Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

List: CJ’s Favorite Shows of All Time

Posted by CJ Cregg on August 25, 2009

This list will undoubtedly brand me as a much more modern enjoyer of TV.  (A huge contrast with Mr. Feeny, I suspect.)  While I have seen every episode of Boy Meets World, Growing Pains, and Full House, the shows that continue to resonate with me are the ones I have watched most recently.  Thus, I bring you my favorite shows EVER.

Top 10 Shows of all Time

1) The West Wing-This should come as no surprise, but I LOVE this show.  Aaron Sorkin does a fantastic job with character development, and his witty banter is bar-none tops. CJ Cregg (Allison Janney) is my favorite character (no, really?) because of her earnestness, intelligence (yay female empowerment), and her tendency to become passionately involved in the issues.  Watching her grow from White House press secretary to chief of staff is a true journey for the viewer.  Of course, Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), Charlie Young (Dule Hill), and POTUS himself, Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) are all fantastic characters as well.  A familiar Sorkin cast also includes Josh Malina, Rob Lowe (ROB LOWE!), and Teri Polo.  Other famous actors include Kristin Chenoweth, Gary Cole, Alan Alda, and Mary-Louise Parker.  A great cast, great writing, and great premise make this show even better than the sum of its parts.  This may be the only show in which I can say I have seen each episode (from all 7 seasons) more than 3 times.  I have watched this show more than I have watched any other show on TV.  It’s like comfort food for me.  For those that are curious, my favorite episode is from season 4, “20 hours in America.”  In addition to time zone errors, missed buses, and a truck that ‘runs’ on corn, this episode also has a brief appearance by Amy Adams.  Close seconds for favorite episode include from season 1: “The Crackpots and These Women” and “Lord John Marbury.   From season 2: “Shibboleth.”  From season 4: “Privateers.”  I could write about this show for hours, but I’ll stop now.

Enjoy this clip from “20 Hours in America.”

And this clip with CJ Cregg from another episode.  No explanation needed.

2) Pushing Daisies-A show that is surprisingly tongue in cheek, clever, and self aware.  I love shows that are self aware.  I love the use of the narrator; it truly makes the show unique.  I have raved about this show in other places, so I will save the column inches here, and point you to that earlier post.

3) How I Met Your Mother-Another show I have raved about before.  Clever, funny, like one big inside joke.  I seriously wish Ted, Lily, Marshal, and Barney were my friends.  And for the record, I’m pretty sure “The Naked Man” would work on me.  See my other thoughts on the show above.

4) Gilmore Girls-Many people abandoned this show around season 5 or 6, but I stuck with it, and I have to say, it was good for all 7 seasons.  Lorelai (Lauren Graham) had a snarky sense of humor that never got old, and while Rory (Alexis Bledel) was a bit too goody goody at times, I really enjoyed watching her grow up.  I took great pleasure in seeing Rory in college.  My favorite character on the show as probably Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) because she was so self righteous and out of touch with reality most of the time.  Richard Gilmore (Edward Hermann) was also quite funny.  The small town recurring characters such as Ms. Patty, Suki, and Kirk also added much to the show.  I agree that it was a good choice to end the series when it ended, but I think it sustained all 7 seasons quite well.  ABC Family plays reruns weekday afternoons, so if you haven’t seen this coming-of-age drama, check it out.

5) Brothers and Sisters-Politics, families, and Rob Lowe.  Have I mentioned Rob Lowe?  (Although for those who haven’t seen the show, he’s kind of [ok more than kind of] a big jerk in Brothers and Sisters.)  Plus, the family business is called Ojai Foods, which always brings a smile to my face.Greek-Sorry to be repetitive.  This guilty pleasure makes me nostalgic for college like you wouldn’t believe.  Thus, in an attempt to reminisce about my life when it was much more fun, I watch every season.

6) Greek-Sorry to be repetitive.  This guilty pleasure makes me nostalgic for college like you wouldn’t believe.  Thus, in an attempt to reminisce about my life when it was much more fun, I watch every season.

7) The Unusuals-The best show on TV this spring for sure.  Sadly, seems that I was the only one that thought that.  ABC only aired about 12 episodes before the show got the boot.  The writers just did such a fantastic job building likeable, quirky characters and making their relationships so deep and interesting.  Read more about why I was so devastated when this show got canceled here.

8 ) Sex and the City-I suspect this is a show that will be on my list and my list alone.  (Any closet SATC fans, Mr. Feeny or Mr. Moltisanti?)  Perhaps kind of cliche, but I love this show.  I love New York City, cosmopolitans, and Manolo Blahniks.  Their glamorous lifestyle yet continual struggle with the male half of the population was a perfect mix of escapism and ‘stuff I could relate to.’  While I tend to be skeptical of voice overs, I found many of Carrie Bradshaw’s ruminations on relationships to be quite apt.  (For our female readers who may be curious, I always identified the most with Charlotte, but I have a bit of Carrie in me too.)  TBS plays reruns on weeknights, so if you need your fix (as I so often do myself), SATC is usually not too hard to find on the air.

9) Project Runway-While I certainly don’t consider myself a fashionista (I tend to wear what JCrew and Banana Republic tell me to wear), it’s fun to watch other people’s creative minds at work.  Heidi Klum’s accent makes her criticisms so much more entertaining, and Michael Kors’s brutal honesty can be shocking.  Read my ruminations on the current season here.

10) Wipeout-Big Balls.  That is all.  Here’s a teaser for you:

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9 Responses to “List: CJ’s Favorite Shows of All Time”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    Wow. I don’t even know how to react to parts of this list.

    First off, though, how is Greek higher than Brothers and Sisters on the all-time list but lower on the currently watching list? Much lower in fact. And what about Friday Night Lights? Your lists don’t jive, Ms. Cregg…

    Of course, one constant in both is Wipeout. Seriously? A japanese-styled pratfall game show? One of your 10 favorite television programs of ALL TIME? Better than those comedies you mentioned? Or Get Smart? I cry foul.

    And The Unusuals? Seriously? I didn’t watch it, but I bet it’s on your list mostly because you wish you could see more, not so much that its 12 episodes were so great.

    But, I couldn’t agree with you more about West Wing. Or HIMYM. So you have some redeemable tastes. (I’d add “Two Cathedrals”, by the way, as one of the best episodes. I’ll include THE clip in my list)

    I expect a justifiably equal drubbing of mine when I post it.

    • CJ Cregg said

      OK. Here’s my answer to Mr. Feeny. The mixing up of Greek and Brothers and Sisters was an honest mistake. I checked my list for consistency before I posted but flipped some stuff around last minute and that must have sneaked past. I edited the post to put Greek as 6 and Brothers and Sisters as 5. As to my answer for why both of these shows are higher on the best shows of all time list, here’s my argument. I use different criteria to think about what makes a show “best of all time” versus “something I really like to watch right now.” As far as the currently on the air list, I was thinking about the immediate moment. For example, what do I want to watch RIGHT NOW? And for the shows of all time, I was thinking about, when all of this is said and done, like 2-3 years in the future, will I run out and by the whole series when it comes out on DVD. And for Brothers and Sisters I will. For the shows I’m feeling right now that are higher on the currently on the air list, I probably won’t. It’s about long-term resonance. How much the characters make me want to come back to them again and again vs. what I’m craving right now. Don’t know if that makes any sense, but I stand by my list.

      Also, Mr. Feeny, don’t know Wipeout or the Unusuals until you’ve tried them. In terms of BMW, Full House, or the other stuff I mentioned, I have seen every episode, liked them, but I have no desire to see them again. Wipeout or the Unusuals I could watch over and over.

      And re: the West Wing, “Two Cathedrals” is a bit contrived for me. The scene where Jed talks to God in the cathedral is over the top (IMHO). Not a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination. But not my favorite.

      Let me say again. I stand by my list!

      • Mr. Feeny said

        Haha. I agree with your defense of the differing rankings. As I’ve started to put my list together, I know that certain shows will increase in value as a whole compared to just right now. Good point. My mistake.

        We are polar opposites on “Two Cathedrals.” That speech by Bartlet is my all-time favorite of the whole series. “You get Hoynes.” Ranting in Latin. Squishing the cigarette. I love it. I watch it on Youtube often just for fun.

      • B. S. said

        I agree with Mr. Feeny on “Two Cathedrals” but will go farther – it is the greatest hour of television I have ever witnessed. Bar none.

        Although my favorite part is the ending sequence because “Brothers in Arms” is the perfect musical selection and it is composed so artfully. We’ll ignore that there’s no particularly plausible reason that the motorcade would drive past the National Cathedral in order to get from the White House to the State Department. So yeah, that one part of a scene is contrived. But I’m OK with the yelling at God – as a rather grandiloquent drama queen at times, I feel where Jed’s coming from.

  2. Blu said

    It’s just a list. Lists exist to be debated and talked about.
    That is one of the best things about blogging, it’s your list that you put up to be debated and talked about:)

  3. Malcolm said

    What’s criminal is the lack of 30 Rock or Arrested Development

    • CJ Cregg said

      You know, I like 30 Rock. I like it a lot, I think it’s funny. But because the show isn’t a serial drama-type, it doesn’t grab me and make me watch it each week. In fact, I would say I miss it more often than I watch it. And I never feel like I missed something huge.

      Arrested Development I never liked. Maybe I never gave it enough of a chance, but it just doesn’t seem to be my type of humor. Dunno. Maybe I’m deficient or something.

  4. […] show in my opinion is the title.  In all fairness to the show, I think I’m just bitter that The Unusuals got canceled while Better Off Ted got a second […]

  5. […] the American public?  Here are my humble musings.  This is, of course, not the same as my personal list of favorite shows, but unsurprisingly, colored by the shows I like the […]

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