15. 'Fishing With John'
All the droll oddballness of Eighties Downtown New York — without the town itself. In the six brilliantly warped episodes of this 1991 series (originally filmed for Japanese TV), art-jazz fixture and indie-flick staple John Lurie takes alt-culture icons on a fishing boat for a show more about existentialism than, say, fishing. Tom Waits puts a fish in his pants in Jamaica, Dennis Hopper talks about getting kicked out of Cole Porter's house in Thailand, and Jim Jarmusch tells apocryphal dolphin tales in Montauk. "It was not such an easy sell. HBO wouldn't even look at it," Lurie said back in 1998. "It is a show about nothing."—CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN