The Americans’ Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields on the Best Episode of the Year

Announcing...The Best Episode
Photo-illustrations by Maya Robinson

All this week, the Vulture TV Awards honor the best television from the past year. Here, The Americans’ showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields make their pick for best episode of the year.

The nominees for Best Episode are:

“12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” Inside Amy Schumer
“St. Mark’s,” Broad City
“Stingers,” The Americans
“Get the Rope,” The Knick
“Person to Person,” Mad Men

And the winner is …

12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” Inside Amy Schumer

There were a lot of great episodes of television this year, and a lot of great episodes of Inside Amy Schumer.  But we’re going with Schumer’s “12 Angry Men” as the episode that topped them all — as funny as any comedy, but able to rip apart the human psyche as surely as any drama.

The episode is based, of course, on the classic film 12 Angry Men —shot in black and white, the original jury room is re-created along with some of the movie’s memorable shots, and it features some of this generation’s great actors: Paul Giamatti, Jeff Goldblum, John Hawks, Dennis Quaid.  As for the crime — well, Amy Schumer is on trial for not being hot enough to have a show on cable television.

Just like in the movie, an early poll has just one holdout refusing to convict.  As the deliberations go on, he tries to convince the rest of the jury that Schumer is attractive enough to keep her television show on the air. And somehow, they debate this question …in a serious way?This is Schumer’s genius — she makes an argument like this hysterical and real and ridiculous all at once. Even after the pink dildos come out, it’s still … a serious discussion? Of course, it’s really about what’s wrong with America. With our culture. With you. With me. Or you can just laugh if you want to.

Sorry for the spoiler, but Schumer is not convicted.  She gets to keep her show.  Hot enough to have a show on television? She’s on fire! If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing the wildest, wiliest, funniest show on television.

Vulture TV Awards: Best Episode