Everyone I work with talks about “Mad Men” – last season it was “Heroes” and “Lost” – which is why this article surprised me. It seems that while AMC’s Emmy award-winning drama is loved by many, the ratings don’t reflect that. What this tells me is that the television taste of people I know must represent a very small subsection of America.
My favorite show of all-time was on for just one short season when I was in the 10th grade, “My S0-Called Life.” Much like “Mad Men,” the program was critically acclaimed. In my opinion, no program before or since had so accurately captured my 10th grade angst. After just one season, ABC nixed the program, due to poor ratings, leaving viewers to wonder Angela Chase’s fate. I often think that if the show was on now, it would have made it longer than a season. After all, shows that seem much worse seem to have much longer shelf lives. On the other hand, “MSCL” was unique – it captured a certain honesty about high school that probably wouldn’t cut it in this day’s lineup of “Gossip Girl” and the new “90210.”
Another similarly critically acclaimed show which met a similar fate was “Freaks and Geeks” – another show that I loved. I didn’t watch it when it was on television, but rather on DVD, years later.
Historically, I have always had one favorite show at a time, which usually comes out on top as another jumps the shark. “Saved by the Bell” was the original favorite – then they all went to the same college and it eventually went off the air. “MSCL” followed suit, giving me my favorite season of television ever. I don’t recall loving another show until college, where a different one seemed to replace another each year – in rapid progression – “90210”, “Party of Five” (until Bailey became an alcoholic and Charlie got cancer), and “Dawson’s Creek.” By the time “Dawson’s Creek” ended and Katie Holmes married Tom Cruise, I had moved onto “The O.C.” Once Mischa Barton died and Ryan was a cage-fighter, I had adopted “One Tree Hill.”
There was “Laguna Beach” and “Newport Beach” – the second certainly less interesting than the first and later, “The Hills,” which God knows why, I still watch. I just discovered, as a matter of fact, that my DVR records nothing in the top 20, which means all of my favorites are subject to cancellation: “One Tree Hill’, “Gossip Girl”, “Army Wives”, “The Hills”, “Entourage” and “Rescue Me.”
Just don’t take “Intervention” from me …