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The mighty ten
My friends CJ and Dean have been decorating(polluting?) their blogs with lists – their favorite movies, fight scenes, John C. Reilly movies, etc and so on. So here are my ten favorite shows of all time ever, for real.

A word about my judgment. I don’t like to watch the same movies over and over again. In this new and frightening age of RealMedia and DVD collector sets, it’s easy to collect a show and find that you don’t want to watch the entire series over and over again. Except for some shows. These are the few that I can put on at any time of day, any point in the episode, and enjoy them fully.

10.Seinfeld (1990-1998)
I don’t think it’s the greatest half-hour sitcom of all time. You need that kind of qualifier when you’re talking about this show, which lost the Emmy to Murphy Brown but won our hearts. A lot of my derivative one-liners have their genesis here, as well as in #6, #2 and #1.

9.Oz (1997-2002)
Gripping, disgusting prison melodrama acted out by the best character actors on TV. It slacked a bit in the final seasons, but season one is absolutely perfect, sense-numbing television. You even get to like the crippled narrator guy.

8.Yes, Minister (1980-1982)
The legendary brit-com about an ineffectual government official and his secretaries. This would be a good way to teach new Americans the language – cue up a VCR and have them follow the verbal acrobatics of Nigel Hawthorne. Definitely the most complex punchlines of any show on this list.

7.Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Alternately vastly underrated and vastly overrated. It’s not the best TV show ever – season one is patchy, seasons six and seven are depressing. But seasons two through five contain some of the best drama, dialogue, and teen catharsis I’ve ever seen.

6.Mr. Show (1995-1998)
The best sketch show ever, bar none, period, full stop, stop arguing with me. Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, and Tom Kenny wrote and performed dumbfounding and twisted bits that I still quote in mixed company, drawing stares and pity.

5.The Sopranos (1999-present)
The backlash started around two years ago, didn’t it? Well, it was silly. The well-drawn, pathetic characters, subtle morality plays, and absolutely hilarious dialogue (Step up, Tony Sirico) have moved past the first season’s tight story arc and created their own appalling universe.

4.The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
THIS is the best sitcom of all time, which is frankly amazing. There’s nothing hysterical about Garry Shandling or Jeffrey Tambor or Rip Torn independently of each other – they’re funny, but not gods. Except on this show. Here, they are bronzed and glistening deities of situation comedy.

3.South Park (1997-present)
Sadly, the show got much, much better after the media stopped watching. Seasons three through six (and some of the new season) contain weird-ass parodies (a cripple fight that is ripped off, frame-for-frame, from John Carpenter’s “They Live”), bizzare plots (the musical journey of a gerbil through a gay man’s anus and intestines), and one of the funniest characters in TV history – Eric Cartman.

2.Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-1999)
It changed America. Making fun of retarded sci-fi movies came out of the basement and into … well, not the sunlight, but a room on the first floor with really good blinds. Their best shows – “Manos,” “Attack of the Eye Creatures,” “Pod People,” are my most treaured possessions.

1.The Simpsons (1989-present)
Well, duh.

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