This is topic What was your favorite "change of pace" episode? in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
My copy of Avatar: The Complete Book 3 arrived yesterday. Usually I watched boxed sets in sequence, but I just had to watch "The Ember Island Players" first. While Avatar has no shortage of humorous episodes, this was a more self-referential, meta type than their usual stuff.

I love it when a TV series or comic decides to do a "change of pace" episode. Like when Star Trek: The Next Generation did "Disaster"...all the tropes of a 1970s disaster film, as seen on the Enterprise. Or The Uncanny X-Men issue #153. Chris Claremont (then at the height of his creative powers) decided to follow a rather grim and intense Hellfire Club arc with "Kitty's Fairy Tale", a swashbuckling adventure story with a decidedly Saturday Morning flavor.

And then there's The X-Files "Jose Chung's From Outer Space"...which quite frankly was the best episode ever. [Big Grin]

What ones have you all enjoyed?
Posted by Shanna (Member # 7900) on :
The thing that made "Ember Island Players" great in my book was that the creators and writers found an interesting and fun way of doing the cliched "what's happened so far" or "catch-up" episode. Instead of just editing a bunch of clips together, they decided to make fun of themselves and their fans in cute, clever ways.
Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
And fun of things like how 30 year old women are quite often cast as youthful boy characters in an animated series. [Wink]
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
Star Trek DS9 - "Badda Bing Badda Bang"

There are a lot of non-plot arc, change of pace episodes in DS9, but that's by far my favorite. "The Magnificent Ferengi" is probably a close second.
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
TOS: A Piece of the Action
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Stargate SG-1's "Window of Opportunity." Also a few others-- "200" comes to mind.
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
What was the TNG episode that focused on the junior officers? Was it "Lower Decks?"

I don't know if it fits the bill as a change of pace, but it was a neat episode, especially seeing how the bar tender had the ability to move in all the different circles.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
Second both those SG1 eps.
Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
"The Mirror" episode of Gargoyles. The main characters spend most of the episode with their species reversed. A vitally important episode of the show, for so many reasons, but very self-contained, and quite different from most of what came before. [Cool]
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
There was a B5 ep that followed a couple of janitors around.

On M*A*S*H, there were a few. The creepy dream ep, with limbs in the river and blood on a wedding dress. The newsreel one.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
I thought of the MASH episodes as well.

I don't know if it qualifies as a change of pace episode, but Firefly's "Objects in Space" was really cool.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Buffy's musical episode

Midnight, fourth season of new Doctor Who
Posted by Trent Destian (Member # 11653) on :
Angel's "Smile time"
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
The Ynglings, as I write them, are generally a rather dark, grim, depressing sort of people. Their latest exploit is to release a worse-than-OTL, bioengineered Black Death on Europe, by accident. But this week I took a break from all that. [Big Grin]
Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
I forget the episode title and season, but there was a delightful episode of Golden Girls where we finally got to see just what Sophia was really up to when she wasn't hanging around to spout sassy one-liners.

Of course. This doesn't always work...I remember Punky Brewster did a supernatural horror two-parter once that left everyone cold.

(And no, I'm not kidding.)
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
Originally posted by katharina:
[QB] Buffy's musical episode

I can't believe I didn't think of OMWF. Bad me.

So the Scrubs musical, of course. And the episode of Happy Days where Mork first appeared.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
The scrubs musical was good, though I liked OMWF a lot more. The scrubs episode My Life as a Sitcom or whatever it was called was jarringly weird. I think the problem for me with that was I've never seen a medical comedy that made THAT aspect of the show funny. Other sitcoms have total farces for plots in totally unimaginable situations a lot of the time, and when they do come down to earth, often it isn't funny.

MASH is the best show to compare it to. The kind of comedy they were trying to do with patients having deadly diseases and what not was probably intentionally over the top, but I think it failed as a parody in that respect, maybe just because I have a show like MASH to compare it to. I get that they weren't dissing sitcoms, they were just putting them in perspective (although some Scrubs groupies took that episode as a celebration of the inherent betterness of Scrubs). Still, I love the show, but that's nowhere near my favorite episode.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
Depending on my mood, I like Hush better than Once More With Feeling. Certainly both deserve to be on the list.

The best M*A*S*H one was the one shot entirely from the perspective of the patient.

Family Ties did a decent episode where the whole episode is Alex speaking to a therapist, but it's set in a black box theater.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
ooo, Hush is also a fantastic episode of Buffy. That's easily up there with OMWF. That's a good episode of MASH.

I don't know if it counts as a "change of pace" episode, but I love the one where they are watching the movie but it keeps cutting out so they sing and tell jokes and stories and what not to kill the time while Klinger fixes it.
Posted by Enigmatic (Member # 7785) on :
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
And then there's The X-Files "Jose Chung's From Outer Space"...which quite frankly was the best episode ever. [Big Grin]

I can't think of any examples that top that one. It's what I immediately thought of from the initial premise of the thread, so I guess I'll just second it.

Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
I liked that one, but what was the one about baseball that DD wrote? That was a really good one, too.
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
I was always a little creeped out by DS9's "Move Along Home." I don't know why. I mean, I love the episode, but it's creepy.

And who can forget alternate universe DS9 featuring Dominatrix Kira with Karate Chop Action(tm)?

Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Oh, I also really liked the one on the boat, the one where Mulder is transported to the 1930s in the Bermuda Triangle.
Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
Another good example is Detective Comics issue #500, "To Kill a Legend"...the enigmatic Phantom Stranger offers Batman his most personal case yet: A chance to save the lives of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Sort of. The Thomas and Martha Wayne of an alternate universe, who will die just as all previous parallel versions have died, unless he can prevent it. Powerful story, and to come up with a truly surprising but satisfying ending.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
The episode of ER where Doug Ross and Dr. Green drive out to California after Doug's father dies in a car accident.
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
Of course. This doesn't always work...I remember Punky Brewster did a supernatural horror two-parter once that left everyone cold. this the episode with the Indian cave? I remember really liking that!
Posted by Puffy Treat (Member # 7210) on :
Originally posted by Strider: this the episode with the Indian cave? I remember really liking that!

Posted by Darth_Mauve (Member # 4709) on :
I couldn't think of one not already listed here, but I did think of a couple I would like to see....

Battlestar Galactica--The Musical
It would have such songs as "I'm a Ceylon Chick" "Viper Girls Ready To Fly" and that awe inspiring ballad by Adama--"Token Ugly Dude."

24 where Jack Bauer spends one hour asleep, dreaming. Here Chuck Norris makes an appearance. They could have a "Tough Off" but I think that would break TV for ever, if not destroy the entire Space/Time continuum.

(Actually, I'd love to see an season of 24, or a parody movie, where Jack breaks into a home, kidnaps the wrong guy, locks him up, tortures him, maims and permanently disfigures him, while his team may or may not save the day, he has to live with the fact that he did all this to an innocent person. It would end with that innocent person being sent away to prison for ever, since he now knows too much and is angry at the people who abused him...he is now a security threat.)

In-House Patients view all the time, or Nurses view, with Brilliant Docs walking by and not noticing. Illness should be more humorous than dire.

CSI Des Moinse The cast of one of the CSI shows is hired by a Hollywood Studio to offer expertise to a new CSI show. They don't solve a single crime, except the crime of a poorly made CSI show, pointing out all the unrealistic things they do to make boring procedures interesting television. "Hey, those graphics look--disgusting." says the coroner at tape of a lodged bullet in the throat.

Flip This Bank The crew and cast of a TV series that once highlighted the worst of the housing bubble, must not help a crew of FTC Regulators return an impoverished international banking system into profitable cornerstone of our economic life.

[Edit: Said FCC instead of FTC. Why would the Federal Communications Company be involved with Banking Problems? Could they do much worse?]
Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
I remember liking that episode of Punky Brewster too.
Posted by the_Somalian (Member # 6688) on :
Puffy, you're spot on about "The Mirror" episode of "Gargoyles." [Cool]

Actually a substantial number of episodes from this show seem to fit the "change of pace" criteria, be it the one where detective Matt Bluestone takes a central role and makes multiple discoveries or the one involving the Werewolf and the Eye of Oden.

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