Here is the second half of a list I began last week, which charts my favorite television shows both classic and current.
Contemporary television (continued)
Originally aired: 2000 – 2007
Favorite side character: Taylor Doosey – always high-strung and tackling new problems! His disagreements with Luke were always hilarious to me.
Favorite couple: Luke and Lorelai
I was nine years old when this show premiered and immediately fell in love with it. It was one of the shows that my mom, my sister and I would always watch together and for that reason it does hold some sentimental value for me. But the show is great regardless of my sentimental connection to it. I would live in Stars Hollow if I could.
KING OF QUEENS, The
Originally aired: 1998 – 2007
Favorite character: Arthur
Favorite episode: “Fixer Upper,” in which Carrie tries to hook up Spence with one of her friends from work and it goes terribly wrong thanks to Doug’s advice for Spence or “Bed Spread,” in which Carrie and Doug decide to start doing everything alone after having to sleep in separate beds.
I wasn’t a fan of this show in its original run, but I’ve fallen in love with it through re-runs. Carrie and Doug are slightly dysfunctional but adorable, and the hijinks that ensue for the couple (usually thanks to Doug’s mistakes) are always fun to watch. The secondary characters are also great (especially Arthur, who has become one of my favorite characters ever!), and their story lines are just as engrossing as Doug and Carrie’s.
Originally aired: 2003 – 2005
Favorite character: Davis, the morgue supervisor
Favorite season: Season 1 (partially because Season 2 was cut short, sadly!)
I watched this show in its original run and was terribly upset when it got cancelled! It’s full of mystery and has a supernatural twist. It’s about a med student who gets a job in a morgue, only to find that the dead are asking her for help, at which point she must travel back in time and stop them from being killed. The premise was very promising from the beginning and Season 1 definitely followed through in reaching the potential of that premise.
Originally aired: 2004 – 2007
Favorite character: Keith Mars
Favorite moment: I love the scene when Veronica discovers that Keith really is her father!
I’m a sucker for a good mystery, and Veronica Mars certainly sucked me in with Season 1, which was the show’s best season thanks to the Lilly Kane case plot. I love the banter between Veronica and her father, Veronica’s friendship with Wallace and her constantly creative ways of snooping/getting information out of people. The show manages to be very suspenseful without losing its sense of fun or edge of humor.
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
Originally aired: 2010 – present
Favorite character: Spencer Hastings
Favorite random aspect: I love how the season finales always include Hitchcock references.
More than a little bit cheesy and probably targeted to an audience at least four years younger than myself, PLL is definitely my guilty pleasure show, but I can’t stop watching! The only character I can relate to is Spencer (who with her over-achieving book worm persona reminds me quite a bit of myself in high school), but the show, even with all of its terribly corny moments, has managed to make me care about these four friends and the mysteries that they’re dead-set on uncovering. Season 3 just kicked off, and after a mildly disappointing end to the second season, I’m excited to see what the next few months will bring for the Liars.
Originally aired: 2002 – 2005 aka not long enough
Favorite couple: I was always rooting for Sam and Meg!
Least favorite character: Beth Mason (later Beth Mason-Pryor). I can’t put a finger on why, but I just didn’t like her character and hated the fact that JJ ended up marrying her.
This is quite possibly my #1, absolute favorite television series of all time. I was a devotee in its original run and it definitely helped fuel my obsession with the early to mid-20th century. It isn’t the most historically accurate period drama, but I do think that it captured a few segments of the general spirit of the time in which it is set.
Originally aired: 2010 – present
Favorite episode: Episode 3 of the first season
Favorite couple: Bates and Anna
This is a relatively recent discovery and I haven’t yet watched season two, but I’m obsessed with this show! I love that it doesn’t focus completely on the Crawleys. It gives them interesting plot lines while also giving a hefty amount of focus to the staff that runs their house. Both the “upstairs” and “downstairs” sectors of the show are highly engrossing, and it’s difficult to choose which characters draw the viewer in the most because they’re all so interesting.
Originally aired: 2007 – present
Favorite character: Joan
Favorite season: Season 2
I was also late to the party in discovering this show. I regretfully dismissed it after catching the middle of a random episode while channel flipping, and didn’t really give it a shot until I was able to get a hold of the entire first season and watch it from the beginning. Once I started from the pilot, I was completely hooked. By the time the series ends, it may beat out American Dreams for #1 on my favorite television series list. Mad Men keeps me hooked because just when I think I’ve figured the season out, a curveball is thrown and I have to re-evaluate all of my former assumptions. I consider it the highest-quality show on television.
THAT ’70s SHOW
Originally aired: 1998 – 2006
Favorite couple: Jackie and Hyde
Favorite running gag: Of course I love Red’s “my foot in your a–” quips. I also love Fez’s “I said good day!”
This show was so perfectly cast. The actors all suit their characters so well, and the dynamics between them are great. It kind of reminds me of Friends, if Friends was set in the ’70s and followed rowdy teenagers instead of 20-somethings — there is the same kind of fun, “I wish I was a part of this group” mood at work with the audience. I’m not usually huge on the ’70s (as my main interests lie in the 1920s through 1960s) but there’s just a spark to this show that keeps me loving it even after over ten years of watching and re-watching.