Monday, March 28, 2016

ClassicFlix TV Time EXTRA: Top rated shows of all time

I hope you read and enjoyed my two-part look at the top-rated TV episodes of the "ClassicFlix" era over at their site. Let me plug Wesley Hyatt's book again: "Television's Top 100" isn't a cheap book, but it is loaded with info and is a fun read, too.

In these two articles, I presented these high-rated broadcasts in chronological order, unlike Hyatt's book, which ranks them according to viewers. Today I want to rank them in my order of preference.

Again, note that I am not including those episodes that aren't on DVD. From top to bottom:

1) The Fugitive, "The Judgment Part 2": An emotional, resounding finale to one of the best TV series of all time, and a classic episode that rewards multiple viewings. Tough to choose between 1 and 2.

2) The Ed Sullivan Show (Beatles debut): The Beatles are magic, despite some rough aspects to the presentation. I mean, this is TV history, the kind of event for which everyone claims they saw it even if they didn't. I feel guilty picking this second, and maybe on a different day I wouldn't! In the end, it's not an all-Beatle show, and some of the other material doesn't hold up beyond the historical value.

3) The Dick Van Dyke Show, "Third One from the Left": Not even in the top 20 of "DVDS" episodes, but so what? It's still "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

4) Gunsmoke, "Love Thy Neighbor": A powerful episode that would have benefited from the hourlong format.

5) The Beverly Hillbillies, "The Giant Jackrabbit": It's still kind of a mystery to me how this series was so popular, let alone this episode, but watching it for this piece, I was pleasantly surprised how entertaining it was. These days they'd bring the "jackrabbit" back for another guest shot during sweeps.

6) Wagon Train, "The Colter Craven Story": A solid hour, but if we didn't know it were directed by John Ford and if we didn't know of the big-time cameo, would it be so memorable? I don't think so.

7) Mayberry RFD, "Andy and Helen Get Married": I rate this over the "TAGS" episode by virtue of the "wild" bachelor party at the beginning.

8) The Andy Griffith Show, "Barney Hosts a Summit": The show is running out of steam by this point, but Don Knotts really enlivens the proceedings.

9) Bonanza, "The Pure Truth": Some nice guest star turns in this, but it's hardly the "Bonanza" you'd show to someone who has never seen the series. The main reason to watch is for the hand-wringing by the boys over how to handle Hoss' extreme horniness.

10) The Lucy Show, "Lucy Waits Up for Chris": I'm not a big fan of this series, but this one has some historical value for being the premiere episode, though.

11) Gomer Pyle, USMC, "Love Letters to the Sarge": I'm not a huge fan of Gomer, either, and this one doesn't win me over.

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