only the last two seasons caught my interest.
    Among cancelled shows, I would list Chuck, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, Tru Calling, Fringe, and Medium.
    This thread is getting me interested in some new shows, like Elementary, but really I have no time or interest in TV. I discovered Chuck on DVD, and caught up with the series in time to see the Mask! ‘m currently catching up with Dexter on DVD, I saw all of S5 in 2 days! My favorite season so far. I tried Grimm, but lost interest after a few episodes.

  13. Michael66 says:

    Star Trek and Chuck are too obvious.

    Here’s my all-time list;

    Moonlighting
    MASH
    The Walking Dead
    NCIS
    True Blood
    The Sopranos
    Big Bang Theory
    Married with Children
    Malcom in the Middle
    Mission Impossible
    Man From Uncle

    The order was intentionally scrambled as it changes all the time. Then it starts to expand and contract.

    Honorable mention; Irwin Allen stuff – Bottom of the Sea, Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Swiss Family Robinson, Land of the Giants. Is Irwin Allen stuff still watchable?

    For Moonlighting, just the first two seasons. When Cybil got pregnant and couldn’t do much on the show, they gave us Booger and Depesto. That’s worse than Morgan and Anna. I never bought into the whole Moonlighting curse, utter nonsense. But they did give us the Best TV episode of all time; Taming of the Shrew.

    Dave, might I suggest that you compile a list of all of these shows, put them out there for a vote?

    • atcDave says:

      Oh I’d forgotten Malcom, definitely one of the best comedies ever!

      “watchable” is a good question for a lot of this. We all have very different taste. I see a few recurring favorites, but not as much as I expected to.
      I think I’ll pass on the survey for now, the list would be huge already!

    • mr2686 says:

      Yes, watchable is a very good question. Some shows that I used to love back in the day seem very dated and, although I feel some nostalgia when watching them, it’s hard to get through an episode. One example for me is Columbo. I used to love that show, but recently pulled out a DVD of several Columbo episodes and they just seemed a bit silly.
      I think rather than going back and rewatching some of those shows, I’ll just leave them in my memory and still think they’re great.
      One show I haven’t seen on anyone’s list (unless I missed it) is Arrested Development. One of the few “all comedy” shows that still make my top 20. Not only did we get Emmett from there, we also got the great line “NO TOUCHING” from there as well.

      • atcDave says:

        I was thinking of “Wonder Woman” and “Charlie’s Angels” as shows I was quite fond of in my youth (gee, a 13 year old boy, what appeal could those shows have possibly had…) that wouldn’t quite hold up on re-watch.

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, you just sent me back to High School, sitting around in 1st period class talking about last night’s episode of Charlie’s Angels. By the way, on my cable network they do show them, sometimes 3 or 4 in a row, and no they do not hold up on rewatch. Although it is still fun to sneak a peak and snicker!!

      • Wilf says:

        And what about the Six Million Dollar Man and, also of interest to a teenage boy (and older), The Bionic Woman?

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah Wilf. Six Million Dollar Man was probably my first ever “favorite”.

      • Wilf says:

        … and of course Red Dwarf. There are just so many, although I’ve never been a huge TV series follower, except for some notable ones, already mentioned, such as The Wire, The West Wing, The Sopranos, Homeland.

  14. Jason says:

    I love this post. Here are a few of my lists:

    Oldies / But Goodies

    Honorable Mention: Mash, Dallas, All in the Family, Touched by an Angel, Kirk’s Star Trek
    5 – Hart to Hart (first detective couple show I liked)
    4 – Leave it to Beaver (first fav show ever)
    3 – Happy Days (great comedy, I’m from Wisconsin helps, my best friend growing up alot like Ritchie Cunningham, little sister and all – prob makes me Potsie LOL)
    2 – Waltons (reminds me of my mom and dad’s stories about growing up, still can choke me up, rewatches best of old shows for me)
    1 – Picard’s Star Trek – longer than the orig, better done, hard to take Kirk / Spock / McCoy / Scotty’s place, they did it well, sort of sparked all kinds of TV / movie ideas ever since

    Current (A little harder, as this is a work in progress)

    HM: Elementary, The Listener, Revolution, Game of Thrones, Person of Interest, Homeland
    5 – Revenge (guilty pleasure I guess, IMO really clever)
    4 – The Mentalist (typical modern guy/girl detective show, yet somehow keeps me hooked)
    3 – Castle (Fillion is one of the best entertainers, not written that well, but never screws up either)
    2 – Arrow (Sort of taken my Chuck fix, great action, Felicity / Diggle awesome sidekicks)
    1 – Continuum (Love the writing and the concept)

    All Time (Sort of Easy, length of show gets Castle above Arrow / Continuum for now)

    HM: 24, Castle, Fringe
    5 – Alias (my 1st post 9-11 spy show, also might be the 1st where the female lead is the enforcer, I love the way Alias lays out spy missions, rewatches really well, great finale scene)
    4 – Fri Night Lights – loved the show on first watch, it does not rewatch that well for me, my son jokes that I was ‘Coach’ for about a three year stretch in my life, sort of meh ending for me
    3 – Chuck – only 3rd, finding it does not rewatch well for me, no show ever got to me like Chuck did, like Chuck and Sarah did, might be number one with a great finale, simply was not for me
    2 – West Wing – rewatches great, love all the eps, especially the first couple of seasons, feel like I’m watching a historical account of the Clinton White House sometimes, love it
    1 – Everwood – I identify with several things about Andy Brown, I see many of my flaws in him, and also I learned a couple of life lessons like he did, I can rewatch any ep, any season, and be near equally entertained, the show ended remarkably well.

    • atcDave says:

      I expected Burn Notice to be on your list the way you’ve been talking it up the last few weeks Jason!

      I did mostly like the finale. I think it would have been better though as a stand alone without the rest of the season that led up to it. To me, the problem was, they went too dark and did too much character damage all season long to fix so quickly in the last episode. Maddie’s end didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me (shouldn’t Jesse have done that job?), but that wasn’t a huge thing to me anyway.
      I really liked Sam and Jesse talking at the funeral, and heading off to “meet a guy with a problem”. Further cements the fact that Sam was my favorite character overall.
      Mike and Fiona’s end was sweet and what I wanted, but again, they did too much damage all season long for it to be really satisfying. I would have bought that end easier after just about ANY previous season, this season it was a lot to swallow. And of course the obvious question, how did they end up with the kid? I don’t have a problem with it, I’m just confused about the logistics. From wanted fugitives, to presumed dead; and they walk away with someone who must have been a ward of the state all while maintaining their cover as “dead”? Go figure.

      At least Mike finally got out of Miami…

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, I think you just have to use the “TV show assumption” attitude on the finale. Michael was probably able to get a message to Jesse so they could pick up the kid (by the way, where exactly was that house they ended up in???), Maddie got to go out with a bang and a great line…”this is for my boys”, etc etc. A real sweet ending to a show that could be dark at times, and I agree that they changed gears awfully quick to get there in the finale. The last 10 minutes were real rushed, but I guess you can say that about any last show in a series.

      • atcDave says:

        I guess its one thing I think the BN finale has in common with the Chuck finale; I think they over developed the problem and undersold the fix.

        People above have talked about Chuck burning them out on television in general, and I do get that a little. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a lot of television, but I think I’m more cynical than ever about the way certain things are done. Especially related to “big” episodes and the lack of satisfying resolution in modern writing.
        I like epilogues like Tolkein wrote…
        I’m sort of kidding about that. But once they’ve told the story I want to see why it mattered. I want to see the impact it had on the character’s lives. I want to see how they cope and get back to normal, or what their new normal is. I want to know how the world was changed (where appropriate). And I want to celebrate the victory.
        Modern television typically robs us of that.

      • authorguy says:

        For me it’s not that so much as the lack of characters I care about. I’m not willing to get involved with a show over weeks and months when I can see a DVD set and find out in a couple of hours.

      • Jason says:

        Burn Notice will probably creep into my all time list soon and if it rewatches well, could possibly even fight Alias for #5, as could Castle someday, but can’t be on the current list as it is over. As for the BN ending, sometimes the hardest thing for a showrunner to do is give the show the ‘right’ ending, to pay off the story told for the fans, rather than try something odd to pay off the story for the critics and for themselves. I think BN did quite well in this regard, and it is my beef with the Chuck ending, as well as the final two eps of Chuck.

        How a show rewatches is important to me too, I think Burn Notice will score better for me over time. It’s possible that Chuck will not be third for me, once some of these other shows end. Friday night lights was close to number one for me at one point and will probably not be in my top five for real much longer, time has a way of putting the shows in perspective, again with how they ended and how they rewatch being key factors, along with how the show touched me as I first watched it.

      • Michael66 says:

        I haven’t watched this season of Burn Notice. It has become kinda feh. I’ll watch on Netflix. Someday.

        Since you bring up Series finales, how about a post on Favorite and Hated Series Finales. I’ll give you my favorite; the second Bob Newhart show. “I had the strangest dream.” 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah the funny thing about that Newhart end; it was brilliant and funny in a comedy. I would have HATED it on a drama!

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree about Newhart. I saw it live and was absolutely shocked but in a good way. Especially since the first show was so much better than the second lol.

        Hated finales would be an interesting one. For me I think it would be a toss up between The Sopranos and Seinfeld. Completely different genres but The Sopranos took the “ambiguous artsy” complaint we have about the Chuck finale out a hundred fold. Seinfeld was just so incredibly weak for what had been such an iconic show.

        One other thing I’d like to mention. I watched the stream of the Dexter finale panel at Paleyfest last night and beyond how absolutely awful Kristin Santos was as a moderator I really felt bad in a way for Yvonne because here she is the late addition to such a monster series and she can’t escape references to Chuck. The intersting part was none of it came from the audience, it was from Kristin. She was almost fangirling as her introduction was “Yvonne who is continually asked about a Chuck movie and now will be also asked about a Dexter movie” Then Kristin did this really boring waste of time with every single member of the panel for Kiss, Marry or Kill and of course she added then changed Chuck Bartowski when it should be all members of the Dexter universe. Then she was asked the obligatory fight between Hannah and Sarah and in a real case of embarassment Sarah Colleton, the EP on the show thought she was asking about her completely missing that it was Yvonne’s other character and MCH had to correct her.

        Hey even though I love having Yvonne talk about Chuck it has to get a bit difficult for her when she is there to promote such an amazing show that she was just a late addition to and have far too much attention put on her past work. The one good question she was asked about joining such a show she gave a fantastic respectful answer but it was overall a pretty weak performance by Santos. MCH and especially Jennifer Carpenter were fantastic though. But someone in the audience did ask the question about working together after getting divorced and it was uncomfortable for Jennifer though she gave a great answer.

      • atcDave says:

        I definitely prefer “Newhart” to the earlier “Bob Newhart Show”! Although both are very funny, and Bob Newhart is one of my very favorite comedians. I even own several of his comedy albums. Can’t enough of that dead-pan delivery.

      • Jason says:

        Newhart is awesome in one of my fav movie series, the Librarian, which happens to have both Fiona then Beckett as co stars in the second and third movies. The first co star was a bunch like Yvonne, and the star is the star (Noah Wylie) of a current show I like but did not mention, Falling Skies, and bears a striking resemblence to Levi.

      • authorguy says:

        The first Librarian was a great quasi-Chuck movie. The second two were meh, the second far more uninteresting than the third. Noah Wylie’s character became too much of a bad-ass in his own right and Nicole Noone was nowhere, when the romance between them was such a great part of the first movie. Very disappointing.

      • atcDave says:

        I liked the Librarian movies, good cheesy fun.

        I liked Falling Skies on and off. But I finally dumped it this season. I don’t mind end of the world, alien invasion, fight against hopeless odds sorts of stories. But I dislike having most of the characters be slime balls of some sort or another. That just gets tiresome to me, so I let that one go.

      • garnet says:

        Yeah, I have had a soft spot for Bob Newhart ever since performing his “Driver Instructor” for a high school variety show…30 years later I can stt run through it. His comedy was generally in good taste and I miss that in most of today’s shows.

        I’ll second Rockford files as a favourite, but anyone remember Simon and Simon? I think they would make my list.

      • atcDave says:

        Sounds like we have similar taste Garnet. I liked “Simon and Simon” a lot. “Magnum” too. And “The Equalizer”. CBS really had a strong line up for a few years there.

      • atcDave says:

        Marc I just love the weekly experience of a show. I love living with characters I like for years. Or at least, that’s the main thing I’m looking for in a television show. My attitudes are different towards movies, I think I’m more flexible in terms of character flaws and am more willing to put story ahead of character (although character is still more important to me than story).
        But television is all about spending time with familiar and loved characters, story is far less important to me.

      • authorguy says:

        I’m perfectly willing to watch on a weekly basis if I like the show and its characters, but Chuck was the last show I did that for. I tried Grimm and was disappointed. I’m currently coming up to speed on Dexter and Bones, and I might try to keep up with them in real time, except I think Dexter may be finished before I get there. Bones got a bit strange in the last season I saw (that birthing sequence was atrocious). Castle was meh in the first two seasons but picked up with the romance in the second two, so I may try to keep up with it as well. But for shows I don’t know, I’ll get recommendations from threads like this, or DVDs from the library, before I’ll spend time on them.

    • mr2686 says:

      The second Bob Newhart finale was a classic. I guess I tend to like the less straightforward finales because Chuck, Lost, and Sopranos are all on top of my list, as well as Leverage and now Burn Notice, and I just saw the finale for Dollhouse this past weekend and thought it was pretty good too in a different sort of way. I’d also have to throw Magnum, Quantum Leap and Wonder years somewhere in there as well. The only one that really sticks out as hated was Seinfeld, although MASH was a bit of a letdown for me.

      • atcDave says:

        I didn’t like the MASH or Quantum Leap finales. Magnum was okay. Burn Notice was oddly better than the rest of the last season, but otherwise unremarkable.

        Star Trek TNG stands out as having a good finale. So did Babylon 5 and SG-1 (if you count the movies).
        I think my favorites are those that resolve the on going story lines without straying too far in mood or character from the show itself. To many finales get cute and fail badly in one of those aspects or another.

      • Jason says:

        Dave I don’t get why the end of Burn Notice didn’t work, bad guys beaten, good guys win, Sam and Jessie get a spin off if it works out, couple gets a kid lives happily ever after, very Alias like, which was one of my fav endings for that type of show. Chuck really was one of the worst, most of these give the fans exactly what they want, after putting them through the ringer for 4 or 5 seasons.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I thought Burn Notice had an awesome, perfect end for Sam and Jesse; it couldn’t have been any better than that. My most perfect end would have had Mike and Fiona in on the same conversation (“I’m meeting with a guy who needs some kind of help…”).
        Apart from that, the Mike/Fiona end was pretty ideal, and I couldn’t have asked for any better.

        …pause for dramatic effect…

        BUT, really big but, it was lame in context. The whole final season brutalized and violated the characters so badly, Michael and Fiona making up again in the last ten minutes was wholly inadequate. They simply needed to make amends much sooner. Going back to some Chuck S3 comments I was making a few weeks ago; if you’re not prepared to fix it, don’t break it. That’s the problem I still have with the BN finale. It felt false and unsatisfying after such an ugly season.
        And I call this an institutional problem. Way too much TV is built around a build to an epic climax, then a stunningly fast wrap up and lights out. I need better epilogues. I want to see the characters I loved rediscovering normal, and fitting in to the new worlds they’ve created. I want to see the final impact of their actions, at least as they apply to their personal lives.

      • joe says:

        I agree with that, Dave. Epilogues are given short shrift in TV land, it seems.

        What surprised me was Mike and Fi in familial bliss with Charley. Where did that come from? Unlike C&S (where they took at least a whole season to clue us into the kind of lifestyle they wanted to build together, after taking 4 seasons of thinking about, reconsidering and rejecting others), the domestic bliss in an isolated cabin somewhere in nowheresville was nothing that Mike or Fi had brought up before.

        It was satisfying, in a way. But that way was a bit cliché for that couple. Yes?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joe I agree 100%.

      • Jason says:

        Thx dave, interesting, now I understand, very good explanation, comparing it to Chuck s3’s other guy, it was much like it, a season of bad, a minute or two of good. My counter would be they’ve been sort of making up for a while, Fi got ditched by her LI and she’s been pretty clear where her heart is, since and to a certain extent even b4. I never viewed Mike as very loving, so his actions seem more in character to me this season than they might have to you. The season has been very dark for sure. But, I though abrupt would have been Mike kills Sonia, the CIA shoots down James, and Fi and Mike kiss as the credits roll. Thats how Chuck’s end felt incomplete to me, I wanted the next part of the story after the kiss. In many ways, I thought the whole ep was a bit of a wrap up, but then again, much like some liked what Chuck did, I sort of like how BN handled the season.

        Joe, it was a bit cliche. I’ve posted a couple of times here in a couple different was, delivering cliche is one of the hardest endings to give, it is a risk, just as an artsy, ambiguous end is. I called the end the day b4 here, it didn’t surprise me one bit, yet I loved it.

        By the way, I complain about the Chuck beach ambiguity, I still see the end as very romantic and kind of cool, the problem I have is the state of the couple is behind where they were at on the Bullet Train, or even at the end of the 4th season, probably even at the end of the 3rd season, maybe even further back. For me, a true happy ending needs the couple to be ahead of where they ever were at, ever, which BN did IMO. The oft used by Dave ‘take me home’ line works for me, at least it returns to status quo. The better line as the Chuck credits roll Sarah pushed Chuck away, ‘Chuck, please don’t freak out. I’m three months pregnant.” Cue up the Chuck theme, and let the fans freak out – way ahead of where they were ever at, even with ambiguity. Since Sarah was with child when she intersected, could the kid(s) be intersects? That ? would never go away, in a good way!

      • Jason says:

        And I do think FI has wanted to quit, run away, etc for a pretty long time, maybe from last season yet. Isn’t that why she was so mad at Mike at the end of the last season, and essentially left him?

        The end seemed perfect to me vs what Fi wanted, and this season existed for Mike to join her in that place, to finally get the ‘spy’ life out of him. The last ep, he finally arrived.

        I do think it shows that when a fan wants the show to work, in this case me, I found everything makes sense, much like some are able to do with Chuck. I envy those who can with chuck, it sucks to be a fan, and still dislike so much about the show. The trick in writing these shows is to convince enough fans what you did worked, and to not passionately upset those who beg to differ. Of course, all of us get to judge if any tv show passes such a test.

        If this thread has proved anything, this group’s collective taste in tv is all over the map, and we probably are a fairly bunched group when compared to the whole population watching tv. Must be mind boggling to sort out as a tv exec!

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I would have loved that line too!

        You know I had some issues with the Chuck ending too. I feel better about it now, I think Sarah was pretty much back to her “Bullet Train” self at the very end. But its the whole “I think” part that will always annoy me. I want an epilogue to make it clear. I want assurance that they achieved their season long goals together; not just a hint and a hopefully.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I think I mentioned this on another thread; but yeah I think Fi was wanting a more normal life a few seasons back, but Mike was still pushing to get back into the CIA. And that’s about when my enthusiasm for the show started to wane. Fiona was growing in appealing directions, and Mike was not.
        It was never about “getting” what the writers were doing with Mike in the later, or even final seasons. It was about not liking it. That is the case in most television. I’m arrogant enough to say I doubt very many writers are actually going to confuse or fool me for long; but they often make decisions I don’t like. For BN, they started heading that direction long about S4, and they really botched it up for me this year.

      • Jason says:

        I was replying that part to Joe Dave, here is Joe’s quote:

        “What surprised me was Mike and Fi in familial bliss with Charley. Where did that come from? Unlike C&S (where they took at least a whole season to clue us into the kind of lifestyle they wanted to build together, after taking 4 seasons of thinking about, reconsidering and rejecting others), the domestic bliss in an isolated cabin somewhere in nowheresville was nothing that Mike or Fi had brought up before.”

      • joe says:

        I guess Fi had said things like “I want *more*, Michael.” But the show was pretty un-specific about that. Mike, of course, seemed to have exactly 0 domestic bones in his body, like every good spy.

        Not that family wasn’t always present in BN. There was always Nate, Matty and in S(last), Charley. But most of all, Jesse, Sam & Fi. Big family. They were a fun family.

        Not quite the same as the domestic lifestyle Mike & Fi make at the end. But their new lives are something agreeable and, like we’ve been saying, satisfying.

      • I seem to remember Fiona talking about how they could live together in Ireland. I don’t remember the context, though. They established that former militant IRA wanted to kill her. So maybe it was she wished they could, maybe it was they were happiest in Ireland, back when he was undercover, or maybe it was a hypothetical talk when she was in prison. I just know that when I figured out they really were running away, I was thinking they should end up in Ireland because that’s what Fi wanted.

        The house looked like the one from The Holiday, which is in England, not Ireland. See #17 from:
        http://tvline.com/2013/09/13/popular-tv-shows-2013-sons-of-anarchy-season-6-fifty-shades-scene/
        (I figured it out before seeing that page. And the house is really fake.)

  15. Good to see some shoutouts for Elementary. A different take on the Holmes mythos for sure but a powerhouse performance by Jonny Lee Miller plus an excellent spin on Moriarty really sold me on this one.

    Hope a little plugging is OK:

    I’ll be reviewing Elementary and the Ironside reboot over at @TVTalkApp – 20 minute podcasts that you can respond to with iOS or Android. They are covering all the new Fall shows there including reality shows. Check it out – there is something for everyone.

  16. Ernie Davis says:

    Favorite shows currently on the air, that’s easy, there are only 4 I keep up with and I rarely watch any of them live.

    1. Castle
    2. Parks and Recreation
    3. The Big Bang Theory
    4. Community

    The only one I ever had near the investment and passion I had for Chuck is Community. After last season that was pretty much done, but I’m going to see if it can make a comeback this season with the return of Dan Harmon.

    There are also a few others that I tend to do as a season like Dexter, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Orphan Black, and a few that I’m a bit behind but working through like Justified, Breaking Bad and The Americans.

    There are a few shows on-air that I’m planning on checking out like Hannibal, Once Upon a Time and New Girl, and I’ve heard good things, but can’t say anything about them yet.

    For the upcoming season I’m planning on checking out Agents of SHIELD and that’s about it.

    For past shows that is a tougher one. There are shows that I’ve been passionate about that lost their edge, or at least my interest, the most notable being Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. Nothing will take away their initial greatness, but for a show to be an all-time favorite I’m setting 3 criteria. One I had to be invested enough to stick it out to the end. Two, it may have rough patches or change in character, but by the end I still have to be enjoying it, not begrudgingly finishing out of a sense of completion. And third, I have to have been invested enough to own a copy and re-watch the show start to finish on a somewhat regular basis. On that basis here are my favorite shows of all time.

    1. Chuck
    2. Firefly
    3. Veronica Mars
    4. Wonderfalls
    5. Happy Endings (pending re-wach since it just ended)

    Honorable mention goes to The OC, Better Off Ted, Keen Eddie, and Terriers, which I just finished.

    There are also some notable ones off the air that I’m gradually working my through that I quite enjoy, like Friday Night Lights, Pushing Daisies, Farscape, Six Feet Under, Southland, Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I should note that I left out a few notable favorites on purpose. Band of Brothers, The Wire, Rome, The Sopranos, I think you get the idea. While those are true favorites some were miniseries with a defined lifetime (BoB, Rome) and the others, much as I enjoyed them and see so many iconic moments in them don’t get re-watched much.

    • uplink2 says:

      Ernie, can I ask about your thoughts on Community? I watched 4 episodes last season and hated it and never watched another. I loved the first 3 seasons but without Dan Harmon I thought it was awful. It really lacked that littie something that made the humore work for me. I’m really debating about watching again now that he is back. At this point I may be just done with it. Last season premier was one of the worst episodes of television I ever saw. It wasn’t funny at all and incredibly lame.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Uplink, wow, no pressure, eh. I’ll start with when I really felt passionate about Community. It was the run starting with the third episode, Remedial Chaos Theory, through 3.17, Basic Lupine Urology. This is when I think the show was firing on all cylinders creatively. I like the way Harmon was playing with the storytelling structure and form and the way the show’s self-awareness lead to so many moments where I was just gob-smacked at how perfectly the form was functioning as a narrative about the characters and their dynamics and places within the group. Remedial Chaos Theory is the most obvious example, but I also love the way Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps or Documentary Filmmaking: Redux or Regional Holliday Music (the most delightful and joyous massacre of another TV show’s conceits I’ve ever seen) could step into another genre or format and still be Community, that over the top, meta-aware show where, much fun as they were, the characters were going through real changes in their lives and only growing in fits and starts as they struggle forward together. I’ll actually admit I was challenged and thought they might have gone too far in Virtual Systems Analysis till I re-watched and realized what was happening and really watched the interplay between Abed and Annie. The performances of all involved were needless to say spectacular. By the time we got to Basic Lupine Urology I thought we were seeing the perfect blend of function flowing from form, where Harmon could plug into another show’s form, live in another universe as it were, one we’re all familiar with, and still move his story forward. Now granted I had a few issues with the Chang story, but the sheer joy and whackiness of the way they ended made it worthwhile to me.

        Now season 4. I kind of liked the opening. It showed great promise that the new producers were closing in on Harmon’s concept of the show. The weird, over-the-top methods and the new insights into the characters and the group flowing from that. They were so close to pulling that off for me in several episodes, like 4.9, Intro to Felt Surrogacy, or 4.11, Basic Human Anatomy that I was just waiting for them to really “get it”. But the final two episodes destroyed it. What it told me, especially the finale, is that they would never “get it”. They were mimicking without understanding the function of switching up the form of the show, the why they visited other universes and the how that could move the story and the show forward were lost to them. Instead they were merely recycling the wackiness that had purpose under Harmon, and wasting the incredible talent of the cast on recycled mimicry of some of the best aspects of Harmon’s creation.

        I wasn’t angry or bitter, I genuinely feel they tried and gave it their best shot, but the mess that was the finale was the end for me. Or so I thought.

        To their credit I think David Guarascio and Moses Port realized they didn’t ever quite pull it off. They were offered the chance to return but declined, allowing Joel McHale to push for Harmon’s return. The only question now is if Harmon can get past the damage and bring the show back to it’s heyday or if it’s too late.

        Don’t know if that helps, but that’s just a quick trip through what I consider the best season of Community followed by the worst.

      • uplink2 says:

        Thanks Ernie, though not as detailed as yours I kind of felt much the same about the first 3 seasons. I’ll just say I came to the conclusion they just didn’t “get it” much sooner than you. And that is the key to a show like Community. My wife absolutely hates it because she doesn’t “get” the undercurrent behind the wackiness. You have to “get it” to appreciate how brilliant it can be at times. To me right from the beginning of last season it was lacking that. It seemed like they were trying to do the same kind of wacky things but there was no point to it other than being just out there. The didn’t “get it” and therefore after giving it a few more tries, I left and I highly doubt I’m going back.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’ll give it one more chance, mostly because I’m curious to see how Dan Harmon goes about this season when there are some major structural changes to be dealt with. (Jeff a graduate and practicing lawyer again). If you’re interested Mo Ryan and Todd VanDerWerff express some similar sentiments to ours, but as usual far more articulately laid out.

  17. Many great shows being mentioned – have to put in one for the recent Spartacus series on Starz. Rough start with the first four episodes but it really became something special after that.

  18. dkd says:

    Favorite shows for over the last year:

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game of Thrones
    3. Orphan Black
    4. Mad Men
    5. The Voice

    Honorable mention: Elementary, The Amazing Race, Defiance, Suits, Walking Dead, The Bridge

    An all time list is hard to rank because the most recent one is always more fresh in my mind. But, here are four shows I’ve been obsessed about at different parts of my life:

    Star Trek: TOS
    Six Million Dollar Man (major teenage crush on Lee Majors. So sue me)
    Babylon 5
    Farscape
    Chuck

    • garnet says:

      Ok, If you are going to bring up the Six Million Dollar Man, I have to bring up The Bionic Woman… for much the same reason. One of the sad things about remembering many of the actors on these older series is seeing the inevitable effects of time.

  19. atcDave says:

    One thing I’m seeing a lot of here, is a lot more “serious” and well respected television than I expected. You know, the stuff I can’t stand. This is definitely different viewing from what most of my friends, that is, more casual viewers want to talk about.
    I’m thinking this has impact in a couple ways. For one, it emphasizes just how different I am from most people who want to talk television on line.
    And I think it also explains a little of why you all take “story” more seriously than I ever care to. I need to like and respect the characters. Story is more of a necessary evil. And yeah, I’m exaggerating just a little.

    • mr2686 says:

      I’d say the story has to grab me first, and I have to at least like some of the characters, but to really love the show they have to develop the characters in to one’s I really like by at least the second season.

      • atcDave says:

        I need to like and respect one or more characters immediately or it’s no sale. And damaging such a character is usually grounds for immediate dumping of a show.
        I’m willing to be more patient with story issues.

    • authorguy says:

      You can’t separate the two, as far as I’m concerned. Good characters require a good story, and vice versa.

      • mr2686 says:

        I’ll agree with that, but when push comes to shove I think I’ll stick around longer with a good story and some just ok characters, hoping they’ll develop. With Chuck, I wasn’t real big on Casey or Morgan or Devon in the Pilot, but within 3 episodes they were already starting to become likeable/loveable depending on your opinion.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree both matter for a series to be “great”. But I’m just the opposite of MR on this, I’ll tolerate mediocre story a lot longer than mediocre characters. And again, that does mean I have to like and respect them; quirky only goes so far, and anti-heroes are a complete no-sale for me.

        As far as the supporting Chuck characters; right from the Pilot, I thought Morgan was funny but over used (funny, that held true to the finale!), and Devon was one of the funniest minor characters I’d ever seen (also held true to the end). Only Casey changed significantly (entertainment wise, obviously Morgan actually grew a great deal); early on he was a bit menacing, and I really envisioned a long term rivalry between him and Sarah, with the possibility of him becoming an overt foe at some point. As he became more of a buddy and partner he actually became someone I was more willing to root for.

      • atcDave says:

        One show I could mention here to make a point is Monk. It’s mostly a procedural, which is actually my preferred sort of show. The character is pushing quirky to its limits, but still manages to be extremely funny; and he is a profoundly, heartbreakingly decent man, I absolutely love that.

      • Jason says:

        I liked Monk too, for the same reasons. I also liked the friendship between the lead man and his female assistant. Hard to recall a more plutonic relationship in such a show, and it worked great for me.

        The TV I liked over the years tended to make a connection to me Dave, I don’t think it had to be written that well, or had to be on genre or another, had to be spy or comedy or drama or romance or sci fi, but the best stuff for me was the tv that hit home to me in a personnal way.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree with all of that Jason.

      • ‘You can’t separate the two, as far as I’m concerned. Good characters require a good story, and vice versa.’ With this sorry. Can’t have one without the other for me to be emotionally engaged.

      • mr2686 says:

        I think it’s pretty hard to find a new show that has both story and great characters right out of the gate. I thought Castle hit the ground running with a good story and great chemistry between the characters and witty banter. Lost hit the ground and sucked you in with the action from the word go, but they quickly (probably because they had so many characters) started doing back stories and made you love the characters.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I don’t know how to explain what truly draws me in to a show. It’s sort of story, but also storytelling. I don’t have to be totally invested or engrossed in the story or invested in the characters to be drawn in, but I have to see them telling the story in an interesting way to really give something a chance. That’s why procedurals don’t do it for me.

      In another post I mentioned that I fell in love with Chuck, the show, before I fell in love with the characters or the story. It was the unique way they showed me the interplay between the characters and their worlds and the fallout of the mixing that was going on made me notice that there’s something going on here I’m gonna really enjoy.

  20. Jason says:

    I forgot an oldie but goodie that I’m not sure anyone else mentioned, a show when I was in college, ran as reruns for two half hour slots about the time when we all we getting back from class. I don’t think we hardly ever missed an ep, and could quote lines on command, especially when aided with a few choice beverages. I’m not sure it ever impressed the ladies, but my future wife was also a big fan. With no further ado, here is a shout out to the zany castaways ‘here on Gilligan’s Isle!’

    • atcDave says:

      Oi! A favorite when I was ten…

      For favorite comedies I neglected to mention Sledge Hammer and Police Squad. Now THAT’s classic television!

      • garnet says:

        I spent more evenings when I was at University watching NBC’s sit coms than I should have. I still have a soft spot for Cosby, Cheers, Family Ties, and Night Court (at least locally they were all in a block on the same station, but coming from Canada the networks would pick and choose what Americain shows they wantedso I think they were all NBC but my memory may be faulty) . Anyway,that is my “classic comedy night.

      • joe says:

        Heh. Friday night was the night the “guys in the dorm” played cards (yeah, I know. Loooosers!). But the one show I could count on seeing as we played was “The Midnight Special”. I think that was the last time I ever saw Neil Sedaka on TV, doing “Calendar Girl”, of course.

  21. aerox says:

    Still running:

    – Breaking Bad
    – Sherlock
    – Suits
    – House of Cards
    – Psych
    – Doctor Who
    – The Newsroom
    – The Americans
    – Hannibal
    – Castle

    Ended:

    – Scrubs
    – Chuck
    – Veronica Mars
    – Firefly

    No particular order really. I used to love Dexter, but these last two seasons have completely killed the show for me.

  22. Dave says:

    That pesky job thing has been eating into my ChuckThis time.

    TV really sucks today, but if I had to name what is currently on that I make time for…

    Elementary
    Person of Interest
    Castle
    Covert Affairs (left in S3, giving it another go)
    King & Maxwell (Hope it gets renewed)
    Top Gear

    Shows that are over

    Chuck (all time favorite show)
    Numbers (S1, S2, S3, S4.0 around mid S4 It lost me)
    NCIS (I know it is still on, but somewhere in S6, I lost it)
    Terra Nova
    Flashpoint (May still be on in Canada, but haven’t seen it around here lately)
    Burn Notice (lost the bubble somewhere in S3, I even own S1 and S2)
    House (S1 and S2)

    These are in no particular order, except I suppose Chuck has to be the all time favorite in that it has held my interest (nearly 7 years) longer than any other. These are mostly new, but in the 80’s and 90’s I spent a lot of times overseas. Star Trek (the original), Bionic series, Rat Patrol and Man from U.N.C.L.E. seem to enter my memory from childhood.

    • atcDave says:

      You sir, are a man of very good taste.

      • Dave says:

        Why, Thank you. Probably why we see eye to eye on most stuff. Might have had some more stuff in the 80’s and 90’s but spent too much time in Fulda, Bosnia and Southwest Asia. Hard to get into much when AFRTS is what you got. I remember in Bosnia (97-98) I got soaps for my daily workouts in our gym tent and Xena was a fan favorite of the guys (for obvious reasons).

    • mr2686 says:

      Wow Dave, I love your pics. King & Maxwell just kept getting better and I too hope it gets another season. I just discovered Flashpoint. It runs on the ION network, often 5 or 7 episodes in a row. We’ve watched about 30 episodes and have another 30 scheduled to record. That darn cable tv is finally paying off. By the way, for those of you that have an older DVR, I highly recommend you call your provider and get a new one. My old one used to hold about 20 hours of HD material, but the new one holds about 100 hours. It allows me to record a whole bunch of stuff without having to watch it right away.

  23. thinkling says:

    All time favorite: CHUCK … Duh.

    Stuff I currently watch, as opposed to current stuff I watch. (I haven’t done appointment TV in a very long time, and living overseas has shaped the way I watch TV. When I actually am watching current TV, the weekly wait drives me ca-razy.

    Keep up with regularly:
    Arrow
    Castle
    Person of Interest
    Continuum
    Mentalist
    Leverage
    Body of Proof
    Hawaii Five O

    Keep up with sporadically:
    Bones
    Covert Affairs
    Nikita
    White Collar

    Things I’ve enjoyed in the recent past:
    Downton Abby
    Doc Martin
    Kingdom
    Merlin
    Pretender
    Commander in Chief

    Going farther back:
    Sue Thomas F.B.Eye
    Xfiles
    Diagnosis Murder
    Early Edition
    Dr Quinn

    Way back:
    Remington Steele
    Scarecrow and Mrs. King
    Mash

    And do I really need to go back as far as Gilligan, Leave It to Beaver, Dick Van Dyke, or Pete and Gladys 😉

    • atcDave says:

      I forgot Remington Steele, fun show. Although S5 is utterly dreadful. Really a shame to go out so poorly.

      You got us hooked on Person of Interest! Very well done.

    • joe says:

      Pete and Gladys! Wow. Harry Morgan in his prime, before Col. Potter and before Dragnet! Very cool pick.

      And didn’t he play the president (Grant, I think) on Wild, Wild West? I think so. Speaking of which, that was a good show too, as was The Man From UNCLE. My all time favorite line from NCIS was Jethro telling Ziva that, in his youth, Ducky looked like Illya Kuryakin. Check out IMDB picture.

      • mr2686 says:

        No, Harry Morgan did not play Pres. Grant on WWW, but he did play the Mayor in the Games Garner movies Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter.

      • thinkling says:

        That was a fun movie. Harry Morgan, James Garner and Walter Brennon … which leads to some other golden oldies: Maverick, Rockford Files, and The Real McCoys.

      • atcDave says:

        Support Your Local Sheriff is one of my favorite movies! Very funny stuff. (“That’s the last guy who stepped over that line…”)

      • mr2686 says:

        That is also one of my all time favorites. I actually saw that when it first came out and I don’t think I’ve laughed any harder at any other movie.

      • atcDave says:

        I remember I got to introduce my wife to it on our Honeymoon. I happened to see it was just starting one night, and we both laughed so hard. I think watching that movie is when my wife started to “get” the thing I have for James Garner. (and it seems to worry her less than the thing I have for Yvonne Strahovski…)

  24. CaptMediocre says:

    Presently:

    Orphan Black – give 3 to 4 episodes, but it is simply the best show on TV right now. If you haven’t seen this show – quite honestly you’re missing something special.

    Haven – S1 to me was the best (the pilot was really good), think Stephen King meets the X- Files, but not that dark.

    Persons of Interest – I didn’t think I’d like this show, but it grew on me.

    Game of Thrones – I’m probably 1.5 seasons behind everybody whose seen it. But still – DRAGONS!

    Past:

    Chuck – the first two seasons were something special.

    Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis – simply fun TV

    Farscape – this one took a while to get into. But how can you not like a show where a character farts Helium.

    Jake 2.O – I see this as the precursor to Chuck. I wish DVD’s were available.

    X-Files – The truth is out there.

  25. ChuckVStheMovie says:

    My Current favorite list is
    1. Revolution
    And that is it because it is the only current show I watch.

    All time favorite list is

    1. Chuck
    2. Get Smart
    3. The Wild, Wild, West
    4. The Odd Couple
    5. Benson
    6. Newhart
    7. Jericho
    8. The Invaders
    9. Coach
    10. LOST

    • atcDave says:

      Wild, Wild West is another I enjoy.

      Get Smart too, although ironically its a really stupid show, just tons of fun.

      • Dave says:

        WWW is another from my childhood I forgot. The very first super-spy.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I loved James West, especially in the early seasons.

      • Jason says:

        Yep – that’s why I said writing is not a requirement, although I suppose one could argue get smart was brilliant writing, I don’t think anyone would say the wild wild west was. I made a reference to the wild wild west in a fan fic I wrote, something about Chuck and Sarah’s daughter’s boyfriend having a gun up his sleeve? He was the son of a very Jonathan and Jennifer Hart like couple, who lived next door to The Bartowski’s in Bel Aire. I enjoy making liberal use of ideas from other tv when fan fic’ing.

      • ChuckVStheMovie says:

        Get Smart was a Satire created to cash in on the success of both James Bond and Inspector Clouseau, so Maxwell Smart was a cross between both Characters. Hence he was sometimes very stupid like Clouseau. It is the only Satire in TV history to last more then 2 seasons.

  26. Gerry Sacco says:

    Big Bang Theory, Lost, Glee and Doctor Who. Though other shows regularly tempt overtaking the previously mentioned shows. Game of Thrones and Newsroom make me so happy that I have HBO. On top of those, each time I watch a show like Star Trek: TOS or Firefly, I wonder if they should be moved further up in my list. I would say the only untouchable shows on my list would be Big Bang, Doctor Who and Chuck. I do not see any other show taking those spots over. They are my happy, sad, depressed, excited and bored shows. I re-watch them all of the time.

  27. BillAtWork says:

    I know that this is going to sound odd. Chuck has become a part of my life in a way that no other show has come close to. I’ve only joined one other fan forum in my life (24) and I didn’t even know that fanfiction existed, much less be moved to write any.

    But when I think about it objectively, Chuck is not that high on my list of all time favorite shows. And the reason is obvious to me. The writing simply wasn’t good enough. After the climax of S2, they clearly didn’t have a plan. I think it was Sepinwal who said they were making it up as they went along. And even the part that I was interested in, the love story, was more or less butchered. If a rerun of Chuck was on, I doubt that I would watch it (maybe for sentimental reasons). I have all of the DVD’s but I never, never rewatch an entire episode. That just pisses me off. What I do is jump around to my favorite spots in the episode. I’ve probably watched the scene in Seduction where Roan tells Chuck that lesson one in being a spy is to never fall in love a hundred times.

    So here are my top shows. They are almost all half hour comedies.

    1. Cheers. The writing was simply top notch. It was always funny. I liked the eclectic cast. And even though Norn and Cliff were losers every big as Jeff and Lester, they never became caricatures (unlike Jeff and Lester). And yes, it had its ship. But it didn’t dominate the story line. I’d watch a rerun of Cheeer anytime it came on.
    2. Friends. Again the writing was simply tasty. All of the characters had their quirks. But none were caricatures (Jeff, Lester). I liked them all. The ship actually took the show down for me. In the finale when they finally put Ross/Rachael together, I could have cared less. I enjoyed the Chandler/Monica storyline a lot more. Two flawed people finding each other is a good theme. And the wt/wt was played for laughs instead of angst. And since it is on TBS like 4 episode a night, I still watch it a lot.
    3. Taxi. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned. The writing was simply top notch. Jim Ignatowski is perhaps my favorite character of all time. He was Jeff, except that he actually had moments of lucidity that told you he once wasn’t a loser. More important, I liked him and rooted for him… unlike Jeff. And no wt/wt angst is also a plus. I’d watch a rerun in a second.
    4. 24. I came to the party late. But again the writing was superb. It simply kept you on the edge of your seat for an entire hour. Then sent you off trying to figure out what was going to happen next week. It’s where I discovered things like spoiler sites. In theory a movie is coming. I’d actually go to a theater and pay to watch it
    5. King of Queens. Again, I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned. And it was pretty much a Kevin James vehicle. But I enjoyed the writing. It never took itself all that seriously. And I liked the characters. It sort of debunks the theory that you can’t put the leads together and tell a good story without resorting to wt/wt angst. Sure, they had their battles, but they were always played for laughs. I’d watch a rerun (and often do) anytime.

    • joe says:

      Bill, that doesn’t sound odd at all. Not for this group. It’s my experience too.

      That’s not a bad list. You’re right about Taxi. I really enjoyed that show. It took a long time before Bonita Friedericy and John Billingsley became the couple I most wanted to have dinner with; before then, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman were. That would have been a blast. Taxi was a great show, and Judd Hirsch was perfectly understated as the lead, complemented by the insane Andy Kaufman.

      I have to disagree about King of Queens, though. I do like Kevin James, but the writing depended way too much on stereotypes and gender/class clichés for my tastes. I really get annoyed when every male character is a/the buffoon, even if they’re endearing.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I think I’d be afraid to have dinner with Danny and Rhea. I’d probably come away saying “what in the hell just happened?” to myself. 🙂

        I understand your comments about King of Queens. But it never took itself seriously enough for me to worry about the silliness.

        I watch TBBT. But it depends far too much on the stale wt/wt angst. At some point you either put them together, or you move on. Breaking them up and putting them back together twice a season just gets old, And Leonard (or is it Sheldon, i get them confused) is getting very close to caricature territory.

        I also watch Modern Family. But it isn’t nearly as funny as the first 2 seasons.

      • Michael66 says:

        @billatwork. “stale wt/wt” Huh? I never really cared if they were or weren’t together in any given episode or season. I’ve known plenty of couples that were like that. I just watch the show because it is funny as heck. BTW, it is Leonard.

        I think the whole wt/wt of Chuck was painful to watch because it was done so poorly. Then it became the show as opposed to an under-lying current, like TBBT. Castle suffers from the same problem and is becoming unwatchable. We’ll see in season 6.

    • atcDave says:

      Well I do have to say in defense of Chuck that I think the characterizations, concept and humor were extraordinary. I think Chuck’s only real weakness in writing was the deeper mythology and spy stories. I understand for viewers who were really focused on that it could get frustrating; but for humor and character stories the show did very well. And the action adventure was strong enough to add tension and motive to the characters.
      I terms of the wt/wt on Chuck, I think it was absolutely brilliant and inspired in the first two seasons. The front arc of S3 was a tragedy and waste. But it was also an aberration. Obviously we can (and have) go on at length about all the hows and whys of it. But they did not repeat the mistakes of S3, and basically handled the characters and relationship quite well in the whole second half of the series.

      • mr2686 says:

        Well said Dave. I agree with almost all of what you wrote. Of course, we don’t agree on S3, and that’s never going to change…and that’s ok too. It gives us some fuel for the debate fires that we have for Chuck.
        I do agree that the mythology was a little weak, but there are just some things that can get swept under the rug when you have a show that’s this much fun.
        I really am sorry to hear that some of you can’t re-watch the series or even just the WTWT portion. I end up re-watching the whole series in order about twice a year and have yet to be sorry I did. In fact, even when I get to an episode that I’m thinking I would rather skip, I always end up happy I watched it.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Don’t get me wrong, Dave. I’m as happy as anyone that the misery arc ended and they got together. But my base question is — what changed between Three Words and Other Guy? To me it was that the clock ran out on the contrived angst and it was time to put them together.

        Contrast that with S1 and S2. We could see Sarah’s feelings for Chuck grow. We could tell what her conflict was. And the moment in First Kill when she whispered to him “we have to run” made total sense. Sarah, woman in love, had finally trumped Agent Walker. It was a fist pump moment… actually more important than Barstow

        We never got that moment in S3. They weren’t together, they weren’t together… oh wait, now they’re together. It felt contrived… because it was contrived.

      • atcDave says:

        MR we do seem to agree about almost everything except the S3 front arc. I even enjoy most of the episodes I consider weaker when I do watch them.

        But I did want to add one other thing I find extraordinary about Chuck. Casting. Obviously Zac and Yvonne were just brilliant choices; but really, the whole regular cast was just perfect for their parts. Guest stars, with only one significant exception (do I even have to say it?) were also very well cast.

      • BillAtWork says:

        For the most part, I agree Dave. The main parts were cast well. Tim Dalton was perfect. He stole every single scene he was in. Scott Bakula was also brilliant. Chevy Chase really didn’t work so well for me. Linda Hamilton was okay. Hard for me to determine if she did a bad job or the role was simply written so poorly.

        But some of their stunt casting was simply embarassing. Bo Derrick anyone? Gretas times 3, lol?

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I agree 100% about S3 failings. I found it poorly conceived and poorly executed. The end of First Kill and then all of Colonel was just an incredible television experience. Pink Slip and most of S3 undermined, damaged and dishonored what had come before. There were still a few fun episodes and moments in S3, but Other Guy works mainly because it finally puts things back on track (again, a couple of beautiful, terrific scenes in the episode; but they’re lessened by the greater context) and then Honeymooners becomes a perfect, wonderful episode that finally picks up where they should have started the season.

      • mr2686 says:

        Dave, a couple of weeks ago I would have added Fred Willard and Swoosie Kurtz as the Turners as poor guest stars, but after re-watching Role Models last week, I found a definite charm about them. I still think there are a few actors that might have been better (and we discussed this during the Role Models discussions) but I now think they are kinda fun.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I mainly just thought they were too old for the parts. Maybe not the strongest of episodes or characters, but still mostly fun.

      • thinkling says:

        @Bill, Dave … totally agree with so much. The casting of Chuck was something really special. I know of no other show that had such a well rounded cast. As far as guests go, there was that one stand out. I don’t know if a different actor would have made me hate the character less, but I suspect that a better written character (without the LI part) would have made me appreciate the actor more. But they tried three pitches: three swings and three misses.

        Bo was truly ridiculous (Chuck and Morgan weren’t even born when she made 10 … hello!) I had my doubts about Cheryl Ladd, but she absolutely nailed her character, so that turned out great. And the Turners … I agree with Dave … they were just too old for the parts they played.

        S3 … What happened between 3 Words and Other Guy? Agree with you guys. See that’s why I invested in that black box. Works for me.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Thinkling,

        I really wish that Cheryl Ladd’s character would have been introduced earlier. I loved her and Sarah together. I think there was a lot more they could have done with Sarah’s mom. But it wasn’t Sarah’s story they were telling.

      • atcDave says:

        No doubt the Black Box was an excellent investment!

        I agree about the issues with Shaw. Written differently, Routh might have been an acceptable choice. But as written no actor was making it work. So it really is hard for me to judge him. The biggest issues were not the actor’s fault.
        Bo Derek was ridiculous. But the basic idea of it I found ridiculously funny. I think Bo could have been as goofy funny as Nicole Richie if they’d dialed back on the overt sleeze of it. Chuck and Morgan having childhood crushes on Bo Derek could have been very funny if they’d kept it all a little more innocent, as fitting for those childhood crushes. I think a lot of times on Chuck, not knowing where to draw the line on their humor worked and made things funny. But this one needed a little more restraint.

      • joe says:

        Yeah, I can sign on to the accolades for the guests and ?s about Bo. It’s a little odd, because she really could have been used much like Morgan Fairchild or Jenny McCarthy – as a bit of a cougar without the pretensions to youth.

        I haveta say, I really liked Chevy Chase, though. The one scene where Miles offs him in his cell is haunting, at that’s all Chase, especially the sardonic grin on his face.

        Know who else doesn’t get enuf credit? Rick Hoffman, as Lazslo’s handler in Sandworm. I always like his characters, creepy though they may be.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, it would have been nice to see Sarah’s mom earlier. Most of the speculation was unfavorable toward Sarah’s mom. But I loved the back story they created for Sarah and her mom and the baby. It doesn’t all make sense, but hey it’s no less internally coherent than the main story back stories. And I was glad she turned out, apparently anyway, to be such a normal, loving mom.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah Joe. Rick Hoffman always comes across creepy/sleazy.

        Then there’s the brief but shining appearance of Steve Valentine as Von Hayes. Wonder if he’s still sleeping in his Lamborghini?

      • thinkling says:

        Ah, Joe, apropos of nothing, except talking about Bo Derek got me thinking about Bo the episode. Do you know what music was playing in the warehouse scene at the end of Bo?

      • atcDave says:

        Cheryl Ladd was wonderful. I also wish we’d seen more of her, but as Bill mentions, it wasn’t Sarah’s story.

        Chevy Chase, another excellent guest star.

        Like Thinkling I have a great fondness for Steve Valentine, my favorite one-shot villain. He was on Psych last season as an over the hill British rocker. So totally different from Von Hayes I didn’t recognize him until about halfway through the episode (and oh man did I laugh then!). But brilliantly goofy funny in the same exact way.

      • joe says:

        Thinkling, I don’t have anything specifically labeled for the warehouse scene in Bo, so I’ll have to play the dvd and see what it might be. Could it be Rock the House by the Decompressors?

        That one was also used in Frosted Tips.

      • thinkling says:

        I checked that one, Joe, and that’s not it. This was haunting music and contributed to the overall Alamo feel. I haven’t been able to find it, so I thought I’d consult our music guru. 😉

      • Thinkling, that is Tim Jones original music.
        The track is not here:
        http://www.jonestimjones.com/music/chuck
        or here:

        Those sites do have the Chuck & Sarah Theme (Question & and Answer from the drunk Ice Cream scene), the really awesome Chuck Action Mix that everyone asks about, and the music from when Chuck got Intersect 2.0.

        For the “Sarah gets the Intersect” theme, I guess we’ll have to wait to see if a Chuck soundtrack is ever released. Every so often, Tim Jones posts that he is still trying (as recently as July 14). The rights are owned by Warner Bros.

      • joe says:

        Jeff, thanks for all that info. I’ve failed to keep track of Tim Jones’ site the way I used to – my failing.

        I really enjoy several of his themes, too.

      • I just checked. “Rooftop” from the finale has some of the same themes. Before the ambush sounds similar, and the build up before Sarah (and Chuck) put on the glasses sounds very similar. The haunting music in the middle is different. Rooftop had percussion for dramatic build up, whereas the scene in Bo had gunfire that would have fought with percussion. Making the music sound separate in Bo worked even better because Sarah was cutting herself off from the battle to make the decision to put on the glasses.

      • thinkling says:

        @ Joe, Jeff: thanks you guys. I’ll have to check it out.

  28. Dave says:

    starting a new thread for guest stars

    Best (IMO)
    1. Timothy Dalton
    2. Scott Bakula
    3. Mini Anden
    4. Matt Bomer
    5. Armand Assante, Carrie Anne Moss, Chevy Chase… oh, hell, too many to keep track of.

    Worst (IMO)
    1. Brandon Routh
    2. Kurtz/Willard
    3. Bronson Pinchot
    4. Can’t really think of any other outright fails for me. I was OK with the Gretas, the only one who didn’t amount to much was Olivia Munn, however the way she changed facial expressions when talking to Chuck then Morgan then Back to Chuck.

    • atcDave says:

      I think I would put Gary Cole ahead of Mini Anden, otherwise its hard to argue your choices.
      For worst, I’m not sure Bronson Pinchot even qualifies, all his dialogue was cut! There’s a few choices I would say were less than ideal, but only Routh rates a total fail, and I don’t even think its his fault!

      • Dave says:

        atcDave

        The only hope for Routh would have been as I have opined in the past keeping him as a humorless, robotic, driven agent. Anything with emotion and this guy just can’t deliver.

        Good call on Gary Cole. There have been so many, I can’t believe he slipped my mind.

        Pinchot was just an overall fail. No dialogue, 2 or 3 seconds on screen and yet he was still listed in the opening credits. That’s what I meant with him.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it was pretty funny how Pinchot was almost totally cut. I agree about Shaw, he might have even been fun as the humorless, self-impressed new team lead. But as we actually saw, total bust.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, you know where I’m coming from but to me all you have to do is watch the most important scene of the 3.0 Shaw arc, the cafe scene that explains his character and his purpose to turn evil and force Chuck into killing someone which TPTB said was one of the must haves in season 3 and you see just how weak he is as an actor in this role. That scene was his raison d’etre. But in that scene his performance is just awful and that is all on him and not the writing. That scene should have been about emotion, about finally getting back at those that murdered his wife, and finally succumbing to his quest for revenge and giving up on everything he had fought for his entire career. It was about killing the woman who put that bullet in his wife, a woman he had also slept with. It should have been about the breaking of a man and the culmination of the quest that drove his very existence for the past 5 years. He would have sacrificed absolutely everyone and everything to get to that moment. It should have been an incredibly powerful moment and it wasn’t even close. The scene demanded skills he simply doesn’t have. He was absolutely pathetic in that scene and that wasn’t bad writing, it was bad acting.

      • Jason says:

        I’m not sure with the way Chuck was written that any ‘actor’ should be singled out too much. Certainly the actors who can improvise or were willing to improvise did the best, improvise in an over the top sort of way – Carina, the south american dictator, Roark and Volkov come to mind as gals and guys who stuck it. But they also had characters who were kind of goofy. Alot of the actors who failed were part of the bad story ideas (LI’s, losing control of the intersect mythology, Mary’s 5000 year mission, etc and were serious characters, who didn’t really have a chance to goof around – Shaw, Vivian and Quinn come to mind as sort of landlocked by what they were asked to do. The only guy who nailed a serious role as a guest in the show that comes to mind was Stephen, and IMO he was stronger as Orion than he was as Stephen, and Orion was kind of sort of over the top too.

        I dislike the shaw character more than any of you IMO, but I no longer hold it at all against Routh.

        Has anyone else wondered why Shaw was not the big bad at the end? Had he been the baddie in the last two, and had the ending been joyful, with Sarah back to her old self, I’m pretty sure the last two eps would both be top tens, or at least the last ep would have. I mean having Sarah kill Chuck would have been perfect revenge for Shaw, wouldn’t it? And he being the guy would have raised the stakes immensely, for all of us, and a bullet thru him by Sarah (or maybe more by Chuck) would have been a pretty darned epic way to end the spy part of the show.

      • thinkling says:

        Hmm. Shaw as the big bad behind Quinn? It would have been nice to see Chuck kill him for real. But basically, I think even bringing him back the first time was a mistake, and the second time was beyond the pale. So, no. No more Shaw.

        I will forever think they dropped the ball on a potentially great story line, when they made Deker’s big conspiracy tease null and void. To some degree, it was hinted at all through the series and could have tied some things together. If I ever did another story, that would be it.

      • authorguy says:

        That would be my main motivation for doing a nine2five season 4, so I could keep going and rewrite season 5 completely and give Decker the storyline he deserved. They should have used all that time they wasted on Quinn and Shaw and used it for that. Maybe they couldn’t squeeze that kind of a story into the few episodes they had given to them.

      • Jason says:

        Think – I was saying Shaw in place of Quinn. The starting the season promise with Decker, seemed to point to Deckers boss being the ultimate end game, at least for me. I wonder in retrospect, for the very reason you said – i.e. too much Shaw, who I disliked as much as anyone – that the writers pulled him from the final. Didn’t both the Shaw / Decker story seem off / abrupt, along with the ‘smallness’ of Quinn as the final big bad? If Shaw been in every scene, every line in place of Quinn, maybe with 1 or 2 changes for continuity, wouldn’t it had been bigger? Then, the key would have been to pay off the unhappiness having so much Shaw in so many eps, with some great joy. I’m saying two years removed, it seems that ‘might’ have been the plan? I probably would have hated it, but it might have worked better for most fans?

      • atcDave says:

        I think for the final villain, Shaw/Quinn almost doesn’t matter as much as saying whoever it was SHOULD have tied back into the grand conspiracy that started the season. Now you know, I would have preferred to never see Shaw again. Although I agree with Jason that Sarah shooting him would have been satisfying to see. I would also agree with saying that finale very nearly was great, just slightly better final closure and it could have been among the best ever.

      • uplink2 says:

        Jason, I don’t hold it all against Routh, I agree that he was a terribly conceived and poorly written character. But I do attribute much of the negative response to the actor cast as well. First off, the complete and total lack of chemistry with Yvonne. It was so incredibly awkward that no matter what Yvonne tried to do to make it work, there simply was nothing there and it made Sarah look like an idiot for gettin involved with someone she had absolutely no connection with. I realize that chemistry is a two sided coin but she has had it with everyone else I’ve ever seen her perform with. Right now she has great chemistry with MCH in Dexter. But the only other thing I’ve seen Routh in, Superman Returns he had absolutely none with Kate Bosworth either. He is unsympathetic and uncharismatic on screen and it’s difficult outside of simply his looks to see why anyone would be attracted to him.

        But again I point to that scene at the cafe. That was a scene laden with betrayal, betrayal of Shaw by the CIA, Shaw betraying his country, Sarah in his mind betraying him by being the instrument of his wife’s murder. Achieving what had been his obsession for the past five years and being seated across from the woman who took his wife’s life. It should have been the crowning moment of his story but instead it was flat, emotionless, robotic, and seemed like he was simply reading his dialog at a table read. He didn’t engage the audience in his story and he didn’t show us anything that would make us see what was inside his head. His lame attempts to show he was conflicted by everything, and show some regret for killing the woman he had been sleeping with just fall incredibly flat and we see nothing about what is going on in his mind. Even though I don’t think Yvonne was at her best in that scene either you still saw so much more from her, her anguish at realizing she had been played by him again and that Chuck had been right all along. Her almost giving up believing Shaw had won, and her relief when the man she truly loved had done the remarkable again by finding her and trying to save her. Even drugged Yvonne gave a better look inside her heart and mind than Routh did. He was simply dreadful and I was screaming to just end this so I don’t have to see this pathetic character and actor again.

        That failure to me is all on the actor, not the writing. They gave him a huge moment and he fumbled it completely.

      • thinkling says:

        Jason, Shaw couldn’t have been the PM that Deker hinted at, because Deker’s reveal went back too far for Shaw to have been involved. Now Shaw could have been manipulated by the PM. All interesting thoughts, though.

        Authorguy, I don’t know why they punted it, but I know I felt robbed when I found out that the whole Deker arc (Omen Virus) had been wasted on Shaw. I think they could have worked it in, but a) Shaw was easier and already developed and b) for reasons I can’t fathom, Fedak thought Shaw was the best thing since sliced bread. Sometimes it seemed like he was on a quest to make us thinks so too. (And I did say seemed.)

      • authorguy says:

        I felt robbed too. It was a great setup, but I can only imagine they thought they had more episodes to do it in. When they found out they didn’t they had to drop the whole storyline. That’s the most charitable assumption I can make. It is therefore taken as a challenge to see if I can do the story right, in only 13 episodes.
        If only I didn’t have to go through season 4 to do it. Mary and Steven are hard to make coherent. The individual episodes are great but as a single plot it fails badly, S3 was much better in that regard.

      • thinkling says:

        In retrospect, a PM inside the CIA would have shown how much greater the threat was to the Bartowski family and that Mary and Stephen had better reasons for doing what they did. In particular, I think it could make Mary more sympathetic.

        Good luck plotting it out 🙂

      • uplink2 says:

        Fedak himself said that he didn’t know Shaw was behind the conspiracy when Cliffhanger aired. It wasn’t until early in writing season 5 he thought about the idea. It was an incredibly lame cop out but TBH that is kind of what I expected. They never did handle big arcs and conspiracies well. It was simply a cop out to get him back one more time to beat on Sarah.

      • atcDave says:

        In particular, they never knew how to END the big conspiracies. Even Fulcrum, which I think had by far the best build up, was destroyed in pretty anti-climactic fashion.

      • authorguy says:

        They didn’t totally succeed, either. Quinn found that Fulcrum guy to get the key fragment from. But the only way to handle guerilla-type organizations, which are typically scattered and decentralized, is to somehow get them to gather, and then smash them, so what they did with Fulcrum was the best they could do. Without Orion being captured and making them think they had a working Intersect it never would have happened.

      • thinkling says:

        Sorry, PM = Puppet Master

      • mr2686 says:

        How about having Langston Graham the PM? He could have faked his death. He could have ordered the hit on Eve Shaw, not as the Director said (because she was turned by the Ring) but because she couldn’t be turned by the Ring…or because he knew it was the best way to turn Shaw.

      • Jason says:

        Thinkling, I don’t think I’m talking about a person from the first ep, IMO Quinn was not the PM either, so why couldn’t Shaw taken Sarah’s memory and ordered Chuck to kill her. I think Shaw, with minimal change, could have been Quinn, neither had any story told before s5. I further speculate, the show may have originally planned to use Shaw that way. The Quinn actor was cast very late, and lets face it, he was not a very striking picture of masculinity, pretty sure all the men and half the woman on this blog could have taken him. Anyhow, I guess you don’t see it that way, which isn’t the first time I see things differently than most.

      • Jason says:

        MR Graham is probably the best choice as the PM if you go way back to season 1 for a character, esp since he appeared in the baby ep again. Not real many options, Beckman maybe, Roark?, Orion?, any others?

      • authorguy says:

        That was my thought. Graham would be best, but he was blown up and that’s harder to fake. Roarke would be next, he was only shot, and with everything else that happened he could easily have faked that death and escaped.

      • mr2686 says:

        Yeah, without bringing in someone from out of the blue (which I usually hate) the choices are slim or you have to bring them back from the dead. I would have hated having Beckman be the PM, but maybe finding a way to bring back Roark would have been interesting, but if you’re going to bring any more people back from the dead I would hope it would be Stephen, and not as the PM.

      • thinkling says:

        Sorry, Jason, I think we’re talking about 2 different things. Shaw could have substituted Quinn. I just would rather never see him again. I don’t think Shaw could have been the PM that Decker referred to. But Shaw could have been Quinn as a tool of the PM all along.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, we talked about Graham as the PM as S5 came on line. The problem is of course that they had already used the get out death free card too many times to pull it off. It would have to be someone new … Or it could have been Graham, with his protégé as a succession plan.

      • uplink2 says:

        My choice for PM? Beckman. She could have been behind Decker in order to keep Team B in the fold. She wanted the Intersect and did all of it to bring Orion out, brought Shaw in to break apart Chuck and Sarah and cast someone else but make Quinn her first choice for the NSA Intersect.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, Authorguy, Roarke could work.

      • Jason says:

        Thx thinkling, I get it now! Seems to be some rip roaring debates going, nice job everyone!

      • mr2686 says:

        We’re missing the most obvious PM…Jeff! LOL

      • thinkling says:

        Good one, Mr

      • joe says:

        Jeff? Big Mike??? You guys are INSANE!
        <voice type=”Klingon Growl”>I like that in a blog</voice>.

      • atcDave says:

        Now what’s funny Joe, is a pulled down “Big Mike” almost two hours ago because it was too similar to MR’s quip. So were you working on your Klingon growl for the whole time?

      • joe says:

        Naw. I’ve been watching the news on TV all morning. We have a real-life NCIS episode going on.

        I’m 16 miles away, but I interviewed once at the Navy Yard, many years ago. The story has captured my attention.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah very exciting stuff, and not in a good way.

    • mr2686 says:

      Great list. I would add John Larroquette to the best list, and Robin Givens to the worst list.

  29. uplink2 says:

    BTW at the end of tonight’s Newsroom it showed that you can put your leads together early, in fact after just 19 episodes. It was an amazing moment and proved why Sorkin is such a great writer.

    • atcDave says:

      I never doubted it. I sure wish TV writers followed fewer formulas!

    • thinkling says:

      I don’t watch Newsroom, but I’ve always said the best is to get them together early and immediately throw them into a new mission/adventure/whatever. The longer you wait, several things happen: the romance becomes the end game, the romance becomes stale, and the show itself loses its momentum and freshness, and the moonlighting curse gets closer to a self fulfilling prophesy, So, good for News room.

      On a different note, I started watching King and Maxwell because of the list above … really like it … love Edgar.

      • Jason says:

        Edgar is fantastic, reminds me of a cross between Marshall (computer skills) from Alias and Walter from Fringe (a savant, and a way out there one at that). I don’t find myself loving either of the two leads, either as characters or as a wt/wt, but I don’t dislike them either, so far they both have been written safely. Did the show get renewed?

      • mr2686 says:

        Ryan Hurst is a great actor and really brings a lot of fun to the Edgar character. He was also great in Sons of Anarchy ,which was a much different role. I think once the show added Ryan and Dichen Lachman (from Dollhouse) the show really came together and even the FBI agents started to be likeable. Hopefully it will be picked up for S2.

      • Jason says:

        Ryan Hurst played a key part of one of my favorite movies ever, one I watch every year at least once, ‘Remember the Titans.’

      • thinkling says:

        Pretty much agree, Jason, but I’m just getting started. I guess I like Maxwell a little better than King, but the show works without wt/wt. I don’t always ship the male/female leads (even when we’re clearly supposed to), and it’s not required for me to enjoy a show. CS were standouts in all regards.

        Anyway, I’m liking K&M, so thanks to the new Dave for the tip.

  30. Jason says:

    A couple of you mentioned King and Maxwell, I just read it was cancelled. I read in the same article, Perception and Falling Skies will be back, two other shows I’ve caught a few eps of.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/09/20/tnt-cancels-king-and-maxwell/2845549/

    • mr2686 says:

      That’s too bad. King and Maxwell was a good show that got better each ep. Kind of surprised they didn’t move it to another night and give it one more season.

      • Dave says:

        I was liking it. Too bad, another show I liked bites the dust.

      • mr2686 says:

        First, TNT cancels Leverage, now this. The funny thing is that they’re keeping Perception (which I also like but had to grow on me) but comparing the last 4 or 5 episodes of both series you don’t see much of a difference in ratings numbers. In fact, KnM was climbing and was at it’s highest for the finale. I think they could have built on that.

  31. Jason says:

    Looking forward to castle tonight, I predicting the writers are going to knock it out of the park!

    • mr2686 says:

      OMG…don’t put the jinx on it! 🙂

    • atcDave says:

      Hey I’m excited too! I may even skip some football tonight. As I’ve mentioned, this is my favorite show since Chuck ended. So its great to have it back. I wasn’t nuts with how they ended the last season, but Castle tends not to make me nuts the way Chuck used to. But I’m expecting they won’t drag the resolution out too terribly long.

    • joe says:

      Dave’s only gonna miss some football. I’m going to miss the last hour and five minutes of WWE! Now that’s a sacrifice.

    • Dave says:

      Also Person of Interest premiers tomorrow on its new night. As I powered through the end of S2, I seriously considered adding a brunette to my list of most beautiful women (currently all blondes and a redhead) because Sarah Shahi is gorgeous. I hope she hangs around in S3.

    • Jason says:

      Haven’t read any reviews, but last night’s Castle was one of the best ever for me. The show managed to pull of a large amount of comedy, romance, and yet was about as dramatic as that type of show can get. Awesome.

      Seems like the point of the first arc will be Beckett’s dream job is not about a spook job in DC, but working everyday in NYC with the man she loves. I hope the DC arc is not a season long arc, but instead a two ep arc that figures that out. If it’s longer, I’d have to think she and Castle will not have a real happy arc.

      Still, I thought the episode nailed it, I love that the engagement scene had more dialogue, I did not like the Chuck in the hospital scene much at all. Ambiguity is NOT my thing I guess – LOL!

      • mr2686 says:

        Jason, not sure if they nailed it or not, but it was real good…but definitely not their best. I agree that the additional dialog at the beginning was perfect, but for me Castle is a lot like Chuck. It’s the whole, not just a few pieces, and although the secondary characters were seen, they weren’t really used very much or well. That whole Alexis/boyfriend didn’t seem to fit to me, and if Ryan and Esposito were used like that the whole season, it would take away a lot. My guess is that it will be a two ep arc and then back to NY, which is fine by me.

      • thinkling says:

        Agree. Good episode: nice romance; good story, humor, and tension. I, too, think it will be a 2 episode arc. Doing the DC thing long term would be an entirely different show, and I don’t see them doing that.

        I agree with Jason about the purpose of the front arc. Kate’s acceptance was conditional on her taking the job in DC. In a backdoor sort of way, she chose the job over Castle. I imagine the front arc will be about her choosing Castle over the job, which of course, would be foundational for a marriage. Even figuring things out together starts with that premise.

      • Jason says:

        Mr I’m all over the map with secondary characters. I usually like them in most tv but in both Chuck and Castle I don’t need them, heck in Castle I’m not sure I need Beckett or in Chuck I’m OK as long as Sarah’s ok, but Castle’s secondary plots are way better for me than Chuck’s. By making it only two eps it’ll will work out OK, the boys can help Beckett save Castle in the next ep. I thought the plot was a clever way to keep Castle relevant in DC, very relevant in the next ep, eh?

        The boyfriend plot bombed, then got saved by the last scene, when the b/f had a morganesque moment of wisdom “best to talk to someone”. Pi was so happy when he thought Castle was going to tell him his problems, then instead Castle left, while saying ‘I’m going to find someone to talk to!” those are the moments that these sort of romcomdram’s live for. Alexis is so difficult to write for in this show, maybe her b/f can help get her some relevance? He was given a great deal of airtime, is he a recurring guest?

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with most of this about Castle. It was a solid episode and I liked it; but that’s conditional on it being a short arc. I already found myself thinking about five times last night “take this job and shove it…” Not all jobs with a security clearance are so disrespectful of family, but Beckett has wound up in a bad situation.

        Alex’s boyfriend was sort of funny, but if I were Rick I wouldn’t have been joking about the sleeping on the couch bit (my house, my rules). I’m betting he’s short term. He’s funny, but too flakey and annoying for Alex.

      • joe says:

        I really enjoyed Castle last night. Havta say, the opening took me by surprise. I’ve been thinking for months that they’d draw out Kate’s answer for a while. In fact, I heard the cheers emanating from millions of households across the nation when she said ‘yes’. Very cool.

        I’m struck (again) by the differences in structure between Castle and Chuck. With Chuck, the romance is the #1 thing and regardless of what else is going on, it’s the A-plot. In Castle, it’s the mystery of the week. That’s the A-plot, even when Rick proposes and Kate accepts.

        Kate really was different last night. She treated Rick with a gentleness that I hadn’t quite seen before, even when he was being a major nuisance. Of course, that’s appropriate when she finds out Rick has about 24 hours to live.

        And the fans believe the titular character is going to die in the next episode. Right? Right? Yeah. Sure we do. That’s the ticket!

      • BillAtWork says:

        Joe, I couldn’t agree more. In Chuck, the romance was always the A plot. Which is why the constant resets generated so much fatigue so early. In another wt/wt situation, they could have gotten away with that for much longer. But when it’s your main story, you have to resolve it more quickly.

      • atcDave says:

        No Joe it’s just that the rest of the series will take place in 24 hours. No matter how long it may run.

        I agree about being pleasantly surprised by Kate’s answer. Great moment.

      • mr2686 says:

        Joe, you mean he’s not going to die in the 2nd ep of a 24 ep season? LOL.

      • joe says:

        Mr. & Dave, you may be onto something. We were all duped into thinking the episode of 24 we saw last night was really an episode of Castle. “Kiefer, your show is calling. It wants it’s spy back.”

        God, I hope he wasn’t wearing a red shirt. That would be too much!

  32. Michael66 says:

    Hold on. Wait a sec. Please tell me that Castle isn’t wearing a red shirt.

  33. Michelle W. says:

    Current
    5) Chasing Life
    4) tie: Perception/Forever
    3) Downton Abbey
    2) Switched At Birth
    1) Elementary

    All Time
    5) The Dead Zone
    4) Eli Stone
    3) Chuck
    2) E.R.
    1) Elementary

  34. Justin G says:

    Mine goes something like:

    1. Rome.
    2. Spartacus (all of them)
    3. Chuck
    4. Dexter
    5. The Sopranos

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