I’m changing the rules slightly, thinking that my approach provides a better “classification”:
Italics if I had enough interest in the show to see a few episodes.
Bold if I watched the show for a long period of time.
Bold Italics if I either believe that I watched all episodes of the show, or watched so many of them in syndication over the years that quite possibly I’ve seen them all, or at least did not miss a single new episode since starting to watch it.
Here we go:
I was watching too many other shows when its first season came around, so it did not make the cut. Since then, it’s been a function of “I have not seen it from the beginning, and I don’t want to start until I get to do that first”. Possibly, never.
The plot spiral kept getting way too convoluted with every season, but we stuck with it through its entire run.
•America’s Next Top Model
•Batman: The Animated Series
•Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
•Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
•Beverly Hills 90210 (original)
To be honest, I only started watching it from the third season on, but haven’t missed an episode since. It is not so much about criminal investigations or science that attracts me to it. It’s about character interaction.
Every single episode, from start to finish (the same goes for the show that BL was spun off, The Practice, which is not on this list for some reason). Besides general hilarity and great acting from several cast members, the courtroom riffs of James Spader’s Alan Shore were always priceless (whether or not I agreed with them personally). I was sad to see this one end.
•Boy Meets World
•Brothers And Sisters
•Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I saw it mostly in syndication, but I’d be surprised if there is an episode I did not see.
•Clarissa Explains it All
•Commander in Chief
•CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
•Curb Your Enthusiasm
I was genuinely disappointed when it was cancelled after a couple of seasons. Jessica Alba was the sole reason. She headlined my 5 Celebrities The Wife Should Allow Me To Date list for quite a while.
•Dead Like Me
•Degrassi: The Next Generation
•Dharma & Greg
Maybe it is a telling sign of me not being a die-hard sci-fi fan, but I never could figure out what’s so great about this longest-running show.
Every single episode over its 15 seasons. With the departures of George Clooney, Anthony Edwards, eventually Noah Wyle, my interest waned a little, but it became sort of a loyalty thing for us to continue watching the series. It had its glory moments in the last few years, so I’m not complaining.
•Everybody Loves Raymond
•Facts of Life
One word: Screwdriver. Whenever I ordered my favorite cocktail while in a British pub, it invariably drew remarks related to the FT episode when Americans arrive at John Cleese’s inn and he bents himself out of shape at their order of drinks. Because I’ve seen that particular episode, it scored me quite a few respect points with my local friends.
One of those “let’s try watching this new show that they advertize” mistakes. Dropped it half-way into the first season.
•Freaks & Geeks
With Becky, we have been re-watching all of the seasons on DVD.
Tried it for three or four episodes. Can’t work up much excitement about it. It’s all about characters for me, I suppose, not the plots or thrills, and the characters in Fringe seem too bland.
Where is The Full House on this list? Or Charles’s in Charge? The first few years after coming to the States, we watched several family sitcoms on NY Channel 11 syndication. GP was one of them, but it was low on the list of priorities, and I am not sure how many episodes of it I actually watched. TFH or CiC, I definitely saw them all.
Same as “Growing Pains” entry.
•Hercules: the Legendary Journeys
Similar to “24”. Did not get to it from the start, felt that I’m not going to enjoy it unless I saw it chronologically, never got to it.
•Homicide: Life on the Street
Started with the second season, haven’t missed an episode since. As with “Bones” or “NCIS”, the medicine in this show is secondary (and, actually, sometimes annoys me to no end). Human interaction is key.
•I Dream of Jeannie
•I Love Lucy
I suspect that I’ve seen enough of it to practically qualify for bolded ornamentation.
From probably the third season on. Can’t say that I have exceptional memories about it, although the interaction between two main characters was not unlike that I see in “Bones” today.
I did watch quite a lot of Blossom, though, along the same lines as “Growing Pains”.
My brother was a much bigger enthusiast of it than I was.
•Knight Rider: 2008
•Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
•La Femme Nikita
I’m sure I saw more than one season of it, along with a couple of other lawyer shows, such as Civil Wars and Reasonable Doubts, in my first few years in America.
•Laverne and Shirley
•Law and Order
•Law and Order: SVU
•Law and Order: CI
I watched one single episode, having heard from my brother that he liked it. Did not find the characters interesting enough and the plot did not make up for it. Sorry, brother.
•Little House on the Prairie
I saw enough of the glimpses of it with my kids in front of the TV so that it qualifies. Same goes for Hannah Montana.
•Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Teri Hatcher featured on my “5 Celebrities” list for a while.
Despite the acclaim that it seemingly got over the years, I was never interested in this one.
•Lost in Space
•Malcolm in the Middle
•Married… With Children
•Mork & Mindy
•My Life As A Dog
•My Three Sons
•My Two Dads
From the introductory “JAG” tie-in through all of the seasons so far. Again, character interaction is priceless.
•Ned Bigby’s Declassified School Survival Guide
•One Tree Hill
•Queer As Folk (US)
•Queer as Folk (UK)
•Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
•Sex and the City
Natasha owns the complete series on DVD. I always watched with her when it was first run on HBO.
•Six Feet Under
•Slings and Arrows
•South of Nowhere
See “Lizzie McGuire”.
•Star Trek: The Next Generation
I often say that I learned English while watching TNG. I also became an Earl Grey tea aficionado because of Capt. Picard.
•Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Watched it for three seasons, at least, eventually got bored. Didn’t much like the main cast, and the adventures were not as exciting in a stationary environment.
•Star Trek: Voyager
Maybe, a season and a half. Did not compare in any way to the earlier series.
•Star Trek: Enterprise
Gradual disappointment in DS9 and V led me to ignore this Star Trek incarnation altogether.
I liked the movie that gave the show its birth. The show, by comparison, looked pretty bland.
•Starsky & Hutch
•That 70’s Show
•That’s So Raven
•The Addams Family
•The Amazing Race
•The Andy Griffith Show
•The Beverly Hillbillies
•The Big Bang Theory
Becky is a huge fan. I sort of stopped watching sitcoms in the last few years. Occasionally coming across it, I find this particular one quite amusing.
•The Brady Bunch
•The Cosby Show
•The Daily Show
Only in online snippets.
•The Dead Zone
•The Dick Van Dyke Show
•The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
•The Golden Girls
•The L Word
•The Love Boat
•The Magnificent Seven
•The Mary Tyler Moore Show
•The Office (US)
•The Powerpuff Girls
A season, maybe two. I kinda liked the premise, but got quickly bored with the execution.
•The Real World
American popular culture definitely leaves me scratching my head in this case. Silly, occasionally funny, maybe. Why is this cartoon sitcom attracts universal acclaim is beyond me. (My own brother seems to like it a lot – go figure!)
•The Six Million Dollar Man
Watched the first three seasons religiously, then got bored with violence. After its run ended, I suddenly wanted to see what happened to all of the characters, so I got my hands on the remaining seasons and watched them all.
•The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
•The Twilight Zone
•The West Wing
During its run, I considered it the best hour on television. Probably the only show that I occasionally think would be grand to revisit one day.
•The Wonder Years
Possibly, I’ve seen more of it than I recall. Another favorite in my early years in the US.
Not a big fan of paranormal, me. And the show never felt coherent to me.
•Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
•Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
•Will and Grace
•Xena: Warrior Princess
And there it is. The list left off quite a few of past favorites – such as Party of Five, Chicago Hope and Ally McBeal, besides the ones already mentioned in comments, or my current hands-down favorite Lie To Me. Even though my exposure to American TV is at least a half shorter than that of an average American of my age, I seem to have watched a lot of TV in these past two decades.
And that’s not counting all of the sports… Oy!