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December 27th, 2012

Everyone's got a list

Now that Christmas is over, the "lists" have started to pop up. "Worst Books of 2012," "Best Books of 2012," "Best 10 Movies of the Twenty-first Century," etc. I'm suspicious of those. For instance the "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of All Time" has Lord of the Rings at number 1, and Game of Thrones at number 2. And then people start asking why the 3 volume Ring is first, but GoT is addressed per volume. Which beggars a number of questions, for instance why is it that George R.R. Martin is apparently ignorant that LotR was written as a single book, and it's the publisher who balked at publishing it that way so instead insisted its three parts be published separately. And more importantly, totally skips the question of how one of the top two spots did not go to Bradbury, or Asimov, or Verne, or Wells, or Clarke?

So, in a form of mental self-defense, I started making my own list in my head. But because I'm shallow, it's episodic television episodes, and because of what was in front of my eyes at the time it's not "best" or "pivotal"--it's the episodes that have stuck in my head, years after I saw them, with more than the usual clarity. In no particular order, here they are, pretty much without commentary.

Star Trek: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
Supernatural: "Swan Song"
M*A*S*H*: "Old Soldiers"
Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Twilight Zone: "The After Hours"
The Big Valley: "Into the Widow's Web"
Hawaii Five-O: "Once Upon a Time;
Babylon Five: "The Geometry of Shadows"
The West Wing: "Posse Comitatus"
Maude: "Maude's Dilemma"
WKRP in Cincinnati: "In Concert"
The Big Bang Theory: "The Codpiece Topology"