Top Moments: Scantily Clad Cops, Bad Pick-Up Lines, and Other Rites of Spring
Terry O'Quinn, Rashida Jones
Spring has sprung hard in the world of television: No less than five new shows scored spots on this week's Top Moments, four of them in their debut week. Plenty of old dogs still made the list, but a few might have to step up with so many young 'uns nipping at their heels. (Sorry, spring always makes us think of puppies.) Enjoy our Top Moments, newborn-pugs-dressed-as-
10. Family Affair Award: After 10 years, Chuck is finally reunited with his father — and learns that he's the brains behind the Intersect. Will dad save Chuck from his life as a walking super-computer?
9. Best Cross-Promotion: Fox ratings behemoth American Idol makes nice with Fringe by featuring the show's mysterious Observer character in Tuesday's audience, making for a creepy version of "Where's Waldo." Fans also spot the bald one at a weekend NASCAR rally. Synergy!
8. Grisliest "Half" Hour: The second slaying on Harper's Island provides us the sight of Harry Hamlin's cleaved-at-the-waist body, dangling from a footbridge. To clarify our little pun, the show lasts an hour.
7. Cheesecake-Topped-with-Exposition Award: ABC's new cop drama, The Unusuals, opens with an unremarkable please-pay-attention-to-us opening: Amber Tamblyn's Det. Casey Shraeger working the vice beat, dressed as a hooker, just like those eye-candy female cops on Miami Vice. She gets a call while she's streetwalking from her wealthy mom, who's sure the help is stealing. The show looks promising, but needs to work a little harder to live up to its title. The New York Times has already called it out for stealing a scene from The (wonderful) Wire.
6. Worst Pick-Up Line: When Rashida Jones' character on NBC's new mockumentary, Parks and Recreation, complains at a public meeting about a local pit where her musician boyfriend broke both his legs, the brilliant Aziz Ansari (playing a department bureaucrat) tries to get personal: "Wow, I'm sure this must be really tough for you... the guy, it sounds like he didn't have a lot going for him to start with. And now, both legs broken, he's just — weak. You probably feel like you have to move on." In full disclosure, we'd hit on Jones, too — but with less game.
5. Funniest Inside Joke: When South Park's Cartman and Jimmy develop a joke that makes its way into Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, and Jay Leno's monologues, notorious joke-stealer Carlos Mencia claims the credit. In the ultimate act of comic retribution, Kanye West — who assumes the joke is about him — forces Mencia to concede his entire schtick: "I just take jokes and repackage them with a Mexican accent, man!"
4. Steeliest Apology: Lost's Ben makes up for killing the now up-and-walking Locke by gunning down Caesar — with Caesar's own gun — before he can stop Locke's plan to borrow a boat. Deadpans Ben, "You can consider that your apology."
3. Best Intro: In an opening with a perfect blend of tension and human drama, Lie to Me's Drs. Lightman and Foster question a worker about a construction accident that buried three members of his team. With a few photographs, they discover that he can't recognize any emotion but disgust — a sign of opiate addiction. (Who knew?) From there they realize the accident didn't occur where he claimed and help locate the missing. Saving them is even more complicated.
2. Best Show-Definer: Ben Sherman, the rich-kid cop of NBC's Southland, proves himself when a "superior officer" gets shot by a cuffed gangbanger who Sherman warns hasn't been searched — and Sherman stops the shooter cold. Yes, Southland also does the female-cop-as-hooker thing, but it balances her out with some male vice cops doing equally seedy jobs. We're loving this show.
1. Most Shocking Send-Off: House viewers only see blood and an obstructed body, but the discovery of Kutner's dead body still leaves our jaws agape. The suicide sets up a compelling arc for Dr. House, who usually has all the answers — but this time never will.