Well, it’s that time of year where a vast melange of “Best Of” lists begin popping up all over the internet. Consider this the beginning to my contribution to that proverbial time capsule. The amazing folks here at GeekNation have tapped me to compile a list of the Best TV Moments Of 2012. And holy monkey, I came up with 12 (how convenient)! It took me a good handful of hours to really narrow down what moments from the past year were worthy of this list.
Unfortunately, due to the awesomeness of such shows like BBC’s Sherlock (seriously, the whole show = all the best moments!) and my complete lack of knowledge regarding other British phenoms like Downton Abbey (all I know is…there are poor people, there’s a war, and that Harry Potter lady is in it), the only mention of them in this article will be right here.
I suppose it goes without saying, to truly discuss the items in this list, is to list some spoilers. So, if you haven’t seen something yet and I just ruined it for you, well…I’m sure I’m sorry.
Now, let’s get to it!
12. Letterman and Fallon During Hurricane Sandy
As Hurricane Sandy was barreling down on New York, it seemed people did everything from evacuating the city to hunkering down in their bathtubs under a mattress (I’m sure this happened somewhere!). But, “the show must go on”, as the saying goes. And so, without a studio audience for either of their shows, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman went live with their regular late-night routines. It was nutty and somewhat mesmerizing to watch. Whether you found the episodes amusing at all, credit needs to be given to both hosts for not letting a huge natural disaster stop them from doing their jobs.
11. Fox News’ Karl Rove Meltdown
On election night, I was glued to my television and iPhone as I cycled back and forth between the news coverage and the commentary on Twitter. When I started seeing rumblings about Karl Rove losing it, I quickly turned to Fox News to find this amazing spectacle play out in live TV. It was magnificent, like witnessing a meteor shower or maybe accidentally happening across a sploshing internet video. Whichever the case, you know it’s not a good sign when Fox News backs away from Mr. Rove. I believe, this fiasco was best summed up by Patton Oswalt who tweeted that night, “Megyn Kelly should sign off by slicing open Karl Rove like a tauntaun, curling up inside and saying, “G’night nerds!””
10. Happy Endings’ “Boys II Menorah”
The future of ABC’s comedy Happy Endings is unsure. In its 3rd season, it seems like the hilarity of this show has flown right under the American public’s radar. The writing here is, for the most part, spot on. I will admit that a few of the episodes this season had me second guessing the production. And then, as I was about to kick the show aside like I have done to 30 Rock and The Office, they sprung the “Boys II Menorah” episode. Sure, I could be a biased Jew here, but they hit all the hysterical beats in the 30 minute confines of this episode. And with the Lonely Island style music video that capped off the episode, I’ve decided I still love Happy Endings…even if you don’t.
9. Limehouse Disarms Quarles In Justified’s Season Finale
Yes! Yes! Yes! The 4th Season of Justified is just around the corner. Developed by Graham Yost and starring Timothy Olyphant, Justified is based on the works of crime writer Elmore Leonard, including Leonard’s short story “Fire In The Hole”. If you have not jumped on board the Raylan Givens train yet, you’re truly missing out. And sure, they have yet to match the magnificence of Season 2’s Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale). However, the character of Ellstin Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) in Season 3 held his own as one creepy fucking dude. In the Season finale, there is a moment (depicted in the animated image above) where Limehouse literally disarms crazy douchebag Robert Quarles (Neil McDonough) with a machete he just has lying around. Raylan and I shared the same expression during this scene. And in my head, we shared a long manly hug soon after.
8. Tyrion Lannister’s Victory And Defeat On Game Of Thrones
While I may sometimes have major difficulties keeping all the Game Of Thrones characters straight, the one that keeps me engaged is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). In Season Two’s end, the imp stepped up and led the military to victory. However, Tyrion ends up physically and emotionally scarred. Given the chance to escape Westeros, he defeatedly accepts his place in life by stating, “Bad people are what I’m good at.”
Here’s a bold statement: If there was no Tyrion Lannister, I’d have given up on this show in the first half of Season One.
7. Community’s “Digital Estate Planning” Episode
At this point, NBC’s Community has become the brunt of many jokes at NBC’s expense. We’ve all accepted there will be no “6 Seasons And A Movie” as the mantra states, but we can celebrate Community’s inevitable return in February of 2013. There were many highlights from Season 3, but the “Digital Estate Planning” episode makes this list. For all the fans of comedy, old school video games, and 8 bit music, this goes out to you and you and you and you! Plus, it’s always nice seeing Giancarlo Esposito pop up on TV. And Hell, I’ll even give Once Upon A Time a pass….but just this once!
I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that since this episode aired, an open source video game of the same name hit the internet. Pretty cool!
6. American Horror Story’s “Tricks And Treats” Episode
American Horror Story accomplished so much in its first Season that has never been done in a Television show before. Now, with American Horror Story: Asylum, Ryan Murphy and company has decided to throw everything at the proverbial wall to see what sticks. Aliens? Check. Freaks in an asylum? Check. Mutant zombies? Check. A serial killer with a stupid name? Yeah… However, the highlight so far this season for me, was the Halloween episode “Tricks And Treats”. Sending a shout out to horror classic The Exorcist, this episode featured a pretty kick ass exorcism scene that even left me a bit shaken. Only the second episode of the new Season, this episode kicked off a major story line. Damn, don’t look at me like that! I have a thing for demon possessions…
5. Parker Posey In Louie’s “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 2)”
In the most recent Season of Louie, it seems he has had his share of horrible dates. From Melissa Leo to Chloë Sevigny, he got himself some interesting action. But, he met his match with Parker Posey in the episode “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 2)”. She enters his life, a hotter mess than even he is. From the weird moment in the bar, to the wheezing and sweating up a flight of stairs to an honestly depressing interlude on the roof, there are so many laugh and cringe worthy moments in this brilliant episode that I’d almost hope Posey would get an Emmy nomination for her performance.
4. Richard Harrow’s Murderous Rampage On Boardwalk Empire’s Season Finale
Admittedly, it’s been difficult for me to maintain excited interest in HBO’s prohibition flavored period drama Boardwalk Empire. While it may test my patience a bit, waiting for all the separate story lines to follow through to their finality, the one aspect of the show that always engages my complete interest is that of WWI sniper Richard Harrow. In the finale of Season 3, “Margate Sands”, we are not only shown a darker side of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), as well as an amazing performance by Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti, we are treated to an all out revenge driven massacre by the usually soft spoken disfigured sniper Harrow (Jack Huston). If it’s one thing HBO knows how to do with Boardwalk Empire, it’s end a Season with a bang, Bang, BANG!
3. Mad Men’s Roger Sterling Drops Acid
Mad Men always delivers top notch television. And while we’re impatiently waiting for the next Season, let’s get introspective and reflect on the previous year. Actually, let’s just look at Roger Sterling taking LSD with some of his upper crust buddies. It’s a rather surreal scene, for sure. However, in a TV show that has made a reputation with seriously dramatic episodes, a little levity and humor is needed.
Bonus trivia: The advertisement he trips off of is a real advertisement of the time featuring the face of none other than Ted Knight.
2. Lori’s Death On The Walking Dead
Oh dammit. What a punch to the gut this episode was! Just four episodes into Season 3, and AMC’s The Walking Dead delivered us an episode that feels finale worthy. Between the loss of T Dog, Lori dying while giving birth, Carl shooting his mother in the head, and Rick’s heart wrenching reaction…I suppose I should just say if you didn’t even get the littlest bit weepy, then you have no soul. NO SOUL! Mad props (yeah I said props) has to go out to Glen Mazzara for leading the show in its 3rd Season to more than acceptable territory. We can all just forget about Season 2 now, right?
1. Mike’s Death On Breaking Bad
Finally! That’s the word I screamed when this episode aired. Many fans of Breaking Bad, myself included, had been waiting for a Mike episode. And we were finally given exactly what we had been wanting. Tough ex cop Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) had cemented himself as my favorite character on the show early on. So, it was only a matter of time that he had this face-off with Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Even though we all saw this coming, once this poignant moment hit, it knocked the wind right the fuck out of me. If ever there was an actor who deserved an Emmy for the 2012 TV year, it’s Jonathan Banks. And in the famous last words of Mike Ehrmantraut: “You know how they say, ‘It’s been a pleasure’? It hasn’t.”
Okay, before you give me grief for not including Opie’s demise on Sons Of Anarchy, dare I ask, “Isn’t there enough death in this list!?” Well, if you’re not pleased quite yet, let’s all take a moment and pour some out on the curb for for the dead homie: Opie’s beard.
As always, with lists such as these, there may have been a bunch of amazing items that went unmentioned. That’s where you kind people come in. What are your favorite TV moments from the past year? Scream them at me in the comments below!
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