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Avril Brown Presents:


We remember great television.

Truly awesome TV manages to take you to impossible highs and lows in fifty minutes or less; it has you yelling at your set in disbelief and keeps you guessing until the very end. A really amazing episode of television has you on the phone with another groupie mere seconds after the preview for next week fades from the screen, animatedly discussing what you just watched.

The kind of television which was on a week and a half ago. I know I’ve already admitted to being a Joss Whedon whore, but last Friday’s episode of ‘Dollhouse’ has forced me to really show off my tramp stamp. Whedon’s latest foray into the wild and wacky world of television had a slightly stilted beginning with a less-than jaw dropping introductory episode, but the episode which aired on Friday March 20th quite frankly blew my fucking mind.

This episode was everything Joss. It was clever, heart-breaking, gripping and unexpected, and yes, it had me gushing on the phone with one of my college gals pals for a good twenty minutes. I was laughing out loud, cheering when Echo was in full bad-ass mode, moaning in fear that Joss was going to pull a Joss and kill off half a couple, and screaming incredulously when the episode took a turn I didn’t see coming. My neighbors must think I’m completely barmy.

Television is all well and great; in fact I used to be a bit of an addict, but my impatient soul typically desires the full story in one sitting, from the somewhat tragic beginning to the blissfully happy ending. Yet an excellent episode of television presents a piece of a larger story while making me feel like a) it was a well-rounded complete piece of a story and b) content I’ve only received a piece, ‘cause I want to drag this out as long as possible. When I get into a new series, everything else in life takes a back burner. I finished the entire ‘Twilight’ series in less than a week, spending hours poring over those cheese-tastically entertaining pages. Watching a television show as it airs forces me to pace myself, and I appreciate that small mercy.

So let us review Avril’s personal list of completely cool and fucking fabulous episode’s of television (in no particular order):

1) Dollhouse: Season One, ‘Man on the Street.’ As stated above, this episode was quintessential Joss. Twists and turns, contemplative dialogue, clever humor, hot guys kicking ass, hot gals kicking ass, this episode had a bit of everything without being too overwhelming. By far the best episode thus far in the season, and I have high hopes Mr. Whedon is just getting started.

2) Veronica Mars: Season One, ‘Meet John Smith.’ There are so many episodes to choose from this series incredible first season, it’s hard to pick just one. Duncan Kane, Veronica’s ex-boyfriend, is by no means my most beloved character on the show, yet this Duncan-centric episode is certainly one of my favorites. While the spunky blond detective tries to track down a classmate’s father with unexpected results, Duncan decides to stop taking his anti-depressant pills and begins feeling the sides effects of going cold turkey while truly coming alive for the first time since his sister Lily was murdered. His liberation is short-lived, however, as life proves to be too much for him to handle. He dreams of Lily who attempts to give him a proverbial smack in the face and open his eyes to the lies surrounding her supposedly solved murder, but he just can’t take it, and my heart breaks a little when he makes the choice to swallow that tiny white pill, returning him to his zombie-like state. The cinematography and color schemes used in this episode and throughout the season add so much to the overall mood in each scene and can literally send chills down my spine. ‘An Echolls Family Christmas’ also tops my list for its gratuitous amount of Logan face time (yummy), a classic ‘catch the thief’ story line, Veronica as the cutest damn card shark EVER and a disturbing-as-hell ending.

3) Dexter: Season One, ‘Shrink Wrap.’ I was tempted to go with the first episode, but let’s face it, sex sells. Dexter’s ‘playmate’ (the serial killer he stalks and dismembers) in this episode is a therapist who, by using a combination of pills and twisted psychology, convinces his high-powered female patients to kills themselves. Not necessarily my favorite killer of the season, regardless he and Dexter have several excellent conversations before Miami’s favorite homicidal lab rat cuts his fellow murderer up into little pieces. This is after the super-hot scene of Dexter breaking his streak of celibacy by banging his smokingly sexy girlfriend (Julie Benz) against the wall, and before the scene of his sister, played by Jennifer Carpenter, dancing around her room in adorable little boy-cut panties, singing loudly along with Eric Carmen. The episode ends with a revelation which solves part of a mystery while creating a new one, leaving you in a state of confused excitement.

4) Doctor Who: New Season One, ‘Rose.’ I found a piece of flair on Facebook which says ‘My life hasn’t been the same since my friend showed me Doctor Who,’ and it’s pretty damn accurate in this case. My good friend Luis and I share a love of many things nerdy, and one of those things is the New Who. Simultaneously introducing me to online television, he sent me a link to the first episode of this revamped classic series and I was one hundred percent hooked. I mean, c’mon, the deliciously adorable Christopher Eccleston running around London blowing up living mannequins before taking off in his bigger-on-the-inside blue box with a feisty new friend to travel throughout time and space? Of course I became obsessed. The chemistry between the Doctor and Rose is instant and undeniable (I still wish she’d grab those ears of his snog his face off), and the Doctor’s fantastic grin and clever quips make my belly all tingly. David Tennant is the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in subsequent seasons and he is truly outstanding, but my heart belongs to the dynamic duo of the ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, mainly because of this incredible first episode.

Naturally there are many other shows and episodes I could blather on about (including several other Whedon creations, big surprise), because that is what great television does. It makes you want to grab the nearest person and shake them until a coherent conversation comes tumbling out. It draws you into that fictional world and makes it difficult to crawl back out. It takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, makes you think, laugh, cry, the whole nine yards, and you revel in it. So take the time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a good bit of telly, because life’s too short not to soak up a bit of fictional fun. 

Avril Brown

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