I recently got into a dicussion (ok, actually an argument) with a coworker about what the best TV show ever is. A quick note: we were discussing ONLY dramas, because obviously the best comedy of all time is Seinfeld. Any care to argue about that? I thought not.
I consider myself an authority on all things entertainment. I am what I affectionately call an entertainment whore. I read all the books, see all the movies, watch all the TV shows, and listen to all the music. And this spans decades, not just what is of my generation. Anyone that knows me well knows I am the human IMDB.
Therefore, when a coworker tried to tell me that the best TV show ever to air was Lost, I almost lost it. (See what I did there? I'm so funny!)
Because....just NO. Sure Lost was great...at first. But the show in it's entirety was directionless and ultimately had no point. A lot of people wax poetic about how it was a show to make you think, there were so many intricacies, etc. etc. etc. I say no. The writers just couldn't get their shit together to form a cohesive story line and tried so many different avenues that what they eventually ended up with was a jumbled mess with a finale that left me feeling empty and angry that I would never get the time back that I wasted watching the show. Which made me sad for a show that was so different from everything else on TV and had so much potential to in fact BE the best TV show ever.
So by now I'm sure you're wondering if not Lost, then what do I consider to be the best TV show ever? Well this is a complicated question. I do have a favorite, however, I also have some honorable mentions. For dramatic writing purposes and the suspense factor, I will start with the honorable mentions.
First honorable mention: 24
The first season of 24 was hands down the best single season of any show at any time. Even the second season was fantastic. Unfortunately, as time went on, the novelty that made the show so great in the first place wore off. By the end, I was only watching it out of loyalty and the hope that the final seasons would recapture the glory of the first season.
Second honorable mention: Sons of Anarchy
I hopped on this bandwagon a little late; right before season four began. The reason why this is only an honorable mention is because the show is still running and therefore, has the potential to be the best TV show ever, or tank miserably depending on the direction the show goes in. So far, even if the show tanks, I would still place it in my top 10.
Third honorable mention: Prison Break
I was intrigued by the premise of this show from the get go, and by god, it didn't disappoint. It was gripping and innovative. Unfortunately, the final season was so unbelivable and unsatisfying that it effectively killed its status as one of the best TV shows ever.
Fourth honorable mention(s): Dexter and Breaking Bad. Please refer to second honorable mention. These two shows are still running so they have yet to cement their status as the best. I will say, however, that Dexter is on the down swing for me. Much like 24, I am only continuing to watch it out of loyalty.
And NOW, the big reveal.
The best TV show EVER...
For anyone that has NOT seen The Shield, you are truly missing out. The Shield had me at hello and to this day, holds the place in my heart. There were six seasons of this show, and every episode, every season, every moment even, was consistently awesome. I have never had a show that was so consistently good every single week. It was actually one of the few shows that I did not watch on the DVR just because I could not possibly wait until the next day to watch it. If you haven't seen The Shield, Netflix it immediately. I promise you will not be sorry you did and you will be a convert. It truly is the best TV show ever.
*Note: I know the other candidates people will throw out there are The Wire and The Sopranos but as I have yet to watch The Wire (it is in my Netflix queue) I cannot comment on its awesomeness. As for The Sopranos, it also had the potential but fell far short of my expectations of it. Aside from the first two seasons and a handful of really great episodes, the series as a whole really was just not that good.