MENSA’s not-so-smart list of smartest TV shows


Ever wondered what people with

really high IQs do in their spare time? Neither have I. Well, OK, I

have wondered what some of them do. To the point of distraction, in


But whether you wanted to know

or not,


that MENSA chairman Jim Werdell watches about 10 hours of television

every day. (The average American

four and

a half hours.) And apparently, the combination of high IQ and television

addiction makes Werdell qualified to list the 10 smartest TV shows

of all time.

I won’t argue with No. 1, simply

because my daddy’s favorite television show was M*A*S*H and he

was smart. That’s good enough for me.

I’ll also concede that Frasier,

All in the Family
and West Wing deserve spots on the list.

(Dang, how much do you miss C.J.?)

The others are a little iffy,

in my opinion. I know some of you are avid CSI and House

lovers and, admittedly, both shows have exceptional taste in stars.

But would CSI exist

if not for X-Files? Scully used forensics before forensics was


And how could Boston Legal

be smarter than David Kelley‘s legal show that paved the way,

L.A. Law

I don’t find the inclusion

of Mad About You as appalling as some bloggers do. It usually made me laugh, which

is one of my top criteria for intelligence. And hey, Helen Hunt.

But is Mad smarter than

Newhart, Seinfeld
or Arrested Development? Not so much.

And what about the brilliant

comedy starring one of Hollywood’s most famous MENSA members?

The list fails to include any

female-fronted shows, something I am ashamed to admit I didn’t notice

until Dorothy Snarker pointed it out. That brings me to Murphy Brown,

a show so smart that even Dan Quayle couldn’t understand it. Oh, wait.

Werdell also overlooked another

woman-centric show, 30 Rock, which happens to be the most intelligent

comedy currently in production.

I’m a bit dismayed that nary

a sci-fi show made the list. In his 10 hours a day, has MENSA Man never

seen any of the Star Trek franchise?

(picture source: Galactica Watercooler)

Or Battlestar Galactica?

Worst of all, however, is the

omission of what I consider the smartest show ever made. It was — and

still is — full of brilliant humor on so many levels that I find something

new to appreciate with every viewing. It also taught me the joy of punning

— both a blessing and a curse. Any true Mr. Know-It-All would bow to

the genius that is The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

What do you think of the MENSA

chairman’s list? Has he been watching too much television — or not enough?

What would top your list of the smartest TV shows ever made?

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