I watch a lot of television – A LOT. And in 2015, there were a bunch of shows I watched, yet didn’t review (The Goldbergs, The Vampire Diaries, General Hospital, House of Cards to name a few), and there were many, many shows that were in my brain queue, of which I hope to get to eventually (I’m talking about you, Six Feet Under!). So this is a mix for me. I picked 10 of the plethora of holy s*** TV moments I’ve experienced in 2015, whether sad, shocking, awesome, funny, lovely – ones where when the moment was over, I turned and said, “I can’t believe that… did you see that?” Or, “That was the _________ moment on television ever.”
Spoilers if you haven’t watched much TV this year… seriously.
So whether you agree or disagree (and I might agree with your disagreement), check out the list below of my Top 10 Favorite Television Episodes of 2015.
10. Lip Sync Battle: Stephen Merchant in chaps on the Malin Akerman Vs. Stephen Merchant episode, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt channeling Ms. Jackson during the Holiday Special. It was hard for me to choose. Definitely the funniest was Merchant, a producer and inventor of the “lip sync,” back when it was on Jimmy Fallon. The funny is in the 100% he gives to a lip syncing performance.
Merchant: “LL… if you wanna stay in this game, give the people what they want.”
LL Cool J: “You under-promised and over-delivered baby.”
However, Lip Sync Battle outdid itself with a one-off holiday episode. JGL put on the outfit and the lipstick and move for move did the “Rhythm Nation.” I’ve included that video below. It’s just too good.
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Anytime Chelsea Peretti opens her mouth. What can I say? She’s one of the funniest people on the planet. Her words don’t even have to be funny. It is her deadpan delivery that gets me. Anybody that is not watching this show, should be.
– Episode 3.8: “Think positive thoughts. You’re in a Channing Tatum movie.”
– Episode 3.1: “This man is a Timberlake. Stop treating him like a Fatone.”
8. iZombie: Blaine and Liv (David Anders and Rose McIver) team up. In Episode 2.7 Blaine goes to Liv for help because some of his high end clientele are missing (bad Major!). Liv had just eaten the brains of a death-obsessed magician. Blaine walks into the candlelit morgue and asks:
“Did you eat Edgar Allan Poe?”
He also quoted Star Wars with a zombie twist (Zombie Wan Kenobi!). David Anders is my absolute favorite part of this show, and this episode with him front and center was the best one of the season thus far.
7. Outlander: Jaime saves Claire (Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe) from a witch trial. In Episode 1.11 Claire and Geillis are on trial for witchcraft. Claire was set up by a girl crushing on her Jaime, while Geillis dances naked among moonlit stones and poisoned her husband (Ummm…). Her friend, Ned Gowan, wants her to sell out Geillis, and Geillis is okay with it, but she won’t. After some fire and damnation prosecution, it looks like all is lost, but in charges Jaime, the strapping Scottish hero. The 13-year old girl in me swooned at this. Geillis really did more to save them both, but that was a definite moment for me.
6. Bates Motel: Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) puts on the dress in Episode 3.6 “Norma Louise”. After half a season of quickly losing it, the straw for Norman is when Norma (Vera Farmiga) leaves them. Dylan (Max Thieriot) walks into the kitchen to Norman in a dress, cooking breakfast, and mothering him in a girlish voice. We were just as freaked out as Dylan, but also secretly squealing to see the beginning of the end.
5. The Flash Season 2/Arrow Season 4 Crossover: Whenever the casts of these 2 shows intermingle, it brings up the level of awesome to crazy heights. There was an immortal, reincarnation, time travel, someone got shot, everyone died, a secret kid found, and they had (especially The Flash side) some of the best one-liners in either show’s history – especially from Cisco (Carlos Valdes). I heart Cisco. Plus, there were Flash and Captain Cold action figures.
4. Dominion: The Amphora lets loose on Vega in Episode 2.11 “Bewilderment of Heart.” This little Syfy show was my heart this year, as I immersed myself in this dystopian world, left after the angels fell to Earth. This episode in particular was my fave, as nothing was what it seemed. The Amphora made everyone hallucinate and you could just tell how much fun the writers, director, and actors had, and how much the characters suffered. This was the episode that also gave us 2 David Wheles (Anthony Head).
3. Grey’s Anatomy: My sister introduced me to this guilty pleasure a few years ago, by showing me the last 2 episodes of season 6, and I in turn, did the same to my husband. We were hooked. There’s a really good reason Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for 12 seasons – it’s compelling, can’t-look-away drama. But Grey’s did the unforgivable last April when Derek Shephard (Patrick Dempsey) was hit by a truck and declared brain-dead, leaving his wife Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to pull the plug. The whole show was based on Meredith Grey, but it was Derek who really was the show. He was not even the McDreamiest for me, yet was the glue that held the show together. That was a definite wtf moment this year.
2. Vikings: The death of Athelstan (George Blagden) in Episode 3.6 “Born Again” just killed me. He was the only person Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) really loved, and the only one he really trusted. And I loved him most of all. His quest to find the truth in faith, whether it be Christian or pagan was inspiring. I suspect this might be a character trait in the actor, as no one could be that good at acting. I loved him as much as Ragnar, and hate Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) as much as Ragnar does as well.
1. Game of Thrones: (“Hardhome,”“The Dance of Dragons,”“Mother’s Mercy,” ): The burning of Shireen, Jon Snow stares down the Night’s King (king of the white walkers), Danearys flies away with Drogan, Reek saves Sansa, Cersei’s walk of shame, the “death” of Jon Snow – ok, pretty much the entire season. Game of Thrones usually delivers, so this is not a surprise, but delivering quality shocks every week takes severe talent from all fronts. I kept waiting for someone to save Shireen, knowing inside that no one would. GoT does not shy away from big deaths (RIP Ned Stark), which is why although Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) might have been my favorite character and I do not want him to be dead, the only acceptable return for me is as a White Walker or as a full-time Warg. It would not be Game of Thrones any other way.
Honorable Mentions: The first 5 minutes of Into The Badlands, House of Cards – the prisoner hangs himself in his cell in Russia, Glen’s “death” in TWD, Elena says goodbye on The Vampire Diaries, Penguin and Nygma bonding in Gotham, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) in Gotham, Siggy’s death in Vikings, the “sexy” house in Modern Family, Barry’s Thanksgiving speech in The Goldbergs, tons of Jimmy Fallon, and Once Upon A Time’s Hook is a Dark One.
Apologies to Orphan Black, Daredevil, Veep, Inside Amy Schumer, Empire, Broad City, Mr. Robot, Transparent, Jessica Jones, The Man In High Castle, and all the other wonderful shows that I will eventually get to, but need to keep my day job for now.
The verdict? Our biggest problem (no problem) is that there is too much quality television today.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Anthony Mackie’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” vs. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Rhythm Nation” | Lip Sync Battle
#TheNightBefore stars Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt battle it out in the 2015 Holiday Special! Anthony takes on MC Hammer’s classic “2 Legit 2 Quit” and Joseph does a spot-on rendition of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation”!