Kim Kardashian and David Letterman
TV made us uncomfortable this week. America's Got Talent's "male Lady Gaga" made it hard for us to keep a poker face. Danielle Staub continued to upset us with her misguided parenting practices. Kim Kardashian is a clean freak. Ten-year-old Sally Draper was aroused by The Man from U.N.C.L.E. And David Letterman will not stop talking about Jay Leno. Welcome to Top Moments: Discomfort Level Edition.
12. Best Conflicted Emotions: On the season finale of Royal Pains, Hank and Evan find out what Eddie R. Lawson has been up to: He has been working as an informant against Boris to try to clear his name with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Just as Eddie reveals the truth over dinner, much to the chagrin of his sons, he has a heart attack and the scene cuts to the credits.
11. Weirdest Phenomenon: There have been many renditions of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but Prince Poppycock, a contestant on America's Got Talent, has made the operatic pop song his own by wearing full makeup, an elaborate costume and a powdered wig. And he doesn't sing so badly either, prompting judge Sharon Osbourne to dub him "the male Lady Gaga."
10. Best Nutting Up: It only took seven seasons of Ari's "pizza boy" insults for Eric to finally grow a pair on Entourage. When he finds out that Vince is doing cocaine provided by rival manager Scotty Lavin, he busts into his office and tells him to stay away from Vince... or else.
9. Best Cliff-hanger: Rescue Me's penultimate episode ends with Lou trapped under burning wreckage at an abandoned coffin warehouse. (Subtle!) As the guys work to free Lou, wishy-washy probie Damien runs back in to help, only to be crushed by falling debris. What more could happen on next week's finale?
8. Best Reminder of Actual Reality: It's certainly not unusual to have a catfight on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but surprisingly, this week's Danielle-Caroline showdown is not the episode's standout moment. Instead, it's the moment when Danielle's youngest daughter gets emotional upon hearing that her mom is going to meet with Caroline and continue to feed the drama-meter. Isn't anybody thinking about the children?
7. Most Enlightening Moment: Guess what? In addition to all her other fine attributes, Kim Kardashian keeps a clean house — a really clean house. On this week's Keeping Up, Kim succumbs to pressure from her mom to host a housewarming party. But rather than enjoy herself and her company, Kim spends most of the night with a spray bottle cleaning up after everyone.
6. Best Honesty: Nancy and her Weeds family need a new identity now that they're on the run. They select the surname Newman ("new man") and in a fugitive rite of passage, burn their Botwin licenses and vow to pursue a "normal" existence. I'll bet you a dime bag that's not going to last long.
5. Best Reveal: "I'm a fairy? How f---ing lame!" Sookie says, after Bill breaks the news on True Blood that she's descended from be-winged rapists. That's right — rapists. Bill explains that the fae, as they're known, have a reputation for forcing themselves sexually on humans. Further, legend has it that vampires were the cause of the demise of the fae, because fairy blood is irresistible to vampires. It's an interesting twist to put on a human-fairy-vampire courtship that's already on shaky ground.
4. Most Bittersweet Good News: You don't expect a documentary about the years after Hurricane Katrina to begin with a show of unbridled joy. But that's the first of many surprises of Spike Lee's HBO documentary, If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise. Lee turns the film over to New Orleans Saints fans as they celebrate their team's 2010 Super Bowl win. It's thrilling to see people from all walks of life come together to celebrate — finally — some good news for their battered city. But Lee is subtle enough not to point out what viewers know, and the revelers didn't. Another disaster — the Gulf oil spill — was just a few weeks away.
3. Most Unsettling Depiction: Starved for attention from her mother, Mad Men's Sally Draper acts out, first by cutting her hair and then by somewhat publicly exploring her sexuality. While at a sleepover, 10-year-old Sally gets hot and bothered by David McCallum's portrayal of Ilya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and begins "playing with herself." (No other way to put it, people!) Betty is mortified, and finally agrees to put Sally in therapy.
2. Best Talk Show Guest: During NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams' appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, the host decides he wants to talk about, mock and impersonate Jay Leno during the ever-charming Williams' segment, who rolls with Dave's punches like a pro. "Could you not go on that show?" Letterman asks, in reference to Leno's Tonight Show. "Now you're sounding like him," Williams replies.
1. Best Satire: While the debate rages over building a mosque at Ground Zero (okay, technically it's an Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero), The Daily Show sends correspondent Aasif Mandvi to Tennessee, where another planned mosque has drawn similar protests. One opponent to the mosque tells Mandvi, who is Muslim, that there are "35 training camps across the United States of America." His mock-stunned response: "Whoa — you know about the 35? OK, I'm sorry, can you hold on one second? I just need to make a phone call." He then pretends to call his "chiropractor," Achmed, to warn him that she knows.