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The perfect TV-episodes

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  • #31
    I have to confess, I don't believe in a truly perfect TV episode, or, really, a perfect just about anything. At least not anything created through a complex process. That being said, the way I thought about perfect when this thread starting runs like this:

    Writing: No real plot holes (will accept gaps, etc. that have one or more possible, plausible explanations.) Character dialog and actions remain true to the established norms for that character. Guest roles with some depth and internal consistency.

    Acting: Portrayal consistent with established norms for regular or recurring characters. Guest actors matched well with role. Let me understand the character's emotions and motivations.

    Production: Very good video, audio, and effects without significant goofs. High quality sets, dressing and props.

    That Extra Something: In addition, I feel the episode needs to bring something special to the show. The episode has to reach at least a little beyond the normal. It's only when you risk that you can create that exceptional work. I don't think of a "solid" episode without flaws as perfect.
    "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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    • #32
      I'm going to add a few Doctor Who episodes to this list of TV greatness.

      The Empty Child two-parter from season one and Blink from season two.

      Sure, they are not on the level of Sleeping in Light or Objects in Space, but as TV go they are solid in both writing, acting and producing. There are of course many really good episodes in the early (new) seasons of Doctor Who, but these stand out to me.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Satai with Punsch View Post
        I'm going to add a few Doctor Who episodes to this list of TV greatness.

        The Empty Child two-parter from season one and Blink from season two.

        Sure, they are not on the level of Sleeping in Light or Objects in Space, but as TV go they are solid in both writing, acting and producing. There are of course many really good episodes in the early (new) seasons of Doctor Who, but these stand out to me.
        The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances really stand out, so does Blink.

        A little (personal) anecdote about Blink. I gave the DVD with Blink on it to a young friend (14 at that moment), and told her not to watch it just before bed time. Later she came back and told me I was right, she had watched it with a friend and had to walk back home in the dark. I had to chuckle a bit at that story.
        Jan from Denmark

        My blog :

        http://www.babylonlurker.dk

        "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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        • #34
          Originally posted by babylonlurker View Post
          The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances really stand out, so does Blink.

          A little (personal) anecdote about Blink. I gave the DVD with Blink on it to a young friend (14 at that moment), and told her not to watch it just before bed time. Later she came back and told me I was right, she had watched it with a friend and had to walk back home in the dark. I had to chuckle a bit at that story.
          HA! Kids never listen. Or they decide that they were told not to watch it just before bed time so that is exactly when they are going to watch it.
          Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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          • #35
            Twin Peaks - The Return (Aka Season 3)

            S3E08 - THE WATER & THE WELL

            I don't even know where to start with this, but it could have aired as a stand alone movie. It's Lynch really pushing the envelope of what TV can be and it was just beautiful, terrifying and surreal but also had tight internal logic on the origins of evil, pertaining to Twin Peaks as a whole. I loved it.
            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

            Kosh: Good!

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            • #36
              Sticking with Dr Who I’d probably include “Midnight” amongst some of the strongest writing and more uncomfortable (but great) episodes. (David Tennant, S4-E10).

              The final episode of Life on Mars (the UK original one, obviously) was pretty good, really nice twist.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                Okay, I'm going to add one from a series I'm currently watching. I've been ill as a dog all weekend with norovirus, so binge watched a good chunk of Person of Interest on Netflix. Have been casually watching the series as 'chill out' viewing and it's held my attention quite well.

                I just hit the S4 episode 'If Then Else' and wow, it had me choking up at two points. The final scene just left me in tears. Didn't realise how much I'd grown to love the characters. Good TV. Definite high point of the show so far, in terms of writing and direction.
                Finally watched the show a while ago, and while the overall thing is frequently quite flawed (getting better as it goes), that episode is fantastic. What really got to me was Harold speaking about how chess isn't a good metaphor for human life. Beautiful.

                And, in a show that's not very funny, a couple of laugh-out-loud moments, too.
                Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                  Finally watched the show a while ago, and while the overall thing is frequently quite flawed (getting better as it goes), that episode is fantastic. What really got to me was Harold speaking about how chess isn't a good metaphor for human life. Beautiful.

                  And, in a show that's not very funny, a couple of laugh-out-loud moments, too.
                  Wow, I'd forgotten I worked through this show. It really improves as it goes.
                  Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                  Kosh: Good!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by babylonlurker View Post
                    The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances really stand out, so does Blink.

                    A little (personal) anecdote about Blink. I gave the DVD with Blink on it to a young friend (14 at that moment), and told her not to watch it just before bed time. Later she came back and told me I was right, she had watched it with a friend and had to walk back home in the dark. I had to chuckle a bit at that story.

                    lol Why am I not surprised in the least. That is a scary story indeed.



                    Oh, I have not seen any of the new Twin peaks yet, so your suggestion Ubik sounds very intriguing.


                    Midnight is indeed a very good and uncomfortable Dr Who episode. I would not put it in my personal top 10 perfect episodes though, as it is uncomfortable, but not in the good way. Maybe 'cos it hits to close to home with the kind of xenophobia we see everyday nowadays.

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                    • #40
                      I just found this thread, and in addtion to the ones already mentioned, I have to add:

                      Breaking Bad: Ozymandias. One of (if not) the best episode of the series. Possibly one of the best episodes ever on TV.
                      Star Trek TNG: The Inner Light or Darmok (TIE IMO)
                      The Sopranos: Pine Barrens
                      WRKP in Cincinnati: The Thanksgiving Episode.

                      ​​​​​​​
                      All generalizations are false, including this one.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by AstroBoy View Post
                        I just found this thread, and in addtion to the ones already mentioned, I have to add:

                        Breaking Bad: Ozymandias. One of (if not) the best episode of the series. Possibly one of the best episodes ever on TV.
                        Star Trek TNG: The Inner Light or Darmok (TIE IMO)
                        The Sopranos: Pine Barrens
                        WRKP in Cincinnati: The Thanksgiving Episode.

                        ​​​​​​​
                        From TNG I would rank The Inner Light higher than Darmok, but yes, Darmok is still excellent.
                        Jan from Denmark

                        My blog :

                        http://www.babylonlurker.dk

                        "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by babylonlurker View Post

                          From TNG I would rank The Inner Light higher than Darmok, but yes, Darmok is still excellent.
                          That are some good suggestions.
                          As far TNG goes both are good. The Inner Light is maybe a better Patric Stewart piece? I recently re-watched The Lower Decks and was surprised that it still was a very good episode.

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                          • #43
                            Lets see if some things have happened to the the log of the "perfect TV-episode" since 2019. Earlier we had, among others, ...

                            -Babylon 5: Sleeping in Light, Intersections in Real Time, Severed Dreams
                            -Fringe: An Enemy of Fate, A Short Story About Love, An Enemy of Fate, White Tulip
                            -M.a.s.h.: Final episode, second half, Point of View (s7), Life time (s8)
                            -Blakes 7: Final episode
                            -Firefly: Objects in Space, Out of Gas
                            -Buffy: Restless (s4), The Body, Once More With Feeling, Gentlemen
                            -Person of interest: If then else (s4), Carter (3.4)
                            -Lost: the Finale, Tricia Tanaka Is Dead,
                            -Stargate Universe: Epilogue
                            -Jeremiah: Finale
                            -Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars, Bad Timing
                            -Six Feet Under: Everyone's Waiting
                            -Doctor Who: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (new s1:9-10), Blink (s3:10).
                            -Twin Peaks: The Water & the Well (S3:8)
                            -Star Trek The Next Generation: The Inner Light (s5:25)
                            -Breaking Bad: Ozymandias (s5:14)
                            -The Sopranos: Pine Barrens (?)
                            -WRKP in Cincinnati: The Thanksgiving Episode (?)


                            How is it on the TV-front these days? There are so many show out there I dont know where to start. Are there any new episodes out there that are not just good but perfect?​ You know ... you start to watch an episode and suddenly you forget everything else and afterwards you find you did not even eat the now melted icecream-perfect.
                            ​​
                            Last edited by Satai with Punsch; 09-19-2022, 01:34 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Babylon 5 (1994) - "Severed Dreams", "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum", "Interludes and Examinations", "Endgame"
                              Doctor Who (1963) - "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", "Genesis of the Daleks", "The Deadly Assassin"
                              Hawaii Five-O (1968) - "Hookman", " Draw Me a Killer", "Rest in Peace, Somebody", "'V' for Vashon" (Parts 1-3)
                              Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) - "Pod People", "Space Mutiny", "Parts: The Clonus Horror"
                              Person of Interest (2011) - "If-Then-Else", "Return 0", "The Devil's Share"
                              Star Trek (1966) - "The Doomsday Machine", "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Mirror, Mirror", "The Tholian Web"
                              The Venture Bros. (2003) - "Operation P.R.O.M.", "What Color Is Your Cleansuit?", "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel"
                              The Wild Wild West (1965) - "TNOT Puppeteer", "TNOT Watery Death", "TNOT Bubbling Death", "TNOT Avaricious Actuary"​

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                              • #45
                                I'm going to suggest several episodes. 3 episodes from another show I loved (one that just got a revival) Quantum Leap.

                                The 1st three are really an interconnected trilogy of episodes
                                The Season 2 Finale M.I.A. Where Sam leaps into a ploice dective in San Diego to ostensibly previent a woman from falling in love with someone else while her husband in M.I.A. in Vietnam.
                                The Season 3 premier was a two parter.
                                In the Leap Home part 1,Sam leaps into himself as a 16-year-old boy to help his high school basketball team win the championship. He also tries to help the other members of his family including his father who died from smoking, his brother who was killed in Vietnam and his sister who married an abusive alcoholic.​

                                In the second part The Leap Home Pt. 2 (Vietnam) Sam leaps into the body of a soldier in his brother Tom's SEAL team while they are on patrol in Vietnam. It's the day before his brother is killed but Al tells Sam that he's actually there to ensure that the next day's mission succeeds, not to save his brother. When he learns that an attractive and outgoing photo-journalist Maggie Dawson (and here's a B5 link as Andrea Thompson AKA Talia Winters Plays Maggie) is also killed on the mission, he tries to save her as well. On patrol the next day, Al suggests that Sam help free a nearby American POW but he declines and doggedly sets off to save his brother. The new version of QL stems from this episode.


                                From Breaking Bad: Ozymandias
                                Better Call Saul: Saul Gone.


                                All generalizations are false, including this one.

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