Continuing in on honoring the Year That Was on the small screen, here are the moments that only furthered my television-above-all prejudice. And yes, there are eleven, not ten. I make no apologies!
WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD! You may just want to look at the show names in the parentheses for each listing before anything else, just in case you were wanting to keep yourself pure. You’ve been warned!
- Breaking Bad’s entire fifth season so far. I realized I just couldn’t narrow it down: neophyte Todd shooting the kid who witnesses the gang’s heist, Skylar telling Walt that she’s waiting and hoping for his cancer to come back, Walt fatally shooting Mike and then staying with him as he dies, Hank finding Gale’s book and realizing that Walt and Heisenberg are one and the same. And that was the first half of the season. See you at the 2013 Primies, Breaking Bad.
- Deb shoots LaGuerta (Dexter) to save her brother, Dexter, with whom she’s still inextricably and tragically in love. Deb’s love life had always been her undoing, but she had always been the victim. It’s a different story now, to say the least.
- Ben proposes to Leslie (Parks and Recreation) after surprising her at the house in which they planned to live together during less career-driven times — proof positive that some of television’s most heartfelt moments occur on comedies.
- Megan sings “Zou Bisou Bisou” (Mad Men) for Don’s birthday party, a moment that’s unforgettable not just because the then-obscure song was so catchy but because Megan transformed from Don’s starry-eyed shotgun wife to his alluring leading lady. Betty who?
- Carrie arrests Brody (Homeland) after he invites her into his hotel room, using their affair against him just as he had done to her. “You’re a disgrace to your nation, Sergeant Nicholas Brody,” she seethes. “You’re a traitor and a terrorist, and now it’s time you pay for that.”
- Lana realizes Dr. Thredson is Bloody Face (American Horror Story), the intrepid reporter realizing that she went from the frying pan of the mental institution to the fire of a serial killer’s house — and furniture workshop. “What kind of material do you use?” she asks tremulously, after examining a sickeningly peachy lampshade.
- Karofsky attempts suicide (Glee) after being harassed about his sexuality both in person and online, a reversal of fortune for the former bully. Glee often touts incisive comedy and spectacular show-stoppers, but I’m thinking that the show shines brightest when Ryan Murphy & Co. hit society’s exposed nerves.
- Rayna and Deacon sing “No One Will Ever Love You” (Nashville) in heartbreaking harmony, realizing that they were the ones who should have been married, and that because they’re not, their personal feelings will always compromise their professional collaboration.
- Kalinda prepares for her ex-husband’s arrival (The Good Wife), channeling her inner girl with a dragon tattoo as she turns off the lights in her apartment, positions an armchair to face the front door, and lies in wait with a loaded gun at the ready.
- Shoshanna accidentally smokes crack (Girls), propelling the most innocent of all the Girls into a frenzy of both motormouthed insightfulness and paranoid flightiness.
- Cam, dressed as a cat, gets rescued from a tree (Modern Family) when his passions for environmentalism and community theater coincide. Trying to save a tree but not having time to change out of his Cats costume, Cam becomes stuck amid the branches in full feline regalia — and a (hunky) firefighter has to get him down.