For me, the scenes that work as "Best" for television are the ones that pay off the investment in time and mythology building. Joss has some excellent ones in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, including Xander's Dream sequence in Restless
, but the sense of satisfaction is very complex.
The first scene like that I remember is from Beauty and the Beast
and involves Paracelsus, the hero's journey Vincent is on, and a lot of Freud. Really, without context, I can't explain the emotional thrill this moment of nearly pure evil gave me.
So, instead, I'm going to talk about two scenes that were the best ever because they sucked me into a new show and in one case, led me to good friends and the freedom of fandom.
I love The 4400
. It was everything Heroes
wanted to be and did it on half the budget. I never planned to watch it, but the opening scene has a bunch of people in a government research area panicking over a comet that's just appeared and is about to collide with the Earth. A woman comes in as random techie says, "The comet just changed course."
The woman, Diana Skouris, answers, "If it changed course, it isn't a comet."
I was hooked for several reasons. One is, even though the exchange is moderately predictable, many scripts would have let the dramatic idea of the comet changing course either stand or take them to commercial for added impact. Too many people don't understand even the basics of how heavenly bodies work, and the writer could have given us bad science. The second reason is the fact that the person making the correction -- the scientist -- is a woman. It's hard to find women scientists who aren't medical doctors, and, while we find out Diana is a biologist, she's a researcher with the CDC who has been pulled into the enforcement/administrative side of things.
The other... after Buffy one night, there was nothing on. I forget why or what we didn't like on the WB, but Lucy and I (and possibly the professor) flipped through channels and were caught by a bald young man with an apple in his hand talking to a very healthy looking even younger man. It was the second episode of Smallville
, and Omar G. at TWoP described it as the "Gayest Look Ever." Lucy, I, and the rest of the household made it appointment television. When Lucy and the Professor left the household, one of our new housemates was jerminating
whom I'd met through fandom. When the house was sold a couple of years later, I ended up living with eanja
whom I met through the fandom.
How many of you on my friends' list are people I know through Smallville
? I love you all and I know you because Lex and an apple captured me in a "Best Scene (to hook someone) Ever."
Two quick PS
The first: If you haven't heard about perclexed
and you're an old Smallville
buddy, well, a fire, a job loss and some other things mean she's in need right now. Find out more: http://littledrop.livejournal.com/531521.html
The second: I know I'm a day behind on this. I was at work until 10 last night. 9 tonight. Tomorrow may be the same. I'll catch up over the weekend.