What Makes a Memorable Episode?

Josh and I are starting to prepare our 50th Episode of the Red Room Podcast which will air in January 2013.  We wanted to do one of our countdowns, a top 50 seemed logical.  We have given our selves up an interesting task.  Pick the top 50 single episodes of all time.  (25 each.)  Don't worry, we are not going to rank them because we there is no way to quantify the Prom Episode of Friends with the Twin Peaks episode that reveals the killer.  Instead we are going to just list 48 episodes and then each pick a special mention episode to end the countdown.  So as I am pouring over episode guides on IMDB, I wonder: what makes a memorable regular episode?  We made the decision that we could not pick Pilot episodes or Series Finales.  The reason being that the beginning or the end of the show has a different objective.  We wanted to pick just great, memorable episodes. But how to pick them?  Take a show like the X-files.  Yes, we wanted to know where Mulder's sister was but the episodes i rewatch over time are the one off episodes:  the circus one, the fortune teller, the baseball episode.    I could watch Jose Chung's From Outer Space a million times and I probably am already half way there. Star Trek would bring on the Borg, Romulans or Klingon's to amp up a season finale, but those one off Data episodes are the ones I remember.  To me, great episodic television is all about character.  It is a moment in a 22 season where a character got to really shine.

  • Maybe it is silly, like Joey eating all the Jam. 
  • Maybe it is heart breaking, like when Nancy awaits her Cancer test.
  • Maybe it is ground breaking, like when Jerry and the gang enter into a contest. 
  • Maybe it is a small moment, like when Tony Soprano took his daughter to look at colleges. 
  • Maybe it is something you have just never seen before, like Community's first paint ball episode.

Moments, characters and a flash of real life.  We long for these moments of a great episode from great shows.  In January 2013, the Red Room will release ours.  What are some of yours?

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Scott also has a side podcast called Scott Luck Stories. Here Scott tells 5-8 minute long stories from his life. Check out the facebook page and subscribe on iTunes or follow on Twitter @ScottLuckStory