Chelsey Forbes, Class of 2017

Rood Meliscat, Class of 2017

Mainstream media has arguably influenced millennials more than they would like to admit. Rood and Chelsey have compiled a list of The Top Ten Classic TV Shows of All Time; some funny, some sad, but all unforgettable.


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Number 1 on our list is the timeless TV show, Sesame Street. Created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, it made its television debut November 10, 1969. The show used everything from animation, music, and live action puppets to teach children basic education, like counting and alphabets. The show also taught kids how to interract with others, by accepting people for their differences and treating everyone with respect. It has created timeless characters such as Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird. Notable guests include Presidents of the United States, actors, and musicians. Recently the show has had some fund issues and has moved from its long time home of PBS to HBO, its new streaming partner. The show will still be seen on PBS but it will be shown on HBO first. Critics have said this means that if you cannot afford HBO, you’ll have to wait to see it. Where would most of us be without Sesame Street?


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At number 2 is every New Yorker’s favorite ‘show about nothing’, Seinfeld. Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the aforementioned focuses on Jerry, who is a stand-up comedian, and his three closest friends, including his ex-girlfriend, his neighbor, and high-school best friend, who each have extremely eccentric and at times difficult personalities. The show was a cult-classic in the 90’s and resulted in many catchphrases that have become a part of popular culture, such as “Yada, yada, yada.”


Photo Courtesy of Twentieth century Fox.

Number 3 on our list is the oh so hilarious Addams Family. The show originated in September of 1964 and focused on the socially awkward family with supernatural abilities dealing with the normal world. Most of the show’s humor comes from The Addams Family taboo lifestyle of witchcraft and seeing it as a normal while the rest of the world sees them as strange. Their backwards logic and provocative satire made the Addams different from any other family on TV. The Addams Family lasted only lasted two seasons and ended on April 8, 1966, but has had multiple adaptations of the show, which include an animated cartoon and two feature films.



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At number 4, we chose the groundbreaking I Love Lucy. It first aired October 15, 1951 and stars the first interracial couple on television, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. It was the first show to shoot with multi camera in front of a live studio audience. The story is about Lucy, the wife of singer/bandleader Ricky Ricardo, who has aspirations of being part of show business herself, with little to no talent of her own. The show focuses on all the creative ways she tries to get into show business with no talent. The show ran for 6 seasons and ended in May 1957. The show’s stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were actually married in real life.



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Boy Meets World is our choice as number 5. It follows Cornelius “Cory” Matthews through middle-school, high-school, and eventually college. His transition from boy to manhood is accompanied by hippie teen-queen Topanga, who eventually became his wife in the series, although he constantly berated her during their childhood, which made their relationship so seamless. The show is a somewhat stereotypical display of adolescence in America.


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Good Times is our choice for number 6 as one of the most classic TV shows of all time. Set in a poor, black neighborhood in an inner-city in Chicago, the shows episodes give us a glimpse into the lives of James & Florida Evans, and their three exuberant children. First aired in 1974, the show tackled, activism, unemployment, and abuse within Chicago as well as black families and communities.


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Number 7 on our list is the cult classic Knight Rider.  Knight Rider first aired on September 26, 1982 on NBC and stars Hollywood it-man at the time, David Hasselhoff. The story is about police Detective Michael Long, played by Hasselhoff who was shot in the face and saved by billionaire Wilton Knight. He is then given a new identity. Wilton soon asked Michael to join his public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) as a pilot. The  thing he would be piloting was The Knight Industries Two Thousand or better known as KITT, a car with artificial intelligence and numerous specks including a durable shell frame.  The show lasted for 4 seasons and made David Hasselhoff a household name.


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Beloved actors Jamie Foxx and Jim Carrey found their platform on our choice for number 8, In Living Color. The show was ground-breaking because it featured mainly black actors with dry humor, and made plays on society at the time. In Living Color created an open platform for dialogue on stereotypes while still maintaining a comedic edge. Created, written, and starred in by brother Keenan and Damon Wayans, other members of their highly talented family were featured in episodes that capitalized on race relations in the United States.


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Number 9 on our list is the all so cool, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Created by Andy Borowitz and Benny Medina ,the show first aired on September 10, 1990  and stars Mr. Cool himself, Will Smith. The premises of the show is told in the opening music sequence. Will is from West Philadelphia and during a game of basketball, his ball hits a member of a well known gang, which results in an altercation. Fearing for his son’s safety, his mother had him move in with his aunt and uncle in Bel- Air. The show focuses on Will trying to adjust to the life of the upper class while maintaining his West Philly roots. The show lasted for 6 seasons and propelled Will Smith to stardom, starring in multiple successful movies and even being nominated for an Oscar.  


The Cast of Full House, circa 1987. (ABC)

Rounding out our list is Full House, which is arguably one of the most recognizable TV shows in the world. Making twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen household names, the show follows widowed Danny Tanner and his three daughters in San Francisco. Danny enlists his brother-in-law, ‘Uncle Jesse’ and his brother, ‘Uncle Joey’ to help him raise the girls. Hilarity ensues as the girls grow up and learn life-lessons from their uncles and friends. The show always ends with a moral, which made Full House valuable to children, as well as stressed the importance of family.


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