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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The New Classics, according to who?

When you hear the phrase, "Oh, that's classic," typically the topic of discussion is something original, innovative and of high quality that sets a tone for everything else to follow.

I'm afraid the writers at Entertainment Weekly failed to understand that. This week's issue of EW features what the famed magazine calls "The New Classics" -- a ranking of the best of the best from film to television in the last 25 years.

Never before while reading a magazine have I uttered the word "What?!" in such great succession. (Well, with the exception of perusing the latest Playboy, but for entirely different reasons.)

This being a TV blog, I figure its best to focus on the boob tube classics first. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan. But putting The Simpsons at Numero Uno for the last 25 years may be a bit ridiculous. Sure, seasons three through seven, maybe even eight, were pretty solid, but let's be honest -- any thing after that is complete rubbish. I agree the show should definitely see the Top Five but a show that is riding purely on the coattails of a better era is not deserving of the top rank.

From here, the list finds a bit of sanity, ranking The Sopranos at No. 2 (I've never seen it, but heard it has the goods to support bragging rights) and Seinfeld at No. 3 -- a wise choice. Then out of nowhere, in comes The X-Files at number four -- um, nerd alert! I know the program lasted nearly 10 years on the air but c'mon, really? One of the best shows ever in the last 25 years?

Now, there are 100 shows on this list and so as not to bore you with my analysis of why each one was picked, I would just like to point out a few more that left me scratching my head and endlessly shaming the writers at Entertainment Weekly:

-- 10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-- 17. The Office (U.K. version) yet 61. The Office (U.S. version)
-- 21. Roseanne
-- 30. Late Show with David Letterman yet 43. Late Night with Conan O'Brien
-- 64. The Osbournes
-- 74. Wiseguy
-- 78. I'll Fly Away (really??)
-- 94. Married ... With Children
-- And finally, barely making the cut off 100. Saved by the Bell (C'mon! That was a great show!)

To see the complete list, plus rankings of the new "classic" movies, music, books, style, technology (I know, what?), videogames and stage performances, click here. Trust me, if you're confused now, it'll only get worse.

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Also, didn't the US "Office" get beat by "Xena: Warrior Princess"?



By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 25, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

I only scrolled to #85 and then I saw The Hills beat, not only Saved by the Bell, but Kids in the Hall, Ab Fab, MacGuyver, and many more worthy shows. Barf.

By Blogger Ms. Quarter, At June 26, 2008 at 8:27 AM  

I have to politely disagree and say that The Simpsons is the ONLY logical choice for No. 1. It's the longest primetime animated series in history, influenced God knows how many other shows/writers, and even if later seasons weren't as thoroughly brilliant as the classic run of 3-8, and I'd even argue that 9 is pretty solid, the Simpsons are cultural institutions, not merely TV characters. To be honest, I don't think anyone on the list even comes close. It should be 1-10. (The Wire will be the most important cultural document in say, 50 years, but nobody freakin' watched it ...)

Also, Roseanne gets a really bad rap, for whatever reason. The early seasons are not only hilarious, but groundbreaking. Up until that point, there hadn't been a show that balanced the harsh realities of lower-middle class family life in such a brutally honest yet sarcastically funny way. It's much better than the Cosby Show, I'll tell you that much right now.

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 26, 2008 at 9:42 AM  

Given the lists of favorite tv shows (and the ages) of the bloggers here, I never expected an entry like this.
Bless you - and thank you! I think the people who create lists such as this are still in diapers. Can you imagine what the list will be like in 25 years - and what shows from today will make the list?
My interest in this particular blog has been renewed. Keep up the good work!

By Blogger Jim, At June 26, 2008 at 1:42 PM  

This list made my head hurt (not to mention it's lazy journalism, EW!).

A few thoughts. I agree with "The Simpsons" as No. 1. Few shows have such staying power and it's a choice almost everyone can agree on. But the lack of awesome 80s fare (Where was "Family Ties" and "The Wonder Years"?!?!?!?!?!) leads me to believe that the writers were too focussed on catering to popular opinion ("Real World" over "The West Wing"? Really?)

p.s. Please don't mock the inclusion of "Buffy" (an all-time great teen show) or "The X-Files" (which revolutionized the sci-fi genre).


By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 27, 2008 at 11:00 AM  

Nerd Alert!

That is all.

-- Sara

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM  

As an X-Files fan I was even surprised by a #4 ranking. It's definitely Top Ten but #4 was high even for me.

Thank goodness MST3K made the list though it should be higher.

One major omission for me is Nickelodeon's Avatar the Last Airbender. This show is epic and not just another typical anime offering. It has a wonderful mythology, characters you feel for, humor, great animation and action, philosophy, strange beasts and lands, and is family friendly. If anything deserves the label "classic" it is this show. It sucks you in with its story and imagination. I'm sad that this 3rd season may be the series finale.

What no Alf?

By Blogger Antony, At June 29, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

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