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Great TV shows we'd love to watch again

Last updated on: November 24, 2009 13:45 IST

Great TV shows we'd love to watch again

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Raja Sen in Mumbai

Gotta love reruns.

Face it, we might complain about channels playing the same shows several times over -- but the fact is that reruns are really what allow us to catch up with great television, to hear out colleagues and read recommendations and come back for television scoops of our own.

Some shows seem to be running forever. Two channels in India are constantly running Friends and Seinfeld (not that there's anything wrong with that), and here we decided to take a look at a few television shows that really should be on TV.

Keep in mind this isn't a list of the best TV shows of all time, perish the thought. It's a look at shows that have already been broadcast on Indian screens, and that aren't currently running on any channels -- and that should.


Image: Scenes from The Wonder Years, MASH and Batman

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Fawlty Towers

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Boasting of the most farcically elaborate plots in the history of television, John Cleese's series about ludicrously ill-tempered hotelier Basil Fawlty is a gem every generation should enjoy. These are 12 episodes that should never be off television.


Image: A scene fro Fawlty Towers

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Blackadder

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Granted the first season doesn't quite make the mark but Richard Curtis and Ben Elton strike gold soon enough. Seasons two, three and four are laden with writing so witty it makes everything else in British comedy look like it was scripted by slack-jawed yokels.

History and politics are deservedly milked for laughs. Add to that Rowan Atkinson leading a sparkling, thankfully repeated ensemble, and all's marvellous.


Image: A scene from Blackadder

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Batman

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Several decades before they all turned dark, superheroes were all about fun. And there ain't nothing more gloriously camp than the 1960's Batman series with Adam West and Burt Ward.

Right from the blinking red phone to the cameo-filled climb up the side of a building, to the biff-boom-bang fights, this is an awesome ride, chum.

And it helps to remember that Spidey wasn't even a comic book back when this first came out.


Image: A scene from Batman

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M*A*S*H*

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Many years before Scrubs killed the laugh track and ER started pretending medical soaps were real, there came this poignant yet hilarious satire about the Korean war.

Based on Robert Altman's cinematic adaptation of Richard Hooker's novel, the Larry Gelbart series set a new standard for American television writing.

The 1983 final episode still remains the most watched broadcast in US television history.


Image: A scene from MASH

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The Wonder Years

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We grew up with Kevin Arnold. Fred Savage played the junior high schooler we could all identify with, the guy with dweeby best friend Paul and on-again off-again flame Winnie.

Set in the late 1960s, the show explored the decade, the war and counterculture all while remaining a smartly written coming of age dramedy.


Image: A scene from The Wonder Years

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The Twilight Zone

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Rod Serling's original 1950s series is as must-watch as they come. The counterculture show delved into fantasy, sci-fi, horror and suspense in equal measure, each unreal self-contained episode ending in a macabre twist.

The show's writer roster was fierce, including names like Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison, and while the 1980s revival series is good fun, there's nothing quite like the original 156 episodes.


Image: A scene from The Twilight Zone

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The Three Stooges

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Larry, Curly and Moe (give or take a Shemp or a Ted, depending on the era from the 1920s to the 70s) are like a live-version of Itchy and Scratchy, a group of clumsy nogoodniks given to much violence in the name of slapstick.

Sillier than Stan and Ollie and infinitely less substantial, they do nevertheless always, always provoke a belly laugh. Those 190 shorts need to forever be on the tube, helping us chortle worries away.


Image: A scene from The Three Stooges

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Yes Minister

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Jonathan Lynn and Tony Jay's wonderfully crafted series was mandatory viewing in thousands of Indian households simply because of the way the British satire resonated with Indian politics and bureaucracy.

It's a smashing series with deft dialogue and a great cast, and the often one-sided duels between Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby are the stuff of legend.


Image: A scene from Yes Minister

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I Love Lucy

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There is nothing quite like seeing a comedienne at the height of her powers. And many years before Tina Fey came the definitive funny woman, Lucille Ball.

The show, running through the 1950s and into the 60s, and its farcical premise seem dated now, but Lucy makes it a treat. Whether haranguing her husband or fooling around with the Marx Brothers, this lady's a trooper. Salut.


Image: A scene from I Love Lucy

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