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RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes

 
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RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 23/8/2012 11:36:56 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

Not yet seen past S2 of Breaking Bad


You should. Tonight.



I take it it has improved on you?



The Jane storyline dragged the second season down, I think. Rewatching it, it's not as prominent as I thought. I mean obviously it's hugely important, but there's not as much time devoted to it as I thought. The third season is seriously amazing, and I'm really glad Saul is full time now. Moving on the fourth now. But I've also seen the first few of season five.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 541
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 23/8/2012 11:52:39 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
30. Taxi
"Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey"



Season 02, Episode 03
1979

One of the things I like best about the great American sitcoms is the way they manage to juggle a really large ensemble cast and make every character memorable and important. Taxi, the rather downbeat series (seriously, how depressing are those opening credits?) about the people who have become stuck in their lives and ended up working for a New York cab company was one of the best. This episode sees Christopher Lloyd's spaced out Reverend Jim become a regular member of the series. The episode is basically three extended scenes. The first sees Jim telling the regulars his history (prompting a hilarious exchange about Vietnam with Tony Danza) the second has Jim drugging mean-spirited cab boss Louie (Danny DeVito) to get a job. The third has Jim taking his test. Those three scenes add up to an episode that makes me weep with laughter every single time I see it. Lloyd's ability to play it absolutely straight when trying to find out what a yellow light means is one of the funniest pieces of acting ever.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 542
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 23/8/2012 11:57:08 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
29. The Twilight Zone
"The Howling Man"



Season 02, Episode 05
1960

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead your next stop, the Twilight Zone"

Quite possibly the most famous introduction to any t.v. series (even though they changed it every season) The Twilight Zone also begins with quite possibly the most famous theme music of all time. The music has become world-famous, a few bars used time and time again in other shows to indicate something weird is happening. Scenes from certain episodes are recognisable to people who haven't even seen the original shows. Even the title of the show has entered the common language. The Twilight Zone is quite possibly the dictionary definition of an iconic television series.

But was it really as great as its reputation suggests? For the most part, yes. There are some negative aspects. As I've mentioned with other anthology shows on my list, they're always a mixed bag. Another flaw is that Rod Serling was often too fond of the melodramatic and the sentimental. The Twilight Zone was at its best when it was at its darkest. Also, at one point they lengthened the episodes to an hour long and the material often felt stretched to breaking point.

But The Howling Man was the series at its very best. Adapted from his own short story by the tragic Charles Beaumont, The Howling Man sees a traveller in Europe stumble across a castle that contains a strange prisoner, someone who his captors claim is The Devil in human form.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 543
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:04:39 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
28. The Larry Sanders Show
"Hank's Night in the Sun"



Season 03, Episode 06
1994

Garry Shandling, who had already played games with the television format in It's Garry Shandling's Show, played Sanders, the neurotic, paranoid, egotistical host of a late night talk show. The show focused on the day-to-day behind the scenes workings of the talk show, mixed in with clips from the fake show itself. Shandling was superbly supported by Jeffrey Tambor as his sex-mad, condescending, money-hungry, power-mad second banana, 'Hey Now' Hank Kingsley and Rip Torn as his reliable bulldog of a producer, Artie. Hank's Night in the Sun sees Kingsley taking over as host while Larry is laid up ill. Despite being useless at the job, he gets a desire for the spotlight that goes straight to his head, until he eventually alienates all those around him. Tambor is as flawless as ever in the role, ensuring that you always feel some sympathy for Hank, and the show never stops being funny.

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Post #: 544
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:13:53 AM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

30. Taxi
"Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey"
Season 02, Episode 03
1979

One of the things I like best about the great American sitcoms is the way they manage to juggle a really large ensemble cast and make every character memorable and important. Taxi, the rather downbeat series (seriously, how depressing are those opening credits?) about the people who have become stuck in their lives and ended up working for a New York cab company was one of the best. This episode sees Christopher Lloyd's spaced out Reverend Jim become a regular member of the series. The episode is basically three extended scenes. The first sees Jim telling the regulars his history (prompting a hilarious exchange about Vietnam with Tony Danza) the second has Jim drugging mean-spirited cab boss Louie (Danny DeVito) to get a job. The third has Jim taking his test. Those three scenes add up to an episode that makes me weep with laughter every single time I see it. Lloyd's ability to play it absolutely straight when trying to find out what a yellow light means is one of the funniest pieces of acting ever.


I am watching this episode on Youtube right now.

And I never thought the opening credits were depressing. Dull, maybe but not depressing.

_____________________________

Extended Edition Podcast- Episode 46:Threads Of Destiny (Star Wars Fan Film)

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 545
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:18:46 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
It's the music combined with the fact the car never seems to go anywhere. I'm sure it's stuck on a loop, the same footage seems to repeat.

(in reply to Shifty Bench)
Post #: 546
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:19:49 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
27. Fear on Four
"The Horn"



Series 02, Episode 06
1989

Fear on Four was a radio horror anthology series that carried on the tradition of The Man in Black, horror host, something that continues today with Mark Gatiss' series. Edward de Souza played our host here, introducing the stories, often adapted from classic short stories. There's a lot of competition for the slot, The Speciality of the House maybe, with Timothy West as a customer of a very exclusive restaurant, or By the River, Fontainbleau which unsettled me for reasons I still can't quite understand. The pick of the series was The Horn. A trio of travellers are trapped on the motorway by a snowstorm and take refuge in a workman's hut, telling stories about a brutal murder that took place in the area, but the weather soon forces them to find a better shelter, but to do that they have to brave the storm. Some of the most unsettling sound effects in radio combine with a chilling story to create 30 terrifying minutes of radio.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 547
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:28:05 AM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots
^ that female with her hand on her mouth is from the poster of Scream


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

It's the music combined with the fact the car never seems to go anywhere. I'm sure it's stuck on a loop, the same footage seems to repeat.


Or it's a big ass bridge


_____________________________

Extended Edition Podcast- Episode 46:Threads Of Destiny (Star Wars Fan Film)

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Post #: 548
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:31:36 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
26. Louie
"Eddie"



Season 02, Episode 09
2011

Louie is a remarkable show, rather than reteaming with HBO, Louis CK took his new idea to FX and got full creative control, writing, directing, starring and editing the shows himself. Louis plays a loose version of himself, a divorced father of two who is also a stand-up comedian. One of the most daring aspects of the show is the way it's willing to almost completely ignore jokes in the main part of the show, in favour of darker and more upsetting material. Eddie sees Louie running into an old friend, someone he started out in comedy with (Doug Stanhope) only to discover that the anger that was always in his friend has turned into full on bitterness. Slowly, as the two talk into the night and hit an open mic spot a club, Louie begins to suspect Eddie is thinking of suicide. Incredibly ballsy, honest and provocative material. It's something of a cliche now to say that Louie captures the feel of the great years of Woody Allen, but this is like Allen at both his darkest and his most human.

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Post #: 549
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:32:35 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench

^ that female with her hand on her mouth is from the poster of Scream


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

It's the music combined with the fact the car never seems to go anywhere. I'm sure it's stuck on a loop, the same footage seems to repeat.


Or it's a big ass bridge




(in reply to Shifty Bench)
Post #: 550
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 12:43:23 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
25. The Avengers
"A Touch of Brimstone"



Series 04, Episode 21
1966

For those who've never seen The Avengers (and if not, why not?) the show was a sci-fi/adventure hybrid that focused on a special branch of the government who dealt with unusual villains. Patrick Macnee played Steed, an eccentric English special agent, who was the lynchpin of the series. His most famous partners were Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale and then Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. Together they combated such unusual threats as man-eating plants, cyborgs, ghost sightings, and killer cats. I'd be lying if I said that Avengers-era Rigg wasn't one of the most beautiful women in the world, but far too much attention is paid to her physical qualities. The truth is that she absolutely nailed the role of Emma Peel, making her tough, quirky, intelligent while still managing to make her human and vulnerable without making her the girlie to Steed's big strong man. Along with Dr Who, The Avengers is possibly the definitive 'quirky' British telefantasy series. It really is difficult to imagine a show this odd being made anywhere else in the world and still retaining the same level of offbeat charm. A Touch of Brimstone was notorious for the outfits Emma Peel wore while undercover investigating the criminal plots of The Hellfire Club, but the episode gets its place on the list because of the offbeat atmosphere and for the clashes with Peter Wyngarde's villain of the week.

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Post #: 551
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 1:15:00 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

48. Angel
"Hero"



Season 01, Episode 09
1999

A spin-off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel followed the titular vampire to L.A. where he set up shop as a sort of supernatural private detective. If that makes the show sound cheesey, it wasn't. It had a real darkness and intelligence to it, the kind that typifies all of Joss Whedon's best work. Despite Angel's brooding nature, he was surrounded with friends and allies. In season 1 he was helped by a still ditzy Cordelia and Doyle, a half-demon with psychic links to The Powers That Be. In later years he was helped by other Buffy recruits, Wesley and Spike, a karaoke loving demon named Lorne, a gang-member turned vamp hunter, Gunn and sweet-natured scientific genius, Fred. Angel and his associates did regular battle with Wolfram & Hart, a law firm that represented evil. Literally in this case. Oddly, most people seem to rank Angel as the lesser relation to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Even though Angel was a Buffy spin-off, I think it had the apocalyptic scale, character development, drama and humour that was missing from Buffy after series 3. I think Hero is one of the most emotional episodes of any television series, a group of pure-blood demons have decided to take out all the mixed blood demons they can. Against this allegory for fascism comes Joss Whedon's (Tim Minear, to be accurate) finest hour.


Great episode. I think that The Scourge's uniform made the fascism bit a bit heavy handed though.

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

39. Breaking Bad
"Fly"



Excellent stuff


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

37. The Simpsons
"You Only Move Twice"



I don't think I would be able to pick an episode if I did this but this would be in contention.

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Post #: 552
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 1:15:38 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
Also I really need to start watching Louie.

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My Group Project's facebook page. Please like

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Post #: 553
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 2:51:26 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

39. Breaking Bad
"Fly"



Excellent stuff




I was very close to picking Full Measure, but something about Fly just pulled me in.

And yeah, you should check out Louie.

(in reply to paul_ie86)
Post #: 554
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 2:54:15 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
24. Community
"Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"



Season 02, Episode 11
2010

Initially, Community seemed like it was going to take the obvious path, Jeff as our lead, an on again off again relationship with Britta that would form the backbone of the show, with the rest of the characters supporting them, but only rarely taking the lead. That's not necessarily a bad thing, plenty of great shows have gone down that path. But Community quickly threw that aside, the most important relationship on the show now is Abed and Troy, and while the show still teases on/off relationships with characters, it's not the focus of the series. Abed's place in the series is important, initially teased as a quirky supporting character whose inability to distinguish social cues would make a Latka-esque fan fave, but again, that wasn't the plan. Abed still maintained a sense of child-like wonder, but there was so much more depth. Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas sees him retreat into a fantasy world where he and the other characters are all in stop-motion. Designed to look like the Rankin-Bass specials of the 60s, the show explored Abed's loneliness, and his desperation not to be abandoned (quite fitting to do it in stop-motion when you think of Rudolph's Island of Misfit Toys.) But even with the focus on Abed, the show still managed to find time to nail some truths about the other characters, especially Britta. It deserves to become a Christmas classic.

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Post #: 555
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:04:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
23. One Foot in the Grave
"Timeless Time"



Series 02, Episode 06
1990

Written by David Renwick, One Foot In The Grave is a complicated, intelligent, moving and hilarious comedy series. The long running and popular show starred Richard Wilson as Victor Meldrew, the only sane man in an increasingly insane world.

At least that's how I always viewed him. I never understood the depiction of him by many as the archetypal grumpy old man, Victor is never grumpy for the sake of being grumpy. He always struck me as quite a reasonable and pleasant man, until he's faced with another of life's annoyances. I actually consider him to be almost a Quixotic figure, forever tilting at windmills in his futile hopes that people will develop some common sense and manners.

The voice of reason in the show was Victor's long suffering wife Margaret, played by Annette Crosbie. Even though she was often exasperated by her husband, Margaret had a deep love for Victor that kept her by his side no matter what how bizarre his misfortunes. In fact, Margaret wasn't always even-tempered herself, once even donning boxing gloves to take care of a love rival.

Renwick would often write shows that were two handers between Wilson and Crosbie, including this episode, Timeless Time, It was a moving and melancholy episode where Victor and Margaret suffer a sleepless night and we are allowed some insight into their earlier life together, including the death of their son. I love these kinds of episodes, ones that's just about the dialogue, the performances, and the relationship between the characters.

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Post #: 556
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:10:54 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
22. The Strange World of Gurney Slade
"Series 01, Episode 01"



1960

Anthony Newley was a popstar who entered the world of television with a desire to screw with the medium, Gurney Slade was a show that seemed to disappear for years, but the recent Network DVD release of the show has given everyone a chance to experience this masterpiece of British surrealism. The first show opens with Newley playing a character in a regular sitcom. Unwilling to speak his lines, he gets up and walks off set, past the other actors, into the backstage area, past the staff (including a very young Geoffrey Palmer) and out into the world. We then follow Newley, take in his inner monologue, and watch reality and fantasy merge around him.

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Post #: 557
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:18:06 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
21. Quatermass and the Pit



1958

I'm cheating slightly here, I know, but, much as I consider the Railway Station assignment of Sapphire & Steel, or To Be a Somebody storyline of Cracker to be one episode split intp parts, I feel the same about the individual stories within the Quatermass chain. So I'm including Pit as one entry, without a doubt the high point of the series, this time Quatermass had found his perfect actor in Andre Morell. This time, some digging reveals an alien spaceship that has a bizarre influence over those who come into contact with it, a spaceship that might have astonishing implications about humanity itself.

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Post #: 558
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:31:55 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
20. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
"Chuckles Bites the Dust"



Season 06, Episode 07
1975

Probably one of the most obvious choices on the list, often considered the pinnacle of the American sitcom, so much so that T.V. Guide placed it at number one on their list of the greatest television episodes of all time a few years back. In fact it was such an obvious choice, I almost went for Put on a Happy Face instead, and it would have been a fine choice, but the reason Chuckles is so beloved is that every performance and every word is damn near perfect. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was an ensemble comedy with MTM as the lead, playing Mary Richards, a 30 something woman who works at a local t.v. station. The series was a phenomenon, it spun off hit shows like Rhoda, Lou Grant and Phyllis, was intelligent, adult comedy and you can feel the influence of the ensemble cast and the writing in shows like Cheers, Taxi, Frasier, 30 Rock, and pretty much every big ensemble comedy that treats the audience like adults. Chuckles is all about grief, and the way we react to death. Chuckles, the station clown, has been selected to lead a local parade. He goes in costume, dressed as a giant peanut, and is shelled by a rogue elephant. While most characters can't help but see the gallows humour in the way Chuckles dies, Mary insists that everyone maintain a certain level of respect. But then the funeral comes.

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Post #: 559
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:45:15 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
19. Screen One
"Ghost Watch"



1992

If you didn't happen to see Ghost Watch when it was shown on television, you can never really understand why it was so influential. You can see how great it is. You can be terrified by it. But, like the Welles WotW broadcast, you can probably never really get it. I was 13 when it was on television, and I'll hold my hand up and say I thought it was real when I was watching it. By the end I knew it wasn't, but that first hour or so, it was so convincing. If you've never watched it, the basic idea is that there's a live Halloween broadcast coming from a supposedly haunted house in the English suburbs. Michael Parkinson and a paranormal psychiatrist are anchoring the show in the studio, Sarah Greene is in the house, with Craig Charles handling the crowds in the street. A single mother and her two young daughters are supposed to be suffering through poltergeist activity, everything starts off relatively slow, with just small indications that something creepy might be going on, before all hell breaks loose in the last 30 minutes. Of course, it wasn't a live broadcast, it was a scripted drama, but it used the power of the medium to manipulate the audience, including using beloved t.v. personalities of the time to sell the hoax, and many of us fell for it. The BBC came under fire over the show, people were convinced for a long time that it was real. It felt like a genuine cultural event. And it's still scary, even now.

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Post #: 560
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 3:50:22 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
18. The Weir



1998


The Weir is a remarkable, Olivier winning play set entirely in a pub somewhere in rural Ireland, written by playwright and film director Conor McPherson. McPherson's play brought him both awards and acclaim and most of the cast that opened the play , including Jim Norton and Brendan Coyle would reunite to record the play for a radio broadcast. The adaptation is the perfect example of how to do radio drama and make it every bit as compelling as cinema. The play is about telling stories and the power of language, especially its power to let us hide from or face up to unpleasant events. So much of the strength of the play comes from the delivery of the dialogue that the radio actually seems the natural home for The Weir.

The play only has five characters. There's the barman, the shy but likeable Brendan, a talkative local mechanic named Jack, his introverted assistant, Jim, and a flashy former local boy turned estate agent and hotel owner, Finbar. Finbar has recently sold a house to a single young Dublin woman named Valerie and is giving her a tour of the scenery, including Brendan's pub. The men all try to charm Valerie and the conversation quickly turns to local legends and ghost stories, including that of a supposed fairy road that passes through Valerie's new home. The lack of visuals allow you to conjure up the pub for yourself, a slightly ramshackle place with a broken toilet that only stocks the kind of drinks it knows the locals will buy. But it's a charm filled place none the less. It's the kind of environment where you can imagine doing little else but drinking and telling tall tales.

The relatively harmless first tale opens the floodgates and the stories gradually grow darker and more distressing and take in various aspects of the supernatural, moving from charming folk story to how the unknown can unsettle the most rational minded, to how even death can't stop some taboos, to a heartbreaking response to grief. The stories aren't just ghost stories for the sake of them, their content and their style are used to take us into the minds of the characters. McPherson also taps into one of horror's greatest strengths the ability to give voice to fears that people can't face in a realistic context. Finbar's story reveals every insecurity he hides behind flash, Valerie reveals the grief that drove her from the city, Jimmy's encounter could be seen as reflecting and distorting the sexuality of a middle-aged man still living with mother. But through all the haze and terror, the strongest emotion evoked by The Weir is loneliness, something perfectly illustrated in Jack's final tale, the one time where all hints of the supernatural are dropped.

One of the most important elements is the relationships between the characters, we believe the tense history between Jack and Finbar, the easy-going nature and joking of Jack, Jimmy and Brendan, and we feel how quickly they develop a protective nature towards Valerie, even though they all clearly fancy her. Jim Norton's performance as an old rogue hiding his loneliness from the world is the real stand-out, but the cast are all exceptional. Valerie powers the play, bringing to the surface old resentments between two of the characters and exposing how people create stories to heal wounds or to hide from the world. Brendan is the only character without a specific story to tell, instead he listens and watches, a nice use of the traditional stereotype of the barman being the person there to unload your troubles, but the character is also given a deep sense of loneliness and melancholy.

The stories are peppered with odd events and McPherson demonstrates a great talent for taking the mundane and using it to unleash some of the most unsettling imagery imaginable. McPherson is a superlative writer of monologues with an amazing eye for detail, the simple idea of a child's fear of a man about to cross the road and what he'll do when he reaches her side is extraordinarily unsettling. If Valerie's story is the most upsetting, Jim's is the one that eats away inside you, like all the best ghost stories. It's a fever-ridden tale of digging a grave and being interrupted by someone who might just be a ghost, but who certainly displays the worst of humanity. It's a hazy tale, one that mixes the cliches of old-fashioned spook stories (digging a grave in a lonely rural churchyard) with one of the true horrors of modern life, and Ahern's telling of it almost makes you feel you're infected by the same flu as his character.

It's a moody and contemplative work, a tribute to the power of story-telling, all its complexities and subtleties, and its importance in our culture, from a true master of the form.

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Post #: 561
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 5:40:52 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77804
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Lovely One Foot In the Grave choice. Not seen the rest

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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Post #: 562
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 6:24:09 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Any you're interested in?

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Post #: 563
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 6:31:20 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
17. Twin Peaks
"Pilot"



Season 01, Episode 01
1990

David Lynch brought his own unique brand of weirdness to television with this surprise hit series. There's nothing in Twin Peaks that would make you think it would become a cultural phenomenon, but it did. A film spin-off, books, comic books, 'I Killed Laura Palmer' t-shirts, adverts featuring Dale Cooper. Twin Peaks should have become a cult hit and little more. So what exactly was in the water in 1990? Why did this show become such a breakout success? The acting and writing were all superb. The storyline was intelligent and interesting. It was frightening, funny and dramatic. The characters, especially Dale Cooper and Bob, were iconic. You'd expect the American mainstream to really have hated this show. There was of course the expectation that it would fail. So an agreement was reached with the network that an alternate ending, where the story was tied up, would be shot for the pilot episode. If the series wasn't picked up beyond the initial episode, they'd be able to sell it to Europe as a film.

The show opened with the discovery of the dead body of schoolgirl Laura Palmer in a small Northwestern town named Twin Peaks. The FBI are called in to investigate, bringing Agent Dale Cooper to the town. Cooper is an unconventional FBI Agent, he believes in using dreams and intuition to solve cases and he has a deep belief in Tibetan mysticism. The show then follows Cooper's attempts to not only solve the murder, but unravel the darker mystical secrets of this small town. Dale Cooper quickly became one of the most popular characters in television and he's still regarded as a high point for quirky leading characters. Twin Peaks inhabits similar territory to Lynch's Blue Velvet. Both look at the darkness that lurks beneath the surface in a small town, taking almost Capra-esque settings and corrupting them. This opening show drops you right into the heart of the mystery, and the weirdness.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 564
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 6:32:38 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
16. A Ghost Story for Christmas
"The Signalman"



1976

76 saw a change in the Ghost Story for Christmas adaptations. For the first time, they didn't adapt a story from M.R. James, this time they went for Dickens. And rather than the obvious route of adapting Scrooge yet again, they went for his other great ghost story - The Signalman. Bernard Lloyd plays a traveller who happens upon a desolate and lonely country Signalman's hut, manned by Denholm Elliott. The signalman is jumpy and soon tells the traveller the story of a ghostly vision he experiences shortly before an accident occurs on the railway line. He's recently been visited again, and is in anticipation of the next tragedy. Like many ghost stories, they can be slight on plot and heavy on atmosphere, The Signalman is no exception, most of the scares in the film come from an increasing sense of the doom that is to come, or the small details, like the ring of the signalman's bell. Elliott's nervous, jittery performance is quite possibly the best the great actor gave, it's certainly my favourite of his work. There's some excellent use of location here, the railway office is a claustrophobic setting, and outside is the small track leading to the darkness of the tunnel and the possibility of a visitation from the spirit. This was the last period entry in the Ghost Story for Christmas series, it was also the last masterpiece the series would create.

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Post #: 565
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 6:39:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
15. Father Ted
"Hell"



Series 02, Episode 01
1996

The show revolved around three inept Catholic priests trapped together on Craggy Island, a godforsaken place somewhere off the coast of Ireland. Dermot Morgan played Father Ted Crilly, the most normal of the priests, but still a greedy, devious liar. Like all of the priests, you get the feeling that Ted doesn't really want to be a priest, even though he does display outrage when someone says something against the Catholic faith.

Ardal O' Hanlon played Father Dougal McGuire, the most innocent of the three priests. Dougal doesn't seem to believe in God, in one episode memorably claiming that he doesn't believe in organised religion and in another he convinces a bishop to quit the church. Dougal has trouble telling the difference between dreams and reality and his failure to understand nearly every situation leads Ted into trouble time after time.

The last of the trio is Father Jack Hackett, played by Frank Kelly. Jack is a near comatose figure who only wakes up to drink, hit someone or leer over women. His only speech appears to 'Feck, drink, arse, girls' and a selection of non sequiturs. Jack also appears to be happy to answer to the name Flipper The Priest.

Joining them in their hellish life is Mrs Doyle, the tea obsessed, overworked housekeeper. Mrs Doyle appears to have had a husband at one stage, but she gets uneasy when he's mentioned. She displays little interest in anything in life beyond tea and cake. Pauline McLynn takes what easily could have been an overlooked role and turns it into a memorable, if grotesque, creation.

Dermot Morgan's tragic death, just as series 3 was airing, meant that many feel the show ended before its time. But everyone involved have stated that the third series was going to be the last, they wanted to go out on a high.

Father Ted follows one of the golden rules of good sitcoms, the characters are trapped together. A sense of isolation always seems to produce a strong comic dynamic. It doesn't matter if the characters are isolated from the rest of society because of their personalities or because of location, there's a theme running through lots of great comedy about people being trapped together. You can't get much more trapped than have three priests, with nothing in common, who have been forced out of the mainstream church life due to indiscretions.

The finest episode sees the three Fathers taking a caravan holiday, leading to their house being robbed, being constantly mistaken for perverts, and having to spend time with the most annoyingly upbeat priest in Ireland.

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Post #: 566
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 7:26:08 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
14. Dr. Who
"Blink"



Season 29, Episode 10
2007

For those who don't know, Doctor Who focuses on the adventures of The Doctor, a mysterious alien who uses The Tardis (a spaceship disguised as a police box) to travel in time. Beyond that it's a bit difficult to really give a good synopsis of Doctor Who. How do you sum up 50 years of television? Without a doubt it's one of the most popular television shows of all time. The Doctor, The Tardis, the theme music, The Daleks, The Cybermen, Davros, regenerations, The Master, even fairly new additions like Billie Piper's Rose have become iconic.

But outside of the devoted fans, I've always thought most people's love of Who is going to depend on their opinion on the actor playing The Doctor. Again, for those who've never seen the show, once The Doctor becomes fatally wounded (meaning the actor has been fired/decided to leave) The Doctor can regenerate, a healing process that leaves him looking like a completely new man. Each new incarnation of The Doctor has their own personality quirks and if you don't like the new version of The Doctor, the show can be pretty hard going. Luckily, most of the actors playing the Doctor have been talented individuals. We won't mention Six.

I know it's probably going to be seen as perverse to pick an episode of new Who rather than the old series, and on top of that, to pick an episode the Doctor is barely in, but nothing in old Who is this good. There's not a lot in television that's this good. The introduction of The Weeping Angels (which I hope will be given a long break soon, we don't want their effectiveness to be lost) combined with the greatest companion that never was in Carey Mulligan's Sally Sparrow, make Blink the obvious choice. Also, it's pretty bloody scary.

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Post #: 567
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 7:33:11 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
13. Cheers
"Thanksgiving Orphans"



Season 05, Episode 09
1986

The show focused on the regulars of a Boston bar called Cheers. Owner Sam Malone (Ted Danson) was an alcoholic, sex-addict former baseball star. The early years focused on his relationship with pretentious wannabe writer Diane Chambers (Shelley Long). After Long quit (foolishly thinking she could be a film star) she was replaced by neurotic businesswoman Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley) There was also the borderline alcoholic smart-arse Norm Peterson, fact-machine Cliff Clavin, mean-spirited mother of a million Carla Tortelli, the introduction of one of the great television psychiatrists, Frasier Crane, and the dumbest bartender in the world Coach (Played by the great Nicholas Colasanto until his death) after Coach died he was virtually reincarnated as Woody Boyd (a star making turn by a young Woody Harrelson). It was a real tribute to the writers that even though the cast of characters was so large they all seemed fully developed people instead of stereotypes.

My episode pick sees the gang gathering at Carla's house for Thanksgiving, when cooking the bird goes wrong, tempers flare and what better way to let off steam than a food fight? Much like the Who episode, it seems strange to pick an episode of Cheers where most of the action takes place away from the bar, but it's a tribute to the strength of the characters that even outside of the setting (and Cheers is as much a character as any of the humans) they can still be as funny as ever.

Is it a good time to mention I kinda always wanted to be Sam Malone?

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Post #: 568
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 7:36:25 AM   
MovieAddict247


Posts: 3751
Joined: 5/6/2009
Some part of me is saying that I've seen The Signalman, but I don't think I have.

Great choice with the Father Ted episode - a wonderful show.

Blink is amazing too - probably the best episode in the new series (though there are some other amazing ones too).

Not seen any of the others.

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Post #: 569
RE: Top 200 T.V./Radio Episodes - 24/8/2012 7:37:12 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
12. Blackadder
"Goodbyeee"



Series 04, Episode 06
1989

Blackadder was created and written by star Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis. The first series saw Atkinson as a cowardly, idiotic Prince Edmund, the son of King Richard The Fourth (the ever-bellowing Brian Blessed), who fails to win his father's favour so decides to overthrow him. Edmund was aided by his faithful servant, the surprisingly intelligent Baldrick (Tony Robinson) and his imbecilic friend, Lord Percy (Tim McInnerny)

As fans of Blackadder know, this dynamic was not to last long. Atkinson was fine as the cowardly Edmund, and the show is a hell of a lot better than many will have you believe. In fact, in many ways The Black Adder has the strongest writing of all the series. But there was just something not quite right about the series.

For the second series Atkinson stepped back from writing and Ben Elton joined Richard Curtis as co-writer. Time moved on and Blackadder was now a lord in the court of Queen Elizabeth 1. Blackadder was no longer a idiotic whiner, he had evolved into the familiar image of the character, charming, ruthless and Machiavellian. Baldrick had also changed, he was still Blackadder's servant, but now he was slovenly and stupid, although with a staggering amount of confidence in his 'cunning plans'. Percy was still Blackadder's idiotic friend. Miranda Richardson made a strong addition to the cast, playing Elizabeth as a spoilt schoolgirl. There were two other important additions to the show, Stephen Fry played Lord Melchett, the Queen's grovelling Lord Chamberlain and there was also a guest role for Hugh Laurie. The dynamic was now in place and if the show had ended after this series then Blackadder would still be my pick for the greatest sitcom ever.

Come series three Blackadder had slid a little further down the social totem pole and now he was a butler to George, Prince Of Wales. George had a lot in common with the Percy character, but Hugh Laurie took the role and in doing so created one of the great comedy idiots. Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny and Miranda Richardson all did guest spots on the series. Remarkably, as perfect as series 2 seemed, Blackadder The Third managed to improve upon it.

The final series saw Blackadder as a Captain in the British army during World War 1, sharing a trench with two of the stupidest people in the land, Lieutenant George (Laurie) and Private Baldrick (Robinson). Blackadder Goes Forth was also to find major roles for Fry as the demented General Melchett and McInnerny as Captain Darling. Richardson also returned in a guest role and Blackadder Goes Forth even features a cameo by Geoffrey Palmer.

Blackadder Goes Forth was the darkest, most satirical, and most serious series of the show. Putting the characters right in the middle of one of the worst wars mankind has ever known was always going to add a level of poignancy to the show, but I don't think anyone was expecting how incredibly moving the final episode was going to be, which is why it takes the slot. The final scenes have been rightly praised, but I think there's so much power running through the episode, especially when the characters are discussing how they came to be in the army. Beautifully played by the entire cast, there's been few better statements on the madness of war.

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Post #: 570
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