Rolling Stone released their rankings of the 100 Greatest Television Shows of All Time earlier this week. Like any good Internet list, it is bad, which is kind of the point. A list like this is an impossible task and it is only truly successful if it upsets people and they share and discuss, or more accurately, argue. If someone were to look at a list like this and simply agree, well, that doesn't really generate interest. And no matter how altruistic your intentions are when you put together something like this, everyone is going to have a problem with something, so it's not all that hard to generate some serious hate clicks.
Having said all that, man, Rolling Stone did an awful job with some of these selections and snubs.
One of the most egregious is putting Fleabag, a show with two seasons of 12 total episodes, as the 5th-greatest television program ever. Right ahead of Seinfeld, a show that had more great episodes in each season than literally exist in the entirety of Fleabag.
Comparing these two things is absurd. There really should be another list for shortform shows, but since there is not you get something like this where you suggest that a show that created just over five total hours of footage is better than Mad Men or Cheers.
Recency bias is a serious thing and Fleabag clearly benefits. As does Succession, which is a great show that is a lot of fun to talk about, but there's just no way it's the 11th-best show ever. I mean, they have 25 shows ahead of MASH. Bojack Horseman is very funny, but the 41st-best show ever? What are we even doing here?
About half the shows that were one of the best 100 shows ever the last time Rolling Stone did this list back in 2016 are gone. Yet LOST remains at No. 36. In fact, it went up three spots from No. 39! Has anyone over there rewatched LOST in the last decade? I doubt it because you can't do it. Go ahead. Try to care about the numbers and the Dharma Initiative again. You can't do it.
I guess that's proof that recency bias didn't completely dominate the list. That and the fact that two comedies that have won Emmys since Fleabag were not included on the list. That's right, Ted Lasso and Schitt's Creek. These two shows are damn near flawless, critically acclaimed and award-winning. What's the criteria for leaving them off in favor of Squid Game, which isn't even the best foreign language drama about a group of people being forced to play twisted games for their own survival on Netflix. (Hello, Alice in Borderland.)
So those are my major gripes with the list. I'm sure everyone has their own, but these are mine. If there are 100 shows better than Ted Lasso, that's not the list of them.