Monday, March 03, 2014

The Best Pilot for a TV series: SIX FEET UNDER



Which I probably have posted about before. But I just rewatched the pilot for SIX FEET UNDER and was blown away by it once again. It had such a clear sense of where the show wanted to go. It introduced all the themes we would return to over the years. It was artful, well-acted, and not afraid to show emotion. It used location shots well. It established its characters, giving them immediate depth. 

What pilot did a great job for you?

14 comments:

George said...

I saw the pilot to THE BIG BANG THEORY and knew it would be a hit.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yep. They had those characters down from Day One. And were smart enough to add the women a few years later. Now they need a new thread. For the first time, I am getting bored with it.

Margot Kinberg said...

It's not easy for a pilot to get it really right, is it? I also actually liked the pilot for Taggart very much.

John said...

Northern Exposure
Twin Peaks
Moonlighting

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good ones, all.
In some cases, the pilot is much stronger than what follows.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

My votes go to the pilots for The Rockford Files and Miami Vice.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I would love to watch those two again, Jeff. MIAMI VICE really shook things up. And some of it might be dated now, but love to see it. And RF, well, one of my very favorite shows but I don't remember the pilot.

RT said...

I guess this stretches the definition of "pilot" -- but it seems to me that the first Inspector Morse mystery set the stage for a couple of years of perfect television programming. While "Lewis" and "Endeavor" are also winners, it is hard to beat Morse's debut and all that followed.

Charles Gramlich said...

I heard good things about it but never was able to catch it.

Kelly Robinson said...

The final episode of SIX FEET UNDER was what really got to me. Possibly the best show finale I've ever seen.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes!

Brian Lindenmuth said...

Rockford Files is on Netflix.

I really like the pilot (and the whole series) for Brotherhood. Though I guess it isn't really a pilot since the entire first season was going to air no matter what.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Loved brotherhood and thanks!

Todd Mason said...

Some brilliant series have excellent pilots (HOMICIDE, ONCE AND AGAIN); some have so-so pilots (ST. ELSEWHERE, KIDNAPPED)...it's usually a pretty poor series that can't improve upon its pilot, but a series such as KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER was pretty much doomed from the start to not be able to live up to THE NIGHT STALKER the telefilm, or even THE NIGHT STRANGLER, its sequel. Though M*A*S*H did a fine job of standing up to the memory of its source film, in its first several seasons. But for no bones about it pilots, I'll give a pat on their collective backs to two recent excellent series which were strangled in their cribs, JOURNEYMAN and THE MIDDLEMAN. And one a bit older, from my youth, WKRP IN CINCINNATI...and its heir, FRANK'S PLACE.