Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Perfect Episode

Sometimes when I'm on the treadmill, I have no idea what to watch. So I return to something I know and love, usually a Buffy episode because there is always a nice adrenaline rush during a fight scene and usually some good music. Recently I re-watched my favorite episode of Northern Exposure: "Spring Break." That episode is absolute television perfection. The music throughout, particularity at the beginning and end (a song by Lindsey Buckingham, which surprised me when I researched who sang it) is brilliant, the acting and writing hilarious, and everything in it has the perfect amount of quirk. [For those of you who are into Get Well Soon, here's a bit of trivia: when I was actually hospitalized, it was during Northern Exposure's run on TV. I was so into the above episode that I was constantly quoting it. One of the best lines is when Ed (What the heck happened to Ed?! I loved him!) is investigating some thefts and says he found a pencil, Ticonderoga #2. So, in real life, Tracy, the real Tracy not just the Tracy in my book, sent me a bunch of packages at the hospital, and one of them contained a box of Ticonderoga #2s!] It got me thinking about other perfect episodes of shows, and I started to make a list. I'm sure there are quite a few that I've collected in my brain over the years, but there's a lot of junk up there now blocking the way. So here's a tiny, not at all comprehensive list, of "perfect" episodes of TV shows.

1. Buffy - The problem with Buffy is that there are SO MANY perfect episodes. Really. I think "Once More With Feeling" is brilliant: not only are the songs catchy, but the musical aspect of the show actually moves the plot of the series along significantly. "Hush," of course. "Becoming," when Buffy has to kill Angel. ("Close your eyes." Sniff. Sniff.) "The Wish," when Cordelia wishes Buffy never came to Sunnydale. I could go on. And I probably will at some point.

2. The Adventures of Pete and Pete - I am not biased just because I interned on this show. This particular episode came well before my internship and was one of the reasons I HAD to work on this show! "Day of the Dot" is the single most romantic episode of a television show ever created. There's innocent kid love and crazy bus driver love, all wrapped up in the glorious music of Miracle Legion. Seek this one out, if you haven't see it.

3. Degrassi High (Original Flava) - The episodes of this show really flowed together, but for some reason I watched this particular one over and over. "Everybody Wants Something" is the title of the ep, and it's also the title of one of the catchiest, if not repetitive, songs ever written! Here it is. Just try and get it out of your head. (No, don't. It's so awesome it needs to stay in there.)

One of my favorite aspects of this episode is the appearance of Clutch, my biggest Degrassi crush. Oh, Clutch, where have you gone?

4. 30 Rock - It's odd I include this, since I stopped watching this show on a regular basis (for no reason, really, except that having a child makes it hard to keep up with TV). There were so many laughs in the episode entitled "The Source Awards." There's all sorts of stuff in the episode, from disgusting champagne to Tracy Morgan dressing up as Oprah, looking at himself in the mirror, and asking (in a hilarious Oprah voice), "What would I DO-OOOO?" It also had this:

Ahahahahahahaha!!!!! I will never tire of that. NEVER.

I'm going to check out my DVDs and see if there are other "perfect" episodes out there. What would be on your perfect list?

Oh! And if you're up for a Julie interview and a chance to win a copy of the original Get Well Soon (the sequel, Have a Nice Day, comes out October 16!), head on over to Patricia's Particularity.


Betsy said...

You interned on The Adventures of Pete and Pete! That is one of the defining shows of my childhood (tween-hood?)!! I still need to break down and buy the series from Amazon. I loved Nickelodeon back then - Alex Mack, Clarissa Explains It All, Salute Your Shorts, Pete and Pete...so cool you interned for that show!

Michelle said...

Awesome post. I've got a few picks for perfect episodes:
1. BBC's Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall. Episode 3 of season 2. AMAZING.
2. Seinfeld: The Marine Biologist
3. Gilmore Girls: Raincoats & Recipes (season 4 finale)
4. Veronica Mars: Season 1 finale

Julie H said...

Yes, Betsy, it was an amazing experience! I wasn't sure if I've ever blogged about it. I remember doing a podcast on it, but I don't know if anyone actually listened to those. Season 3, the one I worked on, is still not out on DVD :( Michelle-- That Sherlock was INSANE. I keep thinking about it! And you are so right about the Seinfeld ep! That was PERFECT. Everything fit together-- oh, man, when George pulled out the golf ball! Brilliant.

Megan said...

My favorite Gilmore Girls episode is, hands down, the Life and Death Brigade episode (sometime in season 5- which is my favorite season). GG episodes were usually smart, but this one- with the princessy dress-up clothes and hordes of kids with more money and brains than they know what to do with- is my very favorite.

Emily said...

I love ALL of Northern Exposure. Those were so great and so well-written and poetic. It makes me wonder if they could ever make it to TV now. Now you have to have a supernatural hook and/or soap drama feel.

What's wrong with just well-written stories?

I'll have to check out your other best episodes as well.