26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby raisindot » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:51 pm

Dotsie wrote:I guess this article is more "the 26 shows this journo considers to be the best for as long as I've been watching TV".


Totally agree. If a show has reached a 'tipping point' level of popularity, then it's not a cult show.

Thus, all Star Trek shows can't be cult shows, although TOS was when it first came out. ST:TNG was one of the most highly rated syndicated series in TV history, so there's no way it can be called a cult show.

Also, any list of cult shows that doesn't include The Prisoner is no list at all.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby raptornx01 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:19 pm

its not about popularity (IE ratings) so much as producing a big (and loyal) fan following. (there is a difference and you can one without the other)
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Bouncy Castle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:01 pm

I think the problem is that when you hear "cult" you mostly think of SciFi (I know I do), and a lot of those were not SciFi.

I have to admit to being surprised at some of the inclusions.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Dotsie » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:54 pm

raptornx01 wrote:its not about popularity (IE ratings) so much as producing a big (and loyal) fan following. (there is a difference and you can one without the other)

I would say cult means loyal following, but not big. If there's a large following it just means it's popular.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby raptornx01 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:42 pm

I dunno, i can't look at the star trek fanbase and think of it in the same terms as any show/film that is just merely "popular". Its hard to think of treks fans as being no different then fans of 24, or survivor, or avatar, etc. just seems like a different mentality and different way of expressing their fandom.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Penfold » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:02 pm

I lifted this from a website and, although it refers to cult films, I reckon Star Trek (TOS) fits the general definition;

Cultographies wrote:A cult film is characterized by its active and lively communal following.

Highly committed and rebellious in their appreciation, cult audiences are frequently at odds with cultural conventions – they prefer strange topics and allegorical themes that rub against cultural sensitivities and resist dominant politics.

Cult films transgress common notions of good and bad taste, and they challenge genre conventions and coherent storytelling.

Among the techniques cult films use are intertextual references, gore, loose ends in storylines, or the creation of a sense of nostalgia.

Often, cult films have troublesome production histories, coloured by accidents, failures, legends and mysteries that involve their stars and directors.

In spite of often-limited accessibility, they have a continuous market value and a long-lasting public presence.


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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby raisindot » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:22 pm

Okay, here's Raisindot's definition of a cult film/TV series.

1. When originally released, the thing never made any money or was widely seen by the population at large. Popularity for it grew mainly through word of mouth.

2. At the showing of these things, either in public or in private homes, people often dress up as characters and act out scenes.

3. Being part of the cult creates an aura of cultural elitism--only someone with your superior intellect can fully appreciate something the unwashed public is too stupid to recognize.

4. The 'audience theater' zeitgist that surrounds the showing of the show/film eventually becomes more important than the actual film/show itself (i.e., Rocky Horror)

5. The more the movie/show is derided, criticized, and ridiculed by the mainstream, the stronger its fans circle the wagons to defend it.

6. Quite often, seeing a cult film/show is a matter of cognitive dissonance; you consciously know that what you're witnessing is a piece of sh** that by any normal standard would long ago have been relegated to the ash heap of history (i.e., Ed Wood films), but it's essentially their innate badness that makes it 'good.'

7. It's nearly impossible to convince large numbers of 'mainstream' people why a cult movie/show is worth paying attention to (that's why Star Trek and Monty Python are no longer cult shows/films; they mainstreamed long ago)

8. A true cult show/film has staying power; those that don't simply revert to being bad films or shows (are there truly any large contingents of fans of Harold and Maude, Eraserhead, or Roger Corman movies anymore?)

9. All legitimate film/show cults meet Kurt Vonnegut's definitions of wampeters and granfoolens.

10. The cult shows/films you adore are unfairly maligned classics; the cult shows/films OTHER people adore are useless wastes of time. :D
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:47 pm

Some of those definitions could apply to Discworld books. :? :lol:
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby raptornx01 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:30 am

raisindot wrote:Okay, here's Raisindot's definition of a cult film/TV series.

1. When originally released, the thing never made any money or was widely seen by the population at large. Popularity for it grew mainly through word of mouth.


ingeneral true, though no set in stone. and can still lead to it become widely popular.

2. At the showing of these things, either in public or in private homes, people often dress up as characters and act out scenes.


Yeah, thats what i was thinking.

3. Being part of the cult creates an aura of cultural elitism--only someone with your superior intellect can fully appreciate something the unwashed public is too stupid to recognize.


This exists in all fandom, but i can't say is ever part of a fandom as a whole. but i know the attitudes you speak of.

4. The 'audience theater' zeitgist that surrounds the showing of the show/film eventually becomes more important than the actual film/show itself (i.e., Rocky Horror)


Can agree with this for the most part. especially if include conventions into this.

5. The more the movie/show is derided, criticized, and ridiculed by the mainstream, the stronger its fans circle the wagons to defend it.


Absolutely :lol:

6. Quite often, seeing a cult film/show is a matter of cognitive dissonance; you consciously know that what you're witnessing is a piece of sh** that by any normal standard would long ago have been relegated to the ash heap of history (i.e., Ed Wood films), but it's essentially their innate badness that makes it 'good.'


often but not always. there are many instances where the subject actually is very good, but circumstances lead it not being seen till later in instances where that is a factor (IE firefly)

7. It's nearly impossible to convince large numbers of 'mainstream' people why a cult movie/show is worth paying attention to (that's why Star Trek and Monty Python are no longer cult shows/films; they mainstreamed long ago)


This i disagree with. i think its more to the point that they have just been around SO LONG the word of mouth aspect has had a chance to permeate the general population. but its still more of a being accepted kind of deal, then becoming "mainstream". even then its still often considered a nerdy/geeky thing to be a fan of. lol its just there are more nerds/geeks now (many case BECAUSE of Star Trek :lol: ).

Case in point, pokemon. early on it was more of a guilty pleasure for most fans, but looking around online now you see its more accepted, and not treated with the irony or sarcasm it used to be. and thats due to the fact that its been around so long now those that were fans in the beginning are in their 20's and 30's now, and often have kids of their own. so nostalgia has begun to kick in.

8. A true cult show/film has staying power; those that don't simply revert to being bad films or shows (are there truly any large contingents of fans of Harold and Maude, Eraserhead, or Roger Corman movies anymore?)


true

9. All legitimate film/show cults meet Kurt Vonnegut's definitions of wampeters and granfoolens.


lol, this i can't comment on :lol:

10. The cult shows/films you adore are unfairly maligned classics; the cult shows/films OTHER people adore are useless wastes of time. :D


can't argue to much with that :lol:
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Catch-up » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:02 pm

Fun list! I've only seen a handful of those. Have to give the others a try. I also thought a cult following was smaller by definition, something that wasn't/isn't a hit with the majority of viewers.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby MongoGutman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:17 pm

I dont think much of the list but it did turn me on to Better off Ted which is pretty funny. Portia de Rossi is hilarious
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby high eight » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:33 pm

Completely invalid list: doesn't include The Prisoner. Or Sky. Or Arthur of the Britons. Or about a dozen other brilliant British TV series.
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Re: 26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever

Postby Bouncy Castle » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:11 am

Prolly coz it's made by an American website.
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