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November 14 2009

AV Club's Best TV Episodes of the Decade. Includes Angel "Smile Time" and Dollhouse "Epitaph One".

Specifically this is their list of "best episodes from shows not on any of our other lists," which is why there is no Buffy or Firefly in there.
Specifically this is their list of "best episodes from shows not on any of our other lists," which is why there is no Buffy or Firefly in there.

Ah. Ok, then. A list sans Buffy or Firefly eps that claims "Best TV Episodes of the Decade" makes much more sense now given that caveat.

I would agree with both of these, but I don't know what other Angel episodes they haven't included on other lists that would qualify here. "Smile Time" is certainly a great episode and a lot of fun. And, of course, "Epitaph One" is phenomenal.
I like that they include BBT's "The Terminator Decoupling"--definitely a treat to see Summer anywhere. And Alias's "Phase One" was the episode that got me hooked on that show.
Pretty impressive list, however it would have nice to see shows like Smallville The Sapranos and Lost be included on this list.
Well I dont know about Smallville, but Sopranos & Lost were on their best '00 series list which is why they weren't on this list as well. Sidenote: Ive always found Smile Time way overrated. Do not attack. Sure it's a funny episode but I dont think it represents the heights Angel could go. I agree with Epitaph One but another Angel episode would have been a better choice I think. I'd vote "You're Welcome" or "Not Fade Away" . To each his own. Anyone else on AV Club a lot? Love the sarcasm overload.
Read the author's notes at the bottom of the page, specifically number 7.
It's what I was thinking, so I'm glad the author flat-out said it.
A Hole In The World will always be my favorite episode of Angel. So heartbreaking. Smile Time was funny, but for me personally, emotionally heavy episodes are more exciting if they are done right.
The "Where's Firefly?" thing is fast becoming a meme on that site. Earlier in the week, they posted a list of "best one season wonders of the 2000s," and Firefly wasn't on it.

They later clarified that's because it would be appearing on their "best overall shows" list, but by then, they'd already gotten about six billion people saying "WHERE'S FIREFLY?" And just as many people making fun of those people. It was kind of funny.
Yeah, as good an episode as Smile Time is, I doubt it'd receive nearly half as much praise as it does if it weren't for the puppet factor - which means most people seem to be enjoying it for the gimmick, not the writing.
It's a puppet episode, so yah, if there weren't any puppets people probably would have liked it a lot less :b.

Seriously though, interesting list of episodes.

Love seeing a Carnivale shout-out. That's a show I haven't thought about in a long while.

[ edited by rabid on 2009-11-15 00:08 ]
"You're a wee, littl' puppet man!!"

Oh, there should be a tier above classic for these. Smiling ear to ear just thinking about them.
This was such a bizarre and arbitrary list but yeah, among the complaints I did note that Community belonged there too even though it's only aired something like seven episodes so far and isn't canceled. Also glad to see that Pushing Daisies made the list (and Middleman?) despite how neither of those seemed like the particularly strongest episodes of those shows.

As for their choice of Angel episode, I think part of the appeal is that the gimmick and writing went sort of hand in hand. There are plenty of shows that can take a great gimmick or premise and yet in practice have it be complete dreck.

This does confuse me a little though, how is it that some of these shows didn't make it onto their other lists?!
The list says, "Best TV Episodes of the Decade". Not, "Best TV Writing of the Decade". Yes, puppets are made of win (and felt) but Smile Time seems to make their list due to its overall entertainment and quality factor. Personally, I find Epitaph One quite overrated, but I'm probably the only one. If we're talking Dollhouse episodes that really affected me emotionally as well as entertained me, I'd rather go with Man On The Street, Belle Chose or Belonging. I'd even prefer A Spy In The House of Love over Epitaph One. Again though, I stand alone, most likely.
You're not alone kungfubear! It's not too bad, but I'm not a fan of Epitaph One at all. And I'm not the biggest fan of Smile Time either. Do love the Angel puppet though.
Honestly, when it comes to IO9 or A.V. Club, their lists barely register anymore. Since they take every opportunity to work in a Whedon show, they just don't have much value to me, even as a talking point. I'm seriously waiting for a "Best Moments in Crime Television" when they try to work in Angel's Somnambulist.

So it's not shocking to me that they'd pick either episode. Both good, but not even in my top 3 for either show.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-11-15 01:13 ]
While I agree with you Azzers, I still get a kick out of those sites digging the Whedon as much as us Whedonesquers do.

Plus, I'm also not the biggest fan of Epitaph One or Smile Time. Epitaph is certainly very good, but for me it's not better than Man On The Street or Needs or Spy In The House Of Love or Briar Rose or Belonging.

And Smile Time is fun for puppet Angel and that's about it. I never bought the Fred and Wesley are suddenly in love again stuff, the evil puppets who curse felt stale, etc. It's a fun ep, but I feel like it would have had more genuine resonance had Joss wrote it as he had originally planned (instead he wrote another episode I'm not crazy about... A Hole In The World... don't shoot me).
I'm glad WW made it onto the best TV shows list, but oh my God, Two Cathedrals needs to be number one on this list anyway. Rules be damned. This is the finest hour of entertainment I think I've ever witnessed.

...from the 2000s.
The West Wing's place at the lowest place (30) in the best series list is complete shite anyway. I know they say they mainly took away points for the last 3 seasons - rightly so, I couldn't even bear to watch more than a few of the Sorkinless episodes myself - but the show still has the four best seasons of TV ever made. That should get you higher than 30th place.
Couldn't find their "other lists" but no BSG would totally kill their credibility, for me.
Not a fan of Smile Time, it's not anywhere near my list of favorite Angel eps.

But kudos for including Carnivale. I miss that show as much as Firefly and as much as I'm going to miss Dollhouse.

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