TV Pilots/First Episodes | The Popjustice Forum

TV Pilots/First Episodes

Discussion in 'TV + Film' started by MrJames, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. I don't know about you but I find pilots and first ever episodes so fascinating. Obviously they try and lay out the blueprint for the series as a whole, but it's always so wonderfully forced and try-hard and completely detached from what the show later came to be.

    What are your favourites, least favourites, most entertaining, most different from the show as a whole?
  2. The Pilot for Lost is fucking incredible.


    The first two DVD boxsets I got as a kid were Lost and Smallville, and I thought the episodes were actually called Pilot, and I thought it was just a coincidence that they were both called that. Pilot works as an episode title for both episodes as well, hence my confusion.
  3. BTG


    I love pilots.

    LOST had an incredible pilot. Perhaps one of the strongest I can remember. Strong, well acted, well written, strong characterisation, full of intrigue and did set the blueprint for the shape of the series to come.

    The pilot of Buffy, and the first season as a whole, is borderline unwatchable. It's proof that you can't judge everything from those early episodes. I think the show struggled to find its feet for most of that first year until the actually rather brilliant finale.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  4. SBK


    Yes. Lost set the bar.

    The guy who commissioned it got fired.
  5. You cannot talk about Pilot episodes and not mention Lost really, but it did have the highest budget of all time, right?
    what a show.
  6. I quite like Welcome To The Hellmouth, and most of the first season. The original, unaired pilot however...

  7. KAG


    It must be hard for actors. You can audition for a pilot and like the plot, however you don't know if it'll be the same show in 8-9 episodes time. Network interfering and a change of showrunner can drastically change the feel of a show sometimes. I've heard a lot of actors say that they liked their characters to begin with, however became detached from them as the show went on.
  8. Tina Fey describes the 30 Rock pilot as utterly terrible. I'm inclined to agree.
  9. The nerve!

    The Friends pilot is odd because the first few minutes have no plot and no change in location, it's like a series of vignettes in the coffee shop that fade in and out. I dunno if I love it or hate it. But I do despise the fact that the finale is called "The Last One" and the pilot is not called "The First One."

    It's bizarre that in Big Bang's pilot, Sheldon is presented as a masturbatory expert.
  10. The pilot of Sex And The City must have been filmed a long time before the series was commissioned as they all look different, hair wise. Could have been made a year before the rest of the series.
  11. jtm


    The Alias pilot is great. Lots of characters, and by the end you know them all. That almost never happens.
  12. Parks & Rec is an example of a pilot (first season) that was retooled for the better. Completely rewrote Leslie to be super competent and beloved by most people.
  13. The 'Friends' pilot is awful. If I'd seen that at the time I probably would never have watched it again
  14. I'm always amused by the concept of backdoor pilots. Like "Oh, here are some characters you've never seen, and will likely never see again because this episode is a chore to get through, as this whole thing is undercooked. Thanks for bearing with." - The Facts of Life had seven backdoor pilot episodes.
  15. BTG


    Backdoor pilots are HORRIFIC.

    The time Sabrina, long past the peak of its popularity, had a backdoor pilot for a witch school series with cousin Amanda/Melissa's real life sister, was embarrassing.
  16. I adore backdoor pilots for the sake of so-bad-it's-good TV.
  17. I hate backdoor pilots when you don't know a new TV show has had a backdoor pilot, like 'The Parkers'. I was so confused initially starting it and wondering why it felt like a random episode to start off then discovered it had a backdoor pilot in an episode of 'Moesha'.
  18. I totally remember that Sabrina/Amanda one. Awful.

    In terms of 'legitimate' pilots, I have an affinity for the fucked up animation that is the Rugrats pilot.
  19. 'Phoebe' in the original Charmed pilot is just horrific.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  20. ^ That was so weird to watch.
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