Hooking people on your favorite series.

Books or TV. When you are trying to get a friend to join you in your obsession, what book/episode do you give them?

My examples: For Buffy, I usually use Once More, With Feeling or Angel. I can’t use the best episode (The Body) because it would give them the entirely wrong impression. I got my wife hooked on Babylon 5 by showing her Passing Through Gethsemane. My attempts to hook people on Terry Pratchett usually involve either Good Omens or Guards! Guards!

The pilot. They’re usually hooked by the time they reach the dinosaurs and the “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” line.

Why, yes, since you ask, I DID meet Alan Tudyk this weekend, thankyouverymuch.

Mmmmm…one taste of Firefly and that’s all it took.

Why oh why was this show cancelled? Never before have we burned so lustily through a set of DVDs.

I’m very fond of Jonathan Kellerman’s mystery thrillers about psychologist Alex Delaware. When I recommend a book in this series, I usually suggest that a newbie start by reading Silent Partner. I’m not sure why. Somehow this just seems to be a good, representative sample. I would expect that a person who doesn’t like Silent Partner probably would not enjoy the other Alex Delaware novels.

So far, I’ve peddled Alex Delaware to four friends. Three loved him and wanted to read more, and one said “meh” and never finished reading Silent Partner.

For Family Guy, it’s the episode “I Never Met The Dead Man”, which involves Peter crashing the car into a Satellite Dish and taking TV off the air, while Stewie decides to build a Weather Control Device to destroy Broccoli. It’s not too outlandishly weird, but perfectly encapsulates everything that is right with the show.

Futurama’s “Episode Two: The Series Has Landed” is also good for introducing people to the series… with Blackjack, and Hookers! And forget the Park! :smiley:

Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law is an odd show, but I’ve had the most luck introducing people to it via “Shaggy And Scooby Get Busted”, in which Shaggy and Scooby get done for possession of marijuana.

Otherwise, I just assume my tastes in TV shows are so unlike anyone else’s that they won’t be interested in anything I like…

I recently wheedled an online acquaintance into trying the new Doctor Who series. I suggested that he start, not at the beginning, but with the episode called Dalek. Haven’t heard back from him, so I don’t know whether he liked it or not. If not, I probably won’t make any more recommendations, since it will be apparent that my taste and his are vastly different.

I’ve gotten no fewer than five people obsessed with Lost by sitting them down and showing them the Pilot…all of them insisted on watching the rest of Season 1 at the rate of 2-4 hours per day until we were through all the Season 1 DVDs. I’ve seen those episodes a lot.

The only person who didn’t fall for it was my stepdad. During the pilot he asked “What is the monster?” When I told him you don’t find out for a while, he seemed to lose all interest. Whatever! :stuck_out_tongue:

For Nabokov (and if my victim is a reader), I usually proffer the beginning bit of Bend Sinister, where the narrator describes the view outside his window.

For GG Marquez, I give them a couple of Pablo Neruda poems, or that oft-quoted bit of the wise Catalonian’s advice from One Hundred Years of Solitude.

For Firefly, I tell them it’s a cowboy western in space in a time when crime and wit run rampant, when all chicks (I mean, come on. Summer Glau+Morena Baccarin+Jewel Staite+YoSafBridge=river of drool) are hot, and when the most popular pastime in the 'verse is the brutal mangling and vomiting of strange Chinese expressions.

Heh. I never had a chance to get into it when it was on, because I worked that day of the week. When my boyfriend got an iPod, he downloaded all of season one episodes, and I watched all of them (30?) in two days. Needless to say, when I slept all I dreamt about was Lost. It was weird.