Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Best in Show (3 of 3)

I sit, at times, in aw. I sit at the conclusion of an episode of Deadwood and wonder whether it truly is the greatest television show ever made.

Sure, that is a big statement, and an odd one coming from a BSG fan such as myself.

Sure, as well, there is more than enough competition, and the whole matter is subject to wild subjectivity.

Nevertheless, I think it is possible.

First, though, allow me to recognize that "Best" does not necessarily mean "favorite." I will admit that the things that I like may not necessarily be the best in their class.

Objectively, a good show needs strong writing and creativity. It needs intriguing characters and determined character development. The story should be compelling, and over all, the show must have heart.

What other shows are in the same class? MASH, for certain, and Hill Street Blues. Twin Peaks, maybe. Northern Exposure, for sure.

Then, all at once, in the last ten years, we had The West Wing, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under; not to mention Rome and Carnivalle.

The Office, I think, though only at the end of its third season, has the necessary rare qualities. And obviously, I couldn't leave the new, yet soon-to-end, Battlestar off this list...

Deadwood, however, is something else entirely. It is American History, English Literature, Politics and Economics all rolled into one. It is Macbeth in the mud. It is True Grit, only truly grittier...

I think it may be the best show ever. Of course, all good things must come to an end...


  1. I can't bear to watch it - it has Ian McShane

    You have had to watch 70s British TV to understand why

    Its Lovejoy...

  2. Oh, I've never seen it...but "American History, English Literature, Politics and Economics all rolled into one" and "Macbeth in the mud" definitely makes me intrigued!

    BTW...I think Northern Exposure probably is on of the best shows EVER.

  3. That's like watching "House" versus "A Bit of Fry and Laurie."

    Compare the acerbic, punchy clipped presence of Hugh Laurie on House, vs. the sometimes dry and "english" wit, the slapstick physical comedy, etc. Its quite different.

    As for things coming to an end - Really, I mean you want some shows to go out in their prime, not to get sad and diluted with all the good character development and storylines residing seasons back.

    Some of the shows you mentioned (MASH, Hill Street Blues, etc) were rare in their ability to keep the quality up - Sure, they had some episodes they just phoned in... but overall, good.

  4. Oh, and I forgot Firefly, perhaps matched only by Northern Exposure for heart...

  5. Firefly - very nice.
    Nathan Fillion's getting some major motion picture work these days, which is nice to see.

    Also nice to see the folks from Farscape land safely in the Stargate franchise

  6. Nathan Fillion is always nice to see


Be compelling.

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