Every person alive has what they consider their favorite holiday. That particular time of year that – for whatever reason – seems to best resonate with them.
For most, that is easily Christmas. The decorations. The music. The gifts. The family gatherings. Overall, a miasma of things that people spend most of the year looking forward to.
Others, it is their birthday. Or 4th of July. Or any of a handful of options, none better or worse than another.
For me, that most magical time of year has always been Halloween. By a long, long shot. I mean, it is so far out ahead that the race officials give up and go home before the second-place finisher even crosses the line. My decorations go up on the first day of September and only begrudgingly come down after Thanksgiving.
The combination of all things fall – foliage, foods, football, even some things that don’t start w/ the letter f…it is heaven in holiday form.
As part of that, each year I make a point to record all Halloween-related television episodes. Not even a huge television guy to begin with, don’t ask me how or why this came to pass. It is just something I began doing years ago and enjoyed so much, it has become an annual endeavor.
One that always ends w/ this, my Annual, Official Halloween Episode Rankings ?
NOT MAKING THE CUT (Listed in order that I watched them)
American Housewife – This show actually does small town tropes pretty well…right down to the neighborhood rivalry about things like pumpkin carvings.
Bless This Mess – The only episode of this show I’ve ever watched. While I like both of the leads, it will probably remain this way.
Young Sheldon – This one had way, waaaay too much Jason Alexander for its own good.
Superstore – Most years I think these guys do a great job, but this time it was too context heavy. Just a regular episode in costumes.
Single Parents – I’ve never been one for awkward, cringey comedy (See next entry), so this was a tough sell for me.
The Office – Again, anytime I feel like I need to hit mute or look away…
Perfect Harmony – I applaud these guys for making a valiant effort in only like their fifth episode ever. If this show survives, I have a feeling they crack the rankings next year.
Bless the Harts – I…uh…moving on…
Mixed-ish – I really like the parent show (see below), but this one was a little on-the-nose for my taste.
Bob’s Burgers – A friend of mine is a writer for them, and I really like the high-brow humor they often utilize (not to mention, their casts are always excellent), but this one wasn’t quite as good as years past.
Everybody Loves Raymond – Yes, I am aware that this one was almost twenty years old, but (1) I had never seen it, and (2) I really enjoyed it, in an almost nostalgic sort of way.
Family Guy/The Cleveland Show – These are basically the same show. Always quite entertaining in the moment, but couldn’t tell you a thing about them after the fact.
The Middle – Siiiiiiiiiigh…Oh, how I wish you were still on the air.
Friends – For as dedicated as they were to Thanksgiving, they only did one actual Halloween episode. (And did it quite well, at that)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – The annual Halloween heists are fantastic. Appointment viewing, even. The only reason they don’t make the list here is b/c their new schedule means they won’t be releasing a new one for another four months.
THE TOP TEN
10.) Girl Meets Farm
Yes, I am including a Food Network show for the first time ever here. They killed it. No judging.
9.) The Goldbergs
I know using the Rocky Horror Picture Show is low hanging fruit, but it was still quite amusing.
8.) Hawaii Five-O
Having run into these guys no less than fifty times as they film around HNL, I really wanted this one to be better.
That said, MAJOR points for Officer Raye’s costume as a mermaid.
7.) Magnum P.I.
Well thought-out blend of macabre real and imagined here. One of their best episodes overall to date.
Their annual Treehouse of Horrors is an institution. Some are better than others, obviously, but this year’s inclusion of a Stranger Things them was more than enough to land them here.
Coach Mellnor’s discovery of couples costumes and determination to pull one off was high comedy. Well played, guys.
Junior’s Nutty Professor costume…bwaaaahahaha…
3.) Fresh Off The Boat
I ALWAYS enjoy FOTB’s Halloween efforts, thanks in no small part of Louis’s affinity for Halloween matching my own. This year, the way he managed to trick Jessica into joining in was genius. (As was her costume 🙂
2.) Modern Family
If this was the Oscars, this would be as much a Lifetime Achievement Award as for this singular performance. Claire and Phil, the effort you always put toward All Hallow’s Eve will be sorely missed…
1.) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
As if there was any doubt. ?
I LOVE Halloween!! .My mom always dressed up and visited the local hospital when my dad was laid up there. She went as a witchdoctor with her hair grayed out with baby powder and gruesome mascara scars. She carried a baby bottle, the mom had to supply her own nipples. She ask had a carpet needle with black string for sutures and small bingo drum to call her in the morning; all delivered deadpan. The nurses and patients loved her and asked her to come back every year!