I have definitely watched my fair share of television over the past ten years. And with that much programming you would think this list would have been harder, but it really wasn’t because it turns out a lot of what I watched were reruns of 90′s shows. I was able to move past those and give new shows a chance and this list consists of those shows. But first, a word from our sponsors.
In the late 90s we were introduced to a new form of “Candid Camera,” one that would appeal to the youth, and be hosted by a complete jerk. That jerk was Tom Green and the show was “The Tom Green Show.” The show was an instant hit amongst young men like myself. Tom Green became hugely popular and recognizable and the show lost the anonymous factor Green brought to his pranks, ultimately leading to the show ending.
Fortunately for idiots like myself, Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville and a motley crew were poised to fill the seat vacated by Green. “Jackass” hit the airwaves and was quickly gobbled up. Young men were drawn to a bunch of other guys hurting themselves and each other for the sake of comedy. “Jackass” is the Three Stooges of our generation.
I tuned in week after week to see Johnny Knoxville get kicked in the balls by a line of children; or to watch Steve-O go ass over kettle while riding in a shopping cart; or Bam Margera act like a complete asshole to his dad. Each week it was always funny watching the pain these guys inflicted upon themselves.
“Jackass” also led to a slew of other shows I would eventually watch, “Wildboyz,” “Viva La Bam,” “Bam’s Unholy Union,” and “Nitro Circus.” As well as two movies, a third in the works, and a video game. ”Jackass” has become a media power house, like Oprah for college boys.
I shied away from this show at first. I had no interest in yet another hospital show. Then I read an article about how Zach Braff and Donald Faison became roommates in real life to help them build a closer friendship and I thought that was a cool idea and devotion to the part so I gave it a chance. And Braff and Faison had great chemistry on the show.
But what really kept me coming back was John C. McGinley as Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox was such a jerk, but he somehow made it really funny. Going on long rants and berating Dr. Dorian made him one of my favorite TV characters for awhile.
I also really enjoyed Dr. Dorian and Dr. Turk making a lot of references to things from my childhood, much like “Family Guy.” Then there’s the way the show would always have some kind of poignant message. So not only do I get to laugh and have fun, but I come away with some knowledge. Sure at times it can feel heavy handed, but it isn’t as bad as “Full House.” And “Scrubs” has even called attention to it and mocked it a little.
“Scrubs” was recently cancelled by NBC but quickly picked up ABC. Not often that happens. A testament to the draw the show has been able to maintain. They recently started a new season and have tweaked the show. I am interested to see if it will continue to be the show I have come to enjoy.
By far one of the funniest sitcoms from this decade, unfortunately FOX gave it the kiss of death by changing its time slot several times. Due to this and my erratic retail schedule I didn’t get into this show until reruns aired on cable. Then I got the DVDs and have not stopped laughing ever since.
Every character is unique and well defined. From Michael’s straight laced parental figure, to Gob’s attention seeking asshole-ness, to George Michael’s awkward teenager in a screwed up family; everyone plays their part to a T. And all the characters work well off each other.
This is a show where I am never sure which character I like the best. Some times I enjoy Gob’s dickishness the most. But other times Tobias with his obliviousness to everything has me rolling. And yet there are also times when George Michael is so Newhart like I find myself laughing at what isn’t said.
Yesterday Flickerbock mentioned this show in a comment and how Tobias stole a scene in every episode, and that is definitely true. Listening to the commentary, every cast member said Michael Cera was the only one who could do a scene with David Cross and keep his composure. This is a testament to David Cross’ comedic ability as well as a testament to newcomer Michael Cera.
I absolutely love the comedy on this show and it continues to be a show I turn to when I am not feeling well and don’t want to leave my couch. Its short run was unfortunate, but at least there is a movie in the works. So all of us “Arrested Development” fans have that to look forward to.
As Dagger mentioned yesterday, this was one of two shows we made an effort to watch every night. But it was this effort that lead to “Futurama” releasing four direct to DVD movies which has lead to the renewal of the show. I cannot wait for these new ones.
As a lifelong “Simpsons” fan I was excited for another show from Matt Groening. And as the years have past I have found myself liking “Futurama” more than “The Simpsons.” I think this has to do with “The Simpsons” becoming more guest star and random joke driven while “Futurama” is still using strong character driven stories.
“Futurama” is another show where my favorite character changes from episode to episode. It is usually the cock-sure Bender or the hapless Zoidberg that I enjoy the most. But so help me if Morbo ever makes an appearance. That alien monster gets the best lines and delivers them with authority.
I also have admiration for those who can write sci-fi and not sound like half a retard. Creating races of aliens or planets with names that sound like they could fit is something I could never do. If I tried I would come up with things like Mars II, Non-humans, or Wookies.
”Futurama” has also supplied us with lines that have filled many a drunk weekend. And for that I will be ever greatful.
It seems fitting that the last show on my list is a show about shows. “The Soup” dissects and makes fun of all the shows that are inexplicably popular. A variation on the 90′s “Talk Soup” which did the same with only talk shows.
“The Soup” shows me there is a lot of unintentional comedy on television, and it allows me to see it all without wading through all the other crap. There is no way I would ever watch “The Wendy Williams Show” or even know what it is, but thanks to “The Soup” I can get all the crazy ramblings from such a wacky broad.
The real broth to this soup is host Joel McHale. His wit, charm, and charisma make the show actually worth watching. His work on this show has led him to a part on a network sitcom. What Jon Stewart is to politics and news, Joel McHale is to television shows. He doesn’t pull any punches and all shows are fair game.
“The Soup” has also spawned its fair share of spin-offs. There is “Sports Soup” which looks at wacky or dumb sports plays; “Web Soup” which is like Happy Friday on TV; and another on The Style Network whose name I don’t know but it’s hosted by Topanga Lawrence.
Tomorrow: Our Special Guest’s 5 Favorite TV Showa of the ’00s
See ya during the commercial break…
16 Dec 2009 Lee S. Hart