Friday, February 10, 2012

My 10 Favorite TV Episodes, Ever

This isn't about sports.

10. Seinfeld, "The Soup Nazi," November 2, 1995. Do you have to ask why? In that case, "No soup for you!"

9. Life On Mars, "Life Is a Rock," April 1, 2009. Of all the TV shows that could have aired on April Fool's Day, this show's finale is one that probably shouldn't have. But after the way "Ashes to Ashes," the spinoff of the original British version, ended, I never again want to hear from the Brits how "the bloody Yanks" screwed up "their" show.

8. NCIS, "One Shot, One Kill," February 10, 2004. The Gibbs team investigates the sniper-killing of 2 Marine recruiting sergeants. Gibbs Rule Number 9 is revealed: "Never go anywhere without a knife." T.J. Thyne, later Hodgins on "Bones," has a brief guest appearance. Tamara Taylor, Camille on "Bones," played an NCIS special agent on 2 other episodes.

7. Castle, "Punked," October 11, 2010. The murder weapon is a 200-year-old dueling pistol. Castle suspects a time-traveling killer. It leads him and Beckett into a steampunk club. There are two kinds of folks who don't like Castle: Psychopaths, and people who have never seen it.

6. Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Relics," October 12, 1992. James Doohan guests as Scotty, who'd kept himself alive for 75 years as a pattern inside a transporter buffer. (If ya gotta ask... ) He soon realizes that too much time has passed... until the new Enterprise's Chief Engineer, Geordie LaForge, steps in to help.

5. The Honeymooners, "Better Living Through TV," November 12, 1955. This was the first episode of the show that I ever saw. In order to sell a not-so-glorified Swiss Army Knife, Ralph and Ed do a live TV commercial. Ed says, "Zip, zip! Amazing!" Ralph, nervous as hell, says, "Homina homina homina... "

4. The Twilight Zone, "The Obsolete Man," June 2, 1961. Burgess Meredith is condemned to death -- and not for all the people he killed as the Penguin on Batman. But, like the Son of the God he and a few other people in this dystopian future still believe in, he turns his death into victory for humanity. Rod Serling was right: "Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete."

3. M*A*S*H, "Adam's Ribs," November 26, 1974. Hawkeye flips out over the mess tent chow -- and partially predicts the film "Network," which came out 2 years later -- and orders takeout barbecue from Chicago. Calling from Korea. In 1951.

2. Mad About You, "Giblets for Murray," November 17, 1994. Paul and Jamie try to host Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. The families are problematic. Then the dog eats the turkey, and hilarity ensues.

1. The West Wing, "Game On," October 30, 2002. President Martin Sheen clobbers James Brolin as George W. Bush's stand-in in the Presidential debate, and Leo puts a terrorist-supporting ambassador in his place.

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