READER REPORT:

The best of the best TV

CRAIG SMITHIES
Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014
Breaking Bad
BREAKING BAD: Best television show of all time?

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Awards season is over for another year. The judges chose the best in television based on a single submitted episode that has to have screened within a designated period. Seems kind of restrictive to me.

Why just this year, why not the best television episode of all time? While we're at it, why not reward a show that had great quality for the whole season instead of just one great episode? Why not acknowledge a show that year after year produces the goods?

But, you ask, who should be responsible for scouring through nearly 100 years of television and selecting the very best of it? Why, an IT worker with no writing skills and not a lot on today seems the obvious choice. So let's go.

Best television show of all time: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad was one of those shows that I just didn't get round to watching. The dad off Malcolm in the Middle dealing drugs? I'll pass.

I kept hearing good things so finally I borrowed it and decided to try the first couple of episodes. I watched all five seasons in a bit over three weeks, proving not only what a great show it is but also that I have no social life to speak of.

Season one is a very slow to build up but has the most humour. Season two ups the tempo. Season three is a bit of a lull comparatively, but then you have four and five which are constantly upping the tension until one of the best finales ever.

Bryan Cranston shows an acting master class with possibly the best character arc ever captured.

Aaron Paul goes from the guy you just want to slap to being the guy that is constantly getting slapped but carries the emotional centre of the story.

Great support from the rest of the cast, just brilliant. If you haven't watched it yet, do so.

Best television season of all time: Blackadder, season two.

The season where Ben Elton joined Richard Curtis in the writing team and the snivelling wimp from season one manned up into a cunning, arrogant, selfish and yet lovable rogue.

All six episodes are classic, there are no filler or weaker episodes.

You start with Bells where Blackadder falls for Bob and you have the awesome Putney scene.

Next is Head where he becomes the executioner and has to cover for a few mishaps.

In Potatoe he tries to discover the new world, complete with a legless captain.

Money sees him trying to raise funds via some interesting means.

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Beer introduces the Whiteadders and a party gone astray.

To finish, it's Chains, with a German Hugh Laurie and torture charades. There are too many classic scenes sprinkled throughout to go into here but it is definitely some of the finest comedy ever produced for TV.

Best television episode of all time: Firefly, Out of Gas

The episode synopsis is really simple: When Serenity's life support system fails, Mal orders the crew off the ship, but he stays behind. It doesn't sound like much but this is also the origin episode - the stories of how the crew became a crew told in flashback.

The reason why so many people love this show is the relationships between the main characters. By sticking the origin story mid-season, the viewer is already enamoured with them and so there is extra sweetness, emotion and humour to be found in the story of how they all got together - ship included.

The episode is brilliant on every level, the pacing, the melding of the flashbacks and current events, the acting and even the mood setting music.

If you have never watched this show do not start with this episode. Work through the season, fall in love with the crew then get to the best episode of televisions of all time, and then whinge constantly that Fox killed off the show.

So there you have it: the best show, the best season and the best episode of television ever.

Obviously no-one could possibly disagree with my choices so feel free to use the comments below to say how correct I am... and possibly bemoan the treatment of Firefly.


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