With the new year upon us it always seems proper to look back on the year that has passed. Last year we picked the 20 best episodes of 2000 in our first column of 2001 but we found this year we couldn't limit the list to just 20 episodes. So we decided to up the ante to 50 episodes this year - a true testament to how great television is nowadays. Myself, the staff as well as our various contributors and friends to the site offered up their favorites from the first year of the new millennium and we've compiled them here.
No doubt there are plenty of noteworthy series and episodes that aren't on this list not to mention many you might disagree with, nevertheless we hope you enjoy our picks. We continue today counting down 10 episodes a day until we unveil our 10 best episodes of 2001 on Monday. So without any further adieu, let the countdown continue...
40. gideon's crossing - "heart of glass"
(originally aired april 9, 2001)
The final episode of the sorely missed medical drama saw the arrogant Dr. Gideon (Andre Braugher) become the patient after collapsing from chest pains. Let's face it - Braugher is one of the best actors of his generation.
39. undeclared - "eric visits again"
(originally aired november 20, 2001)
There's just something about this show that makes me laugh like no other and this one featuring "Freaks & Geeks" alum Jason Segel reprising his role as Lizzie's obsessive boyfriend was no exception.
38. the simpsons - "homr"
(originally aired january 7, 2001)
Basically "The Simpsons" take on "Harrison Bergeron" in which Homer discovers a crayon was lodged in his brain as a child and once removed reveals him to be a savant. I don't know about you but even after 12 years of this show the image of a young Homer stuffing crayons in his nose still has me rolling.
37. 100 centre street - "bobby & cynthia, queenie & joe"
(originally aired january 15, 2001)
The opener to the engaging A&E drama gave television two hours of a drama directed by Sidney Lumet. No other explanation is necessary.
36. angel - "billy"
(originally aired october 29, 2001)
Let's go down the list - Wesley going all "shining" on Fred, Angel paying the price for saving Cordelia a few weeks before and Lilah beat within an inch of her life. No show pushes as many buttons at the same time as this one.
35. malcolm in the middle - "flashback"
(originally aired may 20, 2001)
A hilarious look at each of the three children's births gives us a surprising insight into how they got into the dire financial and mental straights they find themselves in now, not to mention the genesis of Malcolm's genius.
34. the invisible man - "a sense of community"
(originally aired september 7, 2001)
In a clever send up of "The Prisoner," Hobbes and Fawkes encounter the Agency of Sequestered Seclusion and quickly find themselves trapped in a high class prison for retired super agents, a prison which contains some surprising residents.
33. gilmore girls - "presenting lorelai gilmore"
(originally aired november 6, 2001)
Only this show could make an antiquated tradition like the debutante ball seem like so much fun. And what other show celebrates the ties of family so eloquently and cleverly?
32. scrubs - "my old lady"
(originally aired october 16, 2001)
The dramatics finally took over the usual hijinx in this episode that tells the story of three patients which the residents are told if the odds hold true - one will not leave the hospital.
31. smallville - "pilot"
(originally aired october 16, 2001)
As fun, charming and exciting as the promos teased us with all summer long, "Smallville" opened us to a surprisingly fresh take on the Superman myth - this time showing us the humble beginnings of a young Clark Kent.
30. farscape - "season of death"
(originally aired march 16, 2001)
Aeryn dead? Crichton on the verge of suicide? While "Farscape" always finds new ways to bring back from and send characters to their deaths, this one certainly had us clinging for the next installment like no other.