101 TV shows for writers...because we can't be writing all the time
A few years ago, the Writers Guild of America published its list of the 101 best written TV shows of all time. So even vegging out on the sofa can be counted as studying the craft.
Of course, it's a little out of date now. House of Cards would probably be on today's list. But it's still a good list to turn to when you've 'marathoned' through your current shows and are looking for a new fix.
And, can I just say...Mad Men - number 7 on the list - how had I not watched you until now? I'm a bit annoyed no one sat me down before and insist I watch it. But I can't really complain about being late to the party as we now have seven seasons of Don Draper and friends to catch up on.
And I love the story behind Man Men. Matt Weiner wrote the pilot on spec nearly ten years before it found a home on AMC - with HBO, Showtime and lots of others passing on it during that decade. I love when a story finds an audience after years of rejection. It just goes to show, if a writer believes in her work, she shouldn't give up on trying to get it out there.
Here's the rest of the top twenty if you're a writer looking for some more 'study time':
1. The Sopranos 2. Seinfeld 3. The Twilight Zone 4. All in the Family 5. M*A*S*H 6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show 7. Mad Men 8. Cheers 9. The Wire 10. The West Wing
11. The Simpsons 12. I Love Lucy 13. Breaking Bad 14. The Dick Van Dyke Show 15. Hill Street Blues 16. Arrested Development 17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 18. Six Feet Under 19. Taxi 20. The Larry Sanders Show
And the full list of 101 is here.