The 10 Best TV Show Pilot Episodes of All Time (Pt. II)

<– Read Part I

Breaking Bad

If there’s one show and character that can grab your attention from the first moment they are introduced, they’re Breaking Bad and Walter White. Vince Gilligan created the show and brilliantly directed the first episode (and a few more), where we get to see the beginning of what would become a cult series.  This fast-paced pilot is exactly what the show needed to start off with, but what else can be said anymore? If you still haven’t seen Breaking Bad, here’s a reason why you should:

Game of Thrones

One of the highest rated, most expensive TV shows is on this list because its premiere episode is also defining of one of the biggest television and pop culture phenomenons of this decade. It establishes the premises of the show, congregating the main characters, showing us their colors without filter and ending with a bang.

After being in development since 2007, shot in 2009 and directed by Tom McCarthy (who recently helmed the acclaimed Spotlight) the original pilot was greenlighted to become a series, however HBO scrapped it and ordered a re-shoot. McCarthy stated not having enjoyed the experience, so apart from some of the cast who didn’t return, that second time the director was Timothy Van Patten.

Mr. Robot

This crime drama was one of the biggest surprises in 2015. The thing that makes the most impact in audiences when they watch the first episode is how intelligent and researched it is. The writing in this show is what elevates it from interesting to brilliant, and the acting helps the audience feel more engaged to a story which, while being original, can feel a bit far-fetched.

Mr. Robot recently won 2 Golden Globes for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Christian Slater). Lead actor Rami Malek was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama.


American Horror Story: Murder House

As a fan of horror, and after having given up on Glee, I was initially very intrigued about a new Ryan Murphy show with such an impressive cast on board, from Jessica Lange and Denis O’Hare to Connie Britton. This detail has always been the case in any of its seasons, but the one I enjoyed the most in terms of story was, by far, Murder House.

The series premiere episode was one to never forget. It set the tone nicely from the first scene and it didn’t let you go until the end, when you were left wanting more. From then on, each episode kept getting better than the previous one. Yes, it was scary, creepy and plenty sexual, but it also had a lot of style and characters to care for.

Six Feet Under

Before the rapidly deflated True Blood, Alan Ball‘s most treasured TV creation was this drama series about a family who run a funeral home.

In this pilot episode, we’re introduced to a completely dysfunctional family, suddenly mourning the loss of their patriarch in the midst of their own chaotic lives. Michael C. Hall stands out as the son who stayed with his parents to help run the business and is now forced to consider its fate.

The show also has what’s considered one of the best series finales, but this first episode is just as important to set the premise and characters as well as the sense of disarray between all of them.

Elisabeth S. Contreras
Elisabeth S. Contreras
Film enthusiast and sharer of words. Don't underestimate a woman with an opinion.