Tuesday 13 January 2009


Because people with diabetes have all the very best ideas, I've decided to copy them. Because what I make up for in stability of blood sugar, I have clearly missed out on in clarity of thought.

Anyway, here are my favourite episodes of eight of my favourite TV programmes. If I'm feeling particularly loquacious, I may even expand upon my choices. However, it would be wrong to misconstrue this as an invitation to debate. Just to clarify, if you disagree, you're wrong.

'All In' (Season 2 (2006), episode 17). This is a marvellously textured episode of House. It opens a door onto some of our hero's motivations and feelings, plus combines it with some delightful House-Wilson interplay, which are always my favourite scenes.

Quincy, M.E.
'Deadly Arena' (Season 5 (1980), episode 21). This is a Quincy story packed with all good things. Perhaps it lacks some of Quincy's brilliant outraged moralising, but it more than makes up for it in manky barbecue sauce backing up into a 90,000 seater football stadium's water supply, giving anyone who touches it botulism just days before a major international match. The woman who plays the public health inspector in this episode later became a recurring character and one of Quincy's conquests. Their relationship culminates in the 1981 two-parter, 'Slowboat to Madness', where passengers on an ocean liner succumb to ergut poisoning from manky tortillas.

'The Pothole' (Season 8 (1997), episode 16). There are many brilliant episodes of Seinfeld, for many different reasons. Some deal with realistic themes with an inspirational tautness and consicity. Some deal with taboo subjects with a wonderful delicacy of touch. However, my favourite is The Pothole, where everything just cuts loose in an orgy of slapstick, silliness and exploding fish vans. Monumental.

Flight of the Conchords
'What Goes On Tour' (Season 1 (2007), episode 9). The series' 4th episode, 'Yoko' contains probably the best song. The 6th, 'Bowie' contains someof the biggest belly laughs. However, What Goes On Tour is everything I like about Conchords in one neat 22-minute package. I particularly enjoy Murray's growing exasperation - tempered with the merest frisson of secret delight - at Bret and Jemaine's (accidental) rock 'n' roll behaviour.

'Path of Destruction' (Series 2 (1966), episode 2). In what is becoming a common theme here, manky chilli con carne puts paid to the crew of a new, nuclear-powered logging machine. The Tracy brothers have to stop it before the runaway crablogger destroys a nearby dam. A perfect mixture of suspense, futuristic nonsense and comedy Mexicans.

The Simpsons
'Marge Be Not Proud' (Season 7 (1995), episode 11). The most perfect episode of the most perfect show. Marge Be Not Proud contains some brutal, brilliant jokes about commercialism, the festive season and the video games industry. Mixing this with some fundamental truths about childhood and some touching family moments, it can't go wrong. Just edges 'Lisa's Wedding' into second place.

'Help' (Series 2 (2001), episode 4). Features the intertwining of two storylines close to my heart - Daisy's malingering and Tim's ambitions to be a comic artist - plus Mike in his military element, Brian's mum and the incomparable Tyres. This episode also wins points for being soundtracked by Mint Royale's brilliant 'Space Farm'.

Top Gear
(Series 10 (2007), episode 7). With particularly strong narrative drive, Jeremy, James and Richard buy British Leyland cars for £1200 of their own money, in a doomed attempt to prove that BL made good cars. Crippling, tear-making hilarity ensues.


muppix said...

Shock-horror! You neglected to include Episode 3 (Season 2) of My Name is Earl: Sticks and Stones. Earl decides to cross #91 off his list; Made Fun Of Maggie Lester For Having A Moustache, a monumental retributionary adventure which sees our hero make friends with a whole freak show of a community in order to confront the deeply embedded horror of his own hairy nipples. A work of art if ever there was one.

Anyway, keep up the scribbling - makes me smile.

dotmund said...

My favourite episode of Earl is 2-20, Two Balls, Two Strikes.

Because I am a complete child.


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