Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

10 Favorite TV Shows of All-Time

Tonight I get to celebrate my birthday with the season premier of my favorite show. This sounds like a great opportunity for a list!

Top 10 Favorite TV Shows of All-Time

10. Twin Peaks

Just two short seasons, but what a bizarre and captivating time it was.

9. Leave it to Beaver

I watched this a lot when I was young, but I've rediscovered it with Lori and Ben. This show is so much better than most people give it credit for. The writing and acting are both very high quality. Of course, the main reason Leave it to Beaver is mentioned anymore is in mocking criticism of an idyllic past that supposedly never existed. First, I would argue that the show is more honest and genuine that you would expect. Second, what is wrong with a show that sets a higher standard, instead of racing to the lowest common denominator?

8. M*A*S*H

The first show I shared with my whole family and the first one that I still loved as a grew older. If you ever wonder where my humor comes from, I learned at the feet of the great Hawkeye Pierce.

7. Meet the Press

This doesn't quite fit, but I have to include it since I've been watching it without fail for a very long time. Definitely the best political show out there. I could admit that I love Road to the White House too, but then my secret life as a political geek would be revealed.

6. The Wonder Years

Just incredibly well done, with first-class honesty and respect about what it means to grow up.

5. Arrested Development

One of the most hilarious, inventive shows I have ever watched. There is more creativity in 10 minutes than some shows pack into a season. If it can stay at this level for a few more years, it will definitely move up. I can watch these over and over again.

Check out the website by the way. Very well done and includes a great In Case You Missed It section.

4. Mad About You

The cheapest marriage counseling you'll ever find. Consistently clever, original, and yes, heartfelt. The supporting characters become a bit much after awhile, but Paul and Jamie will always be my favorite TV couple.

I kissed Doug Berkus. Quite a moment.

3. Sports Night

Three nearly perfect seasons, written by Aaron Sorkin. If you missed it the first time, please rent or buy the DVD's. The show is incredible.

What other show would have the nerve to do almost an entire season about the uncertainty of what was going to happen to the show, while they were uncertain about what would happen to the show?

2. Seinfeld

Almost every day brings an opportunity to weave a line from Seinfeld into a situation. My current favorite is Why don't you just tell me what movie you'd like to see?

I certainly have never seen a show be so consistently funny for so long, and it such unique ways.

1. The West Wing

I know this is my favorite show because I can start watching any episode from any year and be immediately captivated. Of course, I wish Aaron Sorkin was still involved, but they've done a better job than I would have imagined possible.

The writing continues to be first-rate, the acting is fantastic, and despite a few military dramas and a kidnapping, the show has stayed amazingly consistent. It's a show about politics and the White House. It appeals to the political romantic in me. If politics isn't a noble cause, I'm sure glad it is for one hour a week.