Here's a question for all you TV-viewin' types out there: what are some shows that weren't particularly good overall, but had one episode that you thought was truly great?
The example that I always use is the show "Day By Day." This show never amounted to much; it was created by Gary David Goldberg and Andy Borowitz; it concerned a couple of high-powered yuppies who decide they want to spend more time with their kids, so they move to the suburbs and open a day-care centre out of their home. It was Goldberg's follow-up to "Family Ties"; instead of a show about '60s hippies adjusting to the '80s world, it was about '80s yuppies trying to find something more in life than career and money. But the writing wasn't anything special, the parents weren't very interesting, and there was no Michael J. Fox or Michael Gross around to elevate the material.
But the reason a lot of people still sort of remember the show was one episode they did called "A Very Brady Episode", where the son (Christopher Daniel Barnes) dreams he's part of the Brady Bunch (he's the long-lost son, Chuck Brady). Most of the "Brady Bunch" cast was recruited for this episode, and it was basically an extended spoof of every "Brady Bunch" cliché, where "Chuck" learned just how appallingly annoying it would be to live in that world. It did everything those Brady Bunch spoof movies did (the movies also featured Christopher Daniel Barnes, by the way) in one-fourth of the time, and did it better. I haven't seen that episode since it first aired and I still remember it as being hilarious; perhaps it wouldn't hold up if I saw it again, but at that time -- when most mainstream shows still didn't do parodies of other TV shows -- it was fresh and surprising and funny and totally unlike the rest of "Day By Day."
That's my pick for a not-so-great show with a great episode; what are yours?