My favorite TV pilots

Disclaimer: I'm not a writer or actor or critic or anyone in the entertainment industry. I've got no credentials to back up my claim. I just really like TV.
  1. The West Wing
    Sorkin dialogue, idealistic and committed characters, drama punctuated by humor and spectacularly smart people doing really dumb things (see: falling off a treadmill and riding your bike into a tree). The pilot hooks you immediately.
  2. The Mindy Project
    Introduced us to this smart, hilarious, but very, very flawed character. It also gave us the great line: "Maybe I'll do one of those Eat, Pray, Love things. Ugh, forget it. I don't want to pray; I'll just die alone."
  3. Arrested Development
    Hilarious from the get go. Immediately set up the characters and the story. Also set up the "next time on Arrested Development," which I always loved.
  4. Last Man on Earth
    I learned that I could happily watch Will Forte talk to himself for half an hour. That is not an easy feat, and this show pulled it off spectacularly.
  5. Leverage
    Dark horse! This is a charming and highly underrated show. Fun and not too serious, it has fabulous characters who challenge stereotypes and tropes. The extended pilot is available on Netflix.
  6. Girls
    Hannah getting high on opium tea and telling her parents "I really think I might be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice. Of a generation." Hands down one of the funniest lines I've seen said on TV.