As college students and writers of an arts and entertainment section, we Intermission staffers take pride in being some of the biggest couch potatoes you’ll probably ever meet. Who’ll nab the GOP nomination? How would we solve the debt crisis in Europe? Damn if we know. What moments were totally worth rewinding on Hulu (or on your DVR if you could afford such luxuries here)? Take a look and find out.
“Game of Thrones”–Season One finale
One of the most talked-about new shows of 2011, “Game of Thrones” adapts George R. R. Martin’s complicated fantasy series into a surprisingly watchable TV show. The first season culminated in the jaw-dropping final scene when Daenerys, last of the Targaryens, walks into her husband’s funeral pyre and emerges with three newly-hatched dragons. The scene forms the perfect cliffhanger for the end of Season One.
Runner-up moment: In the penultimate episode of Season One titled “Baelor,” one of the main characters is killed off. If you watch the show, this rings true as one of the most shocking episodes on television. To kill off a character so central to the plot and the narrative devices at play with little warning and grave consequences was so daring and true to the plot and nature of those evil Lannisters that I can’t wait for Season Two.
“Glee”–Santana, Mercedes and the Troubletones perform “Rumour Has It / Someone Like You”
In the midst of Glee’s third season, Santana, Mercedes and the Troubletones’ performance of Adele’s “Someone Like You” combined with ”Rumour Has It” was a true showstopper. The mash-up itself is musically impressive–some are calling it the best musical number Glee has ever done–but more strikingly, it finally propelled Mercedes and Santana into the spotlight after two seasons of backing up Rachel.
“Gossip Girl”–The Dair storyline
For once, “Gossip Girl” actually did some realistic character and relationship development and finally gave us a reason to care about this show that had stumbled so much the previous year. Dan and Blair verbally sparred as though they were in a 1930s screwball comedy, making every scene between them spark: Dan dubbing Blair a “dictator of taste,” watching “Rosemary’s Baby” over the phone together, falling asleep watching “The Philadelphia Story” and culminating in their freeze-frame kiss.
“The Good Wife”–Alicia Florrick finally kicks her husband out
In the last two years, we’ve watched her wade through so much chaos caused by her adulterous, philandering husband as she secretly pines for Will Gardiner. How empowering for her to finally stop being “the good wife” and give his undeserving ass the boot.
Runner-up moment: It’s proof positive that Peter can be such an awful sleaze-bag, but it was terribly exciting to anticipate just how bitter and scary he could be and how destructive he might be to Alicia. We hate him for it, but we kind of love the show for having him go there.
It’s no surprise that “New Girl,” starring Zooey Deschanel, is one of the most-watched new series of the fall. The third episode, “Wedding,” brought Zooey’s character and her three male roommates together for an episode that consisted of photo booth shenanigans, dance-offs and a slow-motion chicken dance. The episode provided enough laughs to cement “New Girl’s” status as the year’s best new comedy.
“The League”–The mind control of Kevin
This comedy about four guys in a fantasy football league is one of the funniest shows on television. It is foul, raunchy and borderline offensive, but also extremely clever and unexpected. In the first episode of Season Three, Kevin’s best friend Pete, his wife Jenny and his brother Taco all reveal that they have been trying to control his thoughts subliminally. The payoff is hands-down the hardest I have laughed in a year.
“The Big Bang Theory”
The Season Four episode “The Herb Garden Germination” starts like any other episode of this beloved show. When Sheldon and his girlfriend Amy decide to start spreading rumors, the whole gang completely falls apart. The farce spins out of control and Sheldon and Amy continue to perpetuate the madness.
“Vampire Diaries”–Stefan goes to the dark side
The most recent season of the Vampire Diaries has been better than ever, with the creators pushing the Originals’ storyline from last season into shocking new territory. But what really stands out is good-guy vampire Stefan’s descent into the dark side. Usually the show’s pillar of morality in the midst of evil, Stefan transformed into a killing, blood-drinking monster while former villain Damon now plays the good guy. With these roles reversed, the show is more gripping than ever.
“True Blood”–Bill and Jessica hide from the witches
As the witches begin gathering more power under the evil witch leader Marnie, the vampires use silver chains to pin themselves inside. While it seems that the main hunk Bill and his sexy, but naïve progeny Jessica are safely strapped in, Marnie and her followers cast a spell to force all of the vampires out into the daylight. This moment in the middle of Season Four was heart-pounding.
“Grey’s Anatomy”–Alex discovers that Arizona thinks he’s the future of pediatrics
Alex Karev has taken such a beating on this show, moving from a crazy girlfriend to a cancerous and abandoning wife to a backstabbing girlfriend. Meanwhile, he’s always felt second string in the operating room to Meredith and Cristina. He’s grown into this three-dimensional damaged but grown-up and caring character over the years and it was so satisfying to see him finally validated.