It's time once again for our annual list of the 50 best episodes of the past year. (For previous lists check the links to the right.)
As usual we'll be counting down 10 episodes a day until we get to the best episode of 2007 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.
We also wanted to take this time to tell you about WHY WE WRITE, a fantastic new blog created by "Eureka's" Charlie Craig and Thania St. John. It's a collection of essays by some of TV's brightest minds about... you guessed it, why they write. And as luck would have it, the essayists who've contributed thus far are behind many of the episodes on this year's list.
Our "50 Best Episodes" feature is designed as a celebration of TV's finest hours (and half-hours) so we're thrilled to give you a window into the minds of those who created them. With that mind, as the countdown continues, look for periodic excerpts from some of the WHY WE WRITE essays. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
As always, our list will differ from the ones you sent in - but that's half the fun! So sit back, relax and enjoy the countdown!
50. "flight of the conchords: bowie" (hbo)
(originally aired: july 22, 2007)
Having Jemaine appear to Bret in his dreams as the various career incarnations of David Bowie perfectly encapsulates everything that makes this show great.
49. "code monkeys: todd loses his mind" (g4)
(originally aired: september 5, 2007)
The moment the show broke the fourth wall - the "show" freezes like a video game and an unseen player pulls the "game" cartridge out, blows on it and puts it back in - was when "Monkeys" made the leap for me to must-see status.
48. "entourage: gotcha!" (hbo)
(originally aired: april 29, 2007)
The looks on their respective faces - Drama after learning he's really been "Punk'd" by Pauly Shore and Eric after learning Vince is falling for Amanda - are worth the price of admission.
47. "how i met your mother: showdown" (cbs)
(originally aired: april 30, 2007)
Neil Patrick Harris received an Emmy nomination for his performance in this episode, in which he's reunited with his believed father, Bob Barker (yes, that Bob Barker), and for good reason - nobody else could have pulled it off.
46. "reaper: pilot" (the cw)
(originally aired: september 25, 2007)
Two words: Ray Wise.
45. "supernatural: hollywood babylon" (the cw)
(originally aired: april 19, 2007)
Sure the in-jokes here alone are worth a spot on this list ("Boogeyman," "Gilmore Girls," etc.) but it's the zeal in which Dean (Jensen Ackles) embraces his undercover PA job that really seals the deal.
44. "it's always sunny in philadelphia: dennis and dee's mom is dead" (fx)
(originally aired: september 20, 2007)
After Dennis inherits his parents' mansion, he decides to throw a party to make some new guy friends. What follows is "Sunny" at its best, including the mistakenly penis shaped invites.
43. "scrubs: my musical" (nbc)
(originally aired: january 18, 2007)
They sang songs entitled "Ev'rythin' Comes Down to Poo" and "Guy Love" folks. How could it not be on this list?
"Scrubs" creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence on why he writes: "I write because it makes me feel cool even though I know I'm not. I write for revenge on everyone that ever wronged me. Tim Stenger, you know what I'm talking about. I write to heal (myself, not the world - I'm not a wizard). I write because I'm lucky; we all know how many elements of success are beyond our control. I write because I secretly believe luck had nothing to do with it. I write because I'm arrogant, because I'm insecure, because I'm depressed, angry, joyous, drunk, bored� But most of all, I write because I'm full of shit."
42. "curb your enthusiasm: meet the blacks" (hbo)
(originally aired: september 9, 2007)
Larry's tactic of avoiding parties he doesn't want to go to - by simply showing up the next day feigning ignorance - is a throwback to "Seinfeld's" heyday, as is his eventual comeuppance for using said method.
41. "30 rock: cougars" (nbc)
(originally aired: november 29, 2007)
The real testament to the show's awesomeness is the random basis for its humor, in this case plot A features Liz and Frank fighting over a much younger guy and plot B sees Jack using the Bush Doctrine to assume control of Tracy's softball team.
COMING TOMORROW: #40-31