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Jan. 5th, 2007

So, I've been thinking a lot about television lately, more specifically about great episodes of television and what makes them so great. In the course of searching online for the script for "The Body" (which I never found--if anyone knows where I can read the actual Joss-penned teleplay, not just a transcript, I'd be your BFF) I found Creative Screenwriting's list of the seven best dramatic television episodes on DVD and I was surprised by how much their list overlapped with mine.

Their List:
1. Star Trek - "The Cage" by Gene Roddenberry
2. Twin Peaks - Pilot by Mark Frost & David Lynch
3. The X-Files - "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" by Darin Morgan
4. ER - "Love's Labor Lost" by Lance Gentile
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "The Body" by Joss Whedon
6. The West Wing - "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" by Aaron Sorkin
7. The Sopranos - "Employee of the Month" by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess
* Star Trek - "The City on the Edge of Forever" by Harlan Ellison
* Wiseguy - "No One Gets Out of Here Alive" by David J. Burke
* Quantum Leap - "M.I.A." by Donald P. Bellisario
* Alias - "Truth Be Told" by J.J. Abrams
* The Shield - Pilot by Shawn Ryan

My List:
1. M*A*S*H - "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" by Alan Alda, Burt Metcalfe, John Rappaport, Thad Mumford, Dan Wilcox, David Pollock, Elias Davis, Karen Hall
2. Lost - Pilot by J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "The Body" by Joss Whedon
4. The West Wing - "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" by Aaron Sorkin
5. ER - "Love's Labor Lost" by Lance Gentile
6. Veronica Mars - Pilot by Rob Thomas
7. Firefly - "Out of Gas" by Tim Minear
* House - "Three Stories" by David Shore
* Northern Exposure - "Cicely" by Andrew Schneider, Diane Frolov
* The X-Files - "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" by Darin Morgan
* Twin Peaks - Pilot by Mark Frost, David Lynch

The DVD restriction really helps narrow it down, because it excludes some truly great television, like Hill Street Blues, China Beach, thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, the amazing Law & Order season six episode, "Aftershock," (the one ending with Claire's death where they completely broke out of the show's formula), and all of David E. Kelly's best work.

So I'm dying to know what's on ya'lls lists? Which singular episodes (dramas only) stand out over the course of your television viewing lifetime? What am I criminally leaving off my list? Discuss.



Jan. 5th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
I've always thought Mimi Leder wrote Love's Labor Lost, but she directed it. All these years I've been giving her credit for someone else's work. Shame on me!

Note: The Alias pilot is on their list. Further proof that you need to watch this. So I'm insisting on it the next time we hang out. Also, I need to watch The Body.

If I had to add something to this list, I'd pick The Sopranos' "Whitecaps". The Six Feet Under pilot was also excellent.
Jan. 6th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
You've never made her watch the Alias pilot? For shame, austin360! ;)
Jan. 8th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
You don't understand. She's never been a fan of that show. She probably would have sat through it because she loves me, but she would have been grumbly about it.
Jan. 7th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
All right, our assignment next time we're together is to watch the Alias pilot and The Body. I warn you, though, there will be lots and lots of crying.
Jan. 8th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
I'll bring tissues, you bring the booze.

Speaking of, I think you should come to Austin for our next frolick. We can hit that new yarn store. And try out our new usual at Kerbey: the one pancake.

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