The Odd Duck’s Top 20 Nostalgic TV Shows Part II
Hello, my lovelies, and welcome to my Top 10 nostalgic TV shows. If you didn’t read Monday’s post, you can find it here. Before I go on, I need to say something. Some of you are going to disagree. Some of you may even disagree strongly.
Verily I say unto you: make your own damn lists. Pick your favourites. We’ll all get nostalgic together. Fun right?
But on with the show.
Also, there be spoilers ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now like many kids who don’t actually remember the 80’s, I did see reruns of Transformers G1 in the early 90’s. However, it was the Beast Wars series that got me hooked. Why would this rather controversial show make my top 10 list in its predecessor’s place you ask? While yes, BW had great action and dialogue that overflowed with heavy innuendo the real draw were its wonderful characters. If you ask the fictional death that I remember most, I’ll still tell you Dinobot. Anyone who dies quoting Shakespeare after beating up Megatron with a stone ax deserves nothing less than a suitably heroic death. Also this Megatron is such a glorious egomaniac. “Yesssss.” Now if only they had been able to use “The Touch”.
If you know me at all, you knew this one was coming. I watched Power Ranger from the get-go and I think a good part of that had to do with how much I love the opening. Was it cheesy? Yes. Were the fight scenes ridiculous? Of course. Did the plot make sense? Most assuredly not. And we loved it all the more for these facts. I remember the revelation that Tommy was the evil Green Ranger, I remember Lord Zedd and Rita getting married, I remember the movies, the toys (I may still have a Dragon Dagger and Falcon zord, I’ll never tell), but mostly I remember playing outside until this show came on when every kid on the block hightailed it back home. This show, in many ways, was my childhood and I will always remember it fondly because of that.
Warner Bros. really brought their A-game when it came to their cartoons because this gem of a show is still cracking me up a decade and a half later. Animaniacs is quite possibly one of the most irreverent children’s cartoons I have ever seen in my life not named Looney Tunes. When told they needed to have a moral at the end of the show, the writers came up with the Wheel of Morality which were always a complete non sequitur. Filled with sexual innuendo, almost no fourth wall, and a completely insane cast it was probably one of the best cartoons ever made. Also educational as its the reason I know all 50 state capitals, the nations of the world, and the presidents in order. If you missed this one, definitely check it out on Youtube.
I love Star Trek but this was the show that completely got me hooked on science fiction as a kid. Almost unknown to nonfans of today, Babylon 5 had some of the most epic storytelling I’ve ever seen outside of a film which is why I get tweaked when I realize just how underrated it is. And as much as I enjoyed Stargate SG-1 or Battlestar Galatica and worship the ground Joss Whedon walks on, neither BSG or Firefly top this. Stargate is a distant fourth here. Most frustratating of all, if you want to watch this one you need to own the DVDs and good luck finding them. Unless you know some shady bootleggers. Like I do.
As big of an otaku as I am, there is no way in Hell I was not going to include my gateway anime on this list. Like many American kids growing up in the 90’s, this was the first anime (or its prequel, Dragonball) our generation ever saw where we knew what anime was unlike Speed Racer and Gatchaman (G-Force in the States) from the 70’s. Known for its rather…extended fight scenes, flashy moves, signature art style, and as a source of many Internet memes Dragonball Z is quite possibly one of the most successful anime imports of all time. Also notable for just how mature the unedited version was with panty shots, heavy cursing, perversion played for laughs, and of course violence. If you watched this show and ever have some spare time, check out TeamFourStar’s Dragonball Abrigded on Youtube which is piss-your-pants hilarious. You won’t regret it.
Before LOST, this was the jigsaw puzzle plot show. Before Buffy was kicking ass. Before a town in the Deep South wet crazy over vampires. Before the Winchester brothers struggled with angels, demons, and serious codependency issues, there was The X-Files. With quite possibly the most convoluted plot I have ever seen and more UST than you can shake a stick at, this show most definitely left its mark on me as it was the first supernatural/alien themed show I saw in my life. Even a lot of concepts and catchphrases from this one entered mainstream use even today. Ever heard o the tinfoil hat? Or someone referred to a Mulder or Scully? “Trust No One”? This is where they originated. Although the less said about the movies, the happier I’ll be.
I will go on record and say this is my favourite Disney show. The story of a clan of Scottish gargoyles who are betrayed and then frozen in stone sleep until 1000 years later when a loophole in the spell sees them awaken in (then)modern day Manhattan with all the culture shock that would entail. Then everyone from revenge-bent humans, manipulative businessmen, Oberon’s Children, and various other mythological creatures are pounding at their door. Like most shows I enjoy, it was the well-rounded characters that kept me coming back for more. Just look up “Xanatos Gambit” and you’ll find out why the man is one of my favourite chracters of all time. Also have to give Gargoyles its props for handling gun safety and racism in the most mature way I have ever seen unlike most cartoons which would just say they were bad. I’m looking at you Captain Planet. This show was also responsible for getting me interested in Shakespeare as a kid.
My sick and twisted love affair with B-grade sci-fi and horror movies? Came from here. My habit of mocking any bad movie to make it more enjoyable? Came from here. My blog motto? Adjusted from the theme song. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a show where the human host (I prefer Joel) and his robot companions, Crow and Tom Servo, would lampoon some of the worst science fiction movies of the 50’s and 60’s, especially the works of Ed Wood who is widely regarded as one of the worst directors in Hollywood history with Uwe Boll looking to be his successor. If you can find episodes, and good luck there, give it a try. Remember, it’s just a show. You should really just relax.
The greatest cartoon ever. Seriously. After the success of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Warner Bros. greenlit an animated adaptation which was ever bit as dark as the film it came after. This was the one that introduced me to superheroes and probably why Batman is still my favourite. A fantastic cast (listen to the Joker laugh about mass homicide and domestic abuse then remember its the same man who a few years before said “I am a Jedi, like my father before me”), fantastic art and orchestral music, and quite possibly some of the most broken villains ever. Harley Quinn, Baby Doll, and Mr. Freeze (“Hearts of Ice” will break you) especially. Gritty, often funny, action-packed, suspenseful, and at times heartbreaking this is the standard I hold all animated series up to. A special shout out goes to The Gray Ghost (voiced by Adam West himself) both of whom are given a heartwarming tribute from Batman in-story and the writers themselves. So my hat goes off to the Caped Crusader, who first introduced me to the world of comic book heroes.
Considering how often phrases from this show slip into my blog posts and regular speech, this really shouldn’t surprise you. The show that put Joss Whedon on the map, Buffy is quite possibly my favourite show ever. Buffy took the horror movie cliche of a girl getting butchered in an alley by some monster and turned it on its head by the eponymous girl hunting the monsters (mostly vampires) and kicking their ass. Why do I like this show so much? The characterization and the dialogue. You want to know where I got my sense of bantering humour from? Here you go. Helped that the actresses were pretty hot and that puberty was hitting me hard when I first started watching. A little TMI sure but still true. This was also the first show I ever bought the complete box set for and probably one of the most watched other than Seinfeld or Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Like it? Hate it? Want to tar and feather me?
Don’t worry, it’s a common reaction and one I’m long used to. And yes I do mean all three. I seem to have one of those personalities.
I enjoyed this and look forward to more lists in the future, maybe like top books or movies.
We’ll see what happens when it happens.
Happy trails kids.