TV Shows: 2005 Top 25

  1. show [All-time rank, last year's rank, years ran, seasons purchased on DVD this year]
  2. Frasier [2, NA, '93-'04, 1-7]
  3. Outstanding show that I've been addicted to throughout the year. I've now seen the first seven seasons, and all are classic - seasons 2 and 4 are up there with the very best seasons of any TV show ever. I can't believe I didn't see this until I bought S1 on a whim last Christmas. Perfection.
  4. Seinfeld [11, NA, '89-'98, 1-6]
  5. The second of four shows to hit my all-time top 30 on the basis of this year alone. I've seen the first six seasons; excellent throughout, with some of the greatest sitcom characters ever seen.
  6. Malcolm In The Middle [4, 3, '00-date, NA]
  7. An all-time classic for me, holding its' position at #3 for the year. It's still fantastic right through to season 6. I just wish the DVDs would hurry up and come out; my recorded VHS' are wearing out!
  8. Scrubs [9, NA, '00-date, 1-2]
  9. The 3rd of the shows through to my top 30 on the basis of this year alone; Rushmore and my sister got me into this and I'm very glad they did. The first two seasons - the only two I've seen in full so far - are pure class.
  10. King of the Hill [3, 2, '97-date, 4-5]
  11. Still running high, a classic show that I enjoy mostly thanks to DVD. It's maintained its' excellence right throught to season 6 (as far as I've seen), and I eagerly await future DVD releases!
  12. The Simpsons [1, 1, '89-date, 6-7]
  13. Having ended its' 6-year long streak at #1, I'm still enjoying the Simpsons thanks to the DVDs but I don't watch the show on TV much at all anymore. Still an undisputed classic, still my all-time #1, but not my favourite this year.
  14. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air [7, 20, '90-'96, 1-2]
  15. I was very pleased this arrived on DVD this year, and even more pleased that it was confirmed seasons 2, and later 3, were on the way. The show is brilliant and thanks to the DVDs this has risen the ranks to reach my top 10 of this year.
  16. Friends [12, 4, '94-'04, NA]
  17. Despite a minor slip since last year (when its' high position was undoubtedly due to my collecting the series in its entirety throughout the year) this remains high on the list for this year; still a classic in my book.
  18. Tucker [20, NA, '01-'02, NA]
  19. The most obscure show on the list, this single season NBC sitcom remains one of my favourite shows thanks to my having all the episodes on my computer - I can't imagine this harshly underrated gem will ever see the light of day on DVD.
  20. Home Improvement [27, NA, '91-'99, 1-2]
  21. The fourth and final show to hit my all-time top 30 purely based on this year, Home Improvement is an excellent sitcom, and another that I discovered on DVD this year. I've only seen the first two seasons, and I hear even better things are still to come.
  22. Jonathan Creek [26, 19, '97-'04, NA]
  23. Remains on my list on the strength of the complete boxset being a present last Christmas; an addictive mystery series that is undoubtedly comedy/drama/thriller at its' best! Bonus points due to Alan Davies playing the lead; he's also in QI, a few places below.
  24. 24 [10, 5, '01-date, 4]
  25. A rewatch of seasons 2-3 and seeing season 4 for the first time gives this show a high position once again. The best drama to come out of the States in ages, this show was made for DVD and is unbelieveably addictive.
  26. The X Factor [NA, 18, '04-date, NA]
  27. Probably the trashiest show on my list, this Simon Cowell talent show-slash-promotion vehicle guarantees entertainment week after week. The auditions bring laughter whereas by the live shows we get to see some real talent shine through.
  28. Have I Got News For You [21, NA, '90-date, Best of #1]
  29. Excellent satire week after week, comprising 1/3 of my perfect Friday night schedule. Hislop and Merton are comedy geniuses and the guest-presenter idea comntinues to work exceedingly well.
  30. QI: Quite Interesting [22, NA, '03-date, NA]
  31. The second third of my perfect Friday night viewing schedule, this show really is quite interesting - and very funny, too. Stephen Fry, Alan Davies and regular guest Rich Hall make this programme fantastic, and surely a candidate for my top-30 of all-time sooner or later.
  32. Friday Night with Jonathan Ross [23, NA, '98-date, NA]
  33. The final third of the perfect Friday night viewing; Jonathan Ross is an excellent host and no matter who the guests are, Ross makes the show entertaining. Not the kind of show that calls for season sets but I'd like to see some highlights on DVD.
  34. Family Guy [14, 9, '99-date, 4]
  35. Down from the past two year's positions but still in the top-20 is the ever-hilarious Family Guy, mostly here due to the season 4 (volume 3) release just last month. Still as stupid as ever, still as funny as ever. I'm eagerly awaiting more!
  36. Futurama [6, 8, '99-'02, NA]
  37. Another show down from the past two year's rankings, but still squeezing into the top 20, this fantastic show only loses marks simply because thanks to the lack of new episodes or DVD releases I haven't watched it too much. Still an all-time great, but could do with some new material now.
  38. 3rd Rock From The Sun [15, 6, '96-'02, 5]
  39. Also down from last year, and just barely edging into the top 20, is the hilarious 3rd Rock. Continues to be a classic, for a while this year I was enjoying a ritual of two episodes every night around 10pm before I went to sleep.
  40. Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind [35, 17, '04-date, 1]
  41. A new second series and the release of the first on DVD ensure this remains in my favourites for the year. Brown is a very clever person and everything he does, be it guessing how many fingers someone's holding up or convincing them they are part of a video game they were playing earlier, is very entertaining.
  42. Joey [NA, NA, '04-date, 1]
  43. Underrated Friends spinoff that, whilst not as good as its' parent show, still has a lot of laughter to give. Season 1 is certainly better than the weakest Friends seasons (7-9) and all of the characters are very entertaining. Wonder how season 2 goes.
  44. My Family [24, 14, '00-date, 3]
  45. My purchase of series 3 proved that this really is the best British sitcom still going. Not as great as it once was, series 1-3 remain very entertaining and feature some of the best British scripts of the past few years.
  46. Only Fools & Horses [5, 7, '81-'03, 5x specials]
  47. The all-time greatest British sitcom, remaining in the list thanks to the purchases of five more Christmas specials and a rewatch of the fantastic first six seasons earlier in the year. Shame the spinoff, The Green Green Grass, isn't as good (though it still gets an honourable mention for the year).
  48. Judge Judy [25, 10, '96-date, NA]
  49. Consistently one of the most entertaining programmes on television, I'd love to see this on DVD. I tune in whenever I can; it's always a great watch - and Judy makes an excellent judge!
  50. Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway [NA, 16, '02-date, NA]
  51. Ranked so low thanks to there having been no new episodes since around March, this is still the best Saturday night entertainment show around (after The X Factor) as is the perfect mix of comedy and game show. Can't ait for the new series in the New Year.
  52. Honourable mentions:
  53. The Green Green Grass
  54. Father Ted
  55. Saved by the Bell
  56. Red Dwarf
  57. Honey We're Killing The Kids
  58. Wife Swap
  59. Diff'rent Strokes
  60. The Flintstones
  61. Holiday Showdown
  62. Clarissa Explains It All
  63. Supernanny
  64. Bad Lads' Army
  65. Jamie's School Dinners
  66. That'll Teach 'Em
Author Comments: 

All-time list here.

Note that many of the DVDs I purchased (such as Joey) were R2.

Comments welcomed.

Is Tucker the one with the kid who has to live with his aunt (played by she of the Peg Bundy fame) and his stupid cousin who's got an addiction on lucha libre and he's smitten by his neighbour, what's-her-name, it's a weird name by our european standards, oh yeah, it's Mackenna, isn't it ? And he's got a skate-board... If that's Tucker, then yes, it's an ok show but on comparable shows, I preferred Even Stevens or Caitlin, Montana... I somtimes tend to forget you Wezz are in the target demographic from these teenage shows, I'm supposed to be a bit too old for them, but still enjoy them tremendously, give me Big Bad Wolves on Campus or Weird Science or the crazy one about the Stage family any day of the week instead of many of the so-called "mature" sitcoms or dramedies... I just can't stand Lizzie McGuire though...

Yep, you're spot-on with Tucker. I also enjoy Even Stevens, and the great Weird Science, but I've never heard of Caitlin, Montana - what's that like?

Yeah, I suppose I am the target audience for such shows. I enjoy them greatly, despite liking a lot of shows that are targeted at an older audience too, like Frasier, 24, etc.

I can't stand Lizzie McGuire either, by the way. :-)

Caitlin, Montana is about a teenage girl a bit rebellious , she might be an orphan, I'm not sure, but she gets sent to a remote parent in rural Montana and immediately gets in trouble with the local people, she likes to take care of horses and can't really relate to other teenagers at school... She's got reddish hair and her nose is pierced... Caitlin, Montana might not be the original tityle, it was the title used when the show was broadcast on french TV.

Ah, I vaguely recall that, but brings up no results. Must be an alternative name.

Probably the name used on french TV, yes

Nice list. I'm suprised myself at the speed you have gotten through all the frasier seasons. I totally agree as you know, that it is brilliant. Yay, scrubs made it onto Wezzos top25 of 2005!! i'm glad you enjoyed it. Scrubs is very hit and miss with a lot of people, so i was very worried to recommend it too you, but looks like you got what it was all about, so thats cool. i've really got into family guy this year more than other years, maybe because of arrival of american dad, Family Guy is very good. only problem with Family Guy though is that i find a lot of the jokes are aimed at an american audience only. References to TV shows that only showed in USA, but hey, same could be said for a UK show. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is extremely underrated, pure class all through 1st season. 2nd season is on my christmas list. Have I Got News For You is a great suprise, never knew you were a fan. I love the "and i leave you with news that" bit at the end with the pictures, pure class, the best comedic quiz show ever, IMO.

Very nice list that is very well layed out. nice work! i will deff. make one of my own. oh oh also JACK BLACK is on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross!! Comedy Legend Jack Black!, my idol man. lol

Glad you like the list! Yep, Frasier and Scrubs are firm favourites with me now. I can see why Scrubs would be hit and miss, but having said that everyone I know enjoys the show!

True about FG, I find FamilyGuyFiles helpful, though obviously it's not convenient to check that site every minute after each obscure reference. I really must watch more AD - speaking of which, Season 1 is due out in R2 on 27th March 2006 - see Play's listing, which I'm sure you'll be interested in! I may pick it up too.

Agreed on all your other points too - FPOBA is great, HIGNFU is hilarious; particularly the bit at the end that you mentioned, and I too am eagerly awaiting JR tonight!

Looking forward to you doing a similar list! :)

I'm gonna have to disagree with you on Home Improvement...I cannot stand that show. I pretty much hate anything in that model of, "late 80's, early 90's cutesy family sitcom."

But Fresh Prince is the exception.

No, it is not. ;)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Aw, come on guys, everyone knows sitcoms were at their very best right then. :D

Or, maybe I'm just a sucker for that kinda stuff. Who knows? I like plenty of critically acclaimed shows too, everyone's gotta have some cheese. :)

I'm always doing something, even if it is a whole lot of nothing. There is always, always entirely too much good stuff on the tele to waste my time with bad sitcoms.

I mean, many of these sitcoms were contemporaries of Cheers, The Wonder Years, and, later, Newsradio, early Frazier, and other great sitcoms.

Heck, I was even in the target age range at the time Home Improvement, Full House, and other lame shows hit the air, and I still could not stand them!

However, to each his or her own.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I don't like Full House, and I love Frasier and Cheers. When it comes to sitcom, I'm batting for all sides. :)