ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

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Chad Peter
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ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Chad Peter » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:52 pm

Time to nominate what we'd consider the most "complete" television series' of all time. Meaning, a show that is solid from beginning to end, without too dramatic a decline in story and/or production quality. Obviously this only applies to shows that have concluded their runs - nothing that has yet to finish.

IF you nominate a show, explain why and what - if any - spoiler-free flaws it might have.

My nomination for today:

FRINGE - While the first nine or so episodes struggle to figure themselves out, the remaining 91 episodes were pure gold, interweaving a sci-fi tale that "LOST" or "X-FILES" could have only dreamed of. Kinda mindblowing that they finished exactly 100 episodes of this show, over the course of 5 seasons. Nowadays it'd be limited to nearly half that total amount. "Fringe" is not always perfect - the acting is suspect from time to time - and there's the occasional "monster of the week" episode, but what was so interesting about it was it's ability to reach back into those "monster of the week" episodes and give them complete meaning later on. Those first 9 episodes that struggled/started out the series later were given much more significant value, once the large overarching story threads began to take hold.

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Faldor
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Faldor » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm

The West Wing - Back around 2005 I had a friend convince me I should watch this show, Now I wasn't particularly fond of Americans, or Presidents so it didn't immediately grab my attention but he got me to at least watch the pilot and of course I ended up taking the first season back with me.

The first season is really strong out of the gate and the second is probably the shows strongest run, certainly towards the end but even with Sorkin and Rob Lowe leaving after Season Four, the show still managed to work even if there was a slight stumble at the start of Season Five.

By refocusing the show on the campaign in the last two years it added a new lease of life when the same old might have started to get stale.

Also it's one of the most quotable shows ever written which is effortlessly funny without having to devalue the characters in the process.

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Chad Peter
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Chad Peter » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:02 pm

Faldor wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm
I wasn't particularly fond of Americans
WHY DO YOU HATE US
Faldor wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm
...or Presidents
oh...

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Adam Bertocci
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Adam Bertocci » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:30 pm

"Frasier" ran 11 seasons and there's no season you have to make an excuse for.

Granted, there are individual bad episodes, and one arc in particular I find a trial to watch (six or seven episodes with Jean Smart as a guest star character who rubs me the wrong way somehow). And there's generally one episode per season where the writing itself isn't bad but I get so embarrassed for poor Frasier that I want to sink through the floor myself.

But overall it was a consistent show. The quality doesn't drop off in some infamous season. Hell, Season 11 contains some truly wonderful standalone episodes even before it's time to wrap up the whole series.

And the wrap-up itself is, I think, something special. You can look back over the series and allllll the characters Frasier has met over the years, and think, yes, Frasier makes the right decision at the end — this is as perfect as it will get for him, he's heading into a good situation for him, this is going to work out.

I love "Frasier". I still think about it often even though I haven't watched any in a while. It's a show that repeatedly teaches an important lesson that book-smarts and culture don't make you any smarter than anyone else on a whole bunch of other levels. A lesson that nerds on the Internet could afford to learn! :p

I once met David Hyde Pierce and thank God he wasn't dressed like Niles or I think I might have tried to give him a hug.

Ornsack
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Ornsack » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:42 pm

The Office UK:

Series 1 has one storyline over six episodes.
Series 2 has another storyline over six episodes.
And the 1.5 hour finale completes an overall story arc.

And that’s it. Nothing’s dragged out and the show ends before Ricky Gervais became annoying. It’s like one long film you can watch over a weekend.



Stateside, I’m currently re-watching Friends and I never realised how consistent it is. No major cast changes. No major set changes (Ross moves apartment about half way through but that’s it). No real jump the shark moments (Rachel and Joey getting together teeters on the edge I guess). And yet every episode stands out from each other. NO I DON’T CARE IF IT’S NOT YOUR THING. I’M RIGHT. Oh and TEN seasons is a nice round number.


I always wished Lost was a complete two season deal. Imagine if season one was exactly as it was (every episode about a different character and an arc leading towards the hatch), and then season two tying everything up and then ending. Would have been the best show ever.

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Chad Peter
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Chad Peter » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:03 pm

Funny, I hadn't expected sitcoms to make the list, but you're right about Frasier and Friends. All those episodes are generally great.

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Faldor
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Re: ITT: Most Complete TV Series of ALL TIME?

Post by Faldor » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:30 am

I love Fraiser, me and Mrs Faldor have watched the whole show through twice now. The first time was in 2012, I'd not watched it since I was a kid and whilst I'd enjoyed it I hadn't really understood half the jokes.

One of the things that really stood out for me was if a character made a joke, the other characters would actually laugh, rather than pause for an audience reaction.

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