I am well aware that I am am perceived as a person that watches entirely way too much TV; but I love it and I am not ashamed of it. As a matter of fact, put me on a deserted island with a TV, a lifetime supply of Corona Light and my dog sitting shotgun, and you wouldn't hear any complaints from me.
So here we go; my "if I were on a deserted island, and could only pick 10 shows to watch for a lifetime" list. These are shows that actually gave me emotional angst and pain; knowing I was watching the last episode.
#10. Seinfeld. A no-brainer, "junk-food" show that i could watch on a loop from the pilot to the last episode in a prison cell. ....Hellloooo............NEWMAN!
#9. Homeland. This has been a riveting show for me since the beginning. I will admit there have been episodes that have been slow at times; and much more drama than action, but you cannot argue with unbelievable acting. Claire Danes does an incredible job as a brilliant, yet mentally unstable CIA agent riddled with anxiety. It also doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes.
#8. Family Guy. People either seem to love or hate this show along with my next pick. Truly funny, smart, and entertaining; with just the perfect amount of bathroom humor the 9-year-old kid in me still enjoys..
#7. American Dad! To me, even funnier than Family Guy. It used to be the other way around; but the show's characters have organically grown into a great ensemble that play off each other perfectly. Stan's idiocy and boorish behavior in conjunction with Francine's enabling of everyone around her always make me laugh. Roger speaks fr himself; he is hands-down one of my all-time favorite cartoon characters.
#6 The Americans. FX has really stepped up its game and has become a key contender in the original programming game. If you haven't watched this one yet, I urge you to start. This season has just started up again and I am thrilled my Tivo is loaded and ready to put out for me. The story takes place during the heat of the cold war with the Soviet Union, where an unassuming American family next door are really top KGB operatives. Oh yeah,, and their next-door neighbor and "friend" is an FBI agent taking point for a task force of counter intelligence. Riveting show.
#5. Boardwalk Empire Someone always seems to find a way to turn true stories in New Jersey into compelling TV, and this is no exception. This one takes place in in Atlantic City during alcohol prohibition and shows us the trials and tribulations of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson and his family(s). Everything about this show is "A-rate
#4. Parenthood. You want to be part of this family. I have always been a sucker for Craig T. Nelson since "Coach" back in the 90's, and now as the Patriarch of the Braverman family in Berkley, California, this show follows the trials and tribulations of the numerous factions of the family, their bonds, struggles, and choices. Inevitably I wind up getting choked up watching it for one reason or another, but if you have kids of your own, or just like those family-type of shows, this is a great one for this generation.
#3. Entourage Who hasn't imagined what it would be like for you and your childhood buds to become rich and famous, footloose and fancy-free, gallivanting around L.A. partying and hooking up with various hotties and celebs? This show is loosely based on the early life of show producer Mark Wahlberg an gives us a behind-the-scenes view of the life of Vincent Chase, the business part of "show business",and what these celebrities do behind closed doors. Although it is pure fiction, it is still fun to fantasize.
#2. Breaking Bad. Really - if you haven't seen this show, or keep saying to yourself that you are going to get around to it, stop what you're doing, call out sick for a few days, and get the entire series. It is amazing from top-to-bottom. I did NOT watch this while it was on-air. I missed season #1, and then from then on out I opted out of it because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get up to speed. Then around the holidays this year, AMC did a marathon starting with the pilot to the series finale. My wife and I spent half of our Christmas vacation watching the show and loved every minute. I don't think I need to synopsize the show for you, so just do it already and become a Walter White disciple
#1. The Sopranos . This critically acclaimed show changed the way the public perceived television, boosted the quality of original cable programming, and transformed actors who initially thought they were too good to work on TV. I watched this show from the first episode on and have watched reruns of the entire series several times and continue to do so. A truly rich story that initially was supposed to surround a mobster and his therapy sessions that morphed into a small portion of the show about the NJ mafia and the man who ran it, his family life, and things he did to make end's meet. I was truly devastated about the death of James Gandolfini as he was an unbelievable actor. Edie Falco is the most underrated actress of our time. Just a great show that is difficult to punch holes into. I will always treasure it as my favorite TV show of all time
Honorable mention goes to Curb Your Enthusiasm, Big Love, Sons of Anarchy, and True Detective. If I can bribe the guy dropping me off on the island, I will try and get him to throw these shows in as well. It was very hard picking just 10 favorites, but that's my list. I am sure there is people out there pissed that I've excluded the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Justified; but you gotta stop somewhere, and they haven't made it into my rotation yet.