Desert island episodes: What’s your one and only?


As the writers strike proceeds through its second week, I’m faced with the sad prospect of a finite number

of entertaining Thursday nights (or Saturday afternoons, really, since I watch TV on my computer, thus contributing nothing to the writers’ paychecks — so very wrong). No new scripts means no more

Wilhelmina! No more Cristina!

No more Meredith! Wait a minute … no more Meredith? Maybe the strike is just a tiny bit OK. It’s also providing all sorts of photos of stars supporting the cause.

No, I know — great pics and lack of Meredith aside, it’s really not OK, and for reasons obviously far larger than my need for Saturday entertainment. I truly hope

it is resolved soon, and in a way that will allow me to watch online TV without feeling complicit in some larger trend of failing to give credit (and cash) where due.

Until then, I’m inspired by a

recent post

at Give Me My Remote to give TV the desert island treatment. That’s right, for absolute torture pure fun, consider:

You’re off to a desert island for, say, a year. Conveniently, the island has a TV (don’t they all?), but you can only bring along one TV episode to watch during your year — not a series

or a several-hour DVD, just one, lonely episode. What do you choose?

How do I choose is my question? The recent “Favorite Lesbian TV Moments” episode of

She Made Me Watch This! is a good place to start, but I haven’t seen a few of Sarah and Lori’s picks, and while I too adored the hand-holding on The O.C., would I really want to

watch it for a year running? No offense to Mischa Barton and Olivia Wilde, but not so much.

So how to sort through the shows I’ve watched recently — let alone consider those I haven’t seen in ages, either for lack of availability on DVD or for forgetfulness, neglect or generally

lazy (and broke) fandom on my part? I may safely relegate my obsession with Lois and Clark to the (somewhat embarrassed) past. But I can certainly imagine Northern Exposure

keeping me happy for a year, if only I could come up with something specific instead of the general warm, fuzzy feeling I get when I think about The Brick.

A big, zany cast would be good; that means more people to look at and laugh with — or is that at? Arrested Development‘s

Afternoon Delight” would fit the bill, and the show somehow seems

appropriate for one stuck on a desert island. But there may be too much zaniness with nothing to balance it out. I might go mad with only the Bluths for company.

On the entirely normal side of things, there’s my Cosby Show addiction to consider; perhaps one of the

anniversary episodes? But there’s never enough

Clair — and in reality, while it would fulfill a rather different gap than Arrested Development, I don’t think even my love for Phylicia Rashad could sustain me.

Really, it’s impossible to be scientific about this choice — it’s going to have to be instinctual. And where do my instincts land me?

Right in Nikki Wade’s cell. Pathetic and predictable, perhaps, but can you blame me? I’m going with the

“S— Happens” episode of Bad Girls, which may not prove my excellent taste, but come on: It’s back when Betts was cool,

Shell was just the right amount of crazy, Fenner was still fun to despise, Dominic and Zan were cute, and — of course this is the reason it’s my top pick — Helen tells off Simon

and gets the girl. Sort of. Will it be good or bad to spend a year waiting for the follow-up? Either way, instinct it is. I’m sticking with my choice; bad line aside (or volume turned down),

I can watch this for a year.

So, readers and viewers: Are you as agonized (speaking relatively) about this choice as I am? How do you choose, and more importantly, what and why? I look forward to seeing picks — my guess is

I’m going to have a lot of TV-watching to catch up on over winter break. And if the strike continues, I’ll have all sorts of time for it.

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