Monday, February 18, 2008

The smartest TV shows of all time?

I came across this story on the internet where A big MENSA muck-a-muck (Jim Werdell, chairman of MENSA international) made a list of what he thinks are the smartest TV shows of all time. This is a topic I hold very near and dear to my heart, because in addition to being a fairly smart guy, I also watch a great deal more TV than I should. I was extremely surprised by most of his list, which I'll share with you instead of making you read the story:

Top ten smartest shows of all time (in no particular order):

1. M*A*S*H
2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan)
3. CSI
4. House
5. West Wing
6. Boston Legal
7. All in the Family
8. Frasier
9. Mad About You
10. Jeopardy

What's on this list bothers me, but less than the glaring ommisions bother me. There is no mention of ANY sci-fi show, for starters... and you can't tell me that the new Battlestar Galactica isn't just as smart as many on this list. Also, while I appreciate CSI, you're not gonna sit there and tell me that it's smarter than Columbo or Monk. I like that Cosmos is on there, but where the heck is NOVA? And excuse me, but Mad About You? All this list really shows me is that MENSA membership is not rewarded because of good taste.

In any event, I have come up with my own list of the ten smartest shows of all time, in no particular order:

1. Northern Exposure- Smart and vibrant characters were the hallmark of this show ten years before anyone heard of Gilmore Girls. If you are unfimiliar with this show, I highly advise checking it out.
2. The Twilight Zone- It's one thing to be smart, it's another thing entirely to be as consistantly smart as Rod Serling week after week, with entirely new characters and situations.
3. Soap- This show was so smart and so ahead of it's time, it couldn't find the audience it needed to survive. It had among other things the first openly Gay regular character in prime time.
4. Mythbusters- Educating and entertaining. Need I say more?
5. Dr Who- With complex plots, characters, historical accuracy, and flair, Dr. Who manages to be smart by simply never talking down to it's audience.
6. NOVA- the first and still the greatest PBS science show ever produced.
7. Dead Like Me-It always bothers me that this show never seems to get its due. It's very smart and clever in it's execution, and in the way it examines how we as a species deal with our own mortality.
8. House- Smart and very, very funny. Still I wonder how many unusual cases they can come up with before he starts treating common colds and such...
9. Firefly- Just edged out Galactica for a spot on my list. The details of this show are what make it smart... the amount of thought that went into creating the 'Verse that the crew of Serenity lives in are an uncommonly rich and full world for us to explore.
10. The Daily Show- Not only smart, but consitantly edgy. Political satire isn't easy to do, but they do it really, really well without talking down to their audience. Their coverage of "Indecision 2000" should and probably will go into the ranks of classic television.

But then again, that's just my opinion... Maybe i'm just too cool for MENSA. Discuss?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Best. Year. Ever.

To all that posted on their blogs wishing me a happy Birthday/Robbie Gras, I thank you all for your kind wishes and warm fuzzies... but I think Melinda won the comedy award this year, by saying this:

For those of you who don't know, today marks a holiday celebrated throughout the United Federation of Planets, Robbie Gras! Today, the great and powerful Rob has completed yet another trip around Sol. But don't give him too much credit. The planet did most of the work.

Short, to the point and very, very funny. I laughed for at least five minutes.

Robbie Gras 2008 started out for me at 5 am with my clock radio belting out my favorite Billy Joel song. Silverfox even rolled over and said "Wow... that's kinda weird... Your favorite song on your birthday?"

"Through Robbie Gras, all things are possible, my dear."

We went out to the Metarie Parade Route to set up Camp Kahunah, (Pictured below with Brouhaha in front of the tiki god acting like his usual ham-tastic self.)
Note the palm tree cooler and tiki god... it was quite a sight.

I sat out on the parade route by myself for a while to reserve our territory, as Silverfox had to head back home to load up the food, kids, and my Dad. As I watched others clamber about in the early morning light setting up folding chairs, tents and ladders I had some time to think.

This has been an extraordinary year to be Rob... and it's only February. I'm finally getting the hang of this "Dad" thing, My birthday fell on Mardi Gras which fell on "super Tuesday", I'm with an incredible, funny, charming woman that can cook an equally incredible barbeque meal for me and thirty of my closest friends, my Dad came down to visit for the first time in years, the Giants won the effing super bowl, and had their victory parade on my birthday as well.

I'm truly beginning to think that somebody up there likes me.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Robbie Gras prep...

I've been a little busy lately, what with Dad in town and Mardi Gras parades, that I haven't posted in a while... Still I had to share the cake that Silverfox made me for tomorrow with the world:
I don't know what I did to deserve someone as smart, funny and talented as Silverfox in my life, but I'm so glad I did it.