September 5, 2008 Jill

I have to jump in on the top ten pilot lists blogging around here, here, here and probably a few other places.

The lists tend to be heavy on classics: ER and Saturday Night Live, for example. Okay, sure.  I don’t remember, though.  But  30Rock?!  Are you insane?  Currently a great show, but the pilot was a mess and I didn’t bother to tune back in till the season was almost over.

I’m confining most my list to the last few of seasons, but I’m allowing a few older ones to sneak in because I feel like it.  And because I’m lazy and it’s Friday afternoon, I’m not ordering the list.  Plus, I can’t think of ten that are list worthy.  So, in no particular order, my favourite pilots:

Skins: fresh and unexpected with a killer opening sequence.

The Riches: a new twist with every act.

Friday Night Lights: it takes only 44 minutes to convert you from someone who would never in a million years watch a show about high school football in Texas to a devoted fan.

Jeckyll: this one just blew me away with it’s power and originality.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: a sex romp with great story.

The Wire: a work of staggering genius that set a dense, rich plot in motion.

Veronica Mars: this is the way to set a bunch of continuing story lines in motion that can ultimately be paid off (Lost, take note).
Shameless: shockingly wonderful, television as I’d never seen it before

In the coming-soon-and-you’re-going-to-like-it category:  Leverage.

In the never-ordered-but-you-would-have-loved-them category: Sabbatical and Pretty Handsome.

Comments (5)

  1. Have to agree with you on Leverage. One of the most fun, engaging pilots I saw ‘pre-released’ this summer.

    I loved BBC’s Spooks pilot (original series). They set up the characters and the world in a way I hadn’t really seen before.

    Dexter’s pilot got me to feel for a serial killer.

    The Shield. I was NOT expecting them to kill a police officer and neither were they.

  2. Another big vote ahead for Leverage. Stylish, fun, and a star-making turn for FNL standout Aldis Hodge. I didn’t know Voodoo Tatum was *that* good.

  3. m

    Speaking of Leverage…in the never-ordered category, have you seen Global Frequency…it still hurts thinking about the denial on that one.

  4. Veronica

    I would agree with Jason on The Shield, and with Jill on 30 Rock. Brilliant show, lousy first few episodes. The reverse of that would be Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Such a shame.

  5. admin

    I don’t know if I ever saw the Spooks pilot, but The Shield pilot had such a big build up before I ever saw it that it didn’t make much of an impact on me. It couldn’t live up to the advance promo.
    I haven’t seen Global Frequency either.
    As to the Dexter pilot, it WAS amazing, but I’m not sure it feel into the enjoyable category. It creeped me out.
    And yes, I agree on the Studio 60 front. Thought that one would be amazing, but alas the series didn’t live up.

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