As faithful PTR readers know, we wrapped up our Best Episodes of the Season last week. But the regular season shows shouldn't have all the fun. This summer's crop of shows provided plenty of first-rate entertainment and excitement, so today, it's their turn to make the list. The rules are the same as the regular season awards, but here's a refresher. All of the shows and their episodes are from summer television only. All episodes aired between June and September 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! And now without further adieu, PTR presents the 5 Best Episodes of the Summer.
5: "9 Lives" - Psych
This brand new show was a welcomed addition to the summer television landscape. It brought humor and it gave us two interesting and fun characters. One of the series' funniest hours came in the form of a cat. Shawn really hit it off with this cat, the only witness in a murder that was disguised to look like a suicide. Much to Gus' dismay, Shawn brought the cat along everywhere. The cat rode in the front seat of the car because he got car sick in the back, prompting Gus to feel that Shawn cared more about the cat. The funniest line of the night came during the early moments of the episode when Shawn first discovered the cat "witness" at the crime scene. The detective insisted that there weren't any witnesses, so Shawn declared that he was going to interview "that cat." Cut to the cat cleaning his nether regions, which prompts Shawn to say, "As soon as he's finished licking himself." Written by Andy Berman and directed by Matt Shakman. BONUS: Download this episode from iTunes.
4: "The Gospel According to Collier" - The 4400
The hopeless romantic in me had to include this Diana-heavy outing to the list. On top of the romance, though, there was also an interesting story about Jordan Collier. Apparently, he couldn't remember who he was or what he was supposed to be doing after returning from the dead. He had been around the world prophesizing about the future and the catastrophes it holds. His return gave Kyle the "Get Out of Jail Free" card that he needed and it sent Isabelle to Dennis Ryland's side. It also set up the ultimate showdown in the finale that has us still wondering where this is all going next season. And of course, this is also the episode where Diana met Ben and they shared their grocery shopping and a hot kiss at Ben's photo exhibit. A future filled with catastrophes and a budding romance -- what else can you ask for in a single episode? Written by Ira Steven Behr and Craig Sweeney and directed by Frederick E.O. Toye.
3: "To Protect & to Serve" - The Closer
This comedy of errors episode had me laughing, feeling disgusted and stressed out all over the course of the hour. The episode opened with Provenza and Flynn deciding whether a dead body in Provenza's garage should keep them from their great seats at the Dodgers game. Provenza convinced Flynn to go to the game and then call the police when they got back. After all, a dead body isn't going anywhere, right? Wrong! When the two finally got back after car troubles caused them to miss the game, they opened the garage and found no body. They tracked down other crime scenes until they finally found the body from the garage. In order to keep them out of hot water, Brenda got involved in the cover-up and she and the team solved the crime before anyone was the wiser. Just watching Brenda get angrier and angrier as she learned what happened is worth the price of admission. A hilarious bathroom scene is the icing on the cake! Written by Adam Belanoff and directed by Elodie Keene.
2: "Spellingg Bee" - Psych
Hands down, one of the funniest episodes of any show ever. I hadn't laughed as hard as I laughed during this hour in a very long time. After the judge at a local spelling bee turns up dead, Shawn and Gus (a self-professed spelling bee nerd) stepped in to help the detectives solve the case. The funniest scene of the episode transpires when Shawn has to fill in as the judge while he and Gus are examining the judge's box. The announcer asked for the word, and Shawn gave him "banana." Gus freaked out because the bee was in a higher level round. The perplexed contestant asked for a definition and then for the word to be used in a sentence. A frustrated Shawn fired back from the booth and the results are pure comic gold. This episode is a "must see" for anyone who needs a good laugh. Written by Steve Franks and directed by Mel Damski. BONUS: Download this episode from iTunes.
And the #1 episode of the summer goes to...
1: "Gone" - The 4400
This special 2-week event showed us how far Diana and Tom would go to get Maia back. The first hour focused on the young 4400's disappearance as her supposed sister came to town. Her "sister" kidnapped her along with some of the other 4400 children and kept them in an empty house. Things seemed very grim until we learned that the woman posing as Maia's sister was really from the future and she needed the kids' help in order to ensure that the catastrophe doesn't take place. Diana and Tom closed in on the house and began to break down the door as we saw Maia and the future on the other side preparing to take Maia back and put her in a different point of time. The NTAC agents broke down the door, but there was no Maia and no future -- just an empty house and no trace of the children. The second hour focused on Diana's realization that she had a daughter (the future had engineered it so the present didn't remember any of the children) and her fight to get her back. Realizing that it was hopeless, she slipped into a deep depression and lost the will to go on. Tom decided to help his partner by arranging a meeting with the future. In exchange for Maia, he agreed to kill Isabelle. The episode showed how important Maia had become to Diana and the lengths Diana was willing to go to save her daughter. Part 1 written by Bruce Miller and directed by Morgan Beggs, and Part 2 written by Darcy Meyers and directed by Scott Peters.
Well, there you have it -- the complete list of PTR's Best Episodes of the Summer! Do you agree? Disagree? Are there episodes that PTR left off the list? Leave me a comment with your thoughts on the list.
*And finally, some of the fall's most anticipated new shows are heading to iTunes. The multimedia download service will welcome episodes of NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and ABC's The Nine this fall. Episodes from both shows will be available the day after their network airdate. Warner Brothers Television producers both series, making the landmark digital distribution agreements a first. The respective networks will own the rights to rebroadcast the series on their web sites and other non-permanent and streaming video outlets while Warner Bros. will control the rights to permanent downloads on services such as iTunes and AOL. Both shows will be available after their network debuts.
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