Most TVs have composite, S-video, and possibly component (3 cable) inputs. New sets have HDMI, a digital input.
You're probably going to connect via s-video?
Below find pictures of the video cable types that can connect to your typical TV set.
And found on almost all sets--s-video:
An example of a DVI cable (um, DVI-D I believe):
Now, HDMI is the best way to connect if you can--if your laptop has a DVI out and your TV set has an HDMI in, you should be able to get an adapter cable to connect the two ports.
Oh, and some transition HDTV sets had DVI inputs as well--my Hitachi 51" HDTV does. If so, then you should be able to connect your computer's DVI out to the TV set directly.
2nd best is probably component--again, assuming both the laptop and TV set have this.
3rd best is s-video. Most laptops and almost all TVs have these.
4th is composite.
VGA is so rare that I won't bother ranking it----on second thought, if somehow by some weird coincidence your TV set has a VGA in, then that's probably ranked above s-video, below component.