A TV pilot is a tricky thing to pull off. If it's a sitcom, you have to introduce an ensemble, map out their relationships to one another, and, oh yeah, add jokes. If it's a fantasy, you have to establish a whole new world and its rules. If it's The Last of Us, you have to explain how fungus is actually the scariest goddamn thing on the planet.
Despite these challenges, some shows pull off a near-perfect first episode. So, there were oodles of responses when redditor u/snuskbusken asked the folks of AskReddit, "Which TV show has the strongest first episode?" Here are 21 of their submissions to the TV Pilot Championship.
Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity.