From Succession to Community, here are the decade’s 10 best episodes of television
|National Post 03 Dec 2019 at 14:08|
When we look at the best television of the decade, a pattern emerges. It includes creative world-building, absurdist humour and great emotional nuance. These are the elements that elevated television through the last 10 years and, for the first time in history, made the medium more surprising and promising than anything film could offer. It changed television, but it also changed audiences, shaping the future of storytelling forever.
These are the decade’s 10 best episodes of television:
Like a child turns to a blanket for comfort, I turn to the long list of Real Housewives episodes that built the landmark reality franchise and catapulted RHONY (the indisputably best incarnation) to the echelons of Peak TV, all through its 11 seasons so far. But none compare to the hellish trip to the Virgin Islands the cast takes in its third season, culminating in a set of episodes lovingly dubbed “Scary Island.” The chasm between Bethenny and Kelly grows, as the latter insists she feels the former is “channelling the devil” and is out to kill her. In fact, Kelly grows increasingly unhinged as the episode goes on, ranting about everything from jelly beans to Al Sharpton to “Gwyneth, my friend Gwyneth” (Paltrow, as it happens). Although the trip is meant to celebrate Ramona’s vow renewal (minus her husband), it becomes a near-intervention for whatever Kelly is going through (or is on), as she insists the women are “systematically bullying” her and Bethenny famously screams for her to “Go to sleep! Go to sleep!” As Kelly snipes in one of her more lucid moments, the rest of the women are “in a horror film,” but she is “in a Disney movie.” Incomprehensible and yet iconic.