It’s no secret that I love TV.
Sure we have our problems – sometimes TV lets dead characters linger too long or cancels a show I adore or ruins a perfectly good character (I’m talking to you “Desperate Housewives”).
But the reason I keep coming back night after night is because TV always entertains me, surprises me, moves me, brings tears to my eyes, makes me laugh out loud, makes me root for romance and so much more.
It was difficult to pick my ten favorite moments. There are so many terrific moments that aren’t on the list – like finding out Peter was the Peter from the alternate universe on “Fringe” or when Cam brought out Lily to the theme of “The Lion King” on “Modern Family” (just thinking about that moment makes me smile).
After much internal debate, here are my 10 favorite TV moments of 2009:
1. Sayid shoots Ben in “He’s Our You” episode of “Lost” (March 25, 2009): There were so many memorable moments on “Lost” – Juliet letting go of Sawyer’s hand, Kate taking young Ben to the Others to be healed, Locke actually being dead. I could go on and on. But this moment stands out because honestly I was wondering why no one had tried to stop Ben from becoming Ben before this and we gained such insight into Sayid’s character. And to know that Sayid’s actions actually lead to Ben becoming Ben was the kind of mind-bending plot twistyness that makes “Lost” one of the best shows on TV.
2. Pam and Jim get married in the “Niagara” episode of “The Office” (October 8, 2009): After five seasons of pining and courtship, this was a perfect wedding for one of TV’s most perfect couples. I loved the juxtaposition of everyone dancing down the aisle to “Forever” (against the couple’s express wishes) while they privately exchanged vows on the “Maid of the Mist.” The moment was simultaneously poignant and hilarious, which is no easy feat.
3. Coach helps Smash get a college scholarship in the “Hello, Goodbye” episode of “Friday Night Lights” (February 6, 2009): Again, hard to pick just one moment out of Dillon, Texas but when Coach give Smash a pep talk moments before he tries out for a college scholarship, I got chills. The sheer force of Coach’s belief is Smash’s ability was palpable. And when Smash stopped by to thank Coach “for everything,” well I definitely had a cathartic cry.
4. Camera pans away in the “And in the end” episode (the series finale) of “ER” (April 2, 2009): You know one of my rules is that I like to think of life continuing on in a series after it goes off the air. So I loved this final shot of the camera panning away (instead of following the characters into the action) as the staff of County General attended to their next patient.
5. Ted’s 31st birthday in “The Leap” episode of “How I Met Your Mother” (May 18, 2009): I’ve been hard on the show this season and sure the whole Barney and Robin thing didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, but I loved the idea behind this fourth season finale -that every moment in our lives happens for a reason and brings us to the place we are today. Plus we finally got to know why there was a goat at Ted’s 31st birthday. One of the things I love about “HIMYM” is that there is always a nice payoff for plot points that are planted long before they finally come to fruition. For instance, we’re still waiting for one more slap.
6. House hallucinates sleeping with Cuddy in the “Both Sides Now” episode of “House” (May 11, 2009): Again another series I’ve been hard on and I haven’t loved all the choices they made in 2009 (let’s hope the revolving door of cast changes has come to an end), but this episode totally threw me. I was still trying to figure out how I felt about Cuddy and House sleeping together when House realized he had hallucinated the whole thing. It was a shocking moment – one that hasn’t totally paid off this season but still a great moment nonetheless.
7. Roger asks Peggy to get him a cup of coffee and she says “no” in “Shut the Door, Have a Seat” episode of “Mad Men” (November 8, 2009): Strange right to pick this minute moment when there were so many bigger ones to choose from (Betty learning the truth about Don, Guy losing his foot, Joan coming back to work). But the moment when Peggy refused to get Roger a cup a coffee was the culmination of Peggy’s battle to be treated as an equal and her struggle to stand up for herself. This small instant represented a seismic shift.
8. Castle dresses up as Captain Mal for Halloween on “Vampire Weekend” episode of “Castle” (October 26, 2009): Easily the best inside joke of the year and what a treat for “Firefly” fans to get to see Nathan Fillion dressed up as the Captain of Serenity one last time.
9. The pilot episode of “Drop Dead Diva” (July 12, 2009): Who would have thought a show about a ditzy blond who dies and comes back in the body of a zaftig lawyer would work? On paper, it sounds more than a little ridiculous. But I knew from the moment I saw the pilot that this show had tons of potential.
10. J.D. visualizes his future in the “My Finale” episode of “Scrubs: (May 6, 2009): As J.D. said good-bye to Sacred Heart Hospital, he saw himself marrying Elliot, having a child with her, having his son marry Turk’s daughter, holidays celebrated together and much more. It was a fitting end for a character we had watched grow from novice intern to confident doctor.
Those were my favorite TV moments of 2009. What are yours? Talk about them below.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for December 21-27
Picking are slim this week as most shows go into hibernation until after the holidays. But you can catch the last new December episode of “The Closer” Monday at 9 p.m. on TNT. Mary McDonnell returns as Captain Sharon Raydor. I have to say I found her character much less annoying this time around. Keep an eye out guest star Jackson Hurst, who plays Grayson on “Drop Dead Diva.”
You can also catch a new episode of “Men of a Certain Age” Monday at 10 p.m. on TNT. As I said last week, I think this is the best episode the show has had so far so it’s definitely heading in the right direction. The hour really give Andre Braugher a chance to shine.
By now you’ve probably heard that TNT cancelled “Raising the Bar” (I hope I didn’t give you a Zack Attack). The network is unceremoniously airing the final three new episodes of the series Thursday beginning at 8 p.m.
TBS airs its annual 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” beginning Thursday at 8 p.m.
On Christmas Day, you can check out a “Bones” marathon on TNT beginning at noon.
That’s all for today. Because it’s Christmas, I won’t have a column on Friday. But I’ll be back next Monday with my picks for my favorite TV quotes of 2009. Don’t forget to email me your favorite quotes. I hope you have a wonderful holiday – safe travels, time with good friends and family and that Santa leaves the DVD boxed set you’ve been wanting under your tree. Have a question, seen a familiar face, want to nominate a quote of the week, write me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter. Have a terrific week. Talk to you next Monday.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal