I just read the recent Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest TV shows of all time, and while I was all set to be outraged, I'm more like...eh. Rob Sheffield is the credited author, but the piece claims that RS editors made the picks along with 53 industry insiders. I think I'm more disappointed at the lack of insight in even the brief capsule discussions of the 100 shows.
My main problems with the list are: 1) I don't like ranking current series on something like this. It's too soon to consider something like Broad City, let alone call it the 91st best of all time. 2) Too much love for HBO. Sopranos and The Wire are all well and good, but Six Feet Under and Sex and the City? Not so much. 3) Huge recency bias in general. 4) The Worst Shows list, which might have been livelier, consists of only 5 programs, and it looks like two of them were picked just to make political cracks.
But since this is a website devoted to TV of the 1970s and 1980s, let's look at the shows on the list that land in our time period:
9) All in the Family
13) Late Night with David Letterman
29) Monty Python's Flying Circus (Started 1969, but I think qualifies as a 70s/80s show based on its heyday in the States)
30) The Tonight Show
31) Sesame Street
46) The Mary Tyler Moore Show
47) The Rockford Files
53) The Bob Newhart Show
54) The Muppet Show
57) Fawlty Towers
59) Hill Street Blues
63) The Wonder Years
65) Happy Days
67) The Odd Couple
82) The Jeffersons
86) Good Times
87) Doctor Who
98) The Golden Girls
I excluded The Simpsons and Roseanne, which started late 80s but I consider 90s shows, but I decided to include The Wonder Years. As you can see, a good number of these--8, 13, 30. 31. 87, and 94--are long-running series not necessarily identified with any particular decade.
So if I remove those, the tally is 15 70s shows, and two of those are British. I count only 6 1980s shows (Note: I consider Taxi a 70s show and Dallas an 80s show), which seems like a low total considering the list is ranking the likes of The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
What shows are missing? Happy Days just made an appearance on Battle of the Network Shows, but at least one other from this list will turn up in our season 1. What other programs on the RS list would you like to see us discuss on the podcast?