The American TV network ABC recently announced that I Love Lucy was picked as the best TV show of all time. I scoff.
It seems clear to me that this show was picked as the best by a bunch of Baby Boomers who were raised in an era where all they had to watch was either this or whatever the DuMont Network was broadcasting. Don’t get me wrong. If you want safe, mindless, slapstick comedy that translates well across barriers both linguistic and cultural, it’s hard to do better than I Love Lucy. I watched an episode early today, and it did have me laughing more than a few times. But if you want a better quality TV show, it’s pretty easy.
So I sat down and came up with the following list, presented in alphabetical order. Just to make it hard on myself, I’m picking only American TV shows, so my personal favorite Doctor Who won’t be on the list. So that in mind, let’s have a look at what shows I personally think are better than I Love Lucy. Please note: for obvious reasons, Firefly didn’t make the list.
1. 30 Rock
Seldom has a live-action TV series, especially an American one, made me laugh as consistently as this show does. I’d say it’s quite possibly the best American show currently in production (sorry, Community. You’re a close second!). The chemistry between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin is a pure joy to behold, and with characters like Jenna, Tracey and Kenneth, the show constantly brings the funny. It’s also got some of the most intelligent, self-aware writing of any show airing on TV in just about any decade and, unlike many of the others on this list, doesn’t seem to have lost any of the quality as time has gone on.
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