Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

I know I know, people make these corny lists all the time, but I'm a big sucker for reading stories. And watching stories influences the arcs of your own life, so it's important to know what a person reads and watches. Because you'll probably find out who that person is in a way that they couldn't begin to show you. These are the shows that make me laugh, cry, believe... they inspire me. I come back to them, time and time again, to enjoy and remember a little bit of what the world is really about. I hope these shows can give a good snapshot of who and what I am. Not that it matters or anything, gosh that last paragraph was corny as hell. On to the next thing!

10. Eureka Seven

Speaking of corny, here's Eureka Seven! Like most people, I started out on Fullmetal Alchemist, and liked it. My friend Marty told me that Fullmetal Alchemist was alright, but there was better. When I scoffed at him, he showed me Eureka Seven. Yeah, he was right. Don't get me wrong, I like Fullmetal, and will gladly watch any of the two shows with anyone, but it lacks a certain... passion... to be on this list (both of them). That's a different argument for a different day, anyway.

Eureka Seven is about the stereotypical whiny 14-year old, Renton, who instantly falls in love with the beautiful and distant Eureka. Of course, as a 14-year old Renton has no idea what love actually means, but that's why the show's so good.

He finds out. 

The show slowly walks you through the story of these two falling in love and what it takes to stay that way. As stated before, it gets corny at times, but damnit if this show isn't inspiring in the midst of that then you obviously don't have a soul! The things that this show puts the two kids through illustrates the  truth about love: it's a choice. You must choose to love someone, because they'll be in need of your choices one way or another. The entire reason it works out between people who are childhood sweet-hearts, a pairing that's rare at best, is that they learned this truth together. And that's why Eureka Seven is awesome, because it dares to say what we actually mean when we say "I love you": "I love you, no matter what that means."

9. Deathnote

I'm not going to lie, this is probably the darkest anime that's on the list. No one's an actual good guy, but are shades of grey and black in a depressingly limited world. But that's not why I like the show. It occurred to me that the show is an allegory of what must be done to defeat evil inside yourself. If you look at each character as an aspect of the human mind, you'll notice the show makes perfect sense. It's not the most intelligent man who defeats evil, but the most ruthless. The one who makes use of every single opportunity to defeat evil in himself is the one who will win. I think it's really the only way to watch the show and actually "get" it. Watch it again with that in mind. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

8. Gurren Lagann

Oh, I hated this show for the first seven episodes. It was cheesy, messy, fan-service-heavy crap. No, I did not enjoy Kamina, nor did I enjoy Simon's whininess. The plot was non-sensical, and for the love of all that is good and holy please stop showing me fan-service! But my friend Sunohara (name changed to protect the guilty) told me to keep with it, that this show was truly amazing. I didn't believe him. I suffered through those seven episodes.

But as of episode eight all that changed abruptly. The show started to look at what ails mankind, and how to fix it. Their answer's pretty simple: the will to love. And they show that in the most gloriously messy, irrational, and awesome display of manliness you will ever see in anything. The show tells us something that I think we forget about all too easily: loving is, at best, irrational. It's an act of will, that destroys all that doesn't agree with it or converts all that will. It goes against reason, the past, the future, whatever gets in its way, and tries for the good. Forget action Arnold, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, and all them. THIS is what manliness looks like. 

Not literally, of course. I don't think any of us would willingly dress up like these guys on a regular basis. And I'm certain the girls would get too cold if they dressed up like Yoko. The amount of complaining that would generate would be... gah. Earplugs wouldn't be enough. 

7. Scrubs

Y'know, I doubt I have to really introduce this show to many people. It's about a hospital and a bunch of people in the hospital. There, all done. Well, not really. See, Scrubs is a really good show. Despite the fact that there's way too much sexual stuff going on and the show's views on said sexuality is a bit... messed up is a good word(!)... I really like this show. It's hilarious, thoughtful, bittersweet, and outright bitter. Every character has their hubris, something to them that, while hilarious, is treated with a certain gravity and honesty that really makes me pay attention. Yeah, it's funny to laugh at the janitor because of his troubled childhood, until they show you that they're not joking. Elliot's a nervous wreck, and later becomes a slut. But meet her mother! Gah, no wonder the woman's got issues. I could keep going, but that'd take up so much room that you'd no longer want to watch the show. Suffice to say, Scrubs has heart, which is something you won't find me saying about most shows.

6. Baka To Test Season 1
The one on the top left is a guy.

Y'know how I watch Scrubs when I desperately need to laugh? Well, if Scrubs won't this show will. The first season of this show is absolutely hilarious, for all the reasons a 13-year old would laugh and then some. It's no big secret I have a juvenile sense of humor, and I'm glad I have a show to cater to those taste. I'm sure the shows "lower" on the list are more insightful. I know they are. But damn, this show makes me laugh! Funimation just put out a dub, which I recommend avoiding, because it sounds like the people are reading their scripts and edit out the "turn the page" thing they're all saying. Watch the subs, people. Watch.

Oh, and the opening's awesome too.

5. Walking Dead, Season 1

I usually hate zombie films. They're a boring, unimaginative, gorefest. So I heard about this show and immediately brushed it off. A TV show about zombies? Please, find something more... original... please? But my brother started watching it and got hooked. My brother prides himself on having a half-way decent taste, so I started watching. I was hooked. I started reading the comics. I'm too broke to buy them, but I'm hooked on those too. I haven't seen the second season yet, because I'm waiting to watch all the episodes with my girlfriend, but the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive so far. I look forward to it.

Anyway, you're probably wondering why this hit so high on my list, aren't you? Honestly, it's the season finale that really grabbed me. As a person who had lost all zest for life for quite a number of years I can honestly say the last episode truly inspired me to get up and try again. The other five episodes are really good too, but they all culminate in episode 6.

We are the walking dead.

4. Darker than Black

Oh my gosh, this show is depressing. The main character, Hei, will probably never achieve peace in this world. His attempts to do the right thing are constantly rejected. The people he love die or turn out to be monsters that have to be put down. Nothing ever works out for him. But on he goes, trying anyway. I don't know if that's why so many people like the show, but that's why I do.

3. Lost

I recently got to re-watch Lost and man, did it bring back memories. The show still holds up, several years after all's said and done. The characters are amazing, the story sets those characters up so well, and the acting makes me believe in those characters. If you can't tell, Lost is about characters. It's the "main" reason I love the show, and it's the reason why so many people did. But for me, there's something more important: the characters finally arrive at peace. As someone who looks for peace on a daily basis, I'd be lying if I said that Lost's ending didn't hit me hard. The fact that it's a happy ending after six seasons worth of trial and turmoil for these people is far more important to me than anything else. I'm glad I gave the show a chance a few years ago, and I'm glad I gave it another chance. Definitely worth buying.

2. Firefly

Talking about these next two entries is going to be rather difficult. What can I say to add to what's been said? In Firefly's case, probably not much. Most people who read this blog know how awesome this show is, and the horrible injustice done by Fox to all humanity. All I will say about this masterpiece of a show is this: this is the show that convinced me that I wanted to write. I wanted to create something as awesome as Firefly, and I hope that one day I will.

1. Clannad/Clannad After Story

Sorry, couldn't resist.

This paragraph is rather small, but that's not because I don't have much to say. I do. I wrote about nine months of a review for this, it's called The School's Trees. Suffice to say, this is my favorite show of all time. Watch it.