“What’s Your Favorite TV Show?”

First of all, how dare you ask me an unanswerable question.

Yes it is THE question I cannot answer. I can’t even make a top five list. I can barely make a top ten.

The truth is that my love is forever, but my favorites change.

Also massive commitment issues, but that’s a post for a different blog.

It’s probably easiest to stay general and go with the types of shows I like best.

I have a strong love for ’70s cop shows (they are my ultimate jam, it would seem) and ’80s private detective shows. I’m not a big fan of sitcoms, but most of the ones I like are from the ’60s. I grew up on ’80s action and old ladies being awesome. I’m fond of a handful of sci-fi shows from the late ’90s and the ’00s. I discovered an affinity for some Westerns from the ’50s and ’60s. I like shows produced by Jack Webb and shows that star Raymond Burr. Yes, I don’t like many current shows, but I’ve still found some that I truly enjoy.

Of those genres, I could start naming names. Hawaii Five-O, obviously, but also Barney Miller and Starsky and Hutch and CHiPs. Magnum PI and Simon and Simon. The Monkees and Gilligan’s Island and The Addams Family. The A-Team and Air Wolf and Murder, She Wrote and The Golden Girls. Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe. The Big Valley and The Rifleman and Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Dragnet and Emergency! and Adam-12. Ironside and Perry Mason. I watched NCIS: New Orleans from pilot to finale. I’m enjoying the reboots of Magnum PI (despite its -in some instances glaring- flaws) and The Equalizer. I even finally came to appreciate the 2010 Hawaii Five-0.

But distilling it down to a single choice is impossible.

Think of all of the shows I haven’t watched yet. The first two seasons of The Rookies still sits on my shelf, unseen. So does Werewolf. Chopper One is on my wishlist, as is Longstreet and Dan August. Tales of the Gold Monkey is just waiting for me to borrow from the library. I would kill to see Dirty Sally, Gunsmoke‘s only spin-off, and Trauma Center, the 4th Glen A. Larson short-lived series to come out of 1983.

So, really, it would be premature of me to pick a favorite at this point. Even a top ten list might be considered irresponsible at this juncture.

I continue to discover new reruns that hit me on all cylinders, that thrill me. I’m always rediscovering old loves that I haven’t watched for years, some I’ve even forgotten about. Some shows I love for all the wrong reasons; a few I love for the right ones.

There are shows that only briefly capture my attention, but do it so intensely that they almost become a fixation. Other shows, never leave me, really. Then there are those that come and go, roll in and out of my life like waves, letting me rediscover them over and over again. And of course, there are my white whales and holy grails, the ones that I’ve been looking for and hope that one day I’ll finally get to watch.

So, what’s my favorite TV show?

I’ll let you know.

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