True Blood, The Bachelorette
TV took a few risks this week. Entourage's Ari betrayed a client. An artist created a shocking portrait of a beloved Disney character. True Blood had us clutching our pearls at a genuinely revolting vampire sex scene. James Franco made us worry about his career choices. And Bachelorette Ali sent a potential suitor hobbling off into the sunset.
12. Best Susan Boyle Impression: When Puerto Rico's Carlos Aponte, a nebbishy guy, auditioned for America's Got Talent, the producers played it for laughs. (His pre-performance interview package was to the tune of "Macarena," for example.) But Aponte had the last laugh. When he sang, an impressive tenor issued forth, wowing the judges and the audience.
11. Best Revenge: It's nice to see Entourage's power agent Ari Gold on the receiving end of a temper tantrum. After Ari screws over director Nick Cassavetes, he takes out a full-page ad in Variety, illustrated by a photo of Ari in drag, under the headline "My friend, my agent, my b---h." Google Images is a wonderful thing!
10. Best Tribute: Ryan Seacrest led a touching tribute at the Daytime Emmy Awards to Dick Clark. The legendary American Bandstand host was feted with performances and video messages from a bevy of artists whose careers were launched on his show. Among them: Marie Osmond, the Spinners, Tony Orlando and Chubby Checker. The group came together to belt out Barry Manilow's hit and the Bandstand theme song, "Bandstand Boogie," reducing Clark to tears.
9. Most Shocking: Let's see: How do we describe this moment without offending the more sensitive members of our readership? (Hi, Mom!) On Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Miles answered the call for a shocking piece of art by creating a line drawing of Mickey Mouse composed of tiny, intertwined portraits of genitals. He explained that the piece represents his first erection, which arrived while he was watching The Little Mermaid as a tot. Definitely weird. But then ... to up the piece's shock value, he decided to "sign" his portrait by commemorating his most recent erection. I'll let you figure out how exactly he did that.
8. Best Symbolism: On Rescue Me, Tommy contemplates his unsettling vision of the afterlife sitting in the pew of a church — while also drinking some whiskey and smoking a cigarette. It's a key moment in the series, as it aptly paraphrases Tommy's central struggle: how to be good while being bad.
7. Most Familiar Pattern: The new roomies of The Real World New Orleans attended a party at a gay bar, where the host greeted Ryan, a straight hairdresser who wears a purity ring, with an innocent kiss. In response, he told his gay roommate Preston that every time "one of you" touches him, he wants to kill himself.
6. Creepiest "Twist" Ending: On True Blood, Bill's decision to work for the king to protect Sookie is met by golf claps from Lorena, his nefarious maker. In a fit of rage that morphs into passion, Bill rips off her clothes and forces himself on her. To avoid looking at her smug face during the violent act, he twists her head a full 180 degrees and snaps her neck. "I still love you," she says through bloody teeth.
5. Best Guest Star: On this week's Hot in Cleveland, Betty White's Elka goes on a blind date with ... the legendary Carl Reiner. They get along swimmingly, in that they share a cynicism for Michael Bublé ("wannabe Sinatra") and a love of Celebrex! Their old-school comedy is just as winning today.
4. Best Weirdness: James Franco returns to General Hospital to reprise the role of Franco, a performance artist who is also stalking a hitman. He reappears as a homeless man, who claims he will entertain you for cash. When a passerby gives him $20, he produces a mechanical clapping-monkey doll and accepts a piece of gum — cinnamon, not spearmint. Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds, and better.
3. Worst Weirdness: After moonwalking his way through a dance medley in tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET Awards, Chris Brown slowed it down to croon "Man in the Mirror." Except he didn't. Apparently overcome with emotion, the singer — still on the image-rehab path after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna — broke down on stage and barely croaked out a full lyric. If you thought they were crocodile tears, you're not the only one.
2. Best Fake Boyfriend: This week on Kathy Griffin My Life on the D-List, Griffin visited her solely-for-publicity beau Levi Johnston in Alaska. During an interview with a Playgirl reporter, she saw his spread for the beefcake mag for the first time. "Oh my God, that's your a--," she squealed. "Don't act like you've never seen it before," Johnston replied, ever the dutiful fake boyfriend.
1. Most Exciting Confrontation Ever: After Ali learns Justin has a girlfriend on The Bachelorette, the "Rated R" wrestler went with the good old deny-deny-deny strategy as he frantically tried to outrun, er, out-hobble a scorned woman and a bloodthirsty camera crew. However, the proof was in the voicemails from Justin to his girlfriend, Jessica, where he said he misses her, loves her, wants to marry her ... and which were played as he walked out of camera range and into the (very crowded) reality TV hall of shame.