I have a literal love-hate relationship with the television. As a kid I was a TV-junkie. After school, I’d watch anything, from Sesame Street to Mr. Rogers and especially Power Rangers (but NOT Goosebumps or Saved by the Bell). My older brother would record V.R. Troopers every morning before school and I’d watch it when I got home; in the evenings the family would watch Sliders, or Star Trek: Next Generation, or MacGuyver, or Earth 2. TGIF meant Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget. Saturday mornings were for lounging on the couch and watching kid shows like Wishbone, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Little Mermaid, and my personal favorite, Reboot.
We moved to Germany at a time in my life when I was learning the true meaning of trusting God. When I heard that a mustard seed faith can move a mountain (my mom explained that it wasn’t literal, although it could be if God wanted it to be), I decided to try it out: I told the TV to “go jump in a lake!” It was a half-joke as I imagined the TV growing legs (like Mike the TV!) and running out to find the nearest lakeside to jump into, but I was serious, for a 13 year old. Needless to say, 2 years in Germany and only one American (news) channel to watch, I learned to do other things.
The family still loves TV, and a part of me wants to indulge in a good show; sometimes I do give in at suppertime. We’ve watched shows that I enjoy like Emily of New Moon, Chuck, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Body of Proof, and shows that I don’t care for like The 100, Lost, and Arrow. There’s a few shows that are actually good enough to add to my collection of DVDs…
MY TOP 5 SHOW SERIES
#5 Dr. Quinn
starring Jane Seymour and Joe Lando
I’ve always been a fan of Dr. Quinn. After re-watching it with my family, I decided: I love Jane Seymour as she plays the brilliant Medicine Woman from Colorado Springs. The show’s end was melancholy, as if some of the cast didn’t want the book to close on their story, so to speak, but it was a fitting end.
starring Tony Shalhoub and Ted Levine
“Unless I’m wrong, which, you know, I’m not…” –Adrian Monk
There are some shows that are enjoyed because it’s bizarre and strange, and then there are others because of it’s relatability. For some reason Mr. Monk’s story has an uncanny resemblance to my life, or at least how I perceive my life to be. The series finale gave the show a perfect surprise ending which resolved all the issues that were introduced in earlier episodes.
“…I could be wrong now, but I don’t think so! ‘Cause there’s a jungle out there.” -(Monk’s theme song: It’s a Jungle Out There, Randy Newman)
starring Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt and Ben Miller
Monk may be relatable, but Primeval is bizarre and strange. It started out quirky, hard to follow, and it didn’t compare to the other British dramas I had watched: Wild at Heart and Monarch of the Glen. But my little brother, fiercely into dinosaurs, was so excited about the family’s interest in the new sci-fi show that we gave into him and took a chance. I tried to decide whether I liked the show enough to keep watching, but as the characters grew and the story-line was revealed, I was intrigued; and when it ended, even though it ended with a definite cliff-hanger and lead in to another series (or season, as we Americans call it), it was the ending of the show that finally tipped me over the edge to make me realize just how much I liked it and was going to miss it. The cast that the show ended with was amazing; they told their story very well.
#2 Three Kingdoms RPG
starring Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, and Tavia Yeung
Lacy and I have recently (the past few years) gotten into Chinese history after playing Koei-Tecmo’s video game series Dynasty Warriors; we got hooked. Three Kingdoms RPG would probably be my #1 favorite TV show of all time, except the finale’s ending was unnecessarily bad. Next time we watch it, we’ll stop 30 minutes before the end. It’ll be perfect.
#1 BBC’s Merlin
starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, and Richard Wilson
This show has had a bad rep since the show’s end. Fans (and no doubt the cast) can feel the taboo that enshrouds the show’s legacy. But the truth is Merlin takes its place as my favorite show. The cast, script, and directing were magic. The storytelling was superb. But the show’s finale left fans feeling betrayed and hurt from tragedy. Personally, we had to wait for the ending to show on Netflix, so after reading the viewer comments online, how Christmas was ruined for many, I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed the show’s conclusion; the cast played it spectacularly.
Lacy does remind me: as she and I read spoilers and prepared ourselves for the worst of the worst (what we saw other fans expressing), we created our own conclusion; one that continued beyond the ending and resolved the Dragon’s final prophecy: “Though no man, no matter how great, can know his destiny, some lives have been foretold, Merlin. Arthur is not just a king. He is the once and future king. Take heart, for when Albion’s need is greatest, Arthur will rise again.” Maybe I’m biased, but our creativity helped me realize just how great Merlin continues to be, despite the silence of fans everywhere.
Other shows that ended too soon: Eleventh Hour (with Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton), Terra Nova, and Animorphs.
Childhood favorites that I want to watch again: Due South, Early Edition, Lois and Clark, and Reboot.
So. With that said… Three Kingdoms RPG, Eleventh Hour, Due South, Merlin… is anyone up for an encore?
What’s YOUR favorite TV show, and why?