I bring you the first in a weekly series of Top 5’s, yet sadly missing the countless C-list celebrities talking through their behinds! To start the ball rolling: American TV shows.
US television can be a mixed bag, but those programmes that are good, are usually exceptionally good, and being American, tend to have many dollars lavished on them with massive sets and great cast lists.
The same too can be said with many of their sitcoms. Whilst Americans are often noted as has not having the same sense of humour we do, when they produce a good sitcom, they can run and run without losing any of their appeal (think The Simpsons, Friends, Frasier…). It sometimes makes you wonder why they bother importing classic British sitcoms such as Man Behaving Badly and The Office (before systematically destroying them)!
Anyway enough babble, cue Graham Norton…
1. The West Wing
Amazing cast, gripping story lines with great incidental comedy moments from this drama depicting life inside the Oval Office. The same cast has pretty much remained throughout it’s six seasons (although now without Rob Lowe), and so the relationships between the characters are even more believable; Sadly this has become a bit of a hidden treasure in the schedules at Channel 4, and whilst the US has already seen season 6, we’re still waiting for season 5—well certainly on free-to-view television.
Whilst my mum likes to refer to Peter Falke’s iconic detective character as ‘the unmade bed’, just one shoot of that rain-jacket and cigar and anything else on the box hasn’t got a look in! A timeless detective drama that beats Quincy hands down.
3. The David Letterman Show
This US talk show is closely followed by ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, not included only because I have watched many of David Letterman’s shows, where as I can only ever view the best chunks on the net for the Daily Show. I can’t stand Leno or any of the other big US talk shows, but by and large, Letterman hits the spot.
Perhaps the most expensive sitcom ever made, this ‘intelligent’ comedy will be sadly missed.
A new series returning to British screens this Friday, and to be fair I haven’t watched enough episodes to perhaps warrant its place on this list. Those I have watched though have been witty, original and left me wanting more.
The also-rans (if I could have thought of a tenth, these would be in a Top 10) in no particular order:
- South Park
- Malcolm in the Middle
- The Simpsons