With the understanding that television is going through yet another revolution, and that the boundaries and definitions of the medium could change yet again, it feels like the right time to look back at the past 18 years and determine the best episodes of TV since —the ones that stunned and entertained more than any others, and in turn made television what it is today. For those of us at The Ringer , this meant assembling a list that not only recognizes the best of prestige TV but also encapsulates everything that television has to offer: drama, comedy, variety, reality, game shows, and lifestyle-focused programming.
To come up with a list of the best episodes, the entire Ringer staff was asked to submit their favorite episodes of the century. The list was then assembled with those submissions in mind, and with one stipulation—that only one episode per show could make the cut. Meanwhile, a not-yet-ruthless Rick, eager to be a good guest, lamely insists that the farm is still safe. Also, Glenn and Maggie make out. What is the best behind-the-scenes anecdote about this episode?
Who stole the episode, and why? From stealing the Crown Jewels to shoving a gun in his own mouth, he makes a great spectacle of himself while making a mockery of Sherlock. With Kristin and Stephen broken up, L. Kristin, meanwhile, acts like a completely normal single girl, while Stephen has a breakdown and vigorously slut-shames her for it. What is the most memorable line from this episode?
Queen Elizabeth II is crowned in an elaborate recreation of the real coronation—featuring Handel, scepters, and hundreds of extras in fur-lined robes. Meanwhile, her uncle and husband both have tantrums about not being king, which puts Elizabeth in the impossible position of trying to balance public duty and personal life. Elizabeth is on the back foot, as she would put it, for a majority of this episode, trying to manage the childish behavior of the men around her.
Yet her transformation, while just sitting silently on a throne, is astounding. It would have been perfect. Jeffrey Dean Morgan had a recurring role as the infallible husband and father, and his specter was a mounting problem in Season 3; the benevolent ghost had to be exorcised. It harnessed the thrill of watching Parker play a messy but effective criminal. The path of destruction on Weeds was merrier and brighter than on most other drug crime shows, but that was the point. Even neophyte drug dealers from the Lululemon set have to deal with consequences.
The spaceship Serenity is disabled while deep in space, leaving the crew with limited oxygen. Mal orders everyone to leave, while he stays behind in case someone hears their distress signal. Mal: Let me show you the rest. And … and try to see past what she is, and onto what she can be.
What is the most memorable line of this episode? The wheel itself? The odds of hitting the dollar five times in a row are apparently 1 in 3. After successfully rescuing his daughter from terrorists and foiling an assassination plot, Jack Bauer gets to the end of the longest day of his life one of many to come , only to find out that his ex, Nina Myers, is a double agent. How did this episode influence the future of TV?
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There had been twists in television before, but 24 weaponized them. Audiences generally came to television to be comforted, knowing that everything would eventually work out.
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Teri Bauer noticing the blood on the floor in the tech room with Nina. Sally Sparrow Carey Mulligan! Hence the episode title. The show has been criticized for playing those hits too often—every season has to have some appearance by the plunger-armed murderous BBQ smokers known as the Daleks—so the creation of a new and rather frightening adversary in the Weeping Angels was noteworthy. They made six other appearances and played a pivotal role in the departure of Doctor companions Amy and Rory, who—spoiler—blinked.
What is the most memorable line from the episode? The act of even trying to prepare for that debacle only left you further unprepared.
How better to show us what Ned craves with Chuck than by injecting such liveliness and oddity into every one of his interactions with both his partner and neighbor? Every scene of Pushing Daisies crackles with brightness and shine, a candy shell covering the pain; more often than not, in the pilot and beyond, McBride and Chenoweth are the ones layering on that coating. The contestants complete a silly challenge do cockney accents next to Boris Kodjoe and pose for an uncomfortable photo shoot pillow fight with a male model while being sprayed with feathers.
But the true stuff of memes goes down when Tyra eliminates underdog model Tiffany Richardson, Richardson responds flippantly, and Tyra just snaps. The scene has since been chopped apart and memed to no end, becoming a go-to mode of expression in online vernacular. An episode of Family Guy even memorably portrayed Tyra as a model who, mid-angry speech, transforms into a lizard and swallows a contestant.
Richardson also revealed that Tyra and her mother, Carolyn London, later visited her in her hotel room to smooth things over. Let's be honest: This episode probably set television back a few years. Eric Andre is exceptional at taking typical TV tropes, warping them with his incredibly weird mind, and releasing a product that seems familiar up until you see someone vomiting on a table and then eating it.
No one has tried the things Eric Andre has tried on TV, which in a way makes his show low-key influential. Who stole this episode, and why? The Robot Devil.
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So this episode, the Season 5 finale, was produced under the assumption that it might be the series finale. Nadiya Hussain not only impressed the judges by winning a classic GBBO final—she transformed a baking competition into an overcoming-the-odds tearjerker on par with any Pixar movie. Who knew that mille-feuilles could be so inspirational?
Nadiya, who whipped up delicious iced buns, a technically sound mille-feuille hell yeah, custard slices , and a showstopping wedding cake adorned with jewels she wore on her wedding day. The contestants pull for one another, and the producers often cut away to footage of rabbits, birds, and deer. All of this is soothing. Reality TV is at its best when it feels, well, real.
Getting to see Nadiya break free of her personal limitations was a genuine thrill. And I will. Nicki make Rob Kardashian cry. It is truly jarring, in the year , with a full knowledge of the tabloid ups and downs and more downs to come, to watch Kanye West remake Kim Kardashian to his specific visual standards.
I cannot believe Kris Jenner has not scrubbed this from the internet. It is riveting to watch.www.hiphopenation.com/mu-plugins/francis/nyb-married-dating-sites.php
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Kardashian episodes always involve family squabbles, but some themes are solidified in this episode: Kim as the solo star with help from Kanye , Rob as the outcast, the sisters as future makeup moguls, Kris as the business mind. This is the configuration that would lead the Kardashians to take over every major media platform — TV included — for the next decade. Blame it on Dr. A truly groundbreaking salad. Long-unseen Police Academy star Steve Guttenberg, living quite nicely it seems, hosts a birthday party in his home, and the Party Down catering crew works the affair.
Quickly, the party devolves into an impromptu writing workshop. Guttenberg, duh. On that show, he played against type as a ruthless millionaire. Steve Guttenberg: Have you ever had anything produced?
I just work catering to keep in touch with the common man. He comes out to his father at the end of the episode. Many aspects of Glee have not aged well, but the show never went wrong by throwing Lea Michele on a stage and letting her sing her heart out. Over the course of several Thanksgivings, from childhood to adulthood, we see Denise become open about her sexuality, then come out to her family, and then bring girlfriends over for the holiday.
When a slightly nerdy couple from Nebraska moves to Spain, a perfect crystallization of the House Hunters formula emerges: The two are unable to compromise, and they passive-aggressively bicker so much that they are barely able to choose a new apartment. Easily the ending, when, after a full episode of back-and-forth arguing, Charles and Sandy each refuse to choose an apartment, ceding the decision to each other until the episode resembles a Saturday Night Live skit. Charles: I could put my office and study here. Thomas F. Wilson, famous for playing bully Biff Tannen in Back to the Future , gets to be a good guy here, touchingly subverting the stereotype of the meathead and finding common ground with the geeks.
The poignant but beautiful montage of latchkey kid Bill making himself a sandwich and settling in for an afternoon of solitary TV. And it also drives home how celebrities and popular culture can be a refuge, a strong source of identification, and a bridge to the adult world during a time when our immediate surroundings seem hostile. Lauren wants to move out of her family home; Danielle is hoping to shake her accent; Angela just wants a nice, nonwomanizing boyfriend.
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