Guilty pleasures like Beverly Hills 90210 or Melrose Place, are shows I probably cannot even watch one episode now that I can still enjoy (well, maybe the whole Kimberly Shaw comes back from the dead thing on Melrose Place is still enjoyable).
But the following TV shows were my favorites when they were on the air and I can probably still watch them now and not get bored. These are not, I repeat, are not guilty pleasures. They will gladly be in my time capsule.
I'm a sucker for love triangles and Felicity had it in spades. You were either a Ben fan or a Noel fan. You either liked guys who were troubled and a little bad or you liked guys who were safe, sweet and reliable. Where did I lean? Let's just say I was happy who Felicity ended up with because he was the one she traveled across the country for in the first place. Besides the love triangle, Felicity had some of the best side characters in TV-land: Javier, Sean, Meghan and even annoying, little Richard. Just watch the first two seasons of Felicity and you'll see what this show is all about.
Dawson's Creek (1998-2003)
Told you I'm a sucker for love triangles. The mother of them all was the whole Dawson-Joey-Pacey saga. I still can't imagine why someone would root for Dawson. He was always a tad bit too whiny and over-analytical for my tastes, so it made sense she chose the more interesting side-kick who ended up not being such a side-kick after all. Dawson's Creek also had Michelle Williams, who brought the gravitas to this show and deserved the Oscar nominations she got later in her career. Dawson's Creek was also ground-breaking in it's day with the first male gay kiss aired on national television - way to go Jack!
My So Called Life (1994-1995)
This gem of a show lasted all of one season, but it's still cool in my book and doesn't show it's age. Angela Chase and her friends were real and there was nothing precocious about them. The awkwardness and angst of Angela was what made her such a good character. She acted how a teenager should act. Angela's troubled gay friend, Rickie, was heart breaking, but was eye-opening to what a 15-year old gay teen goes through when dealing with his sexuality. And let's not forget Jordan Catalano - Jared Leto at his most beautiful. The fact this show ended too early is still frustrating, but then again maybe that's why this show is a cult classic now - the mystery of what could of been is still there.
I like the fact that the show Angel took three characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that were a bit one-dimensional and rounded them out and showed other sides to them other then the nerdy Wesley, the stuck-up Cordelia, and the brooding Angel. The nerdy Wesley became the tough-ass Wesley with his own tragic love-story with Fred; the stuck-up Cordelia became more caring and wise and would make you believe that Angel could fall for her; and the image of the brooding Angel was shattered during season 1, episode 13 when...gasp...Angel dances. The last season ended on a high note for me by bringing on Spike as a regular cast member and having Angel still fighting the evil forces yet leaving his fate unanswered.
Is it too premature to include this show on my list? After all it's only been two years since it went off the air. But I know when re-runs are shown, I'm going to watch it and still try to get clues on what it all means. The ending was a tad bit disappointing for me, but the ride to get there was exhilarating, fascinating and enjoyable. Every character had their purpose (except Nikki and Paolo that is) and you actually came to care about their fate (the episode where Charlie dies still makes me teary-eyed). As for the love triangle that shows tend to have and I tend to enjoy, this particular triangle became a quadrangle where both the bad girl and the bad boy ended up with the good doctors and Sawyer remains hot (I had to throw that in there).