Was Rotten Tomatoes right? – Part Two


*Announcer voice*

“Previously on ilk: The Blog”

Opinions flew left, right and centre in the ilk office after seeing Rotten Tomatoes 40 Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years. It revealed how passionate we all get about TV. So, we thought we would let everyone put in their two pennies worth on this list.

In part one we found there are multiple No.1 fans of Buffy, we were outraged that Desperate Housewives and any british comedy was left off and we all related to the real life characters of the US Office.

Here we go again.

Ryan Spence, Senior Designer

Worst. List. Ever.

The Simpsons is inherently drilled into my DNA. I drop Simpsons references daily, and almost always totally inadvertently. If somebody asks what coffee I take, I reply “just brown and water”. If I’m lifting something heavy, it’s “I have been eating more”. Or those times when someone asks me about the weather, and I’m just all like “I call the big one Bitey! It comes with a free frogurt! At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localised entirely WITHIN YOUR KITCHEN? DENTAL PLAN! BOO-URNS!’

Some say The Simpsons has lost its magic. Okay, the first 10-12 seasons are considered by fanatics as the golden age, and I’d have to agree with that, but consider this: The Simpsons has a ‘peak’ that spans the entire duration of most of the other shows on this list. Of those shows that span around 10 seasons, you’d probably say only 2/3 of those seasons are considered ‘peak’. That’s why The Simpsons is the greatest show to ever grace our screens, all 29 (!) seasons of it.

Besides, The Simpsons probably predicted this write-up.

Lucy Slater, PR Account Executive

We serenaded the smelliest of cats

I was half expecting Friends to be number 1. If there’s still people in the world who haven’t seen Friends, I’m currently questioning their existence over the past 20 years.

It was more than just a TV show – we became a part of their lives, we serenaded the smelliest of cats and, most importantly, we were taught the rules of what it means to be ‘on a break’. When you step on a plane there HAS to be a joke made about the left phalange and if you say ‘Unagi’ to someone and they don’t reply with ‘salmon skin roll’, it’s time to wipe them out of your life.


James Ross, Senior Web Developer

I can’t stop watching The Sopranos

I was really pleased to see The Sopranos featuring in the top 15. It’s one of few shows that I’ve watched from start to finish more than once. For me it was the first show I’d seen where dishonesty and deceit were woven intricately into the main characters.

Long before Breaking Bad gave us Walter White, mobster Anthony Soprano defined the lead character who struggled (and failed) to do the right thing. He was ultimately evil, but you couldn’t help but like him anyway. I’d definitely pick this as my first choice, Lost might have been up there, but the ending was too convenient (or too clever for me).


Shaun Ransom, Creative Account Manager

Lost begs us to investigate and theorise

Every once in awhile there is a show that grips an audience and asks them to question everything, with everyone around them. Lost is anti-passive television and mythological storytelling that begs its audience to investigate and theorise the show with work friends, online communities, the bloke on the train – to figure out the answer to the one true question – what the hell is going on? All the while the show questions our own ideas and understanding of the existential, destiny, belief and love in a less obvious way.

Another reason to love it is because of its innovative marketing campaign between seasons 1 and 2 – the ‘Lost Experience’. This was a brand endorsed, interactive multi-platform Alternate Reality Game that spanned the physical and digital world and should be revered as a vanguard in fan engagement and brand integration. I even wrote my university dissertation on it!

Lewis King, Junior Copywriter

I always have time for 24

It’s reassuring to see so many thought provoking and intelligent shows on this list. They’ve earnt their place by creating multifaceted characters and building masterful narratives that force us to question our own lives and existence.

And then there’s 24, which does not have time for that. Genuinely. Its tinnitus inducing clock is always ticking. The only question it has time for is ‘WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!’

I always have time for 24. It’s a countdown sequence from a Bond film stretched into a full series. Each episode is an hour of real time action making a full season one full day. And the characters seem to get a lot done in one day. These are the most productive TV characters in all history.

It’s impressive that 24 has made it onto this list because it’s really just one big trick. It creates the illusion of being a smart spy drama while getting you hooked on melodrama, plot twists and quadruple bluffs. It did episode climaxes like no other. It did shocking character deaths way before Game of Thrones. It turned box set binging into an acceptable hobby. It made me nearly fail university for that reason.

What was also impressive was its ability to make the most mild-mannered liberal love what was essentially a right-wing show. Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer was an ‘ends justify the means’ kinda guy – he once made a man reveal he was a double agent by threatening to shove a tea towel down his throat.

And my nan loves watching this. You should watch it too.

Rhiannon Bates, Senior PR Account Manager

I am completely Sher-locked

When I heard there was a modern day re-make of Sherlock heading to screens back in 2010 I was immediately intrigued, and, I’ll admit, a little concerned. The questionable ‘hero’ of the original stories, to me, is himself a representation of the dark, often dangerous, Victorian London he called home.

The images conjured up in Conan Doyle’s tales, of a tall, striding figure in a deerstalker hat, swishing his way through the mists of London, and the clip-clop of hooves as he hops in and out of a hansom cab are, to me, as important as the stories themselves. They weave a detailed web of romance of days gone by, before the convenience of technology and the seemingly endless wealth of information available at our fingertips. Somehow, a black cab and a smartphone don’t evoke the same feeling!

However, after episode one, A Study in Pink, I was addicted, craving more of our new Holmes. The creative team behind this reimagining took the old and masterfully combined it with the new, retaining the frenetic approach without losing any of his strange appeal. Every episode is at a pace that is often as wild as Holmes’ own mind, making viewers race along with him as he deciphers mysteries that to most would be unsolvable.

However, the ultimate magic lies with Mr Benedict Cumberbatch, our modern Holmes. He gives everything you imagine from our lead character, and joyfully, is not your typical ‘leading man’. Slightly unconventional looking and notoriously private, Cumberbatch has won legions of fans all over the world, and his odd charm has fans crying out for more episodes. The production, casting, and re-working of the classic stories and bringing them into a world that is much changed from the original setting, has been a phenomenal success.

It’s place as one of the top 40 shows of the last 20 years is fully justified, and has even created a new society of superfans, the ‘Cumberbitches’. Our new Holmes has me hooked, where do I join?