Coolest Moments: Slap Happiness, Hero Sex, and Respecting Wood
Larry David, Alyson Hannigan
Wait, what? Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about football and Twilight Zone marathons. But this week we're lucky enough to fill our Coolest Moments (aka Top Moments) with a strong slate of scripted scenes — and one off-the-cuff disclosure that could have stayed, you know, on the cuff. Also: Animals got some payback for all their buddies who got eaten this week. (You go, Miss Piggy.) Welcome to Coolest Moments, Thanksgiving edition.
10. Best Fight: Sons of Anarchy goes the bare-knuckle route as Jax, Clay and eight other members of SAMCRO go toe-to-toe, no-weapons, with A.J. Weston's band of shaved-head white supremacists in an old fashion rumble. The crunchy, bloody and testosterone-filled ten-on-ten releases a season's worth of tension. (And it's the only thing that could top Tara slugging a hospital administrator who tried to threaten her career.)
9. Best Collaboration: Everyone plays his or her small, glorious part to make "What Up With That?" the funniest sketch on the otherwise-slumping Saturday Night Live. Kenan Thompson commits completely to the show's constantly interjected theme song, Jason Sudeikis kills it as a goofy breakdancer, and Fred Armisen nails smoothed-out, just-happy-to-be-here sax man. Rounding out the many, many choruses are two backup singers, a gospel choir, Andy Samberg (we think) as an aggressive rainbow-wigged dancer, Bobby Moynihan as a tap-dancing Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a singer from the future. Its all held together by the perfect deadpan of Mindy Kaling as herself, Bill Hader as a not-mad Lindsey Buckingham, and, most ridiculously of all, Al Gore — who gets maybe the biggest laugh of the skit just by silently mouthing, "what?" at the chaos all around him. Oooooooh-weeeeeeee.
8. Most Stand-Up Guy: After Smallville's Clark & co. see a glimpse of a desolate future in which General Zod has destroyed much of the Earth and enslaved the "filthy" humans, the man of steel decides to befriend Major Zod and try to avert the badness. In an interesting turn of events, the Kandorian leader asks his minions to "kneel before Kal-El" — though he, conspicuously, does not.
7. Best Comeback: While Adam Lambert simulating oral sex created a stir at the American Music Awards, it was Whitney Houston's performance that brought the audience to its feet. She wowed the crowd with her stirring anthem "I Didn't Know My Own Strength." The singer, whose marriage to Bobby Brown filled volumes of tabloids, paused during her song — either to relish the moment of her full-throated performance or recover from a wave of emotion.
6. Coolest Kicker: You sure can't accuse V of delivering all the drama up front. The closing moments of its final episode dropped a series of bombs: Val discovers she's pregnant with Visitor-in-disguise Ryan's baby, Father Jack is stabbed, and Erica finds out her son is aboard the mothership. All this is overshadowed, however, by the sight of hundreds of Visitor spaceships heading towards Earth. More Visitors are coming!
5. Freakiest Family: When Dexter's Christina said she was sorry Deb had to watch the man she loved take his last breath, we thought she was just being sympathetic. Until Deb's realization that there was no way Christina could have known she was next to Lundy when he died. Before we could wrack our brains about Christina's motive, Trinity showed up at her door, where she greeted him as "Dad."
4. Least Necessary Public Disclosure: You've met Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, hero. Now meet Sully the Sex Symbol. Asked by Matt Lauer on NBC's People of the Year how the "Miracle on the Hudson" affected their marriage, the pilot's wife, Laurie, volunteers that "hero sex really helps a 20-year-old marriage." Adds Sully: "Rock star sex." Lauer: "That's the headline right there." Yes, Matt, we're taking the hint.
3. Best Game: How I Met Your Mother's episode kicker — directed by Neil Patrick Harris — features a parody of old-school kids' games commercials. The ad for the Slap Bet board game, the latest creation from Lily's dad, Mickey, features hand-burns on everyone's faces, a peppy version of Marshall's Slap Bet anthem "You Just Got Slapped," and a kid whacking grandma (hey, it's for ages 9 to 99). It's probably a good thing this isn't real, because we'd buy it for sure.
2. Biggest Ham: On the Dancing with the Stars finale, Miss Piggy vents the frustrations of many viewers — too aggressively — by karate chopping occasionally overbearing hostess Samantha Harris. You can't blame the feisty Muppet after Harris has the audacity to accuse her of "hogging" the camera. Can Miss Piggy co-host permanently? (Oh, and Donny Osmond, won. It was a big night for hams.)
1. Most Meta Thing Ever: Curb Your Enthusiam caps off not only its own seventh season but also Seinfeld's entire run, with an alternate-reality reunion that seems better, in the glimpses of it that we received, than the finale Seinfeld actually aired more than a decade ago. Having said that, the Curb finale's best moment isn't in the show-within-a-show. It's Larry's cutting-room-floor attempt to play George, a character he can't master even though he's based on himself. (A close second: The reunion between Larry and Cheryl that ties together every joke in the episode and reveals, as we probably could have guessed, that Cheryl doesn't respect wood.)