When I was growing up, after kids TV (Tiswas, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett), it seemed that my regular TV viewing was variety shows (It's a knockout, Top of the Pops) of some kind, which still haven't gone away and to some degree are ancestors to today's reality shows.
For me, there is a fine balance between the strict serial drama and the casual evening sitcom or the event driven drama. With the strict serial drama (e.g. Lost) the viewer is almost forced to watch every single episode and will be lost if the first or last episodes are missed. With the sitcom (e.g Seinfeld) or event drama (e.g. House) , no worries, jump right in and enjoy the show (although some characters and relationships develop over the season).
House - a good use for the term becrutchedy, new season starting next week.
Entourage - fun guy stuff, fanastic soundtrack, new season started this week
Top Gear - fab cars, funny hosts, years behind but still loving it
Memorable older TV shows:
The Sopranos - T was arguably one of the most complex TV characers of all time
Dead Like Me - very clever premise and story lines
The Office (UK version) - can you say awkward
Twin Peaks - super serial silliness, great mystery but went very weird in the end
The Young Ones - Brit lad humour that still pops up when some of me mates get together