“What little I’ve accomplished has been by the most laborious and uphill work, and I wish now I’d never relaxed or looked back…”
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
I am sure my list (particularly its omissions) will cause significant distress in some circles. Or maybe not. Anyway, if you find yourself perturbed, feel free to vent in the comments:
- Seinfeld. Great writing and four great comedic actors. The characters can be jerks but you never stop liking them.
- Frasier. Making fun of the high and mighty, you can’t go wrong with that. And you gotta love Frasier and Niles.
- Fawlty Towers. With only twelve episodes made, it’s tough to justify putting this on the list. But those twelve episodes are damn funny.
- Curb Your Enthusiasm. Great show and the improvisation element must be commended. I don’t care about the characters, though.
- The Bob Newhart Show. Nobody does the comedic straight man better than Bob.
- Friends. The best couple in sitcom history, Ross & Rachel. They got some great TV moments out of those two. You might say, what about Sam and Diane? They were good but Cheers does not make my list. (The crowd gasps.)
- Wings. The Nantucket airport seems like it would be a fun place to hang out thanks to the crew on this show. With Friends and Wings and the rest of my second tier of shows, the comfort factor loomed large. In other words, watching these shows made me feel like I was hanging out with old friends–family almost–even if the writing was not always great.
- Three’s Company. John Ritter made the show. It was goofy and it was basically the same plot over and over again (a big misunderstanding) but it was fun to watch.
- WKRP in Cincinnati. A great ensemble cast.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show. I’m not sure why I liked this show more than, say, The Andy Griffiths Show, when I was growing up. I think in part it was because Dick Van Dyke reminded me of my Dad.