The same caveat applies here as to my ten-best episodes list yesterday–I didn’t keep a list through the year, this is largely off the top of my head and impressionistic–only more so. In fact, for fairness’ sake I’m not going to bother to number it. Here we go:
Flight of the Conchords, Foux de Fa Fa. Why did I leave FOTC off my best episodes list? Because this show was more about great moments, and great songs, than great episodes. This was my favorite–a spot-on, esoteric parody from the music to the lyrics to the cinematography. Baguette!
Flight of the Conchords, The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room. In the whole wide room!
Mad Men, Shoot, final scene. Betty fired up a cigarette, raised her gun and blew a hole right through the center of my expectations.
Mad Men, Don’s “Carousel” pitch in The Wheel. I think I actually see Jon Hamm’s Emmy somewhere in the conference room already.
The Sopranos, Yes, That Scene, You Know the One I’m Talking About. I’m not interested in arguing about it any more. So there.
The Sopranos, Soprano Home Movies, the Monopoly Scene. But even if you hated That Ending, I don’t see how anyone could deny the power of this domestic confrontation, with decades of simmering family resentments boiling over, leading to a broken coffee table and a little green house stuck to Tony’s face.
30 Rock, Jack and Tracy’s Therapy Scene from Rosemary’s Baby. Alec Baldwin channels Fred Sanford, J.J. from Good Times, Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird and an old Hispanic lady. No need to resort to ugly stereotypes!
Tell Me You Love Me, Dave and Katie’s therapy blow-out, episode 4. Like FOTC, but in a different way, this was a series of great scenes, not great episodes, and this one–capturing the dynamics and language of a marital fight–was its best.
Friday Night Lights, I Think We Should Have Sex, Tami confronts Julie. Honestly, I’m sure there are a dozen more Connie Britton scenes from this year that I could have chosen, but I feel good about this one.
Lost, Through the Looking Glass, the flash-forward. Because holy crap.
OK, I’m not going to pretend that’s anything close to definitive. (I promise you, I am reading this on a computer somewhere and saying, “Wait! Wait!”) I’ll let you take it from here.