Friday, February 15, 2008

Pop goes Mensa

Every once in awhile, even the elite among us must venture into the realm of pop culture. MENSA, it turns out, is not exception, apparently. Their chairhuman just came up with his "Top ten smartest shows of all time (in no particular order)". Leave it to a MENSA member to list a top ten of anything in no particular order. Now, it must be made clear that MENSA in no way takes itself too seriously beyond the actual endeavor to find smart people. This is a group of people that freely laughs at themselves. So, in an effort to give closure to any readers of my article here, I ask forgiveness from both MENSA chairhuman Jim Werdell and Fancast for re-publishing their list, as follows (my commentary is in red):

1. M*A*S*H – It had smart repartee and was so much more than a comedy. Yeah, I'll watch its reruns when I'm bored and nothing else
is on.

2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan) – Sagan was able to communicate something
extremely complicated to the layman and do it well, and that’s unusual for a
scientist at his level. It should be noted that Carl
Sagan became an outcast among his peers in the scientific community because of
his attempts to make science accessable to the everyone.

3. CSI -- The way they use science to solve their programs is intriguing to
viewers. Only if all the worlds problems could be
solved with a bit of science within an hour.

4. House – Again, it’s high level type of show; it’s the personality that
makes it a winner, plus it deals with science. I am
enjoying this show, but find I can't watch its reruns.

5. West Wing – you had to pay attention to stay up with it. The repartee was
fast and furious and you needed a fairly high level intelligence to keep up with
it. I did enjoy this show a lot. It would've
been nice if we really had a President like that. It's

6. Boston Legal – It’s primarily because of the characters. The story lines
are okay, but the characters are incredible and the writers give them great
dialogue. I can watch this sometimes.

7. All in the Family – The show dealt with social issues before its time and
was on the forefront of trying to show people’s feelings, beliefs and the
complexities of personality, in both a serious and comedic way. This was an important show in its day. It's ironic that a
show with its social content couldn't be aired today even though we all think
things are better now. I think its more that we are happy with how
effectively we are hiding the underlining issues now.

8. Frasier – The repartee was sensational; the main characters were very
good. Even though they portrayed people who were likely of high intelligence,
they also showed their weaknesses. This is a great
show that I can enjoy watching over and over.

9. Mad About You – It’s a personal favorite, I loved the characters and the
back and forth. It was very smart. This was a good
show that went deep into human relationships. Sometimes a little too

10. Jeopardy – It’s about the only game show that really tries to test
people’s intelligence. There’s very little luck involved, and there are few game
shows like that. I don’t watch it all that much honestly, but from what I’ve
seen it tests more than knowledge, it tests intelligence too. It's fun at times, but isn't really about smarts; instead about
who can memorize the most information.

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