A month or two ago I happened across the last ever episode of Friends being re-broadcast on some channel or other. Actually I only caught the last 5 minutes – and it’s not an episode I’ve seen in it’s entirety. All very emotional.

Anyway, voice over lady announces at the end that we needn’t be sad, because, starting the next evening, the whole lot would be shown again from the very first episode!

OO-oo thought I. How exciting – I could watch every single Friends episode, in order!

Then reality hit – quite aside from the practicalities, do I really want to spend the next half a year of my life watching an episode of Friends every night?? I don’t think so.

But it has got me to pondering some of the truly great TV series of our time. The ones that would survive a dedicated onslaught of watching. The ones you could pass on to your children. The ones that you wish you’d seen every single episode, from start to finish, ideally in order. What would be on my list?

I haven’t yet settled on a definitive list, but mine would look something like (in no particular order)

  • Northern Exposure
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Simpsons
  • Star Trek: TNG
  • Friends
  • Firefly
  • Jonathan Creek

Other contenders would include All Creatures Great and Small, possibly Buffy, maybe Heroes (didn’t see enough to make up my mind), and Smallville has a look in. Life on Mars is close, but I’m not sure it would take two viewings. Similarly Doctor Who and Torchwood pass the “watch every episode” criterion with flying colours, but I’m not sure they would really take more than a viewing each.)

Definitely off the list is Lost – and a few others I don’t have time to write because parental responsibility calls!!