Friday, July 02, 2010

Ready, Set, COUNTDOWN!

This season, we made awesome new friends, but sadly, we also said goodbye to some old ones.  It was an uneven season that gave us a ho-hum first half and a kickass second.  There were ups and downs and laughs and tears and overall, this recently concluded season was strong.  But the '09-'10 season is wrapped and in the books, so this means PTR's popular Best Episodes of the Season summer-long countdown is just beginning. PTR has come up with another great list. Before we get to that, though, we have to go over the rules for the countdown. We ended up with 28 incredible episodes that demonstrate the diversity and quality of the current television state. The shows and their episodes are from both NETWORK and CABLE television. All episodes aired between June 2009 and June 2010. Each episode that made the final list moved us in some way; either by making us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out or just left us with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! Since this is a summer-long countdown to the number 1 episode, PTR will reveal a few each week all summer. So, be sure to tune in every Friday to find out which episodes are on the countdown! Today, we're going to take a look at numbers 28-25.

28: "The Sexless Innkeeper" - How I Met Your Mother
What happens when Barney becomes a poet? This funny outing told us.  Ted thought chicks were digging his new professor attire. He seemed to be the right when a cute girl asked him to take her upstairs to his apartment. The next morning, we learned that nothing happened because she fell asleep on the couch. Barney jumped in to explain that Ted had become a "sexless innkeeper." He began to recite a poem that took place in the time of Oliver Twist (even though it was supposed to be 2008), making it even funnier. Apparently, Ted was the victim of being taken advantage of by girls who live outside the city and need a place to crash after partying. In the end, Ted got the last laugh as he wrote the final chapter by finding a girl who was interested in sleeping with him and not just at his place. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily were on an endless quest to find another couple to hang out with, play charades with and take a trip with to Vermont during maple syrup season. They came on too strong with Robin and Barney and ruined the Vermont trip with gouda, a broken egg timer and Marshall's photo/musical montage tribute to the night. But then things took a different turn when Marshall and Lily found a new couple who was just as into them as they were them. Suddenly, Robin and Barney got incredibly jealous, then depressed, and finally desperate. In a hilarious ending bit, the duo wooed Marshall and Lily back with a series of egg timers and a rain-soaked reunion that culminated in a group hug. HI-LAR-IOUS!!!  Written by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and directed by Pamela Fryman.

27: "Hairography" - Glee
Will became obsessed with "hairography" after seeing another school's alluring use of the skill (the act of swinging one's long, flowing locks to make it appear as if you have actual singing and dancing talent),  and he decided that his glee club needed to master the trick.  This did not go over well with Rachel, and after seeing them perform it, I think we can all agree she was right. But this episode's best moment was also its most moving.  The performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" from the club's other competitor, a local high school for the deaf, was amazing, awesome, and inspiring!  And then the glee kids joined them.  Their vocals beautifully blended with the lead singer's moving spoken lyrics.  Incredible!  One of this season's biggest surprises was the beautiful character development of Quinn Fabrey.  This episode's emotional journey through the hardest decision she had to make was painted with ups and downs.  Should she or shouldn't she keep her baby?  And then there was the heart-wrenching scenes between Rachel and Kurt.  The ending scene with them watching as Quinn and Finn walked past them seeming in love as ever and Rachel and Kurt just looking at each other from across the crowd with the same sad, knowing look was so good.  One of many excellent moments from this outing.  Written by Ian Brennan and directed by Bill D'Elia.

26: "Busted Parts & Breakdowns" - Ice Road Truckers
Murphy's Law was in play on this episode of Ice Road Truckers. Lisa was heading south to Fairbanks when she and her passenger encountered a breakdown. She began to smell diesel fuel inside her cab and she stopped and discovered that her truck was leaking.  Unfortunately, no one was within radio contact and they were stranded on the side of the road with no heat and a cab that was getting colder and colder by the second. After an hour, another truck crossed their path and stopped to help.  She got back on the road and traveled the remainder of the 500 miles with strong diesel fumes in her cab leaving both her and her passenger with headaches and unsettled stomachs. Meanwhile, Alex was set to leave Deadhorse for Fairbanks with an out-of-service truck on his trailer when his truck suddenly got a flat tire.  Once on his way for the second time, he realized that the broken-down truck he was hauling was leaking toxic anti-freeze.  Luckily, the third time was the charm and he was finally southbound on the haul road.  Dalton Ace Jack was hauling a crucial load of diesel fuel to Prudhoe. The eruption of Mt. Redoubt meant that the only supply line to the oil fields was the Dalton, so the generators needed to provide power to the buildings and rigs were running desperately low on fuel.  Elsewhere, Hugh encountered problems before he even picked up his load in Fairbanks. His exhaust system was on the fritz, so he was stranded while he waited for the mechanics to fix it.  Later, he descended Atigun Pass and his "J brake" refused to engage and downshifting was only slowing him down a bit. He was barreling down the hill when his J brake finally engaged and slowed down his rig. Somehow, no matter how many episodes I see of this show, it still manages to put me on the edge of my seat.  This episode was no exception.

25: "Thrill Seekers & Hell Raisers" - Psych
This episode was so jam-packed with goodness, I'm not quite sure where to begin. Perhaps, the hilarious introduction scene between Shawn and Gus's secret girlfriend Ruby.  But the show was only warming up.  Shawn decided to crash Ruby's afternoon with her friends so he could "see her in her element," and therefore, vet her properly. Except, he thought he was crashing a picnic. Not so much. Turns out, Shawn and Gus were about to go white water rafting. But never fear because Shawn is a pro -- he has ridden "It's a Small World" several times and apparently, the experiences are comparable. He even promised Gus that he'd barely get wet. So, they were off and everything was going surprisingly well. The boys were at ease getting to know Ruby and her friends better. They were "livin' on the edge" without freaking out. It was a good trip. Until suddenly, Shawn started to hear something up ahead -- something loud and scary. He thought it was a plane cleared for take off.  Then, he saw it: a rolling rapid of rushing water and crushing rocks.  Both he and Gus started to freak out while everyone else cheered.  The rest of the outing centered around a missing member of Ruby's group.  Once the boys solved the crime, Gus got a chance to be a hero in front of his girl.  He jumped on the paraglider with the murderer as he tried to flee.  Gus proceeded to knock the guy out (by squeezing him for dear life, but whatever, I'm going to let him have that one) and then land the paraglider safely.  All in a day's work.  Now if he could only get Shawn to stay out of his relationships...  Written by Saladin K. Patterson and Kell Cahoon and directed by Mel Damski.

So, there's a look at the first set of episodes on the countdown. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to tune in next Friday for #24-22 on the list.


John said...

Thrill Seekers and Hell Raisers was a good Psych Episode.

And the show returns in just a couple weeks.

Nat said...

The Sexless Innkeeper is such a great episode. The title alone is a nice diversion from the main story in Barney/Robin, Lily/Marshall. It's a really nice couples based episode and one of the best of the season.

Plus we get so many of Marshall's awesome songs!