Guardian’s Best TV Drama

Something very strange is going on in the offices of The Guardian.

Before, I thought maybe it was just a temporary blip – that someone had spiked the punch at their Christmas party, and that’s why they voted Team America as the fourth-best film of the noughties. I thought maybe they were just giddy with the excitement of 2009 finally being over – surviving the first decade of the Will-enium – and that’s why they voted Borat as the second-best.

Because it definitely seems as if they sobered up, realised what they’d done and made up for their moments of giddiness by finally doing the right thing and voting There Will Be Blood as the best film of the 2000s.

There’s no excuse for their list of the 50 best TV dramas of all time. A lot of the results are artificially inflated by bullshit sentimentality, or worse.  For example, your teenage boner for Sarah Michelle Gellar does not mean that Buffy the Vampire Slayer had better drama or was a better show than, say, Battlestar Galactica or even Band of Brothers.

But seriously, Mad Men at #4 and The Wire at #14? Did some wires get crossed somewhere? Let’s leave aside the fact that The Wire isn’t the clear winner and focus on Mad Men for now. I’m sure that if she was still around, Vivian Mercier would describe Mad Men as the kind of show where nothing happens, a lot. In fact, so much nothing happened in the second season that I’d be hard pressed to find any one of my friends who managed to watch the entire thing without having to go back and start again. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch Mad Men, and I still enjoy it. I just think it’s a little premature to put it anywhere near the top of a list like this.

As if to acknowledge that their list is completely pants-on-head retarded, the Guardian has launched a TV club to go through some of the shows that didn’t make their list, starting with the terrific Edge of Darkness. It’s a great idea and I hope it goes on for a while.

And maybe when it comes around to 2020, their next list will be better.


2 thoughts on “Guardian’s Best TV Drama

  1. Whybot says:
    No Deadwood? The list is a joke. That’s my number 1… well, tied with the Wire. I cannot decide. Deadwood has the best “highs”. They seem to be reluctant to let too much American stuff near the top. That said, I haven’t seen any of those British series with the exception of the Dennis Potter ones, which are admittedly great. Re. Mad Men – I think it can often seem like nothing is going on when you consider a season as a whole, especially season 2. It is perhaps best viewed as a series of interconnected, episodic short stories about related characters (House Next Door has loads of writing on this theme I think). And I’m always relieved when a show demands a rewatch! Most TV is so throwaway!
  2. Marie says:
    I know The Wire is brilliant and so well written and blah blah blah, but on a personal level I love Mad Men so much more. And I didn’t have to go back to the start of season 2 and watch it again, though I’d really like to, purely because it was such a joy to watch. I’m really delighted that The Sopranos was no. 1 in this (really quite odd) list, if only because I’m one of the few people I know who much preferred it to The Wire. We must discuss There Will Be Blood some day…

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