Saturday, 10 January 2009

Favourite TV Shows 2008 - Top 10 Episodes

Alright my msn is down so I've got no distractions from doing this blog post which was supposed to be done a few days ago. However I was still distracted by Wall-E in Blu-Ray (damn it looks gorgeous, plus it still affects me the same way as when I watched it the first time.)

So here are my top episodes of all of television from 2008.

Honourable Mention: The Stolen Earth Doctor Who
The finale might have been shit but this episode got me so pumped up that I just can't not put it on this list. It might not have been as strong as last years Blink or even Steven Moffat's other episodes from Season 4, but in terms of fan service it is the perfect Who story. It's just a shame that the entire episode is a waste when you think about the awfulness that follows.

10. Pilot
Breaking Bad
The episode of Breaking Bad is not necessarily the best episode of Breaking Bad. To be honest I could have chosen any episode of the show and it would still be the same. The entire first season of Breaking Bad is amazingly strong. I could have chosen any of the other six episodes of the show and it would still be the same. Breaking Bad is one of the best new shows in a long long while. It deserves to be watched by everyone and chose its first episodes in the hopes that some more people will check it out before the second season premieres in March.

9. Slap Bet How I Met Your Mother
I love How I Met Your Mother and this episode perfectly encapsulates the entire show. It created quite possibly the funniest recurring joke on any comedy show ever (although so far it hasn't been mentioned in Season 4, but still I think they may be saving them for some important points in the story). It also brought all the cast together in one of the single funniest 20 minutes of any show. Oh and the wonderment that is Robin Sparkles. It's this sort of hilarious episode that most sitcoms wish that they could have.

8. Chuck versus Santa Claus Chuck
This years Chuck Christmas episode was the episode that got Chuck it's spot on my list. If you're a fan of Chuck then you owe it to yourself to watch this episode. All of the cast are involved in the main story and it's really funny. However then the episode takes an amazing emotional turn and just left me wanting more, especially after what happened to Chuck and Sarah's relationship. Also any show that manages a Die Hard crossover (yes Chuck is now officially in the same universe as Die Hard) is fine by me.

7. Middle Ground The Wire
Sometimes The Wire's pre-finale episodes are just as strong as the actual finale. In this case, Middle Grounds was better. It's not the best episode of the Wire (that comes later) however it does feature the amazing scene where one of the best characters on the show is taken out in one of the most one sided standoffs ever. It might be tense, but hell if the haunting final shot isn't enough to pound it into your head I don't know what is.

6. The Norwegians Pushing Daisies
I could have chosen almost any episode of Pushing Daisies Season 2 but I chose this one, potentially the last episode to ever air (there were three more filmed). This episode just nails the style of the entire show. There's the weird humour, funny characters, adult jokes (MILF) and awesome set design. You can just tell how comfortable the cast is with each other and it's a fucking shame the show got canceled. With episodes like Oh, Oh, Oh…It’s Magic and Bzzzzzzzzzz! it's a wonder why they can cancel this and not something like Knight Rider.

5. Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
This is the strongest episode that Terminator has put out. Whilst the death is a bit of a cheat, the way we get to that moment is one of the best produced televisual stories ever. Lot's of shows can mess around with the order that a story is told and this is one of the few stories to do it right. It's these sorts of episodes that make me want to watch television. The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle and How I Met Your Mother have all done stuff like this but it still feels just as fresh to watch this time (especially as this is a drama).

4. There's No Place Like Home Lost
I debated whether to put this or The Shape of Things to Come on the list, but I chose the finale because, well, it's a Lost finale!!! These episodes always fucking rock and Damon and Carlton didn't disappoint. In the full two hours of the finale so much stuff is packed in that just makes you wonder how on earth they do. The story covers so much ground and in a season we finally find out how the Losties get off the island, only to be told that they have to go back and a fan favourite has bitten the dust.

3. An Echoll's Family Christmas Veronica Mars
Episode 10 of Season One, and another Christmas Episode. This episode might play out a lot like a locked room mystery, but it's packed full of the wit that you expect from Veronica Mars. Kristin Bell is superb and we get the normal brilliance from Logan Echoll's. Also the butler gag near the end had me in stiches. Veronica Mars just proves it's intelligence not only as a mystery show but as a proper drama in this episode.

2. The Constant
A sequel of sorts to last years top episode Flashes Before Your Eyes. In almost every way it expands upon it's predecessor in terms of everything. There's more emotion (I cried at the end), the acting is fucking amazing (seriously where is Henry Ian Cusick's Emmy?) and it's one of the best written/directed/scored episodes the show has produced. The story just changes the entire Lost story, the direction is perfect really help build up momentum and Michael Giacchino's score is perfect, welling up at all the right points and just making the emotion hit all that more home. This would have been my favourite episode of all time and stands withe Blink as one of those fucking amazing points of television, but obviously this being number 2 means it wasn't the best.

1. Final Grades/-30- The Wire
These episode don't necessarily go together. They're not the last and second last episodes of The Wire. Final Grades is the last episode of Season 4 and -30- is the last ever episode of the show. But honestly I couldn't decide. Final Grades bookends one of the most emotionally heartbreaking seasons of television ever whilst -30- bookends one of the greatest television shows all time. Obviously neither episode can be viewed without the hours of backstory needed, both of them just hit that high point of television writing and make you know why you love this medium.

For a different take on the best episodes of 2008, look here. Obviously I operate differently to other websites as I nominate shows from other years, but only 4 episodes this year didn't come from 2008, so I'm getting better.

Other Mentions
Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
Just watch it alright? It's on amazon to buy, so get it and love it.

Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction Episode 16
One of the greatest twists ever filmed!! You might have to watch the preceding 125 episodes though to understand entirely.

Death Note episode 11

The best episode of the best anime ever. I was gobsmacked. It really was incredible.

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