Five Shows That Should Be Syndicated Forever

Here is a short list of shows that must forever run re-runs during the afternoon and late at night on those programming-hungry networks, local, national, et al.  Without these quality shows, I would surely go insane.  And some should be shown forever for more important reasons – they give us a glimpse into a time period lost to the past, and help us prepare for the future of television.

That 70’s Show

This program is probably the best example of a show that tackles a time period of the past with a significantly post-modern slant (something Happy Days did first, but not as well).  The stark contrast of attitude between the all-star cast of teens and the Foreman parents is not only hilarious, but poignant and accurate.  We see the hard ass war veteran father, the rebellious teens and their casual sex and drug use, and the insane mother just trying to make sure everyone gets along.  The humor style is so casual and sarcastic, and the program in general is smart in portraying a changing time in America in a pretty funny way.  If you want to study TV of the 70’s, have fun with that; if you want to study society in the 70’s, That 70’s Show is a fun footnote.

The Simpsons

Simply put, a show that has as many episodes as this one should syndicate until the end of time.  Sure, the show’s writing has had its ups and downs – there is certainly an inverse correlation between the Simpsons’ animation quality and the amount of funny jokes per episode.  But the rabid, undying fan base, the enormous legacy (most of TV comedy, animated or otherwise, owes Homer money), and the fact that the vast majority of episodes of this show is totally watchable makes this a no-brainer.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

This one’s purely nostalgic.  I’ve seen every Fresh Prince episode ever like twenty million times…everyone has that show they watched every day after school.  Needless to say, I thought Will Smith was pretty cool when I was ten.  It’s one of those shows I envision watching with my children, just like my mom watched it with me.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hilarious Moments

The Office

Television has completely changed this past decade – reality has taken over, scripted shows have become smarter to properly compete, and the laugh track has become a beautifully rare occurrence.  Where will TV go next?  No idea.  But I think the Office is probably the best (and most successful) show to remind us of this revolutionary era in programming.  The mockumentary-style shooting, snarky – and occasionally uncomfortable – humor, and the missing “dead people laughing” make this a classic for TBS and beyond for years to come.

I Love Lucy

Much like The Office will remind us of this time, I Love Lucy brilliantly reminds us of another. It should be around forever so people will learn what the golden years of TV looked like.  While most programs from that era have not aged well, Lucy is timelessly funny and still one of the signature comediennes of television.  The show also gives us a glimpse into life in the 1950’s and what was allowed on the boob tube (Lucy and Ricky having separate beds immediately comes to mind.)

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