car·riage re·turn

n. the lever or mechanism on a typewriter that would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left margin of the page

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Syndicated,Inc.,Indeed

Well,I know what’s on the tube
I know just what to see
Got my TV Guide with me

I don’t watch a great deal of television. Heck,I don’t even own a television. The last time I watched a series with regularity was five and a half years ago when Six Feet Under had just entered Season Two,and Nigella Bites had captured my interest on Style. Before that,I think it was either the middle season of The X-Files or ER,but I honestly can’t remember for sure.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been watching the first season of Hill Street Blues this past week. I finished the two-part season finale this weekend,and I’m very anxiously awaiting the release of Season Two this Tuesday. I’ve even gone so far as to reserve one of the two copies my local Barnes &Noble is getting.

Unfortunately,because I finished the season earlier than I expected,I was without anything to watch this weekend. I finally exhausted my set of the Classic 39 episodes of The Honeymooners,and I really wasn’t in the mood to watch anything feature-length. I was heading to B&N to reserve my copy of HSB anyway,so I thought I might check out their selection of other shows,which actually proved to be extremely extensive and very diverse.

Looking through the racks,there was an unbelievable cross-section of classic TV. The Sir Derek Jacobi Brother Cadfael series wasn’t but a foot or two away from the first two seasons of Green Acres. The first few seasons of the original Star Trek occupied the same shelf as Moonlighting. And among seemingly hundreds of I Love Lucy DVDs was a single offering of The Merv Griffin Show. All that was missing was Newhart and Quincy,ME.

I was faced with a very difficult choice. I spied four Are You Being Served? titles,and I was incredibly tempted to buy one or two. But I knew that I wanted something with a little more dramatic substance to keep up my Hill Street fix. I eventually narrowed it down to Season One of either NYPD Blue or The X-Files,and in the end,NYPD Blue carried the day. I’m not quite certain how I feel about this,because I really like The X-Files quite a bit,but my stomach wasn’t really primed for conspiracy theories. I’ve come to appreciate the writing of NYPD Blue,and Dennis Franz definitely has the chops to carry the show,but it’s a poorer offering than Hill Street Blues. To be honest,I’d have preferred Twin Peaks.

I’ve noticed my favorite shows seem to be heavily skewed toward the ensemble cast format. My Top Six List at this point includes,in some order,the following:M*A*S*H,Fawlty Towers,The Honeymooners,Hill Street Blues,Six Feet Under,and Kung Fu. Why my Top Six? Well,those are the six shows I’ve seen fit to collect at this point. Given unlimited funds I’d probably have The Cosby Show,the original Star Trek,and a bunch of others,but those shows haven’t pushed as hard as the titles I already have. And yet,until my all-time favorite show,The Wonder Years,is released (which will probably never happen because of music royalties),my collection will be horribly incomplete.

What shows are in your Top Six?

Well,I’m in such ecstasy
When I’m watchin’TV
I’m a boob tube devotee

2 comments to Syndicated,Inc.,Indeed

  • You like ensemble casts,good writing,and conspiracy theories? We need to get you into LOST.

    I have watched quite a bit of tv over the years,but I can’t think of many that I’d actually want to buy –up there would be the original Twilight Zone,House,and LOST,which I already have the first season of. I also have fond memories of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes and the David Suchet Poirot. It’s also on quite a few people’s lists to have Mystery Science Theater 3000 in complete sets,but rights disputes between the original filmmakers and the Best Brains crew will ensure that most episodes will never see the (legal) light of day.

    I may also want Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers for my kids someday. Especially Mr. Rogers.

    All decent,quality shows,methinks. Except maybe I also want Magnum,P.I. (shut UP).

    I can think of many more Old Time Radio shows I’d like complete sets of.

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