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Added by PerfectPortal on 4 Sep 2010 04:20
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People who added this item 301 Average listal rating (217 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8.2
While I love the Richard Donner movies, I still never had much respect for Superman as a character until I saw this show. I think the main reason it works so well is that the majority of the conflict plays to Superman's weaknesses – he's not invincible – but all the while he remains as likable as you can get: kind, cunning, unassuming and funny. Also, unlike Batman TAS, this show often expands to incorporate much more of the DC Universe. Although many of my favourite episodes involve Metallo (easily my favourite villain of the series), the final two-parter, Legacy, is a spectacularly poignant conclusion.
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People who added this item 2118 Average listal rating (1588 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Mr. Bean (1990)
What else can I say, really? It's Mr Bean. :) I'm a big fan of early silent comedy, and it seems like Mr Bean is trying to recreate that. There's very little dialogue – nearly all the humour is done visually – so it's easily accessible to anyone: very little needs to be translated into other languages. A lot of the humour comes from Mr Bean coming up with inventive ways around trivial problems, like the scene where he's trying to economise while packing a small suitcase and even resorts to cutting his trousers into shorts! :D He's just always good for a laugh.
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We'll get to its predecessor Walking with Dinosaurs later, but this sequel series does the same thing for the magnificent prehistoric mammals just as well. It came out just as I was turning thirteen, so it was the obsession of my teenage years. :) It introduced me to many prehistoric animals I might never have heard of otherwise. The CGI isn't quite as convincing as in Walking with Dinosaurs, but it is a lot more ambitious, since most of the animated characters are covered in feathers or fur. If you think dinosaurs were the only spectacular prehistoric animals that ever lived, give this series a watch.
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People who added this item 2249 Average listal rating (1631 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
What can you say about Tom and Jerry? :) They're one of the most classic comedic duos of all time. They didn't invent cartoon slapstick, but they certainly perfected it, for two reasons. One: the timing on the animation is always spot-on, sometimes allowing Tom a second to react before he gets hit. And two: the animation isn't at all rubbery; the more solid something appears, the more visceral the impact is, and therefore the bigger the laugh. Personally, I find it amazing to think that Hanna-Barbera went from rich, energised animation like this to cheap, listless, unfunny crap like The Flintstones!
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 8.3
Predators (2000)
It's a six-episode documentary miniseries from the BBC that analyses the ways in which predators catch their prey. I've always been fascinated by animals, so this was one of my favourite documentaries as a child. :) A lot of the predators' secrets are only revealed through advanced camera techniques, like a polarised light camera to represent cuttlefish vision. It just goes to show how totally bizarre the natural world can be, with creatures like the star-nosed mole, the ladder-web spider, and dragonfly nymphs with extendable jaws. Also, the music is just fantastic, giving it more of an identity than I've seen from any other documentary.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.1
Originally titled Jurassic Fight Club in the US, but for some reason they changed the title to Dinosaur Secrets in the UK. This twelve-episode documentary miniseries recreates prehistoric battle scenes based directly on the fossil evidence. The main reason this makes my list is because it reawakened the dinosaur fanatic in me that had lain dormant for a while, bursting with giddy childish joy. :) In some ways, it exceeded my expectations, especially in that it has the best Albertosaurus design I've ever seen. I'm certain that if I'd been a child when this show came out, I would have absolutely worshipped it.
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People who added this item 455 Average listal rating (307 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.6
This is probably Rowan Atkinson's most famous role along with Mr Bean. The character of Blackadder is always the world's biggest asshole, and that's what makes him so funny: not just his sarcastic attitude, but the fact that he's always far smarter than his superiors. Each series takes place in a different time period, and the set design is always right on the mark. The whole franchise is simply one of the classiest, most dignified and, obviously, funniest comedies I've ever seen. If you were to ask me which is my favourite series, it's a toss-up between the second and the third.
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People who added this item 3147 Average listal rating (2056 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.3
Maybe it's just because I'm a big nerd myself, but this show is just right up my street! :) Not only is it funny, but even if I don't get the references to sci-fi movies or comic books, it still makes me jump for joy to hear them discussed. The characters may simply be nerd stereotypes, but they're still likable enough to keep the show fresh. I especially love Sheldon and the humour that springs from how unemotional and socially awkward he is; maybe I see a lot of myself in him. :) In short, this is another show that just makes me giddy with childish joy.
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People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Top Gear (2002)
I never watched the show's original run, which began in the 70s; I'm going purely by the 2002 relaunch here. Now, I'm just going to say it straight out: I don't care about cars, at all! Any car specs that are brought up in this show always go right over my head. But the three hosts, for me, are what makes it worthwhile. The way Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May work off each other is utter comedic gold. So it only figures that the show itself has a very comedic spin, with all sorts of wacky challenges to put cars through their paces. :)
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People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8.6
Yeah, you knew this was coming. :) When I was a child, this is probably the series you'd find me watching most often. It was one of the first shows to fully immerse you in the world of the dinosaurs by presenting it as a standard nature documentary. I always loved how distinct the six episodes were from each other, with an entirely different ecosystem being portrayed in each environment, be it the harsh Triassic world or the Jurassic fern prairies reminiscent of the African grasslands. The music is incredible, and I just love how you can identify each episode by the score alone.
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People who added this item 2945 Average listal rating (1621 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 9.5
This is a prime example of how effective a show can be by simply giving you a great ensemble of characters. Each and every character is one of the most layered, compelling and fascinating ever. The good guys are so easy to latch onto that that's what makes the deadly twists so powerful, best summed up in the infamous Red Wedding Massacre. My personal favourite characters are Tyrion and Margaery. Plus, I can't even begin to describe how much I love the opening theme! :D I haven't read the books, I don't know where it's going to go, and I want to continue to be surprised. :)
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People who added this item 1133 Average listal rating (704 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 9.2
The writing on this show is pure genius, especially regarding the characters, all of whom are completely irresistible. The world it creates is meticulously detailed, taking inspiration from various Asian and Inuit cultures. That also extends to the four element "bending" styles, each one based on a different martial art. The action scenes are fantastic, especially whenever the benders have to get creative with their powers. I particularly love how the three seasons are paced so well that the overall story ends at just the right time. It's just all-around one of the best kids' shows you could possibly ask for.
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People who added this item 1232 Average listal rating (881 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 9
This show is just incredible! It's the perfect screen version of Batman because, as it's not limited to a movie's timeframe, it really encompasses everything that's so cool about the Batman universe, and it nails every aspect. In particular, the villains are handled just as well as the turmoil of Batman himself; they're equally three-dimensional characters. On top of that, it's just mind-blowing how perfectly it all balances the line between being mature enough for adults and still remaining child-friendly; it can be watched and loved at any age. Everything about this show rules. To me, it will always be the ultimate incarnation of Batman.
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People who added this item 1442 Average listal rating (1022 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
CSI: NY (2004)
I'm a big fan of mystery stories, especially police dramas like the CSI franchise. Most people seem to prefer soaking up the sun in CSI: Miami, but I've always found New York infinitely more charming. The cases get so over-the-top that, even if it's not realistic, they still stick in your head. But by far my favourite aspect of CSI: NY is the characters: they all simply bring a smile to my face – including, of course, Gary Sinise in his role of a lifetime. It never ceases to amaze me how the CSI writers keep churning out inspired material like this nonstop. :)
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People who added this item 1082 Average listal rating (800 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.4
Star Trek (1966)
I'm actually encompassing the entire franchise here; I just couldn't pick one! :) There are five different series (six if you count the animated one) – and, admittedly, so far I've only experienced the Original Series, The Next Generation and Voyager – but the same awesome concept remains intact throughout. It's simply about a research team exploring the universe, to boldly go where no one has gone before, and there's no telling what you might see. The show's main strength is not just the consistently clever ideas, but also the endearing characters. Every single cast is a joy to be around, making you wish you were part of the crew. The first episode I ever saw was Court Martial from the Original Series, and that episode really sums up the whole franchise: having to use wit and logic to overcome a seemingly insurmountable problem in every episode. Simply put, Star Trek is the pinnacle of science-fiction pop culture, and my all-time favourite franchise.
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I've actually seen comparatively few TV shows – especially compared to how many movies I've seen. So this list is by no means definitive, because there are tons of reputedly great shows that I just haven't yet taken the time to watch from the beginning, like Dexter, True Blood, Criminal Minds, The Sopranos, The Twilight Zone and many, many others. I'll get to them eventually, but this list simply stands as a presentation of my favourites as they stand at this particular time.
Now, this list has had quite a history! :D It was originally just a standard top ten, but I came up with so many runners-up that I thought I might as well extend it to a top twenty. Then I decided that, out of the lower ten, I only really felt affinity for the top five. So, for now at least, this is going to be a top fifteen.
Now, I do watch a few quiz/game shows, but I've decided to discount them here – anything that involves audience/public interaction. This list will be focusing almost exclusively on fictional shows – with the occasional documentary series that holds particular personal significance for me.
So, for what it's worth, here's the current list of my top fifteen favourite TV shows.

Runners-up: Art Attack, Breaking Bad, Dinosaur Planet (not to be confused with Planet Dinosaur), Fawlty Towers, The Legend of Korra and Transformers

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