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September 17, 2014

Standout Episodes

Top 10 Musical Episodes: 'Buffy,' 'Scrubs,' 'The Simpsons' and More!

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 26th 2010 7:00PM
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling
If 'Glee' has you yearning for more song-and-dance routines on TV, hold onto your (top) hats! From April 29 to May 5, Fox is turning several of its shows into musicals, including 'Bones,' 'House,' 'The Simpsons,' even 'Fringe.' On May 2, 'Family Guy' will celebrate its 150th episode with an extended episode featuring new and familiar musical numbers. Suffice to say the shows should be a blast, for both us and the actors.

Of course, TV aficionados know this is nothing new. Shows like 'Ally McBeal,' 'Eli Stone,' and 'SpongeBob SquarePants' have featured musical numbers regularly, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention 'Viva Laughlin' and 'Cop Rock' (even though the latter was declared by TV Guide to be one of the worst shows ever, ouch!). In fact, we can trace the trend back to classic episodes like Bugs Bunny's 'The Rabbit of Seville' and 'What's Opera, Doc?'

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'Grey's Anatomy' - 'Suicide is Painless' Recap

by Michael Pascua, posted Mar 26th 2010 1:18AM
Owen pre-Seattle Grace
(S06E18) We finally find out more about Owen's past this week on 'Grey's Anatomy.' The big story revolved around Owen and his time in the army. He's forever filled with guilt that he could have saved his friend's life if the two just held on for an extra few minutes. The biggest problem is that Owen can't put in his head the fact that his squad leader accepted that he was going to die and was at peace. Owen was afraid and still is today, causing him to have trouble sleeping at night. If he could open up to Christina or his therapist, then he might be able to be at peace with the situation.

I wish the show had a bit more of a budget for set design because I didn't believe one minute of the scene that was supposed to be the desert. The explosion was really cheesy looking, and I couldn't believe that Owen was the lone survivor.

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Spenser: For Hire - The Choice: Standout Episodes

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 14th 2010 8:00PM
Spencer for Hire(Originally aired October 4, 1985).

It's easy to forget how good a show Spenser: For Hire was. It was on for only three seasons over 20 years ago, it's not on DVD, and I don't think that it's being shown on television right now. But oh, this show was so good.

Robert Urich was the perfect Spenser and Avery Brooks was the perfect Hawk (years later, reading the books, I could only see Urich and Brooks as the characters). And on-location filming in Boston truly added a nice, realistic touch to the show (unlike the later movies, which were filmed in Toronto or some similar place). This show had smart writing, too, and the first person narration? Robert Parker was wrong when he said it was bad.

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Review: Project Runway - Finale Part 2 (Season Finale)

by Michael Pascua, posted Nov 20th 2009 4:42AM
Project Runway's final three (L to R): Carol Hannah, Irina, and Althea(S06E14) It's finally the end of Project Runway season six, and Carol Hannah, Althea, and Irina get to show off their looks. The three were evenly matched with a solid concept, good models, and similar makeup consultations. I've been disappointed with the way this season turned out after its long hiatus, and I'm hoping that next season's return to New York will be better.

In the end, I got the reunion show I was wondering about, in the form of Models of the Runway. It was the weirdest use of Project Runway's footage because the models didn't have any involvement in many of the videos.

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Comedy Central reveals they are sending Stephen Colbert to Baghdad

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 6th 2009 1:02PM
Stephen Colbert going to IraqThe time and nation that Stephen Colbert couldn't reveal where he is taking his show has been revealed. And because elite Army ninjas have not sneaked into his studio and whisked him away to an interrogation room for breaking the military code of silence, it's been confirmed by the network.

Stephen Colbert is taking his Colbert Report to Baghdad for the troops next week. The network claims this is the first time the USO has brought a television show into a combat area for a week of shows, if you don't count, say, the news.

Colbert has landed in Baghdad and underwent some basic military training to prepare for his visit to the region at Camp Victory, the former home of Saddam Hussein's Al-Faw Palace. That alone should provide hours of hilarious material for the show. But there's more going on than just producing something to keep you entertained during your post-work Kraft dinner.

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Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Man With A Problem

by Bob Sassone, posted May 26th 2009 6:01PM
One of the great things about the web is now we don't have to just tell you about a great episode from a TV series and hope you own it on DVD or that it shows up on TV at some point, we can actually show you the episode as well. Video after the jump!

This is an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents from November, 1958 titled "Man with a Problem." It stars someone who would later go on to one of the great sitcoms, Elizabeth Montgomery, as well as Peter Mark Richman (who has been in everything) and Gary Merrill, who is the man with the problem in question.

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Jon & Kate Plus 8: worth the wait?

by Michael Pascua, posted May 26th 2009 9:05AM
Jon and Kate plus eight celebrate.
After all of the paparazzi stories, I was excited to see what would happen to the Gosselin family in the Season Five opener of Jon & Kate Plus Eight. I had less concern for Jon and Kate; instead I was worried about the fate of their eight children. TLC threw a Jon & Kate Plus Eight marathon just in case newcomers wanted to watch.

With season four ending on the cliffhanger of Jon contemplating quitting, was the first episode of season five worth the wait?

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Star Trek's Journey to Babel: Standout Episode for Mother's Day

by Allison Waldman, posted May 10th 2009 9:03AM
Spock and his momToday is Mother's Day, and while J.J. Abrams' new big screen version of Star Trek re-imagines the mythology of the Enterprise crew and vanquishes Spock's mother Amanda in an alternate time line, I prefer to remember Spock's mother the way she was on television. On the original Star Trek episode that aired on November 17, 1967, "Journey to Babel," introduced Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan and his lovely human wife Amanda, when they boarded the Enterprise on a diplomatic mission. It was a shock to Captain Kirk to discover that the elegant older couple were not merely envoys, they were in fact, Spock's parents.

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House producers (and a certain star) talk to reporters about last night's big twist

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 7th 2009 4:25PM
house simple explanationIf you're like me, then you're still reeling from the big shocker that happened in last night's episode of House. I spent the entire episode with my mouth hanging wide open, just sputtering, "what?" over and over again. After the episode ended, my boyfriend and I spent a good half an hour arguing about what really happened. Was House's theory correct, or was it just wishful thinking?

I thought the episode made it pretty clear, but there was definitely an element of ambiguity when it ended. Today, House executive producers David Shore, Katie Jacobs and, uh, a certain actor from House, held a conference call to answer some of our burning questions, like, you know, "what the hell?"

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Rod Serling did not control The Twilight Zone - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 21st 2009 11:02AM
Rod Serling...in The Twilight ZoneThe image to the right was taken from an episode of The Twilight Zone, a show that sits in the top 10 of television's all time greatest mindf*#ks.

It took audiences on an out of control thrill ride that zigged and zagged in directions that no one saw coming. The stories would lead viewers one way and just when they thought they had the ending figured out, it took them down an emotional corkscrew that could melt their brains. It was and still is digital acid, minus the waking up in a dumpster with a head of hair that smells like raw chicken.

But picture if you will, an even bigger twist lying inside this twisted wasteland of shock and discovery. A twist that smashes the fourth wall of television with the brute force of a charging rhino strapped to the front of a nuclear warhead and reveals the true identity of the man who pulls all the strings....in The Twilight Zone.

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The West Wing: Shibboleth

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 26th 2008 1:01PM
(Originally aired November 22, 2000)

Last year I picked The West Wing's "The Indians in the Lobby" episode as a standout episode of the series. It just so happens that we're blessed with two Thanksgiving episodes of the show that are standouts. This one is called "Shibboleth."

The plots: While President Bartlet has to figure out what to do with dozens of Chinese immigrants who have stowed away on a freighter, Toby tries to get Leo's controversial sister nominated for an education post, C.J. has to pick one of two turkeys who will get to be pardoned by the President, and Charlie goes shopping for the perfect carving knife for the President.

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The X-Files: Killswitch

by Brett Love, posted Jul 21st 2008 12:01PM

Kristin Lehman, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood - The X-Files
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the
Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

(S05E11) When I heard that we were going to be doing an X-Files week for Retro Squad the first thing that came to mind was "Killswitch." It has long been my favorite episode of the series. Aside from being a great story, it also serves as a marker for where my interest in the series changed.

By the time they made it to "Killswitch," X-Files had started to lose me with the mythology episodes. In the beginning it was almost annoying when there would be a standalone episode. I was so engrossed in the bigger picture story that it was like being forced to take a week off from that which I was really interested in. By season five, though, that interest had waned. Not that the show had gotten bad, just that it was pretty clear that those big answers weren't coming any time soon, so I started looking forward to these episodes more and more. And for me, "Killswitch" is the pinnacle of The X-Files in that form.

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Frasier: Star Mitzvah - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 10th 2008 10:03AM
Frasier- Niles and FrasThe bar mitzvah is a Jewish rite of passage, the time in a boy's life when he becomes a man -- symbolically -- by reading from the Torah. When a girl does the ritual, it's called a bat mitzvah. I mention all this because in TV, the bar/bat mitzvah has been the catalyst for some wonderful episodes, mostly on sitcoms.

The Simpsons celebrated Krusty the Klown's bar mitzvah in the episode "Today I Am A Klown," which was a variation on one of the all-time great sitcom bar mitzvahs of all time: the episode "Buddy Sorrell, Man and Boy," on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Square Pegs shared "Muffy's Bat Mitzvah" with viewers, and this past season, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David used his friend Jeff Greene's daughter Sammi's bat mitzvah to announce that he never put a gerbil up his butt.

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Frasier: Three Valentines - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jul 9th 2008 1:19PM
David Hyde Pierce as Niles CraneDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

(S06E14)
It's awfully hard to pick a standout episode from a comedy like Frasier that lasted eleven seasons. There are so many that stand out for different reasons.

I picked 'Three Valentines' because:
  • It is a good example of classic Frasier foibles
  • Niles's cold open is a masterpiece in physical comedy, something we don't often see in Frasier episodes
  • The performances are top-notch: sensitive, masterful, spot-on
  • This episode is an example of perfect timing being a key to a sitcom's success
  • It is filmed in three acts, each allowing the characters featured to play up to their strengths perfectly.

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Six Feet Under: That's My Dog - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 2nd 2008 11:03AM

Michael C. Hall as David Fisher in 'Six Feet Under.'
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the
Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

(S04E05) Originally aired on July 18th, 2004 -- Arguably the best episode in Six Feet Under's five season run (ignoring the stellar finale of course), "That's My Dog" is a seminal installment for Michael C. Hall's David Fisher. A culmination of David's fears, inadequacies, and worries all collide at the same time as he faces death at the hands of a sadistic crack addict named Jake who takes him on a joy ride to get high. The events change David for good as he develops crippling attacks of paranoia that stay with him until he tackles his demons near the end of season five. You can't have a discussion about Six Feet Under without bringing up this episode.

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