2001/2002 TV Season - Top 20 Dramatic Episodes

 
Old 06-10-02, 04:42 AM
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2001/2002 TV Season - Top 20 Dramatic Episodes

So, it's summer time, and another television season is behind us. A few great new shows took the television scene by storm; other great new shows were killed far too early. Some established quality giants stumbled, while former greats who had been in a funk returned with authority. Like many seasons, this one was bittersweet. There was so much good to remember, but it was tarnished by absurd cancellations and a complete unwillingness by ABC, FOX, and Sci-Fi to allow shows to develop an audience. What follows is my list of the Top #20 dramatic episodes of the year (and the Top #10 comedic in another thread).

Obviously, my opinion will differ from others, and it's impossible for someone to watch every second of television (believe me -- I've tried), but I do believe I watched a large enough array of programming (including shows I do not like) to form an educated opinion. But, of course, it's just my opinion. With summer ahead of us and reruns likely to fill the airwaves, perhaps this list will help some people track down something great to watch. Likewise, if this list is missing some wonderful episode of your favorite show, let me know so I can see it. There are many great shows from the season that are not represented on this list. Keep in mind that the list isn't for great shows, but great episodes. To be fair to all shows, I limited each to two episodes max. If not, there would be too many episodes of Band of Brothers (yes, I know - technically it's a mini-series) and Six Feet Under and no room for anyone else. Anyway, here's my list -- I'm braced for criticism.

NB: You should be aware that there will obviously be spoilers for the episodes in this list.




2001-2002 Season: Top 20 Dramatic Episodes

#1 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 'Once More, With Feeling'

What can be said about this episode that hasn't already been said? For 5 seasons, Buffy has boldly provided some of the best quality on television, in spite of the ignorant masses who have tried to keep it from succeeding. Every day a new viewer discovers this incredible show and wonders why he didn't watch it earlier. While each season had a distinct story arc, Joss still found room for one completely unique episode. In the 3rd season, they began this trend with 'Earshot', an episode mostly devoted to Buffy telepathic hearing of everyone else's thoughts. In 4th season, they took it a step further and gave us 'Hush', and episode that (aside from the very beginning and very end) contained absolutely no dialog. 5th season gave us what many believe to be possibly the finest hour of television ever, 'The Body', an episode without any background music.

All of these episodes were unique to modern dramatic television, so what possibly could be next? That's right ... a musical. It sounded crazy, but anyone who had seen the previous 5 seasons knew that no matter how crazy it sounded, it would be idiotic to second guess Joss and the Scoobies. That faith proved true, as once again Buffy delivered the most unique and incredible hour of television of the season. Singing, dancing, comedy, drama ... it was all there. The audience laughed, they cried, they stood up and cheered, and it took weeks for people to stop talking about the it and come down from the high from this incredible episode. Choosing my #1 episode of the year was an incredibly difficult decision considering the level of quality to be found in this list, but taking into account the bravery it took to attempt something so bold, and then to succeed so triumphantly, I cannot think of a more fitting selection.

#2 - Band of Brothers - 'Bastogne'

On the level with Roots and From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers rests with great company as one of the finest mini-series in the history of television. Each episode was uniquely powerful and entertaining, but this hour stands above the rest. Told from the perspective of Doc Eugene Roe, this episode chronicles Easy Company's remarkable struggle to hold the line in Bastogne, Belgium from the advances of Hitler's forces ... in the dead of winter.

#3 - Six Feet Under - 'It's the Most Wonderful ...'

While the characters on Six Feet Under are some of the most intelligently written on television today, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the show is the glue that holds everything together: the memory of the family's father, who died in the opening scenes of the first episode. It's Christmas time, one year later, and each of the main characters faces something that triggers his last memory of Nathaniel. It is an absolutely beautiful and poignant hour of probably the best series on television this year.

#4 - Alias - 'Truth Be Told'

Wow. I mean wow. ABC advertised this premiere to death, going so far as to obtain sponsorship for a 99 minute uninterrupted episode, but still people did not watch. And boy did they miss out on something good. Unlike most action-adventure shows, Alias found the perfect balance between action, adventure, character development, drama, and heart. The series premiere was a non-stop action-fest, told predominantly in flashback as the lead was being tortured for information by a rival organization. It established the foundation for the series and the characters through skillfully executed script. Most surprising, however, was that every episode of the first season was good. There were no lulls in the action, no breaks in the story, and by the season finale, everything was brought full circle to tell one compelling story and set the stage for a second. It was a very close race, but I believe Alias edged out Philly and The Shield as the best new show of the season.

#5 - The Shield - 'Pilot'

Not since Hill Street Blues have I been so completely knocked on my ass by the developments of a television premiere. Way too intense for network television, The Shield goes where only HBO has dared for the past decade. A complete departure from The Commish, Michael Chiklis portrays an incredibly dynamic character who gets positive results as a detective through not-so-positive methods. This opening episode pushes him to the edge to a point many would consider beyond redemption. The rest of the season dares to question whether he can be redeemed for his sins or if he even has any desire to change. Surrounding him are a cast of equally dynamic characters, each with strengths and weaknesses, each with baggage and potential, each a story unto himself. Not unlike Alias, this spot could be reserved for the entire season which was a non-stop barrage of quality culminating in one intense season finale.

#6 - NYPD Blue - 'Oedipus Wrecked'

In its 9th season, numerous cast and writer changes had viewers wondering if NYPD Blue had anything left. Amazingly, the show returned with new blood, new life, and season full of interesting stories. None were more compelling that 'Oedipus Wrecked' as an average day at the station turns into a hostage crises between Sipowicz and an unassuming witness in a routine murder. In the hands of a lesser television show, this episode would have turned overly dramatic with a huge climax, but the infintely talnted Franz plays every scene to perfection. Andy betrays little emotion to the squad, but Connie cannot conceal her fear. She struggles to be strong for Andy as they return to his apartment, and the simple gesture of Andy tightly clasping her outstretched hand speaks more loudly than any dialogue could. A very powerful episode for a show that appears to have renewed vitality.

#7 - Band of Brothers - 'The Breaking Point'

Following 'Bastogne' was not an easy task, but then despite their name, it wasn't too easy for Easy Company to advance on Foy less than a month later. Winters, promoted and removed from command, has to sit back and watch Dike bumble his way through too much calculating and not enough decision-making as his troops are getting demolished in battle. Winters steps in and orders Speirs to take charge before all is lost, and in an awe-inspiring sequence of events, runs through the town, through the German lines, through all the fire, to the other division to let them know how to proceed ... then he runs back. Through all of this, we live through Lipton as he grows from an unassuming character into a humble hero.

#8 - The West Wing - '100,000 Airplanes'

The President's speechwriters scramble at a frenetic pace to prepare the State of the Union address to the nation. Recent episodes have led to the censure of the President after concealing his battle with MS, and the delicate yet powerful nature of the situation dominates everyone's mind. Everything is proceeding about as expected when President Bartlet offers a stunning thought. In the State of the Union address, he suggests he announce that the United States will cure Cancer by the end of the decade. Awestruck, his staffers question how they could possibly do such a thing, and Bartlet explains: when Kennedy announced in his State of the Union that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, it was an absurd assertion, but it became a national priority. The whole country did whatever it took to make it happen. We put a man on the freakin' moon; why can't we cure Cancer? Stunned by such a mentality, the staffers discuss if this is a viable subject to include in his speech. They write it up, place it prominently in the speech, and ultimately drop it ... because it's an election year, and they fear Americans will think Bartlet is just saying it to win their sympathy, not because he genuinely believes it. The balance between what you want to do and what you have to do is played perfectly in this episode and reminded the audience of what we can accomplish if we set our minds to something.

#9 - Oz - 'Impotence'

All the build-up comes to a head in this powerful season finale. Miguel has been an exemplary prisoner, yet he cannot change who he is, and the audience is reminded of that when he explodes on a somewhat obnoxious parole board member. Rebadow experiences a horrible sense of karma as his grandson falls victim to a power outage, not unlike the power outage that prevented his own execution years ago. Beecher returns to Keller not long before Keller is ultimately sentenced to death. All the past with Ryan Cyril is finally exposed as they prepare to fight for a stay from Cyril's execution. All of this leads up to an attempt on Redding's life that takes an abrupt new tone as Augustus wheels in to take the mortal blow. As McManus rushes from above to help him, the audience is in absolute shock as the heart and soul of Oz fades away with the words, "I can ... I can feel my legs." The final scene fades from an embty set ... and an empty chair.

#10 - Once & Again - 'Chance of a Lifetime'

With Once & Again, ABC found an opportunity to single-handedly lower the quality of American television by doing everything in their power to keep anyone from seeing this incredible show, including 7 timeslot changes in less than 3 seasons. But the cast and crew continued to throw the highest quality in the face of the monsters at Di$ney and gave their audience a wonderful farewell season. This selection is a cop-out, as I found it impossible to select a single episode. The most wonderful aspect of this show is its incredible realism and honesty of the human experience, and every single moment is precious and important -- such was the third season of Once & Again. So, with reluctance, I select the show's finale. While in many areas not necessarily the best episode of the season, it embodies everything that was beautiful and special about this show, and they left us with powerful images. With 5 minutes left in the hour, the final scene closed, and the cameras drew back to reveal the studio. One by one the actors opened their hearts to the audience in the show's now familiar interview style. They were visibly shaken and confused at the cancellation of their show, but they took the time to thank the audience for sticking with them through the turbulent ride. It was stirring and emotional and ripped the heart out of those of us who followed the show.

#11 - Six Feet Under - 'The Last Time'

In the season finale, all the events of the past two seasons begin to resolve, but as superficial events that have dominated the characters' minds go in everyone's favor, the more significant events in their lives have different results. Each member of the Fisher family is forced to come to grips with some of their demons as they face the potential loss of Nate. We see another side, perhaps a more truthful side, of each character as the episode unfolds, and we are left with mixed emotions as Nate faces what seems to be a personal crossroads.

#12 - Angel - 'Sleep Tight'

Trying to evolve into a compelling drama in the shadow of its established predecessor has been a difficult task, but while there were some stumbling points, Angel successfully emerged into a unique show with its own identity. Sleep Tight is a turning point for the series, as each character has to make an impossibly difficult choice. Wesley is faced with an unavoidable prophecy, and Angel is faced with a no-win situation in the episode's ultimate climax. As Holtz leaps into the portal, each character is left reeling, and it sets up the spiral that will envelop the season's final episodes.

#13 - Farscape - 'Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: Icarus Abides'

As one of the few remaining quality science fiction shows on television, Farscape has consistently provided a unique array of visuals and stories. The science fiction genre has recently suffered a frustrating reliance on superficial retellings of the same themes. Yet Farscape has brought to life so many wonderful new ideas. One of the more compelling arcs from the 3rd season was the "twinning" of the lead character John Crichton. As is often the case on the show, the crew of Moya is split up for much of the season, with one Crichton on Moya, and an equal and exact Crichton on Talyn. Alternating episodes follow the stories of each crew, and in this climactic episode, one Crichton finally rids Scorpius from his brain after ultimately realizing his love for Aeryn. The two of them share so many wonderful experiences, but Crichton is forced to sacrifice himself for the greater good, and Aeryn holds him in her arms as he dies. This episode cuts to the heart of the characters and sets the stage for a gut-wrenching reunion between Aeryn and the other Crichton ... the same man, but not the man with whom she fell in love and shared so much of herself.

#14 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 'Two to Go / Grave'

While not a unanimous opinion, many longtime fans felt this season suffered from growing pains without Joss' continued involvement. A lot of events took place, but the substance of those events wasn't as compelling as previous seasons had been. Episode by episode, things slowly came back into form and prepared the audience for an incredible finale. As if sent from God, Giles returns to bring everything into perspective, and as Buffy recounts all that happened this season, they break out into hysterical laughter (somewhat of a "we know" nod to the fans). Order is restored. The dialogue is crisp. The story is tight. Willow ultimately comes to grips with facing reality; Dawn finally shows growth as a character; Buffy realizes what she wants from her life; Spike gets new life; and Xander ... well ... Xander saves the world.

#15 - The West Wing - 'Bartlet for America'

Some writers do their best work in flashback. One of Sorkin's best episodes of SportsNight was 'Dear Louise', as Jeremy tells his day in a letter to his deaf sister, and last season's 'Two Cathedrals' elevated even the great The West Wing to another level. In yet another great flashback episode, Leo is preparing to testify before a House committee with regard to his knowledge of the President's condition and attempts to conceal it. The nature of the situation triggers memories of the campaign, and the audience is treated to the development of some of the relationships we currently take for granted. In a touching moment, Leo writes on a napkin how to make this nation a better place: Bartlet for America.

#16 - Boston Public - 'Chapter Thirty-Seven'

Once the finest active writer in television, David E. Kelley has spread himself too thin and has become too predictably outrageous in many of his shows. In this episode, however, he strikes an appropriate balance as he addresses a particularly sore area of our nation's culture. The story opens with two students, one white and one black, jawing at each other as the enter a classroom. In typical cultural banter, the black student says something like, "******, you crazy," and the white student responds in kind with something like, "that's just my style, ******." An onlooking black student is outraged, and the issue of double-standards, hateful rhetoric, and countless other issues take center stage as a mixed faculty comes to grips with their own feelings and their responsibilities to their students. While not every aspect of this episode was executed to perfection, it did an admirable job of addressing a seriously thought-provoking issue.

#17 - Jeremiah - 'Firewall'

jms has returned to television with another intriguing story, but unfortunately it appears to exist in somewhat obscurity on Showtime. Although the ratings are very strong, I know very few people who are watching. In any case, in typical jms form, the show began slowly as it carefully developed the characters; and just as the audience became comfortable with the environment and the show's direction, everything was turned on end as what the audience (and the characters) believed to be true was not what it seemed. As precious few people on this forum actually watch the show, there's no reason for me to risk spoiling it for you. Just trust me -- it was damn_good.

#18 - Farscape - 'Dog With Two Bones'

A dog with a bone in his mouth approaches a stream, and in the stream he sees another dog holding a bone in his mouth. As he bends closer to the stream, the other bone gets closer. Yet as he opens his mouth to get the second bone, his bone falls into the stream, and the second bone disappears. This is the premise of Farscape's third season finale. The battle is won, and the crew of Moya is finally free and no longer needs to travel together. Each companion has his own story, his own new journey to take, and the crew must go their separte ways. With the help of some strange old crone, John is forced to face the reality of his dreams. Can Aeryn ever love him considering her past? Could they ever have a future on Earth? Can he leave all this behind and return to Earth? The dog with two bones makes his choice, but Aeryn and the rest of the crew also makes theirs. What has been one of the most unpredictable shows in recent years takes yet another turn as Moya starbursts while Crichton is away from the ship.

#19 - The Invisible Man - 'Going Postal'

Placing this episode in the dramatic category may be a stretch, but it deserves to be somewhere, so here it sits. Fawkes, Hobbes, and Monroe are sent to the dead-letter office to investigate some thefts in return for free postage for The Agency, who is always in dire financial condition. Hobbes goes crazy fills the place with bullets, and what transpires after that is a great take on the Rashomon formula. Each character recounts the day's events to a psychiatrist in his own way, and it sets up the show's most memorable moment. Fans of the show know that each episode is narrated by the lead character of Fawkes and begins with a poignant quote from a famous figure. As he begins to tell his version of the events to the psychiatrist, he narrates it with just such an opening quote, and convinces the shrink that he probably is crazy.

#20 - e.r. - 'On the Beach'

Mark Greene's final days are told in somewhat unique fashion as he takes Rachel with him to Hawaii and teaches her some of life's great things: surfing, driving a stick, the important stuff. The audience was prepared for Greene's passing (not just from incessant NBC promotion) with he previous episode, and the structure allowed for a final sendoff away from the ER. The show has certainly slipped in the last few years, but every season there are a few episodes that find the level of quality once so constant.




das

P.S. I forgot to mention that I intentionally avoided 9/11 specific programming. That would be a world unto itself and unfair comparison IMO.

Last edited by das Monkey; 06-10-02 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-10-02, 10:43 AM
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only 2 shows that I watch...Oz and Boston Public, then again, I aint really into drama
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Old 06-10-02, 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by Venusian
only 2 shows that I watch...Oz and Boston Public, then again, I aint really into drama
Comedy is on the way. The list is already made; I just can't really type a post that long from work.

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Old 06-10-02, 12:18 PM
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Great list.....but even before I opened the thread I knew what you were going to have as No.1 (I didn't see the episode, so I can't say otherwise, just a Buffy fan that has left the flock am I)

Great representation of some shows that deserve the recognition. Hey, we should get das a job as a TV critic....he could do some good!
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Old 06-10-02, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by clemente
Great list.....but even before I opened the thread I knew what you were going to have as No.1 (I didn't see the episode, so I can't say otherwise, just a Buffy fan that has left the flock am I)
To be honest, I really thought hard about that one. How do I compare it to something like Band of Brothers? In the end, as I said, the way each actor completely gave him/herself to such a daring concept was what set it apart from the rest. Precious few shows would even attempt that, let alone pull it off.

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P.S. Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 06-10-02, 07:57 PM
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I guess this is as good a place as any to ask the question. Will Jeremiah be replayed, in order, once the season is done? I was rather bored with the pilot, but see from several posts that it got a lot better. Thanks.
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Old 06-10-02, 08:27 PM
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first and last episodes of twenty four.
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Old 06-10-02, 10:31 PM
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I'm with you Rypro. The first 12 episodes of "24" and the finale were amazingly intense.

I heard the dvd will be out my mid-September for anyone who cares.
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Old 06-10-02, 10:36 PM
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This is some post, Das--I'm very impressed!

I completely agree with your number one choice--hands down. I must say if ANY episode this season both surprised people and managed to renew faith in a TV series among wavering fans, it was Buffy. I had to bow down to Joss for this one...when most figured it was simply a 'Jump The Shark' done deal even before it's airing, he manages perfectly to connect everything that is meaningful about this show. You understood by the end of this one what everyone was believing, thinking and portraying--and I remembered why this is one of my favorite shows. When even fans can't fathom a better premise, or spot holes in theories and continuity, you indeed know the meaning of a perfect episode. And damn, it indeed had some hysterical moments to boot. I think I watched this many times over and immediately got online after to download the songs. It's a really good memory for me this TV season In another thread the episodes of The Body and The Gift are considered two of the best and that can't be denied--but how on earth did a musical episode of all things make it up there with these? Truly remarkable, imo.

I don't usually choose finales as the best eps because by nature they are geared for it. I look at a series I watch faithfully, Six Feet Under and am amazed by the fact they just keep getting better each time, so it becomes impossible for me to choose just one.

A lot of shows on your list I haven't really watched...Alias (the choreography doesn't even compare to the Buffster, Oz (they done did a musical episode too), Once And Again, nor NYPD Blue (I'm sorry, the quick edit drives me nuts, The Invisible Man (Gone before I blinked it seems), Angel (I have tried but somethings not pulling me in there). But I will be watching Farscape from episode 1 since it comes highly recommended by yourself and a good friend of mine. And I'm always anxious it seems for good sci-fi.

I think the finale I was most disappointed with for various reasons was ER--it was more like 'Letdown'...I prefered Secrets & Lies and The Letter.

Your West Wing choice nails it down pretty good

Sorkin for prez...Whedon as VP and Ball as Secretary of State, what a fine television democracy it is indeed
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Old 06-10-02, 11:09 PM
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When your #2, "Bastogne" aired, I commented that it was the best hour of television I'd ever seen. Then a few weeks ago, when your #3 (the next to last episode of SFU, "It's the Most Wonderful...") aired, I changed my mind It's the best hour I've ever seen.

So anyway, those would be my 2 choices - I don't watch anywhere near enough TV to make a list, but the only other episodes on your list I've seen are the Alias premiere (which is the only Alias episode I watched) which I liked, but just didn't feel like trying to get involved in the series ... and the Boston Public episode on your list (again, I don't actually watch BP, but I happened to catch that one), which I also very much enjoyed ... and of course the other episodes of BoB and SFU on your list (I didn't think the last episode of SFU was one of the best of the season, but nonetheless, every single episode was very good in its own right)
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Old 06-11-02, 01:04 AM
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Nice list of shows but i wuld of placed e.r. "On the Beach" probably as either #2 or #1 dramatic show of the year. As it almost brought me to tears. Great emotion and great acting by Edwards (The Emmy and Golden Globe is his this year) But Buffy wasn't bad either but still i think the e.r. episode should of been a lot higher on the list.
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Old 06-11-02, 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by Chew9
I guess this is as good a place as any to ask the question. Will Jeremiah be replayed, in order, once the season is done? I was rather bored with the pilot, but see from several posts that it got a lot better. Thanks.
Officially, I don't think any announcements have been made to that effect, but it would be stupid for Showtime not to do so. There should be maybe 6 more episodes this season, and then I would assume they'd do either a few day marathon or an episode-a-week catch-up or both. It's a flagship type program that I would expect to gain them subscribers, so they'll probably capitalize it. As I am hating not being able to talk about it with anyone around here, I'll be sure to start a thread once I know something.

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Old 06-11-02, 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by PacMan2006
I'm with you Rypro. The first 12 episodes of "24" and the finale were amazingly intense.

I heard the dvd will be out my mid-September for anyone who cares.
I was fully prepared for someone to suggest that. I was also fully prepared to ignore that someone.

Seriously, I enjoyed much of 24, but in the end, not many of the episodes stand alone very well in the substance department. There's a lot of intensity, but many of the episodes I selected were just as intense. Combined with that intensity, however, was a depth that 24 just lacked. My opinion, of course, but there just wasn't room on a Top 20 for me. Maybe a Top 50.

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Old 06-11-02, 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by JonTurner
When your #2, "Bastogne" aired, I commented that it was the best hour of television I'd ever seen. Then a few weeks ago, when your #3 (the next to last episode of SFU, "It's the Most Wonderful...") aired, I changed my mind It's the best hour I've ever seen.

It's episodes like those that inspired this list. My love for television is no secret, and it's so frustrating year after year to see some of these incredible moments go unrewarded.

So anyway, those would be my 2 choices - I don't watch anywhere near enough TV to make a list, but the only other episodes on your list I've seen are the Alias premiere (which is the only Alias episode I watched) which I liked, but just didn't feel like trying to get involved in the series ... and the Boston Public episode on your list (again, I don't actually watch BP, but I happened to catch that one), which I also very much enjoyed

For reference, the Alias premiere was pretty indicative of how the season would go. It slowly got more intense and dynamic, but it's a good representation of the show. Boston Public is often more heavy-handed than that episode listed, but it's often more humorous too. Not really indicative of the rest of the season IMO.

and of course the other episodes of BoB and SFU on your list (I didn't think the last episode of SFU was one of the best of the season, but nonetheless, every single episode was very good in its own right)

The finale made the list for me, because it was such a change of pace for the characters and the show. Each of the Fishers was forced into scenarios and emotions that they had been running from for 2 seasons. The way they wove all the stories around Nate's surgery was a masterstroke, I thought, and worthy of the special recognition. But like you point out, every single episode was so damn_good, that it was a very difficult choice.

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Old 06-11-02, 02:32 AM
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Originally posted by mots2
I don't usually choose finales as the best eps because by nature they are geared for it. I look at a series I watch faithfully, Six Feet Under and am amazed by the fact they just keep getting better each time, so it becomes impossible for me to choose just one.

I tried to avoid overreliance on finales, but there were some too strong to ignore. At a quick count, it looks like I have 5 finales on the list ... I can live with that I think.

A lot of shows on your list I haven't really watched...Alias (the choreography doesn't even compare to the Buffster, Oz (they done did a musical episode too), Once And Again, nor NYPD Blue (I'm sorry, the quick edit drives me nuts, The Invisible Man (Gone before I blinked it seems), Angel (I have tried but somethings not pulling me in there). But I will be watching Farscape from episode 1 since it comes highly recommended by yourself and a good friend of mine. And I'm always anxious it seems for good sci-fi.

You've got some catching up to do. Btw, Alias probably has as good if not better choreography as Buffy. It's not as good a show (what could be ), but it's well worth giving a look-see.

Sorkin for prez...Whedon as VP and Ball as Secretary of State, what a fine television democracy it is indeed

I love Sorkin's writing, but I'd be a little nervous with him in a political office.

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Old 06-11-02, 02:40 AM
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I have to agree on "Bastogne". That was definitely a fine hour of television and just one of the many episodes of "Band of Brothers" that I can watch repeatedly.

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Old 06-11-02, 10:50 AM
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although i watched all of 24, i have to agree that not many of those episodes stuck out as that great. together the show was great, but individually they leaned on each other. maybe one of the first few might be good alone, but the rest you have to take as a series.
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Old 06-11-02, 10:52 AM
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so where's this comedy list we were promised
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Old 06-11-02, 10:58 AM
  #19  
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Originally posted by Venusian
so where's this comedy list we were promised
[Maxwell_Smart]Would you believe ...[/Maxwell_Smart]

Seriously, aside from a brief nap under my desk, I've been at work since I first posted this list. To whet your appetite, I'll give you some insider scoop: Baby Bob didn't make the cut.

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Old 06-11-02, 11:10 AM
  #20  
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NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

screw that, the whole list is a sham if Baby Bob didn't make it
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Old 06-11-02, 03:05 PM
  #21  
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Wow.. a great list.

While I don't watch a few of the series on your list, the majority I did, and I agree completly.

The Once & Again choice was a tough one. There were just so many great episodes, that to single one out over the others would do an unjustice to the whole series. The best option was to list the series finale. It contained great acting by the case, as well as a very heart felt "thank you" to the viewers in the last 5 minutes. You could truly tell they were upset by the cancellation.
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Old 06-11-02, 11:01 PM
  #22  
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Das,

Fair enough about "24." I actually think you have a decent point. The shows all do kind of run together, as that was the plan. I think, though, that if people watched it over again then at least one episode would make your top 20. I haven't rewatched the episodes, but I thought the episode where Jack holds a woman hostage allowing him to buy more time for an escape was very intense/dramatic. I just remember literally saying to myself during the first 12 episodes, "how does this show keep outdoing itself week to week?"

About the BP episode...I just thought it was alright. It was a good topic to bring up for an episode, but I thought it was far from dramatic. Maybe that's just because I'm a black male and expected more, but I felt that the show just scratched the surface on where they could've taken the topic. To me, they ONLY provoked the viewers, but maybe that was Kelly's only intent. I think part of what ruined it for me was that the other subplot of that episode, if I remember correctly, was about a girl living in her van. I just thought that was such a filler subplot when they could've used some of that time to delve more into such a dense, controversial subject as the n-word.

Can't really touch on any other of your top 20's because I don't watch any of those except for The Shield. Good list though.

In all seriousness though, is Buffy honestly that good of a show where it deserves TWO spots in the top 20? I've never seen the show so I actually am curious. From the advertisements, it seems like the show doesn't take itself as seriously as I would expect it to.
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Old 06-11-02, 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by PacMan2006
In all seriousness though, is Buffy honestly that good of a show where it deserves TWO spots in the top 20? I've never seen the show so I actually am curious. From the advertisements, it seems like the show doesn't take itself as seriously as I would expect it to.
Well, Pacman...i for one would have to say 'yes' to that. It would really depend on your taste however. If you don't care for supernatural storylines, you might not like the premise in general. But, the characters on the show are written so well that it makes the humor even more entertaining. You laugh, you cry and you think with BTVS. What the show doesn't do either is cheat the audience of their intelligence. I think I don't care for only one character out of 6 seasons and that is Dawn. not that you know who that is at this point
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Old 06-11-02, 11:32 PM
  #24  
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Originally posted by PacMan2006
Fair enough about "24." I actually think you have a decent point. The shows all do kind of run together, as that was the plan. I think, though, that if people watched it over again then at least one episode would make your top 20. I haven't rewatched the episodes, but I thought the episode where Jack holds a woman hostage allowing him to buy more time for an escape was very intense/dramatic. I just remember literally saying to myself during the first 12 episodes, "how does this show keep outdoing itself week to week?"

That one episode was actually pretty good. In the final analysis, rewatching the show will reveal too many holes and contrivances for the whole to be considered great (in my mind), and consequently, I have a hard time picking an episode. I would not disagree with awards for some incredible acting from the cast, though.

About the BP episode...I just thought it was alright. It was a good topic to bring up for an episode, but I thought it was far from dramatic. Maybe that's just because I'm a black male and expected more, but I felt that the show just scratched the surface on where they could've taken the topic. To me, they ONLY provoked the viewers, but maybe that was Kelly's only intent.

I think the point was to just get people on all sides to think about it in another person's shoes. Recently, DEK has tried to solve everyone's problems with long exposition and contrived situations. I thought this episode was worthy of mention because it wasn't preachy and asked the viewer to think about it himself.

In all seriousness though, is Buffy honestly that good of a show where it deserves TWO spots in the top 20? I've never seen the show so I actually am curious. From the advertisements, it seems like the show doesn't take itself as seriously as I would expect it to.

In all seriousness, for a few years, it was the best show on television. That is not an exageration. Shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The West Wing have taken that title from them, but for a time, it was unmatched. People who have never seen the show will always think it's stupid, but those of us blessed to have seen it from the beginning know better. One by one, people are slowly figuring it out, but some will just never know, and that's a shame.

Look at this forum. It seems like once a month someone shows up with a "I just started watching Buffy and this show is incredible!!! Why didn't someone tell me?" thread. Well, we told you. You're just not listening. I am an avid television fan and watch a huge array of genre and programming, so I'm not speaking out of my ass when I say that Buffy has produced some of the most incredible hours in the history (yes, history) of dramatic television. Some episodes are campy, some are filler, and some are absolute brilliance. Yes, it is that damn_good.

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Old 06-11-02, 11:42 PM
  #25  
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Originally posted by mots2
What the show doesn't do either is cheat the audience of their intelligence.
Well said. Characters' actions have consequences, "good guys" do foolish things, "bad guys" are not completely heartless, and through stories of the supernatural, the show does an incredible job portraying the wonders of the average human.

Buffy is a show about choices and the consequences (good or bad) of those decisions. It's about inherent human frailty balanced with a simple individual's ability to change the world. It's about everything that makes our lives painful, and wonderful, and scary, and intriguing, and unique, and heart-breaking, and worth living. It's about the wonders of humanity at its best, its worst, and everywhere in between.

Time to go watch some season 2 DVDs ...

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