"I want a knob on the TV that turns up the intelligence -
    there's a "Brightness" knob, but it doesn't work..."

I hesitate to update this page again, as it seems that whatever shows I like are doomed to be discontinued... nevertheless, I will list a few of my new favorites, while keeping the retired ones here as well so you can see what fate befalls my programs of choice!  My daughter is now 20, watches whatever she pleases, and shares very few of my favorites... but my warning below, from 1999, still goes:

I believe that one's maturity level matters a great deal when determining what is appropriate to view, whether on TV or at the movies.  Not all these programs are suitable for children or teens, so exercise judgment.  Specifically, I don't let my 16-year-old watch X-Files of La Femme Nikita, and have only recently let her start watching Third Rock from the Sun.  All the others are fine for teens.  You may have different criteria than I do for suitability; these are simply my top choices.


Although not a Touched by an Angel replacement, this show has all the spiritual values present in that now-retired series, with the additional quality of appealing to teens.  Joan is a high school student with a secret -- God talks to her, tells her to do things.  He comes in the form of a human being, a different one each time.  So she never knows who to expect next.  He gives her instructions on some course of action, which she usually finds pointless and/or unappealing.  Yet by the end of the program she (and we) see why God wanted her to do it, and how our obedience can help fulfill His plans, even if what He asks of us doesn't seem to make sense at the time.  This is a great show for communicating values without being preachy.  Joan's family portray qualities we would all like our kids to learn, and Joan's obedience to God, and even her occasional anger at Him, are examples to us all.


This is my favorite action/spy thriller by far... in fact, it may even be my absolute favorite TV show this season, and that's saying a lot since it's not science fiction!  There is a LOT of violence, so if that bothers you, skip it.  But Sydney is a terrific heroine, the plots are ingenious and riveting, the action is electrifying, and the cliff hangers keep you coming back for more.  There is a hint of unrequited romance, too... 
all the ingredients for an addictive TV experience.


What can I say?  This show has it all... mystery, humor, great characters, intriguing plots, food for thought, and just plain entertainment.  It's not the deepest program around, and the mysteries won't keep you awake all night trying to resolve dangling threads or unanswered questions; but you will spend an hour (all right, 45 minutes without commercials) laughing and trying to figure out who-dunnit, both at once!  Great family fun, no bad language or immoral situations, just good entertainment... what else could you want in a TV show?


The Dead Zone does have more sex in it than I would like to see, but the show is so good otherwise that I try to ignore it... and it isn't that prevalent anyway.  The idea is that after a head injury and several years in a coma, a man awakens with the ability to "see" a person's future when he touches them... and what he usually sees is some catastrophe which he then attempts to avert.  There is intrigue, action, romance, pathos, sci-fi, and an underlying storyline that keeps the viewer coming back each week to see what will happen next.  There is a preacher figure whose ethics are in question, but I don't think it is overtly anti-Christian, at least so far... the season finale was leaning in that direction, but I will keep an open mind and see what the new season brings... Johnnie's powers come from somewhere, so let's hope the show eventually attributes them to their True Source...


Yes, this is my favorite TV show ... and with a few notable exceptions, the violence and grossness are not as bad as the previews would lead you to believe.  In general, the episodes are intriguing, thought provoking, and intelligent; and Mulder and Scully demonstrate admirable qualities of character -- loyalty, an openness to believe the unbelievable, a common bond of Platonic love, and a sincere desire to learn the truth.

Yes, Mulder, the Truth IS out there!


This show does have a lot of violence; also, a fair amount of sex, although it is always treated as a serious issue and never taken lightly.  Nevertheless, Nikita continues to demonstrate that even the worst of circumstances cannot kill her basic humanity, her concern for others' suffering, and her undying belief that the ends do not justify the means ... and besides, the leads are just so gorgeous!  Nikita and Michael keep searching for a way out of their intolerable way of life ... 

maybe someday they will find that Way!


Okay, so this is a teeny-bopper show ... but adults are allowed to watch it, too!  It's kind of a cross between X-Files and Dawson's Creek, but unlike those ( and La Femme Nikita ), this one is actually okay for teenagers to watch!  There is a certain level of sexual tension, but then, that's just real life.  The rest is not real life -- alien teenagers and their human compatriots -- but, throughout, the characters demonstrate valuable character traits, like loyalty, concern for each other's welfare, trust in each other, and a desire to learn the truth about their heritage, regardless of how painful that truth may turn out to be.  They are not always honest, especially when it comes to hiding their identities, but they do all they can to be true to each other ... 

and maybe the Truth which is Out There will be revealed to them, as well.


This is a peculiarly heart-warming show.  The main character, Frank, is extremely likable, and totally wacko.  But despite his excesses, he is devoted to Olga, and frequently demonstrates a willingness to lay down his life for others ( especially Olga ).  Although the plot involves him going back in time -- seven days -- to avert cataclysmic disasters of one sort or another, he has  been heard to question whether humans really have the right to change history  in this way.  He has wondered if they aren't interfering in Someone Else's domain...


This show is NOT high on honesty ... Jarod pretends to be someone and something he is not, a different someone and something in each episode. He poses as a pilot, a firefighter, even a physician. Yet throughout he is searching for his parents, trying to regain a sense of family that was stolen from him in his childhood.  And along the way, he not only attempts to bring healing to total strangers with whom he empathizes with an excess of human compassion, he also seeks to bring healing to those who would capture him and return him to his cage.  Good qualities, good motivations, and a good heart ... looking only to be renewed by an encounter with the True Physician.


Well, this one goes without saying ... and requires me to say nothing in its defense.  Although characters often die, they know where they are going ... It is perhaps a little tearful for the most sensitive viewers, but it always has a point, and that point is always bathed in the wash of God's love...

which is, of course, the Whole Point anyway.


Although this is a new show, it has gotten off to a wonderful start.  For those of you who don't know, a happily-married man dies at the beginning of the series, and his brain is implanted in a synthetic body, part of a secret, experimental, governmental project to produce the perfect soldier.  He is not allowed to have any contact with his "former" wife and daughter ... yet he loves them relentlessly, and maintains his loyalty and love despite all the circumstances put in his way.  He repeatedly demonstrates commitment, devotion, and deep concern, and refuses to allow governmental manipulation to alter his love for his family.  Definitely an example of true character, and amazingly entertaining as well!


Yes, I do like some humor occasionally, and this is a particularly enduring comedy.  We have watched Corrie and Topanga since they were in fifth grade, and they have been true to each other (more or less) throughout the series.  They have demonstrated the qualities of loyalty, commitment, and (believe it or not) abstinence, despite all the rest of the world (or at least all the rest of the sitcoms) telling kids that this is just not reasonable in our world today.  And now they're married ... see, it can work!  Besides all this, the show is hilariously funny, with a cast of supporting characters worthy of several shows of their own.  They are all loyal friends and family, and funny, too!

and, finally, 


There is no way I can justify the sexual (mis)conduct of the characters on this show, and some of the themes are just plain unfit for family viewing.  Nevertheless, the show is side-splittingly funny, the characters are all master comedians, and the themes, if you can stop laughing to think about them, are often deeply revealing of the human condition.  It was a uniquely inciteful idea to make a show which examines human behavior from a totally alien perspective; it reveals how little sense some of our customs make, how silly we often are, and how truly bizarre we must look to those who watch us from afar ... 

whether they be aliens or angels or God Himself!

I have many other "favorite" TV shows ... the above are just my very favorite.  I also faithfully watch or have watched all the Star Trek  series, First Wave, Sliders, Babylon 5, Farscape, Stargate SG-1, VR.5, Earth 2 , Earth: Final Conflict, V, Millennium, The Outer Limits, The Burning Zone , The Sentinel Prey, Dark Skies, Total Recall 2070,The Invisible Man, and many other sci-fi series past and present ... and hopefully future as well.  OK, the future is here, and it includes such gems as John Doe, Taken, Tracker, DarkAngel, Andromeda, Mutant X, Birds of Prey, Smallville, and Relic Hunter.  Although most of these are now extinct, the field has grown to include Code Name: Eternity and Tru Calling.

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