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Get me hooked on a TV show in one episode
December 6, 2011 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Recommend the one episode that will get me hooked on a good TV show.

Various shows are repeatedly recommended in "recommend a TV series" AskMes. But of the frequently-recommended shows, there's far too many for me to get involved in.

So, suppose you could show someone one episode of a show to try to get them hooked on it. What episode would you recommend they watch? The show can be recent or old, completed or currently running.

A caveat: do not recommend the first episode of a program just because it's a continuity-heavy show and "you have to watch them in order!!!" Really, I don't. I got hooked on Lost after seeing "Live Together, Die Alone," the second season finale. I got hooked on the 2004 Battlestar Galactica after seeing "Pegasus," the season 2 mid-season finale. I ended up going back and watching the earlier episodes for both shows. So don't worry that I'll be spoiled (I enjoyed season 1 of BSG when I went back and watched it, even knowing that ________ was a Cylon) or that I won't pick up on every last nuance if I haven't seen all the prior episodes (I might not, but I don't have to to decide if I like it or not). If the pilot episode is a legitimately strong episode which is the best choice to attract a new viewer to the show, that's fine, but I find that's rarely the case since shows are often still trying to find their footing at that point.

(Also, I'm not going to give a list of ~20 shows I've seen most or all episodes of, even though I could, as recommendations for those shows may be useful to other readers even if not to me personally.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Media & Arts (98 answers total) 102 users marked this as a favorite
 
Black Books -- "Elephants & Hens" (from season 3)
posted by pete_22 at 8:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Coupling: The girl with two breasts
posted by handee at 8:59 AM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


The "Conky" episode of Trailer Park Boys
posted by DeltaZ113 at 8:59 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Recently on AskMe: What TV episodes do I show the aliens first
posted by backwards guitar at 9:00 AM on December 6, 2011


Blink - Doctor Who
Hush - Buffy
posted by wwax at 9:02 AM on December 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


Siege of the North -- Avatar The Last Airbender, Season One Finale (available on Netflix IW if you roll that way)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:03 AM on December 6, 2011


Community: "Modern Warfare" (from season 1).
posted by warble at 9:03 AM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


For Buffy "Hush" is a great episode, but I'm not sure it's the one to get anyone hooked. "The Body" has worked much better in my experience.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:06 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Farscape - "Crackers Don't Matter"
posted by fight or flight at 9:07 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Bop Gun" or "Subway" may well get you hooked on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (which had several excellent early seasons).
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:09 AM on December 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Mad Men, "The Wheel."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:11 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll counter handee's recommendation with Coupling: Inferno.
Leverage: The Wedding Job
Bones: Aliens in a Spaceship
Eureka: Once in a Lifetime
The IT Crowd: The Work Outing
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:14 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Futurama - Jurassic Bark
posted by bonecrusher at 9:16 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Firefly - Objects in Space
posted by blurker at 9:21 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Red Dwarf - Gunmen of the Apocalypse
posted by hardcode at 9:21 AM on December 6, 2011


Doctor Who - The Girl in the Fireplace.
posted by gauche at 9:26 AM on December 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


Louie - Dr. Ben
posted by puritycontrol at 9:29 AM on December 6, 2011


It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom" or "The Night Man Cometh"
posted by swingbraid at 9:32 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Babylon 5 - "Severed Dreams"
posted by Freedomboy at 9:33 AM on December 6, 2011


Futurama - Jurassic Bark

Be warned that while being a great episode, this is one of the saddest episodes of anything ever made.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:33 AM on December 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


ER - "Love's Labor Lost"
posted by drlith at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


How I Met Your Mother - Slap Bet
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:35 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Battlestar Galactica (2003) - 33

(you will then have to go back and watch the preceeding miniseries to catch back up, even though ££ is technically Season 1, episode 1)
posted by Wylla at 9:36 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Two older shows --

Northern Exposure: "Kaddish for Uncle Manny". I also think the very last scene is one of the finest things I've seen on television PERIOD.

WKRP in Cincinnatti: "Turkeys Away".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


..and seconding your original question/comment, Valley of Darkness - an episode best known for a scene in which two characters sit around listening to music while nothing happens - hooked me on BSG.
posted by Wylla at 9:39 AM on December 6, 2011


30 Rock - Tracy Does Conan
posted by permiechickie at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The IT Crowd - "The Haunting of Bill Crouse"
posted by zoetrope at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Any episode of Bored to Death. An especially funny one is "I've been living like a Demented God!"
posted by costanza at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2011


Classic Doctor Who- Pyramid of Mars

Rebooted Doctor Who- The Doctor's Wife
posted by Hanuman1960 at 9:49 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mad Men - The Suitcase

Sons of Anarchy - The Culling
posted by fso at 9:50 AM on December 6, 2011


Futurama - Time Keeps on Slipping

I tried Jurassic Bark with my girlfriend but it lacked funniness. "Yea, it was sad at the end but the rest was boring." I think the problem was that for fans it was a change of pace and gives them fond memories but for her it was just a slow episode.


Community - S03E04 - Remedial Chaos Theory
This episode got me to watch the rest of the show. I re-watched it a couple more times and it's still amazing.
posted by just.good.enough at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job - "Universe"
posted by ghostbikes at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2011


mmm I take my answer back. It was a suggestion based on personal taste and not any kind of notoriety or high regard for that particular episode
posted by ghostbikes at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2011


For Buffy, I would actually go all the way to season 6, Once more with feeling. (Yes, it makes more sense once you've seen the series, but I think it's such fun that it helps people see the point of seeing the series.) I agree that Blink is the Doctor Who to start with.

Fringe: Brown Betty
Torchwood: Kiss kiss, bang bang (to be followed by Fragments & Exit wounds, rather than the next in order)
Veronica Mars: Meet John Smith
Bones: The Woman in the Sand
In Plain Sight: Trojan Horst
Skins (UK): Effy (season 1)
Dollhouse: Needs
Wonderfalls: Pink Flamingos
Gossip Girl: Victor/Victrola (with the caveat that you should only watch the first 3 or 4 seasons)
The Middleman: The Flying Fish Zombification
Love Bites: Boys to Men
Kingdom: 2.1 (this is the UK show with Stephen Fry)
Pushing Daisies: Bzzzzzzzzz!
Vampire Diaries: The Birthday
Life on Mars (UK): 2.4
Rookie Blue: Butterflies
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:00 AM on December 6, 2011


The pilot episode of Friday Night Lights remains one of the best ones of the series, IMO.
posted by kathryn at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


LUTHER! Pilot!
posted by StUdIoGeEk at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


King of the Hill: Aisle 8A (the one where Connie gets her first period).

It establishes Bobby as television's most well-written/normal kids.
Peggy's voicemail greeting is so... her.
Hank has to deal with something he is deeply uncomfortable with.

Also features: Chuck Mangione (in cardboard cut-out form), a Hank-yelling-cut-to-commercial and a bunch of funny one-liners.
posted by giraffe at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Disagree about Blink with Doctor Who. Far better to start with "The Girl in the Fireplace," or "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead." Every non-Whovian who I've shown Blink has found it boring and confusing--and it doesn't even introduce you to the Doctor in a proper way. Brilliant for people who love the show, not so much for those not yet hooked. Moffat's other episodes are just as well written, but also a better introduction to the series.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:06 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Firefly - Any episode.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2011


You're going to get a kabillion different recommendations for Doctor Who. I'm going to add my own, but cheat by using sub-categories. (Heh.)

BEST NINTH DOCTOR EPISODE[S]: The two-parter, "The Doctor Dances/Everybody Lives". Also noteable for introducing Captain Jack Harkness, so it introduces you to Torchwood as well.

BEST ELEVENTH DOCTOR: I concur with "The Doctor's Wife."

BEST TENTH DOCTOR: For me, picking one episode is like Sophie's choice because I am a shamelessly pathetic and hopeless Tenth Doctor Fangirl. (Hi, David! Call me!) Fortunately others have suggested good Tenth Doctor episodes (Blink in particular); so I'll nominate "Midnight".

--

Forgot a show:

X-FILES: Rather than suggesting a single episode, I will suggest a single writer: Darin Morgan. He only wrote six episodes or so, and all of them were tiny and self-contained works of absolute staggering genius which also do not require you to get all bogged down in the show's backstory. They were also funny. ("Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Humbug" are good ones; the fan favorite "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" is a bit more in-jokey, but still SERIOUSLY funny.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Disagree about Blink with Doctor Who.

I was just going to say that exact thing. If you watch "Blink" and then want a series of that, Doctor Who is going to be a massive disappointment. "Girl in the Fireplace" is the correct NuWho trailhead.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:12 AM on December 6, 2011


Firefly - Out of Gas
Community - Modern Warfare
Parks and Recreation - Harvest Festival
30 Rock - Kidney Now!
The Closer - Dial M for Provenza
Psych - Murder?…Anyone?…Anyone?…Bueller?
Monk - Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf
Dead Like Me - Rites of Passage
posted by mewohu at 10:16 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Supernatural - Either the Season 1 finale "Devil's Trap" or the Season 2 opener "In My Time Of Dying".

Bones - Season 1, episode 15 "Two Bodies in the Lab"
posted by katyggls at 10:30 AM on December 6, 2011


Arrested Development - Good Grief
Deadwood - A Lie Agreed Upon (Part I)
posted by Alison at 10:45 AM on December 6, 2011


Hamsterdam - The Wire (season 3 episode 4)
posted by valeries at 10:50 AM on December 6, 2011


The West Wing - Two Cathedrals
posted by Chorus at 10:52 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


sports night: what kind of day has it been?
posted by koroshiya at 10:53 AM on December 6, 2011


The 2nd Episode of Band of Brothers. The one where they parachute into Europe.
posted by iurodivii at 10:53 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Sopranos, "College"

Breaking Bad, "Better Call Saul" or "One Minute."

Friday Night Lights - "Pilot" or "Mud Bowl"
posted by andrewraff at 11:00 AM on December 6, 2011


The Larry Sanders Show, "Hank's Sex Tape".
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:00 AM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seconding The Suitcase for mad men.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:06 AM on December 6, 2011


arrested development - the pilot, or 2nding "good grief". Never get tired of that episode.
posted by Chris4d at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2011


In my opinion, "The Camel" is the episode where Parks & Recreation ascends from mere competence into unmitigated brilliance.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2011


The Shield - Trophy
posted by cali59 at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Folks, if you are not answering the question, you may email the OP about your concerns.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:27 AM on December 6, 2011


Seconding Doctor Who - the Doctor Dances for the 9th doctor (and entire series)


For just the current (11th) doctor - a Christmas Carol, 2010. It is 100% self contained, beautifully acted, rich sets, powerfully written.
posted by sandra_s at 11:32 AM on December 6, 2011


The West Wing--"In The Shadow of Two Gunmen", unless choosing 2-parters is cheating. "Bartlet For America" would be my one-off pick, but Chorus's suggestion of "Two Cathedrals" is also a good one.

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"I, Borg."

Star Trek: Deep Space 9--"Starship Down. This one's really hard, not because of it being heavily serialized, but because DS9 took character development up to 11. No one is the same person in the 7th season as they are in the 1st. (SPOILER: literally, in one case.) but "Starship Down" catches everyone at an intermediate phase, and gives a good chunk of time to pretty much all of the main cast.

Doctor Who: Nthing "The Girl in the Fireplace", which features all of the things that can be great about the new series.
posted by kagredon at 11:40 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Psych - Murder?…Anyone?…Anyone?…Bueller?

My impression about "Psych" from the reruns I catch is that it's pretty schticky and any episode is basically as good as any other. I do like it, though, just that I think either you like it or you don't. There's not a lot of nuance to have to grow on.
posted by rhizome at 11:40 AM on December 6, 2011


Stargate: SG1 [with McGyver Richard Dean Anderson] - the episode you want is Torment of Tantalus
posted by Chorus at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2011


Venture Bros.: Tag Sale--You're It!
Breaking Bad: Crazy Handful of Nothin'
The Mighty Boosh: The Nightmare of Milky Joe
Mission: Impossible: A Ghost Story
The Twilight Zone: The Silence
Eastbound & Down: Chapter 5
The Prisoner: A, B, and C
Spaced: Epiphanies
Mr. Show: What to Think
posted by heatvision at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Top Gear [does that count?? I drive a Micra and had never seen it before, but this episode had me glued] - Botswana Special and/or Arctic Special.

But the Botswana Special heavily features the soundtrack from 300, so.
posted by Chorus at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


For Buffy "Hush" is a great episode, but I'm not sure it's the one to get anyone hooked. "The Body" has worked much better in my experience.

I don't think either of those episodes really represent the series. Hush is a great episode and works fairly well as a stand alone episode (apart from the whole Riley thing) but its almost entirely silent so there's a lot less humour than a typical episode. The Body is also fairly unique in the context of the series, lots of moping, crying and awkward silences, very little fighting. I understand why they wanted to do that episode but its my least fave and I think our of context it would give entirely the wrong impression of the show.

I'd say Buffy vs Dracula is a great episode that stands on its own. It doesn't require any prior knowledge of the show and doesn't have spoilers if you wanted to go back and watch the show from the beginning.
posted by missmagenta at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


South Park - ManBearPig
posted by hazyjane at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2011


Gomer Pyle, USMC - "Flower Power"
posted by Naberius at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2011


but [Hush is] almost entirely silent so there's a lot less humour than a typical episode.

Are you kidding?!? The fact that it's all done without words let them get away with murder in that episode.

Re Blink for Doctor Who, I totally agree it's a great introductory episode. Which is strange because, once again, it's not like the typical episode at all, and the Doctor is barely in it. It's really odd that it works so well for this purpose.
posted by Naberius at 12:18 PM on December 6, 2011


What got me hooked on The Wire was Old cases (warning: spoilers on the linked page), episode 4 of season 1.
posted by rjs at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2011


If you don't mind jumping into mythology-heavy dramas, you're generally not going to go wrong with season finales, since they're going to have the highest concentration of Secrets Revealed! and Bombshells! and conflicts coming to a head, which will be apparent to both new and long-time viewers. But I disagree with the idea that people insist on watching shows from the beginning because of continuity. Sure, you'll be less confused about plot minutiae if you watch from the beginning, but if you just wanted that you could come armed to any episode with Wikipedia. What you'll miss out on is that investment in the characters that will push the stakes a million times higher and determine the difference between "cool, that was exciting" and MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!!!!!

But if your goal is maximum excitement: nthing Modern Warfare, Out of Gas, The Wheel, Inferno, Victor/Victrola, Hush, and Aliens in a Spaceship.

The X-Files: Pusher
Gilmore Girls: Raincoats and Recipes
The West Wing: a slew of S2 episodes - In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Noel, 17 People, Two Cathedrals
Parks & Recreation: The Fight
Chuck: Chuck Versus the Colonel
The OC: The Escape
The Office (US): The Injury
Happy Endings: Dave of the Dead
Farscape: Die Me, Dichotomy
Friday Night Lights and Alias: Pilot (probably the only shows whose pilots I'd recommend)
30 Rock: Hard Ball
The Vampire Diaries: Founder's Day or The Return
posted by Cue the Strings at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2011


The Freaks and Geeks pilot is pretty perfect. If I had to pick a favourite episode it would be "Tests and Breasts", but the pilot is just as good so you might as well start with it.
posted by Chenko at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Justified - Fathers and Sons
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you've ever wondered why grown-ups watch My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, I recommend starting with Suited for Success.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seinfeld - The Contest
posted by SisterHavana at 12:44 PM on December 6, 2011


Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Space Mutiny
Aqua Teen Hunger Force - The Clowning
Reno 911! - Corporate Sponsor
The Office (UK) - New Girl
posted by neushoorn at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My kids watched South Park all the time, and I was very meh about the show until one night I turned on the TV and Woodland Critters came on. I woke my sleeping husband up repeatedly with cries of "WHAT?!" and hysterical laughing. Fantastically bizarre episode, and perfect for the season!

But my kids would counter with Imagination Land for their answer.

The D & D episode of Community is spot on.

Pretty much any episode of Archer makes you want to watch more.

Firefly: the Train Job is a personal favorite, though The Message, which was ironically the last episode filmed, does a fantastic job of getting right to e heart of each of the main characters in just one go, perfect for any newb soon-to-be-fan. What you absolutely should NOT do is watch the movie, Serenity, before watching the series. Buy the whole series on DVD (yes, really), THEN watch the movie.

Justified: watch any first season episode with a lot of Walter Goggins as Boyd Crowder, yes, because he is fantastic, and then watch the entire last season with Mags "Ma" Bennet, played by Margo Martindale, and if her emmy-winning performances don't win you over, your soul is already dead.
posted by misha at 1:03 PM on December 6, 2011


Each week on the podcast Extra Hot Great they consider an episode (or sometimes more than one episode) of a TV show for "The Canon" - they've made some great choices and even a lot of the ones that they considered and turned down are still great episodes!
posted by mskyle at 1:35 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


+1 for Community - Modern Warfare
posted by thedaniel at 2:39 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The Prestidigitation Approximation" from the Big Bang Theory (Season 4, Episode 18). Brilliant! (And, I might add, it was the episode that got me addicted to that show.) Enjoy-
posted by chatelaine at 3:57 PM on December 6, 2011


Party Down: S1E6 "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen"
posted by nicwolff at 4:29 PM on December 6, 2011


If only for J.K. Simmons as angry rich man Leonard Stiltskin.
posted by nicwolff at 4:34 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I posted about "Homicide" and its "Subway" episode, above, not realizing that it seems to be available on YT. I'd forgotten how gripping the first two-plus minutes are. Holy hell. And Andre Braugher is a national treasure.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:30 PM on December 6, 2011


Inspector Lewis episodes: "Life Born of Fire" and "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea"

Sorry, couldn't pick just one...
posted by schyler523 at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2011


Well any episode of Peep Show would qualify but one of my favorites is "Mark Makes a Friend" (memorable for "The Bad Thing" haha).
posted by triggerfinger at 6:50 PM on December 6, 2011


X-Files: Squeeze (Spoilers)
posted by Mitheral at 5:48 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Honestly, I just finished the second season of Justified, and I only started the first season a couple weeks ago. Pretty much every episode worked, but really, the pilot was awesome and drew me into the show right away.

I can't recall the name of the episode offhand, but the episode of Homicide with the sniper was fantastic.

Screwby, episode four, I think, of Generation Kill is fantastic and highlights the overall theme of impeccably trained soldiers lead by glory seekers and utter incompetents.

As for Band of Brothers, Why We Fight is stunning, as is the Battle of the Bulge winter episode.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:15 AM on December 7, 2011


Thanks to everyone for your answers so far! I have much to keep me occupied for the coming weeks (and months, if I get sucked into at least some of these shows, as I hope to), so late additions are welcome as well.

I'm glad to see recommendations for several series I've been intrigued by and have been meaning to check out, some I meant to check out at some point and had forgotten about, some which had not been on my radar but which I probably should check out, and even a few series I hadn't heard of before. Even for the series which I have seen most or all of, it's interesting to see which episodes people are recommending.

There's a few series I've been curious about which haven't been mentioned here yet, so if anyone has single-episode recommendations for these series I'd be particularly interested:

*Dexter
*Smallville
*Being Human (UK version)
*Boardwalk Empire
*Treme
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:28 AM on December 7, 2011


Late to the party, but

For Louie, I would pick Bully.
For MST3K, I would pick Prince of Space.
posted by wittgenstein at 8:01 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


A big +1 for Top Gear - Arctic Special. I was never that much of a car geek, but that particular episode was a surprisingly effective blend of the usual James/Jezza/Hamster comic arsing about + an astonishing amount of real vulnerability and earnestness that I found very engaging.

For sheer comic factor though you absolutely can't beat the pure absurdity of the Series 12, Episode 5 bus race. I have never laughed that hard at anything on TV before or since.

full disclosure: I have to admit bias and a special soft spot in my heart for the bus race bit tho, as this was the snippet of Top Gear that my husband seduced me with way back when we first started dating. Yes, I am weird.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:32 AM on December 7, 2011


Very late to the party but...Pole Lox from King of Queens season 8.
posted by daydreamer at 10:10 AM on December 7, 2011



Disagree about Blink with Doctor Who. Far better to start with "The Girl in the Fireplace," or "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead." Every non-Whovian who I've shown Blink has found it boring and confusing--and it doesn't even introduce you to the Doctor in a proper way. Brilliant for people who love the show, not so much for those not yet hooked. Moffat's other episodes are just as well written, but also a better introduction to the series.


Blink was my introductory episode, more or less. I'd seen other episodes before, but i can't even remember which ones they were. But Blink made a huge impression on me and made me want to see more of the show. Same for quite a few people i know personally.

But that was before series 5 and 6 were aired, now i would say The eleventh hour or The impossible astronaut would also be brilliant for a start.
posted by revikim at 10:27 AM on December 7, 2011


The Sopranos - "Pine Barrens" is widely considered the best of the series.
posted by naju at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fourth season is generally regarded as the best, and I would have to agree.

One episode perfectly encapsulates the Dexter universe:

Dexter - "Dirty Harry"

(AV club has great commentary and episode ranking by the way.)
posted by stroke_count at 2:48 PM on December 7, 2011


the problem with treme is that, just like the wire, it's not episodic. you'll be pretty lost if you don't know what happened earlier. though, maybe "All on a Mardi Gras Day", S01E08 would be good.

for trailer park boys, i'd suggest "The Bible Pimp", S02E05.

dr. katz - "Bully"
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:30 PM on December 7, 2011


archer - "Skytanic"
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:52 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm so glad someone finally mentioned Archer.

Arrested Development "Top Banana"
There's always money in the banana stand

The X-Files
I would actually suggest "Detour" as a good, all around stand-alone
posted by northxnorthwest at 6:55 AM on December 8, 2011


The Fawlty Towers episode "The Germans".
posted by Lifeson at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seconding the IT Crowd - The Work Outing.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Who Pooped the Bed?
posted by cnc at 2:30 PM on December 8, 2011


The Walking Dead - Days Gone Bye (Pilot)
Scrubs - My Old Lady (S1E04)
The Tick (live action) - Arthur, Interrupted (S1E03)


Dexter/Treme/Boardwalk/etc. are hard to recommend, just because they depend so heavily on arcs. You're almost best off starting at the beginning, or at a season premier.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 5:58 AM on December 9, 2011


While my husband had previously ignored the TV when I was watching No Reservations, the 2006 Beirut episode made him stop what he was doing and sit, riveted, for the entire episode. He's been faithfully watching the show ever since.
posted by castlebravo at 8:00 AM on December 9, 2011


Parks and Recreation is hands down the best and most under-appreciated show on television. Start with Season 2, Episode 1 ("Pawnee Zoo") and bid farewell to whatever weekend plans you might have had.
posted by ohyouknow at 1:08 PM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


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