History VerySpecialEpisode / LiveActionTV

2nd Dec '16 6:13:24 PM twilicorn
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* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' often parodied this. One episode had Sabrina developing an addiction that she had to get over cold turkey. Said addiction was to pancakes.

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* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' often parodied this. One episode had Sabrina developing an addiction that she had to get over cold turkey. [[ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin Said addiction was to pancakes.pancakes, which to witches is as addictive as any real drugs.]]



* ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' is practically a Very Special Series, though some episodes are very centered on a specific "issue", including:
** One episode has everyone get a fake ID to go to the teen wedding, followed by an episode about illegal underage marriage.
** Two episodes dealt with ([[GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion almost]]) abortion, and another deals with STD testing. And every episode ends with a message telling teens to talk to their parents about sex and avoiding teen pregnancy (later replaced with a sexual abuse help hotline message).

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* ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' is practically a Very Special Series, though some episodes are very centered on a specific "issue", including:
** One episode has everyone get a fake ID to go
to the teen wedding, followed by an episode about illegal underage marriage.
** Two episodes dealt with ([[GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion almost]]) abortion, and another deals with STD testing. And
point where every episode ends with a message telling teens to talk to their parents about sex and avoiding teen pregnancy (later replaced with a sexual abuse help hotline message).message). However, some episodes are very centered on a specific issue, including:
** One episode has everyone get a fake ID to go to the teen wedding. This was followed by an episode about illegal underage marriage.
** Two episodes dealt with ([[GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion almost]]) abortion.
** Another deals with STD testing.



** The groundbreaking 1983 episode where Big Bird learns of Mr. Hooper's death and has to understand that his friend is never coming back. Notable for averting NeverSayDie on a show for very young children, it was lauded by the Daytime Emmys as "very special" even by the usual standards of the trope. The show dealt with the topic again for a primetime PBS special called ''When Families Grieve''.

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** The groundbreaking 1983 episode where Big Bird learns of Mr. Hooper's death and has to understand that his friend is never coming back. Notable for averting NeverSayDie on a show for very young children, it was lauded by the Daytime Emmys as "very special" even by the usual standards of the trope. trope.
***
The show dealt with the topic again for a primetime PBS special called ''When Families Grieve''.Grieve'' during TheNewTens.



** The show tried dealing with divorce twice, but it's a particularly tricky subject to explain to young children. The first saw an episode produced where Snuffy deals with his parents' divorce; after negative test screenings, it [[MissingEpisode was never aired]]. The second did air years later, and it involved Abby Cadabby revealing that her parents were divorced; the fact that she still gets to see them both and was on good terms with them softened the blow.

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** The show tried dealing with divorce twice, but it's a particularly tricky subject to explain to young children. The first saw an episode produced where Snuffy deals with his parents' divorce; after negative test screenings, it [[MissingEpisode was never aired]].aired and remains lost to this day]]. The second did air years later, and it involved Abby Cadabby revealing that her parents were divorced; the fact that she still gets to see them both and was on good terms with them softened the blow.



** One educational kit was specifically for kids with incarcerated parents.

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** One educational kit was created specifically for kids with incarcerated parents.
1st Dec '16 9:25:37 AM fearlessnikki
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* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' had a moral in almost every episode, and it occasionally strayed into VSE territory. A bizarre one featured Sabrina battling an addiction to ''pancakes'' (which, according to how witches function on the show, is considered as addictive as any drug).

to:

* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' often parodied this. One episode had a moral in almost every episode, and it occasionally strayed into VSE territory. A bizarre one featured Sabrina battling developing an addiction that she had to ''pancakes'' (which, according get over cold turkey. Said addiction was to how witches function on the show, is considered as addictive as any drug).pancakes.



** Zack's duck Becky is killed by an oil spill.

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** Zack's duck Becky is killed by One where an oil spill.company starts drilling on school grounds, and a spill kills the animals in the pond.



** Several, one of which actually has a DownerEnding.

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** Several, one of which actually One on unhealthy eating, where the school dinners start getting supplied by a fast food company. Raven has a DownerEnding.vision of the students getting fat from eating too much of it, and gives a speech on eating healthy diets.
** "There Goes The Bride" is borderline, since it has a DownerEnding where Devon moves away for good.
4th Nov '16 10:28:24 PM merotoker
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* This is more-or-less the premise of ''3 Nen B Gumi Kinpachi-sensei''. It was a LongRunner that ran for several decades about a middle school PsychologistTeacher dealing with various issues such as child abuse, cancer, gay students, and trans students.

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* This is more-or-less the premise of ''3 Nen B Gumi Kinpachi-sensei''. It was a LongRunner {{Long Runner|s}} that ran for several decades about a middle school PsychologistTeacher dealing with various issues such as child abuse, cancer, gay students, and trans students.



* Popularly attributed to ''Series/{{Blossom}}'', which had a lot of Very Special Episodes which were promoted as such. Frequently, episodes employing this trope were introduced by actress Mayim Bialik (who played the title character) intoning in a somber manner, "Tonight, on a Very Special ''Blossom''..." followed by teaser scenes dramatically showing the conflict and cutting off before the most dire event reaches its climax. It was enough to be the source of many {{parodi|edtrope}}es:

to:

* Popularly attributed to ''Series/{{Blossom}}'', which had a lot of Very Special Episodes which were promoted as such. Frequently, episodes employing this trope were introduced by actress Mayim Bialik Creator/MayimBialik (who played the title character) intoning in a somber manner, "Tonight, on a Very Special ''Blossom''..." followed by teaser scenes dramatically showing the conflict and cutting off before the most dire event reaches its climax. It was enough to be the source of many {{parodi|edtrope}}es:



* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' did one about a homeless war veteran who died ten days after the Pentagon attack on September 11.
** Another one was about Booth doing a carnival for children with Neurofibromatosis.

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* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' did one about a homeless war veteran who died ten days after the Pentagon attack on September 11.
**
11. Another one was about Booth doing a carnival for children with Neurofibromatosis.



** The season 3 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E4BeautyAndTheBeasts Beauty and the Beasts]]" dealt with the nature of boyfriends switching between nice and a [[JerkAss jerk]]. The SpaceWhaleAesop is stretched to the breaking point in this one, as it portrays the boyfriend as a literal monster, the abused girlfriend as a total basket case, and the onlookers as condescending jerkwads, thereby insulting just about everyone who could conceivably find themselves in such a situation.

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** The season 3 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E4BeautyAndTheBeasts Beauty and the Beasts]]" dealt with the nature of boyfriends switching between nice and a [[JerkAss jerk]].{{jerk|Ass}}. The SpaceWhaleAesop is stretched to the breaking point in this one, as it portrays the boyfriend as a literal monster, the abused girlfriend as a total basket case, and the onlookers as condescending jerkwads, thereby insulting just about everyone who could conceivably find themselves in such a situation.



** A whole are on ''Series/CSINewYork'' dealt with Stella's fear that she had contracted [=AIDS=]. It was done in cooperation with [=KnowHIVAIDS.org=], and a PSA aired after each episode.

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** A whole are on ''Series/CSINewYork'' ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' dealt with Stella's fear that she had contracted [=AIDS=]. It was done in cooperation with [=KnowHIVAIDS.org=], and a PSA aired after each episode.



** Gun and gang violence among youth, complete with PSA from the actors out of character at the end, and a catchphrase [[http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/chc/squash-it-campaign/ "Squash it" ]] that was part of a national anti-violence campaign. It's obvious the actors were [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgD2Qr67ymc kind of uncomfortable doing the PSA]].

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** Gun and gang violence among youth, complete with PSA from the actors out of character at the end, and a catchphrase [[http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/chc/squash-it-campaign/ "Squash it" ]] that was part of a national anti-violence campaign. It's obvious the actors were [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgD2Qr67ymc kind of uncomfortable doing the PSA]].PSA.



** "Bad Timing", the safe sex episode, was perhaps the most notable as it was not only one of the first sitcoms to touch on the topic of safe sex, but also marked the first primetime usage of the word "condom". As such, {{content warning}}s aired before the episode and during ads for it, as well as before commercials for birth-control products and safe sex [=PSAs=]. It was also the only official video release of the show, distributed exclusively to teachers and health educators, because it discussed safe sex so well that it was deemed appropriate for school discussions.

to:

** "Bad Timing", the safe sex episode, was perhaps the most notable as it was not only one of the first sitcoms to touch on the topic of safe sex, but also marked the first primetime usage of the word "condom". As such, {{content warning}}s ContentWarnings aired before the episode and during ads for it, as well as before commercials for birth-control products and safe sex [=PSAs=]. It was also the only official video release of the show, distributed exclusively to teachers and health educators, because it discussed safe sex so well that it was deemed appropriate for school discussions.



* Creator/TylerPerry's ''House of Payne'' loved this trope, tackling drug addiction, cancer scares, [=STDs=], TeenPregnancy, postpartum depresssion, gun violence, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Some episodes ended with an actor telling viewers that they can get help for the Very Special Problem through an 800 number or a website.

to:

* Creator/TylerPerry's ''House of Payne'' loved this trope, tackling drug addiction, cancer scares, [=STDs=], TeenPregnancy, postpartum depresssion, depression, gun violence, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Some episodes ended with an actor telling viewers that they can get help for the Very Special Problem through an 800 number or a website.



* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' is a show about sex crimes and child abuse, two rather hot-button issues. Creator/USANetwork even aired a marathon of the show as part of a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. But the show's own Very Special Episode turned out to be about teenage binge drinking. Complete with a title card [=PSA=] at the end about the prevelance of underaged drinking. And the {{Narm}} did flow like a mighty stream.

to:

* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' is a show about sex crimes and child abuse, two rather hot-button issues. Creator/USANetwork even aired a marathon of the show as part of a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. But the show's own Very Special Episode turned out to be about teenage binge drinking. Complete with a title card [=PSA=] at the end about the prevelance prevalence of underaged drinking. And the {{Narm}} did flow like a mighty stream.



* ''[[Series/{{Mash}} M*A*S*H]]'' had a Very Special Episode billed as a light-hearted send-off for Henry Blake, as he left Korea and flew home. In the last 30 seconds, it utterly destroyed this convention for comedies by [[spoiler:having his plane shot down and killing him off.]] It largely worked because [[spoiler:people always die senselessly in war]].

to:

* ''[[Series/{{Mash}} ''[[Series/{{MASH}} M*A*S*H]]'' had a Very Special Episode billed as a light-hearted send-off for Henry Blake, as he left Korea and flew home. In the last 30 seconds, it utterly destroyed this convention for comedies by [[spoiler:having his plane shot down and killing him off.]] off]]. It largely worked because [[spoiler:people always die senselessly in war]].



* Occasionally parodied on Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000. One example comes after the showing (and riffing) of the road safety short Film/LastClearChance. Immediately afterwards, "Trooper" Tom Servo gives a heavy-handed rant on the dangers of steam irons, sandwiches, and lint filters.

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* Occasionally parodied on Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000. ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''. One example comes after the showing (and riffing) of the road safety short Film/LastClearChance.''Film/LastClearChance''. Immediately afterwards, "Trooper" Tom Servo gives a heavy-handed rant on the dangers of steam irons, sandwiches, and lint filters.



* ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'', an early 90's Nickelodeon SketchComedy, has the following VSEs:

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* ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'', an early 90's Nickelodeon SketchComedy, has the following VSEs:[=VSEs=]:
27th Oct '16 6:18:48 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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* Subverted with ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''. Not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, a series of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-CiRa5VUU promos]] started airing for a special entitled ''Talkin' It Out'', with the Rangers explaining that the scary situations they get into are all just pretend, and that there are much scarier events in the real world. However, this turned out to be a case of NeverTrustATrailer; ''Talkin' It Out'' was actually a standalone Creator/FoxKids special and the Rangers only appeared at the very beginning to discuss what we were about to see. The remainder of the special involved [[Series/AmericasMostWanted John Walsh]] interviewing children about the then-recent bombing and how it affected them. Since it was a one-off special, preempted ''WesternAnimation/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'', and aired commercial free, it is a VSE in a broad sense.

to:

* Subverted with ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''. Not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, a series of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-CiRa5VUU promos]] started airing for a special entitled ''Talkin' It Out'', with the Rangers explaining that the scary situations they get into are all just pretend, and that there are much scarier events in the real world. However, this turned out to be a case of NeverTrustATrailer; ''Talkin' It Out'' was actually a standalone Creator/FoxKids special and the Rangers only appeared at the very beginning to discuss what we were about to see. The remainder of the special involved [[Series/AmericasMostWanted John Walsh]] interviewing children about the then-recent bombing and how it affected them. Since it was a one-off special, preempted ''WesternAnimation/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'', ''Series/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'', and aired commercial free, it is a VSE in a broad sense.
18th Oct '16 3:13:27 PM frankenspider
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** Another one was about Booth doing a carnival for children with Neurofibromatosis.
11th Oct '16 4:19:15 AM Midna
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* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': Although not promoted as such, this landmark series had numerous episodes that qualified for this trope, with several episodes during the 1977-1978 season (the eighth season, and the final one featuring the original foursome together as regulars) having some very adult themes:
** "Edith's 50th Birthday," where Edith is attacked by a serial rapist. Met with universal critical acclaim, the episode showed -- through Gloria, who recalled her own near-run in with sexual assault more than four years earlier -- that rape was about power and domination, not sex. It all ends with Edith (who, so shaken by the incident, had refused to press charges) slapping Gloria across the face after Gloria calls Edith a selfish coward unworthy of her respect; This helps Edith realize the rapist must be put behind bars for good; what would have been {{Narm}}-inducing ends up being a Crowning Moment of Bittersweet.

to:

* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': Although not promoted as such, this landmark series ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' had numerous episodes that qualified for this trope, with several although none of them were promoted as such. Several episodes during the 1977-1978 season (the eighth season, and the final one featuring the original foursome together as regulars) having had some very adult themes:
** "Edith's 50th Birthday," where Edith is attacked by a serial rapist. Met with universal critical acclaim, the episode showed -- through Gloria, who recalled her own near-run in with sexual assault more than four years earlier -- that rape was about power and domination, not sex. It all ends with Edith (who, so shaken by the incident, had refused to press charges) slapping Gloria across the face after Gloria calls Edith a selfish coward unworthy of her respect; respect. This helps Edith realize the rapist must be put behind bars for good; what would have been {{Narm}}-inducing ends up being a Crowning Moment of Bittersweet.



** I have never seen an episode of 21 Jump Street (mentioned above) but I am wondering if a show like Degrassi, where EVERY show is a very special episode is not in some way a SUBVERSION, since a lot of these were long story arcs with well-developed 3-dimensional multi-season characters, and the issues raised became permanent parts of the history of the character. If something controversial happens in every episode, then it's just the way the show is.



** The finale itself was a Very Special Episode about pollution. It [[SuddenDownerEnding wasn't]] [[KillEmAll very]] [[TearJerker/{{Dinosaurs}} up-beat]].

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** The finale itself was a Very Special Episode about pollution. It [[SuddenDownerEnding It wasn't]] [[KillEmAll very]] [[TearJerker/{{Dinosaurs}} very up-beat]].



** One particularly notable VSE on this show is "Go Softly Into The Morning", an episode about drunk driving that just so happened to have been brainstormed right around the time Nia Peeples (Nicole) was about to leave the show. The producers got her permission to [[McLeaned kill off the character]] as the result of another student's carelessness. They later regretted offing Nicole, and said that they would have loved for her to come back for the GrandFinale.

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** One particularly notable VSE on this show is "Go Softly Into The Morning", an episode about drunk driving that just so happened to have been brainstormed right around the time Nia Peeples (Nicole) was about to leave the show. The producers got her permission to [[McLeaned kill off the character]] as the result of another student's carelessness. They later regretted offing Nicole, and said that they would have loved for her to come back for the GrandFinale.



* ''Series/FamilyTies'' had many of these, some of them incredibly {{Anvilicious}} like some other shows, and others actually effective at [[TearJerker making tearjerking moments]]. In these episodes:

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* ''Series/FamilyTies'' had many of these, some of them incredibly {{Anvilicious}} like some other shows, and others actually effective at [[TearJerker making tearjerking moments]].quite effective. In these episodes:



** Will's deadbeat dad comes back, only to abandon him again. The TearJerker ending shows Will breaking down over the realization that his real father just doesn't love him.

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** Will's deadbeat dad comes back, only to abandon him again. The TearJerker ending shows Will breaking down over the realization that his real father just doesn't love him.



** "The Last Dance", where [[spoiler:Jesse's grandfather dies]]. Unlike many Very Special Episodes, it wasn't {{narm}}y and was actually handled very nicely, if not a TearJerker.

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** "The Last Dance", where [[spoiler:Jesse's grandfather dies]]. Unlike many Very Special Episodes, it wasn't {{narm}}y and was actually handled very nicely, if not a TearJerker.nicely.



* This was done as early as the 1960s on ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver''.

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* This was done as early as ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'', even in the 1960s 1960s, got in on ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver''. the act:



** The episode aired on Halloween 2013, while not featuring any specific "very special" topics, fits this trope because [[RealitySubtext it was made in response to the passing of longtime Muppeteer Jerry Nelson]]. It revolved around his most famous character, the Count, missing out on an award ceremony where he will be rewarded for his counting. The other cast members impersonate him to stall the awards committee, but they fail, and his award is forfeited to a handheld calculator in Beijing. Then the Count texts the cast and reminds them that it's more important to count friends than prizes, and how honored he was for them to care about him even in his absence. [[Heartwarming/SesameStreet Then the Count himself swoops in aided by his bats and counts everyone on the street]], thanks to some of Nelson's pre-existing audio.

to:

** The episode aired on Halloween 2013, while not featuring any specific "very special" topics, fits this trope because [[RealitySubtext it was made in response to the passing of longtime Muppeteer Jerry Nelson]]. It revolved around his most famous character, the Count, missing out on an award ceremony where he will be rewarded for his counting. The other cast members impersonate him to stall the awards committee, but they fail, and his award is forfeited to a handheld calculator in Beijing. Then the Count texts the cast and reminds them that it's more important to count friends than prizes, and how honored he was for them to care about him even in his absence. [[Heartwarming/SesameStreet Then the Count himself swoops in aided by his bats and counts everyone on the street]], street, thanks to some of Nelson's pre-existing audio.
5th Oct '16 12:10:49 PM sarysa
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/TheFlash2014'' had the episode '''Trajectory''', a MonsterOfTheWeek episode that was essentially an aesop about steroid use. The episode's titular character, who is also an addict of the speed force steroid she reverse-engineered, [[spoiler:dies and is never mentioned again]]. Aside from having no apparent government involvement, the episode plays out like any VSE from the 1980s.
3rd Oct '16 5:59:24 AM sekusamu
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Added DiffLines:

**I have never seen an episode of 21 Jump Street (mentioned above) but I am wondering if a show like Degrassi, where EVERY show is a very special episode is not in some way a SUBVERSION, since a lot of these were long story arcs with well-developed 3-dimensional multi-season characters, and the issues raised became permanent parts of the history of the character. If something controversial happens in every episode, then it's just the way the show is.
11th Aug '16 7:42:51 PM Discar
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* Parodied in "Mr. Series/{{Monk}} and the Naked Man" which explains his prejudice towards nudists. He even has a silly FreudianExcuse.

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* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': Parodied in "Mr. Series/{{Monk}} Monk and the Naked Man" which explains his prejudice towards nudists. He even has a silly FreudianExcuse.
22nd Jul '16 5:34:37 AM mlsmithca
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A "{{very special episode}}" in television parlance is one with a much darker or serious storyline than usual, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:

to:

A "{{very special episode}}" "VerySpecialEpisode" in television parlance is one with a much darker or serious storyline than usual, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:



** "Dead Last", where a jockey is killed by a horse -- [[OrIsIt or is he?]]

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** "Dead Last", where a jockey is killed by a horse -- [[OrIsIt or is he?]]he?
This list shows the last 10 events of 210. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=VerySpecialEpisode.LiveActionTV