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Top Ten TV Programmes... Ever!
Member Name: littlepenguin
Top Ten TV Programmes... Ever!
Advantages: Might be interesting to hear what I think ;)
Disadvantages: There is no way you're going to agree with them all!
Time for a fun review I think! So after some difficult deliberation I have come up with what are currently my top 10 programmes. Over the years, I hope these will change as the BBC and ITV produce more comedies and dramas that are worth following every week - well, we can only hope!
Out of all the reality programmes I've watched from time to time (my Mother follows them almost religiously), only one has reaches my Top 10. I just have to say, most reality television severely irritates me because it's like watching the same series over and over again. Also, it has in part taken the main channels away from making new dramas, as it is so much cheaper to produce these shows where millions of members of the public are willing to work for free.
Anyway, rant over - let's get to the fun bit!
==== 10th - The Inbetweeners ====
The Inbetweeners is like a cross between 'The I.T Crowd' and 'Skins'! This hilarious comedy follows the journey that Will takes as he moves to a new state school sixth form. With his blazer and briefcase, he doesn't exactly fit in!
Eventually he forms a group of friends, who are each in their own way very amusing to watch. Simon is clumsy with the girls, Jay boasts about his sexual encounters (when he in fact isn't getting any!) and Neil is brilliantly stupid. I think Neil has to be my favourite character actually. The actor went to East 15 Acting School, where I will be in September!
Emily Atack (who recently went out on Dancing on Ice, much to my despair) and Emily Head (daughter of actor Anthony Head) play the two main love interests in the series, both very well. But of course it's not easy for this group of guys to get anywhere and you can't help but enjoy each cringy move they make!
==== 9th - Ugly Betty ====
Ugly Betty is the only American series I have in my top 10 and I admit that I have two of the box sets at home! Okay, so I know it is not the most high-brow, excellently written show but I love it all the same.
Betty Suarez is charmingly played by America Ferrera, who definitely is NOT ugly! However, her clashing prints don't necessarily go down well with all the fashionistas at Mode, the magazine she works at.
Wilhelmina Slater is another one of my favourite characters. The villain of the show, she spends every moment working out how she can become the boss of Mode. Her outfits are beautiful! The character is wonderfully over-dramatic and shocking, which works so well within the format of the show.
I can't not mention Betty's first love interest, Henry. The relationship these two have (or for much of it don't have as they're both so shy!) is amazingly cute. I think I also fell in love with his character, played by the loveable Christopher Gorman.
Ugly Betty is such a guilty pleasure and, once I got in to it, was highly addictive!
==== 8th - Coupling ====
Weirdly, as soon as I wrote Coupling down, Spotify changes to the show's theme tune, 'Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.' What a coincidence!
Coupling reached 4 series, running on and off from 2000 to 2004. As I was only 10 or 11 at the time, it was even more fun for me to watch, considering its adult humour. Back then I didn't get all of the jokes, oh, how much has changed!
Complete with oodles of sexual innuendos, Coupling also has a decent plot and the actors are great. The comedic timing is always spot on and the characters are not only believable but likeable.
Written by the divine Steven Moffat, Coupling has tried some alternative methods of storytelling. The most memorable examples of these are '9 /2 minutes' where the same story is comically told from three different perspectives and the story interspersed with translations by Captain Subtext - explaining what the characters are ACTUALLY saying!
==== 7th - Doctor Who ====
Now, even I am surprised that Doctor Who has been placed so low on my Top 10, but I guess it had hard competition. I think Doctor Who is a little inconsistent; as there is the odd episode which doesn't really hold my attention. Also, I was not a big fan of either Martha or Donna.
I have watched Doctor Who as a child, with my Mum, Step-Father and Granddad being massive fans! Prior to the new Doctor Who, my favourite Doctor was Tom Baker for his quirkiness, but they are all charming in a different way. I have also been to quite a few Doctor Who conventions, so I am well aware of the impressive number of dedicated fans this programme has!
I was not disappointed when the new series came upon our screens once again in 2005, with Billie Piper playing the magnificent Rose Tyler alongside Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor.
Thankfully, David Tennant stayed for the next four series, so even when the companions weren't quite so brilliant, we had this lovely, intelligent man to watch!
There have been some incredible stories over the past 5 series and I am pleased to stay it is till going strong! Personally, I can't wait for Matt Smith to play the Doctor in April, as he is such a fantastic actor.
==== 6th - I'd Do Anything, etc. ====
Beginning with searching for a lady to play Maria in The Sound of Music, Andrew Lloyd Webber has created three series of this great show. Most recently was the hunt for a Nancy (Cleary the Barrowman wasn't enough for him!) and a little boy to play Oliver in, well... 'Oliver!'
And, yes, I hauled myself and all my little hopes and dreams up to London to audition for the part. They were lovely, I guess they had to be being part of the BBC, but alas I got nowhere and sadly headed back home! To be fair though, it was a better experience than auditioning for most parts. The casting directors were sweet and encouraging and at least pretended to look like they cared about you.
Still, I was hooked to the series. There were some brilliant - and some not so - versions of popular songs sang with a new edge each week to the nation and then the voting began. For me, the most memorable performance was Rachel's twist on Cabaret. Although she only came 4th, I recently saw her in the Queen musical, 'We Will Rock You' and I've heard she is soon going to be playing Elphaba in Wicked. So things have definitely worked out for the best for that one!
Jodie Prenger won the part, but will soon finish playing Nancy, to be replaced by ex-Wicked star, Kerry Ellis!
I suppose this show has a similar format to that of X Factor, but it's just a lot better. The judging is much fairer and there is no humiliation as they do not show the absolute failures. The competition is more exciting as it is closer between the girls, rather than a rock star verses an r 'n' b girl group. I also love the challenges they are set and best remember the time when these lucky starlets got to passionately kiss John Barrowman! Jealous?
==== 5th - Waking the Dead ====
There are many similar shows to Waking the Dead, such as Silent Witness, but I feel Waking the Dead is the only one which is consistently good. The storylines are always very complex and require your full attention. It never ends as you would expect and is gripping throughout.
Each episode has 2 parts, each lasting an hour. It usually airs at 9pm, but I would not recommend that children or those of a sensitive nature watch it. They often show the corpses and the graphic way in which the person was killed. I can just about stomach this, but sometimes feel it's a bit unnecessary.
The acting is excellent from not only the main cast, but the different artists that star in it from week to week. Their believability makes the story even more terrifying and has sometimes left me a bit jittery afterwards!
==== 4th - Queer as Folk ====
Originally, Queer as Folk ran in 1999, but I watched it last year on DVD after my parents bought it. I loved it! I really did...it is such a mixture of sensitivity, comedy and complex relationships.
The characters are all very different. Charlie Hunman plays the ridiculously cute Nathan Maloney who starts the series a virgin to the gay scene of Manchester's Canal Street. Irish Aiden Gillen is arrogant and cocky, yet still charming as Stuart Alan Jones. If you watch Coronation Street or Strictly Come Dancing, you will be familiar with Craig Kelly, who in Queer as folk portrayed the sensible, loved-up Vince Tyler.
The supporting cast are all very good, as is the writing by a family favourite of ours - Russell T. Davies. At times the programme is very emotional and beautiful -I would definitely recommend giving Queer as Folk a try.
==== 3rd - EastEnders ====
EastEnders has always been my favourite soap drama, one which I will always catch up on Iplayer if I happen to be out. As you probably know, the soap recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a live episode, which was terribly exciting. Judging by the ratings, I was not the only person eager to see how the cast got on with this challenge.
Not too long ago EastEnders experimented with an episode starring only Dot, recording a message for her ill husband, Jim. It was interesting to watch and now I hear that there is soon to be a two-hander between Max and Stacey, both awesome actors.
Last year I was lucky enough to attend a Q & A with Eastenders' Executive Producer, Diedrick Santer, whose most memorable moment was the casting of Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell. Apparently their chemistry was amazing, one of those moments you don't forget in a hurry.
EastEnders is quite comforting for me, a show which one can always rely on I suppose. They have covered so many different interesting and relevant storylines over the years and I was impressed with how the show handled the sexual abuse between Tony and Whitney.
Long may EastEnders continue!
==== 2nd - Sugar Rush ====
Now we are so near the end. Well done, if you have stuck with me so far!
In a way, Sugar Rush is like the Queer as Folk for my generation.
I was in my teens, at school when Sugar Rush was aired on Channel 4 in 2005. Finally, something that gave a positive spin on being gay! It was realistic too, they showed it was difficult for Kim to challenge her own identity, yet it was rewarding to watch each episode. You came away with a warm feeling inside.
The acting was brilliant. Olivia Hallinan played the lead, Kim, whose family had just moved to Brighton. I had previously watched her in the Jacqueline Wilson ITV series Girls in Love. More recently, however, she has starred in Lark Rise to Candleford.
Playing opposite her as Kim's no.1 desire was Lenora Crichlow, as bad girl, Sugar. Lenora has done incredibly well since and can be seen in Being Human and Material Girl.
Overall, Sugar Rush is very, very funny but also sweet and touching with great character development and an endearing insight to life as a gay teenager.
==== 1st - Torchwood ====
Torchwood is almost like a grown-up Doctor Who, with sex, violence and adult themes. They have covered all sorts of topics, from a story set in a cannibal village, to a sex-crazed alien.
As much as I love John Barrowman as the leader of Torchwood (Captain Jack Harkness) I have even greater fondness for the team that surrounds him. In the first episode Gwen Cooper, former police woman, joins Torchwood and her character is very much the audience. As she experiences the new and exciting wonders of Torchwood for the first time, so do we. It is great to watch the complexities of her relationship with boyfriend Rhys, as their relationship begins to breakdown as a result of Gwen's new work commitments. I think having this almost soap opera element to the show contrasts really well with the science fiction part.
It's fascinating to watch how the Torchwood crew interrelate with one another and there are some beautifully subtle performances, interwoven in the episodes.
Thanks so much for sticking with me and I look forward to hearing what you think of my choices!
Summary: British TV can be so good!