As I mentioned in my essay about the 25th anniversary of the FOX network
, these 10 shows aren't the biggest hits in FOX history, nor even the most historically important. They're just my 10 favorite series FOX aired — some for a long time, some very briefly — over the last quarter-century. If we were doing either of those other lists, then surely "Beverly Hills 90210" would be on here ahead of its 21st century successor. But I would say at least two-thirds of my enjoyment of the gang at West Beverly was ironic, where when "The O.C." was really cooking (particularly in its first and last seasons), the pleasure I took from it in no way made me feel guilty. Here was a teen drama that managed to be simultaneously self-aware and sincere, to crack jokes about every cliché it was using even as it used them, to tug at the heartstrings even as Seth was playing with a toy horse he called Captain Oats. And though the middle years were clunky (take Johnny and Chili… please), Ryan, Seth and Summer all got their acts together for a triumphant final season of fun, heartache and more mid-'00s indie rock.