Saturday, October 08, 2005

TWQ:influential & Memorable TV

The Weekend Question (TWQ) this week is asking you to take a look at the tv programmes of the past.

Name the ten tv programmes that were influential or memorable in the past. Why were they?

Here are my choices: note: this list has been revised from the first day of asking the question.

1: The 'Star Trek' series: Naturally, this was hugely influential, especially seeing the original series as a child.

2: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: This comedy so funny when seen; I would dearly love to see it again. Who can forget the flying fickle finger of fate, "Sock it to me!", "Here comes de judge" and "Verrrry interesting!"?

3: Steptoe and Son: This comedy series about two rag and bone men was wonderfully acted, with great scripts. A version of it was made in the US called 'Sanford & Son'.

4: Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?: This comedy series about two men in the north of England has never dated, despite being made in the early seventies.

5: The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin: This was a first rate comedy series. Reggie is an executive who tires the life he leads, and fakes his own death. He comes back later and remarries his wife.

6: Dallas: This was the first of it's kind, and made all the better by Larry Hagman's portrayal of JR Ewing.

7: The 'Blackadder' series: This comprised of four comedy series, 'The Black Adder', 'Blackadder II', 'Blackadder III' and 'Blackadder Goes Forth'. In each, Rowan Atkinson plays Edmund Blackadder, then a descendant with the same name. Hilarious.

8: When The Boat Comes In: This drama was a wonderful portrayal of the opportunistic Jack Ford and life in the 1920's.

9: Battlestar Galactica: The original version was really well made; despite the new version having some good special effects, I am very loyal to this one. The last series of it, 'Galactica 80: Galactica Reaches Earth' , wioth different actors is worth seeing as well.

10: The Phil Silvers Show: The Sergeant Bilko stories have always been worth seeing. My favourite episode is when the troop think they are in a song contest, but it is an experimental laboratory for killer bees.

also ones that I have to squeeze in somehow....

11: The Twilight Zone (black & white originals): These were mini-classics. Everyone has their own favourites.

12: Twin Peaks: Was there ever a show like this?

Now it's over to you...


panthergirl said...

As I love British television, I'd agree about Blackadder and Reginald Perrin! In our house we also love Mr. Bean and Red Dwarf. And Keeping Up Appearances. I could go on!

For me, my US 10 would be (in no particular order):

1. Seinfeld
2. Six Feet Under (recent past, but still!)
3. The Honeymooners
4. Moonlighting
5. Thirtysomething
6. The Ed Sullivan Show
7. All in the Family
8. Laugh-In
9. Monty Python's Flying Circus
10. The Pee-Wee Herman Show

panthergirl said...

Oh.... and Michele sent me!

janey said...

No time for influential but here's my memorable - no order just as the pop into my head
1-Touching Evil - the Brit series not US
2-when the boat comes in - I loved that series and it never gets repeated here in the US
3-Upstairs downstairs
4-Star Trek of course
5-Faulty Towers
6-The Prisoner
8.I love Lucy
9.The Show of Shows (no I didn't see the original, just the reruns)
10.The original Twilight Zone
11. And an extra = Outerlimits.

And Michele sent me.

Karen said...

Gosh, it's too early in the morning to think about such things, but I enjoyed reading your list. (Even if I had no clue what those shows were.)

Michele sent me....

mar said...

Hi, Michele sent me and cannot follow your entire list, like Karen. But I am missing Get Smart on that list!

la la la I can't hear you said...

Hi Michele sent me.

I'd say, when I was little I liked Sesame Street a lot. (I used to make my mother try to find Sesame Street when we were driving somewhere.)

And of course Mr. Rogers.

Then it was Little House on the Prairie (though I'm not sure I'm spelling that right after all those years of watching the show).

Then I liked Roseanne, Married with Children and The Simpsons. Next, 90210 and Friends.

Recently the only show I've really liked was Judging Amy but it is over, so I'm hoping to find something else soon.

Is this ten yet? cause I'm outta shows.

dddragon said...

1. Star Trek (original)
2. Thunderbirds
3. Sesame Street - watched it with my girls, it isn't just for kids!
4. Electric Company - Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader!
5. Dark Shadows - I didn't realize how awful it was when I was a kid, but we watched it every day after school.
6. Laugh-in & Smothers Brothers - my parents exposed us to the grown-up world of political satire and commentary.
7. The Muppet Show
8. M*A*S*H
9. The Six Million Dollar Man
10. The Phil Donahue Show - the first talk show to bring up controversial issues.

TC said...

Wow of your list I have only seen 1 and 9.

My list:

1. Fame
2. Facts of Life
3. Airwolf
4. Knight Rider
5. Star Trek
6. Growing Pains
7. Family Ties
8. Life Goes On
9. Friends
10. 90210

TC said...

oh and Michele sent me

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Oh man, I love TV. Let's see if I can keep it to 10.

1. Simpsons -- by far the greatest, funniest prime time cartoon of all time. The Simpsons at their worst is much better than many shows at their best.
2. Star Trek TNG -- I thought TOS was awfully cheesey, TNG revived Sci Fi on TV and took the franchise forward.
3. Buffy and Angel -- I'll put them together. It took me the longest time to get into these shows, but they are clever, snappy and show a lot of depth and character development.
4. Nightcourt -- I loved this show as a kid. There was always something wacky going on.
5. Dukes of Hazzard -- Man, was this the cheese or what? Still, I loved it when it was on and my dad and I always watched it together.
6. Robotech -- It took me a long time to get into this show as well. In America, Robotech was three different Japanese cartoons all strong together in one space opera. It had many of the obnoxious Japanese cartoon staples, but it also had neat robots, character development not normally seen in a cartoon, and death.
7. The Lone Ranger -- Every Sunday morning, we would come home from church and watch the Lone Ranger.
8. My Name is Earl -- a new show, easily the funniest freshamn comedy this year. Jason Lee is a great character actor and the premise allows for wackiness every week.
9. NYPD Blue -- Another show that I didn't watch until later in its run, a very taught, sometimes funny, often tense show about Sipowitz and the 15th squad.
10. Veronica Mars -- a great show that just stared last year. A very complex show about a high school sleuth.

Ciera said...

1-3 Star Trek. TOS, TNG, and DS9. Helped me make it through some very hard years in my life.
4. Due South. A show about a Canadian mounty in Chicago. He was cute and besides it was a show we watched as a family.
5. Macgyver. Again, we watched as a family.
6. Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Hey - he was one of the few people that told me I was special and it was ok to be me.
7. the X-men cartoon series. I felt like a "misfit" growing up, so I identified with the characters somewhat. Always had a soft spot for Wolverine for some odd reason.
8. Tour of Duty. I've always wondered how close they were to the truth of the Vietnam war. It had some good music too.
9. Quantum Leap - discovered this in college. Always makes me think of Katie.
10. Red Dwarf. No was just funny.

ribbiticus said...

these shows had great impact on me while growing up:
1. sesame street
2. electric company
3. the muppet show
4. man from atlantis
5. charlie's angels
6. chips
7. six million dollar man
8. wonder woman
9. tour of duty
10.the simpsons

puremood said...

Hi - I sent myself but you likely knew that already! LOL

I don't think I can name 10... I can name 10 I like but not that really impacted my life.

Jen said...

Influential on other shows, or influential on me? I'm going to answer as if it means me, because I'm not really qualified to answer on the subject of trends in the larger TV world... I'm thinking of shows I actually made time in my week for, in no particular order.

1. Star Trek (all)
2. X-Files
3. The Six Million Dollar Man
4. Battlestar Galactica (original)
5. ER
6. Quincy
7. The Tomorrow People (I *LOVED* this show, it was a British serial show that I caught on Nickelodeon when I was in my early teens. I think they've remade it, but I haven't seen the new one.)
8. Little House on the Prairie
9. Twin Peaks
10. The Young Ones

That was fun! It was kind of hard to do, though. I hadn't thought about some of these shows in a long time...

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i wouldn't say that they impacted my life but i sure did love them
1. seinfeld
2. friends
3. barney miller
4. wkrp in cincinatti
5. dallas
6. knots landing
7. er
8. bewitched
9. bugs bunny road runner hour
10. walt disney

M. C. Pearson said...

1. Charlie's Angels~ I wanted Farrah's hair and Jacqueline's personality...I thought it was cool that women could be spies and fight.

2. The Love Boat~ Made me want to live on a ship...too bad I get motion sickness!

3. Gilligan's Island~ I wanted to have friends like that.

4. Mork and Mindy~ Made me laugh at life.

5. Star Trek~ brought out my imagination.

6. I Dream of Jeannie~ I so wanted to be able to live in that cool bottle and have hair that could be put up in that bracelet thingy.

7. Bewitched~ I laughed and laughed.

8. Little House on the Prairie~ Hey, had to get history somehow.

9. Fantasy Island~ 'Da Plane! Da Plane!'

10. The Jetsons~ Life as it may be someday!

War Eagle said...

star trek TNG and voyager
mash(my favorite sitcom of all time)
Beverly Hills 90210 (very much a guilty pleasure)
cosby show
Outer Limits(the series that ran on show time)
Sliders(when it ran on Fox, it sucked when Scifi Channel took over)
Are u being served(British tv show it runs here in the us on public tv)
Firefly(the best scifi series since TNG to bad the "normals" didnt like it )
Freaks and Geeks(another short run tv series. this one really spoke to me.)

Professor Xavier said...

I certainly do love both the Blackadder and Mr. Bean series. Monty Python, of course set the way for quite a bot of the comedy that came after it. Fawlty Towers was the other British show that I really enjoyed.

In America, the Show of Shows had so much talent of the day coming out of it, that it really established the parameters of comedy for at least a generation. The Honeymooners, the Abott and Costello Show, Ed Sullivan and the Tonight Show also had a lot of impact. And a real fun to watch!

One show that had no impact whatsoever but I really enjoyed was Get a Life with Chris Elliot. The life and times of a 30 year old paperboy. Classic.

Trinity13 said...

1. Sesame Street-this is the first show I ever remember watching
2. Blossom-I never missed a show
3. You Can't Do That on Television-"I don't know"
4. Star Trek-I have many fond memories of this show that helped my dad and I bond
5. Macgyver-I always learned something new watching this show
6. Roswell-one of my fav shows when I was a teenager
7. Lois and Clark-The New Adventures of Superman-I love anything superman
8. All in the Family-my hubby and I watched this every evening before we had cable
9. Smallville-Again, I love anything superman (I know it's not really in the past, but I still love this show!)
10. Firefly-only got to see the show recently, but I love it!!!

Jen said...

Oh! Mr. Bean!

Thanks for bringing that one up, Professor Xavier. We all love that show at my house, too! :-D

Jean-Luc Picard said...

You've made some great suggestions so far. I'm going to revise the list now. Rowan & Martin's Laugh In HAS to be in it. It was an oversight by me.

mar said...

Nothing like reading to freshen up your memory... I was here earlier but I had forgotten all about
-Sesame Street! it helped me to learn English as I arrived in the US as an exchange student.
-Mork and Mindy, loved them!
Michele sent me, have a nice sunday!

Erin said...

I must be young - I don't know any of those except Star Trek and Dark Shadows. My dad LOVED Dark Shadows.

My favorite shows were Wonder Years and Dawson's Creek and FRIENDS and Will and Grace.

Here from Michele's. Enjoy your Sunday!

Barbara said...

Here's my list:

1. All in the Family - This show gave Americans an opportunity to examine race relations
2. M*A*S*H - The writers of this show could make you laugh while bringing a war to tour TV screen
3. I Love Lucy - A beloved comedian, paved the way for other women.
4. Happy Days - The fonz was so cool
5. Dallas - The Texas Tycoons, hilarious
6. The X-Files - Questioned everything
7. CSI - Gave the answers
8. Survivor - Legitimized reality programming
9. American Idol - Introduces you to singers before they are stars.
10. Star Trek: The Next Generation - best of the Star Trek shows. I love Jean-Luc. Make it so.

Hello, Michele sent me!

Indigo said...

1. Survivor
2. Lost
3. Friends
4. Seinfeld
5. Beverly Hills 90201
6. CSI
7. Law & Order
8. Trading Spaces
9. American Idol
10. The Sopranos

Michele sent me! My Hubby loves that I have to leave comments on you site because I'm so un-Star Trek it's not even funny. LOL! However, I enjoy your site. You aren't affliated, are you? ;-)

TC said...

Hello! Back again, michele sent me. my list is already posted. This is such a fun exercise because it brings back so many memories!

colleen said...

Loose Leaf Stardate Oct 9...just landed from a 2 week road trip. I have to think more about this...but Ed Sullivan comes to mind....and The Tonight Show. Michele sent me today.

Blond Girl said...

Hi. Michele sent me.

I would have to say that M*A*S*H and All in the Family must be on the list. They accomplished amazing feats of culteral advancement and made us laugh while doing it. Besides, who can ever forget Hotlip's famous quote, "I am not as think as you drunk I am!"

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Showing my age,

1.Perry Mason
2.The Beverly Hilbillies
3. All in the Family
4. The Twilight Zone
5. The Munsters
6. Lawrence Welk
7. Six Feet Under
8. The Practice
9. Dr. Kildare
10. Sea Hunt

Tammy said...

Ok, I'm gonna try this....and then I'll read everyone else's!

1. Seinfeld
2. Cheers
3. M*A*S*H
4. Twin Peaks (no, there has NEVER been a show like that one!)
5. Law&Order
6. Knots Landing (I watched a repeat on some Soap Opera show last night, and cannot BELIEVE that I used to watch that show every Thursday night!
7. All In The Family
8. Family Ties
9. Life Goes On
10. The Twilight Zone

And I hardly watch tv!

donna y said...

In no particular order:
1. Seinfeld - classic, everyday funny
2. Mad About You - fun couple that romanticized NYC
3. V - cool alien series in the 80's
4. Friends - every episode
5. M*A*S*H - because it made my father laugh
6. Little House on the Prairie - made me want to live in a different time
7. ER - although it gives a skewed perceptive on doctor/patient ratio
8. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood - He just seemed like a really nice guy
9. All in the Family - very honest humor...I don't think sensors would let a new show get away with it now.
10. Quantum Leap - just a cool concept

Bill said...

Okay, time to show my age...

1. "Tour of Duty" similar to "China Beach" but it got into the heads of the soldiers more instead of getting into the nurses' pants.

2. "Babylon 5" about a meeting ground space station and how humanity never really solves the problem of conflict, but still shines as a light for the universe.

3. "Sliders" what would you do and how would you act if you never knew if you'd ever see home again?

4. "Cheers" has to be the first show about nothing that changed the way people walk into a room, esp if you happened to be named Norm.

5. "Smurfs" taught me that everyone has a role to play and helping others with your gifts is important.

6. "Sesame Street"

7. "CSI" showed me that there's no such thing as a perfect crime.

8. "Stargate: SG-1" opens us up to wonder what's really out there and is it friendly? Not according to this show.

9. "Jeopardy" has lasted so long because knowledge truly is power, even if it's trivial knowledge that used to get you beat up in school.

10. "G.I.Joe" always had a positive message based on the episode and ended a kid saying, "Now I know." and the 'Joe's would respond with "And knowing is half the battle."

yellojkt said...

Your British upbringing is showing. In the US you had to stay up pretty late to see Reginald Perrin, but I loved that show. It doesn't even rise to cult status, like Red Dwarf, on this side of the pond.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

You have suggested some wonderful programmes. "All In The Family" was a popular choice and rightly so, although we didn't see many episodes over here. I also liked 'Jeopardy' and 'V', which appeared for a while. 'Cheers' was also another I considered adding on the list.

Indigo, I think 'assimilated' is the word you are looking for, not 'affiliated'.

InterstellarLass said...


1) Little House on the Prarie (I wished my dad were as nice as Mr. Ingalls)
2) Dallas (Hey! I'm from here!)
3) Facts of Life (I could see little parts of me in each of the girls.)
4) Friends (They seemed like fun people!)
5) ER (my favorite show ever)
6) Seinfeld (Elaine got away with it all!)
7) Fantasy Island (Wouldn't it be great to see how things would turn out if you made different choices?)
8) M*A*S*H (This show could make me laugh and cry.)
9) Jeopardy (I love to play along!)
10) Keeping Up Appearances (Gotta give a shout out to a great BritCom!)

Lish said...

Wow, what a question! There are so many shows that I think were influential at one time or another. Here are 10 off the top of my head.
1. M*A*S*H
2. All in the Family
3. The Jeffersons
4. One Day at a Time
5. The Brady Bunch
6. Three's Company
7. Mork and Mindy
8. I love Lucy
9. Growing Pains
10. Who's the Boss
11. Beverly Hills 90210
12. Melrose Place
13. Seinfeld
14. Friends
15. Sex and the City

Ok, so that's 15....I could go on.

emaleejayne said...

I used to love to watch The Carol Burnett Show, Moonlighting, All in the Family, One Day at a Time, The Muppets, etc. Dddragon mentioned the Electric Company which made me think of 3 2 1 Contact (I can still hear the theme song in my head!). These days I tend to favor CSI although here in France I'm stuck watching Julie Lescaut or Les Cordier, juge et flic. Woo!

Oh, yah, Hello, Michele sent me!

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