Sunday, February 24, 2008

791.45 Mensa + Television History = Oxymoron?

Ran across this article where a Yahoo entity (person, team?) comments on the list that the head of Mensa put out as his thoughts of the Top 10 Smartest TV shows. Interesting comments from both as to the whys behinds the selections. A more complete picture of the original announcement can be found here.

The list (in no particular order) includes:
All in the Family
West Wing
Boston Legal
Mad About You

I can hear the buzzing already.

1. Who would have thought anyone who is a big-wig (heck, a plain ol' member) in Mensa would have "wasted" time on the social wasteland of TV as many people consider it to be? ( I said many people, not I!)

2. Jeopardy and Cosmos are givens as far as I am concerned based on their intent and content.

3. M.A.S.H. -- my personal all-time favorite show. It made me think ALL the between the laughing and tears.

4. All in the Family -- another personal favorite on many levels (including the fact it was the ONLY TV program my father ever talked to me about long-distance while I was away at school.)

5. Frasier -- ok, I think I can see this one...especially since it is on about 15 times a day right now in re-runs so there is plenty of opportunity to "study" it. I do think it has to do more with the "brilliance" of the brothers and an occasional spotlight among the other players than the overall program.

6. CSI -- science at a level similar to that of Cosmos made more "entertainable" with stories. The science is at such a high level that I just have to assume it is being portrayed closely. If I really want to understand the "why" I can not multi-task. I often found myself researching the results...the chemistry or physics or whatever. And if I had ever entertained the thought of committing a crime..well, that idea is completely gone now...for sure!

7. I loved the West Wing...another one I could not multitask around...great characters, but Top 10 "smartest?" I will have to think on that one. Same with Boston Legal and House...great characters...good representatives, but Top 10?

8. Mad About You -- huh? Did not watch it in prime time. Have seen bits and pieces because of re-runs. Would have thought Seinfeld would have taken this spot ahead of Mad. and I was not a Seinfeld fan simple because I didn't "get it."

But that is why I love trivia lists like this one...for the thinking and talking that will occur because of it!

As for a few more of my "why aren't they there" choices...
Lost--if you want something representing current TV. Especially fond of the literary "clues."
Rod Sterling's Twilight Zone--a classic though-provoking show (I bet there are few people out there surprised I would have this one MY list.)
Laugh-in --I was in high school. I wish it was in re-runs so I could study it as an adult now!
Northern Exposure-- enjoyed it, still not sure I understood it.

Wish there was a list of "most intelligent" books...that would be an interesting study!

Got any thoughts?

O, BTW...want some oxymoron info?


coach b said...

See, I think House is one of them because of how they always go back to the drawing board... kinda makes me mad to know they make so many mistakes first but oh well... I like how they have to sometimes say that what looks like a cause is actually a symptom. I also like to pretend I know what they are talking about (when really we know I haven't heard about 90% of those diseases)... but I did get one about rabies correct the other day. And the character wasn't even foaming at the mouth. Fun times...! I'm sure doctors love people who come in after seeing that show and think they've got something that can only be transmitted by some tiny insect in Southern Asia or something. I'm sure it has helped hypochondriacs become more so.

melscales said...

I am so glad my fav, CSI, made the list! I do watch something that is "smart". But my investigator husband won't watch with me because he points out all the things that could never happen. I have to remind him that it's entertainment. But I even watch all the reruns when I can catch them! Love it!

Library Girl said...

Hmmm... I totally agree on West Wing b/c you have to be SOMEWHAT intelligent to get all that politic-speak that they do on that there show. ;) Mad About You?! UHhhhhh... are they kidding? I loved it, but smartest show? No, ma'am. I am TOTALLY with ya on Seinfeld... and I did "get it". That show made me cackle!