Jump to content

Very Special Episodes


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

553 replies to this topic

#1

iron chef

iron chef

Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 8:38 PM

You know how television shows tend to have "a very special" episode? Serious or silly, they're a staple of just about any show. What are some of the best and worse of VSEs?

I mentioned in the Roseanne thread how impressed I was that they did a show addressing their (Roseanne and Dan) own subconcious racism. (This is the one where DJ didn't want to kiss a black girl in the school play.)

As for the worst...I'd have to go with just about any VS Fresh Prince episode (except for the one where Will's father came back in his life). They had a tendency to really overdo it. But the worst one by far was when Will got shot and Carlton (HA!) decides he's going to get a gun and go after the bad guys. Puh-leeze.

#2

Blake

Blake

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 8:47 PM

Saved By The Bell had the worst, and therefore best ones. There's the wonderful "Jessie's Song", which taught us all the danger of over-the-counter caffeine pills, and of attempting to study for a test and sing in a band at the same time (that's two things, Jessie! Learn to multi-task!). And "There's No Hope With Dope", which is exactly what you'd expect. A classic.

#3

lannie

lannie

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 10:48 PM

Don't forget the drinking and driving one, Blake!

#4

PhantomChic

PhantomChic

    Stalker

  • Location:Miamisburg, OH

Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 11:31 PM

And "There's No Hope With Dope", which is exactly what you'd expect. A classic.

Isn't that the one where they do a PSA with Brendan Tartikoff (who was supposed to be Mr. Belding's brother or old friend or something)?

I also love the one where they discover oil on the school campus and everyone is happy that the school is rich until there's an oil spill that kills all of the animals they had adopted from the wetland on the edge of campus. I loved Zach shooting oil all over the model of the new school and then on the oil-business guy to demonstrate that at least he'll be alive when he sipes it off.

For worst I'd have to go for the whole Willow-magic-crack arc on Buffy. Look she's shaking with withdrawal pains and drinking a lot of bottled water! And they used to do such good metaphor episodes. It made the PSA moments in Go Fish! look brilliant in comparison.

#5

ChinkyGirl

ChinkyGirl

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 11:32 PM

Toga! Toga! Toga! Drinking and driving: dangerous. Drinking and driving in togas: very funny.

Another VSE of SBTB was the two-parter about the homeless guy and his daughter at the Mall. With Zack's help, he got all cleaned up and back on with life! As a reward, Zack got his daughter for all of about 10 minutes!

#6

jo richmond

jo richmond

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:04 AM

This may be slightly OT but the twin to "And now, a very special..." would be NBC's "Must see". Probably the greatest thing about Seinfeld when it was on was that they were adamant that you'd never, ever see a must-see Seinfeld ep. Had they done that, I would've stopped watching.

#7

biakbiak

biakbiak

    Stalker

  • Gender:Female

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:17 AM

Family Ties were big with the "very special's," the two that stand out the most are the Keaton's confront racisim when their black friends move into the neighborhood and their house gets vandalized. While it was pretty bad they did have the friends poke fun at the Keanton's naivete. And of course there was the Keaton's confront alcoholism when Elise's fun-loving brother, played by Tom Hanks, comes to town and is so in need of alcohol drinks the vanilla. The only thing I remember learning from that episode is that apparently vanilla extract contained vanilla.

I think Roseanne's arc where Jackie gets beat by her boyfriend Fisher had some very good moments and also resulted in a hilarious scene between Darlene and Dan in jail. To this day I still crack up at "Mom says we have a new daddy now." That show managed to deal with an important subject but also give the viewers laughs.

Different Strokes had two very famous eps but I don't remember them that well, one when Arnold and his friend meet a pedophile who is played by Gordon Jump and I believe runs a train shop. Then of course there was the Just Say No episode in which First Lady Nancy Reagan showed up to say the phrase.

I also didn't like The Growing Pains episode that both introduced Sandy, played by Matthew Perry, as Carol's boyfriend and then have him dying drunk. I hate the episodes that introduce friends just to have them learn a lesson but the main kids never really learn it.

I remember a bunch of the ads for Blossom declaring very special episodes but for the life of me I cannot remember one of those episodes.

Edited by biakbiak, Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:22 AM.


#8

Dani257

Dani257

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:49 AM

Would the Family Ties episode where Alex's friend dies count as a VSE? If so, I'd say that was a good one. Great acting by Michael J Fox.

#9

Pooki

Pooki

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 6:05 AM

I remember The Golden Girls did some particularly bad ones IMO. There was one where the girls spend a night in a homeless shelter looking for a lost lottery ticket or something, and then when they found it decided to give it to the shelter. There was also one where Sophia was getting Alzheimer's, but then it wasn't really followed up IIRC. I loved the show, but when it got all issue-based I thought it sucked.

On the other hand, I remember I loved the homelessness-themed Christmas episode of My So Called Life when Ricky was living on the streets. I used to watch that show with my college flatmates, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house that night.

#10

Josette

Josette

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 7:29 AM

Different Strokes had two very famous eps

There was also an episode where Kimberley and Arnold accepted a ride from a stranger and he tricked them into going back to his apartment (so Arnold could watch some NASA footage or something) and then the guy turned out to be a psycho with designs on Kimberley.

I also didn't like The Growing Pains episode that both introduced Sandy, played by Matthew Perry, as Carol's boyfriend and then have him dying drunk

Actually, Matthew Perry's Sandy appeared in three episodes over a period of two and a half months.

Mr. Belvedere did some "very special episodes". There was one in which Heather was a victim of attempted date rape and another in which Wesley was almost molested by a camp counselor. He had to tell before a friend became a victim.

#11

Kovac's Kitten

Kovac's Kitten

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 7:48 AM

The only thing I remember learning from that episode is that apparently vanilla extract contained vanilla.

If you mean alcohol, that's the only thing I remember learning, too ;o)

#12

Eliot

Eliot

    Stalker

  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:What, you mean there's a world outside of TV?

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 7:50 AM

The penultimate VSE was the episode of "Happy Days" when Richie crashes his motorcycle and Fonzie breaks down crying at his bedside. The episode was so heavily promoted it got one of those "close up" features in TV Guide.

Yes, I do remember things like that. No, I am not a loser. Really.

#13

Phishtar

Phishtar

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 9:14 AM

The only thing I remember learning from that episode is that apparently vanilla extract contained vanilla.
If you mean alcohol, that's the only thing I remember learning, too ;o)

Huh, 'cuz I remember the alcohol from the marashino cherries. Heh.
But I don't remember Tom Hanks...

I liked the episode where Alex's friend died, too, I thought that was well-done at the time. Of course, I think I was 12, so I could be wrong.

Wasn't there a Diffrent Strokes about anorexia with Kimberly, too?

#14

FfrauleinN

FfrauleinN

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 9:30 AM

Maybe. Stephanie Tanner (or maybe it was D.J.) also had anorexia for about 22 minutes.

Saved By The Bell had the worst, and therefore best ones.

Word. "I'm so excited! And so, so ... scared!"

And "There's No Hope With Dope", which is exactly what you'd expect. A classic.

Okay, man, if you’re gonna quote the classics, get it right. "There's no hope (beat) with dope."

For some unfathomable reason, I'm remembering the one from Sister Sister where one of them meets this "famous photographer" online and goes to meet with him. He is really a perv, of course, and then I think the other twin comes and saves the day.

#15

cynicat x

cynicat x

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 9:48 AM

On the other hand, I remember I loved the homelessness-themed Christmas episode of My So Called Life when Ricky was living on the streets

Word. I haven't thought of that episode in years, and just being reminded of it brings me to tears. Was this also the episode where Angela's mom went looking for Angela in an abandoned building and became friendly with a teenaged girl, who evidently had died years before from a drug OD? Damned powerful.

#16

lotusbear

lotusbear

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 9:51 AM

[wiping tears away from eyes] so what you guys are saying that, not every episode of every show wasn't special in its own way? [/wtafe] Just kidding.

Hehe, I loved that Saved by the Bell one too. I thought it was very special because Jessie was acting like a 'tard.

Edited by lotusbear, Jan 8, 2004 @ 9:52 AM.


#17

Sea

Sea

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:00 AM

Maybe. Stephanie Tanner (or maybe it was D.J.) also had anorexia for about 22 minutes.


It was DJ. I think there was a pool party she wanted to look good for so she stopped eating, and when the whole family went to a gym she overdid it exercising and almost fainted.

#18

raramama

raramama

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:04 AM

There is also the Family Ties where Alex was addicted to happy pills.

I think Deniece had a friend addicted to drugs on one eppy of The Cosby Show.

ETA, Oh Dear God, I just heard a commercial for tonight's Friends. It's being hyped as a "very special" episode because Monica and Chandler are meeting some woman to get her baby. Chandler actually says, "My wife is a special woman - a mother without a baby." blech. They even ended by calling it "the baby episode".

Edited by raramama, Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:08 AM.


#19

escape

escape

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:09 AM

Was this also the episode where Angela's mom went looking for Angela in an abandoned building and became friendly with a teenaged girl, who evidently had died years before from a drug OD? Damned powerful.


Yep, they are one and the same. That was a great ep. Most "very special" eps on shows are heavy handed, but I think that this ep of MSCL was one that has always hit the hardest for me.

#20

FfrauleinN

FfrauleinN

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:14 AM

ETA, Oh Dear God, I just heard a commercial for tonight's Friends. It's being hyped as a "very special" episode

Aren't they all being hyped that way now, with the sad music and somber announcer?

#21

Cybercathy

Cybercathy

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:14 AM

Oh this thread screams Facts of Life. I can't think of an episode that wasn't a VSE. I miss that show. Tootie and the child-porn-photographer comes to mind. As well as the pot one where they think bongs are for jelly beans. Hee!
And recently, very recently, we've had Carter in Africa. *sigh*

#22

raramama

raramama

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:39 AM

Aren't they all being hyped that way now, with the sad music and somber announcer?

Come to think of it, you are right. Every current Friends ad mentions "the last season of Friends" with the somber music. Give me a break, NBC, we sho'll deserve it.

Speaking of I remember the eppy of Gimme a Break where Samantha ran off with the dude who played the bad kid in Karate Kid (William something?). She broke Nell's heart.

And wasn't Joey brought on Gimme a Break by a very special episode? He was collecting money for a fake charity - but turned out he was homeless and needed the money.

It's so easy to adopt on TV, unless of course you are Chandler and Monica Bing.

#23

kingdead

kingdead

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 10:41 AM

Not really part of a show, but does anyone remember Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue? Some kid steals his sister's money to buy crack, and then every Saturday morning cartoon character from the late 80s/early 90s comes along to kick his ass back to the straight and narrow. We're talkin' the Smurfs, ALF, the Muppet Babies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slimer - everyone except for Mighty Mouse because he got caught doing lines out of that flower, you know. The villain was a cloud of smoke...

Introduced by the original President George Bush.

#24

formergr

formergr

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:02 AM

Wah? Kingdead, this was really on television? It sounds like a dream induced by said crack...

#25

Mimi10022

Mimi10022

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:06 AM

There is also the Family Ties where Alex was addicted to happy pills.

which he was scamming off of Mallory's friend Effie. A far superior VSE than the dead friend one which screams "Michael J. wants a dramatic role".

Whenever someone mentions the Prostitootie VSE all I can remember are Blair and Jamie (Bootsie) Gertz's fur coats and the stripey shirt that the Young Prostitute wears.

#26

Penfold

Penfold

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:32 AM

I had suppressed the memory of that show, kingdead, but now it's all flowing back. Curse you!

#27

kfree9

kfree9

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:39 AM

Someone mentioned the Different Strokes episode where Kimberly had bullemia. I just remember being so horrified that you could hear her puking in the bathroom.

Don't forget the special episode where her hair turns green because she washed it with acid rain too. That's REALLY special.

#28

emace

emace

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:45 AM

Don't know if this was "Special" but there was a Wonder Years where Winnie starts hanging out with a "fast" crowd and gets injured in a car accident. Kevin sneaks in to see her at the end, and she mouths "I love you" at him. Sweet.

Remember the Brady Bunch eppy where Greg takes his friend's jacket by accident and a pack of cigarettes fall out in front of Carol and her friends? And no one will believe that they aren't Greg's? For five minutes, anyway.

Shows like to use "the friend" device - and have Very Serious Problems happen to a character who we will never see again, in order not to soil the pristine soul of the main character.

#29

morecowbell

morecowbell

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:52 AM

The Different Strokes ep with Nancy Regan people! With little David Mendenhall selling little red uppers but he had them in a giant ziploc bag in his coat. I swear there were like 600 pills there. I think he said he sold them for his brother. Jeez. I mean if you were selling pills, would you bring a 2 gallon ziploc bag of them with you *to school*?

But the most VSE of anything that was kinda scarey was the DS episode where Sam is abducted and has to live with this dude and his wife who is sad because thier son died. That was really creepy VSE.

Oh, and Gordon Jump had a bike shop on DS.

How about Dudley's dad and the lung cancer and at the end you think he is going to stop smoking and he lights up right as he is closing the Drummond's front door? Or when Willis decides to try drinking and Mr. D makes him drink a whole cart of booze he happened to have laying around. Good stuff.

#30

lotusbear

lotusbear

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 11:52 AM

Shows like to use "the friend" device - and have Very Serious Problems happen to a character who we will never see again, in order not to soil the pristine soul of the main character.

Ah, a good example of this from Cosby show is when Theo's buddy put a joint in his textbook and somehow Cliff and Claire find it. So Cliff and Claire eventually believe that it doesn't belong to him, but Theo still makes the kid come to his house to tell the Huxtables that it wasn't Theo's weed.