The Greatest Tv Shows: Past and Present

TV Feature, by Jacy Chimes

To say that the greatest TV shows are either in the past or solely in the present is only down to perspective, and of such I have compiled a list of the best TV shows; that are and have been.
Each of the TV shows featured can be purchased in most retail shops, or if you’re a modern day geek, you can find them as digital downloads on iTunes.
But of course, this is my personal opinion…

1959 – The Twilight Zone: One of the first great alternative shows that came to all television sets in the late 50s/early 60s. It saw many a great actor star in various episodes, actors such as, William Shatner who went on to star in ‘TJ Hooker’, and ‘Star Trek’ as Captain T. Kirk.
Peter Falk who later owned the role as ‘Columbo’, also starred in the twilight zone, as did Robert Redford, Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson (who was the Chuck Norris of the older generation).
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1964 – Stingray: Stringray actually released BEFORE Thunderbirds did, even though most people think that thunderbirds came first. FACT!

1965 – Thunderbirds: With the jiggly heads and visible wires, Thunderbirds looked like it was going to fail, but with the snappy engaging storylines and awesome ships they used, it is no wonder that Thunderbirds can become such a hit throughout the years.

1966 – Star Trek: The original series didn’t actually take off as well as it did in later years.
People in the sixties just weren’t interested and after watching the pilot, which saw a captain Pike in the captains seat. But by the next episode William Shatner has stepped into the role, giving life to a famous ‘Captain T. Kirk’.
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1967 – Captain Scarlet: Following the success or Stingray and Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet gave a similar show as the previous two, except for the main character having special powers which made him indestructible.

1979 – Buck Rogers and the 21st Century: If I ever have my own child, I promise you now, I will make sure I name him Buck Rogers! That is my promise to the world, there will be a Buck Rogers of the 21st Century!

1988 – Red Dwarf: A comedy classic from the BBC saw a ‘cat’ alien, a human, a robot and hologram mooch through space getting up to all sorts of trouble.
This series went on for many years and it looks like a new season is on the horizon….watch this space!
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1993 – X-Files: With conspiracy theories and alien curiosity reaching a peak in the early 90s, it was no wonder that this show was a great hit. The two main characters ‘Mulder and Scully’ sparked a lot of interest in a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship that was hinted at a various points in the season.
The show also sparked off two films following the same storyline as in the show.

1995 – Hercules: Son of Zeus; hunted by a jealous Hera, Hercules had many an adventure, with these two characters interring. He saves many a maiden in distress, whilst his rippling chest muscles are doused in, what can only be gallons of baby oil. Yes, the special effects are cheap and lame, but that’s what we love about it, right?!

1995 – Xena: A spin off, from the very popular Hercules. Xena was subtly lesbionic which helps to pull in viewers even when the plot-line started to go downhill in the last couple of seasons.
Early Xena was more story based, although tacky, with naff special effects, it’s still a cult classic with many a woman dressing up in leather and metal at various
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1997 – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Which was Awesome!
I shouldn’t have to explain more than that, but I will. Buffy saw a young USA High school girl, new in town, having to deal with fighting hell fiends of various different natures, but it was more than that. It also dealt with issues affecting young people of today, in a non-condescending way, this is why Buffy is, and always will be Awesome!

1998 – Futurama: A spin off cartoon series from ‘The Simpsons’, no one knew whether it would last the duration it was commissioned to be on for, but with a nice number of seasons tucked under it’s futuristic waist-band, it’s safe to say that Futurama has become a hit.

1998 – Robot Wars: Crushing metal, remote controls, and ridiculous robot names. This was Robot Wars, which was presented by Red Dwarf star ‘Craig Charles.

1999 – Angel: Half way through the seasons with Buffy, Angel did a self named spin off show, in which he starts up a detective agency which then dealt with any paranormal problems the people of LA faced. Sadly, Angel didn’t really take off like Buffy did, which a lot of Buffy fans giving up on the show, complaining that it wasn’t as good.
When given the chance though, Angel did eventually prove to be a time worthy show to watch.
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2002 – Firefly: From the same makers as Buffy and Angel, Joss Wheadon started a new show that was set in the future, but with no vampires bothering people this time. Firefly saw a bunch of outlaws band together in a ship called Serenity, trying to escape the clutches of The Alliance, who wanted to throw all of them in jail.

2003 – The Mighty Boosh: The Mighty Boosh was as random and they come!
This show was like a comic book coming to life. With minimal special effects and LOTS of bodged-together costumes, this show was either going to be a miss or a hit.
With three seasons and 2 live shows, it was obvious that it had become a hit.
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2005 – Doctor Who: Doctor Who has been on the British television for what seems like a bjillion years, possibly since the dinosaurs walked the earth, maybe. But it was in 2005, the much loved BBC TV show got a revamp and inspired many new, younger minds.
The story, like the main character himself, is timeless. Long live Doctor Who and all who fly in his Tardis.

2007 – The Big Bang Theory: 4 Geeks, one ‘normal’ girl, lots of hi-jinks taking place.
Of course it follows the typical formula of polar opposites and makes fun out of them, but with the snappy writers it’s easy to forgive.

2008 – True Blood: Sookie always seems to be attracted to the wrong guys, sadly, in this show, but I guess that’s what makes it interesting as the audience becomes curious who she’s going to end up with; the brooding Bill, the sly Eric, wolf-y Alcide, shape-shifter Sam or someone else entirely.
We can only wait and watch….

2008 – Being Human: Being human takes an interesting slant on the aged formula of the odd couple, which sees a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost sharing a house.
We, the audience are left wondering why this has never been done before…
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2009 – Misfits: Superheroes are always seen in comics and movies as being virtuous goody-two-shoes in nature. But Misfits smashes that stereotype, by giving a bunch of asbo-teens super-powers.
You could but wonder, surely this couldn’t be a good thing, but guess what, it is!
Misfits is witty, down to earth, honest and addictive.

2009 – Glee: Like Marmite; you either love it or you hate it.
I am a self-confessed geek so I may be biased in this, but with good reason.
Yes, it could be argued that they just cover other peoples songs, but don’t we all, when sing in the shower, bedroom, or drunkenly in the back of a taxi each week?!
What is so wrong about a show of misfits, coming together, finding their identities whilst singing a jaunty tune. Are we all that miserable that we can’t enjoy a nice show that doesn’t involve violence, swearing or rough, kinky sex?

2010 – Todd and The Book Of Evil: Basically it’s Evil Dead, but in TV show form and based in a school environment. Enough said, if you don’t know about Evil Dead, then I encourage you to go and watch it now, you time will not be wasted!

2011 – Grimm: Fairytales are all about ‘Happy Ever Afters’ with Mermaids, Elves and Fairies, or are they?! In Grimm, we see the ‘true’ side of fairytales, where there’s violence and intrigue. Basically it’s CSI, but with wonder-beasts. WIN!
2011 – Game Of Thrones: If you have trolled through the books, whilst spraining your arm when reading ‘A Dance of Dragons’, and you’re wondering how can you possibly get your westeros fix now? I point you to Sky Atlantic and wish you a merry way!
It’s worth a look, just for the sex scenes alone! Wa-hey!
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2011 – American Horror Story: AHS is seductive and creepy all at the same time.
If it possible to be turned on and freaked out at the same time? Yes. Apparently it is, when you watch this show!

2011 – Napolean Dynamite: If you loved the movie, you’re going to love the cartoon series,
If you hated the movie, you’re going to love the cartoon series!
It’s different and yet the same, there’s just some storylines that you just would have trouble doing in a non-cartoon form.
Not to mention you get to see Pedro rip his shirt off to reveal his very manly bossoms!

Anyway, that was my list to date. Who knows what 2012 will hold….