Tuesday, April 3, 2012

HE LIVED IN A BOX! Variety's Jon Weisman lists the 21 best one-season shows from the 1990s, and while the top slot is obvious** I've got to give him a B- at best because he forgot about Profit, a brilliant, fun show which unfortunately preceded The Sopranos' breaking of the "you can't have a corrupt protagonist" ceiling.

**He slotted F&G into his 00s list.

28 comments:

  1. Joseph J, Finn9:15 AM

    Yeah, I can't get on board with the #2 choice, but having Profit on the list makes me happy.

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  2. Randy9:36 AM

    Wow, missing Profit is pretty much unforgivable.  (So is excluding Firefly from his 2000s list.)

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  3. Watts9:50 AM

    Heretic. Cupid was great.

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  4. Eric J.10:11 AM

    About his 2000s list, if he listed The Tick but didn't include The Middleman, I can only assume he never saw it.

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  5. <span>To his 00s list, I would add Grosse Pointe and Related. There were other shows I thought should be on there until I looked them up and realized they did manage to squeak through to a second season (Popular and That's Life), although in both cases, the second seasons were weak enough to drag down your impression of the overall series.  
     
    I will not argue in any way with his top 3 from that 00s list - I loved them all. I met Dan Byrd at one of the Cougartown pre-season screenings and told him that I loved him on Cougartown, but was also a huge fan of "Aliens in America." He looked at me like I was a very nice, mostly harmless, crazy person.</span>

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  6. So happy to see any mention of EZ Streets.  And Bakersfield PD was a great show.

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  7. So much pablum to have missed Stark Raving Mad:
    Tony Schaloub and Neil Patrick Harris as a practical joke-playing horror author and his germophombe, uptight editor. Hilarity.

    http://www.youtube.com/v/aKnlo3xnjLg" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140

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  8. I'd also add Jack and Bobby, which had some issues, but was generally quite good, and had a pretty fine cast--Matt Long, Jessica Pare, Logan Lerman, John Slattery, Bradley Cooper, Christine Lahti. 

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  9. Richard Cobeen10:51 AM

    Now and Again and Lucky are both missing from the lists, which means they are very incomplete.

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  10. Nigel from Cameroon11:19 AM

    See I would have thought The Ben Stiller Show was an obvious #1.

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  11. Joseph J. Finn1:18 PM

    And by Profit of course I meant Action.  Whoops.

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  12. Andrew2:25 PM

    And being that this is the Internet, he does have to upfront mention that Firefly is an intentional omission. One that I would disagree with, But since he does have 2 of his top 3 in the aughts list as the correct top 2, I shall deem it an acceptable omission.

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  13. Jordan2:45 PM

    I'm glad he at least included the Strummer credits of John From Cincinnati, still one of my all time favorites.

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  14. Meghan2:57 PM

    Well, I agree with #1 on the 90s list.  Am I crazy or does Elizabeth McGovern look a lot like Julia Sweeney in the picture for #8 "If Not For You"?

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  15. J. Bowman5:53 PM

    I saw that and thought, "Oh, that show with Anthony Edwards and Forrest Whitaker," and then saw the photo and immediately wondered what show I had been thinking of.

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  16. J. Bowman8:37 PM

    I'm not feeling his love for Bent. I've seen two episodes, or possibly three, and it just kind of... drags, honestly. What am I missing?

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  17. StvMg9:08 PM

    I second the vote for Now and Again. Great pilot. 

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  18. lisased10:54 PM

    My old DVR still has "There Are No Words" on it.

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  19. Amy's right. Cupid WAS great. And the redo was woefully clunky, but made me nostalgic. Also, shows running only one season makes it very easy for me to own the complete series of The Tick. And I never own DVDs of shows. I'm just not a rewatcher. These lists make me sad for all the wonderfulness that fell by the wayside. Andre Braugher, TV has not done right by you, sir. 

    Anyone else remember a TV show in the 90s called Prey, with Debra Messing and Vincent Ventresca? It wasn't great, but the idea was very interesting, and I miss it, too. 

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  20. Marsha11:56 PM

    I really loved Jack and Bobby. Great cast.

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  21. Marsha11:57 PM

    Thrilled to see Aliens in America on anyone's list of anything. I just rewatched the entire series when it ran on some rnadom channel here. It holds up very well, even though I still can't stand Amy Pietz's accent. Great cast, great writing.

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  22. J.O&#39;Connor2:32 AM

    I didn't expect to see them on the list (not because they aren't good, or at least addictively watchable, but because they're pretty much forgotten), but two shows that I deeply and unreasonably love are 1992's "2000 Malibu Road," an Aaron Spelling camp-fest with Lisa Hartman, Jennifer Beals, and Drew Barrymore, and 2001's "Pasadena," Mike White's gothic teen-centric family drama/murder-mystery with Phillip Baker Hall, Martin Donovan, and Dana Delaney.  I haven't seen 2000 Malibu Road since it was cancelled 20 years ago, but I remember thinking it was deliciously trashy and being crushed when it was cancelled after five or six episodes.  I saw the first few episodes of Pasadena when they were originally broadcast, and was intrigued but not particularly enthusiastic by the time the series was cancelled around episode four.  Some years later, my Tivo discovered that the series was being re-run in its entirety on the Soap Channel.  Apparently, after the cancellation, the studio paid for 13 episodes to be completed to allow the show to be syndicated overseas.  Sort of like Mullholland Drive, you can see the strain involved in truncating what was clearly intended to be a sprawling multi-episode story into a shorter form (one main character disappears for two or three key episodes), but it also allows the story to build into what I found to be a surprisingly shattering conclusion.  Well worth tracking down.

    I also want to second the nomination of "The Middleman," a show I remember watching every week with a feeling of trepidation, knowing that a show with that degree of silliness and quirk could not last long.

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  23. Joseph J, Finn9:05 AM

    Grosse Pointe was awesome.  and reminds me of my complete befuddlement that lindsey Sloane has not been a series regular since.

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  24. Joseph J, Finn9:07 AM

    Wait...no Dark Skies in the '90s list?  No Journeyman (the biggest casualty of the Writers Guild strike) in the Aughts?  Now I'm disgruntled.

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  25. Jon Weisman1:24 PM

    This comment thread came up on my Twitter feed ... Most of the shows mentioned above that weren't on my list was because I didn't watch them enough. However, I can safely say that I thought Stark Raving Mad and Journeymen were weak.

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  26. Marsha3:34 PM

    Hi Jon - Just wanted to express my appreciation for you coming here to say hi. I enjoyed your lists, and they brought back fond memories. And here at ALOTT5MA, we never met a list we didn't want to dissect. We debate because we care. ;-)

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  27. Jon Weisman5:14 PM

    I expect no less :)

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  28. J. Bowman5:41 PM

    Turns out I was thinking of "Downtown," which was a movie, not a TV show. Serious crossed wiring on that memory.

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