MENSA’s not-so-smart list of smartest TV shows

Ever wondered what people with
really high IQs do in their spare time? Neither have I. Well, OK, I
have wondered what some of them do. To the point of distraction, in

But whether you wanted to know
or not,
that MENSA chairman Jim Werdell watches about 10 hours of television
every day. (The average American
four and
a half hours.) And apparently, the combination of high IQ and television
addiction makes Werdell qualified to list the 10 smartest TV shows
of all time.

I won’t argue with No. 1, simply
because my daddy’s favorite television show was M*A*S*H and he
was smart. That’s good enough for me.

I’ll also concede that Frasier,
All in the Family
and West Wing deserve spots on the list.
(Dang, how much do you miss C.J.?)

The others are a little iffy,
in my opinion. I know some of you are avid CSI and House
lovers and, admittedly, both shows have exceptional taste in stars.

But would CSI exist
if not for X-Files? Scully used forensics before forensics was

And how could Boston Legal
be smarter than David Kelley‘s legal show that paved the way,
L.A. Law

I don’t find the inclusion
of Mad About You as appalling as some bloggers do. It usually made me laugh, which
is one of my top criteria for intelligence. And hey, Helen Hunt.

But is Mad smarter than
Newhart, Seinfeld
or Arrested Development? Not so much.

And what about the brilliant
comedy starring one of Hollywood’s most famous MENSA members?

The list fails to include any
female-fronted shows, something I am ashamed to admit I didn’t notice
until Dorothy Snarker pointed it out. That brings me to Murphy Brown,
a show so smart that even Dan Quayle couldn’t understand it. Oh, wait.

Werdell also overlooked another
woman-centric show, 30 Rock, which happens to be the most intelligent
comedy currently in production.

I’m a bit dismayed that nary
a sci-fi show made the list. In his 10 hours a day, has MENSA Man never
seen any of the Star Trek franchise?

(picture source: Galactica Watercooler)

Or Battlestar Galactica?

Worst of all, however, is the
omission of what I consider the smartest show ever made. It was — and
still is — full of brilliant humor on so many levels that I find something
new to appreciate with every viewing. It also taught me the joy of punning
— both a blessing and a curse. Any true Mr. Know-It-All would bow to
the genius that is The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

What do you think of the MENSA
chairman’s list? Has he been watching too much television — or not enough?
What would top your list of the smartest TV shows ever made?