We’re coming up to the end of 2011 and it’s that time to do a list to roundup this year’s television and pick the top 25 tv moments. There have been plenty of fantastic moments in television, but this list won’t include reality tv shows, that bloody kardashian wedding or even Obama’s swagging to the world announce that Bin Laden had indeed gone off the fags. So after much debate over what should be included on the list, here it is below (and if you haven’t watched or caught up on the latest/final seasons of this shows (American Horror Story, Supernatural, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Community, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia etc) then look away now).
25. Vivien has sex with a gimp ghost….as you do
American Horror Story, Season 1, Episode 1 ‘Pilot’
Aired 5th October
Imagine an updated version of American Gothic and give it every crazy drug known to man and you may quite possibly end up with one of the craziest new shows to grace are screen in years, American Horror Story.
In particular then things are already getting weird and freaky in the new Harmon household, nothing reached the levels of when Vivien, thinking that her husband Ben wants to get some kinky sexy time in a rubber suit and has just that with the Rubber Man ghost. Also that’s not all when she finds out that she’s pregnant and everyone watching suddenly goes ‘oh shit’ at the fact that 1, She had sex with a ghost and is pregnant with it’s baby and 2, what’s the kid going to end up like.
This show has been batshit mental from the word go and hasn’t really taken it’s foot off the pedal since so if you miss an episode you’re pretty much lost, though that’s not much as some of us are pretty lost watching it and haven’t missed a beat. No clip either to show this scene though it pretty much writes itself.
24. Misha Collins tweets to his ‘Mishamigos’
Supernatural, Season 6, Episode 15 ‘The French Mistake’
Aired 25th February
Supernatural always has a habbit of having tongue-in-cheek episodes at itself. None were as fun as the episode in Season 6 ‘The French Mistake’ as the show took it to another level of making fun of itself…by sending Dean and Sam into a world where Supernatural is a TV show and they are known as Jensen and Jared.
Upon looking for help to get back to their reality they finally come across Castiel….only for them to eventually realise it’s not the real Cas but Misha Collins, After the end of their exchange, Misha Collins decides to send a tweet to his ‘Mishamigos’ which, in fact he did send for real on his twitter account, breaking down the fourth wall against another fourth wall.
Granted it’s not as much as an amazing moment as much as this show has had in the past and present considering, but it is a savouring moment in an unbalanced season of the show but with little gems like this thrown in.
23. Mac’s real name is revealed
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Season 7, Episode 12 ‘The High School Reunion’
Aired 8th December
For years people have guessed on what’s Macs real name. It has been a long occuring joke on the show. Finally, on the shows seventh season the name comes to a head at the gangs High School Reunion. As everyone has to put their name tags on before entering the hall, after much presistence from Dennis, Mac finally slaps on the name tag and his real name is finally revealed as…Ronald McDonald.
Unfortunately there is no clip to show this scene in it’s glory so the picture above must do it justice but seriously, if you haven’t caught It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, please save yourself and give it a go.
22. Eric rips out heart and drinks from it like a straw
True Blood, Season 4, Episode 11 ‘Soul of Fire’
Aired 4th September
Season 4 of True Blood wasn’t really that good, which is an understatement in itself to be honest. Eric lost his memory, we lost are patience with the story. Though there was one standout moment in Season 4 when Eric, getting his memory back and mightily pissed off, Have enough of witches, in particular Marnie.
Trying to protect her, Roy decides to stand in and do the whole ‘If you want her you’re going to have to go through me’ line. Massive mistake Roy as Eric blitz over and rips his heart out. As his body drops, Eric begins to drink from the heart like he’s drinking a juicebox. Major bad ass moment.
21. The Dark Timeline sees the birth of Evil Troy & Evil Abed
Community, Season 3, Episode 4 ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’
Aired: 6th October
Community is getting a hard time as of late. It’s got a strong fanbase but is losing some viewers as they think the third season isn’t all that, worse yet, Community will be on a longer hiatus and no one has a general idea on when it will return, leading to loads of ‘Save Community’ campaigns (#6seasonsandamovie).
In truth, after a slow start, this episode continued a run of consitantly steady episodes, taking the group outside of the school and open them out to more locations etc (considering the ‘no budget’ joke from the first episode of the new season). This episode followed six different timelines over rolling a dice to see who gets the pizza and the Darkest (and funniest) timeline is that of Troy’s. Afraid that he’ll miss everything, Troy misses out on Annie slipping on the Raider’s blouder, Pierce getting shot, Britta setting the place on fire and Jeff trying to put the fire out. As Troy returns, he has a Norweigan Troll staring back at him in the flames, leading to him screaming ‘Noooo’.
As an added bonus, The Darkest Timeline appears also in the end credits to show us the aftermath of the study group which is that Pierce is DEAD!, Jeff lost an arm, Shirley’s an alcoholic, Annie is institutionalised, Britta has a random blue streak in her hair and Troy now needs to use a voicebox after burning his throat (“Clearly you don’t know anything about defeating trolls”). Abed, who remains, well, Abed, commits to the group being evil and have one goal – to return to the prime timeline and reclaim their proper lives, with cut out goatees.
Funny and hilarious, will we be likely to see The Darkest Timeline appear again?
20. Corpses taking a ride on horses
Dexter, Season 6, Episode 3 ‘Smokey & The Bandit’
Aired 16th October
Nothing says better about spreading your message around than by attaching body parts onto mannequin’s and chuck them ontop of horses and have them riding around the streets of Miami. One of the most disturbing images have has been on television this year, let along for ages on this show. As much as it had such a good premise and a good start to the show it really did get a bit ridiculous towards the end (Deb deciding that she loves Dexter, I mean really loves him is a bit to Nip/Tuck for my liking).
19. Moretta gets killed
Southland, Season 3, Episode 4 ‘Code 4’
Aired: 25th January
This is still one that shocks me to this day as you are given no warning or no reason as to why it happens, it just does and you are left completely numb by the experience. Without knowning the outside workings of what was happening with the show (budget cuts, Kevin Alejandro was on True Blood and couldn’t work out a schedule), to see a certain fan favourite amongst viewers to go out like that in a blink of an eye was shocking. Nate and Sammy are driving along when the police car gets hit by a bottle, instead of leaving it, Nate goes out to talk to them about it. Ironically, Nate gives the eye in the sky the signal for no assistance. Believing the situation is under control, Nate even jokes with a man about his tattoos. As Nate and Sammy step away to head back to the car, Nate is suddenly hit in the back of the head with a steel pipe.
Sammy desperately tries to keep the mob away from stomping on Nate’s bleeding, unconscious body by firing his gun and dragging Nate away from them. It truly is a disturbing scene to watch as you can see and feel the panic coming from Shawn Hatosy’s performance as Sammy. The scene following where Sammy comforts Nate’s wife in his arms is just as heartbreaking to see. It was at this moment that Southland was just not the most underrated cop show of all time, but one of the most underrated tv shows of all time.
18. Lou’s speech at the Funeral
Rescue Me, Season 7, Episode 9 ‘Ashes’ (Series Finale)
Aired 7th September
The Final Season really did come back to the glory form of old for Rescue Me, in particular it’s last few episodes. It was a toss-up between two endings, the one that Tommy dreamed of (which is the one I’ve put on the list) or the one that came full circle, with Tommy giving a speech to new rookies and being in a much better, calmer place after the passing of his best friend Lou.
The reason for having this on the list is for the initial shock of believing that all of the guys of 62 truck had died, bar Lou and also for Lou’s monologue throughout this scene. John Scurti is given one final meaty scene to deal with and he just chews it up on screen. Lou’s heartfelt speech about bravery and heroism made the moment that much sweeter and I believed every word he spoke. “I shall see you on the other side,” struck a chord that made the dialogue more sincere and honest.
Indeed the show will be missed and had the perfect swan song.
17. Lex Luthor returns and confronts Clark
Smallville, Season 10, Episode 21 ‘Finale’
Aired 13th May
They couldn’t have a series finale without bringing back the big gun, Lex Luthor, and boy did they miss him. It’s no secret that the show had struggled for a while without Michael Rosenbaum’s bald head in the show but thankfully he returned for the finale and this particular scene edged out the curtain call final scene of the finale using the original score of the Superman theme (which is no easy feat).
Problem I had with the show was that it was a good show, yet it could’ve been a great one. Lex’s description of how Clark says his name was a great way to start their conversation, as they begin to discuss about each others destiny and at one point Lex is actually goading Clark into becoming Superman.
Even though they got some things wrong throughout it’s run (what show doesn’t?) the return of Lex they got just right on the money.
16. Raylan almost kills Dickie Bennett
Justified, Season 2, Episode 12 ‘Reckoning’
Aired 27th April
Where as Season 1 was more of a different case to deal with each week for Raylan Givens, Season 2 was definitely a more heavily arc approach to the show and it really excelled because of it. After finding out that Dickie Bennett was the one that killed Helen, he only has one agenda – to kill Dickie. After the help of his brother Doyle, he knocks Doyle out and decides to take Dickie deep into the woods.
As Dickie pleads for his life and then says that he killed her in self-defence and states ‘You know what she was like’ Raylan gets mad and starts talking about Helen and how she turned his life around and this is where Raylan becomes hesitant about what he’s about to do. This scene showcased Olyphant’s best acting in the series, exercising immense restraint while keeping the rage on the surface. You knew exactly how important Helen was to Raylan and how sad he was that she was gone. He takes a deep breath and knocks Dickie out instead of killing him.
15. Troy meets LeVar Burton
Community, Season 2, Episode 16 ‘Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking’
Aired 17th February
This picture pretty much sums it up aswell as the video. You CAN’T DISAPPOINT A PICTURE!
14. The Dinner Scene
Californication, Season 4, Episode 12 ‘…And Justice For All’
Aired 27th March
A Large portion of this episode takes place at a dinner party that is just pure fun, plain and simple. It’s a launch party thrown by Stu to celebrate the start of production on the movie Fucking and Punching. Hank goes with Abby, while Karen brings Ben. Marcy is living with Stu, and Charlie’s plus one is his psycho realtor, Peggy. Sasha and Eddie are there, too, of course, as the stars of the movie. Such an eclectic mix of personalities, many with shared romantic history, is just asking for trouble. So, of course, there is plenty of that, mostly instigated by Eddie, who asks probing, intrusive questions. Basically it’s a recipe for disaster. Come Dine With Me this ain’t.
13. Shane shoots Otis
The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 3 ‘Save The Last One’
Aired 30th October
The episode at the start that Shane made it back, question was, how? Halfway through the episode Shane states that Otis stayed behind to made a stand to make sure Shane got back to them with what was needed to save Carl’s life. When you see Shane notice that a few strings of hair is missing, you realise that somethings up. You don’t think of what’s to come though.
Realising that both of them are injured, almost out of ammo, Shane resorts to a last resort. He shoots Otis in the leg and leaves him to be ripped/eaten to shreds by the walkers as he makes a break for it to get back to the rest of the group. This moment in itself was jaw-dropping considering that Shane told Otis to take the stuff off him and go on without him but Otis rejected the idea. Also this scene caused much discussion over whether or not Shane done the right thing in terms of the greater good (still to this day).
You can make up your own mind on your views on the matter.
12. Walter White has a dramatic breakdown
Breaking Bad, Season 4, Episode 11 ‘Crawl Space’
Aired 25th September
This ending scene was a real kick in the nuts for Walt. With Gus threatening to kill his family if he interferes in killing Hank for sticking his nose in too much, Walt uses a source of Saul’s to help him out and warn the DEA that someone is looking to kill Hank. As he makes a break for his house to get the money to pay for the guy that can help you ‘disappear’ but Skyler points out that she used the money to pay off Ted. Then you witness Walt descending into utter madness in his breakdown, starting with the crying and ending with the laughing, was an amazing piece of acting.
Another Emmy you say for Bryan Cranston?
11. Clay crosses the line with Piney
Sons of Anarchy, Season 4, Episode 8 ‘Family Recipe’
Aired 25th October
Oh Piney, he just had to just involved in what was going on about them damn letters. Clay and Piney had a trending a fine line relationship at best, Piney threatened to expose the letters to the club about Clay being responsible for John Teller’s death, Clay decided it was best to get rid of the evidence. And Piney aswell.
Pretty much Piney’s death was coming but it sealed Clay back to being just an evil bastard who would do anything to save himself, considering since the end of season 2 was building him up to be not so bad after all.
10. Rick tells Kate that he loves her…after she gets shot
Castle, Season 3, Episode 24 ‘Knockout’
Aired 16th May
About damn time to one of them said it. Problem though? Rick only uttered those words after Kate gets caught by a snipers bullet at Captain Roy Montgomery’s funeral, after he made his last stand to take down some men who wanted Kate dead.
It was one of the rare times when Castle was pretty dark and serious compared to it’s dramedy (yet, drama/comedy) formula that has made it a hit with fans, and left them with a huge cliffhanger of wondering if Rick’s declaration of love would be the last words Kate would ever hear.
9. Texas Forever
Firday Night Lights, Season 5, Episode 13 ‘Always’
Aired 9th February
It all came down to one more play. The State Championship is in their hands if they make this play work. As the ball flies through the air we are immediately jumped forward eight months in Philadelphia before the ball gets caught. We follow the montage of the Taylor’s out in Philadelphia, Vince at the new super team of the Dillon Panthers, with a State Championship ring on his finger, The East Dillon pitch being removed, Luke leaving on a bus out of Dillon to join the army, Saracen and Julie happy together (still just engaged perhaps), Jess out coaching in Dallas, The Riggins boys finally got back together and were building a house on Tim’s land.
Final part cuts back to Coach Taylor talking to his new players and finishes off by going ‘Clear Eyes, Full Hearts..’ and gets no response as the players have no idea what he means, to which he simply pauses and smile before saying ‘We’ll work on that later’. Tami arrives and the two of them walk off away from the pitch as the lights go out.
Perfect way to wrap up the show and say goodybe to Dillon forever. Never know, with talks of a film, the Taylor’s story may not be over yet.
8. The Placebo Effect Episode
Archer, Season 2, Episode 9 ‘Placebo Effect’
Aired 24th March
So of course, a narcissistic jackass like Archer would believe that he was badass enough to take down some chemo without a hint of nausea, hair loss or any other side effect. So much so that he was completley blindsided when Krieger revealed he’s been popping sugar pills and pumping Zima intravenously. Seriously, Sterling, chewable chemo medicine?
But once Archer learned he was taking a placebo, we were soon introduced to Ruth, a fellow cancer patient that was also duped, and the main inspiration behind our man’s rampage and the reason this episode was so powerful.
Too many scenes in the show to point out so yes, I’m actually cheating by putting a whole episode here but really it is one of the funniest episodes I’ve seen in ages.
7. Sophia comes out of the Barn
The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 7 ‘Pretty Much Dead Already’
Aired 27th November
It must be said that alot of time was spent in Season 2 of the survivors searching for Sophia. For some, they spent too much time, so much time that Shane acted as a voice of those fans in being dismayed by the thought that a kid, gone missing, could survive in this world. Granted if the show took a hiatus without them finding Sophia, I to would’ve been pissed ,but the reveal of them finding Sophia was a shocker.
Shane, whose mental state has been somewhat of a downhill spiral after killing Otis and is being made out to look like a villain at this point, is rightfully pissed at the fact Hershel keeps walkers in the barn. After getting back the weapons and handing them out to the group, they notice Rick and Hershel bringing back a few more walkers. Shane has enough, kills one of them and then opens up the arm and the group take out all the walkers that come out. Then, comes the sucker punch as a walker comes strolling out after the bullets stop. It’s Sophia.
The reveal that Sophia was in the barn, “living” as a walker all along was more than just a “there she is!” moment for the series. It was a sad and harsh look at the reality of their situation and we see it on the faces of everyone standing outside as they watch her come out. Like the fact that it was Rick that stepped up and was the one that killed Sophia (Rick 2 Child Zombies 0).
Now what happens when we return? Roll on the new year
6. Porch Confessions
Homeland, Season 1, Episode 7 ‘The Weekend’
Aired 13th November
Homeland kind of ripped out the rule book on this one as the game between Carrie and Brody was on pause for a moment and the truth came out between the two of them at the cabin. After realising that she slipped out and Brody catching on that Carrie has been spying on her, the pair have an honest conversation over what Brody actually experienced as a prisoner.
Brody admits to now being a Muslim. He also, shockingly, admits to killing Tom Walker and knowing Abu Nazir, whom he regards with kindness and even love. All of this he tells Carrie, then he begins to leave.
Carrie doesn’t know what to think, until Saul calls Carrie, telling her that the sketch artist working off of Aileen’s description reveals her contact to be…wait for it…Tom Walker!
Carrie barely has time to reel from the revelation. All she wants to do is make things right with Brody, but the man is disgusted with being “used” by Carrie. He swears at her, then drives off, leaving her alone. She breaks down, a combination of her long-held theory about Brody seemingly shot to hell, and certainly the abrupt end of her affair with a man who could have been the one who “gets” her.
This scene just set everything in motion for the rest of the shows run went ended really well and was one of the best new shows of 2011. A more realistic, patient version of 24.
5. Michael leaves The Office
The US Office, Season 7, Episode 21 ‘Goodbye, Michael’
Aired 28th April
Sometimes there’s just some moments where you can’t help but smile and be sad at the same time. Watching Michael Scott leave in the airport is just one of those moments. An understated scene, after Michael has said his goodbyes to each co-worker, hands over his microphone and begins to walk away, at which Pam manages to catch up to him and have a few words with each other, with no microphone to pick it up which I thought was a nice touch.
4.Eric tells Tami it’s her turn
Friday Night Lights, Season 5, Episode 13 ‘Always’
Aired 9th February
A show that was set around teenagers yet managed to be themed for adults. Friday Night Lights was one of the truly most astounding piece of television to have come out the last decade and managed to create real human characters that were three dimensional and they weren’t rich, living it up in Los Angeles or California etc (You know the Teen shows I’m talking about).
The primary focus throughout the entire run of FNL was always about the Taylors, specifically Eric and Tami, about they were this happy married couple whose life evolved around football way before we are introduced to their world, when they arrive in Dillon, Texas. Coach Taylor was often focused on the goodness that should be strived for by everyone, and many times was conflicted on what the right thing to do actually was.
It was the years in Dillon that changed the Taylor family forever. While there were better overall seasons, nothing in the series showcased what a strong and loving couple the Taylors were better than Eric going to his wife in the mall and saying that heartfelt “please” as he asked her to take him to Philadelphia. It was the act of a man who knew in his soul that his selfishness, unintentional or not, was flying in the face of all he’d stood for. A football team is not a single person, and neither is a family. Friday Night Lights was about life and sometimes life asks you to sacrifice for the betterment of your world.
Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episode 9 ‘Baelor’
Aired 12th June
Oh Sean Bean, can’t seem to catch a break can he? If you read the book, you had months to prepare for this. If you were one of those ones that did not follow the book, seen Sean Bean being the main focus point in the promotions across television and posters, you thought ‘They can’t do that?’ and then become mightily pissed, such as this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owf6D2vfZqM).
Pretty much this execution summed up that this world in Game of Thrones was as dark as they come as the one noble warrior in this kingdom had to take the blame for something he didn’t do so he can save himself from the penalty of death….only for little bastard Joffrey to sack that idea and have him beheaded for his ‘crime’, making him the most hated child character in quite some time who was deliberately an evil git.
If Ned can bite the dust then no one else in the world of Game of Thrones is safe.
2. Gus ‘Face-Off’
Breaking Bad, Season 4, Episode 13 ‘Face Off’ (Season Finale)
Aired 9th October
We knew that the town was just too big enough for the both of them. We also knew that there was no way that the show was going to get rid of Walter White, so it was more a question of how will he finally outsmart Gus. Well for a smart man that had good instincts which have kept him alive to this point, Gus was taken down by his sense of pride and vengeance on one man in particular. Realising that Hector Salamanca (His character has come a long way from when we first seen him) was an enemy of Gus, who he would visit in certain moments in the season to taunt him about killing his family etc (Justified considering Hector took out Gus’ ‘friend’), Walt uses this to his advantage and gets Hector to help him out and get his own revenge in a very simple fashion.
To become a wheelchair, ring ringer bomb. Believing that Hector has talked to the DEA, Gus decides it’s time to get rid of him himself, without letting Tyrus handle the business for him. As he is about to inject Hector, Hector finally looks Gus in the eye, filled with rage, and begins to ring the bell…repeatedly, and finally the bomb goes off.
It’s sad to see the end of such a formidable character go, considering how season 4 was going, you felt more sympathetic for Gus due to what happened in his backstory plus the fact Walt end into a complete downhill spiral and, honestly, acted a complete dick. Major props aswell to Mark Margolis for not only this scene, but his entire stint in Breaking Bad as possibly one of the best silent characters in modern times. Plenty of people have moaned over the fact was still alive enough to move a few steps and fix his tie before dropping but I bloody well loved it.
1. Nucky becomes a ‘full-on’ gangster and kills Jimmy
Boardwalk Empire Season 2, Episode 12 ‘To The Lost’ (Season Finale)
Aired 11th December
Honestly, Gustavo Fring’s getting his face blown up would have been my number 1 TV moment, but then the Boardwalk Empire Season 2 finale came along and this one moment has managed to split audiences in half, one side considering it to be very brave in moving forward with the show and others just considering not coming back to continue to watch the show for season 3 onwards as one of their favourite characters, James ‘Jimmy’ Darmody’s life, came to a shocking and yet inevitable end at the hands of Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson. Where other shows before have gone done similar roads to kill off one of their characters, only to have them saved at the last minute, there was no one here to save the day for Jimmy as he had to pay for betraying Nucky and trying to have him killed (So no Richard coming in to save the day by sniping everyone’s ass).
A pretty ballsy move, considering the fact that Jimmy was more heavily featured/focused on than Nucky, epsecially this season, so to invest that much time into the character and have him killed off in your second season, is again, brave move, yet needed to complete Nucky’s descent from corrupt politican to full-on gangster (Damn it Jimmy, why did your ‘You can’t be half a gangster..’ quote have to come back and bite you in the ass?). But the signs of Jimmy knew that his number was up was all on screen, from giving his son one last piece of advice, telling Richard to stay behind and give his son his dog tags. Love the touch of Jimmy going out giving Nucky one last bit of advice (“My first time I vomitted after, two days straight”). Also the added touch of Jimmy going over the bunker was nice.
We will miss you Jimmy Darmody. Now for Season 3, more Richard and Chalky and less Eli and Margaret (Especially Margaret).
So what is your opinion of the list?
What else were Top TV moments of 2011?