Thirteen Memorable T.V. Moments (To Me)

1. Johnny Carson Says Goodbye

2. The Call of Florida in the 2000 Election

3. 9/11
4. Time Bandit Rescue

5. Last Episode of “Buffy”

6.The First X Files Episode
Let’s face it. There wasn’t ANYTHING like it before.
7.The Final Episode of the X-Files

8. The Death of Deputy Director Jenny Shepard NCIS

9. Tony And Ziva Kiss
I love this.

10. Dale Earnhardt’s Death at Daytona
I saw this. It was….so awful.

11. The Patriots Win in 2002
After 9/11, this was a bright spot.

12. The Last Episode of M*A*S*H

13. The Deadliest Catch Episode “Stay Focused or Die”
Last Tuesday’s episode. I talked about it here.



Filed under My YouTube Obessession, The Deadliest Catch, Thursday Thirteen

47 responses to “Thirteen Memorable T.V. Moments (To Me)

  1. Shawna

    A Thursday tearjerker! I remember the last episode of MASH; I watched that show every time it came on. Confession: Never watched Buffy or X-Files and the first time I saw Tony and Ziva was when you listed the hottest couples on TV. Thanks to you, I have seen a little Deadliest Catch.

    Sigh, I really did give up TV in order to have time to write. Thanks for sharing. ; )

  2. I remember number 10. I was so appalled at the number of times they showed the wreck on TV. His poor family, geesh!

    Happy T13!

    • Jen

      I know, Adelle. The thing is, the wreck itself was so…unspectacular. Compared to Eliot Sadler’s 2005 Daytona crash and last weekend’s Carl Edwards air flying destruction, Earnhardt’s was a “tap”. But it was enough to end the life of one of the sport’s anchors.

  3. Oh wow … what memories. I remember the last episode of Johnny Carson and MASH. SO sad! Great list, Jen. Happy Thursday. *hugs*

  4. Saw Buffy, X-Files and The Superbowl!


    My TT is at

  5. Kym

    One of those moments I’ll never forget was the US Hockey team beating Russia at the Olympics –’78? And I’m not even a sports fan.

  6. Wow… We share some of the same significant moments, there. I saw Carson, X-Files (first and last), M*A*S*H, and the election results.

    Some stuff you can’t forget, though, like 9/11 – it stays with you forever…


    • Jen

      It’s a generational thing, Ms. Menozzi. We remember the big moments for our time. 9/11 will always be the “Where were you when…” question for our generation.

  7. Kirk Gibson’s home run.

    Any time a Most Interesting Man in the World commercial comes on.

  8. I missed Carson’s farewell performance, even though I always liked him. At the time I didn’t have a TV.

  9. I agree with 1, 3 and 8. I missed 9 and 12. I’d add to memorable moments the calling of the 2008 presidential election. I stayed up to watch, wishing I could be in Chicago that night, even though I had a migraine that was splitting my skull in two.

  10. Wow. You have some heart wrenching clips there. I am a total mass of tears. Of course we don’t get the Deadliest Catch. That one really got to me.

  11. I just read Kym’s reply. I saw that one live. I’ll never forget the hockey player looking for his dad. First thing he did when they won. That was amazing.

    • Jen

      Funny, I thought for sure I’d find clips from MASH’s last episode but they were there. Nor were the ones from X-Files last one either.
      I’ll have to look and see if I can find that hockey game.

  12. I watched most of those, too. I gave up TV, though and missed that NCIS episode. I had no idea.

    One you didn’t list, but I always think about is the first shuttle launch. that’s etched in my memory along with the Iran hostage crisis w/ the 1980 presidential race. That all happened when I was in 6th grade, and I started to realize the impact of watching events like those on TV.

    • Jen

      You know what else I forgot? The space shuttle “Challenger’s” disaster. How could I forget? I was a senior in high school and that made a huge impact on me.

  13. The hockey game was the ’80 Olympics. I saw that one live in my parents’ living room. I was a hockey nut back then because I attended the Mariners games in the mid-70s.

    I knew Dale Sr’s accident was serious the moment it happened. It was eerily similar to Stanley Smith’s accident at Talladega in ’93. He suffered the same injuries, the only difference being he survived but has double vision in his left eye and must wear an eye patch. I think I posted the link to the footage on my Twitter account a few hours after Carl Edwards had his recent accident.

    • Jen

      My husband mentioned several crashes I hadn’t known about when I said I thought Edward’s crash was “awful”. He told me to look up several on YouTube.

  14. I totally hated that they ended Buffy. *cry* They could have ended it worse (like Angel), so I can’t really complain.

    I’ve seen the episode after they killed off Jenny, but I’ve missed the one they did it in. Like, 4 times, too. Must. Not. Miss. Again.

    Great, TT Jen!

  15. I don’t watch much television, but I did watch the last episode of MASH. On 9/11 I was sitting with my 9th-12th graders in a classroom with the morning news on. I do not ever want a day like that again.

  16. I feel stupid. I forgot the 1999 Marlboro 500 CART race at Fontana. I watched Greg Moore get killed on the 10th lap while I was getting ready to give out candy on Halloween for the first time. 😦

  17. The 2000 election was pivotal for me. Good choices.


  18. melsmag

    Wow great clips. πŸ™‚

  19. Oh Golly, I just loved the finale of Buffy. And Angel.

    I heart Joss Whedon!

  20. Eric Kirk

    I still have to see the last episode of MASH. It’s on my netflix queue as it just came on DVD recently.

    Interesting list. I have to think about mine. If I’d been alive to see the live broadcast of Jack Ruby killing Oswald, I’d probably put that at the top of the list, but I was born a year later. And I don’t remember the landing on the moon.

    I do however remember the Munich Olympics hostage crisis, which was the first time I watched anything resembling news for any length of time. I remember waiting for something to happen, with the narrator indicating that there were two german special police on a roof, one with a gun and one with binoculars, and even my second grade brain asking “what if the kidnappers are watching TV?”

    Another moment around the same time I remember coming into the living room on election night. My parents and my aunt and uncle were sitting around speechless and grim, staring at the screen as the returns came in. I asked them what they were watching. My mother said “a monster movie.”

    The television series which probably primed my pump in terms of interest in history was World at War. I watched it every Sunday night religiously (no irony intended) as it opened up the whole world for me in many respects. I recently came across a video tape of a couple of episodes at a garage sale and when I brought it home and heard that violin theme song it evoked ancient feelings in me – I hadn’t heard it in over 30 years. The series is quite detailed and an emotional roller coaster, and even my grown-up post history MBA critical mind was able to overlook some of the historical deficiencies and omissions. I still say it’s the best documentary series ever filmed.

    A few years later Roots came out. Yes, I know it’s mostly fiction. It’s still a very powerful depiction of the generations of slavery. Some of you my age might remember the adults discussing it. In particular, my mother, a teacher in SF, came home and spoke about a fight between a white kid and a black kid that day. It really wasn’t an uncommon event in a school which was about 1/3 black, 1/3 white, and 1/3 Asian. But the incident prompted the rather conservative principal to yell at the teachers in the faculty room with disgust: “It’s that damned Roots!”

    Tales of the City, a PBS series based on the Armistad Maupin series in the Chronicle about bohemian life in SF during the late 1970s. Aside from the idea that temp workers and waitresses could have afforded posh Pacific Heights studio apartments, it really did capture the feel I had of the city during my teen years. And it was thoroughly entertaining. Also the first time two men kissed on primetime television. And it will be the last time PBS produces anything like it. It caused an uproar from the religious right who objected to tax money going to morally objectionable material from their perspective. Afraid of jeopardizing the funding, PBS has agreed to forgo similar projects in the future. A shame.

    In sports the moments for me were “the catch” by Dwight Clark to defeat the Cowboys in the 1082 playoffs. The 49ers had been a basement team for years, but managed to turn things around in just a couple of years of good player trades, drafting, and the development of the “west coast offense” to which nobody put together an effective defense during that season. The Cowboys had clobbered the 49ers (and almost everyone else except the Steelers) in every game I’d watched them play, and for awhile it looked like they’d shut the 49ers down again. “The catch” involved a broken play with Montana rolling out and it looked like he threw it away to avoid the sack. But Dwight Clark, a seventh round draft pick who wasn’t fast but had good moves and hands, leapt up into the air and grabbed it, coming down just inside the the end zone. I’ve watched a lot of games, but that was the most exciting moment for me. Even the 49er defeat of the Bengals in the Superbowl a couple of weeks later was less exciting, though that 4 down goal line stand makes a good runner up.

    I also happened to be watching the Braves game when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, but it didn’t mean as much to me at the time. Only years later did I truly understand the significance of the event.

    We didn’t have cable for 911. I heard the details on the radio, and I avoided the television coverage. At some point I did see the footage, but I was kind of numb by then.

    What did change my whole attitude about the Middle East conflict was the episode in which a couple of Israeli soldiers took a wrong turn in the West Bank, were incarcerated in a Palestinian Authority police station, when a mob stormed the building and brutally murdered both men, with one man holding his hands out the window gleefully showing the crowd the victims’ blood prompting cheers. It didn’t really alter my political position, which has always been support for Israel’s right to exist and the existence of a Palestinian state in the currently occupied territories, ie. the “two state solution.” But I did become much more sympathetic to the Israelis, whom I had tended to view primarily as aggressors in the conflict. That was an existential moment for me.

    Lastly, the West Wing episode which was filmed and broadcast live, depicting the debate between the presidential candidates played by Alan Alda (liberal in real life, conservative in character) and Jimmy Smits (moderately conservative in real life, liberal in character), which involved a general script framework with much ad libbing by the two great actors.

    Excellent moments of creativity on television include:

    The final aired episode of Firefly, the one with the bounty hunter, though all the episodes were brilliant. It was a great finale in an all two short series.

    The silent Buffy episode. Brilliant.

    The Memento Seinfeld episode.

    The Miami Vice episode with Willie Nelson playing the retired Texas Ranger. Runner up is the episode with Brian Denehey playing the televangelist.

    The LA Law episode which depicted an execution by cyanide gas.

    The Columbo episode with Ruth Gordon.

    Oh, and there was this revelation I had back in the 1980s. In high school I’d be out with my friends on a Saturday night and when I got home I was sometimes pretty stoned. I would watch the end of SNL and afterwards Second City TV would come on. John Candy, Martin Short and other comedians who would go on to great careers played on this series. It never made any sense to me and I attributed my lack of comprehension of the material to the grass in my system. A couple of years later I watched some reruns in the light of day while I was completely clearheaded. The material still made no sense to me.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment.

    • Jen

      Fantastic, Erik! I remember World At War. I would love to find those again. It was one of the most amazing documentaries I’ve ever seen. I was little and my Mom didn’t want me to watch it.
      And that episode with Ruth Gordon is fantastic. The one with the safe right? Brilliant.
      Another moment I’d forgotten was the coverage of the Somalian rebels dragging the two men from the Blackhawk through the streets. I’ll never forget it. That was my existential moment and changed my opinion on American involvement in Africa.

    • Kym

      Eric, I never saw World at War but I’m going to look for it–it sounds really good.

      That last Firefly episode and Out of Gas were both brilliant! It was an all too short series!

      • Eric Kirk

        As I said in response to Jen, it’s on Netflix. I wonder if the county library has it.

  21. What a great list of memorable moments!

    I have to say that I thought the 2001 World Series (where Arizona beat the Yankees) was better than the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. But both were stunning, nonetheless.

    While the death of Jenny Shepard was well done, I think there were a few episodes/scenes from The West Wing that I would put above that. Now Tony and Ziva kissing…. that was just plain hot. πŸ™‚

  22. Eric Kirk

    Just watched the Jenny Shepard death clip. I don’t know the series well, so I have no investment in the character, but it does come off well.

    It reminds me however that Mark Harmon’s death in West Wing is another powerful moment. He played the part of a Secret Service agent assigned to protect CJ Craig, and was killed in a moment of …. irony. The grieving scenes are accompanied by Rufus Wainright’s version of Halleluia, which makes the Watchmen usage of the same song (though it used the Cohen version) for a love making scene annoying.

    • Eric Kirk

      Okay, I found the clip. It gets cut off a little early, but it conveys enough.

      And with that, Harmon was reincarnated to meet Jenny Sheperd.

    • Yes! I remember that episode. Actually WW has had quite a few memorable moments — from Mrs. Landingham’s unexpected death to Bartlett’s exquisite lambasting of the radio personality to Bartlett talking on the phone/radio with a midshipman on a ship that was about to get slammed by a hurricane. And so many more!

      • Eric Kirk

        Actually, I’d forgotten about it, but this scene right after Harmon’s death – a classic confrontation between Bartlett and Ritchie, is also one of my favorite scenes.

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