It’s stormy at sea. It looks like you’re going to have to abandon ship. But all is not lost! There’s an island within swimming distance – an island with food, water, a working dvd player and, conveniently enough, the electricity to operate it. With mere minutes to go before the rattling death trap sinks to the bottom of the ocean, you have time to grab five TV on DVD collections to bring with you to that island. Which five t.v. shows are you taking with you to that deserted island?
Well, in the likely event that I found myself facing such a scenario, I’d be
Arrested Development: Marty G. used to rave about this show but the only bits I’d seen involved actor David Crosby’s Tobias Funke character parading around in denim cut-off shorts. That led me to dismiss the show as silly – until I finally sat down and watched it. Guess what? It IS silly. And the funniest series ever produced.
Rome: Probably the most expensive series ever produced, the short-lived Rome was nothing short of magnificent, each single episode offering the dramatic intrigue, performances, and visual opulence of a big screen release. High school history was never this much fun.
South Park: The most wickedly subversive and clever show on television, deftly handling the type of hot button topics other series steer well clear of. Hilarious, unpredictable and, at times, downright shocking, but ever so smart.
The Sopranos: My Italian mother hated it, but I loved it – at heart, a compelling, often touching, character study of a mobster and his relationship with both his family and la familia. Terrific characters and touches of dark humor abound amid the drama, violence, and swoon-inducing capicolla – the whole marred only slightly by a disappointing finale.
The Shield: This series gets my vote for greatest ever series opener with an episode and final scene that had me completely floored – and completely won over. Like Tony Soprano, Detective Vic Mackey is a deeply flawed individual who will go to any length to get the job done. Unlike Tony, however, he’s one of the good guys. The series focuses on Vic’s search for redemption as he and his strike team do daily battle with L.A.’s notorious criminal element.
Rounding out the top ten or – the other five shows I’d attempt to salvage from the sunken wreck:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office (British version)
Six Feet Under