TV.com's Top 100 Everything of 2011, Vol. 3: Items 80-71
As you likely know by now, we're counting down the Top 100 TV moments of the year, 10 moments at a time, and today we reach the number range that includes everyone's favorite temperature, the best years of music, and for many of you, the first decade of your life. That's right, it's the 70s. Why, we're almost getting to the stuff that's really good!
We'll be posting 10 items each weekday through December 30, so check back often to see what made the cut.
80. Men of a Certain Age cleans its pipes
Joe, Terry, and Owen headed to Palm Springs for an epic colonoscopy road trip, where they made butt jokes, got drunk on empty stomachs, and even fought a dude. But it was getting away from their problems at home and spending time with each other that really spoke to the true heart of the show: friendship and opening up over tacos.
79. Downton Abbey makes us spit-take our Earl Grey
There were plenty of hints that Downton Abbey might not be your grandmother's British costume drama, but the steamy gay rendezvous between scheming footman Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) and the social-climbing Duke of Crowborough (Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox) made it official. And thank goodness for that handsome rapscallion: Whenever things risked getting a little slow at the manor house, there he was to plot revenge or seduce a Turkish diplomat. No doubt about it: Barrow is one of the best villains on TV.
78. Patrick finally meets Red John on The Mentalist (sort of)
In the Season 3 finale, hero Jane finally hunted down the man who killed his wife and daughter, and calmly put a few bullets in his gut in the middle of a food court. And he's such a badass that he even tried to pay for his drink with the cute barista while the cops closed in and arrested him for violating the mall's No Murder policy. Sticklers! It was a tense moment that signaled the end of the series. Except the show is still on the air, because in a bit of trickery, the man Jane killed wasn't Red John. And that's why this is all the way down in the late 70s. Fool us once, shame on us. But do this again and we'll f@#*ing kill you.
77. Justin Bieber gets shot on CSI
The BEEB guest-starred on one of television's biggest shows as a troubled youth, and teenage girls and your weird uncle were crushed when the writers killed him off in a hail of gunfire. That paved the way for all sorts of video tributes and remixes, including our own Tim Surette's version below.
76. Falling Skies' close encounters
The TNT sci-fi drama was far from perfect. Like, perfect is hanging out in the corner of a room, and Falling Skies isn't even in the same house. But the show's layers were shed at just the right pace to keep us watching, and we were rewarded with the reveal of more aliens! Now if only those skinny guys would take that annoying brat Jimmy away, we'd give them the keys to the White House.
75. Stephen Colbert's interviews
Given the depressing nature of the industry, we'll prefer to take our news with a side of satire, and The Colbert Report delivers just that. Colbert manages to stay in character whether he's talking to stuffy Brits or hipster Occupy Wall Street protesters. Watch him bring an expert on British etiquette to a boil in the video below.
74. Ashton Kutcher's first episode of Two and a Half Men
Demi's now-former boy toy made his debut on the CBS smash, and viewers flocked: More than 28 million people tuned in to see Kutcher's debut as Walden Schmidt. There was a funeral, a few veiled jabs at Charlie Sheen, and Kutcher got naked a lot. Even those who hate the show without Sheen (or never liked it in the first place) can't deny that "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt" was a major television event.
73. Haddie and Alex's split on Parenthood
Haddie parting with Alex was one of the toughest TV break-ups we've had to endure. It wasn't so much Haddie's heartbreak as it was Alex saying goodbye to the Braverman family after they had invited him into their lives.
72. Gwen goes American for Torchwood
By the end of its first season as an American show, Torchwood: Miracle Day was awful. But there were good times along the way, including exploded bodies that wouldn't die, Dichen Lachman's 180-degree head-twist, and Jack's slutty one-night stands. But feisty Gwen provided a lot of the funnier moments, including this attempt at an American accent.
71. The return of Beavis & Butt-head
When MTV announced it was exhuming Mike Judge's cartoon, we were understandably cautious. But the titular pair returned unchanged like a couple of unfrozen horny cavemen with a whole new world of terrible programming to snicker at. Maybe we should just have Beavis and Butt-head add running commentary to full episodes of Jersey Shore and Teen Mom?
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