#1  
Old 06-19-2012, 06:58 PM
Favourite Season of Any Show

So, what's everyone's favourite season of television ever? Doesn't have to be the best ever, just your personal favourite season (or seasons but rank 'em and tell us why).

For me, the choice is surprisingly easy albeit also frustrating enough I want to bang my head against the wall.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - SEASON 1



I've never felt more connected with a group of TV characters as I did watching the first season of Friday Night Lights. It was just after the first season had ended on TV, I downloaded a bunch of the episodes and ended up blazing through them in a week or two. With almost all of my favourite shows, I can roughly order the episodes from favourite to least, or point to a few highlights and low points in each season.

It's different with the first season of Friday Night Lights though because I felt like I was wrapped up in the lives of these characters completely and they felt so vivid that every episode just flowed right into the next one for me as one epic story of a town. I mean, sure everyone knows the Mudbowl episode as one of the highlights, etc, but there isn't an episode I would skip in the first season. I found it gripping from beginning right through to the last episode - and I'm not even remotely a football fan. I loved the way the show wore its emotions on its sleeve but without ever feeling maudlin or overly sentimental. I loved the atmosphere, the vibe of this small-town. I loved that the show not only explored the high schoolers but placed a lot of importance on the fathers and mothers and the other people populating the town. And I loved the perfect use of music - Explosions in the Sky setting the show's atmosphere and tone so perfectly.

Which is why I haven't been able to go back and watch the season again in years despite having bought the DVD set the first day it came out. NBC (bastards!) only contracted most of the music for a two-year broadcast period to save money. What that meant is that the DVDs ended up with a lot of generic muzak replacing some of the best musical cues of the season - or else music would be stripped out entirely from scenes. But I could even deal with some of the songs missing. What I couldn't deal with is that all the Explosions in the Sky scoring (which was very predominant in Season 1 with 1-3 pieces in every ep) was stripped out entirely (with the exception of the pilot) and replaced by this fucking awful pseudo-Explosions music, that basically approximated the sounds of each Explosions song used in the series but with chords that hit different off-tones and diminish the emotional impact of those scenes significantly.

The show is still great, even without the music - but knowing that there was such a better version of the show out there that I will never be able to watch in its full glory pisses me off to no end. I still have my downloaded AVIs which was the only way I would watch the show for a long time because every time I watched the DVDs, I would get pissed at the scenes where the Explosions music was clearly replaced with stuff that had the right sound but not the right melodies or notes. But the AVIs have shitty sound quality. And unfortunately, the first season came out before the era of HD rips. So basically, Season 1 of this show is like a huge tease for me. I love the season but I haven't watched it in years because either way of watching the show ends up sucking majorly. I'd pay a couple hundred bucks for a blu-ray copy with the original audio but I don't think we'll ever get to see the original version of this season again.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 06-19-2012 at 07:13 PM..
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2012, 07:00 PM
Breaking Bad Season 2 is pretty much as good as it gets. It's the most complete season of the four so far and there is so much great character stuff between Jesse and Walt.

The Wire Season 4 and Freaks and Geeks Season 1 are in that ballpark as well. Whereas the other seasons of The Wire all have the occasional episode that is good, but not great, Season 4 was just great episode after great episode. And with Freaks and Geeks, it was just good to finally see an incredibly authentic portrayal of high school and the ups and downs of youth life. It's a shame it only lasted one season.

Last edited by Bourne101; 06-19-2012 at 07:05 PM..
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2012, 07:33 PM
Heroes Season 1 is always known as the best and I'd have to agree. Also the Soprano's (any season really), the Wonder Years (season 1 was prolly the best) and the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles too. (Though I did enjoy Shirley Manson as a terminator/robot in the 2nd season of the show as well )
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2012, 08:12 PM
Season 4, The Wire.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2012, 08:37 PM
The Wire: Season 4 and Game of Thrones: Season 1. Both unbreakable 10's - both LEGEND.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:02 PM
Lost: Season 6 - Beautiful, thrilling, epic. I know a lot of people were letdown by this season, but not me. I thought it was virtually flawless. Endlessly rewatchable with the PERFECT ending.

Seasons 1 and 3 are nearly as great. But season 6 is definitely my favorite.

24 is my favorite show and I have a hard time picking a favorite season. Season 2, 5, 7 and 8. Not sure which one I would choose.

Also near and dear to me is season 2 of Dawson's Creek.

Last edited by ilovemovies; 06-19-2012 at 11:31 PM..
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:48 PM
For me, the top five would be:

Six Feet Under Seasons 1 & 2 (tie)
The Wire Season 3 (yes 3, not 4. Though 4 is definitely a close second)
Lost Season 1
Breaking Bad Season 3
Friday Night Lights Season 1 (with 3, 4, and 5 not too far behind)

@JC - Kudos on naming Friday Night Lights! I just started season 3 and am absolutely loving the hell out of it - such a powerful and underrated show. I'm currently watching it on Netflix and I believe that all of the original musical cues are very much in tact (I don't think the contractual stuff matters for netflix, hence why shows like FNL and The Wonder Years are presented with their original glorious soundtracks).

Last edited by Reckoner; 09-06-2012 at 06:52 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:21 PM
FilmKing -
Spoiler:
Thanks for the tip - I'll look into it but I'm pretty certain the studio would almost certainly have given them the versions sans Explosions - at least for the first season, because it's far past the two-year timeframe they had the rights to those songs for.

The music they replaced it with is probably by the guy who wrote the main FNL theme - and it has a very similar tone to Explosions which could have someone mistaking it for mediocre Explosions on a watch by itself. But if you compare the scenes with and without side by side, you'll notice a huge difference in emotional tone, etc, and the scale of the songs - there's absolutely no comparison for the emotional impact of the Explosions stuff. They kept it far more prominent in the mix in the original run versus the pseudo-Explosions stuff (which is just bland guitar-based noodling really with almost no melody). Walden wrote a great theme for FNL but in an attempt to mimic the original Explosions audio in the re-scoring, what ends up playing through the season is bland wanna-be Explosions stuff rather than hitting any emotional tones of its own.

Just for a test, I skimmed through the original broadcast version of the second episode alongside the newer version. In that episode, there were 11 songs used. 6 of those songs were replaced: 4 Explosions tracks, TV on the Radio's Wolf Like Me (with some godawful piece of crap), and Outkast's Idlewild Blues (with some jazzy muzak that doesn't have the same punch to that sequence).

Music in the original broadcast version of Season 1 was VERY prominent with lots of known stuff from 2-3 tracks at least of Explosions in almost every episode to several instances of Black Keys, Black Angels, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Justin Timberlake, and Drive-by Truckers, to one-off uses of Mogwai, Calexico, Sparklehorse, Spoon, Annuals, LCD Soundsystem, Rihanna, And You Will Know Us by the Trial of the Dead, Gustavo Santaolalla, Rogue Wave, Ryan Adams, Broken Social Scene, Killers, Funkadelic and that's like a quarter of the music used in the season...

Honestly, music was so key to the show then that it's crushing to watch the bastardized pale version now. I haven't watched through the entire season to see what's missing and what's there but I have skimmed through to a few emotionally charged scenes before and in almost every time, the music was replaced or stripped out. I actually tried to see if it was possible to re-edit the 5.1 audio to replace the shitty music with the good music in each case using the original broadcast xvids as a guide, but the new music is heavily/firmly integrated on every channel except the main dialogue channel, making it impossible to remove. It's too bad they didn't just strip out all the music instead of replace it because at least then I would have been able to add the music myself goddammit.

Liza Richardson (the music supervisor) is quite possibly be the only person around that has the original broadcast audio in good quality ... http://www.fuelfriendsblog.com/2010/...-night-lights/
(No spoilers above but I spoilered it cause it's long and kind of off-topic)
---

So I'm seeing a lot of mentions of Season 4 of The Wire...haven't gotten that far in the series yet but it's got me pumped to see it now.

If I added to my list, I'm pretty sure Breaking Bad either Season 2 or 3 would be on it, probably leaning towards Season 2. Season 3 hits some of my favourite peaks of the series as far as intensity but it did start slightly unevenly. Season 2 was a pretty flawless season from beginning to end.

Also 24: Season 5 - best popcorn ride ever. Starts with a bang and maintains the tension pretty much right through to the finale.

I will have to get around to Freaks and Geeks as well.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 06-20-2012 at 08:24 PM..
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPhoenix View Post


Also 24: Season 5 - best popcorn ride ever. Starts with a bang and maintains the tension pretty much right through to the finale.
Season 2 as well I would say.
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:54 PM
Season Four of House
Season One of Heros

Those provided some of the greatest T.V programming of all time IMO.
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  #11  
Old 06-21-2012, 12:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPhoenix View Post
FilmKing -
Spoiler:
Thanks for the tip - I'll look into it but I'm pretty certain the studio would almost certainly have given them the versions sans Explosions - at least for the first season, because it's far past the two-year timeframe they had the rights to those songs for.

The music they replaced it with is probably by the guy who wrote the main FNL theme - and it has a very similar tone to Explosions which could have someone mistaking it for mediocre Explosions on a watch by itself. But if you compare the scenes with and without side by side, you'll notice a huge difference in emotional tone, etc, and the scale of the songs - there's absolutely no comparison for the emotional impact of the Explosions stuff. They kept it far more prominent in the mix in the original run versus the pseudo-Explosions stuff (which is just bland guitar-based noodling really with almost no melody). Walden wrote a great theme for FNL but in an attempt to mimic the original Explosions audio in the re-scoring, what ends up playing through the season is bland wanna-be Explosions stuff rather than hitting any emotional tones of its own.

Just for a test, I skimmed through the original broadcast version of the second episode alongside the newer version. In that episode, there were 11 songs used. 6 of those songs were replaced: 4 Explosions tracks, TV on the Radio's Wolf Like Me (with some godawful piece of crap), and Outkast's Idlewild Blues (with some jazzy muzak that doesn't have the same punch to that sequence).

Music in the original broadcast version of Season 1 was VERY prominent with lots of known stuff from 2-3 tracks at least of Explosions in almost every episode to several instances of Black Keys, Black Angels, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Justin Timberlake, and Drive-by Truckers, to one-off uses of Mogwai, Calexico, Sparklehorse, Spoon, Annuals, LCD Soundsystem, Rihanna, And You Will Know Us by the Trial of the Dead, Gustavo Santaolalla, Rogue Wave, Ryan Adams, Broken Social Scene, Killers, Funkadelic and that's like a quarter of the music used in the season...

Honestly, music was so key to the show then that it's crushing to watch the bastardized pale version now. I haven't watched through the entire season to see what's missing and what's there but I have skimmed through to a few emotionally charged scenes before and in almost every time, the music was replaced or stripped out. I actually tried to see if it was possible to re-edit the 5.1 audio to replace the shitty music with the good music in each case using the original broadcast xvids as a guide, but the new music is heavily/firmly integrated on every channel except the main dialogue channel, making it impossible to remove. It's too bad they didn't just strip out all the music instead of replace it because at least then I would have been able to add the music myself goddammit.

Liza Richardson (the music supervisor) is quite possibly be the only person around that has the original broadcast audio in good quality ... http://www.fuelfriendsblog.com/2010/...-night-lights/
.
Hmm. I watched Season 1 back in November so I can't really remember how many of the artists you listed appeared on the version of the show that Netflix has streaming (I'm not familiar enough with Explosions to determine their inclusion either), but I DO remember the inclusion of Santaolla's "Iguazu" and Pearl Jam's "Come Back"...I think those were the two that struck a cord with me the most. Were those cut for the dvd release?
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2012, 01:46 AM
FIREFLY -

It was only one half of a season, but damn if it wasn't some extremely great television that was unworthy of Fox's axe-heavy cancellation-happy ways back then. The way the entire crew has their strengths and weaknesses, and how each of them would not be the best they are capable of without the support of the other crew members makes it such a dynamic series relationship-wise.
Then, of course, there's plenty of imaginative action, crisp writing and outstanding storytelling.
I am so sad it only got half a season, but I'm forever grateful a movie was made to help tie up a few mysterious elements of the story, and provided a satisfying swan song for the ship and its crew.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON 3(?) -

I put up the question mark merely because seasons 3-5 are so outstanding that where one season excells the others also compliment and/or do other things better. Season 2 certainly started gaining ground by the halfway point and establishing the series as a true contender for hard hitting drama and unexpected twists.
Of note with season 3, though, is the mayor. He is one of my all-time favorite villains. Another bonus is that the stuntwork and fight choreography of the series became more "respectable" compared to the first two seasons. It was painful some times trying to sit through a Gellar closeup only to then have an obvious stunt double replacing her, almost so blatantly obvious it was like the creators were sneering at the audience. By a few episodes into season three, though, they made efforts to make that element of the show more respectable.

Another favorite moment is in the first episode, "Anne". Buffy has a demon pinned underneath a gate. She stands over him with a sledge hammer in her hand and says, "Wanna see my impression of Gandhi?"
And smashes the hammer down. I laughed. Hard.
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2012, 03:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
Lost: Season 6 - Beautiful, thrilling, epic. I know a lot of people were letdown by this season, but not me. I thought it was virtually flawless. Endlessly rewatchable with the PERFECT ending.
Blech.
Neutral question. Are you a Christian by any chance?
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2012, 03:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedMind View Post
Blech.
Neutral question. Are you a Christian by any chance?
Actually, believe it or not, I'm agnostic. That doesn't prevent me from liking/loving spiritual stories though as long as they don't feel like they are preaching and are well told. Which is what I definitely thought of about the last scene of the series finale and why I actually ended up LOVING all of the flash sideways stuff.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2012, 07:30 AM
The Wire Season 4 came straight to mind when I saw this topic.
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:03 AM
The Wire season 4 really is a no brainer.

Breaking Bad season 4 really blew my mind. I loved the bubbling intensity that penetrated throughout the season. And it had at least ten moments (usually from Gustavo Fringe) that made me yell out oh shit.

Other ones:

Curb Your enthusiasm seasons 3, 6, and 8 (For reals, the last season was near perfection for me)
It's Always Sunny seasons 2 and 3 (I thought season 7 was exceptionally great as well)
The Sopranos seasons 1 and 2
The Simpsons seasons 4-7
South Park seasons 5-8
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2012, 01:22 PM
hmm i would got for the Stargate SG-1 season 10. i loved every bit of it. and watching it again.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Season 4 of The Wire is the correct answer. Season 3 of The Wire is also an acceptable answer.

Others in the running for second-fifth place that aren't The Wire:
Sopranos Season 1
Breaking Bad Season 5
The Simpsons Seasons 3-7
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2012, 02:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
Season 4 of The Wire is the correct answer. Season 3 of The Wire is also an acceptable answer.
Yup.

As mentioned, season 3 of The Simpsons is the best of any sort of sitcom, really. Of more recent sitcoms, season 3 of The Office is pretty perfect.
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  #20  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:10 PM
The middle of Season 3 through Season 4 of The Wire is the best television I've ever seen. Couple others:

Lost Season 1 - don't look at it now after the show is over. If you were watching it as it aired, no show engaged you more.

Simpsons Season 6 - hard to pick my favorite Simpsons... anything from 3-7 was top notch.

Friday Night Lights Season 1 - so much heart, and just so genuine

Heroes Season 1 - I'm a superhero nerd, and I think they executed this brilliantly

Breaking Bad Season 4 - this was my favorite so far. The tension was brilliant, and the development of Jesse (my favorite character) puts it over the top

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 - this most recent season of Curb absolutely slayed me
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  #21  
Old 09-18-2012, 01:40 AM
In my point of views Most of the time I like to spending with watching "Dexter" TV show. It's a good Drama series. When ever I am bore than I watch this show with my family. Still I have seen 6 seasons In which Mostly I love season 5 all episodes of this show.
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  #22  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:10 AM
Buffy Season 5 - Glory was my favorite villain from that show - she was both funny and sexy. That season also had a lot of character development and most of them were in relationships that were fantastic especially Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya. And "The Gift" is my favorite episode of any show ever.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2012, 01:09 AM
Season 2 of The Office. Every single episode is hilarious. Not a bad one in the lot.
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:41 PM
So the majority has decided, season 4 of The Wire is the greatest god damn thing ever. Damn all who speak otherwise
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  #25  
Old 10-06-2012, 02:17 PM
As much as I ended up *hating* the show, I would have to say Season 1 of LOST.
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 AM
Season 5 of Supernatural
Season 3 of Fringe
Season 4 of Dexter
Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica
Season 6 of CSI
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  #27  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 PM
Breaking Bad- season 2 (ABQ)
The Wire- tie with season 1 and 4, and 3 and 2 and 5
The Shield- season 7 (Family Meeting)
The Simpsons- season 6 (Itchy and Scratchy Land)
Lost- season 5 (The Life and Death of Jerry Bentham
Dexter- season 4/5 (Take It!)
Home Movies- last season (psycho-delicate)
Mad Men- season 4 (The Suitcase)
The Sopranos- tie with 2 or 5 (Long Term Parking)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force- 2 (Universal Remonster)
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  #28  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:05 AM
MOst of mine have been mentiond already but i'd throw in Firefly and Tremors: The Series.

Had a blast with both series and both criminally cancelled without even getting a chance.
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  #29  
Old 12-04-2012, 01:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
Breaking Bad Season 5
I find it interesting that you chose this season, since most people seem to think it's the weakest season so far (I'm not one of those people). Of course, the season is technically only halfway through, so it may well end up being the best season of the show, but I'm not so sure I'd call it that just yet based only on what we've seen. To me, Breaking Bad actually has a three-act structure, with Seasons 1 and 2 serving as Act One, Seasons 3 and 4 as Act Two, and Season 5 (presumably both halves) as Act Three. This kind of places it in Shakespearean terms, and I think it works. The first two seasons tell the story of Walt's initiation into the drug world, 3 and 4 tell the story of his rise to the top of it, and season 5 is (most likely) his downfall. Before I got on that tangent, my main point was that I like your mention of Season 5, even if it's not necessarily my own favorite thus far.

My single favorite season of a television series is probably still The Sopranos Season 1. I think other shows may have surpassed the series overall, but taken as a single season, it's difficult for anything to match the feeling of watching that first season for the first time and just knowing that TV was going to change forever. I think it also has a brilliant ending that doesn't rely at all on any kind of cliffhanger or tease for the next season, but just a beautiful summation of what the series had done up to that point.

After that, I would choose (in no order):

Breaking Bad Season 3 (I still think that the one-two punch of "Half Measures" and "Full Measure" is the pinnacle of the series thus far, and add on "One Minute" and other brilliant episodes, and I'd have to go with this as my favorite season of the show.)

Mad Men Season 4 (ANY of the seasons would be up there, but this is the only show I've seen that actually got better with each successive season, although I can't speak for the fifth season, because I haven't watched it yet.)

The Simpsons Season 4 (Season 7 is a close second, but Season 4 just has so many classic episodes, and it seems to have just the right balance of silly episodes and more heartfelt ones, most of which are among the best of the series.)

Homeland Season 1 (Despite some issues I had with the final episode, I think it might be the best debut season for a series since The Sopranos. I like the second season a lot so far, but I personally feel like it's lost its focus on the characters in exchange for an increase of intensity and twists, some of which actually feel like stretches to me. It's still a great show, but I don't know if they'll ever match the combination of brilliant characterization and genuinely surprising plot development that the first season had.)

Deadwood Season 1 (It actually tells a complete story of its own while still leaving much open for the following season, which is what I wish more seasons of television would do. I think this season, taken as a whole, is probably the best Western ever made, TV or movie.)

Arrested Development Season 2 (Any of the show's three seasons could make a case for being the best season of television comedy ever, but I'd give the slight edge to this one.)

Monty Python's Flying Circus Season 1 (For the rest of the show's duration, the truly great skits were kind of scattered, and there were some that just didn't quite work, but pretty much everything they did in the first season was classic.)

I'd like to say one of the seasons from Louie since I think it might be the most interesting show on TV right now, but I wouldn't know where to begin. It's a show in which each episode can be so different than the one preceding it that it seems silly to divide it into seasons; picking individual episodes that stand out would probably be more appropriate for this particular series.


And you can all start yelling at me now, but I have never watched The Wire. It's been at the top of my must-see list for years, and I promise I'm going to start watching it soon. As a Christmas gift to myself, I'm going to order the first two seasons and get started as soon as possible, because all the mentions of it here make me feel endlessly embarrassed for not having seen it.

Last edited by Tkeyjw; 12-04-2012 at 01:17 AM..
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