Most influential TV show or film in your life?

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#1 Posted by Master_Live (19461 posts) -

The other day I was watching a Simpsons episode and I said to myself: "man, The Simpsons is like the most influential TV of my life". I said it without really thinking of it, and then I thought, "wait a second, let me actually think about it". And think that The Simpsons indeed are the piece of television that have shaped my life the most. I grew up with them (I think to really be impactful in your life said TV show or movie would have to be part of your life in your formative years).

I think a series has a higher probability of being impactful since they more chances (more episodes) to leave a mark one like a of movie.

So think about it, think of your everyday life, of the things you hold dear, of the things that you may quote constantly. What is the most influential TV show or movie of your life?

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#2 Edited by Master_Live (19461 posts) -

I think next in the list would be the old Looney Tunes, then Seinfeld and Batman: The Animated Series.

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#3 Edited by warmblur (2344 posts) -

Not one show particularly but watching MTV in the 90's and seeing some great bands that I still listen to this day it really got me through some tough times growing up.

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#4 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (10648 posts) -

Simpsons is easily the most for me. Then getting older, probably Futurama and some South Park. More of an animated guy myself.

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#5 Posted by DragonHellfire (5 posts) -

Dragon Ball Z

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#6 Posted by fireman64 (50 posts) -

Rockford files, MASH.. Seinfeld..

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#7 Posted by Speeny (1622 posts) -

One Piece. (I still need to read the Manga. But I've seen everything of the Anime.) I'm probably missing out seeing as the pacing is supposedly bad in the Anime.

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#8 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1475 posts) -

The Sopranos, maybe? I know there were realistic character driven artistic shows before, like Heimat and Dekalog, but after Sopranos came out television started being more cinematic and shows started to feel like short movies.

Or, you're asking about my life? I don't know. Nothing.

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#9 Edited by uninspiredcup (33269 posts) -


TNG was on pretty much every-day, twice. e a day. My dad was abit of a cold so it's really the only time we bonded. He would constantly bring up how much he wanted to bang Deanna Troi haha

DS9 was the first "binge" show that fell like a living a breathing universe. We are so use to this now, with the likes of Netflix and DVD's, but back then for many people what DS9 was doing was a new thing. It rewards you following it week to week. The show felt more like a constantly flowing universe with a sense of place.

DBZ- Kinda showed the scope and ambition a animation could be. It spans generations, planets. with alot of positive themes. Their's a reason it was popular and it had alot more going on than "cool fight scenes", their are plenty of animes with that.


In regards to The Simpsons, The newer episodes have dulled my opinion of the series. You can usually tell when an older episode is on due to the aspect ration and visual quality, these are the golden ones. Whenever a digitally clean image pops up, with some celeb cameo, it's time to switch off.

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#10 Posted by gamefan606 (3909 posts) -

Thomas the Tank Engine. When I was still very young (around 4 years old) my parents bought me various Thomas the Tank Engine VHS tapes that I immediately became fascinated with. They later bought me the book containing the original stories the VHS episodes were based on. At some point, I began trying to follow the episodes while reading their respective stories line by line. This little habit was essentially how I ended up becoming really good at reading from a young age. This, in turn, made learning a much more enjoyable experience for me, thus helping to form the foundation for the big nerd I would end up becoming.

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#11 Edited by SaltSlasher (1068 posts) -

Maybe not the last couple years of my life, but overall, has to be South Park and Star Trek.

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#12 Edited by DarkTower (198 posts) -

maybe Naruto - first anime i watched from start to finish, but there are definitely a lot of shows that had me hooked after watching the pilot.

breaking bad - easy choice, it's dark, it's gritty, it's perfect.

LOST - one of the first tv shows that i binge watched from start to finish, the last season is super weird tho. it's clearly a show that set the standard.

house M.D - i don't watch many medical based shows (there are A LOT) but the mystery and genius of House is awesome, and it's a show that got me hooked on Dexter and Sherlock Holmes (or just UK Sherlock) later on.

as for films ? hmmm a good list for my tastes would be :

jurassic park

the godfather (or taxi driver/goodfellas/scarface/etc)

home alone 1 and 2

the shining / the exorcist / halloween

the goonies (or the breakfast club/the stoned age/dazed and confused/ferris bueller's day off/etc)

lord of the rings / harry potter

inception / shutter island

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#13 Posted by Ovirew (8988 posts) -

@Master_Live: I had a really long answer to your question typed up last night, but then I decided not to submit it.

The thing is, you are talking about formative years. I was going all-out describing tv shows and movies that impacted me more recently in life, from my teenage years through present.

I think you pose a really good question. I'm just not sure that I have a good answer. The truth is, I don't know if anything I watched as a kid really has any influence on me now. Growing up I wanted to be a cartoonist, and watched TONS of different cartoons on several different channels over the years. I don't know which were the most influential on me though. There were cartoons on Nickelodeon, FOX Kids, TBS, TNT, USA, The Family Channel, CBS, ABC, NBC, Cartoon Network (which I didn't actually get access to until 2000), Kid's WB (I didn't even get that channel until the kid's programming was pretty much over and done with), MTV, and probably other channels that I can't even think of right now.

I watched everything from well-known cartoons like Doug, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Eek the Cat, to Schnookums and Meat, Bonkers and Marsupilami. I really can't sit here and think about over a decade's worth of tv viewing I did as a kid, and I'm not sure which shows were the most inspiring ones for me. I just know I fell in love with the wacky, imaginative worlds that a lot of cartoons existed in, where anything that would lead to certain disaster in reality could be fixed with animated hijinks.

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#14 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (25244 posts) -

Married With Children and Star Blazers

Plus reruns of World at War and Wild Wild West. My relatives loved Bonanza. Not me because it hit too close to home (Lake Tahoe and Washoe Valley, Nevada).

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#15 Posted by XVision84 (15968 posts) -

@speeny: As someone who switched over from the anime to the manga, I experienced exactly this. The quality and pacing of the anime doesn't do justice to the manga anymore.

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#16 Posted by qx0d (333 posts) -

The best TV I've seen has been from earlier decades. This includes classic shows like Highway To Heaven, Emergency!, Adam 12, Rockford Files, The Addams Family, Gunsmoke, Mama's Family, Three's Company, and others.

What I notice most is... these classic shows are FUN. They are much better than modern shows.

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#17 Posted by Speeny (1622 posts) -

@XVision84: I remember rewatching Skypiea and Ennies Lobby. Those arcs are a real drag so I’m hoping for it to be so much more enjoyable in the manga. I never liked Skypiea but Enies Lobby was great watching first time through. Dressrosa was a complete drag of course. 118 episodes. Lol

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#18 Posted by XVision84 (15968 posts) -

@speeny: They're still a drag in the manga, but they're less of a drag lol. I personally liked Enies Lobby, but Dressrosa moved at the pace of an injured snail.

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#19 Posted by GettingonwithGamingLife (242 posts) -

Blood Diamond.

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#20 Edited by shellcase86 (4396 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: @dragonhellfire:

1. Using a senzu bean cheating, right?

2. Favorite episode?

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#21 Edited by uninspiredcup (33269 posts) -

@shellcase86 said:

@uninspiredcup: @dragonhellfire:

1. Using a senzu bean cheating, right?

2. Favorite episode?

Can't remember the exact episode, actually been a good 15+ years since I watched it, but this is fav moment.

Loading Video...

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#22 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43916 posts) -

None. I am uninfluenceable.

May be Rick and Morty? I wish I could draw strength from apathy and nihilism like Rick instead of stagnation.

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#23 Edited by Serraph105 (33730 posts) -

Influential tv is kind of tough. TV that I enjoy is easy, but influential? Maybe House MD? House had a way of cutting through the bullshit that helped me see social situations in different ways. My favorite example is a reminder that rules don't actually prevent something from being done, it just means that there may be consequences for taking those actions, but also that you may end up with positive results should you ignore the rules as well. Obviously you need to be smart about the rules that you break, but still the point is made very well in nearly every episode of the series. The quote that succinctly defines this for me is, "Reality begs to differ." House says this to Cuddy while doing the exact thing that she tells him he "can't" do.

Another example that I was reminded of as I was watching a recent episode is that you don't need to bother with actions that you know aren't going to work even if it's expected of you. The quote being, "If the adult way doesn't work, then why bother with it?"

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#24 Edited by DEVILinIRON (4827 posts) -

That's tough, atm I choose Seven Samurai.

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#25 Posted by killerfist (20121 posts) -

Simpsons is a good one. I wouldn't say it had any influence on me or my life, but it was always there while I was growing up.

"Ai, caramba!" or "D'oh!" was never part of my vocabulary or anything lol

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#26 Posted by brightshadow (9 posts) -

Tv show is Seinfeld for sure. Movies probably Star Wars.

I do love The Simpsons too, as everyone else have mentioned.

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#27 Posted by Crash6 (3376 posts) -

Seinfeld - I use to watch it with my Mom when I was younger. Had no idea what was going. Thought I was dumb and hated that I didn't get what was so funny. When I got older I started watching re-runs and every joke just smacked me in the face. It was one of the first "adult' comedies where I started understanding joke concepts and I think it helped me find my "humor personality", if that's even a thing.

Family Guy - First show I ever loved that got cancelled. Came back on the air when I started college and watched it religiously. Quote it constantly in my head whenever I'm having a bad day or in a nervous situation. Very much attracted to the pacing and ruthlessness of a lot of the jokes.

Sopranos - In my opinion it is the greatest show to ever be on television and single handedly changed how I viewed tv shows from a quality perspective.

I will also give an honorable mention to Dexter, Entourage and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Plenty of other shows I like too, just not sure I view them as influential.

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#28 Posted by Master_Live (19461 posts) -

@Crash6 said:

Seinfeld - I use to watch it with my Mom when I was younger. Had no idea what was going. Thought I was dumb and hated that I didn't get what was so funny. When I got older I started watching re-runs and every joke just smacked me in the face. It was one of the first "adult' comedies where I started understanding joke concepts and I think it helped me find my "humor personality", if that's even a thing.

I have a similar experience with Seinfeld. When I first started watching it I constantly said to myself: "I don't get it, why is this funny? Should I be laughing?". It wasn't that I thought it was bad, it simply was that I didn't get it.

But sometimes I would leave it in the background since I did get many of the Kramer kind of comedy since at lot of what he does in the show is "physical" comedy that can be easily grasped. And yep, with time I began to "get" what was going on and now it is one of my favorite shows of all time.

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#30 Edited by Chutebox (44568 posts) -

Early Simpsons...then Everybody Loves Raymond, Archer, and Game of Thrones.

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#32 Posted by JoPython52 (119 posts) -

Jaws and Star Wars. They were a one two punch to my brain. As a younger child, it was The Wizard of Oz.