Fun With Pop Culture


The new Entertainment Weekly has a feature on the “100 Greatest TV Icons”. Strangely, both the cover and article title claim it’s the “50 Greatest TV Icons”, though my copy very clearly includes numbers 51-100. This is where the problems with the list begin.

Obviously, any list like this is much more about spurring discussion than actually ranking people or creative works. Is anybody really arrogant enough to think that they can make a list of the 100 greatest films ever made? (Well, besides the AFI) Usually, Entertainment Weekly does a good job of this sort of thing, where they define their criteria and invite reader input. Here, not so much. They don’t explain their criteria for an ‘icon’, which is their first major failing. And no, I’m not going to print the dictionary definition right here, because that’s a total hack move. Personally, I think an icon has to have some sort of life beyond their series. Somebody who’s not me, and who I would credit if I could remember their name, said that an iconic character is one you would describe without reference to their fictional status. Who is Tony Soprano? Why, he’s a mob boss who struggles with depression. Who is Gil Grissom? He’s that guy on CSI. One’s an icon, one isn’t.

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