By Chaz McDonald
If you’re fan of television, then you are well aware that every fall, spring and summer brings the excitement that can only come with new television series. Every channel introduces audiences to new stories that are set to unfold in weekly episodes. With hundreds of channels for us to choose from, it is very easy for people to miss out on some great television series. This article is the second of a three part series dedicated to bringing some of the greatest television shows of all time into the spotlight so they can get the credit that is due. If you don’t see a show that you think should be on the list, check in to other articles to see if it got placed in a different category. Each article will consist of five television series in their respective genres and will not be duplicated onto another list. We will be looking at the cultural influence, how well the show was received by fans and how long it lasted on air. Part two of our three part series is dedicated to the genre of fantasy. If you missed part one, Science Fiction, click here. For part three, Animated, click here.
The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
Number of episodes: 156
The Twilight Zone is an episodic anthology series where every episode is something new and individual. Rod Sterling’s series gave us a little bit of everything from scary to downright disturbing, from aliens to magic. Fans of the series all have their favorite episode. The show has had multiple reboots and even a big screen adaptation. The Twilight Zone truly stands the test of time. Each and every year, the SyFy channel does a New Year’s Day marathon of the classic series. The show has been such an influence on pop culture that shows like Futurama have even parodied this iconic series. This is a series that has connected with generations, both young and old. There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1999)
Number of episodes: 145
If you were alive during the ’90s then you have no doubt have heard of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. If you were a kid growing up in the ’90s, odds are you watched this show after school and on Saturday mornings. The Power Rangers have become a cultural phenomenon that has lasted decades. While this is a show for kids, you cannot argue the influence that it has had on those who have watched it. The Power Rangers have had a big screen adaptation and multiple sequel series over the past twenty-five years. It influence can still be felt due to the fact that there is still some form of Power Ranger television series still on TV today and that a big screen reboot of the original series is in theaters today.
Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)
Number of episodes: 134
Xena: Warrior Princess is the highly successful spinoff of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, where she was originally introduced as a villain. The show will go on to be even more successful than its predecessor. Lucy Lawless became a champion of strong women in television and to this day the show is hailed as one of the best shows starring a strong female lead. During its run, there was much debate about the underlying lesbian subtleties between Xena and her companion, Gabrielle. This opened a dialog on a social issue that nobody seemed to be willing to talk about. While the show was extremely campy and very tongue-in-cheek, it was a series that was enjoyed by many and people can still find great entertainment and going back and re-watching the show.
Number of episodes: 263 (Through season 12)
Supernatural has become one of the longest running television shows in history. It is the story of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, as they travel around the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala killing monsters and any other supernatural threat to man. The show has been a fan favorite right from the start and while it has had its ups and downs, Supernatural has delivered incredible stories. The show has been running for twelve seasons and has no sign of slowing down. The ratings are up and the CW has even renewed it for is thirteenth season much to fan’s delight. Supernatural will be one of those shows that people will continue to talk about well after the series ends, but until that time fans of the show will have to continue to enjoy the ride and Dean Winchester’s love of classic rock.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Number of episodes: 145
A continuation on from Joss Whedon’s film of the same name, Buffy the Vampire Slayer became a cult phenomenon and a much watch for any fan of the genre. Anybody who has seen the show has probably convinced you or somebody else to watch it at some point. Buffy has become a staple in pop culture and is a show that involved each and every season. It eventually led to its own highly successful spinoff, Angel. Even after twenty years, the show still holds up and is a show that brings people together. Fans from all walks of life have been united by this series and it continues to bring in new fans even decades later. Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be fondly remembered by all those who have watched it. It has many standout episodes that to this day still get high praise and recognition for being imaginative and thrilling all at the same time.