Sunday, June 27, 2010

TV Meme: Day 27

Day 27 - Best pilot episode

We're in the home stretch of the TV meme.  I've always believed you can't judge a series based solely on the pilot.  A minimum of three episodes are needed to get what the show might be about.  Pilots are created to get a show on the air.  They have to hint at what a 5+-season series might be about without over-exposing a story so that the first season will still have some interest.  Particularly when they want to spin-off a character from another series, these days they use a "cross-over" episode instead of an actual pilot.  This actually gives them a chance to change the actors playing certain characters.  Also, it gives the potential audience a chance to see the new characters.  I tend to watch a lot of pilots (that make it to air obviously) and hope to give the show a few episodes, but sometimes I don't.  Friends is the example I tend to use for why not to judge a show based on it's pilot.  The characters became much more full, less crazy, and more fashion-forward than the pilot suggested.  However, the best pilot I've seen lately that also turned into a show almost exactly as the pilot promised is Glee.  They showed the pilot in the spring, then it went viral online so more and more people could figure out this new show was all about, and then the show aired and the pilot was a perfect intro to the entire series.  The pilot had good music, covers of famous songs, an introduction to who would be the main characters, their crushes, and struggles.  They did a terrific job introducing the series.


Reel Whore said...

Like you I try to give a show 3 or so eps to keep my attention before cutting or keeping.

Glee definitely hooked me in with only the pilot. One of the best new shows I've added to my weekly TV queue.

Jess said...

RW - I agree. That's the sign of a perfect pilot - it hooks you from the first. I really liked the Justified pilot, but didn't get hooked by 3 episodes, so I gave up. But, I'll likely catch up this summer. I really like Olyphant.

Reel Whore said...

Olyphant is great! I used to think him kinda skeavy, but he's one of my go-to actors now. The first 4 eps of Justified are more formulaic, but once they bring his dad into the picture, it goes to a whole new level. I hope you enjoy it.