Stephen Speicher

The best two one-hour TV shows back-to-back

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I have seen enough episodes of the two new TV shows Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to say that each show has been consistently great. The plot of Heroes is consistently magnificent -- adventure, intrigue, excitement, the unexpected -- and the writing of Studio 60 is consistently sharp -- intelligent and witty: both shows have interesting and complex characters and they exquisitely expess emotions on a broad level.

These shows are on NBC from 9 PM to 11 PM (EST and PST) on Monday nights, and I cannot think of any past two-hours of back-to-back regular TV shows that are their equal. Can anyone think of a really great two-hours of TV with back-to-back shows?

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These shows are on NBC from 9 PM to 11 PM (EST and PST) on Monday nights, and I cannot think of any past two-hours of back-to-back regular TV shows that are their equal. Can anyone think of a really great two-hours of TV with back-to-back shows?

There was a period of about a year when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were on back-to-back on the WB. Both were excellent. But I think Heroes is better than either of them. all things considered. I haven't watched Studio 60 so I don't have a basis for comparison.

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There was a period when Prison Break and 24 were back to back.

I haven't been able to get into Heroes. I'll wait for it on DVD. I'm watching too much t.v. as it is.

But Studio 60, when I catch it, has this special something. It is the same thing that Saturday Night Live has: I may not laugh at every attempt at humour, I may recognize the obvious silliness, I may regret that they wasted my time for some five minutes, but for some reason I just have to keep on watching it.

What I like about Studio 60 is how it depicts the quickness of the mind's orginality and creativity. It seems that some of the skits are thought of while the variety show is actually on, and within a matter of minutes the actors have to learn the skit, and then present this live. I find this amazing.

Larry King asked Alec Baldwin recently why he loved Saturday Night Live so much. Baldwin: There's just nothing else like it. And he cited his last appearance where Steve Martin was a surprise guest, then suddenly Martin Short appears, and finally all three are surprised by the appearance of Paul McCartney.

In addition, I've was certainly impressed by Matthew Perry's and his partner's last television characters.

Jose Gainza.

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There was a period of about a year when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were on back-to-back on the WB. Both were excellent.

There was a period when Prison Break and 24 were back to back.

I love one of each of the pair mentioned above, but I never did get into Angel and I have never had the time to watch Prison Break. This last seems to have received many positive reviews, so, perhaps some day ...

But, anyway, I do recall noting both of these pairs playing back-to-back, but I cannot recall older shows of note that were similarly related. Any of the older TV shows I can think of, were just stand-outs own their own, and I cannot recall them being followed by or preceded by another really special TV show. Perhaps there were fewer choices back then?

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