So Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald discussed this on their Hollywood Prospectus podcast a few weeks back and it got me thinking: What were my favorite television moments from 2012? I know I’m going to leave some great scenes out because there were too many to remember, but here it goes! Many spoilers ahead!
Mad Men- What is Happiness?
It’s moments like these that make us love Don Draper. It feels like almost every pitch or meeting appears to have a layered meaning with one of the show’s characters, and it’s easy to see how this one relates to Don. Yes, he’s trying to make a pitch, but at this later point in the season we know that the honeymoon stage of his marriage is over and that initial happiness he had with his wife is subsiding. It acts as a great foil to the famous carousel scene in season one, where Don’s pitch causes a sense of nostalgia within himself.
Game of Thrones- Tyrion’s Speech
Although I thought that this season of Thrones wasn’t as good as the first, there is no doubting that “Blackwater” was one of the finest hours on television this year. Tyrion’s chill-inducing speech is the episode’s highlight, and it’s fascinating how he can believably progress from struggling to get everyone’s attention to creating an echoing roar in such a short period of time using just his words.
Parks and Recreation- Have You Guys Seen Hitler?
Just because you can never get enough Andy.
Homeland- Interrogation Scene
So I couldn’t find the video, but Homeland fans know which scene I’m talking about. Carrie interrogates Brodie in what was the peak of season two, and between the two of them they hit every emotion on the spectrum. The acting and writing here was impeccable, and while the wheels may have come off toward the end of the season, it was scenes like this one that had everyone hoping that Homeland would be television’s next great show.
The Newsroom- Opening Scene
I, like everyone else it seems, had mixed feelings about the first season of The Newsroom. But this opening scene from the pilot episode gave the show such promise that I couldn’t leave it off my list.
Boardwalk Empire- Richard Harrow Rescues Tommy
As Michael Cresci and I discussed numerous times on our podcast Short Commercial Break, after the death of Jimmy Darmody, Richard Harrow became the most interesting and likable character on Boardwalk Empire. He’s always had an interesting relationship with Jimmy’s son, Tommy, filling in as the father-figure Jimmy never was. Because of this relationship, their embrace after Richard rescues Tommy is heartfelt and genuine.
Pretty Little Liars – Toby is A
Breaking Bad – Todd Shoots Kid
One of the few moments where a show actually made me almost leap completely out of my seat. Throughout the episode “Dead Freight”, we expect something to go wrong as Walt, Jesse, Mike and
Landry Todd attempt a train heist. But the writers played on our expectations in a cruel way. Our characters succeed in their heist, but Todd shoots an innocent boy who was just simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. A sense of relief and excitement is transformed into a state of shock and horror. Breaking Bad in a nutshell.
Louie- Doll Scene
I just finished watching all three seasons of Louie and it is one of the most unique shows on television. It’s not quite a comedy or a drama, and the usual “dramedy” title doesn’t seem to apply either. Outside of a few storylines that lasted more than one episode, there is really not continuity to be seen outside of his daughters as recurring characters. In this hilariously executed scene, we see all the trouble that Louie goes through just to briefly put a smile on his daughters face.