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We are just one week away from learning which episode topped PTR's summer-long countdown of the Best Episodes of the Season! But before we get to the big announcement, we have three more wonderful works of television to reveal. For those who are new to the countdown, here is a refresher of the rules that I employed to determine the 31 episodes that compose this summer-long countdown. All of the shows and their episodes are from NETWORK television only, meaning that I did not take any cable series into consideration (since I only watch a few and felt that it would be unfair). All episodes aired between September 2005 and June 2006. Each episode that made the final list moved me in some way; either by making me laugh out loud, cry my eyes out or just left me with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! This is a summer-long countdown, so I will reveal a few episodes each week all summer until we reach the #1 episode of the past season. Be sure to tune in each Wednesday to see the next set of episodes to make the list. Here’s a closer look at numbers 7-5.
7: "Y2K" - My Name is Earl
If this were a countdown about the funniest episodes of the past season, then this particular outing from NBC's latest hit comedy would have easily topped the list! This episode never fails to make me cry with laughter every time I see it. The premise revolves around the big Y2K "scare" 6 years ago when everyone thought that the world would end at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 2000. Earl and his gang wake up and believe that it has and they're the only people left on Earth. So, they take over the town's discount store by each claiming their own department (Randy gets toys, Joy gets health and beauty, etc.). Things go well for about 2 minutes until the group realizes that they need things from the others' sections. Stealing, fighting and complete bedlam ensue. There's even a causality as Randy's new electronic pet dog takes one to the head and goes down in a fit of Randy's cries. And when you're not laughing at the hilarious antics, you'll have a good laugh about the social commentary. Written by Hilary Winston and directed by Marc Buckland.
6: "White Balance" - Without a Trace
What better way to prove the point that a person's race shouldn't matter when they go missing then to not reveal which of the two missing teens (one white, one black) was found dead. This emotionally charged episode showed the true and frustrating difference that the media displays when people go missing. The white teen was covered regularly while the black teen's mother couldn't get her son's picture on the news. Two mothers going through the same pain, and yet, one gets more attention, giving her a better chance of seeing her child alive again. The most powerful moment in the episode came at the end when Jack walked up to both mothers to give them the bad news that one of their children is dead, and the beautiful "Cry" by James Blunt played in the background. The episode ended just as Jack was about to tell the women whom they had found. Viola Davis, who played the mother of the missing black teen, deserved a standing ovation for her remarkable performance. Written by Greg Walker and directed by Jeff Thomas.
5: "My Way Home" - Scrubs
Leave it to Scrubs to celebrate its 100th episode in style with an homage to The Wizard of Oz. In addition to the show's usual dose of comedy and heart, this episode infused so much cleverness that I was sure Veronica Mars wrote it. JD was trying to get home, Turk was looking for a heart for his transplant patient, Carla needed courage to be a parent, Eliot worried that she didn't have the brains for a Q&A session and Janitor painted a new color-coded line system for the hospital, which of course, leads to the famous "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" sequence. There was also a Toto reference right off the top that had me marveling in the genius that is the Scrubs writing staff. While JD took a bath, he listened to his iPod and that iPod was playing Toto's "Africa." There truly is no place like Scrubs! Written by Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and directed by series star Zach Braff. BONUS: Download this episode from iTunes HERE.
So, there's a closer look at #7-5. What did you think about them? Do you agree? Disagree? Drop me a comment with your thoughts. If you missed #31-8 or just want to revisit them, click HERE. Next week, PTR will reveal its #1 episode of the season! But first, we'll take a look at a family that lost too many members, taking it on the lam, a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat season finale and of course, the #1 episode of the season. Be sure to tune in next Wednesday when all will be revealed!
New Fox Legal Drama Does the Network 'Justice'
Sure, it's slick, fast-paced and flashy like its CSI siblings, but what else did you expect from crime drama powerhouse Jerry Bruckheimer? His latest crime show focuses on the cases after the forensics team has wrapped its investigation. This one dissects the legal process the way the CSIs dissect the forensic process, but without the technical babble. Fox's Justice (premieres tonight at 9 p.m.) is an all-access pass to the inner workings of the defense's legal team during a criminal trial, and it does to the courtroom what CSI did for forensics. Expect to become very familiar with jury consultants, shadow juries, mock trials and expert witnesses. I was riveted and fascinated as I watched all of the planning, rehearsing, image control, etc. that goes into mounting a good defense. Victor Garber stars as high-powered attorney Ron Trott who leads a team of well-known lawyers at his ritzy L.A. firm. Trott is cocky, ruthless and willing to do anything to win, which is why, as one of the other lawyers explains in the pilot, he doesn't try the cases. Juries don't like him, and chances are you won't either unless you're on the other side of the law. Then, he's your best friend. This show excels at making the defendant seem both guilty and not guilty along the way, allowing you to be surprised at the end. The most exciting part of this new drama is the hook. After the verdict is read, the series goes back and shows the audience what really happened. I found myself getting a little emotional during the pilot's scene. Did the jury make the right decision? Which way would you have voted and would your vote have been the right one? Justice allows you to find out and it keeps you hooked during the process.
THE 411PREMISE: Behind-the-scenes look at the legal process. CSI: Courtroom
STARRING: Victor Garber, Kerr Smith, Eamonn Walker and Rebecca Mader
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Jonathan Shapiro and David McNally
EXTRA BONUS: A clever hook that allows the audience to see what really happened
BOTTOM LINE: I'm not one for legal dramas, but it's one of the best of the genre. Worth adding to your schedule if you've always wondered what happens after CSI ends each week.
PREMIERES: Wednesday, August 30th (TONIGHT) at 9 p.m. (EST) on Fox. For more information, visit Fox.com.
In addition to Fox's Justice premiere, the network is also rolling out the second season of its forensic hit Bones (8 p.m.). I saw this one already, and it's excellent! I've only caught a few episodes here and there of this great show, but tonight's premiere was my favorite of them all. It's jam-packed with mystery, chemistry and emotion. This is a 4-star event, so clear your schedules at 8 p.m. and tune into Bones as the team investigates a deadly train accident and Bones gets some more news about her mother's death.
*And finally, actor Craig Bierko is joining the cast of ABC's Boston Legal. He'll play a defense attorney whose first case sets up a multi-episode story arc that involves guest star Katey Sagal. The case, a murdered judge, also brings in guest stars Tyler Labine (Invasion) and Anthony Heald (Boston Public). Look for Bierko to begin his tenure with Legal during the second episode of the season. Boston Legal premieres September 19th on ABC.
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That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Flashback Edition featuring a classic episode of Cold Case. Plus, all the latest television news!
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