Even the best TV shows don’t always start out the right way. There’s no shame in that. But there are also series that nail it from the very first moment. Those episodes are rare and worthy of celebration.
Bright Side was curious to find out what Redditors’ opinions are on the best pilot episodes ever produced that deserve to be praised for surpassing all expectations.
1. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
The pilot episode of The Sopranos offers an immediate psychological snapshot of Tony Soprano. At the same time, it depicts the constant tension between the characters and establishes the dynamics between them. These are just a few of the reasons Redditors think of this episode of The Sopranos as one of the greatest pieces of television.
The great thing about The Sopranos is that it’s considered a drama, but the quality of the comedy is top notch. That show set the tone for great dramas being able to make you laugh as much as they can make you cry your eyes out.
2. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Breaking Bad starts off strong, with an avalanche of crazy events. Redditors were impressed with its intensity and boldness, since it had the potential to scare off viewers who maybe weren’t ready for all those insane things that happened.
I forgot just how much craziness happens in the pilot alone, until I watched it again. I always remembered it as being spread out across a couple episodes but no, it’s all packed into the first hour.
3. Lost (2004-2010)
Right from the start, Lost made Redditors ask themselves loads of questions, but never prepared them for all the twists and turns of the show. For the sake of the pun, we could say it made them feel lost in a maze they never wanted to get out of.
It was so good it kept me watching the show for years, even after I lost interest, since I thought maybe one of the newer episodes could be as good as the pilot.
4. Westworld (2016 — )
When it comes to the pilot of Westworld, Redditors think it has the “perfect combination of intrigue and mystery” that leaves a lot of unanswered questions to make sure you’re going to keep watching.
The heavy ideas kept coming fast, one after the next and I thought, “Whoa, slow down and pace yourselves, guys!” but I was eating it all up throughout the first episode.
5. Futurama (1999-2013)
Futurama debuted in a sharp, audacious style, that made it an instant classic. What Redditors appreciate about it is that it “nailed the type of humor they wanted right from the start” and they consider it “one of the best animated series ever.”
That show had me hooked from the start and 20 years later, it’s still an amazing pilot episode and series as a whole. It’s also pretty amazing that they set up something in the pilot that would be a major plot point many seasons later.
6. The Walking Dead (2010 — )
The Walking Dead’s pilot set a standard of quality that the show never matched again, according to many Redditors. It was “spectacular,” and viewers were blown away by it, still considering it “an all-time great pilot.”
I’ve often said that if this episode was a bit longer, it could be a stand-alone movie. I’ve watched it many, many times.
7. Fargo (2014 — )
Fargo’s first episode is considered very fast-paced and shocking, the kind of pilot that gets you “hooked right in the right way.” The episode set up the lead characters’ quirky and fiery dynamic and impressed Redditors with its witty dialogue.
The ending of the pilot was shocking and really set the tone for the rest of the amazing first series.
8. Mr. Robot (2015 — )
It’s safe to say that Mr. Robot’s pilot is at the top of Redditors all-time favorite first episodes. Being characterized as “amazing,” “ambitious,” and “a breath of fresh air,” it blew them away and kept them rooting for Elliot and wanting more.
Coming from an IT field and having a TV show get hacking so right from the first episode was a breath of fresh air. After years of the cheesy graphical interface with a skull & crossbones to represent hacking in movies and on TV, seeing a show consistently use realistic command line interfaces, IP addresses, software, peripheral devices, social engineering, etc… is amazing.
9. The Good Place (2016 — )
Redditors describe the pilot of The Good Place as a mixture of multiple cult movies and TV shows, but with a clever and playful twist offered by Michael Schur, its creator. Viewers find it refreshing and intriguing, with very well-written dialogues and characters.
I was so hooked and binged the first season in like 2 days when I started watching it. I just love the show in general though. I feel like almost all of their jokes land and the humor is just so perfectly crafted and meshes well with the characters and situations they’ve created.
10. Arrested Development (2003 — )
When it comes to the pilot episode of Arrested Development, what Redditors appreciate the most is how quickly it introduced every facet of the characters. In just a few chaotic minutes, one of the most hilarious and dysfunctional TV families ever is introduced to the audience.
Every character was perfect right out of the gate. The rest of the show was just finding new ridiculous situations to put them in.
11. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)
The pilot of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has everything. From hilarious musical numbers to loads of dramatic, outrageous, and relatable moments and characters, it has succeeded in drawing many Redditors’ love and attention. And it’s not a vain promise, since they feel like the show is deserving of these feelings until the end.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had a perfect pilot. “West Covina” was great, and “Sexy Getting Ready Song” was fantastic. Also, Paula, being the rom-com trope of “bitter female coworker” for the majority of the episode only to subvert that trope with the ending reprise.
12. Supernatural (2005 — )
The first episode of Supernatural had everything Redditors could ask for, plus a couple of things none of them expected. Many of them agree that the pilot is “so well-written and cleverly put together” that it gets you “instantly hooked.”
I think Supernatural has one of the best, if not the best pilot episode I’ve ever seen! I remember when I first watched it I was so pumped. At the end, when Sam said “we’ve got work to do” I was so excited to see what was next. Everything about the pilot was perfect, like that’s how you sell a pilot episode!
13. Frasier (1993-2004)
The first episode of Frasier perfectly showcased the characters and starts the witty conversation that the show is so loved for. The writing of this pilot is described by Redditors as “phenomenal” and “expertly crafted.”
Not only did it set up every recurring character in 20 minutes, but we immediately understood the motivations of their relationship, and their arcs. The characters in the pilot episode created a solid foundation, and that foundation dictated everything that followed.
14. Rome (2005-2007)
Rome’s mix of historical accuracy and personal drama amassed Redditors’ enjoyment right from the start. They feel like the show hits the ground running from the first episode, which has the mission to prepare the viewer for the intricate plotting and scheming the series has in store for them.
I think it really captured the essence of the show/season in a very natural way. Channeling overall information through characters while also emphasizing these characters traits at the same time.
15. Cheers (1982–1993)
Cheers very first episode works both structurally and emotionally. Redditors feel like the pilot “had the characterizations and interactions down so well” and thinks that it has one of the best pilot scripts ever written.
Cheers has often been regarded as one of the best structured pilot episodes of all time. It introduces every major character smoothly, and you get to know them without having any over-the-top explanation of who they are, you get a sense immediately after they enter the scene. Extremely well structured and no character introduction feels shoe-horned in at all.
16. Community (2009-2015)
Redditors find the first episode of Community extremely quotable, which is always a good thing about a piece of television. Also, they believe that the pilot “gives a sense of character dynamics” and it teases where the show will go conceptually. Definitely, a “must watch” in their opinion.
Community introduces all the main characters, their backgrounds, and the direction of the show all in about 20 minutes.
17. True Detective (2014 — )
Redditors can’t overlook the great detail in True Detective’s first-ever episode. The dynamic between the main characters is mesmerizing and they make it clear that this isn’t “just another crime show.” The only question they have about it is, “What’s not to love?”
It’s a piece of art, I’ve watched the whole thing (s1) 4 times now, that atmosphere, the amazing cast and dialog! It gets better each time I watch it.
Did you spot your favorite pilot episode on this list? Tell us in the comment section. Also, please recommend any great TV shows you know, we’re always looking for something to binge watch!
Full E-book The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and
Paperback. Pub Date :2012-08-03 Pages: 496 Language: English Publisher: FT Press For years. investors. business strategists. and policymakers worldwide have turned to one book to help them translate the massive flow of economic data into knowledge for intelligent decision-making. The Wall Street Journal called this book … the real deal. saying it miraculously breathes life into economic indicators and statistics. That book is Bernie Baumohl s classic best-seller The Secrets of Economic Indicators. Now. in a brand-new Third Edition. Baumohl has thoroughly updated his classic to reflect the latest US and foreign economic indicators. and brand-new insights into what all of today s leading indicators mean. Baumohl introduces dozens of new. forward-looking economic markers. including those that monitor small business plans. freight traffic shifts. web searches. and even gamblin…
7 Hidden Messages in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” That Weren’t Meant for Kids
Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland had an amazing influence on cinema, literature, and even psychology: movies and ballets were based on it, sequels and remakes were written. There is even a psychological disorder named after the main character: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). This seemingly innocent children’s story was the subject of heated discussions by scientists of the 20th century and even Freud talked about it. The point of the discussions was simple: was the tale written for children or for adults?
Bright Side has read the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded” and tried to figure out which parts of the story can only be understood by adults.
1. Alice’s shrinking and growing is a sign of puberty.
When Alice ate a cake or drank a certain mixture, Alice would shrink or grow, and she was scared that she would disappear completely. While there were no actual reasons for the changes in her body in the text, scientists have 3 versions of what could have been the hidden meaning behind that episode:
- Alice’s body changes in a similar way to how it would change as a teenager during puberty. Many people think that Carroll showed the puberty of the character. But why this idea may also be wrong is because Alice is only 7 years old and it is too young to be a teenager.
- Astronomers link the character with the expanding Universe. According to one of the theories, the amount of matter in the Universe is constantly decreasing which will ultimately lead to its disappearance. Obviously, this is why the character was worried about shrinking so much that she would vanish.
- Other people see an indication of hallucinogenic substances, which make people completely disoriented, just like Alice.
2. The pig the character has is an English King.
It is believed that the tale is an allusion to the War of the Roses that took place in England in the 15th century. This time period was full of scheming, betrayal, and there were a lot of chopped heads — just like in the tale.
Assuming the guess is correct, then baby that turned into the pig is a member of the White Rose. And more specifically, it was Richard III who had a sigil with a white boar. Shakespeare even wrote a play about it where he presented Richard in a very bad light.
3. The smell of pepper in the house of the Duchess hides the smell of bad food.
The tale casually mentions that the house of the Duchess smells a lot like pepper because the scullery was adding pepper to the soup. But it may have been a hint at the problem that the food at the time was peppered a lot, to kill the smell of rotten ingredients.
4. Alice is Eve, who becomes a sinner.
The adventures of Alice starts in a quiet garden. It was an idyllic place, green and quiet, and that’s why it reminds many people the Garden of Eden. But Alice doesn’t take an apple, she goes down the rabbit hole and goes into a world that gives rise to incredible changes in her. This theory seems to be pretty logical: children are innocent but when Alice went into the hole (took the apple), she entered the world of puberty, adult life, and became a sinner.
5. Keys, doors, and caterpillars are Freudian symbols.
When Freudian theories became very popular around the world, the tale of Alice turned out to be full of gynecological symbols. The fans of Freud managed to see the symbols in the doors that were hidden behind the curtains, and keys that open these doors. Of course, they couldn’t have missed Absolem — the giant caterpillar that looks like a you know what.
Even though this theory has life, it is not very believable, because people can see these symbols everywhere if they really want to.
6. Walrus and Carpenter are actually Buddha and Jesus.
This is the name of the poem that the twin brothers Tweedledee and Tweedledum read to Alice. The poem tells the story about Walrus and Carpenter, that walk on the beach and call out for oysters to walk with them. The oysters go to the shore and Walrus and Carpenter eat them. Walrus then cries at the end.
There are several interpretations:
- Walrus is a caricature of Buddha, and Carpenter is Jesus. For example, the character Loki from Dogma believes this. The logic is simple: Walrus is fat and happy, so he is Buddha or elephant Ganesha, and Carpenter is the direct reference to the profession of the father of Jesus.
- J. Priestly is convinced that the poem is the story of England’s (Walrus) colonization of America (Carpenter).
- There is a more violent interpretation. Some people believe that Walrus and Carpenter are politicians that kill the masses — the oysters.
7. The poem about the White Rabbit in chapter 12 uncovers the love mystery of Carroll himself.
Some researchers see the reference to the unusual connection between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell that was the prototype of the main character. Here are the lines we are talking about:
He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?
This is one of the most sensitive moments in the interpretation of the tale. Some people think that when the girl was supposed to come of age, the writer was going to marry her, but for some reason he had an argument with Mrs. Liddell and he never saw the members of the family since.
Do you want to read the tale now that you have some new knowledge about it in order to find some new hidden meaning? If yes, you can read the original manuscript written by Carroll himself here.
What 20 Celebs Looked Like at the Start of Their Career
Celebrities are usually known for their biggest successful works, but most of them stepped into the entertainment world with smaller roles. A lot of them have been in the industry for so long that we’ve forgotten what they looked like when they first started. Taking a look at some of their earliest works is indeed a blast from the past.
Bright Side looks into some of the earliest works from certain actors and is amazed at how much they have grown within the industry.
1. George Clooney
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
3. Keanu Reeves
4. Brie Larson
5. Betty White
6. Leonardo DiCaprio
7. Drew Barrymore
8. Tom Hanks
9. Scarlett Johannson
10. Halle Berry
11. Harrison Ford
12. Denzel Washington
13. Reese Witherspoon
14. Angelina Jolie
15. Johnny Depp
16. Jennifer Garner
17. Robert Downey Jr.
18. Will Smith
19. Nicole Kidman
20. Sandra Bullock
Have you seen the early works of these celebrities before? Do you know what any other famous entertainers looked like when they first began their career?
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