Now we're getting into the things that possibly could've argued their way into the Top 10 of our Top 100 Everything 2012—something actors, writers, and directors work their whole lives for. But don't worry, Nathan Fillion, just because you're number thirty-seven this year doesn't mean you can't be number one next year! (However, slipping us a few fifties or giving us Summer Glau's phone number couldn't hurt, knowwhati'msayin?)
We'll trot out our picks 10 at a time, continuing through the end of the year, so check back regularly to see what else made the cut or to learn how to count down from 100.
40. Grey's Anatomy pulls a Lost
While it may amaze some that Grey's is still on the air, few can deny that the show has mastered the art of the melodramatic, character-killing finale. Season 8 ended with an homage to Lost that saw most of the Seattle Grace surgical staff struggling to survive and trying to make sense of things in the aftermath of a horrifying plane crash that killed Lexie and ultimately took Mark's life, too. The tragic reveals in both the finale and the Season 9 premiere—Mark' injuries being worse (read: fatal) than everyone thought; Arizona surviving but Callie having to make the call to amputate her leg—proved that nine seasons in, Shonda Rhimes still knows how to shake things up.
39. The Daily Show plants its flag on Bullshit Mountain
Because it only happens once every four years, each U.S. of America Presidential Vote-Off is picked apart by all sorts of new technology and social interaction, but we always find ourselves coming back to the best: Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. And this year's Race of the Presidents was awesome. Tea Parties! Mormons! Debt vortexes! Gay marriage! Weed! And most importantly, Herman Cain! But it was The Daily Show's continued assault on Fox News that was the gift that kept on giving.
38. Chuck hits the beach
After five seasons and three narrow escapes from cancellation, Chuck Bartowski completed his final mission but still had to finish his most important task: getting Sarah back. Some less-imaginative fans may have wanted more closure, but the final scene with Chuck and Sarah on the beach was left open with just a kiss and our hopes for their future. But if this scene is any indication, we think Chuck and Sarah's story ended happily.
37. Jenna Hamilton's blogging fantasies
The heroine of MTV's Awkward. got creative on the internet in "Once Upon a Blog," and we got a "What If?" peek at what life would be like if she picked Matty or Jake or avoided both of them altogether. It was an episode that also included a Twilight spoof and 'shipper nirvana with a scenario where Matty and Jake were totally gay for each other.
After 3.9999 seasons, Castle and Beckett finally became Caskett in the Season 4 finale, "Always." She showed up on his doorstep soaking wet from the rain. He, still stung from their fight earlier in the episode, resisted at first. But she pressed her lips into his and he could resist no more! Then they passionately kissed! Annnnnnd CUT! It was all very romance novel, and it worked. Plus they've been been pretty enjoyable to watch as a couple in Season 5.
Previously: Castle "Always" Review: So THAT Happened
35. Will McAvoy craps all over the new America
The opening scene of HBO's The Newsroom: Think Like Aaron Sorkin featured this stellar verbal ass-kicking from a frustrated news reporter (Jeff Daniels) who was sick of saying everything with America is okay.
Previously: The Newroom's Series Premiere: Soapbox Derby
34. Tara + Pam
True Blood's fifth season may have had vampire ninjas and Jason Stackhouse as a special ops super soldier, but it also had a quirky, cool romance that was borderline lesbian incest. Maker Pam and makee Tara spent the season developing the typical bond that should exist between a vamp mom and her daughter, but then it got kinky when Tara planted a full on face-sucker on Pam. We ALL knew it, Jess!
Previously: True Blood's Season 5 Finale: "All Hail Billith"
33. Skyler goes for a dip
Everyone is always bashing Skyler White for being a bitch, but come on people, her husband went from wimpy chemistry teacher to murderer and child poisoner and drug manufacturer! (Okay, that's actually kind of sexy.) But in "Fifty-One," Skyler cracked and went wading in the pool during dinner. It was a gorgeous scene that showed just how much destruction Heisenberg hath wrought. Incredible work by Anna Gunn.
32. Congratulations, it's an ugly baby, Melisandre!
The night is dark and full of terrors. It's also full of a crazy, gaseous assassin that crawled out of the vagina of Game of Thrones' redheaded priestess. When we read this scene in the book, we thought, "What in the flying f*ck?" When we saw it come to life on our television screen, we pretty much thought the same thing. Shocking, creepy, and oddly beautiful, the birth of the Shadow Baby was a Season 2 highlight.
31. The Arrested Development reunion is actually really happening
After years of broken hopes, empty promises, and hollow rumor after hollow rumor, the resurrection of the brilliant but short-lived sitcom is a fact! Coming to Netflix in 2013, the Bluths will reunite for 12-15 episodes six years after going off the air. They're definitely going to get some hop-ons, and we will be among them.