The Sopranos finale. Not just for the astounding ending-with-no-ending, but also for Phil Leotardo’s head, crushed by a Ford SUV as a U.S. flag waves in the distance — the perfect symbol of a made man, unmade in America.
Britney‘s “I hope I remembered to turn off the stove” face during her VMAs performance. And 50 Cent‘s eyes-heavenward reaction to Britney; he’s thinking either, “This industry has destroyed young women’s decency” or “If I look real hard, I can see my own eyebrows.”
The Bachelor, for choosing the best life partner ever: soul-crushing loneliness.
Getting stoned and watching Planet Earth in high-definition. Makes us want to high-five God.
Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, pretending to be Tracy Morgan’s dad. On why he left his son: “I was young and confused and your moms didn’t want me ’round no more. Now pass me those collard greens.”
The flash-forward finale on Lost. Especially the part when Jack read that mysterious obituary. And the part when we posted 500,000 words of commentary about it on our blog.
The emotional-carousel speech on Mad Men, where Don Draper turns a slide projector into a metaphor for modern man’s nostalgia, wrenching out every tear alpha-male viewers have repressed since they were thirteen.
Bret Michaels’ paramours Brandi and Lacey drunkenly vomiting during dinner on Rock of Love. Call us old-fashioned, but we miss the days when skinny girls waited until after dinner to throw up.
Battlestar Galactica‘s semiconfusing “All Along the Watchtower” finale, which confirmed what we’ve long suspected: Tory! Anders! Colonel Frakking Tigh! The Chief! Jimi Hendrix! All Cylons!
Stephen Colbert‘s “The Hail to the Cheese Stephen Colbert Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage.” Finally, a candidate who’s willing to fight for the issues stoner Americans care about.
Tila Tequila‘s bed. Where lesbians and heterosexual men can finally share their true feelings. And their STDs.
College basketball announcer Screaming Gus Johnson. If he gets this excited about sports, imagine what he could do for other shows: “Next up! King of Queens reruns! He’s fat! She’s sassy! I’M LOSING MY MOTHERFUCKING MIND!”
Kid Nation. For justifying our hatred of children.
Gossip Girl, which exists in that Utopia of racial equality where the Asian girl and the black girl always wear exactly the same outfit.
Best WWE-worthy smackdown: Bill Maher stepping down from his stage to personally chase a pack of 9/11 denialists from his studio.
The Hills. Now with more drama! Also: more boobs. (Spencer being the biggest.)
The “bat debate” on The Office. Kelly: “You better not hurt that little bat.” Creed: “Animals can’t feel pain.” Kelly: “Don’t hurt that bat, Creed! It’s a living thing with feelings and a family! [Bat swoops down on Kelly] Kill it, kill it, kill it!”
VHl’s The Pickup Artist. Because we can all learn something about romance from the man who once said, “Ass-licking isn’t a fetish. It’s spiritual.”
Best death: the deadness of long-dying shows like Gilmore Girls and The O.C.
Freakiest death: The Heroes episode where Mr. Linderman’s brain gets crushed while it’s still inside his head. (Luckily, Claire’s safe from that fate, having no brains to crush.)
Saddest death: Flower on Meerkat Manor. Because heroes are those divine beings who unite a nation — and sometimes eat their babies.
Tim Gunn‘s gradual usurping of Heidi Klum’s power on Project Runway. Like watching Benazir Bhutto beating Pervez Musharraf into submission while wearing an impeccably tailored suit.
Biggest cliffhanger: Grey’s Anatomy. Cristina gets left at the altar! George fails the intern exam! Meredith has a sister! Cristina’s eyebrows may not grow back!
Ninja Warrior. Like the Olympics, but with more transsexual long-jumping.
The fact that Andy Rooney still hates things. Holidays, for instance. And life.
Tyra. Banks’. Maddeningly. Slow. Diction. On. America’s. Next. Top. Model.
The twenty-four-hour Human Giant marathon, which briefly made MTV cool again.
The bloopity-bleepity music on Saturday Night Live‘s “People Getting Punched Just Before Eating.”
X Games wipeout: Skateboarder Jake Brown pulls the first-ever 720 on a megaramp — then falls off his board, dropping the equivalent of four stories. Commentator Tony Hawk’s words of concern after the sickening thud? “I can’t believe he made a 720!”
Miss Teen USA unable to locate our nation a world map because some people here and in “the Iraq” don’t have maps. God bless the U.S. America!
The lyrics to Flight of the Conchords‘ “Bowie’s in Space” song, which sound eerily like the White Duke addressing himself in the third person: “Does the space cold make your nipples go all pointy, Bowie?/Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth?/I’ll bet you do, you freaky old bastard, you.”
Weeds‘ Mary Louise Parker, getting better (and more naked) every season.
R. Kelly‘s “Trapped in the Closet.” for explaining that the word “package” is slang for AIDS. (Which explains what the UPS man has been “delivering.”)
Californication‘s Hank Moody. Because even though he’s slutty. he’s also a feminist. And because he once inspired a nun to point to his crotch and say, “Something tells me it’s not going to suck itself.”
Animal Planet‘s top ten “Most Extreme Bodysnatchers.” Especially number four: the phorid fly, which injects its larvae into ants’ heads, allowing the maggots to eat their way out.
Proof that Ellen Degeneres is deeper than we thought: The same week suicide bombers killed 100 in Pakistan, the hostess cried on her talk show. (Because she missed her dog, but that’s a mere technicality.)
The winking corporate whore-ism of Chuck, where our hero works in the Buy More, next door to the Large Mart.
The eerie cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Devil Town” at the end of Friday Night Lights, especially its take on the codependent relationship between the players and the town: “All my friends were vampires … turns out I was a vampire myself.”
The fact that we are very, very far away from another season of Entourage.
The Writers’ strike. For reminding us that our TV has an “off” button.