Just like Halloween, there are some great Birthday theme episodes of Nerdy TV out there! Here are my top five, in no particular order!
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Surprise/Innocence
Let’s just get the obvious Whedon episodes out of the way. Surprise/Innocence, the two part episode in the middle of season 2, is both a triumph as a birthday episode, as well as for the show itself. It’s probably the best coming-of-age story about a teenage girl losing her virginity that a middle-aged man could ever write, and it’s the turning point in the show: up until that point, it was fairly ripe with 90’s camp. But Surprise, and Innocence even more so, showed just how mature and intelligent the show could be. The three final scenes, with Buffy confronting Angel, and talking with her two parental figures, are nothing short of beautiful.
Plus: Buffy with a rocket launcher! Classic!
2. Firefly: Out of Gas
Like I said: Just getting the Whedon out of the way. Out of Gas is fantastic, aflashback style episode exploring the crew and how they got aboard Serenity. Funny, poignant, and touching, it’s a perfect example of why browncoats still lament the loss of this show, over a DECADE AGO. It starts with Simon Tam’s birthday, and he has a fantastic line about it:
Simon: Always thought the name Serenity had a vaguely funereal sound to it.
Inara: I love this ship. I have from the first moment I saw it.
Simon: I just don’t wanna die on it.
Inara: I don’t wanna die at all.
Simon: Suffocation’s not exactly the most dignified way to go. The human body will…
Inara: Please, I don’t really require a clinical description right now.
Simon: I’m sorry. I’m just… It was my birthday.
3. Community: Mixology Certification
This might be one of Community’s least wacky episode: Troy realizes he’s not turning 20, but actually 21, so the gang insists on taking him to the bar to celebrate. What follows is a pretty accurate representation of bar culture, and Troy’s eventual decision to not give in and get hammered is touching. And while the episode isn’t Community’s nerdiest episode either, it does have the fantastic double-whammy sci-fi joke that I lost it at.
Robert: Oh, careful. If you score any higher, the Rylans are going to recruit you to fight their war against the Ko-Dan Empire.
Abed: The Last Starfighter. Did you get the twenty-fifth anniversary Blu-Ray?
Robert: Is Scorpius half Scarran/half Peacekeeper? Frell yes, I got Starfighter on Blu-Ray
Good lord, my lists have like, the same 5 shows each time I post one…
4. 30 Rock: Live Show
30 Rock isn’t a nerd show, you say? Here’s a list of Star Wars references the show makes in the first season alone. For that, and many other reasons, I say 30 Rock is a nerdy show. Live Show is brilliant for being, well, live! It’s been attempted before, sure, but not very often. And it wouldn’t have been so impressive if it wasn’t so brilliantly executed. Even Tracy Morgan completely messing up his line was funny.
5. Adventure Time: Mystery Train
I may have not actually seen this episode of Adventure Time, yet. But I’m currently obsessed with this show, so I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume it’s awesome. Plus, it’s getting late, and it’s my birthday, so I’m going to close this blog post out and go drink some wine.
What episodes did I miss? Comment and let me know!
And thanks, again, everyone.