Monday, June 16, 2008

Bet 100 on The Flaming Nose

This is the intro to a ten-part series I'm contributing to The Flaming Nose, the web's premier website devoted to television. With each of my introductory articles, I'll be covering my very personal choices for my 100 favorite TV series of all time. I'm about to post #70-61, so if you haven't checked all three previous articles out, do. And make time for everything else TV-related at The Flaming Nose. All the contributors there are proven experts in their field! I'm proudly a junior amongst them now.

Anyway, here the intro to my first appearance on The Nose:

I’m not in the habit of writing about TV. Movies are my thing, really. But so much of television has truly shaped my tastes that it’s hard to ignore its influence.

The greatest thing, as all of you know, about TV shows is their ability to envelope you, week after week, so completely you get to know every tiny detail of the on- and off-air personalities that make it live. And the best narrative TV shows are the ones in which you cannot, absolutely cannot believe that there are actually actors playing these roles. This, too, goes for the variety, news and game show personalities. I mean, if you saw Alex Trebek walking down the street, you’d simply have to drop your jaw because he’d be so out of his element. You’d be, like, “Heyyyy, Potent Potables for 500, Alex!” It's got something to do with watching this stuff in our shorts, eating chili with our fingers—we figure if these guys are with us through those moments, we must be pretty close buds!

My association with Lisa, the one of the mistresses of The Flaming Nose--the world’s finest TV-related website--is a long one. No one loves TV more than Lisa. Years ago, when we worked together at Turner Network Television, I’d be talking about movies
with her and, though she always took my opinions truly to heart, I could tell that, deep in the center of her being, she’d way rather be watching a TV show than any ol’ movie. This mystified me then, but it got me to thinking in the years since we’ve worked together that TV is pretty amazing. Its pacing is exquisite. TV shows are designed to sink their hooks into you, to keep you watching through the commercials or even from show to show, so it therefore has a snappiness, a rhythm and flavor all its own. If the average Joe were shown 30 seconds of a TV show he’d never heard boo about, and then shown a similar 30 second clip of a movie (both with equal production values), I guarantee Joe would be able tell which one belonged to which medium, just because of this intrinsic pacing.

Because of this quality, I’ve found myself in recent years taking more and more refuge in a lot of television. I find I can’t watch an endless array of movies like I used
to, not only because most of them now are terrible or simply boring, and not only because I’ve seen almost everything already, but because I find myself longing for the companionship of characters I get to know intimately, bit by bit, and thoroughly, too. Given this newfound appetite for boob-tubeage, I thought I would, for the first time in my life, compose a list of my 100 favorite TV shows. And I thought I’d offer it to Lisa to publish on The Nose while I stick mostly to film on my own movie-related blog, filmicability. Since the list is so long, only ten entries only will be published at a time (and only two articles a week). And at the end of this five-week series? A television smorgasbord!

So if you wanna see more, go to The Flaming Nose and look for

Dean's List: My 100 Favorite TV Shows (#100 - 91)
Dean's List: My 100 Favorite TV Shows (#90 - 81)
Dean's List: My 100 Favorite TV Shows (#80 - 71)
Dean's List: My 100 Favorite TV Shows (#70 -61)
Dean's List: My 100 Favorite TV Shows (#60 - 51)


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