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Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Favorite Sitcoms. The Top Ten.

After everybody's suggestions, I've given this a lot of thought.
I will be discussing far more than ten sitcoms over this upcoming series of articles.

Here are the ground rules I've set for myself as to how I'm going to approach it, and how I'm going to roll with it.

First, this is about my FAVORITE sitcoms.
That's what's been requested.
Some may also be what I consider to be the BEST sitcoms.
And the higher up the list, the more the two concepts will overlap.

The actual top ten favorites are the last thing I'm going to deal with.
What they have in common is the ability to make me laugh long and loud, on a consistent basis, and to enable me to respect the craft that went into it.

This will be preceded with a slew of honorable mentions, any of which I would be proud to put in my top ten if there were shows in the top ten that for whatever reason didn't exist.

The honorable mentions will be presented in a downward sequence on the page, going from least honorable to most.

This will take more than one article, and those appearing on subsequent days represent shows that in my eyes are worth more honorable mention than the shows mentioned previously, once again, gaining in stature in my mind as we navigate our way down the page each article.

This will all be preceded by a slew of "non-honorables".
These consist of shows that might seem to you that I could have conceivably overlooked.

These are not necessarily bad shows.
This is all very subjective.

They are simply shows I couldn't get behind, for one reason or another.
In each case, I will offer a brief explanation as to why they were overlooked.

These "non-honorables" will not be presented in any particular sequence.

To give you a taste, I will now get the ball rolling by offering up some of the "non-honorables":

"Everybody Loves Raymond"----You can always see the acting. And I hated the women.
Doris Roberts makes my flesh crawl.
And Patricia Heaton always seemed to have the rag on.
It was well-written, but I quickly lost interest.

"Cheers"----I hung in with it for about three years, until I realized that Shelley Long was really like that.
And there was an overlying tension on display to get a laugh every eleven seconds.
Very nervous making.

"Frasier"---Watched it three or four times. I never liked Kelsey Grammer on "Cheers", and found the writing on "Frasier" way too arch.
It was almost offensively unfunny.

"The Simpsons"---Watched it a few times, thought it was funny, but never felt the need or the urge to return to it.

"Soap"----Never watched it. This is true of "Benson" as well.

"Cosby"---Respected it. Never felt compelled to make sure I saw it from week to week.

"The Golden Girls"----Great pilot. Quickly deteriorated from there.

"Roseanne"-------Never watched it.

"The Andy Griffith Show"----Very watchable, but I was never bowled over by it.
And I feel that Andy Griffith completely wasted his major gifts by participating in it.

Okay. I think I've given you a taste of how this is going to shake down.

We will continue along these lines next time.


My book, "Show Runner" can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store, if you search my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, and Happy Days.
You might want to check it out.

The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle. I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.

You might want to check out the Kindle Store in general. It is the wave of the future, so consider me a surfer.



  1. You are setting yourself up for a slew of arguments from people who seriously disagree with your choices and rankings.

    You need to point out that these are to be YOUR favorites and your opinions, and that they were directly solicited. People taking issue with them should get their own blogs.

  2. I think I very clearly used the word "subjective".

  3. I agree with John Brown. I'm looking forward to this.

  4. You shoulda watched "Roseanne"; after it found its feet and before it went bad, it had a multi-year run as one of the best.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."