...although I'm particularly talking about the Extended Pilot, which didn't air on TV but is available on the DVD. I've heard people say that pilots are typically weak episodes, but if that's the general rule, the AD pilot is the exception that proves the rule. It's one of the best episodes in the whole series. In it, the hard-working Michael Bluth finds himself in charge of the family business when his father is arrested for massive corruption. The episode has the burden of introducing all the characters and storyline, but in the process we get classic dialog from the character GOB, who informs us that magicians practice illusions, not tricks, because a trick is something "a whore does for money." Additionally, we learn the head of the family George can't be considered a mastermind because "he can barely work our shredder." We learn the family is composed of shallow people and snobs who don't get along, and yet by the end we get the sense that they care about each other... even when they're still trading insults. This is what made The Simpsons brilliant, and AD catches that dynamic just as well or better.
There's sort of a cinematic feel to this episode, particularly the extended version, and there's definitely an exciting feeling at the end that the Pilot has set up an amazing roller coaster ride of a series. If you don't believe me, this Pilot won more Emmys than any other AD episode, for writing, directing and editin