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What are your favorite Pilot episodes?

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posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 04:18 PM
Pilots are rarely remembered for most shows that we know and love, but it is a crucial episode any show to get up and running. Even for shows that I love, I rarely find the pilot episode entertaining. I find they often try to do too much with plot and character development and in the end it was just a hot mess of nothingness.

Few shows escape this trend and I'm interested in hearing some examples of others.

A few that come to mind for me.

  • The Office: I appreciate the Office's pilot episode because I feel it is just as funny as any episode out there and the characters that were presented in the initial episode are the same ones that we see in season 6. They hit their marks right from the get go and we're still enjoying them today. Considering this is in the comedy genre, I find it's even tougher for a comedy to have a great pilot but the Office is a rarity, in my opinion.

  • The Sopranos: unlike in the comedy genre, a syndicated drama needs to leave you wanting more. The Sopranos does a great job on this and leaves the viewer wanting to see the next episode immediately. They don't spend the 50 or so minutes trying to explain each character to you or how everyone came to be where they are.

  • Friday Night Lights: hands down one of the most dramatic and cliff-hanger type pilot episodes I've ever watched. For much of this episode, I enjoyed it and would have kept going back for more. But the way the pilot episode ended, I just thought it was a huge, huge leap and it worked out for them. If you haven't watched this show, do yourself a favor and start!

    I'll name some more as I think of them.

    What about you?

  • posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 04:26 PM
    South park- was amazing and continue's to entertain me even now!

    The big bang theory- laughed so much and I just love this show!

    posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 06:14 PM
    reply to post by valiant

    When I first heard of the concept behind the Big Bang Theory, I openly criticized it harsher than I think I ever have a show that I never watched. My fiance praised it and said "just give it a chance". And almost 3 seasons later, it is hands down one of the best comedies on television.

    I don't remember the Pilot off the top of my head but I do remember that after watching one episode, I was eating my words.

    posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 06:40 PM
    reply to post by chissler

    If I remember correct the pilot was where Leonard and co went to Penny's ex boyfriends to retrieve her tv, and came home pantless.

    I was the same, never thought i'd like it but I love it, always funny and great characters!

    posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 10:31 PM
    It was a 'Movie of the Week' double feature (an hour and a half each) of Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man and Bill Bixby in The Magician. The next fall, both had been made into series, and both on different networks....

    posted on Mar, 11 2010 @ 01:27 PM
    The original (80's) V miniseries pilot episode...that blew me away...and hooked me for the whole duration.

    posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:59 AM
    Here in New Zealand last Thursday Stargate Universe premiered and from what I saw it is the first TV Show in many years that I am so far keen on enough to want to make a serious effort to watch it every week .

    Cheers xpert11.

    posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:27 PM
    I do love the Big Bang Theory (previously mentioned by others).... I didn't see the pilot, but even one episode will hook you....especially if you're a fellow geek.

    The writers must certainly be.

    Just part of my checklist...

    Go to Ren Fest in costume = check
    Play Paintball = check
    D&D = check
    Weird board games (they usually play Talisman) = check
    Interest in Physics = check
    Computers = check

    Not so much into comics though...that's about the only area of disparity....

    posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 01:46 AM
    The "Futurama" and "The X-Files" pilots are a couple of my favorites.


    posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 01:59 AM
    lost and fringe, just because i could not find either of them online for months without breaking international law.

    posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 02:01 AM
    reply to post by Gazrok

    dvd extra... they have a physicist on staff that they actually write in to the script as (insert science here) and he can go crazy

    posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:14 AM
    Bar none:



    [edit on 4-6-2010 by Dr Love]

    posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:11 PM
    The X-Files pilot...yep, that really hooked me... I was definitely an X-Phile for a time..

    posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 04:59 AM
    The Mighty Boosh pilot, sheer brilliance. They re-made the ep for the first series, of course, and it became known as the Arctic Tundra episode. Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding are as tight in the pilot as they are over all three series, most likely due to the stage work that they completed with the Boosh prior to landing a television spot. It is by far the most innovative and hilarious comedy on television. The humour might take a bit to become familiar with at first, but once you do, you're a hardcore Boosh fan thereon in.

    posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 08:18 AM
    Just started to watch Parks and Recreation. Finished season one and am now working through season two. I don't think the Pilot episode was one of the best I've ever seen, but it was good. The show quickly grew upon the initial episode and is now right there with the other NBC great comedies with The Office and 30 Rock.

    posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 01:38 PM
    The Munsters actually shot a pilot in color that was quite different than the one seen in reruns. Phoebe was Herman's wife (Joan Marshall) and Eddie was played by a creepy kid. The tone was a bit darker than the regular series which played out like a normal sitcom.

    I am still looking for the pilot of Wonder Woman done in the 1960s Batman camp style. That sounds like a very different and very bad idea. It was not done because the Batman series was already falling badly in the ratings.

    posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 01:42 PM
    The best pilot would be "The Cage" episode of Star Trek. While they did keep "the guy with the ears", they dumped everyone else. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is considered the actual pilot of the Kirk/Spock version, as it was the second pilot done for network executives. That was an excellent one too.

    Most pilots have the difficult task of setting up both characters and the basic plot, which makes them usually weaker than the series as a whole.

    posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 01:19 AM
    Another pilot that got me completely hooked on the series: The Boondocks first episode. I won't post a YouTube video for it, you can watch it on your own time.

    I think Aaron McGruder is hanging around ATS somewhere.


    posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 02:49 PM
    reply to post by TheAssociate

    The Boondocks is a great series, along with The Venture Brothers:

    One reason these shows are so good is they are only 13 episodes per season and take their time when being made (usually 2 years). Quality vs quantity: The result is a classic show.

    I also like how The Venture Brothers makes references to many of the older Hanna Barbera cartoons.

    The above link will get you to The Boondocks episodes too.

    posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 07:46 PM
    Twin Peaks would rank high on my list for pilots. I was totally hooked on the show up until it became apparent David Lynch had absolutely no idea where he was going with it. Here's the first 10 minutes.

    The entire pilot is available at YouTube,

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