My world changed after I started to watch Twin Peaks. I didn’t know it then, but looking back I have to acknowledge that it had a major impact on my life and, thinking outside the borders, has laid the foundation of me writing posts like these on the site.

Before I start, a little note from myself and other contributing users:

I have a request. If you liked reading this post, please give it a heart, either on the top right side or bottom left side of the post. Please do this for all the (featured) posts from all the writers you read and like. It is the reward for us (non-paid amateur) writers who try to make this site more fun for us all. In this way we know it is appreciated what we do and we will keep on writing.It also will alert staff that we like the show and it might get more coverage.

Although we might not realise it when we look in the mirror every morning, television has changed our lives. And I do not point at the fact that we spent hours watching series instead of doing other things we could do with other people like playing games or just having a conversation. I mean there are series that have changed our lives in a way we might not even have noticed. Let me give you some possibilities:

  • A cooking show made you a great chef and as you’re now always entertaining your friends at home, you’ve become the center of the group
  • There might have been a show dealing with a dilemma and later in your life you were helped dealing with a dilemma in the way they treated it in the show
  • After watching a commercial for a game you bought it and never distanced yourself for more than two feet from your game controller again
  • You might be watching Dr. Phil every day and every show gives you a new direction for you thoughts or gives you the idea to talk to your partner about something and your life wasn’t the same after one of those discussions
  • After watching Firefly you’ve become a browncoat and are now campaigning for the return of the series
  • You watched a sports show and liked that sport so much you took it up
  • You watched the lottery show live where you won that million dollar price
  • It might the series that still isn’t on tv but you have been wanting it so much that you married the other person who does
  • Maybe you participated in a reality show?

Looking back, there are a few shows that had an huge impact on my life and for different reasons.

Babylon 5 showed me there is not always only good and bad. All the characters had their own belief system and their own wishes and goals because of that. In our own lives we look at the actions of others through the filter of our own belief system and we judge them because of that system. Babylon 5 showed me that one should try to understand why people do things and what drives them. If you know that, you will be able to understand them and communicate. What I see as bad can be good in the eyes of someone else and vice versa. The central questions of the series: ‘Who are you’, ‘What do you want’, ‘Why are you here’ and ‘Where are you going’, are questions I ask myself many times when I try to figure out why I’m doing something. The extra question the spin-off Crusader had: ‘Who do you trust’ was a good addition.



Lost
brought me in contact with the whole world of television. I had read about it on the internet but it hadn’t aired in The Netherlands yet (it started at least a year later), so I bought the DVD-boxes. After the third season I somehow became more aware of download sites and started downloading the episodes directly after they aired. It was legal in our country and it was the start of downloading more and more series and following them almost immediately after they aired in the US. To get more knowledge on those shows I started visiting the pages on TV.com.



Twin Peaks brought me in contact with fandom. Before we had the internet, we had Fidonet, a store and forward BBS mail system. It could take days for mails to get from one side of the world to another, but we got word about this great series in the US called Twin Peaks. The mails told stories about people sitting together, watching four episodes of the series and eating cherry pie. When BBC started airing the show I noticed mails on the Dutch scifi part of the Fidonet about people coming together to watch the show and I wanted to be part of it. So I just joined a discussion and was invited to come to a viewing evening. I met four guys, one could say nerds, but they were great, I had a wonderful evening and many more have followed. They were active in the Dutch fandom and through them I started going to meetings and conventions and have befriended a lot of great people from all over the world. Some have been friends for over twenty years now.



And on Twin Peaks, it was the first time I was completely hooked. I tried to join a fanclub for the first time (‘The Peak Experience’), bought the accompanying books (like ‘The secret diary of Laura Palmer’ and ‘The autobiography of special agent Dale Cooper’) and read them in English as they were not available in Dutch. From that moment I started to read more and more books in the English language.

I will be doing a re-watch/recap/photocap/review of season 1 of Twin Peaks this summer if there are enough people interested in reading those recaps. Maybe it will be a good reason for some to start watching this great series after all. I know @TrevPlatt will, but I would love to know if more people are interested and would read those posts.

An honourable mention goes to ‘Married with Children’. It showed me that a father can do anything to protect his daughter. I tried to find the scene where he whacked the head of some guy he found with Kelly on the side of the front door, but failed.

Getting back: what were the series that, when looking back, had an impact on your life and why? What was the impact they had?
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Jun 03, 2014
As appropriately reminded by Rolamb himself, I had to include one more example: Pushing Daisies. I saw its two seasons in a period particularly distressful period in my life and I was captured by the show's sheer beauty and optimism, which can be perceived in areas as diverse as the storytelling, the photography and the music.

Since I'm a (sort of) CGI artist and totally amateur cook, I decided to venture into these two fields. First, a sample of the real thing for those who don't know the show:

The "Pie Hole" Season 2, where most action takes place:


The main characters, Ned and Charlotte ("Chuck"):


And their CGI counterparts:

(Models morphed from original DAZ figures. A lot of tweaking, with Poser 8, was necessary.)

And here are some shots of my version of the Pie Hole:




Night shots are particularly interesting because you can play with the lights, causing interesting effects.




And, why not, a Pie Hole branch in another location:

(Models produced in Bryce 6. Everything you see was modeled by me, except cars and plants.)


And finally, something to please the stomach, an apple pie, almost like in the show...

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Jun 04, 2014
Wow, very impressive. And as far as I can see, it did some good!
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May 25, 2014
Well for me it was Mission Impossiabe it made me go in to the computer industry
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May 25, 2014
That's an interesting one. I have been thinking for a few minutes what part of MI would have me you go into the computer industry but I really have no idea. As far as I remember the tv series (original and revival) had no computers in it. So I'm curious, what in MI made you go into the computer industres?
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May 25, 2014
The new one had the black guy (Sienfield kramer laywer)
always programing on his computer
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Staff
May 13, 2014
Dead Like Me.
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May 14, 2014
After looking it up I remembered having heard of it somewhere. I have never seen it though as it never aired over here. What made you give this answer?
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May 14, 2014
So well done. Not many people have seen it.
Gives life a new perspective. Death some humor.
Mandy Patinkin is so good.
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Apr 28, 2014
The first Show was Buffy cause I was watching it on the Turkish TV and we were behind by several seasons (2-3? cant really remember) So I started searching the internet for episode reviews. Then I bought the dvds from amazon just so I can watch them before they air. This is the show that made me search for reviews on the internet.

The second show is Lost because that is the show that forced me to download. I missed an episode once and the tv network failed to reply it. So I had to ask a friend to download it as at that time internet was very very very slow in Turkey. After that I just kept downloading new shows in order to catch up. Now I am able to watch dozens of shows that dont air in Turkey
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Apr 29, 2014
I do hope you will never get in trouble for that in your country. There were some recent issues with internet usage (won't name them) over there.
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May 01, 2014
Yeah they keep banning social media and we keep finding new ways to stay online. Thanks to the goverment even grandma knows how to use vpn :)
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May 01, 2014
Stay strong!
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Apr 28, 2014
TNG and Buffy, they sit pretty and knocked me for six at the time.
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Apr 29, 2014
Just to be curious, aside form being knocked for six (and I learned a new English expression, thank you), how were you different after watching them. Did they open your eyes to new possibilities, did they show make you want to be an astronaut
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Apr 29, 2014
Both these shows opened my mind to the world of TV and escapism. I never really took TV seriously (who would growing up in the 80's, lol) before these shows. Now, TV is my main form of entertainment. So, nothing huge I'm afraid.
Ha, I've never really thought about the 'knocked for six' thing, it probably comes from cricket, with 6 being the biggest hit. :)
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Apr 29, 2014
thanks for the reply. Still, if it made you watch so much television, it also made you do less other things you might have enjoy. maybe you'd been a sporter on a national level. Who knows? So it's influence was big enough.

I had to look it up to know what you wrote and it indeed is from cricket. I suppose you're from the UK, but outside the countries in the Commonwealth not many are familiar with cricket. Although, my country left you knocked for six after we defeated you in the last world championship twenty20 :-).
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Apr 28, 2014
World On A Wire (1974) German Mini-Series.
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Apr 28, 2014
These has had an impact on me (maybe not changed my life though...)

As a kid: Saved By The Bell, The Chronicles of Narnia, Family Ties and Full House

In high school: Dawson's Creek, Friends, Popular, Young Americans and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Queer As Folk UK and Gilmore Girls

Mid 20s-present: Sex and the City, Brothers & Sisters, Lost, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Downton Abbey and Six Feet Under
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Apr 28, 2014
To be honest, I do not hope they all had a changing effect on your life. I assume you liied them a lot and the least effect they had on you was that you were watching more and more tv instead of doing other things.

There are a lot on your list I have seen (or seen while watching with my kids) and there are enough that have direct or more or less hidden lessons in the shows you probably will have picked up. it is just hard to say which.
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Apr 28, 2014
Twin Peaks was a big one for me too. The first US show I remember being non-formulaic and the first I followed religiously, other than kids shows. It really felt like a fore-runner to all the great shows the Americans are producing in this century. I would be interested to re-watch it after all these years so your recap idea sounds good.

In a similar vein, The X Files was something that was so cinematic in look and story, it really changed my view of what could be done on TV
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Apr 28, 2014
You're on the 'heads up' list in case I start with the re-watch.
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Apr 28, 2014
For me, the one serie that definitly changed my life was Fringe.
Not the incredibly entertaining cases they solved, but I was forced to reconsider my imagination of our universe. Wormholes, time travelling ...
and it also made me think about the the developement we receive in science. Positiv AND negativ. Will researcher really be able to create this? What if this would be possible !?
Fringe could reach me in a way no documentary or movie has ever been able to and lately those are the shows you'll always remember.
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Apr 28, 2014
That 'what if' question is one you should cherish for the rest of your life. If I were you, I would consider to give it a brother question that was also dealt with in the series but on a not so visible level: 'what is necessary to accomplish something'. So many people often say that something isn't possible because they just do not believe it might be possible. Turn it around and ask (yourself): 'what do I need to make it possible' or just 'what would make it possible' and think outside off the box for it. You'll see that there is so much more within your reach then you would have imagined.
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Apr 28, 2014
As a fairly young dude (19y/o) I can't say that there has been that many shows that have changed my life. I think that I'm at a point where most of the TV-shows that change my life are still in the future or are currently on air.

Heroes was a big one for me, I was eleven back then and I have to admit that I saw nightmares of Sylar.. Oh God it has been long... It was pretty much the first show that I was properly a fan of. I used to surf the interwebs for hours to find just a tiniest tidbit of information about the next episode. Learned a lot of English back then. I used to have a Finnish - English dictionary with me when reading the articles... Haha. So... I learned a lot of English when I was fanboying over Heroes and it was the intro to the whole fandom concept.

After that I kind of drifted apart from TV to the miraculous world of video games. Ah... I still have the complete soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII in my phone... But that's not the point...

The next show that I started to obsess over was Chuck. That show made me embrace my inner nerd and kind of got my out of this introvert bubble that I had locked myself into. It didn't happen over night but I think that it was one of the best shows for me to realise that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a bit geeky and nerdy and passionate about "weird" stuff.


Then there's Game of Thrones. That show made me read roughly 5000 pages of text. In about a month. My whole life, apart from school, was on hold. I got to home and I had to read. During that month I bought 5 books. I only buy books when they aren't available at a local library, but the local library had two copies of each book and they were all loaned during that time and I would have had to wait a few months to get them. I couldn't have any of that. I went out, bought the first four books (straight up, I had no doubts about the quality of the books) that were translated to Finnish. After I read them, I bought the latest book in English. I'm fairly good at English but 1000 pages of English literature still seemed a bit daunting. I was done in a week. And it's not just that. To quote Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation: "They're telling human stories in a fantasy world!"

I'm quite visible on the Game of Thrones' Community page so... Yeah...As far as TV-shows go, Game of Thrones probably affected my life the most. Liked the post! Maybe! After this comment if I remember!
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Apr 28, 2014
If you're only your age and already have recognised that there are things, like tv series, that have had an influence on your life and have given you the opportunity to grow and accept, I find that very mature. I'm pretty sure I was not up to that level of maturity at your age.

My son (one year older then you are :-)) read all the books In English and I think it took him about 6 weeks as far as I can remember. But most of his time went into his sport so I'm sure how he made time to read them. probably he stayed up all night without me knowing.

Living in Finland something like tv and later the internet must have been a great opportunity for you as your country in really up in the north (but not North of the wall) and some kilometres away from a lot of other countries that think of themselves as the centre of the universe (except Russia, but they have a special place in your lives as far as I know)
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Apr 28, 2014
Ok now i feel like a nerd cause it took me almost 2 weeks to read the first 4 boks then 3 days for the fifth one. I was supposed to be on vacation with my friends and all i did was to read the fifth book. And I read them in english. So I guess Game of Thrones really had an impact on me :)
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Apr 29, 2014
You may choose the term yourself, but dependant on the rest of your life it may be one of the other available in this realm (and remember, there's a whole world outside these three also):


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Apr 29, 2014
Haha :) nah, you're not a nerd, you're passionate! The books are really addicting. My social life was secondary to reading them. They were the only thing I could think of when I was in school... I actually tried to bring them to school and read them there but, but! And this is a true story: my physics, chemistry and mathemathics teacher would constantly 'confiscate' the book and read it himself.. Made me so angry haha.. I did manage to study a bit but needless to say that my school performance got a bit worse considering that I just didn't revise for the tests at all because I had better things to do :)
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Apr 28, 2014
I really had to think about this one and I had to disregard a few of yours (Twin Peaks which I liked and everything but I think I was like thirteen when it came out so some of it went over my head) and one that had separate meaning for me (Star Trek: The Next Generation - it was one that my dad watched and during awkward preteen years it was something for us to talk about) and go with a show that really caught my interest in fantasy and overarching mythologies and go with Quantum Leap. It was like the perfect show to get those of us who didn't really watch sci fi or fantasy, it was very accessible to a younger audience (I still don't know if I have ever watched the first season and I'm not sure when I began) but it hit me in the right emotional spots and left my mind open to begin watching Buffy.
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Apr 28, 2014
I had never realised it, but Quantum Leap is indeed very accessible and can have people make the step from what they know to what might be. If you take away the leaps they make, every episode is just an adventure in some time period that we can relate to. But it opens our eyes. Great way/show of accompanying you in that voyage.
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Apr 28, 2014
Six Feet Under - one of the best shows ever!!
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Apr 28, 2014
Just to be curious, what influence did it have on you, in what way did it change you?
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Apr 28, 2014
Twin Peaks was actually the first series I was watching regularly as a little kid. And yes I know it isn't the best show for a kid :)
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Apr 28, 2014
There was lots of fun things going on in the Great Northern in the background. And the eating that Benjamin and Jerry Horne were doing must have given you enough appetite to eat your dinner without any problem.
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Apr 28, 2014
FRIENDS!! I was a teenager when I've started watching it. So i had zero confidence, scared of my own shadow, insecure about my future (well, like a teenager!). And THAT show just made me feel more secure, taught me how to trust myself, to go forward, put my fears on the side... When I felt bad, for any reason, I was watching an episode or 2 of Friends, and I got better! That show didn't actually change my life, I just grew up with it, and that made who I am today! ... Wow, it gets really deep right now!lol
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Apr 28, 2014
Sounds like it did have an influence :-). I am probably a bit older and in my younger days there was nothing like dvd's or even videorecorders. I had book I always came back to. I have kept a copy of that book in a drawer of my desk on every workplace I've worked. If I got sad or pissed for some reason I would take it out and read the first pages. Although I knew/know them by heart and have quoted them on numerous occasions (together with my firends who were alos fans), I would be smiling before I had finished the second page. It works!
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Apr 28, 2014
It's so funny because it is exactly how it was (and still is) for me with friends! Like your words are coming out of my own mouth!!:) I guess on every generation since forever, we all need something to hold on to, to run away from reality, to give us hope, to cheer us up... And nothing is better than fiction, book or movies or series, or theater, or whatever works for us! But I'm curious now... Could you tell me what was this book of yours?!:)
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Apr 29, 2014
Of course, but unless you're Dutch like me you'll never have heard of it and they have never been translated into any other language. It's called 'Adriaan en Olivier'(Adrian and Oliver') by Leonard Huizinga and the first lines of the (three) books (in the series) are all the same:

'Het was in het allerholst van de nacht en twee grote volle manen stonden met verwijtende gezichten aan de hemel'. It are humorous books and even this line is hard to translate as it already has several puns which are lost in a (direct) translation, but it would be something like: 'It was in the very middle of the night and two large full moons stood with reproachful faces to the sky'. It tells the story of twin brother who, deep into the night and very drunken (hence the two moons) drive their car into the stairs of city hall of a small village. From there on the story develops. And just so you know, I'm now loudly grinning behind my desk remembering it.
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Apr 30, 2014
Agreed, it has been a fun ride to always walk into each second hand bookshop and look for them.
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Apr 30, 2014
But maybe you wouldn't have appreciated the way you did if you'd have found it so easily with the internet! I remember when I was a teen, looking for goodies from Friends or my tv shows from that time... It was sooo complicated!! First finding a boutique (without internet!) then going there (usually not so close by...) then once you're there you want to buy everything, but you only have a few coins to spend, and spend an hour there just to be sure to take the right decision!lol but at the end that's such a beautiful experience, something you always remember!:)
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Apr 29, 2014
I am never sure that humour gets translated well. I always try to read them in the original language which restricts me to either Dutch, English or Geman. My French is at a level I can have a little conversation, but reading humorous books is far beyond me.

The book I mentioned were written in the 30's and 40's of the last century and were originally bought by my grandfather. My father had them in his small library and when I went to live on my own I wanted them for myself. It took me almost 15 years, looking in second hand bookshops I came near. Nowadays the internet would have made it possible in about a day and probably much cheaper :-).
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Apr 29, 2014
Loool!! Sorry I'm French, so thanks for translating!:) So sad it has never been translated, it would have been fun to read!:)
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Apr 28, 2014
The Shield. I was a teenager when it started and it showed me that the world is not painted only in black or white.
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Apr 28, 2014
And that the "good" guys are not always good.
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Apr 28, 2014
And that is the best lesson anything or anyone can teach you and if you learned that lesson and act on it, you've become a better person!
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Apr 28, 2014
All of Joss Whedon's works.
Everything from establishing the gold standard in portraying strong female leads. To the willingness in having genuine (and sometimes fundamental) character growth. And just the great mixture of serious, lighthearted, funny, and sad moments that have managed to break my heart and make me smile (sometimes in the same scene).
Joss' shows not only created a love, appreciation and respect for storytelling. They have honestly helped me and shaped certain beliefs, The stories Joss has created have in some ways made me who I am. And for that I really couldn't be more grateful :)

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Battlestar Galactica and Lost
These two are not as significant, but still important.

Both BSG and Lost caused an obsession in me. I didn't just watch these shows, I got engaged in them. Especially BSG, I remember watching an episode and immediately taking to the message boards right after (I think it was a Firefly/Serenity forum with a topic titled "So...about that BSG", lol). I'd write up episode reviews or critical analysis on certain scenes. I was obsessed and it was wonderful! Oh yeah and it also helped develop my confidence in writing...which is the whole beneficial part of this story.

Actually as I'm typing this, I'm realizing just how much I miss being that active in a forum community. Lol, I need to go find one :)

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p.s. Please do your Twin Peaks recap, Rolamb! I've yet to get around to watching that show and it'll give me the perfect reason to start ;)
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Apr 28, 2014
Joss indeed has strong female characters and I can imagine that many young women have taken some strength from that to be stronger themselves. I love those strong women, also personally as they can give some opposite force to my force and if both partners can get that in balance you've got the best relation you can wish for.

Looking for communities to be active in? We've got some on the site, maybe you can write posts, reviews or be active in some other way. there are enough shows and subjects still not covered. See or follow what we writers/posters do. It is fun.

You have been added to my Hot-100 to alarm list of people wanting me to do the Twin Peaks recaps. Still 92 spots free though :-).
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Apr 28, 2014
LOST .. ALL THE WAY !!!
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Apr 28, 2014
Not sure what the influence on your life was, but you don't seem to be lost in any way. It probably made you go in the right direction when realising not everything is what you expected it to be and accepted to accept that.
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Apr 30, 2014
Well said mate.. Very well said :)
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Apr 28, 2014
Star Trek, the original series, was influential for me in too many ways to count.

The only other series that I can honestly say seriously changed the way I think about things was The Wire. Nothing has clarified the undercurrents and forces at work in our modern society like that series did.
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Apr 28, 2014
I agree completely on The Wire. Those season wide stories on the social aspects of life were wonderful and very clarifying. I just had to gulp (hope that is the right word) when they called that controlled drugs area Hamsterdam, as if our capital is as bad as that. Luckily we do not have a drug problem like that but we do allow weed and that's where it came from.
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Apr 28, 2014
X-Files, without any doubt! I was like 10/11 when I started watching it and a show junkie already, but that show just blowed my mind and I fell in love!
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Apr 28, 2014
Friends. Friends made me fall in love with television, and it essentially turned me into who I am today. I'm pretty sure I am Chandler.
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Apr 28, 2014
If you think you're Chandler and act alike to your friends, I am pretty sure it will have had an effect :-). The questions of course is if you also make those (sometimes dumb) jokes all the time.
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Apr 28, 2014
I have already watched (too) much TV shows.

As a non-English native, TV shows (along with movies) have helped me improve my English.

My all time favorites are:
- First and foremost Buffy The Vampire Slayer:
Regarding this show, my current regret is that DVDs look quite bad on a 55'' TV and makes it a little difficult to watch (compared to HD shows).
I really wish Josh Whedon could re-start this fantastic series. He has proven to the world how an incredible situation writer he is. I am genuinely impressed and I honestly wonder if no one in this world can outmatch his talent.
- Friends: Jokes and situations haven't gotten old and I still enjoy it very much watching this oldie but goodie.
- X Files: it felt like the first TV that started to be at movie levels. Of course, 20 years later, TV shows are really at the quality of movies.
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Apr 28, 2014
That's also how I improved my English when I was a teen... Thanks to Friends first, that made me discover we can actually watch tv series in a non-dubbed version! And THAT changed my life!lol
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Apr 28, 2014
I can relate to you learning better English by watching the shows. It is exactly the way I do it to. Most shows I still use the subtitles, but just to make sure I don't miss anything and learn if there is something I had not heard of before.
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Jul 04, 2014
I am doing that too, when it's possible.
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Apr 28, 2014
I've been watching X-files and Twin Peaks again on Netflix. Definitely some amazing TV. I still remember the night Twin Peaks premiered. I was in the hospital after surgery, don't know if it was the after affects of all the drugs but I was so freaked out, even watching it on an 8" screen. They were the first shows that made me want to be home on certain nights, just to watch and enjoy.
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Apr 28, 2014
I am not sure that wanting you to stay at home to watch should be called a good infliuence (as I like people to go out and meet), but it indeed is an influence.
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Apr 28, 2014
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I started watching Buffy when I was nine. I grew up with this series till I was 16. Buffy's metephores never eluded me even when I was little. Obviously I couldn't relate to most of the first three seasons, but due to a bad, bad 3 year hiatus in Isreal due to cable\sattalite wars and 20th Century Fox's greediness for more money, I continued watching Buffy on VHS and later on DVD when I was 13, using my Bar-Mitzva money. I couldn't wait for Buffy to return to TV, and illegal downloads weren't popular and available in 1999\2000.

Buffy helped shape who I am, how I think of relationships, friendships and family.
My favorite season is the sixth. I consider it my "Self-help book". Every time I'm depressed, or bummed about my life I watch the season. It helps me get a new prospective about life and death.
Unfortunatly I was a very troubled teen. I went through a bad 16-20 year old phase of drinking, self mutalating and suicide attempt. Buffy's metaphore for a failed suicide attempt and the acceptence of life really helped me go through my problems. I relate to everything the characters went through in season six. From Buffy's depression, to Willow's addiction, to Giles' search for purpose, to Dawn's neglect, to bad sexual relationships like Buffy's and Spike's, to one sided loves like Spike's. Obviously I couldn't relate to Xander's and Anya's problems because I never got engaged and left my bride at the alter, But the pain is always relatable.
In conclusion Buffy defenetly changed my life, and I probably wouldn't be here writing this if it wasn't for Buffy.
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Apr 28, 2014
It's just crazy how a simple show can actually change a whole life. Do they realize the influence they got on people when they create stuff like that?? Anyway, you can be proud of who you are today, and "toda raba" for sharing this part of your life with us, beautiful strangers we are!:) PS: Buffy rules!!!;-)
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Apr 28, 2014
And what you can learn from comments, just learned my first words of Hebrew.
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Apr 28, 2014
Thank you for such a beautiful comment. When i wrote the post i hoped i would get some honest answers but had never expected so much openness like yours. I am glad you had something to hold on to when necessary. The fact that you can tell about it now, says you've come out of it well and have left (enough of) it behind you.
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Apr 28, 2014
It's funny I'm usually a very closed person, but hey it's the internet so I didn't care sharing.
I'd like to quote Buffy from the musical episode:

I've got a theory, It doesn't matter.....
What can't we face if we're together?
What's in this place that we can't weather?
Apocalypse... we've all been there,
the same old trips, why should we care?

What cant we do if we get in it?
We'll work it through within a minute,
We have to try, we'll pay the price,
Its do or die...

(Buffy)
Hey I've died twice! :-P
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Apr 28, 2014
This is the most beautiful comment that I've read on this thread. Actually, I don't remember reading a more honest and heartfelt comment like yours - ever - on this site. First of all. Thank you!

I named LOST as the show that changed my life and I wrote that my reasons were "too personal" to go into details but now that I read your comment. Wow. All I can say is, I relate so much! I dealt with a lot of the issues that you stated. LOST brought me out of the darkest place of my life. The same way that Buffy brought you out of yours. And I do the exact same thing, when I feel down, I just re-watch it and it just brings me back.

P.S. I loved Buffy too. I'm definitely going to do a re-watch soon because I never finished all of it. I was too busy getting into trouble at the time.

Thank you again. I have tears in my eyes writing this. Amazing comment. I'd give it 100 likes if I could. :-)
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Apr 28, 2014
Thanks LOL :)
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Apr 27, 2014
Macgyver - ah the goal I had as a young gal. Working for a thinktank, inventing crazy solutions to problems with everyday equipment. There was this episode when he saved a guy from poisoning by using some photo developing liquid that stuck with me as a teen.

I still enjoy figuring out "clever" uses for paperclips and chop sticks (and yes I call it Macgyvering) though my solutions are falling a bit short in the clever department, I guess it is the influence that counts.
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Apr 28, 2014
Beautiful influence! It's also the fun little things you pick up that can make life more fun. Some day you'll figure out how to cure the flu just by using paperclips and chop sticks and your life will be fulfilled.
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Apr 27, 2014
For me was Star Trek, LOST, X-FILES and 24. and Some Anime like Dragon Ball Z, Saint Seiya, Ranma 1/2.
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Apr 27, 2014
There are multiple shows that influenced my life over time, but there are only two that actually changed it seemingly overnight.

The 1st was the original Cosmos. At the time, there was nothing like it & it fundamentally changed the way I viewed the world & the universe I live in.

The 2nd was Bill Moyer's "Power Of Myth" That one changed the way I viewed people, cultures & religions in the world & showed me the similarities & overall inter-connectivity of the human race
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Apr 27, 2014
I am so jealous we didn't have that Cosmos series over here. I just learned about it now the new one is being aired. Over the last year me and my son have been watching series like "Through the Wormhole' to fill that hole. But it does change the way you are looking at the universe doesn't it. So many great questions and possible answers.

I had never heard about the other one but looked it up and I can imagine watching it will have an effect on the viewer. I so missed shows like that in our country.
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Apr 27, 2014
I guess I am lucky enough to live in the U.S. where most of my favorite shows are aired first. If I had to pick just one show that "changed my life" I would say that show is ALIAS (actually the whole J. J. Abrams universe).
Alias is the show that really got me interested in and made me aware of all the different aspects of television shows. A show is much more than just some people doing things in front of a camera, it's writers and actors and crew people coming up with an idea and writing a pilot and hoping it gets picked up into a series and casting and costumes and sets and locations and the million other things that go into making 45 minutes (usually) of television. Alias really tuned me into how much work goes on "behind the scenes" of television.
As an added bonus, ALIAS, LOST, and FRINGE carried me from the beginning of high school through college always having at least one good thing to watch on TV every week.
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Apr 27, 2014
To do this list means I have to go reflect on my past.I am someone who likes to look forward not back into the past. Too many painful memories.Ha!

These are the shows that have affected me a lot one way or another.

1) The Cosby Show - First sitcom I was hooked on and wishing I had a dad as wise as Bill Cosby. It does encourage me to use more humor now that I am a new dad. Yes. Hugh daddy issues when I was young.

2) 90210 - I was a teenage that unwillingly moved halfway across the world to an unknown continent. The popularity of this show and the fact that I watched it became a form of bonding for me and my new friends.

3) The Shield/Dexter/The Wire - The beginning of the golden age of TV. It just happened to be that time in my life when I had more time to watch TV. It is also the first time I am fine with rooting for anti-hero in TV shows.

There should be more but that is enough reflection for one evening.

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Apr 27, 2014
Interesting discussion topic. Kudos! My top five are:

The Prisoner

The first (any only) show that destroyed every pre-conceived notion I had about what television can and should do. I even got The Village bicycle symbol tattooed on my arm. Still, the most original show aired to this day!

Star Trek

I remember watching with my father (who had TWO Ph.Ds in science and math) and afterwards talking about everything from space travel to alien life to theories on time travel to how hot Uhura looked.

Monty Python

My first real taste of British humour, introduced by my older brother. And there is nothing else to say except that Monty Python holds the record as the most quotable show ever to air.

In Living Color

I'm sorry, this show broke how many molds? It launched how many careers? It changed the face of black-centric comedy on television, made fun of everyone, and pissed off celebrities (I lived in New York when I heard Whitney Houston was pissed off about the parody it did on her). One of the best when FOX really was THE edgy channel to watch. It was so good, it made me comic snob unable to accept anything less than great!


Married With Children

Changed my view of family sitcoms. Became the anti-Cosby Show and 30-something that people gushed about at the time. It touched every anti-establishment/anti-happy-family-sitcom nerve in my body.

One of the foundation stones that built the FOX Network. First show that ever made fun of other network shows by name. First show that openly laughed at everything from sex to parenting to gays. Plus, any show that has a character saying "Having sex with my wife is like putting gas into a car I already wrecked," belongs in TV's all time hall of fame. I still watch it today.
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Apr 27, 2014
Four of those five shows ware in my top ten who influenced me, I just didn't want to name all in the post. The Prisoner was a show that made you ask questions by asking them self. Making humans numbers was such a big thing. I only saw the series five years ago so the spot for getting me asking that many questions had already been taken by Babylon 5. But I loved it and I still have the series.

Marrie with Children I also have on DVD. It is the kind of humour I love best and I've quoted them so much to my growing kids they must hate the series by now. Especially all the times I used examples of what daddy did with her boyfriends to point out what i would do with her boyfriends may have been a bit too much :-). Still watch it regularly. I watched a bit of the Cosby show in those days but I am not able to rewatch an episode without screaming now.
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Apr 27, 2014
By the way, Babylon 5, loved it. especially since it was on of the first shows to have major conflict that wasn't resolved in two episodes (The Shadow War. DS9 followed with The Dominion War). It broke all the Sci-Fi TV molds too!
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Apr 27, 2014
Yep, B5 was the first one to have real arcs (as it had many other novelties, but that is for other posts). JMS pitched it as a five year arc to the networks and he even got an ok for that. Within that larger arc there were shorter arcs that were so much better and longer then what we had seen up to then.r
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Apr 27, 2014
You came up with a great discussion idea. I hope that TV.com staff keeps it on the main page for more than just a couple of days. Because the responses can go on forever. I didn't even mention that Bewitched made me wish, as a kid, to be like Uncle Arthur.

Not in my top ten. Though, if you ask my sister, I probably am to her children.
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Apr 27, 2014
I have tried to talk the staff into having another Community section of "Featured Posts" that are Posts that are really taking off and well thought out like this one. Not to mention the massive time requirements some of them require. Unfortunately - if someone writes something on a popular show, no matter the popularity of a previous post, it will be bumped off like every other one.

We found it frustrating to have a post with over 100 Comments still get bumped off before its time by a post that only may garner 20 or 30 comments. But it is the set up of the site.

I am right with you Hoss.
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Apr 27, 2014
Oh man, I am so happy with this post. But, staff has a specific regime and it will slide off as soon as other posts are promoted. There is no way of keeping it on the main page. We have had several discussion about that with staff but they will not change it. Let me share with you the pm I sent to @edshrinker just a few minutes ago, it says all about my feelings on this post.

Oh man, I love the answers I get on my post. I love to get people thinking about what they did and why they did it. That's the coach in me, asking those questions. I am so happy with all the great answers I/we get. So many people opening up. I have never seen it on the site before. We so much get to know them better as persons. I believe that opening up as I did made the first ones react and the rest followed up as they read what the others had written. I feel so happy and so very proud at the same time.
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Apr 28, 2014
Sorry, that is B.S. The staff at TV.com are not computers. They are NOT following a pre-written software program. They can choose to feature whatever piece they want! When they want! So @edshrinker and @rolamb keep pushing. If it is popular, then why kill it? For another lame fan-person's piece about The 100 that most don't watch and gets maybe a dozen comments, tops. And 1/3 are spam? The whole point of TV.com is viewer interaction on this site, right?

Damn. This piece is so good, I wish I had thought about writing it first.
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Apr 27, 2014
Have to add an Honorable Mention:

Lost In Space

It was silly, kinda stupid, and I used to run from the dinner table to go watch it. "Danger Will Robinson" was the catch-phrase at my school. And the last season opening theme song, written by John Williams, was the greatest TV intro song ever (though Josie and the Pussycats was a close second).
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Apr 27, 2014
Grey's Anatomy: makes me realise that good isnt enough. We want to be excellent in the things we are passionate about, to be the best. And docs sometimes really don't know what they are doing either. They aint god.

Restaurant Impossible: makes me look at a restaurant differently, from the server's attitude to the deco to the cleanliness and of course the food.
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Apr 27, 2014
I had never heard of Restaurant Impossible but if it made you look differently at restaurants it is a good one. Maybe it also made you realise that in every situation there are more angles to consider and that very angle/person might have his/her own story to tell.
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Apr 27, 2014
I'll have to go with the mother of all sci-fi/fantasy shows: The Twilight Zone. Along with the robot universe of Isaac Asimov and Star Trek, it's what has had the deepest influence on most of my writing endeavors.



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Apr 27, 2014
Like most of us, discovering scifi made us open up our minds and be aware that there is more then the eye can see. I so regret that our dull national channels never showed anything like The Twilight Zone. I discovered scifi through reading as my mother was a big fan and the small library in our house had a lot of scifi books.
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Apr 27, 2014
My father took me see my grandfather at 6:00 pm every day and I would sit and watch an old b/w Zenith TV while they spoke. The first series that had an impact was a Cosmos 1999 episode in which I saw astronauts for the first time and this got me into my life's passion, science fiction. SF got me to think about serious issues at the very early age, of six; and I actually get pleasure from thinking, maybe not the orgasm kind, but something better and more durable, the ecstasy of discovery. This led me to Twin Peaks, which to me is the best TV series of all time. What is absolutely incredible about Twin Peaks is that of perspective, both that of the camera which filmed at very weird angles, but also about the content which was very much a stream-of-consciousness between the unconscious and the conscious mind of alternating characters in the plot. With Twin Peaks, I loved Columbo, which gave me another edge on thinking, the love of details. Some will think it strange, but I really love details: the hide-and-seek quality to some and the fact that they sometimes, more than one might think, reveal a new way to look at an issue or an idea.
SF also got me into another passion, culture and history, both of which were encouraged by my early French education. In the future I would spend it between an American and a French education, which brought me a lot of flexibility of mind. This gets me to Lost. This is the series which also got me to reach fandom, and I was lucky enough to be part of the TV Guide fandom group under the moniker of Kerubi, and I got to know many great people and especially participate in the intellectual adventure that it was. I was able to indulge in all the multi-cultural, symbolic, semiotic, psychological, historical, and mythological intricacies and that was incredibly gratifying.
All though this, it is the invention of torrents which opened me the way to see episodes early enough to be able to share with other people. Before that, it was totally impossible.
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Apr 28, 2014
Twin Peaks would have been better if it had premiered as a fall program with a full first season. Instead, after a first year of nine hours, it lost momentum in the second season, slowing to the consistency of molasses with a lot of uninteresting sublots and intoduction of a new storyline before the first one finally concluded.
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Apr 28, 2014
I agree with your analysis wholeheartedly. I think they should have stuck in the resolution of the murder of Laura Palmer and the mystery of the cave and forget all the other basically stupid subplots, stupid because totally useless and distracting not the lack of intelligence. I still think a "reunion feature" would give closure to the fans much in the same vein as the recent Veronica Mars film did for its fanbase.
I am serious and literal in saying that so far I have not met a single person who was not touched by Twin Peaks. The eighties had been so materialistic, that the need for surrealism was quenching a thirst for new perspectives in life without the dogma of religion and this is this show that clenched it for many.
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Apr 28, 2014
Twin Peaks was originally meant to be only eight episodes, each about exactly one day of those eight days. The episodes start in the morning and end in the evening of that day. So it was made exactly as David Lynch had pitched it to the network.

Maybe it could have been made into a 22 episode season with 22 days or eight days divided over those 22 episodes. We'll never know how it would have been. But is has been made as intended and received pretty well by the public.

There was no original plan for a second season. it was only made because of the pressure the network put on the producers. Lynch & company were not that involved as in series one and you could see that. they returned in the end and we got that fantastic vibe back.

So I get what you want to say but it was never in the work as it was not intended in the way you wanted it to be.
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Apr 27, 2014
That's a life story and you really recognise the value tv had on it. I never realised that/if Columbo had an impact on my view on details, but I did use the 'one last question' bit several times on purpose.
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Apr 27, 2014
I did for a while use the "one more question" biit, but only with people who particularly annoyed me ,lol.
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Apr 27, 2014
Forgot: X-Files. My brother and I saw a UFO once, so I just loved the series for that and other reasons.
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Apr 26, 2014
Game of Thrones.

I didn't even know I liked the fantsay genre up until that point.
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Apr 27, 2014
We all have seen the result of that transformation on the site :-). Will you keep on watching other Fantasy or sci-fi series?
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Apr 26, 2014
Stargate sg1 and atlantis
They showed me what it was like to be human, to be different but accepted, they made me laugh and cry, went beyond the boundaries of imaginations and had fun on each adventure. Somehow my life connects to Stargate, the shows i watch mostly sci fi someone from stargate has made an appearance somewhere, my first published poem was related to Sargate, my kids names relate to Stargate, my kids favourite show is atlantis and its the only show we watch as a whole family and enjoy. I still help campaign for its return, still watch the dvds over and over and my collection is one of my most highly valued possesions.
Sanctuary
Loved this show with some of the writers of stargate and my favorite actress from stargate as the main character i only watched it because it had connection but a place where monsters could hide was enthralling, the cgi was amazing and the stories were a twist on history with interesting backgrounds, each character was unique but a family. It was dark in some places with the stories but it was brilliant to watch and was an intriguing take on being normal.
I love these shows even now and if I could I would watch them even if they returned . The made me better and made my life better, I don't need to hide in fantasy as I did as a kid and teenager because I found my voice to see the outside world and be a part of it through my writing which they gave me the confidence to do.
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Apr 27, 2014
Wonderfully expressed, thank you. It seems that your life is intertwined with SG without you being obsessed and that the best way of doing it!
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Apr 26, 2014
La Femme Nikita (with Peta Wilson).
It both gave me some boldness that i needed at that stage in my life, and made me question myself, how far would i, could i go, in every situation.
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Apr 27, 2014
Out of replies:

that's not the one with Bridget Fonda, right? Point of No Return (retitled)? I rather enjoyed that movie. She wasn't as complete a badass like Maggie or Peta, kind of a wise ass little girl with a big attitude. But still a pretty decent flick.
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Apr 27, 2014
No, i was speaking about the french original. The actress didn't do it for me.
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Apr 27, 2014
Check out Point of No Return. I think you'd enjoy it more.
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Apr 27, 2014
Great one! I love it when a series gets you to ask yourself questions on your own boundaries. It will make you develop yourself.
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Apr 26, 2014
Oh boy. My love for Peta Wilson remains.
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Apr 27, 2014
You're not alone Eddy.
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Apr 27, 2014
Maggie Q was really good. A little funnier. But oh my, Peta just nailed that role.

Huh huh. I said "nailed"
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Apr 27, 2014
The film wasn't great, but both Peta Wilson and Maggie Q are superb as Nikita, both series are entertaining. But there is something about Peta Wilson, probably because I was an adolescent when I was watching her, that always draws me in. And she's hot!
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Apr 27, 2014
I loved Nikita (with Maggie Q) !! all time favorite.
It just didn't came at a life changing time for me. Curiously enough, i am unphased by the original Besson film.
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Apr 26, 2014
Since you mentioned sports shows: Some time during my time at university (sometime between 2001 and -04) I stumbled across a broadcast of the Snooker World Championship. That was the first time I ever even heard about that particular sport. I was fascinated by it, watched it as much as I could. After I met someone who was interested as well, we tried and played ourselves quite a bit. We weren't any good, but it still was good fun - and it made us appreciate the performances by the Pros a lot more, because it is REALLY difficult. I have been watching (especially the World Championship) every year. Oh, btw, it is running right now :)

As far as normal scripted TV goes: The first series I really watched was Firefly. Bevore that I had no real interest in scripted TV. I only used it for news and the weather. After Firefly, I went purposely looking for good scripted TV. There was and is a lot of good content. Back then I tried to catch up on as many good shows that I could get my hands on. With Netflix and such, that task has become a lot easier. Funnily enough, I didn't watch Lost while it was on. I only saw it all last year after a friend finally made me watch the first episode and I was immediatly hooked.
Oh and I don't watch any reality-TV at all. Still watch the news though. The only "talk-show" that ever tickeled my fancy is "The Daily Show".
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Apr 28, 2014
I never thought i will find another snooker fan on tv.com.
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Apr 28, 2014
There are a lot of Europeans (like me) on Tv.com. We have to bring in the culture issues to balance the US contribution :-)
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Apr 28, 2014
I totally did not expect that either. Seems such a european and fringe sport.
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Apr 26, 2014
that's a great example of how tv had an influence on your life! I also love to watch snooker, but have never dared to play it outside of the occasional snooker hall with my son. I have once thought about buying a table, nut I didn't have enough room for the cues to play. I think I needed about two metres outside each side of the table and my house just didn't fit around that space :-). When we got BBC on the cable I used to watch a lot of snooker, In those days there was a very young (18 years I believe) and very spotted Stephen Hendry. I was rooting for him as he was the underdog and I've been rooting for him since. I am watching these days also (last match I watched was about five hours ago).

Although it's a bit outside of the subject, I can say I also do not watch any reality, semi-scripted reality or singing/dancing/diving (we have those over here)/etc. shows. I could say it changed my life as it makes it impossible for me to talk to a certain type of people.
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Apr 26, 2014
Ronnie is the classic genius who can be great and awfully bad also. I have seen that frame many times, It is sheer geniality. The speed! I have only seem a few frames this year but I remember last year very well. he hadn't played for half a year or so and lost his last games before that from minor players but he came and won.
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Apr 27, 2014
a Ronnie fan all the way. :-)
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Apr 26, 2014
True. Last year was a surprise for me. I really didn't expect him to perform the way he did after not playing for so long.

EuroSport just had a show where he analysed and talked us through his 147 he did to win the Welsh-Open. The way he thinks about building a frame is really interesting to see.
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Apr 27, 2014
Saw it, it was great and he looked so humble and a really great guy.
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Apr 26, 2014
Stephen Hendry was an awsome player. To bad he retired. But the awe-factor with Ronnie O'Sullivan is just higher somehow. If you ever watched the frame where he made a 147 in 5 minutes, you know why :)

Also, with O'Sullivan you never know what you get. Classic case of genius being close to madness.
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Apr 26, 2014
You thought about buying a table? Damn - those suckers are big :D I probably would have to take all the walls out of my flat to fit one in. And I have no idea if the floor would support it, as they weigh about a ton.

I just played in a club that we joined specifically because they had a pool-hall with snooker tables. Oh and also because they can teach you a few things about how to play the game. Which really is nescesary as we quickly discovered ;)
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Apr 27, 2014
We had one which belonged to some ambassador, but it was a normal pool table. We had a large balcony and it was there. I still remember how great it was to witness a sunset while playing. This is not as posh as it sounds, my grandfather was the Director of Protocol for my country.
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Apr 27, 2014
Now that sounds intriguing on a lot of levels.
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Apr 26, 2014
CHARMED
It made me know what type of relationship I want to have with people, what type of energy suits me best when relating to someone. Female empowerment made me sensitive and gave a voice to feelings I was having about discrimination. It made me reconcile being the underdog while also know myself as a power person. I've never in my life been so fanatic about anything as I was about Charmed.

COMMUNITY
Community is the most humorous, original and crazy show there has ever been in the history of the world. It represents everything I like about pop culture. A cult show, without a doubt.
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Apr 26, 2014
What a beautiful answer and what a joy that a series could give you so much for your personal development!
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Apr 26, 2014
LOST hands down. It changed my life. I can't go into the details because they're very personal but let's just say that it literally saved my life. Yeah it sounds very dramatic, I know. But it's true.

Also, Twin Peaks. It's the show that started my love affair with TV! That show just got me! It's my kinda show with my kinda humour. #CherryPiesAndCoffeeForLife

And last but definitely not least Fringe. It's story, it's message - everything. It did so many wonderful things to my life and one of them was show me what it means to be a part of a "fandom".

P.S. I'm really looking forward to your Twin Peaks recaps. Yay!
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Apr 27, 2014
I too enjoyed FRINGE and was sad to see it go. One thing about that show that I always liked is that everything that happened on that show, all the sci-fi type of stuff, could all really be happening and we would never know about it.
Regarding LOST, I liked their recurring themes of light vs. dark, science vs. faith, destiny/fate vs. making your own choices.
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Apr 28, 2014
Yeah, I wish Fringe lasted longer too. I love it so much and still re watch on a regular basis. I loved all of the themes in both shows. Loved that all of the sci-fi elements were always grounded in relatable (like you said stuff that might be going on) and also human emotions.

We're trying to get a Fringe movie going actually. :-)
FringeMovie
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Apr 26, 2014
We won't ask and you came out a better person. Hurray!

I now have six voters wanting me to do it. Five are the usual suspects but one new name. We're getting near a quorum.
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Apr 27, 2014
Okay, I add my voice for the TP recaps.
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Apr 27, 2014
Added Sir!
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Apr 26, 2014
I'm still looking forward to a Twin Peaks recap, it's about time I watched it!

My first choice has to be Red Dwarf, it was the first show that I had to see. It was the first show that really made me dream about achieving the impossible and it sowed the seeds for my love of sci-fi.

Next up is The X Files, which cemented by love of sci-fi TV. It was a strange one because I was at school and a couple of my friends also loved the show so we would chat about it all the time and get carried away with our beliefs in the supernatural and aliens, it was great fun. It was also the first (and only) time I've collected things associated with a series, I bought all the comics and the collectors cards. The first time I ever really wanted to emulate someone on TV, I wanted to be Fox Mulder. But it was a strange one because as I grew older, still watching the The X Files, I became more sceptical to the point where I no longer believe anything supernatural or alien, I took a complete U-turn. I don't know why I changed I just assume it was the way my brain developed, I'm very logical and analytical so I suppose my willingness to believe in the strange has been quashed by my need for proof and understanding, or maybe I was influenced by Doggett, who knows?

Next up has to be Babylon 5. Another sci-fi series, but one that is very different to the last two shows. Among all the philosophical questions as mention by @Rolamb above I think B5 was the first show to really get me thinking about politics and the relationships between rivals and allies on a global scale. The changing loyalties depending on need, opportunity or a mutual goal were a real eye-opener for me. Prior to this most TV shows showed the world as being pretty much Good vs Evil or Them vs Us, but here was a heavily serialised (although with some procedural elements) sci-fi series where most of the main characters lived in the grey between the absolutes of black or white. The world we live in isn't as clear cut as it seems to be when you're a kid.

I suppose I'm going to add in The West Wing, partly because it's my favourite drama series (Red Dwarf takes the sitcom spot) but mainly because it's one of the reasons why I love TV so much now, it certainly helped to shape my TV viewing preferences. Prior to The West Wing TV was all about the plot and/or the setting. I mean, it wasn't, but I didn't realise it until then. For me TV is largely about the characters. I'm just finishing up my 4 Episode Tests for March and April and one of the shows that has passed is Believe, but it has only passed because of the strength of the characters, if they had been badly written the show would have failed quite miserably. But I digress. All the shows I mentioned so far have had great characters but there is something about the way Aaron Sorkin writes that makes his so engaging. He never creates a one dimensional character and my love for The West Wing has helped me to realise just what it is about a TV series that really draws me in.

This reply is getting longer than I expected, but there are only two more to go. Penultimately is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was the same age as the characters on the show (although it was about a year later over here) so I pretty much grew up with them and got to watch as they went through a lot of the same traumas that we all face as adolescents, but obviously they were getting to fight vampires and save the world whilst doing it. There were a lot of lessons about trust, loyalty, honesty and truth, as well depicting young people who feel like outsiders becoming included in something special, which is pretty much the norm for a teen drama these days. Buffy broke the mould for teen television and cast a new one, which has been to the benefit of TV (and The CW) ever since.

Lastly we come to Lost. This show would struggle to make my top ten all time shows but I have to include it because it's the first show that really got me to feel like a part of a community because of a TV show. It was the first "water cooler" show for me and the people I worked with at the time. If it wasn't for Lost getting me interested in discussing TV I might not have been here now waffling on for half an about TV shows from my childhood - lucky for all of you eh? That's rhetorical!

Anyway, a quick honourable mention for Cracker, a UK crime series from the 90's that taught me that, basically, bad shit can happen to good people and now I'm done. I've really enjoyed this little run down memory lane, thanks @Rolamb for this wonderful idea. Give me a heads up when you're going to start Twin Peaks and I'll make sure I'm along for the ride.
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Apr 27, 2014
I think the X-Files got me into sci-fi shows too. I watched it as a little kid because my parents watched it.
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Apr 27, 2014
You had a good influence at home!
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Apr 27, 2014
Yes, Red Dwarf holds a special place in my heart too - probably the first sitcom I watched religiously and repeatedly, as well as my first exposure to British television, which I have come to appreciative as very high-quality.
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Apr 26, 2014
As you have read in the post, you were already on my list. I have Google doc that only says to give you a heads up in case I start the review.

These are the comments I love as they show I get people to think and also write about their thoughts. It gives all the other readers new ideas. It's like a class in creativity. I'f you've ever done one you will know how it works.

We share a few of the same series. We probably have talked about Cracker in my post on European detectives series: UK police stations and soloists where I also mentioned Cracker as great series beacuse it showed the dark side of such series.

Your reasoning for Buffy finally made me realise why I didn't watch it. when it aired (over here, I just learned a few comments below it was 8 - 10 years ago, but the comment is in Dutch), I was already over 40 yeas of age (yes, I'm old) and the series seemed a teenager drama. I didn't need to see one of those. I already had to see the ones my daughter was watching Like One Tree Hill.

There were so much different levels on Babylon 5 one could talk about. I've listened to the Babylon Podcast for all of the almost seven years they did that podcast (between 2006 and 2012) and there was so much to discuss and find out. The best were the cast interviews they did and the best of those were the 3.5 hours of JMS.

I know a lot of people love The West Wing but I never got really into the series. Maybe something for late.
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Apr 26, 2014
I'm definitly on board with a Twin Peaks marathon. I haven't watched it yet (except for the first 2 episodes a few years back) and it would be awsome to get to discuss it while I finally do. And I had planned to do that for some time now.
So, now I'll just wait till you start your reviews :D
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Apr 26, 2014
You just got yourself a position reserved on my my 'heads up' list :-)
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Apr 26, 2014
Buffy the Vampire Slayer : At 97 i was 9 Years old and i grew up with Buffy
Friends : Can't get enough of it
LOST : Changed my view of TV shows
The OC : WoW

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Apr 27, 2014
Buffy, Friends, and Lost are in my top five television shows of all time. It sounds like me have similar taste, I have a soft spot for teen and/ or soapy dramas too, and The O.C. was definitely a quality one.
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Apr 28, 2014
Looking at all the discussion where people mention there favourite shows (which was not the basis for this one), a lot of them on this site have Buffy and Lost in common. Especially those who in their teens when Buffy was aired. They were shows that connected people. Nowadays we do not see that many of these shows, Maybe GoT, but that one is different as it didn't change the landscape, it is just great to watch.
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Apr 29, 2014
As I mentioned previously, I have my problems with Game of Thrones, but I have no qualms in saying that I think it has revolutionised the television landscape in a number of way.

It has basically made fantasy television mainstream, for a start. I'm sure there are many people who used to avoid genre altogether, and at this stage in the series I think it's fair to say that there's no demographic Game of Thrones doesn't rate highly among.

The series has such a ridiculously rich universe and mythology, full of unpronounceable names and places and is set in a fictional universe - so what I'm saying it, it's basically hard to follow for even a casual viewer. So that makes it even more surprising that it's so popular. Viewers are obviously able to enjoy the show despite this, or the series instantly creates obsessive viewers, those who are willing to go back and read the books, watch the series again, and research it online in order to gain a better understanding and allowing them to have a more fulfilling experience because of it.

And while it's not the first book series to be produced for the small screen (Dexter and True Blood also come to mind) it definitely is the most expansive saga of novels that have been adapted in my opinion. There have long been rumoured projects of high-profile science-fiction/ fantasy book series in the past that have yet to come to fruition (the name of any escapes me at the moment, I sure there's far more knowledgeable reader who may be able to provide some examples). Anyway, I think in the near future, or post Game of Thrones, we'll be seeing a lot more of these high-concept productions of book series in an attempt to re-capture its' magic.
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Apr 26, 2014
So many tell here that Lost and Buffy changed their view on tv shows. You may have been a bit young to get all the teenage problems, but it did something for you. maybe prepare your for your teenage years better.
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Apr 26, 2014
True Story :)
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Apr 26, 2014
Kyle XY for me. :)
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Apr 26, 2014
I can think of a lot of reasons myself why it changed you as I myself found it to be a series that made me think about issues. I've mentioned it many times in my comments. But what made it change your life?
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Apr 26, 2014
For me, it was The X Files. This show was the start of my interest then love for tv shows.
I will add Six Feet Under because it showed me everyone was important, whether your a troubled teenager or a lonely mother. It also showed me that I prefer watching good normal looking actors than bad good looking ones. And they made me laugh about death ; how cool is that ?
I'll end with Star Trek : this show fed my love for science as a child. Spock is my favorite character of all time. Now that I'm a scientist, I quote him regularly with my students.
Thanks for this interesting question Rolamb !
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Apr 26, 2014
Thanks for the kind words. Star Trek and Six Feet Under (that I haven't seen yet but will see in some future) both told us that everyone counts and everyone is the same, they all just are influenced by the position or place they are in at that moment in time. Especially scifi shows do that, but seeing a non-scifi show did it is good to hear. All three shows you mention have in common that they want us to keep an open kind. From there to becoming a scientist is a logical way. Through your quotes you may bring your students to those classic series, but as they are science students I imagine they all have seen them already.
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Apr 26, 2014
Vampire Diaries was/is a medium through which I expel all my teen angst (I'm 17 right now) haha and it was a universe where I could lose myself for about an hour every week. Too bad now it's not as good as it used to be...
The Tudors catalyzed my love for that period in history, as well as history in general.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S was just a classic.
Sadly, I'm too young to have watched many older shows :(
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Apr 27, 2014
I too am a history buff! The lovely thing about shows like "the Tudors" is that it gets people interested in history without making them read books or memorize anything, which is what most people think of when they think of history or a history class. I love historic dramas because a lot of the time truth is stranger than fiction and no one could write better stories than those that actually happened.
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Apr 27, 2014
I completely agree with you, reality often is so much stranger, worse, better and at last different from fiction. What I have seen in my life would be good for a few books, but we never get to do that.
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Apr 26, 2014
Nice to see someone of your age interested in history. So few do these days, but the stories can be great, one can visit places where they have been real and we can learn from that. Keep up learning from what you see on tv and do not just consume it.

I agree with @No1Slayerette that there are many series you still should see, although some of them may seem slow now. Buffy is a good start but you will hear about many other serie on this site.
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Apr 26, 2014
But it means you have you're whole life ahead of you to watch older shows, so it's not all bad! If you like The Vampire Diaries I'd suggest Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that was the series I watched growing up and changed the way I view things, plus it still holds up remarkedly well today.
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Apr 26, 2014
Also, could you imagine being able to watch Buffy for the first time all over again? I envy those that can.
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Apr 26, 2014
I whole-heartedly recommend Buffy as well, I also watched it growing up (I was the same age as the characters), but I'd say it is a lot better than The Vampire Diaries and I think the tone is different too, Buffy is certainly funnier.
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Apr 26, 2014
Having just started with Buffy myself, I have to say, it is a show that seems to have been a bit ahead of its time or maybe established a modern way of story-telling on TV.
When you are used to todays shows, you defenitly notice that Buffy is a bit older. Good shows today have improved upon the way Buffy did it. But on average, Buffy still can keep up. And then there are still shows that get made that can not keep up at all with Buffy - and that is just sad.

It is compareable to TVD, but the cast is smaller - that to me is one of the main differences.
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Apr 26, 2014
You know I've never seen Buffy? It has never aired over here. I know I should see it .......
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Apr 26, 2014
It has. It was originally on BBC2 when they still had a children's/teens TV slot around 5 or 6-ish in the evening. Aaahhhhh......great memories!
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Apr 26, 2014
You might be misguided by my use of English or posts on UK detective series, but I am not a UK citizen. I'm Dutch. I did have BBC on our cable but I was never home at those hours. usually still working or in the traffic jam.
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Apr 26, 2014
Buffy is wel uitgezonden in Nl, zo'n 8 a 10 jaar geleden? rond 22:30 moest het altijd opnemen. Kwam er elke dag op en na school keek ik de aflevering terug. Je zou het echt eens moeten gaan kijken!
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Apr 26, 2014
Helemaal gemist, ik denk dat ik teveel heb gewerkt toen.
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Apr 26, 2014
I can't recommend it enough. I know television is a matter of taste, so I understand if someone tried Buffy and could give a legitimate reason as to why it wasn't something they'd enjoy, but for me, it's perfection, so for those who haven't at least tried it, I always highly recommend it.

Despite having seen it so many times (at least four of five viewings of the entire series) I watched a Season 3 episode the other day, which aired almost 15 years back in 1999, and I was completely enthralled from start to finish. It just holds up so well.
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Apr 26, 2014
Dollhouse should also be on your list - further down. Same argument why you'd like it. It is 2 short seasons, however. Yet once it got it's feet - great show.
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Apr 26, 2014
All of Joss Whedon's shows have the same wonderful comic sense of the absurd. YOu love Firefly. Although you go from hard Sci-Fi to a more mystical show with Buffy, I can't stress enough how the characters are all just oozing with Whedoness. The plot twists, the shocks, the laughs... all the same feel. And VERY strong female characters. All very Whedonesque. I put Angel as 1-b to Buffy's 1-a. In many cases (especially in Buffy's later seasons) I like Angel a whole lot more. It was a bit more "adult". BUt those trademarks are all there. Dollhouse should also be on your list - further down. Same argument why you'd like it
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Apr 26, 2014
I'll try it! Thanks for the suggestion :)
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Apr 26, 2014
Rolamb I will read any and all of your Twin Peaks recaps.

It was Stargate: SG1 that was on regularly when I was growing up that first introduced me to high-quality genre TV. It was a great gateway into other science fiction shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Of course after watching the Star Treks I realised that SG1 borrowed pretty heavily from them but I still love it just the same. Lost was probably the show that launched my modern obsession with TV, in some ways it began the golden age of TV, with such shows as Dexter (early seasons of course) and Breaking Bad following soon after. Since Lost began I've spent far too much time marathoning series. The best of them all is still Twin Peaks. David Lynch is one of my favourite movie directors. I watched Mulholland Dr in about 2003 and that's probably the movie that changed my life. It's still my favourite movie (with 2001: A Space Odyssey a very close 2nd). I've seen all his movies and when I borrowed a VHS set of Twin Peaks I was just blown away. Even with the current trend of using a big name director to do your cable TV pilot Twin Peaks remains the most cinematic and best directed TV show and Lynch is the only movie director coming to TV to take the formt really seriously.
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Apr 26, 2014
If we do movies, I have to say, mine was Matrix. It's not the best movie ever, but it is the movie that changed my viewing habits from light entertainment to the more heavy and high quality stuff.
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Apr 27, 2014
The Matrix was a great movie. Pity the sequels were so terrible.
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Apr 26, 2014
Oh and 2001 is also one of my favourite films. I've got it on DVD but it is one of those films one should see on a big screen. It made an enormous impression on me when I saw it in a theatre for the first time. Mulholland drive (yes, I've got that one too), is a strange movie, but Lynch is a strange man who does what he wants. I think I have to watch it again a few times to appreciate it more. I am not sure what my favourite movies are, but the movies I've seen most time are a few Spaghetti westerns. But that's a whole different story.
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Apr 27, 2014
Hey, @Rolamb, maybe we should consider doing a 'Films That Changed Your Life' discussion thread?
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Apr 27, 2014
I'll think about it, but it might be seen as a cheap idea if I post it too soon. I'll keep it in mind. Also keep in mind that 'favourite' is not the same as 'changed my life'. Tv series play out longer and are more likely to have changed ones life.
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Apr 27, 2014
That's a good point.
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Apr 26, 2014
You have read my opinion on Twin Peaks so you know I completely agree with you. I've got all the different DVD sets at home as everytime there was something new on it.

I'm a bit older and have seen all the big SciFi series when they aired, at least at the moment our national Dutch tv station with two channels aired them. I think the first one I saw was The Thunderbirds (counts for me, I've got them on DVD) and UFO. I have never seen anyone mention it on this site yet. What it did for me was it made me realise that there is more then I know and the eye can see and I should embrace the possibilities.

Only two votes for Twin Peaks up to now, hope we get more. On the other hand, a few that comment a lot might also make it interesting. The discussions are fun.
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Apr 26, 2014
When I was in 6th grade I became totally OBSESSED with I Love Lucy. I don't think that there will ever be a time where I don't love this show. Everything can be so logical. Weeds had this same quality.
My mom and I bonded over Homefront (also in 6th grade). Whenever I watch that now, I think about how far morality has gone.
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Apr 26, 2014
I had never heard of Homefront, but I just a bit about it. As a historical piece it can make us think about things like morality. I assume you mean that morality has gone down, and if you realise that, you will live up to higher morality standards and it indeed has changed you. Great!
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Apr 26, 2014
Deep Space Nine was a series that showed me we can think outside the box.After two Star Trek series with a specific view with honest to goodness characters,DS9 showed us we can root for the good guys who have a darker tone to them and dark secrets within them and that sometimes we can't tell the difference between the good guys and bad guys.The dark edge and tone opened my eyes to a different way at looking at sci-fi,therefore leading me to be a fan of other dark sci-fi series like Farscape,Babylon 5,Firefly and new Battlestar Galactica. I still love the wholesome goody-goody two shoes sci-fi series I grew up on but Deep Space Nine opened my eyes to other formulas in tone and edginess,in viewing science fiction and other genres like Supernatural,Walking Dead,X-Files,Angel,Falling Skies and others.

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Apr 26, 2014
It's the same reason I loved Babylon 5 as you could read in the post. We'll not talk about what came first and where they got their idea. But as I also own the DS9 DVD's you can see I do not mind at all. I loved both series.
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Apr 26, 2014
Agreed!Both series came out at around the same time and it was a great time for sci-fi on TV.And I own both shows on DVD.Both shows told epic storylines and took sci-fi to new levels of excitement.
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Apr 26, 2014
It's funny - I remember seeing an interview (after the fact) of how PISSED JMS was that the big franchise name "Star Trek" was doing the same thing he had been planning for a big chunk of his life. He acknowledged it was simply a coincidence (was he being kind?) - but how distraught he was when he heard about DS9's premise.
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Apr 26, 2014
That's why I mentioned not wanting to talk about what came first. JMS is still very pissed about it but will never formally say they nicked his idea as he is afraid of claims or lawsuits. His story is he pitched the idea to CBS and they turned him down. While he was in the final fase for his pilot for WB, he saw they had a new series that was very much like the pitch he gave at CBS. He was never able to prove anything, but he is certain they nicked his idea.
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Apr 26, 2014
For me it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Excuse the long-windedness of my post, but I've written about how the series changed the way I watched and felt about television before, so I thought it easier to copy it from my blog. It also contains spoilers for the series for those who haven't seen it.

What was that moment in television, for you, when TV became more than just something to do while you ate dinner? Or when you had nothing better to do? That moment in which you fell in love with a TV show. When a mild interest turned into a flew-blown obsession. It may have been something that made you laugh hysterically. Or cry uncontrollably. Or it may have been an unexpected plot twist. Or the first time instead of just watching TV, what you were watching actually made you stop for a second and think. I think all hardcore television fans, whether they solely adore one single show, or many, has had one of these moments. Today I’m going to share mine with you, and how this moment shaped my love affair with television.

The scene in question I’m going to be discussing is from the season two episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer titled ‘Passion’. It also involves the death of a character and therefore spoilers. Anyway, Buffy was the first (adult) television show I religiously watched (sorry, Scooby-Doo!). I was very very young at the time, eight or nine if I recall correctly. My parents watched it occasionally, but it was when my Dad brought me home the first season on VHS (oh, those were the days) when I really started to get into it. Once season two started I was taping it every week. I don’t really know what would inspire an eight-year old to be enthralled by a show like Buffy, but all I can think of is that it was genre defying. It had something for everyone. It was science-fiction/ fantasy, but it was also action, horror, comedy, drama and romance as well, plenty of things to keep me entertained.

Angel, Buffy’s vampire boyfriend, has lost his soul after having a moment of pure happiness with her, and reverted to his true vampire self, Angelus. Jenny Calendar, an IT teacher at Sunnydale high, has been revealed as a descendant of the gypsy tribe that cursed Angel initially. As a member of that tribe she was advised to impede Buffy and Angel’s relationship to ensure Angel didn’t lose his soul. Obviously, she fails, and when her role in the events is revealed to Buffy and the others she becomes estranged from their close-knit group. Desperate to undo her wrongs, Jenny tries to translate the ancient curse using her computer to re-install Angel’s soul. As she completes this one night late at school Angel reveals himself in the shadows destroys the translation and then her computer.

Although I young I remember thinking that because Jenny was a main character on Buffy, that she couldn’t die. As she was running for her life through the deserted halls of Sunnydale high, throwing cleaning carts in front of a rabid Angelus in an attempt to stop him, I was thinking: she’s going to get away, somehow she’ll escape. Oh, how wrong I was. It’s strange how even at such a young age I had become unconsciously aware of basic storytelling rules and conventions. I had read enough books, and watched enough television and movies, to understand that good is supposed to triumph over evil, and that generally doesn’t involve heroes dying. Not that I thought no one died at all. I was aware that plenty of nameless faces often lost their lives in good versus evil tales. In fact Angelus had already killed innocent women who happened to be hanging out in dark alleys or walking home by themselves at the wrong time. It wasn’t that I thought on one would died, just not Jenny. Because Jenny wasn’t a nameless face. She was an important character who had been in Buffy since its first season. She had helped Buffy fight against the forces of darkness; she had had a relationship with Giles. She was someone audiences knew, which is probably why it had such an impact on me when Angelus snapped her neck.

So that was the moment watching television changed for me, because I had to stop and think: wait a second, they can’t do that! But Joss Whedon and Co. did. They defied a standard rule and convention of ‘traditional’ television and snapped its neck, and didn’t care what anyone thought of it. One may argue that there are a lot of far superior ways in which Whedon has disregarded and broken standard storytelling rules and conventions over his career, but this will always be the defining one for me. The one that made me realise the good storytelling, good television, is daring, shocking and defies logic.

So now it’s fair to say I love unpredictable television. Procedurals bore me because they follow a strict set of rules and conventions, I live for television that pushes to break these rules and take audiences out of their comfort zones. So here’s to Whedon and Co. for this moment in television.
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Apr 26, 2014
Angel had the most captivating story arcs 2-3 mainly, but really all 5 with the Wolfram & Hart - Senior Partners arc. You mad eme realize - Angel was the 1st time I realized how much I preferred serial story telling over "case of the week". From that point on - when I heard "Great Arc" I thought of Angel and it piqued my interest in the show they were talking about.
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Apr 27, 2014
I'm a huge Angel fan too, I basically see it as an extension of the Buffy universe, so how could I not? There seems to be a lot of people who think overall Angel's quality and/or consistently was greater than that of Buffy's throughout each series' respective runs (which could be argued), but for me, Buffy will always be better.

Speaking of serialised storytelling, how about Angel's fourth season? For half a season it was basically a very long apocalyptic film, and I loved every moment of it.
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Apr 27, 2014
Amen to that!
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Apr 26, 2014
I have never watched Buffy but I can understand a scene like that can be unsettling and joyful at the same time. You won't be so stable with both feet on the ground any more.

As an aspiring writer that indeed must have changed your life. You must enjoy GoT, at least if you haven't read the books. I haven't and I'm in a constant state of not knowing what is going to happen (as long as my son who read the books in a few weeks after season 1 doesn't spoil it for me, but up to now he hasn't).
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Apr 27, 2014
Definitely changed the way I perceived storytelling in general, and probably is actually what aspired me to want to write, yeah.

I watch Game of Thrones, but I'm not as huge a fan as you'd think. I think there's an inherent problem with television series that are adapted from novels, and in Game of Thrones' case the way the books focus on one character per character makes for difficult viewing when transferred to television. It annoys me greatly that essentially your watching the stories of a vast cast of characters, but as this stage in the expensive story these characters are their journey are sparsely intertwined, meaning your basically watching a series of vignettes each week, of which most develop painfully slow because there are just so much characters to get visit.
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Apr 27, 2014
That is what my son told me (without spoiling anything) that was also happening in the books. It's the issue with every story/book that has more then two parts, the parts in between are just people 'travelling' from the fist part to the last part. With so many characters, there is a lot of 'travelling' going on and a lot without interwtining as you say.
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Apr 26, 2014
My first thought is Late Night With David Letterman because Dave's humor has had such an influence on my own.
Then, in about 2004 I started watching old episodes of Boy Meets World on ABC Family. I liked it so much I went to the Internet to find out more about it, and found my way to TVTome, which would become TV.com. Being part of this community has had a pretty big influence on my life.

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Apr 26, 2014
I can relate to the fact that this site has some influence on our lives :-)
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Apr 26, 2014
The series that changed my life is......Star Trek!Not only did it get me hooked on science fiction,but the series also showed me at a young age that we are all the same and should treat each other with respect regardless of our religious beliefs,our skin color,our gender,our nationality or our political views,we are all one big family.Now that's a powerful message that as a little kid,I took to heart.In fact,when I changed grade schools and went to a new school where it was all white kids and just one black kid,and even though I was the new kid,I was the only one that went up the the black kid and made friends with him when none of the other kids would go near him or talk to him.We went on to be best friends until we lost touch after High School.And thanks to Gene Roddenberry,I learned not to judge others based on their skin color.Now THAT'S a life changing series in my opinion.Thank you,Gene!And to everyone...live long and prosper!

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Apr 26, 2014
I could imagine it would be Star Trek for you. You did well in High School! In the end the black kid was a great friend so the loss is for all the other kids at school. Start Trek was undoubtedly a series with lessons on how to behave and interact, although it was packed in scifi, action and more.
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Apr 26, 2014
Jinx
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Apr 26, 2014
For the record, I would be VERY excited if you did a summer Twin Peaks re-watch/recap/photocap/review!! I've been wanting to try this show out for ages but haven't for some reason. Maybe it's because I'm scared it won't live up to the hype or my own expectations! Well for whatever reason, a summer re-watch/recap/photocap/review sounds like just the thing to kickstart my twin peaks experience! :D (additionally, judging by the number of people who've listed Twin Peaks as being the show that's changed their lives, I'm more excited than ever!)
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Apr 26, 2014
With the both of you I've got four votes now :-). Just promise you will not only read but also comment and tell us what you thought about the episodes (yes Ed, I know you will).
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Apr 26, 2014
I am right there with you. Be my excuse for watching the show.
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