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 2008 on Friday. The episodes on this list are based on nominations by myself, the staff and you the readers as to what we think the standout moments of the year were.
Obviously our final list will differ from the ones you sent in - but that's half the fun! So sit back, relax and enjoy the countdown!
30. "how i met your mother: miracles" (cbs)
(originally aired: may 19, 2008)
Sure we all know it was CGI - but holy crap was the pencil bouncing into Barney's nose amazing/hysterical/unbelievable.
29. "it's always sunny in philadelphia: mac and dennis: manhunters" (fx)
(originally aired: may 18, 2008)
Cannibalism? Hunting man? Out of left field "Rambo" references? Just another day in "Philadelphia."
28/27/26. "supernatural: ghostfacers/monster movie/wishful thinking" (the cw)
(originally aired: april 24, 2008/october 16, 2008/november 6, 2008)
It's probably not a coincidence that our three favorite episodes of "Supernatural" came from the same dude: Ben Edlund. These episodes featured everything from a suicidal teddy bear, Dracula using a coupon to pay for his pizza and unrequited gay love from beyond the grave. Said events ranged from downright silly to unexpectedly dramatic and gave the show a decidedly unique voice. Sure the main draw of "Supernatural" is two guys, a Chevy Impala and a trunk full of weapons fighting the things that go bump in the night, but darn if Edlund's installments don't take us on their own quirky path.
25. "life: trapdoor" (nbc)
(originally aired: december 17, 2008)
Worth a spot on this list just for those closing few moments - in which a shot Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) takes a revealing trip into his own mind where he's still a con and the ghost of Arthur Tims (Jon Sklaroff) hauntingly comments, "Still hurts don't it? You would think here it wouldn't hurt, but it does. That's just messed up." Seriously, why aren't more people watching this show?
24. "the office: dinner party" (nbc)
(originally aired: april 10, 2008)
A slow decent down the circles of hell that was Michael and Jan's relationship, "Dinner Party" amped up the uncomfortability factor to previously unseen heights. Whether it be Michael's multiple vasectomies or Jan implying Michael and Pam have taken a bath together, this episode definitely won the game of "Let's See How Uncomfortable We Can Make Our Guests."
23. "30 rock: cooter" (nbc)
(originally aired: may 8, 2008)
Tina Fey took home an Emmy for her work on this episode and with good reason, it was classic "30 Rock" - Liz being addicted to Sabor de Soledad, Tracy making the world's first porn video game, Kenneth trying to earn a spot on the Beijing Olympics page team and, well, Alec Baldwin being awesome.
22/21. "lost: there's no place like home, parts 2 & 3" (abc)
(originally aired: may 29, 2008)
The dots between the flash forwards and the "present day" were finally connected in last season's swan song - from who was in the coffin to why only six made it off the island. And if that wasn't enough, Ben (the irreplaceable Michael Emerson) literally flipped a switch that sent the island to God knows where - or even when. This is why I love television folks.
COMING TOMORROW: #20-11