I was inspired to start this thread by the thread on Dollhouse. A lot of people are making pretty strong judgments about this show based on a single ep. It seems to me that most series take some time to get started. Often, when I like a show, if I look back I’m surprised at how bad the pilot was. If nothing else, you don’t know the characters or plot. It is easier to be more forgiving upon rewatching a pilot once you know more about them.
So which shows had pilots that just blew you away - that you knew you wuld love from the first viewing?
I can’t really remember any. Well, my son and I really enjoyed the first ep of Firefly we saw. And I didn’t see the premiere of Buffy, but I was blown away by the first ep I saw (where they were caring for the eggs.) But most often my reaction seems to be “Eh, that wasn’t too bad. It is worth another viewing next week.”
The West Wing had an extraordinarily strong first show, which is surprising given that they have to introduce the all the characters, establish relationships between them and set the stage for seasons to come.
I’ll second the Sopranos. All in the Family started strong.
*WKRP *was funny from the first.
*Taxi *had a great first episode. Star Trek started very strong. Barney Miller Northern Exposure might have been the best. Pushing Daisies
**Started strong but dropped off quick to a still very good level. **
*Cheers * My Name is Earl
I thought Buffy hit the ground running from the very first ep. Of course, two things color this perception: We had just finished watching Babylon 5, which had a very weak first season, and my friend made me watch the very painful Buffy movie before we started the series. Coming from those two experiences, a competent first episode was a joyful and welcome sight.
Good point Hill Street Blues and **NYPD Blue ** both had great strong starts.
I agree on Twin Peaks too but with all the comparisons between it and **Northern Exposure **at the time I thought Northern Exposurecompletely blew it away so I did not even include it in my second category.
Watching the first season of Malcolm in the Middle on DVD reminded me how strong and satisfying that first season, and the pilot were, and how many of the great moments I remember were in that first season.
I so totallly loved “In Plain Sight” from the beginning. Pure fun, plus well-developed characters and good acting. I like it so much that I still go to the USA Network homepage and watch episodes I have already seen, which is pretty unusual for me.
Now I got to wait until April to see the new season. I’m not a patient person so this sucks.
I’ll second Battlestar Galactica. I put off watching it for a long time, despite everyone raving about how great it was, because I just couldn’t get past the memory of the horribly cheesy original series. Why would anyone want to remake that? How good could it possibly be?
Then, finally, I got the mini-series/pilot on Netfix, and within the first 15 minutes I was a drooling BSG fanboy. Still one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen.