Television

desert island tv shows

Posted on Updated on

we watched the last episode of ‘justified’ last night. it has to be on a great TV show list for sure. elmore leonard was the best. i’ve said it before, he was and is an inspiration to me. rest in peace, elmore. so, i guess that’s what this one is going to be about.  a TV show list. though there’s other stuff crashing through my frazzled brain that needs to come out at some point. perhaps another time.

before i completely go off on some weird tangent or another i suppose i need to get back to the title of this mornings epistle.  desert island tv shows. this has appeared here before. back in july of 2008. just before things got serious with the brown eyed girl and i. after watching the finale of ‘justified’ last night it became apparent that this needed to be trotted out once again with a couple of additions.

i’ve been down this road before music in several blogs, movies and books.  why not tv shows?  they are for the most part all out there on dvds these days so i may as well. at my advanced time on the planet i’ve seen a few more tv shows than a great number of you folks.  well, unless you are around my age.  i’ve been watching tv longer than a large number of you have even been around to watch tv.  we got our first tv, a packard bell black and white number in 1950.  i was 2 years old. 

yeah, i’ve seen me some tv that’s for sure. the problem being i’ve seen so much tv it’s really really hard to pare the list down to even 20 tv shows i’d drag out to the island along with all the other stuff, books, movies, and music.  plus the surfboard and swim fin.  plus the vino and chinese beer.  oh, yeah, and a case or two of abslout vodka.  i’m still trying to score some sort of gig with them.  is anybody listening? after all these years obviously not.

i don’t watch as much tv as i used to.  so the list is pretty much top heavy with stuff maybe you haven’t even heard of.  though i’m sure it will or they will ring bells for the older ones in the peanut gallery. i’ve got 30 on the list.  to put them in any sort of numerical order descending from number 1 to the last one would probably take me hours or days to muddle through and the only thing to come out of that toil and trouble would probably be another 30 or so old tv shows.  get the picture?  perhaps. so here they are in no particular order other than the way they jumped into my head and i wrote them down.

the adventures of ozzie and harriet- one of my faves.  it’s top 10 for sure but there must be 20 in the top 10 as it is.  ozzie nelson was probably a genius.  plus very funny.  then there’s ricky.  more to come on this but later.

the lone ranger- great western show.  i used to work with a guy who was clayton moore’s stunt double for the feature length movie of the same name. he also did a bunch of other stunt double work as well.

adventures of wild bill hickock- childhood memories of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich here.

maverick- they jumped around with the maverick bros and cousin in this one.  i’m talking the james garner mavericks.

77 sunset strip- a friday night mainstay for a number of years.  along with the friday night fights brought to you by gillette. who could ever forget heavyweight fighter, scrap iron johnson?  this is a twofer.  lucky you.

have gun will travel- great show.  understated, dark and brooding.

wanted: dead or alive- steve mcqueen.  nuff said.

the jackie gleason show- another comic genius and a great show.

the red skelton show- either one.  the half hour show or the hour show.  wonderful stuff.

combat- vic morrow. the marlon brando of tv land.

the rockford files- james garner again. edgy pi show in 70’s l.a.  for the most part very good stuff.

bob newhart- any of his numerous shows.  another comic genius.

steve allen’s westinghouse show- late night every night but i could only manage to watch it on friday night.  brilliant stuff plus the jazz greats of long ago.  it didn’t get much better.

the a team-  yes, what can i say other than george peppard was a very good actor.  anybody remember ‘breakfast at tiffany’s’?  another nuff said.

miami vice- pastels and no socks. plus an edge. the sopranos- maybe the best show ever.

monk- good stuff though he’s sorta wearing thin these days.  first four years were stellar.

the deadliest catch- if you haven’t watched this one you really should.  a white knuckle ride for sure.

magnum, pi- this one is top 5 all-time.

columbo- peter falk.

laugh-in – probably a bit dated these days due to the topical humor but good stuff.

the smothers bros- funny stuff plus hot rock ‘n’ roll acts.

the avengers- the first one with patrick macnee and diana rigg.

the prisoner- perhaps the strangest show ever to hit the tv airwaves.  top 10 for sure.

the man from u.n.c.l.e.- great cold war angst.

i, spy- more cold war angst.  robert culp. what could go wrong?  i got a ‘d’ in a chemistry class while going to college.  i had the class on monday night.  all i wanted was for the damn class to be over so i could scream down the hill and catch whatever i could of this show.

navy log- if only for the lovely hymn sung at the beginning and end of this ww2 show.

victory at sea- ww2 brought to your living room in living black and white.

seinfeld- what can i say?

bosch- the amazon TV production of the michael connelly’s harry bosch books. outstanding reading and an all time great TV show. a top 5 for sure.

justified- of course. if you didn’t watch it you missed something grand. elmore leonard at his best and final work. another top 5 for sure.

during the current edit i’ve added:

married with children. i don’t know how this one slipped my mind.

yes, the top 5 has been tossed around so, here it is.
1. the sopranos.
2. justified.
3. the rockford files.
4. magnum, pi.
5. bosch.

that’s it kids.  you all have your faves and these are just some of mine.  feel free to comment and add your own.  i know it’s only old tv but i like it, like it. yes, i do.

jmh