More of Tomorrow’s Classics: TV
The Voice respectfully disagrees
The Voice is looking back at the best of the decade in Tomorrow’s Classics. To celebrate the end of the decade, Vox is getting in on the fun too! This week, the best of the boob tube, broken down by genre.
Serial Drama (Broadcast TV)
- Lost, Season 4 “The Constant”: Desmond and Penny. The boat. Time travel! “The Constant” laid the groundwork for immediate and long-term plot development on Lost, not to mention it had some of the most gut-wrenchingly emotional scenes this side of M*A*S*H. Lost may be the most frustration show on broadcast television, but episodes like “The Constant” keep pulling us back in again and again. That might not be a good thing—can we blame our failing grades next semester on J.J. Abrams?
- 24, Season 1 “11:00 PM – 12:00 AM”
- West Wing, Season 2 “Two Cathedrals”
- Friday Night Lights, Season 1 “Pilot”
- Kings, Season 1 “Chapter One”
Serial Drama (Cable TV)
- The Sopranos, Season 4 “Whitecaps”: Without The Sopranos, high-concept cable dramas would be seen less often than Surviving Christmas, the Jame Gandolfini-Ben Affleck holiday bomb. “Whitecaps” is brilliant because we, the uncomfortable audience, get to watch Tony and Carmela tear into each other after years of mounting marital tension. On reputation alone this episode is the best of the decade—it opened the door for the Don and Betty Drapers of the world to dominate cable drama years later.
- Mad Men, Season 1 “Nixon vs. Kennedy”
- The Shield, Season 7 “Family Meeting”
- Deadwood, Season 2 “A Lie Agreed Upon, Pt. 1″ and “A Lie Agreed Upon, Pt. 2″
- Breaking Bad, Season 1 “Pilot”
Comedy (Broadcast TV)
- How I Met Your Mother, Season 2 “Slap Bet”: When is How I Met Your Mother going to get the credit is deserves? “Slap Bet” introduces the greatest running themes of the show—Robin Sparkle’s pop singing career, jokes about Canada (“The 80s didn’t come to Canada til like ’93,”), tangents about pop culture (“He’s creepy. I mean, he’s got a medical degree. Why is he hanging around a bunch of coal miners?”), and best of all, Marshall tormenting Barney with slaps to the face. Please, stop watching Two and a Half Men and tune into How I Met Your Mother instead. Do it for America.
- Scrubs, Season 3 “My Screw Up”
- 30 Rock, Season 3 “Apollo, Apollo”
- Arrested Development, Season 1 “Pier Pressure”
- Futurama, Season 4 “The Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings”
Comedy (Cable TV)
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 4 “The Nightman Cometh”: Not only the funniest episode of It’s Always Sunny, but maybe the funniest episode of any T.V. show this decade. The only downer is that the cast went on the road this summer, performing the episode live—suddenly, watching on T.V. doesn’t give the jokes justice.The songs, the costumes, and, as always, Charlie’s naive, ass-backwards plot to woo the Waitress are all comedic gold. Sure, the Nightman probably rapes The Little Boy, but musicals make anything funny. Even make-believe, sing-song child molestation.
- Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 2 “The Doll”
- South Park, Season 9 “Trapped in the Closet”
- Flight of the Conchords, Season 2 “Unnatural Love”
- The Daily Show, Season 6 “September 20, 2001″
- Heroes, Season 1 “Company Man”: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Heroes peaked with this flashback episode that delved into Mr. Bennet’s (a.k.a. Horm Rimmed Glasses) history with The Company and his relationship with Claire. “The Company Man” was everything that Heroes fans wanted to see—too bad the season finale and everything since has been more disappointing than watching Milo Ventimiglia deliver lines out of the side of his mouth. STOP MUMBLING YOUR LINES, ASSHOLE.
- Alias, Season 2 “Phase One”
- Angel, Season 5 “Smile Time”
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5 “The Body”
- Dollhouse, Season 1 “Man on the Street”
- The OC, Season 1 “The Ties that Bind”: Before Michael Cera had a stranglehold on every “attractive because he’s awkward” role in Hollywood—more eloquently known as the Richie Cunningham Memorial Pigeonhole—Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) had the heart of every shy, quiet girl in America. Brody shines in this episode, but as he sails to Tahiti, we couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in the South Pacific would seduce him with a skimpy Wonder Woman costume. “The Ties that Bind” is the closest we’ve had to 90210 style drama since, well, 90210. The episode, which was the Season 1 finale, made us hopeful, broke our spirit, and left us questioning the Ryan’s future in Orange County.
- Grey’s Anatomy, Season 2 “It’s the End of the World”
- Veronica Mars, Season 1 “Leave it to Beaver”
- Gilmore Girls, Season 3 “Dear Emily and Richard”
- Greek, Season 2 “At the World’s End”
Are you confused why The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, and The Office are missing? Check out this week’s issue of the Voice for our thoughts on those shows, plus Aqua Teen Hunger Force. (We left out ATHF on purpose. FOOD CAN’T TALK, DAMN IT.)
Do you think we missed a show/episode? Do you want to clobber us for considering Veronica Mars a teen drama? Let us know what you think of our choices in the comments!