A Very Special EpisodeA single television episode can exemplify the spirit of its time. A Very Special Episode presents The A.V. Club’s survey of TV at its most distinctive.  

The fifth round of “A Very Special Episode” wraps up tomorrow with the “Wild Card” episode of Nash Bridges, which means it’s time to announce the next ten episodes up for discussion. As usual, bear in mind that this column isn’t intended as a list of the greatest television episodes of all time, or even the greatest episodes of their respective series, but as a way to talk about aspects of TV history and TV aesthetics, using these episodes as case studies. With that in mind, and barring any last-minute changes or rearrangements, here’s what’s in store:

September 13th
Laugh-In, 9/16/68 (the Nixon episode)

October 4th
The Morton Downey Jr. Show, “Is Pro Wrestling Fake?”

October 25th
The Middleman, “The Flying Fish Zombiefication”

November 15th
Roseanne, “Wait Til Your Father Gets Home”

December 6th
The Bob Newhart Show, “Bob Has To Have His Tonsils Out So He Spends Christmas Eve In The Hospital”


January 10th
Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, the pilot episodes of both

January 31st
The Avengers, “Death At A Bargain Price”

February 21st
The Six Million Dollar Man, “The Return Of Bigfoot”

March 14th
Dollhouse, “The Left Hand”

April 4th
Hogan’s Heroes, “Rockets Or Romance”