I was reading this list of the "Best Standalone Television Episodes of the Aughts" and his list of his favorite television shows of the 00's, which included his favorite standalone episode. At first, I didn't think I had any more to add to my list of television shows, but while reading the article today, it hit me: I do, indeed have a favorite standalone episode of a television show in the 00's. There are, obviously, a lot of ways to interpret what might be a great standalone episode (basically whichever, I supposes, epitomizes a show or favorite show to you) Anyway, it hit me today that I had a great one, so I thought I would add it here.
The I.T. Crowd-The Work Outing
This British show was never as funny before this or after this episode. This starts slow, with the simplest of premises: The "I.T. Crowd", which consists of Roy, Moss, and Jen, get invited out to a night at the theater (to see "Gay: The Musical"). And in the very best farcical tradition, the night slowly but surely spirals out of control, until as it nears the end it reaches a comic pitch that is just amazing. I would say that it is in the best general sitcom traditions, but, it being British, reminded me of something out of "Fawlty Towers"-where there is a set-up, then a series of escalating lies and misunderstandings that the main characters can't get out of. I probably wouldn't show people a lot of other episodes of this series-but this episode is so amazingly done that it has been watched on its own a great deal. If you haven't seen it but can seek it out, I highly recommend it. (I was going to embed a video clip that out-of-context might not seem that funny, but also gives away a few of the surprises/laughs-and it would be criminal not to go into it cold.) I realize my description doesn't really do it justice, but to describe in any more depth, the same as putting a clip in, would be doing it a disservice. Most readily, this would probably be my standalone episode of the 00's.