Top Five TV Shows – All Time

5.  Alias

Now, there was a time that this show would have been top three – EASY.  I mean it’s got a) Jennifer Garner – my one true love, b) Michael Vartan, c) Victor Garber, and d) absolutely AMAZING chemistry between them.  Not in a dirty way, internet perv.  Also, it’s got the CIA, awesomely ridiculous gadgets, incredible guest stars and supporting cast, and definitely an element of the supernatural.  All these things, and so much more, make this show one of the single greatest series of my conscious life.

So what is keeping it out of the top spots? One word.  Three syllables.  Yep, you guessed it.  RAMBALDI.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Rambaldi mythology, the crazy proto-steampunk tech, and the evil prophecy.  BUT IT WENT TOO FAR.  I mean, if you liked season 4 – or even worse – season 5, you are crazy and we have nothing to talk about.  Nadia?  Dumb.  As my brother always says, “Long-lost sisters ALWAYS ruin TV.”  No Lena Olin?  Dumb.  Killing off Vaughan?  Ten kinds of stupid.  I mean, it was hard enough to have the show sans Francie AND Will, but getting rid of two of the best characters and adding one with an obnoxious accent and daddy issues? DO NOT WANT.

Luckily, I’ve come to terms with Alias.  We pretend that seasons 4 & 5 never happened, except for maybe the flash-forward at the end of the series.  I’m ok with that part.

If you really know me, you might be shocked that this isn’t top three either.  The fact of the matter, the Elite Three are simply too competitive/close to my heart.  Firefly is great, but it’s not top 3 material.

Now, a brief history of my relationship with Firefly.  I remember the previews.  Mostly they were just Summer Glau naked in a case.  No thanks.

And then I saw Serenity.  I didn’t really want to, but it was Homecoming, and my date was obsessed.  So I went.  And FELL IN LOVE.  I mean, here was a space movie – but with REAL CHARACTERS! Like, they had flaws other than being “too awesome.”  I’m looking at you Star Trek!   And their technology sometimes sucked really bad.  Again, I’m looking at Star Trek.  And there was quality dialogue!  It was witty, and well-written.  STAR WARS.  Basically I fell in love, and bought Firefly the next weekend.

It really was awesome, but unfortunately, didn’t last.  But the characters are complex, their interactions are synergistic, there was definitely a big plot in the background, it just didn’t have time to get off the ground.  Alas, what could have been.

3.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

For THE longest time, this was my favorite show.  It still might be, actually, when you consider that I own all the DVDs and watch them pretty regularly, quote the show randomly (BITCA, anyone?), and obsessively read the canonical comic books.  But this list is about the best, not just my favorite.  So while Buffy might contain pretty much everything I love, I have to say that the next two shows are just plain better.  Sorry Buffy.

2.  Battlestar Galactica

OH how my emotions have fluctuated regarding this show.  Season 1 and 2.0? Absolutely amazing.  Hands-down the best TV I’ve ever seen.  I mean, I literally saw a random episode on NBC one day, was blown away, talked about it for about two weeks, and then bought the first season.  I mean, it had the gritty take on space I loved from Firefly, and all the well-developed characters, PLUS epic space battles, robots, SEXY ROBOTS, mythology, prophecy, and dystopia – my favorite plot.  Season 2.5 was still great, but began to show signs of fatigue executive meddling.  Season 3 insisted on being more episodic (see: executive meddling), and Season 4 was like this mad rush to clean up the continuity and wrap up all the dangling plot threads as much as possible.  While the finale was phenomenal, season four was – in my opinion – pretty awful, and the only thing that kept this show from being number one.  Because I loved the premise, loved the characters, loved the plots, and loved everything in between.  I firmly believe it will be remembered as one of the most influential shows of the early 21st century.

1.  LOST

If you’re shocked by this, you’re dumb.  LOST had me from Jack’s eye.  How I love it.  Let’s count the ways.  1) JJ ABRAMS.  He is cinematic Jesus for all intents and purposes, and everything he touches makes me swoon.  2) Damon and Carlton.  Holy cow.  Best producers ever (after JJ).  3) BRIAN K. VAUGHAN freaking wrote for this show.  If you don’t know how much I love that man, we need to talk.  Because wow.  He : Writing :: JJ : Directing/Producing.  4) Pretty much all the characters.  Even if you hate them *cough – Michael – cough* *sneeze Ana Lucia sneeze * you have to admit that they were at least pretty well-formed.  5) The story – twisted, convoluted, brilliant, moving, epic.  There aren’t enough words to describe it.  I seriously would get so mad when people said the creators didn’t have a plan, and that the whole show was basically being made-up on the spot.  Because that is so not the case.  It ties together so perfectly.  And people who didn’t understand it just don’t read enough comic books.

Seriously, this show was the single most consistent of any TV show I think I’ve ever seen.  Even Season 2, widely considered the worst, was considerably better than most television.

And think about the logistics of this show.  They juggled how many characters in how many settings in how many times?  I mean most characters – sorry Libby – got at least one episode devoted to them.  We have episodes about their childhoods, their traumas, their greatest joys, their worst mistakes, and their relationships.  We see them in 2004, in 1977, and in 2007.  They’re in LA, the Island, Australia, Scotland, Korea, England, and pretty much everywhere in between.  Multiple episodes made me cry – which isn’t always hard – but I challenge you to watch The Constant and NOT cry.  So, LOST is awesome, from the producers, to the writers, to the actors, to the FREAKING AMAZING MUSIC.


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