Adam Driver, Amy Poehler, Amy Sedaris, Andy Cohen, Audra McDonald, Best of 2012, Best TV Moments of 2012, Bill Maher, Blake Jenner, Blake's poem, Dinesh D'Souza, Disneyland Sucks, Edie Falco, End of the Year Lists, Girls, Holly Hunter, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Late Show, Lena Dunham, lists, Louie, Louis C.K., Nurse Jackie, Primetime Emmys 2012, Ralph Fiennes, Real Time with Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live, SNL, Steve Kazee, Taran Killam, Television, The Glee Project, Tipitina, Tony Awards 2012, Treme, TV, TV Moments, Vice Presidential Debate, Welcome to Bushwick, What What Happens Live
Best of 2012: Top TV Moments of the Year (60-51)
Continuing with the end of the year countdown. I usually do a list of my Top 100 Episodes of the year, which I already posted. But that gets a little bit boring to right about so I decided to expand my horizons and do a list of my favorite TV moments. I tried to include a wide variety of programs, people, reality, variety, etc. I didn’t want everything to be scripted dramas and comedies. I also tried to limit the overuse of some shows. There were some other moments from Girls and Mad Men for that reason. Let’s continue with the countdown.
60. The 66th Annual Tony Awards – Steve Kazee & Audra McDonald’s speeches
It wasn’t the strongest year for Broadway musicals (I mean Leap of Faith was nominated for Best Musical, its lone nomination), so none of the individual performances from the Tonys made my list. But two of the speeches did. Steve Kazee picked up his first Tony for Once. The touching moment when he talked about his mother Cathy, who died from breast cancer on Easter Sunday. He dedicated the award to his mother and everyone went grabbing for some Klennex. Audra McDonald picked up her 5th award, tying for most competitive wins with Julie Harris & Angela Lansbury (and at her young age, she will break the record), and she was still as emotional and grateful as if it was her first win.
59. The Glee Project – “Glee-ality” – Blake reads a poem before his last chance performance
I was a little bit addicted to The Glee Project this summer. I actually think it’s slightly more entertaining and worthwhile than the show that the contestants are trying to get on. I was rooting for the other two finalists, Ali & Aylin, to win the whole thing (and honestly, the show needed more female characters than it did another white male), but Blake basically won because of a poem he wrote. After he did an average performance of “I’ll Be” in front of the big wigs behind Glee and other cast members, he read a poem that he wrote called “I am the guy” that was actually touching and more heartwarming than Ryan Murphy could ever come up with on his own. That won him the competition, for better or worse for Glee itself.
58. Nurse Jackie – “Disneyland Sucks” – Jackie’s therapy session
The whole episode was a great showcase for Edie Falco, who’s great in every episode but this one was extra special and gave her a lot of juicy material. Her therapy session really delved deep into the character by revealing more about why she’s addicted to drug and how she justifies her actions. “I can work more hours, put some food on the table. I cannot lose my shit with the patients.” The show found a nice side of her character in the fourth season and this episode was just scratching the surface.
57. The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards – Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Amy Poehler switch speeches
I honestly think that Amy Poehler puts more effort and work into coming up with something creative for the Emmys than the actual producers of the telecast. This is the third time that she’s stolen the awards ceremony with her wacky antics (2009 with the funny glasses and 2011 with the comedy actress pageant). This time she “switched” speeches with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Julia began her speech and began thanking NBC and her two boys Archie and Abel. Oh wait…that’s what Amy Poehler was going to shame. The best moment came at the end when Julia read a last minute addition to the speech, “Isn’t it a shame that Amy Poehler didn’t win.” Cut to Amy Poehler in the audience mouthing…”It’s a shame. It’s a shame.” I can’t wait to see what her and Tina Fey do at the Golden Globes.
56. Saturday Night Live – “Christina Applegate/Passion Pit” – Vice Presidential Debate
SNL always thrives with the election material. But it wasn’t with any of the main presidential debates that they hit their high note. It was their take on the Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden & Paul Ryan. This cold open hit all of the watercooler moments of the actual debate with severe accuracy and added some twists to make it a classic SNL sketch. Taran Killam proves that he’s SNL next big powerhouse with her take on Paul Ryan. The multiple glasses of water had me rolling on the floor. And Sudeikis seemed like he was a having a blast by playing Joe Biden at his manic best.
55. Watch What Happens Live – “January 19” – Pillow fight with Holly Hunter, Ralph Fiennes & Amy Sedaris
I have to admit, this show hooked me with this episode. Andy Cohen had a pajama party with an Oscar winner Holly Hunter and Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes. Add in Amy Sedaris as the guest bartender and anything could happen. And it did. They both seemed completely game for anything Andy had to throw at them during an entertaining 30 minutes. It reached its peak at the end when all 4 of them participated in a pillow right. Ralph Fiennes showed no mercy.
54. Girls – “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident” – The cab ride home
I know Zosia Mamet stole the episode with her “Crackcident”. But my favorite moment of the episode actually came with the final sequence. Hannah and Adam have a huge blowout over their differing views of what their relationship is and what they both want it to be. It’s a great moment between Dunham & Driver. Then Marnie shows up with a cab to rescue Hannah, causing Adam to ask to yell at Hannah and ask if she wants him to be her boyfriend. Immediately cuts to the cab ride home, all three of them and Adam’s bike jammed in the backseat with Hannah trying to contain a big smile. It was a wonderful moment from a solid episode.
53. Louie – “Late Show, Part 3” – The test show goes extremely well
Louie is not the luckiest character on television and he has to suffer through a lot of pain and humiliation. A huge instance of this happened just before he went on to do his test show for CBS. Jerry Seinfeld tells Louie that this was just a formality and he will be taking over for Letterman. Despite that, Louie goes out and puts on a pretty damn successful show for the test audience. It was nice to see a high point for Louie’s character and I actually look forward to a day where the actual Louis C.K. might be one of the kings of late night.
52. Real Time with Bill Maher – “August 31” – Bill Maher takes down Dinesh D’Souza
I don’t think this interview helped Bill Maher’s case that conservatives are afraid to appear on his show. But Maher had an absolutely great reason to blasting this guest. D’Souza was one of the co-directors of the right wing propaganda documentary 2016: Obama’s America. Maher completely ripped D’Souza apart and pointed out all of the flaws and inaccuracies presented in the documentary and accompanying book. Maher did what every smart person in America wanted to do and it was a pleasure to watch.
51. Treme – “Tipitina” – Tracking shot
Treme is much less connected than The Wire in terms of how much the main characters and their storylines intersect. I think this has been a detriment to the show (especially in the second season), but the third season saw some more connections between different characters and the show worked for the better. This came to a head in the season finale where there is a benefit to help LaDonna and her burned down bar/restaurant. There was a tracking shot that featured most of the main cast members in the same place and it was beautiful to watch. The show has been building up to something like that and it paid off perfectly.