Top Moments: Pairs of Aces on Amazing Race, 30 Rock and The View
Tina Fey, Bill O’Reilly
There were some interesting couples on TV this week. On The Amazing Race, Ivy League partners Connor and Jonathan failed a geography lesson. Fringe, a show already teeming with evil twins, introduced us to a doppelgänger with frightening implications. Super-cousins Clark and Kara learned to fly on Smallville. Mary-Louise Parker, ahem, paired up with the artist formerly known as Zack Morris on Weeds. Tina Fey enlisted Julia Louis-Dreyfus as an unlikely comic stand-in on 30 Rock's live episode. And The View's Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg demonstrated a sisterhood of solidarity during a prickly interview with Bill O'Reilly... by walking out. Welcome to Top Moments: Double Vision Edition.
12. Sexiest Workout: On this week's Thintervention, Jackie wants her clients to find their inner sexy. Choreographer Robin Antin, creator of the Pussycat Dolls, is on hand to teach the trainees a dance to their hit song "Don't Cha." While some in the group are shy about stripping down and getting into the moves, Bryan takes off his shirt to reveal a cropped, hot pink bolero paired with barely-there shorts. He doesn't win the competition, but he definitely wins some laughs.
11. Least Global Globetrotters: For a group of people who travel the world, the Amazing Race-rs are pretty geographically challenged. Case in point: Tasked with finding Ghana — the country they were in — on a map, most teams failed multiple times before succeeding, including leg winners and Princeton grads Connor Diemand-Yauman and Jonathan Schwartz. "Our friends in Princeton are probably gonna grill us for that. ... Princeton is a good school, I swear," Diemand-Yauman tells a group of Ghanan schoolchildren.
10. Non-New York State of Mind Award: On How I Met Your Mother's Amazing Race-inspired "Subway Wars," the five buddies race to a restaurant in downtown New York City using various methods of transportation after accusing Robin of not being a true New Yorker. Marshall, who makes the journey on foot, deserves the title. One complaint: Take it from us, Marshall, true New Yorkers hardly ever wait for the light to change.
9. Best Tribute: Castle honors recurring guest star and veteran TV writer Stephen J. Cannell with a fitting tribute. After the episode's final scene, the show runs the famous title card for Cannell's production company, in which the prolific producer is hard at work at his typewriter. But when Cannell rips the sheet of paper out of the machine, instead of it turning into Cannell's animated logo, it slowly falls off the screen. It reads: "We'll miss you, pal."
8. Most Ominous Development: We knew that there were shapeshifters "over here" on Fringe, but we had no idea some of them might be in Congress. "King of the shapeshifters" Thomas Newton (Sebastian Roché) fails in his attempt to kidnap the pulse-less, but still breathing Sen. Van Horn from the hospital, and is instead forced to shoot the senator through his left eye, revealing his mercury-tainted blood and the fact that he's a shifter. If a senator can go undetected, how high does the conspiracy go?
7. Best Role-Reversal: Clark's cousin Kara returns to Smallville to help him bring down the final season's Big Bad: Darkseid. In a case of the cape being on the other neck, Kara attempts to teach Clark how to fly — to no avail. When Supergirl has to teach Superman how to fly, Metropolis is in trouble.
6. Most-Welcome Intrusion: Internet phenomen Antoine Dobson makes a surprise appearance at the BET Hip Hop Awards to perform a verse from his accidental hit "Bed Intruder," the undisputed song of the summer. Forget for a minute how good the song is, if you can get it out of your head. Dobson is an undisputed hero for rescuing his sister from an attacker, and the creation of the song (assembled from his comments to a local news station) is possibly the best thing ever to come out of a crime. It's great to see Dobson get his due, but one minor complaint: BET should have had him do the whole song.
5. Quickest Sex Scene: When Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) can't take any more of the motley crew that is her Weeds family, she breaks out on her own and finds what she calls a "weird, empty, dismal, Podunk bar." She makes small talk with the handsome, nameless bartender (guest star Mark-Paul Gosselaar). When she irks him by violating his no-smoking rule, he says, "You don't listen. Do you need someone to make you?" She says yes. For the next 30 seconds or so, throughout several very naked quick cuts, she continues to say yes... over and over and over.
4. Best Hail Mary: Unable to secure a new cigarette company for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to fill the Lucky Strike void, Mad Men's Don Draper takes a daring risk: He takes out a full-page ad in the New York Times proclaiming that his firm will no longer represent companies whose products kill their customers. It looks like Don finally has his mojo back.
3. Best Body Double: To re-create 30 Rock's signature quick-cut flashbacks during its delightful live episode, Tina Fey & Co. employ a cheeky device. "Flashback Liz Lemon," to whom the camera whooshes, is played by Saturday Night Live vet Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Rather than let the intentional gaffe play without comment, the characters observe the difference. "Why are you better-looking in your memory?" Jack asks. "My memory has Seinfeld money," Liz replies.
2. Best Walk-Out: On Thursday's The View, the ladies asked guest Bill O'Reilly why people would object to a Muslim community center planned for a location near Ground Zero. He replied simply, "Because Muslims killed us on 9/11." A clearly offended Joy Behar said, "I don't want to sit here with you," and walked off the stage. Her co-host Whoopi Goldberg joined her, and they were met with cheers from the audience. Barbara Walters denounced their behavior as unprofessional, and they later returned to the panel after O'Reilly apologized. (MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan later provided a well-reasoned rebuttal to O'Reilly's point — if only he'd been at The View.)
1. Best Sight: Want to see what real joy looks like? Watch the video of rescued Chilean miner Mario Sepulveda, one of the 33 men who emerged looking surprisingly hardy after more than two months underground. Sepulveda served as a spokesman for the group, giving video tours of the mine while trapped, and his family said he was made for TV. He proved it as he emerged from the rescue capsule, hugged his wife, and presented rocks from the mine to Chile's president.