Top 5 Classic WB Shows

Once upon a time, there was a TV network called The WB, and it was wonderful and great, and it had a frog in a top hat as its mascot. These were simpler times, better times. Before Jersey Shore, before Pretty Little Liars (no offense), before The Pussycat Dolls Present (yeah, that was a real show you guys), before TV became a cesspool of reality drivel and bed-hopping teens with no moral compasses. The WB may have thrived on shows with bed-hopping teens, but at least their teens had heart, and occasionally made you feel something other than disgust for them. Okay, this has taken a turn from “nostalgia” into “rant,” so I’m just going to get to the point. The WB was a great network, and it brought us some truly amazing shows. In honor of Top 5 Tuesday, I present to you, our top 5 classic WB shows

1.) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB: 1997-2001, UPN: 2001-2003) — Um…duh. Was there any question about Buffy being the greatest show to ever air on The WB? (For the record, I’m counting any show that aired the majority of its seasons on The WB, so no need to get technical just because Buffy lived out its final two seasons on UPN.) Long before vampires sparkled and had sexy love triangles, Buffy slayed them. Okay, so maybe there was a tiny bit of vampire love triangle action on Buffy…but nothing like The Vampire Diaries or True Blood. Thank you to The WB for taking a chance on a show with a somewhat ludicrous premise, a show that went from being a midseason replacement to a pop culture milestone.

2.) Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) — Gilmore Girls had some of the sharpest, wittiest, most perfectly delivered dialogue in the history of television. The show about a mother and daughter living in a small New England town was the perfect balance of comedy and melodrama, and the characters were so lovable and dynamic, you couldn’t help but wish you lived there too. And Lorelai and Rory’s constant pop culture references made you feel like you were actually getting a lesson in pop culture history while you were watching. The Gilmore Girls lived in their own little world, and they made you wish you could live there too.

3.) Everwood (2002-2006) — I may or may not have recently started rewatching the first season of Everwood, and it really was like greeting an old friend. If that sounds cheesy, that’s fitting because Everwood was one of the sappiest shows I’ve ever watched, but it was so completely lovable in its sincerity, you had to admire it. Treat Williams starred as a widowed father who quit his job as a big-shot brain surgeon in the city to move his two kids to a small town in the mountains. Gregory Smith played his son, the disgruntled musical prodigy Ephram. I had a huge crush on Gregory Smith when Everwood was on TV, but it wasn’t creepy then because I was also a teenager. (Now it’s a little weird.) Everwood was full of talented actors, like future Revenge star Emily VanCamp, Chuck‘s Sarah Lancaster, and Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation. It may have been a soapy family drama with more sap than a Vermont maple tree, but if you appreciated it for what it was, Everwood had a lot to offer.

4.) Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) — There was a time when student-teacher romances were actually hard to come by on television. These days, it seems like any show with teenagers inevitably has one of them involved in a clandestine relationship with his/her (usually her) teacher. You can thank Dawson’s Creek for that. Sure, TV probably would have gotten there eventually, but Dawson’s Creek‘s complex portrayal of Pacey’s relationship with his high school English teacher was pretty groundbreaking at the time. Aside from paving the way for today’s teen melodramas, Dawson’s Creek gave us a heartbreaking and heartwarming coming-of-age story, not to mention future stars Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, Joshua Jackson, and of course James Van Der Beek.

5.) Jack & Bobby (2004-2005) — This unique drama took a risk by setting the majority of the show in present day, while adding occasional interviews from fifty years in the future, at which time one of the central brothers had become president, and the other one had died. It only lasted one season, but Jack & Bobby definitely left an impression. What amazed me about this show was how they used the vision of the future to add another layer of depth to the relationship between the two brothers, to see where they started, and where they ended up. Another thing that struck me about this show was the tremendous guest stars, which included Lou Diamond Phillips, Neil Patrick Harris, Bradley Cooper, Carrie Fisher, J.K. Simmons, and many more surprising faces. All in all, Jack & Bobby was a well-crafted family drama with a political twist, and it made us wonder which of today’s awkward teenagers is in the process of being formed into a future president of the United States.

What do you say, pop culture fans? Did I name your favorite WB show? Do you miss the era of wholesome family dramas like Everwood and 7th Heaven, or do you prefer today’s spicier lineup? And does anyone know if Jack & Bobby will ever be released on DVD? Because I definitely need to get that. See you next Tuesday!

-Louise

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Posted on February 28, 2012, in Television, Top 5 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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