The Whatever: Television Treasures

It’s Monday, and you know what that means.

But this time.

There’s a little twist.

What are your five favorite television shows of all time, and then what’s your favorite episode of each show?

Here’s my list:

1. Seinfeld

The one where Jerry convinces George that if every instinct he has is wrong, then the opposite has to be right. So George becomes Opposite George and spectacular Seinfeldian hilarity ensues … because it WORKS.

2. The Office

There’s no way I can possibly choose, but according to play counts, my iPod tells me it’s “Business School,” and I won’t argue with that. No, wait! “The Dundies.” How could I forget? Because it’s somehow not on my iPod yet. But I really love “Business School.” And all the others. Too difficult.

3. Arrested Development

“Good Grief.” Snoopy music, chicken wings, a botched illusion, pop-pop in the attic, COME ON!

4. The X-Files

“Millennium.” Since the rocket scientists at the Fox Network killed Millennium before it could be resolved, Chris Carter (who created both shows) used this episode of The X-Files to wrap it up, and the result is one of the show’s most thrilling hours. Mulder and Scully enlist the help of Frank Black (genre titan Lance Henriksen) to solve a nasty series of murders seemingly tied into a doomsday theory, and the zombie showdown is the stuff nightmares are made of. But it all leads up to Mulder and Scully standing in a hospital hallway watching the ball drop on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. She’s watching the show. He’s watching her lips. And right as it strikes midnight, she looks up and he leans in and it’s this long, sweet kiss, and he says, “The world didn’t end,” and she smiles a typically restrained Scully smile and says, “No, it it didn’t,” and they walk away with his arm around her waist. Their first real kiss on the show, and worth the seven-year wait. Amazing. Runner-up: “Je Souhaite,” the hilarious genie episode that ends with Mulder and Scully watching Caddyshack in his apartment.

5. Highlander

“Not to Be.” Part two of the two-part series finale (of which the first part was called “To Be”), in which Duncan MacLeod gets an It’s a Wonderful Life-style tour of what the world would have been without him from his guardian angel, Roger Daltrey (who’d had a recurring role on the show as one of MacLeod’s fallen comrades). From the heartbreak of losing Tessa all over again (but also learning the important lesson of letting go of the past) to the triumph of that glorious final sword fight and Quickening (with “Amazing Grace” playing in the background) to the heart-stopping montage that leads us to a last round of goodbyes from one of THE best casts ever assembled for a television series, it’s one of the classiest, most emotional and most entirely appropriate series finales I’ve ever seen. And that final shot of MacLeod disappearing into the fog, so that we know he’s always out there watching over us, always and forever Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander? How sweet the sound, indeed.

Your turn.

And please feel free to participate in previous installments here.