Okay, it's getting totally ridiculous. The incredible quality of HBO programming is just staggering. Over the years, HBO has aired some of my all-time favourite programs. I'm guessing that there would be maybe 6 HBO programs listed in my Top 10 TV programs (this is stated without attempting to come up with a list).
Just this year alone there is The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and debuting last night, the fantastically promising new western Deadwood, plus the upcoming Six Feet Under. Others just off the top of my head: The Larry Sanders Show and Mr. Show. Wow.
I came late to The Sopranos. I avoided it for about the first year and a half. Eventually, though, I succumbed to the hype, and checked it out. I've been totally hooked ever since. Last night's episode "Where's Johnny" was perhaps the best yet. I only wish my wife would fall under its spell like I did. But she is blinded by her dislike of gangster/mafia movies/shows.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, a fantastic comedy, is at a curious point in its development. This year it kind of reached a point of creation (much like Seinfeld the year when they decided to make all the small storylines in each episode relate to each other. We had to agree to go along with that absurdity.) where it turned towards more outlandish and unrealistic plot devices. Still as funny as all get out, but it's a question-mark as to whether we will go along with this, if it continues next year.
Deadwood debuted (that looks weird, debuted? Is that even right?) last night, and all I can say is "And I thought Lonesome Dove was a great western". Unbelievably good first episode. Can it possibly maintain that level of quality? I can't believe it's a television program.
Okay, I talked myself into it. Here, at this moment, are my Top Ten Television Programs (of all time)
1. Six Feet Under
2. The Office
3. The Sopranos
4. Law & Order
6. Curb Your Enthusiasm
7. The Larry Sanders Show
8. Mr. Show
10. All Those Shows That I'm Forgetting That Would Obviously Rate Above, Say, SCTV.
I am struck by the number of comedies. I don't include TV movies and/or miniseries. Only weekly television programs, comedy or drama.