Top ten smartest shows of all time (in no particular order):
2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan)
5. West Wing
6. Boston Legal
7. All in the Family
9. Mad About You
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?