para1: (old school Veronica)
[personal profile] para1

My favorite episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus is The Bicycle Tour. It's the only Monty Python episode where the sketch lasts the whole episode and it's really random.

A bicycle tourist has a few accidents, his snacks get damaged, he takes a taxi and has another accident after which the taxi driver thinks he's a famous female singer (and everyone, except the audience and the bicycle tourist) believe him. In France he becomes convinced he's Trotzky. In Russia they all think he's Trotzky. But then he's supposed to hold his big speech and instead he starts to sing, thinking he's that singer again. Mother Russia is not amused.

It's dream logic. But it's the only episode of that show that is strong all over.

The Bicycle Tour is never as good as Graham Chapman shooting his stuffed rabbit with the words "And now Flopsy is dead and never called me mother" or the documentary on the Piranha Brothers and how they finally threw a nuke on that gigantic imaginary hedgehog named Norman. But in whole it's better than the episodes that contain those moments and sketches.

I'm pretty sure that there's an episode of Python I like less than all the other but it's been a decade and the episodes that you enjoy the least you probably forget first.

All I know that unlike some episodes of TV shows I loved a lot, there has never been an episode of Python I outright disliked.

So to have an answer - any answer... well, I think my least favorite episode of a show I loved in general is Veronica Mars's A Trip to the Dentist which isn't actually a terrible episode or anything. It's clever and has good moments and cites Rashomon and probably is named by many people as one of the best episodes VM ever had.

But I have so much issues with the way that mystery is resolved (and then re-resolved a season later) and the way this foreshadows so many other issues the show would be riddled with later that in retrospect I would call it the moment VM jumped the shark.

But to be fair, it didn't jump from sea level. It went higher and higher becoming crack-a-liciously addictive in process, making that ending of M.A.D. deliciously ironic, painful and since it was something the viewer long suspected (the gun on the wall etc) even emotionally satisfying. It worked so well, playing the character and story arcs on all levels that the moment when the sun went down on Logan on his boat (where he had been waiting since morning) was pure crack in form of tv.

And from that point, so high on everything, it jumped. And never un-jumped.

When I think of the show I loved (and not the show that disappointed me,) I think of Logan on his boat and berate myself that I should have quit right there, the place where the sun doesn't go down, the answers are never given and can never enrage.

That's why ATTD is my least favorite episode even though it's far from being VM's worst. Because it's the first one I shouldn't have seen. I cannot think of another episode like that.
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August 2010

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