I have been watching DVDs of many TV serials lately, and it got me thinking about the ones I have loved over the years. It’s hard to make a comprehensive list, of course, but some of my favourites (in no particular order) are listed here. Do add your own (or remind me of any I might have missed out!).
Pierce Brosnan plays the title role as the fictional detective created by the owner of a detective agency, Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist), because no one takes a female private eye seriously! Remington Steele was wholly entertaining, with a whodunit for Steel and Laura to solve in every episode. Apart from that, there was the whole mystery about Steele himself. Who was he? What was his real name? Why did he have multiple passports? And of course, my friends and I spent a goodish bit of our time pondering the will-they-won’t-they argument regarding Steele and Laura! It was the role that made Brosnan famous, and even elicited comments about how he might make a good James Bond some day!
Never mind those tacky sets and plasticky computers, Star Trek will always remain an all-time favourite! While their portrayal of the “future” was pretty unconvincing, and the series was rather sexist if you think of it, it was for it’s time quite progressive. Captain Kirk’s expanding waistline and paunch as the series progressed was quite off-putting—as was his many romantic involvements, but for me it was Spock who carried it off! Spock, with his one raised eyebrow, his deadpan expressions, his refusal to be “human”, his chemistry with Kirk and McCoy. (Of course, I had to put him in my book!)
“A man may fight for many things: his country, his principals, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I’d rather mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn.” Meet the lovely Edmund Blackadder, played by Rowan Atkinson in a series that spans the ages—depicted over four seasons as Blackadder (reign of Richard III), Blackadder II (Elizabeth I), Blackadder III (George IV) and Blackadder Goes Forth (during WW I), along with a couple of specials. Coming from a “long line of deceitful, cowardly and conniving” ancestors, Blackadder is accompanied in his adventures by the disgusting Baldrick—the result of “an unfortunate meeting between a pig-farmer & bearded lady”. It is absolutely hilarious—and mostly disgusting. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much as when I watched it. By the way, have a look at this Blackadder quote generator for a taste of his kind of humour!
M*A*S*H was a truly amazing series because not only did it focus a very serious issue, it made fun of it as well, and did it in great style. It followed the lives of Hawkeye Pearce (Alan Alda) and various other personnel (Loretta Swit, Mike Farrell, Gary Burghoff, Larry Linville, Jamie Farr and more) of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea during the Korean War of the 1950s. A hilariously funny black comedy, it was based on the film by the same name. Apart from making you laugh, the instrumental strains of the title song Suidice is painless is rather haunting.
Grey’s Anatomy (special mention!)
This ongoing TV series follows the lives of five interns at Seattle Grace Hospital. The lead character is Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who starts off her stint by having a one-night stand and discovers the following day that the man in question is her boss! The main story is Meredith’s and her relationship with Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). The series is funny and entertaining, and there are some really memorable characters, especially the all-bark-no-bite Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), whom the interns call ‘the Nazi’! To be brutally honest, Grey’s Anatomy will probably never make it to a TV serial hall of fame, but McDreamy & co. have special signifcance for me!