The best cult shows on TV — What’s your #1?


This week’s Entertainment Weekly is getting a lot of press (press getting press — only in the Internet age) because it’s the first with a cover featuring a British TV show.

Doctor Who certainly has earned its place, although I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been featured before. What finally got The Doctor on the cover is his place as a central figure in one of EW’s “25 Greatest Cult TV Shows From the Past 25 Years.”

As you might expect, EW‘s list includes some of’s favorite shows and favorite women. Here are my thoughts on just a few of the picks.

Beauty and the Beast (#25)

Full disclosure: I kind of hated this show. Sure, the idea that beauty is only fur deep is all noble and stuff, but beastly Vincent seemed to me like a master manipulator, using his super-senses to convince Catherine she needed his protection.

Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

The series had devoted fans, however, including my roommate at the time. EW compares Beauty to Twilight — romantic, supernatural, icky. (OK, icky is my word.) And I readily admit that seeing Linda Hamilton week after week made up for the rest of the show.

The Comeback (#18)

As Valerie Cherish, Lisa Kudrow proved that she has very little in common with her most famous character Phoebe Buffay. Valerie was a former sitcom star trying to revive her career with a reality show documenting her return to the air.

Photo courtesy HBO

The Comeback was razor sharp, with some of the most quotable snark ever. If you didn’t watch it, put it in your Netflix queue.

Chuck (#17)

I miss Chuck so much!

I get why some people didn’t see the appeal of this show. It was written by geeks, for geeks. But even if you didn’t get the humor, you certainly found reason to watch in a certain drop-dead-hot agent played by Yvonne Strahovski. Sarah Walker, I miss you most of all.

Veronica Mars (#13)

Can you believe that we used to not know Kristen Bell?

Then she appeared on our TVs as a nosy high-school investigator who was always this close to being axe murdered. I still watch Veronica Mars every weekend and am amazed at how well it holds up after eight years.

The X-Files (#9)

You know all the reasons X-Files is on the list.

I mention it not only because it’s one of the best cult shows ever, but also because I don’t want any Scully fans to hunt me down and feed me to the aliens.

My So-Called Life (#8)

Remember when Claire Danes was an awkward high school misfit pining after the best looking bad-boy in school?

Photo courtesy ABC

Angela Chase could’ve been any of us who didn’t quite fit in — and seeing her felt amazing. Plus, one of her best friends Rickie was a gay guy whose queerness was not played for laughs. Hard to believe My So-Called Life just ran for one season.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (#2)

Buffy is such an important part of LGBT television culture that we tend to forget that it wasn’t all that popular with the general public. In fact, it probably wouldn’t have survived a major network for seven seasons.

And despite certain unfortunate plot turns, we’re certainly glad The Slayer kept coming back.

Doctor Who takes #1, as you might have guessed. And EW‘s list includes many other classics: Sports Night (#24), The Venture Brothers (#23), Get a Life (#22), Police Squad (#21), The Ben Stiller Show (#20), Mystery Science Theater (#19), The Wire (#16), Pushing Daisies (#15), The Profit (#14), The Tick (#12), Supernatural (#11), Farscape (#10), Battlestar Galactica (#7), Firefly (#6), Twin Peaks (#5), The Prisoner (#4), and Freaks and Geeks (#3). Check out the gallery here.

I’m surprised at a few omissions, however. I adore BSG and Firefly, but would either of them have existed without Star Trek (original and TNG)? And what about Xena: Warrior Princess?

Photo: Getty Images

I must have looked through the list a dozen times for Arrested Development. Seriously, its cult following is so huge that Netflix is bringing it back.

Photo courtesy of FOX

But I want to hear from you. What do you think of EW‘s list of top cult TV shows? What is the most glaring omission? Make your case in the comments.

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