Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Sam's Choices: Thinking about television shows

While I was trying to decide what to write about this week, I realized the movies that are coming out this week look terrible and I was uninspired. Then I saw a commercial for some awful ABC Family teen drama, and I started thinking about my favorite shows. I am by no means a TV expert; my mother sent us outside to play instead of letting us veg in front of the "idiot box" when I was a kid. But I have watched enough to be able to give you my top 5. And since we are well into summer premiere season, this is as good of a time as ever to share my favorites.

So, as you wait for whatever show you might be looking forward to this summer, here's a list of my all-time favorites.

'Boy Meets World' 1993-2000

This show brings me right back to TGIF and being a care-free kid, so what's not to love? Add to that a wholesome story line with actual life lessons, and you have a great coming of age show for people from all walks of life to enjoy.

Cory and Shawn were one of the original bro-mances, for sure. One of the more memorable episodes has Shawn's girlfriend trying to come between the boys, who carry on their relationship as if it were an elicit affair. The show speaks for itself: If you have seen one episode, there is no going back; you will want to watch more. I can't imagine not loving it.

My sister and I watched this show religiously, and when it came back in syndication we got my brother hooked on it as well. I own all the seasons now and if I'm having a rough day, or just need a good laugh, I will throw on one of the discs, and it's just like I'm little again.


'Freaks and Geeks' 1999-2000

Judd Apatow's best work to date, hands down. A lot of great careers began here as well; James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley. The show is about two groups of misfits that struggle to find themselves in high school. Throughout the short-lived series -- there are only 18 episodes -- the students run into drinking, smoking, drugs, sex and lying, among other typical teen issues. It was a new take on the same kind of show, and I loved it. My sister and I lived for this show, for the year it was on at least. Even after it was over, we were always discussing it and asking people if they watched it; not many people we knew had caught the show. But we were forever talking about it.

When I got to college, I found a few people who had seen it, and even had the series on DVD, which made me happy. I have since caught some reruns on IFC, but only once in a while. This only comes in second place on my list because "Boy Meets World" made such an impression on me and followed me through a lot more years of my childhood. If you have never seen "Freaks and Geeks," I highly recommend you give up the time it takes to watch it; you can find it on Netflix.

'Covert Affairs' 2010-current

Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) plays a linguistically talented CIA operative in this funny, action-packed show. She was plucked early from "The Farm" for a mission that needed her skill set, and she was so great they never sent her back. I was hooked from the first episode. Now, three seasons later, I can't get enough. The chemistry between the characters, even when one of them is killed off, is intense. I am not a fan of trying to figure out what is going on, but this is one show I love to think about. I started watching it with my brother, but he has since lost track, so I watch with my roommate now. Since I have to work when the show is actually on, I have to either wait for the rebroadcast or I until it is OnDemand. I can't say too much about this show without giving it away, but I suggest watching because it is a great spy show and the writing is actually very good.


'21 Jump Street' 1987-1991

This show started before I was born, and was done before I really had the chance to become a TV watcher, minus "Sesame Street" between naps, so I am sure most people are wondering how I can even include it on my list. Let me assure you, I have seen every episode, and fell in love with the rotating group of undercover cops. Everyone knows about this show because of the movie, but my roommate and I watched the show before it was hyped up again by the Jonah Hill reboot; although Hill did a fabulous job of paying tribute to some of the best moments of the show.

I bought myself the first season so I could check it out, but was soon given the whole series as a gift, and my roommate and I powered through the first three seasons, loving almost every minute of it. We just finished the final episode last month and I am ready to watch some of them again. The show was scandalous for its time, addressing hot-button social issues such as rape, the death penalty, HIV/AIDS and abuse. Now these issues seem like nothing, but in the late-1980s and early '90s it was a big deal.

When Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise left the show, it went downhill quite a bit. The McQuaid brothers were over with and the chemistry between the characters wasn't as deep, so we struggled to finish the last season. But the first few seasons were so good that we always had to talk about them afterward, and I am always trying to hook other people on the show. Even the theme song is great.

'Desperate Housewives' 2004-12

Most teens can say they watched this show with their friends or mother, but not me. My dad and I watched this show every Sunday starting with the second season, until I went to college, and then we would call each other after the show was over and talk about it. While a lot of people find this to be strange, I actually think it brought me even closer to my dad, so thanks "Desperate Housewives" for that.

This is really the only soap opera-type of show I have ever watched. But man, they had me hooked immediately. I always wanted to know if Gabrielle was going to get caught with the gardener, who was going to get killed off next, if that person would somehow come back from the dead or if there was going to be some kind of alien invasion because that was the only plot twist they didn't try to pull off.

The show ran much longer than I expected, and it definitely jumped the shark a couple of times, but it was a great run and I really was sad to see it go. I can't wait until the show ends up in the $5 bin at Walmart or at Goodwill, so I can watch it again.