Jun. 14th, 2010

infinitejest: (Default)
Day 08 - A show everyone should watch

I chose to interpret this question as "in the history of television of which you have experience, which show do you think everyone should watch?"

The Twilight Zone. This brilliant show spans 156 episodes in the original series - I still haven't seen them all, which I count as a bit of a blessing. Each Twilight Zone marathon sees me sitting down to enjoy old favorites and looking forward to those I haven't yet seen. While the show varied wildly in quality, it cannot be denied that it served as a playground for some of the most brilliant writers of science fiction. Further, it's a household name (even among people who've never watched any of it) and can serve to introduce non-genre fans to science fiction, fantasy, and horror... and perhaps lead them to checking out genre works. Anything that can fire the imagination and emotions the way The Twilight Zone has (for a few generations, now!) should be a must-watch. Not that I think everyone should be required to watch every episode - I still haven't done that, preferring the laid-back approach mentioned earlier. However, I think everyone should watch at least a few episodes.1

Quixote says: The Prisoner. Not only is the show genius beyond sheer entertainment value, but it is in many ways the progenitor of the entire modern television show. He considers it so catastrophically ahead of its time plot-wise that it wasn't understood when it first aired and not really emulated until Babylon 5 emulated it in the 90's. Now, most television shows at the very least have some type of over-arcing story even if they don't spend every episode focusing on it.

My husband gives an honorable mention to The Fugitive in that vein as well, because it similar plotting ideas even before The Prisoner even did, though it was The Prisoner that took it to the extreme with a definitive beginning, middle, and end. The Prisoner was the first time the plot was the point rather than the thing you had to get around to stay on the air for several years.




1. Preferably including "The Obsolete Man", "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street", and "Time Enough at Last" to name a few.


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