One would think that the series no longer know how to reinvent themselves, there are so many of them and yet since the decades when they have multiplied, some have managed to really renew themselves. It can go through an original staging, something that comes out of the main tone of the series or a whole bunch of other stuff like the most original series episodes. Today we are therefore going to look at some episodes which were really experimental or unexpected and which amazed a good part of the public.
1. Mr Robot: Proxy Authentication Required
- 1 1. Mr Robot: Proxy Authentication Required
- 2 2. The haunting of Hill House: Two storms
- 3 3. Community: Remedial Chaos Theory
- 4 4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Body
- 5 5. Bojack Horseman: Fish Out of Water
- 6 6. MASH: Point of view
- 7 7. Atlanta: BAN
- 8 8. Legion: Chapter 1
- 9 9. Mr Robot: Method Not Allowed
- 10 10. New York Judicial Police: Aftershock
The only episode of the series to obtain a score of 9.9/10 on the IMDB site, episode 7 of the last season is a true masterpiece. Filmed behind closed doors in an old house and divided into five acts, each having a highlight, the series is transformed for an hour into a real play where everything is played out on dialogues, looks and revelations. The acting is incredible, the tension is truly palpable and huge revelations are made. Both on the script and on the staging, the episode is completely out of the “norm” and stays in the lead for a while.
2. The haunting of Hill House: Two storms
Netflix’s excellent horror series had a lot of qualities, but the episode of the “two storms” in the sequence was really a big lesson in directing. Taking place in two eras and showing two major events, we follow the characters at different ages evolving in two distinct places: the house and the crematorium, and the camera does not cut. Incredible.
3. Community: Remedial Chaos Theory
It’s hard to choose a single episode of the Community series that is more original than another, between the remake of “Freedmen” in the college canteen, the first episode of paintball or the one in video game graphics the series has always succeeded come up with great concepts. However, that of the dinner shared between several alternative realities is a real masterstroke, it shows how the evening would unfold between the seven participants if each of them were absent for two minutes to fetch the pizzas at the bottom of the building. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s great.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Body
The shock episode of the Buffy series was completely out of the codes of the series: no vampire hunt, no action scene, no teenage story or supernatural stuff, only the discovery of the body of Buffy’s mother in the living room . The atmosphere of the episode is very sober, without any music and begins with a sequence shot during which Buffy finds her mother unconscious and calls for help. After five minutes on the phone she refers for the first time to her mother by saying “the body” and then realizes that she is dead. Memorable.
5. Bojack Horseman: Fish Out of Water
It’s hard to find a more experimental episode in this animated series: a completely silent episode in which Bojack finds himself in an underwater city and cannot speak. Beyond the fact that the whole plot is great, that there are touching moments and that we manage to understand everything without any reply, the episode is also a huge love letter to silent cinema and makes references to several movies. All this while remaining really original and mastered, yet another reason to watch Bojack Horseman.
6. MASH: Point of view
Made in 1978, this episode of the famous war series makes us see the whole plot through the eyes of a soldier. A real technical feat at the time for a TV series episode, showing us all the action using the camera in this way was quite rare. A precursory episode, especially since there are quite a few trips during it since we see the scene where the soldier is injured, repatriated by helicopter and treated by the medical team.
7. Atlanta: BAN
As a whole, the Atlanta series is extremely original since it mixes a large number of genres, from comedy, to drama, to action and to horror. We could have talked about several episodes (the one where Paper Boi is chased in the woods or the one where Darius goes to buy a piano) but the BAN episode is the one that is considered the most experimental. We see the character of Paper Boi, a rapper who is caught in a controversy after declaring that he would never sleep with Caitlyn Jenner (a trans woman). He is then received on a television set to discuss it and the whole episode focuses on this show. Very original and received in a rather divided way by the public, the episode however won an Emmy Award for best direction.
8. Legion: Chapter 1
From the outset, the Legion series had everything to destabilize the viewer: a man locked up in an asylum disturbed by voices that constantly speak to him and a contact inside that would like to upset his daily life and try to make him escape. For a series based on the X-Men universe, it was quite unexpected. The staging plays on a lot of codes, that of madness, discomfort and illusion for example, but above all with the spectator himself by keeping him most often in complete questioning.
9. Mr Robot: Method Not Allowed
You will say that I force but a second episode of Mr Robot finds its place in this list and it is this one (which obtains 9,7/10 on IMDB). Why was he revolutionary? Because there are only two lines in 55 minutes: the first at the very beginning “We don’t need to talk” and the second at the very end “I think we have things to say to each other”. Between the two unfolds a dense, very complete and complex episode which brings a lot to the story without using a single spoken dialogue. And it is well done. Really very very well done.
10. New York Judicial Police: Aftershock
This is the only episode in the entire series where there is no crime to solve. The episode was shot just after the death penalty was reauthorized in New York and it begins with the execution of an inmate. The rest of the episode shows us the police officers of the squad continuing their day, each reacting in their own way to what they have just seen. The dramatic tone of the episode was a big criticism of the Death Penalty and it is still judged by fans today as one of the best.