MURPHY: Five greatest TV shows from 1990s to present

Michael MurphyLast Thursday, as I was placing the Marquette Tribune (folded open to my column) in bathrooms around campus, I overheard two people discussing their favorite television shows. I stopped what I was doing and tried joining in the conversation.

Before I could say anything, I was asked what the hell I was doing in the girls’ bathroom. So I ran out. But the question looms.

When I got home I immediately started racking my brain. In my 21 years, I have watched many TV shows. There have been TV characters that I have even tried personifying in my everyday life, like the white Power Ranger and Dexter.

After hours of debate with my roommates, I was finally able to determine the five greatest TV shows of my time.

These shows served as the quintessential programming of the early 1990s to the present, altering not just programming on other stations, but the way Americans live.

Without further ado, I give you my top five list.

1. Boy Meets World

We all loved Boy Meets World because of how easily we could relate to the characters: the wacky older brother, orphaned best friend and next-door neighbor/ teacher who taught us in grade school, high school and college. My first daughter’s name will be Topanga Feeney Murphy.

2. The O.C.

Shut up, you know you watched it, either openly or in the closet.

I think what grabbed me with the O.C. was how closely it paralleled my own upbringing.

Rough necking it in Chino before a friendly family brought me in and raised me as their own.

Don’t forget the constant fighting and my first girlfriend’s bout with both alcohol and drug addiction, as well as her untimely death right when we thought she was stabilized.

There was also the cage fighting, my girlfriend’s mom marrying my real estate mogul grandfather … then I got into Marquette.

3. Real World

The stepping stone of all reality TV, Real World taught me a lot about when people stop being polite … and start getting real. It also taught me a lot about bisexuals, chest shaving, drinking, homosexuals, prejudice, Cancun, hot tubs, Johnny Bananas, promiscuity and Mormons.

4. Mad Men

On a more serious note, this show makes the 1960s seem like a blast. Well, I should rephrase that. This show makes the 1960s seem like a blast if you were male.

Afternoon drinking, chain smoking, enough hair gel to fuel a plane and a very liberal practice of the sanctity of marriage make one look at his or her grandparents in an entirely new light.

5. Friends

The television show that lives on perpetually through syndication has enticed viewers for years with its mix of comedy and drama.

The show set the standard for how actors are paid today and was the cause of the most overrated-looking female of all time: Jennifer Aniston. Courtney Cox was, is and forever will be better looking. It was only Monica’s anal retentiveness and Rachel’s nose job and constantly changing hair that blinded millions.

Despite this and Matthew Perry fattening up and not being funny in the last few seasons, these Friends forever live in the lofty apartment of my heart.

Whether you disagree with me or not, one thing is for sure: All of these shows made you smile at least a little bit in your life, even if it was a crooked, creepy smile similar to my column picture.