Bottle episodes, so easy, yet so great all at the same time. A bottle episode is one that is used normally as a filler, it uses the least amount of resources possible to usually contains one set or place in which the episode happens. Even though with the lack of resources, this format is still incredibly hard. You must keep the want to keep watching alive. I personally love these types of episodes I find them as a nice break from the normal routine. There are a few more “well known” episodes, but a few of my favourite is as follows.
Breaking Bad, not a show I would assume to have a bottle episode, yet at the same time its so brilliant. This drama filled show known for its climactic plot points took a weeks break, and had the series stunner titled “The Fly”. With no major plot brewing in this hour, I still can’t look away. It’s just Walt, and Jessie in the meth lab but there’s a problem, a “sanitary” problem. A fly. Walt refuses to work under the conditions and stops at nothing until The Fly is dead and done. This was created as a filler, as Vince Gillian needed a more budget friendly episode to make up for others in the season, so simple yet still so effective.
Archer may be a cartoon – yet can still have bottle episodes. Season six of Archer has yet to disappoint me, and last weeks show was no different. Even though its just the team locked in an elevator it is easily my favourite episode. Not only do we get the classic jokes we see every week such as the prank voice mails but also new possible jokes like the shutting of elevator doors from Ray. It takes a certain amount of skill to do a bottle episode in real life acting, but its harder with a cartoon. The jokes need to be constant, and the entertainment needs to be consistent, and that’s just what Archer did here.
Perhaps one of the first highly regarded bottle episode comes from the ever so classic – Seinfeld. The Chinese food episode is a favourite among many a fan, and can easily remembered from its witty one liners and the classic characters. When ordering food before a movie its key to make sure there’s time for both and in this episode there was – so they thought. A table for four originally was going to be “Five , ten minutes tops” but as the time ticks by and the movie getting closer, we realize that its been longer than ten minutes. This classic has left people laughing for years and almost everyone knows the hilarious “Seinfeld! Four!” joke. This is easily a cult- classic episode. The bottle episode to end all bottle episodes.
“The One Where No One’s Ready”. Friends, everyone’s favourite 90’s sitcom. So it clearly needs a bottle episode. With the crazy antics of the group attempting to get ready for a event in honour of Ross at Monica and Rachel’s apartment, we just know something won’t go as planed. We would be right. Ross wanting to leave – yet no one is ready, the entire show is in the apartment. Joey and Chandler fighting back and forth, Rachel refusing to go due to an argument, Pheobe’s dress ruined, and Monica’s terrible answering machine message, this has all the makings of a great “one set” episode.
Lastly there is Community, a rather different comedy this show has done multiple bottle episodes, but my favourite being the case of Annie’s missing pen. Right from the beginning Abed had claimed it was a bottle episode, and not two minutes later, Jeff Winger the so called “leader” of the study group has locked the doors and stated no one was to leave until the missing pen was found. Of course hilarity ensued. One half hour later we are left with the classic Greendale antics, but just with seeing much less of Greendale.
Bottle episodes mightn’t be the favourite of many – but they should be. The unique flair to each show has something to remember. Even if its to save a little bit of the budget, they still can and are well done.