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Subject: Cult TV shows that I love.......Post yours here! rss

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William Boykin
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I hate most TV. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE.

"Oh Friends!! You know what I love about that show?? Its that they're FRIENDS....! They, like, care for one another, and take care of each other, and make fun of each other....You know why? They're FRIENDS...!"

*true conversation*

I hate sitcoms. I DESPISE melodramas. It got to the point where I just ripped out cable and got a set of rabbit ears so I could just watch PBS. And life for me is MUCH better.....!

But I LOVE 'cult' TV shows. Those odd shows that make it for a bit, then get cancelled. The shows that you only see late at night on the BBC channel or PBS. Or the shows that really sucked at first, and everyone stopped watching, RIGHT as it started gettting REALLY REALLY good. And then got cancelled.

So here's a thread dedicated to Cult TV shows that I have loved. Feel free to add yours also- share them with others.

#1) The Prisoner
The first time I saw an episode of the Prisoner, it was (in fact) the VERY bizzare LAST episode. All I really understood was that there were these guys fighting other guys with submachineguns while the Beatles song "All you need is Love" was playing in the background.....

I've since gotten all the episodes, first on VHS and now on DVD. I don't think that there has EVER been a TV show that as thoughtfully addressed the issues of its age- Techno shock, the apathy of the electorate in the Modern Democracy, the rise of the 'Intelligence State', The growing loss of identity in this new modern 'mass' culture. Sometimes it falters, sometimes its hard to get, but its ALWAYS VERY intelligent.

#2) StarCops
I'll be amazed if anyone has seen this, and if they have, tell me where I can the DVD's!! (My VHS copies got stolen long ago). A great BBC series written by the same guys who did the first season of Blake's 7, Starcops is set in the near future in near Orbit. Nathan Spring is hired to be the first 'International Policeman' in a Post Cold War age where ALL the major nations are in space and NONE of them want to give up any sovereignty. The mysteries are REAL mysteries, and not just a Star Trek-lite "Lets take a classic mystery situation and put it in SPACE" kind of situation. "I'm looking at YOU, OUTLAND!!". Definitely worth your time if you can find it. And if you do, EMAIL ME. I want want want want this show again.

#3) Blake's 7
The first show I ever saw which showed what an 'arc plot' could do for a TV series. Long before JMS had Narn, Centauri and Vorlons duking it out over a 5 year plotline, Blake's 7 was doing interconnected storylines from show to show. Very tightly written (the first season at least) it does start to fall apart after the first season. Which is a shame- I was RIVETED and couldn't be pulled from my late night PBS night to catch this for a year... Again, if you know where I can get this on DVD, tell me.

#4) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy/Karla's War
2 miniseries done by the BBC, starring Alec Guiness as George Smiley, the forlorn intelligence agent who sits in hotel rooms and reads files. Forget Bond, THIS is espionage at its heart- byzantine murder mysteries with the highest possible stakes on the line. Based on the novels by John LeCarre, these are, in my opinion, some of the greatest espionage stories ever put on film. I've got the first series, and I'm looking for the second- but I know that I can get it from Amazon.

#5) Prime Suspect.
I can't help it, I'm in love with Helen Mirren in this series. Smart (devastatingly so), feisty, ambitious, but tragically just NOT able to fit in with the male dominated Metropolitan Police, the first two series of Prime Suspect written by Lynda LaPlante (Forgive me if I got your name wrong!!) are the best. Tight murder stories, dripping with 'you are there' details, and a GREAT character portrayal of a wonderful woman being pushed to the very edge.....I love this show. The later series aren't bad, but lack the tightness of the first two- especially the second one, with the romantic tension between Mirren and co-star Colin Salmon, another character actor I love.

Please, post your own favorite cult TV shows, those little treasures that you show your friends when they come over....I'm always looking for more reasons to add to my DVD collection...!

Darilian
(I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!)

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Robert Wesley
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To begin here with, then I really liked that A&E "Wings" series, that is until it was given to 'Digital' CABLE and turned into a "Premium" channel, of which I don't GET anymore. Now, I'm happy to report that with "the History Channel", then they're quickly closing the gaps once again for many of their finer programs with the likes of "Dogfights", "Battle 360", "Weird Weapons of WW2", etc. Even AMC has some decent 'shows', such as "Mad Men", and "Breaking Bad"}g to name the most current ones. I also like the USA network for "Monk", r{"Psych", or "Burn Notice", oh yeah, and "the Sci Fi Channel" having "Battlestar Galactica", or with their EUReKA! series, sort of like "the X-Files" meets "the Andy Griffith Show". As for NETWORK TV 'shows', then not many IF any of those, since I'm usually watching one of the others I mentioned already.
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Gregory Amstutz
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My all-time favorite "cult" show would have to be Due South. It's about a Mountie from the Great White North (aka Canada) coming to Chicago with his deaf wolf, Diefenbaker, (named for a Canadian Prime Minister) to solve the murder of his Mountie father (from whom he receives occasional visits). He becomes friends with a Chicago PD detective (Ray), and takes a position with the Canadian Consulate so as to remain in Chicago. He then becomes an "unofficial" partner with Ray. Truly an awesome show, which was tragically cancelled far before it's time.
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Tim Thorp
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There's two off the top of my head:

Thriller: Early 60's anthology series, hosted by Boris Karloff. Half of the episodes were Alfred Hitchcock Presents style mysteries, the other half were some of the best supernatural/horror I've ever seen on pre cable television. I just got a DVD set off of EBay that has the horror episodes on it, I CANNOT WAIT...

Maximum Bob: This was a goofy, crazy, surreal series, based on an Elmore Leonard novel. Very funny, but not a sitcom. Only lasted for about 7 episodes. Starred Beau Bridges as a good ol' boy, non PC, no nonsense judge. Why this has never been released on DVD is a mystery.
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Jeff Jones
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The Prisoner is certainly one of them. The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. another. But my holy grail of TV DVDs has yet to be released. It's a short run "Dramedy" series called Frank's Place about a Restaurant in New Orleans. It starred Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincinnati)and a ensemble cast of great character actors. Still my favorite comedy series of all time.

Last, but not least, the just-ended HBO series The Wire. Simply the best show that television has ever offered. Ever. Period.
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Bojan Benak
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Nowhere man: Watched it some 15 years ago and then it got canceled for no apparent reason after a season ot two. I liked that at the most of the time you didn't know what is happening and why is it happening. Nice feeling.

dogzard wrote:
My all-time favorite "cult" show would have to be Due South

Also good. Liked the episode with a paper that travels through town (or was it money) and that seeing his dead father was so normal.
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Darryl Boone
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I will mention two animated sitcoms that are charming in their uniqueness. Both lasted for only 13 episodes, but they appear regularly in reruns on Teletoon here in Canada and I always enjoy watching them.

Clone High. The premise is ripe for comedy: clones of famous people are in their teens now and have to deal with the trials and tribulations of high school. It has the absurdist humour I normally love (with very good comedic timing) but sometimes goes too over-the-top. The humour can be very silly and violence- or sex-based which would make it difficult for it to find an audience as an animated sitcom. It would never have the appeal of The Simpsons, for example. It was a show made just for me: a fantastic premise, great silly comedy, and a heck of a lot of potential. I never tire of watching this show and I've watched every episode many, many times. A little hit-or-miss, but when it hit, it hit big with me.

Bromwell High. Speaking of difficulty finding an audience... Not quite as good, but making up for it in shock value, this British/Canadian co-production has a lot of sexual innuendo and out-right cursing. The F-word is dropped fairly regularly, which seems out of place since the high-school students are drawn so young. The show had weak main characters and relied too much on side characters for comic relief, but these characters had a lot of comic potential and I would have loved to see what they could have done with the show as it aged and explored itself more. They've done or said things on that show I'm convinced you will never see on another show.

In both cases, I can't really put my finger on why they fit me so well. I freely admit they are not for everyone, and I'm not 100% surprised they would be cancelled. I strongly feel, however, that they should at least have lasted more than one season. They had a unique charm and great potential, and it's sad that I will never see more of them than I already have.
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I am also looking for the same information. Please help???
 
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Rachel
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Star Cops is one of my husband's favourite shows. It was available a few years ago on R2 DVD, so you might be able to ebay it. Blake's 7 is another of his favourites. This is still available on R2, but its at crazy prices in the UK. (This appears to be a deliberate policy for all popular UK shows.) However you'd need a multi-region DVD player.

My favourite cult show is Sapphire and Steel. Scary, scary stories done with spotlights and string.
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Paul DeStefano
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scivias wrote:
Nowhere man: Watched it some 15 years ago and then it got canceled for no apparent reason after a season ot two. I liked that at the most of the time you didn't know what is happening and why is it happening. Nice feeling.


GREAT SHOW.

It wasn't cancelled. It concluded. The writer's had a 1-3 option on how many seasons it would go. They mutually decided with the stations that the 'hook' was geting thin and couldn't continue.
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Richard Brooks
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May I suggest the following magnificent series...

Sapphire & Steel

Time travel weirdness, and menacing environments. Absolutely fantastic and usually just with two actors and a single room set.

The Champions

60's spies and stuff series but with superheros (and people with superpowers don't wear lycra)

The Avengers

But not the New Avengers, Mrs Peel only thank you very much

Oh, and on a totally seperate note, the following series is the perfect sketch show.

Jam

Chris Morris' sketch show based on his Radio 1 series.

Hmmm... off to Amazon now
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Kristin Johnson
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Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

~and~

The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne


both "steampunk" sci-fi shows from the 1990s. Brisco is out on DVD, but sadly, the other is not. cry
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Robert Manning
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The Prisoner and The Avengers are among my favorite shows; but one of my little-known favorites is The Sandbaggers.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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I have a soft spot for Parker Lewis Can't Lose, but it has not aged well. Scrubs is superior to it in almost every way.

The Prisoner = thumbsup
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Tivo has made TV enjoyable. Most of the older shows like Prisoner (which I enjoyed) don't hold my interest and I have avoided popular TV, like Lost. But still, there are diamonds in the rough and that's where Tivo makes it all possible:

Breaking Bad
Madmen
Damages
Top Gear


Those, along with House, MD and Sarah Conner Chronicles are what is currently on my play list. Well, that and every single MotoGP, World Superbike and AMA Superbike race scheduled this year. I have recorded New Amsterdam, which seems to be a varient of Highlander, but haven't watched it yet so I'm unsure if it'll be worth the disk space.

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Greg Hinkle
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Another vote for The Prisoner. Watching multiple episodes in a row is the equivalent of ingesting LSD, particularly towards the end of the series.

Otherwise, and more contemporary though just as cult are Buffy, Twin Peaks, X-Files (first 4-5 seasons only) and Firefly.
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I suppose I'm in the majority with The Prisoner. I'm also a big X Files fan too, and remember fondly Tales of the Gold Monkey, man that show was a good time! and I sure miss Firefly. I haven't missed an episode of Torchwood yet.
 
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Here are mine - all in the sci-fi-ish realm of cult TV goodness!

1. Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. - Bruce Campbell is awesome in this really cool "Wild Wild West"-esque show.


2. Space Above and Beyond - Think a cross between "Aliens" and "Battlestar Galactica" in terms of protraying military space ops in a realistic way. Plus, the old Gunney is great in the pilot episode!


3. UFO - A classic precursor to "Space 1999", which could also be considered a cult classic. I especially liked the theme song!
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Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust is a great little show about a naive German travel show host, who is played by an American and modeled after Rick Steves.

Since this show isn't available on DVD or even through ninja different methods, I'm going to geek out a bit and discuss my favorite episode to give you an idea of the humor: When Gerhard visits Bolivia, he becomes addicted to chewing coca leaves, his wild craving for which leads to his capture by a Marxist revolutionary group, as he stumbles into their coca field. After developing Stockholm Syndrome and directing their training video, he gets dumped off, as his parents, whose bourgoise values he had denounced, refused to pay his ransom. Upon viewing Machu Picchu, he remarks that "zere is no vord in English or German to describe zis soaring wista, but in Spanish, it is called impressivo"

A clever satire on the standard travel show, which only received 7 episodes before getting canceled

The Upright Citizen's Brigade is another great show from Comedy Central, which really stood the traditional sketch comedy show on its head.

-mild language warning-
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Invader Zim - Take me to the weasels!

Angry Beavers - Stoopy poopy scaredy beavers.

Boston Legal - Denny Crane.
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Jim Patterson
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Darilian wrote:
#1) The Prisoner
The first time I saw an episode of the Prisoner, it was (in fact) the VERY bizzare LAST episode. All I really understood was that there were these guys fighting other guys with submachineguns while the Beatles song "All you need is Love" was playing in the background.....


I've since gotten all the episodes, first on VHS and now on DVD. I don't think that there has EVER been a TV show that as thoughtfully addressed the issues of its age- Techno shock, the apathy of the electorate in the Modern Democracy, the rise of the 'Intelligence State', The growing loss of identity in this new modern 'mass' culture. Sometimes it falters, sometimes its hard to get, but its ALWAYS VERY intelligent.

Classic, great show.

Quote:
#2) StarCops
I'll be amazed if anyone has seen this, and if they have, tell me where I can the DVD's!! (My VHS copies got stolen long ago). A great BBC series written by the same guys who did the first season of Blake's 7, Starcops is set in the near future in near Orbit. Nathan Spring is hired to be the first 'International Policeman' in a Post Cold War age where ALL the major nations are in space and NONE of them want to give up any sovereignty. The mysteries are REAL mysteries, and not just a Star Trek-lite "Lets take a classic mystery situation and put it in SPACE" kind of situation. "I'm looking at YOU, OUTLAND!!". Definitely worth your time if you can find it. And if you do, EMAIL ME. I want want want want this show again.


Get OUT! That was a great show.

Quote:
#3) Blake's 7
The first show I ever saw which showed what an 'arc plot' could do for a TV series. Long before JMS had Narn, Centauri and Vorlons duking it out over a 5 year plotline, Blake's 7 was doing interconnected storylines from show to show. Very tightly written (the first season at least) it does start to fall apart after the first season. Which is a shame- I was RIVETED and couldn't be pulled from my late night PBS night to catch this for a year... Again, if you know where I can get this on DVD, tell me.


Again, another great, great show that gets the TNG treatment of cancelation and back, only ends up with an even worse fate than space hippies.

Oh, now reading the others' posts, I'd add Twin Peaks, which is still around in syndication and just got--finally--a full, all-at-the-same-time DVD release. The show does lose its way in Season 2 except when Lynch was at the helm, but at its best, it was some weird, wild stuff.

Since someone mentioned The Wire, which, being HBOless and NetFlixless, I haven't seen, I'm remined that I liked Homicide a lot--and I think that counts as cult given that it had a four-episode season and ran on Friday nights.
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Darilian wrote:
#3) Blake's 7
The first show I ever saw which showed what an 'arc plot' could do for a TV series. Long before JMS had Narn, Centauri and Vorlons duking it out over a 5 year plotline, Blake's 7 was doing interconnected storylines from show to show. Very tightly written (the first season at least) it does start to fall apart after the first season. Which is a shame- I was RIVETED and couldn't be pulled from my late night PBS night to catch this for a year... Again, if you know where I can get this on DVD, tell me.

You can get the complete series from Amazon UK:

http://tinyurl.com/2wlox8

It's Region 2 PAL, but presumably as a cult TV nut you have a modern TV and DVD player.
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Chad Burnett
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Firefly and Spaced. Do those count as cult?
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Tim Thorp
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How could I forget Mystery Science Theater 3000? Hard to believe it's been 10 years since it went off the air. Time to break out the tapes for some serious riffin'!
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booned wrote:
Clone High.


Definitely seconded. Among others (which may or may not be "cult" enough for this thread):

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law: An old Hanna-Barbara superhero, Birdman, is now a defense attorney who takes on cases for other Hanna-Barbara characters. For anyone who is a fan of Clone High, I must recommend this show (it can also be caught on Teletoon, but I'm not sure at what time).




Trigun: An anime with a Space-Western theme, similar to that of Firefly. The first 13 episodes are fairly happy-go-lucky, whereas the last 13 develop the story and can get quite emotional. Typical to anime, a lot of the characters are very gimicky and exaggerated (which I like). I'm not so sure this is a cult show, but probably mostly unheard of in North America. For anyone who likes Firely and anime, I recommend this series.

(Couldn't find a very good video...this one is a fairly poorly-edited video of a really funny scene from the series)


Beast Wars (aka Beasties): I'm not a transformers buff, but I love this series. This was one of the first shows to be done in CGI, shortly after ReBoot (both by Mainframe entertainment). It was done before CGI was good, and for some reason that makes it really fun to watch.



Spiderman, The New Animated Series (circa 2003): Another CGI show, with cel-shaded animation. I'm not a Spiderman or comics buff, but I like this show. The fight scenes make spiderman look quite agile, with some cool moves.

(Sorry, I couldn't find a decent video for this show under 5 minutes)
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