Television Shows That Started Off With Absolutely Amazing Pilot Episodes

There are at least two kinds of television shows out there – ones that start off with a bang and ones you have to give a few episodes to really develop the characters and story before you fall in love.

Now, either of these kinds of shows can crap out after a season (or less), but today, we’re talking about the ones with pilots we’ll never forget.

The Boys

Image Credit: Amazon

“The Boys. You can tell it’s going to be a wild ride after the first 15 minutes.”

The Last of Us

Image Credit: HBO

“The Last of Us. Super early to say so, I know, but goddamn does it establish things well.”

The Good Place

Image Credit: NBC

“The Good Place. The concept is so intriguing and the vibe so upbeat that you just have to watch the second episode right after.”

Derry Girls

Image Credit: Netflix

“Derry Girls. Most sitcom first episodes (seasons, too) have to do so much table-setting that they’re not funny.

This first episode established the settings, characters, and was funny, too.”


Image Credit: Showtime

“Dexter. The first 5-10 minutes of the first episode hooked me. I didn’t miss a weekly episode for the duration of the show.

Granted…the quality dropped significantly after the first few seasons.”


Image Credit: Fox

“The first episode of Firefly was truly epic! The long take near the beginning that goes through the whole ship is super powerful and sets the tone for the whole series.”

Interview with the Vampire

Image Credit: AMC

“Recently, Interview with the Vampire really impressed me. Was expecting just another lazy remake but damn…the dialogue, the sets and especially the acting blew me away.”


Image Credit: Amazon

“Invincible had a great first episode. Introduces you to a world of superheroes and villains but shows you who the real villain is before the credits roll.

And let me tell ya, my jaw was on the floor when those credits rolled.”

Mad Men

Image Credit: AMC

“Mad Men. A fascinating set-up, beautifully told, with the best celluloid photography we’d seen in years.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Image Credit: Amazon

“The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Establishes so much in just an hour and it’s fucking hysterical.”

Better Call Saul

Image Credit: AMC

“Mad Men. A fascinating set-up, beautifully told, with the best celluloid photography we’d seen in years.”

Arrested Development

Image Credit: Fox

“I feel like Arrested Development doesn’t fall into the typical thing of a sitcom where it needs a season to find itself and is only enjoyable halfway through. Instead, it knows what kind of show it wants to be right from the beginning and totally nails that.

All of the characters are immediately on point and the show is funny as heck on a first watch.”

How to Get Away with Murder

Image Credit: ABC

“How to Get Away with Murder. The first episode reeled me in and I couldn’t stop watching. Think I binged the whole first season in a day.”

I have to agree with the ones I’ve seen on this list for sure.

What else would you add? Let us know in the comments!