Today our Top 100 list continues with the octogenarian portion of the countdown: Welcome to the 80s! Okay, there's one thing in the 90s. Oh and there's no number 80, that's tomorrow. But you get what we mean. Cut us some slack. YOU try writing an intro for a new section a Top 100 list nearly every day for the rest of the year! Just wait until we hit the 30s, the intro will probably be a copied-and-pasted paragraph from a Wikipedia entry on photosynthesis or just a bunch of random characters from Tim banging his head on the keyboard. Anyway, all this rambling has fulfilled the required minimum word count for an opening paragraph, so now we can get on with the show. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for numbers 80-71 and another dazzling set-up!
90. The Big C says goodbye
Look, there was really only one way for The Big C to end
unless Showtime wanted to completely ditch the entire premise of the series. Lucky for us, the network didn't want to do that (because that
would've sucked), and so Cathy Jameson left this mortal coil and we
cried our faces off. Adam finished high school and we cried our faces
off. Cathy made nice with her anti-dad-of-the-year and we cried our
faces off. IT WAS JUST REALLY CATHARTIC, OKAY?
89. Comedy Bang! Bang! hits the right note
IFC's funny-and-fake talk show probably has the budget of an elementary-school musical, but it knows how to penny-pinch for maximum effect. In Season 2's most impressive effort, Casey Wilson joined host Scott Aukerman for a party trick that every TV series must play at least once during its run: the musical episode! With Paul F. Tompkins in the role of podcast-favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber, Wilson impersonating Anne Hathaway singing and crying about Cheez-Its, and Thomas Lennon suiting up as the Phantom of the Bang Bang Set, this episode was demented, impressive, and most of all, high-larious.
88. J.R.'s Dallas funeral
Real-life tragedy intervened with TNT's contemporary continuation of the iconic soap when actor Larry Hagman unexpectedly died midway through the production of Season 2, forcing the writers to quickly say goodbye to one of the show's leading man and one of television's all-time greatest characters. Some unused footage and a few computer tricks helped set up the perfect way to honor J.R. Ewing's legacy: with a "Who killed J.R.?" mystery that echoed the legendary "Who shot J.R.?" arc from the original. Original Dallas cast members Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray gave powerful performances that were clearly reflective of more than just TV characters losing a family member; they were losing a real friend.
87. CHICK FIIIIIIIIGHTS!
Okay maybe we're immature for digging on two women punching each other in the bosoms, but if that's the case, we don't want to grow up. The ladies went after it this year, with The Americans pitting Claudia and Elizabeth against each other, Sons of Anarchy making a main event out of Tara vs. Gemma (Round 1 to Tara, Round 2 and game, set, match to Gemma), Orphan Black throwing Ainsley and Allison into fisticuffs (and a garbage disposal), Suburgatory staging an epic battle between Dalia and Tessa, and True Blood building quite a set piece out of Sarah Newlin sinking a stiletto into the back of a snooping Tru Blood distributor's head. Pass the popcorn and let the clumps of hair fly!
86. American Horror Story escapes the asylum
Lana Banana channeled Geraldo Rivera for American Horror Story: Asylum's slightly-rushed-but-still-pretty-awesome finale, taking her place in the highest echelon of sensationalist journalism and totally shoving that pesky lesbian thing under the rug. Along with the serial killer bastard son. And the aliens. Lana's rug was very busy, basically. But hey, it wouldn't be an AHS finale if everyone didn't die horribly except for that one character who might've been a little less goodie-goodie than we initially believed. It's okay, Lana, you're still perf.
85. TV loses itself to dance
Go Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it's your birthday! Go American Horror Story: Asylum, it's your birthday! Go Mad Men, it's your birthday! Go Trophy Wife, it's your birthday! Go The Mindy Project, it's your birthday! Spontaneous fits of boogying aren't just watchable, they're encouraged—whether they're absinthe-induced, drug-induced, or otherwise!
84. Stephen Colbert gets lucky
Speaking of dancing, was Stephen Colbert's Daft Punk dance party a publicity stunt for an appearance that was never going to happen or a genius way to cope with a last-minute cancellation? Who cares, it was awesome!
83. Bad TV = good TV
2013 was incredibly bountiful with regard to incredible new TV shows, but let's not forget the stinky-yet-entertaining turds it farted out: Do No Harm, a show about a Jekyll-and-Hyde doctor, Zero Hour, an absolute mess about Nazis AND paranormal clocks, and Cult, a show about another show, murder, and brainwashed fans, all bent genres in such ridiculous ways that it made for some glorious hate-watching.
PREVIOUSLY: Do No Harm series Premiere Review: A Show With a Split Personality; Zero Hour Series Premiere Review: Anyone Know What We Just Watched?; Cult Series Premiere Review: A Crazy Show Within a Crazy Show
82. The Mentalist flushes the (Red) John
The arc that seemed like it would never end finally ended, and with it went all those episode titles with "Red" in them. At long last, Patrick Jane discovered the identity of Red John, the murderer who took his wife's life, and even though the reveal was underwhelming, we still found it incredibly satisfying to see Jane strangle the dude to death. Plus, now the show can get on with being what it should be: a handsome man solving crimes!
81. Patton Oswalt makes everything better
Every year, an in-demand actor makes the rounds on great shows, and 2013 was the Year of the Oswalt. He fillibustered about Star Wars on Parks and Recreation. He withstood torture from a douchebag named Yolo on Justified. He played a cocky fire chief on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And he crafted the perfect Evite responses on Portlandia. And that was all in addition to his regular gig on The Heart, She Holler and his voice roles on The Goldbergs and Axe Cop. But even with all the screentime, overexposure was never an issue, as Oswalt is one of the most likable and talented comedians in show biz.
See you tomorrow for Volume 3!