It's time for our annual list of the 50 best episodes of the past year. (For previous lists check the bottom of this column.) We'll be counting down 10 episodes a day until we get to the best episode of 2005 on Friday. The episodes on this list are based on nominations by myself and regular visitors to the site as to what we think the standout moments of the year were. In some cases while we were fans of certain series we couldn't pin down a particular episode we thought was of special merit so don't be stunned to see a few of our regular favorites missing from the list. Anyway, on with the show...
40. "family guy: 8 simple rules for buying my teenage daughter" (fox)
(originally aired: july 10, 2005)
Call me crazy but the "whoever throws up last after taking EPICAC" contest might be the funniest bit on TV last year.
39. "nip/tuck: cherry peck" (fx)
(originally aired: december 20, 2005)
Sure the concluding hour was downright silly, but damn if its lead-in didn't raise the stakes on the "did they really just do that?" table. I mean, Quentin has no... well, if you saw it I don't need to tell you.
38. "boston legal: death be not proud" (abc)
(originally aired: march 20, 2005)
Proof once again that David E. Kelley can do drama and comedy in the same episode like no one else.
37. "over there: it's alright ma, i'm only bleeding" (fx)
(originally aired: august 31, 2005)
This episode, about the rescue of a kidnapped journalist (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) - and its devastating climax, put the unfortunately short-lived show on my "must watch" list.
36. "rescue me: justice" (fx)
(originally aired: september 13, 2005)
More than a half-dozen plot points came to a head in the show's season finale - Tommy's son is buried, Jerry's wife decides to take her own life, Lou learns his "working girl" girlfriend is a fraud (although who didn't see that coming), Laura leaves the squad (and a heartbroken Franco) and Sean gets his faith shattered by a little girl. Oh and then there's that whole Jack Ruby style murder of the drunk driver who killed Tommy's son.
35. "24: day 4: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m." (fox)
(originally aired: january 31, 2005)
Too-cool-for-words moment from "24" last season #1: the until then unseen Tony Almeida figurately riding in on his white horse to save Jack.
34. "24: day 4: 1:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m." (fox)
(originally aired: april 25, 2005)
Too-cool-for-words moment from "24" last season #2: Chloe + machine gun = dead freakin' terrorist.
33. "rome: the spoils" (hbo)
(originally aired: november 13, 2005)
I think our friends at Television Without Pity said it best in their "recaplet" for this episode: the final scene made "Gladiator" look like a third grade play.
32. "the king of queens: pole lox" (cbs)
(originally aired: september 19, 2005)
Doug. Stripper pole. That's all you need to know.
31. "everwood: where the heart is" (the wb)
(originally aired: may 23, 2005)
Worth a spot on the list alone for having a sick character live (we love you Rose) but also for its two great climatic kisses - Andy and Nina plus Bright and Hannah.