The Writers Guild of America has released its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series. “The Sopranos” won the overall prize, which makes me feel as if I’m a part of it, seeing how I had to create the ending.
The Sopranos was named the best-written show in television history by the Writers Guild of America, edging out an eclectic collection of some of the most beloved and admired series.
I really don’t have much beef with this list, except I thought the season of “The Wire” about the Baltimore school system may have been the best written single season of a series. Even if the ending left me with an empty, aching feeling.
Here’s the top 10:
- The Sopranos (juggling the nuances of the characters alone is worth this award)
- Seinfeld (making nothing a character takes craft)
- The Twilight Zone (some of these episodes crossed over into political and racial commentary without beating you over the head with it)
- All in the Family (broached topics never covered on TV, before or since)
- M*A*S*H (brought humanity to war)
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show (the voice of a new generation of women)
- Mad Men (taking on the 60’s from a different angle)
- Cheers (barflies as family, I saw it in real life, so this show rang true)
- The Wire (some seasons superior to others, but the show always left me wanting more)
- The West Wing (never got into it when it ran, but I’ve seen clips of this show that have brought me to tears)
I was glad to see some personal favorites make the cut, especially “Freaks and Geeks”, which I think is the best high school show ever, capturing the awkwardness, and the humor of it all. LOST, Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks were also honored.
Ken Levine is a writer who worked on MASH and Cheers among other shows. He gives his thoughts on his blog.