Our top moments of the week:
14. Best (Worst) Performance: After Jess rebuffs Sam's attempt to win her back on New Girl, she changes her mind and decides to take him back. But to tell him so, she must sneak into the children's hospital where he works. When she and the gang run into a security guard, they follow Jess' lead and pretend to be carol singers. Although Jess is the only one of the bunch who can carry a tune and no one seems to know the words to "Come All Ye Faithful," she still belts an impressive "I don't know the words" to the tune of the classic Christmas carol. Sam magically appears, even more smitten with her than he was before. Dear Sam, we have a great idea for what to get Jess for Christmas: a karaoke machine!
13. Most Surprising Victory: In the ultimate underdog win on The Amazing Race, The Fabulous Beekman Boys' Josh and Brent overcome a three-team alliance and six second-to-last place finishes throughout the season to win the $1 million after Josh completes the final memory brainteaser Roadblock. The couple, who never even placed in the top two before the last leg, may not be the strongest team to ever cross the line first, but if it wasn't clear before, it's definitely clear now: The only leg that matters is the final one.
12. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Award: Let's all raise a glass to Amanda Seyfried! The Les Miserables star reveals to David Letterman on the Late Show that she is "pretty drunk" after downing three glasses of whiskey before the segment. Turns out, she always takes some "liquid courage" before doing a live show after noon. "I understand that I have a problem maybe, but you know? It really gets me through," she says. Naturally, Dave ends the interview by whipping out some Jameson. Cheers!
11. Not-So Smooth Moves Award: When Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23's James has a meltdown after learning that Chloe has been subletting his apartment while he's been doing Dancing with the Stars, June's mom comes to the rescue with some calming Chinese tea. Too bad she misreads the label and it's an herbal drug of some sort. The result? A spastic, hallucinating James, and one unmitigated disaster of a Dancing performance. Peeved that all the effort he put into learning the routine was reduced to 20 seconds, the "real" James presents the number in full at the end of the episode — and he's got moves! See you for real on Season 16?
10. Best Reunion: Subtle Sexuality is back, but this time Ellie Kemper is anything but subtle. When The Office star appears on her old co-star's show, The Mindy Project, as Heather, the longtime girlfriend Josh (Tommy Dewey) has been cheating on with Mindy. When Heather finds out Josh is with another woman, she bursts into Mindy's apartment mid-office Christmas party, calls Mindy a home-wrecker and proceeds to wreck Mindy's home by destroying her kitchen and — worst of all — destroying her gingerbread house. So does this mean we shouldn't hold our breath for another Subtle Sexuality music video?
9. Best Response: Anne Hathaway had quite the embarrassing wardrobe malfunction at the Les Miserables premiere this week, and Matt Lauer wastes no time bringing it up to her on the Today show. "Seen a lot of you lately," he quips (ew!) before pressing her about it. Hathaway responds with an eloquent (PR-prepped?) answer that shrewdly turns the conversation back to what she was there for. "Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident," she says. "It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment, and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. And I'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that's what my character [Fantine] is. ... So, yeah, let's get back to Les Mis." Well played, Anne, well played.
8. Weirdest Homage: For its entire run, Gossip Girl has paid homage to the cinema in every one of its episode titles. But for the show's penultimate episode, the writers take that off the page and on to the screen when contentious father-son duo Bart and Chuck Bass fight on the top of a New York high-rise. The battle is set to the tune of a score reminiscent of John Williams' Star Wars theme, but unlike The Empire Strikes Back, things end badly for father, not son, when Bart goes to punch Chuck and Chuck darts out of the way — accidentally sending Bart over the side of the building. Bart manages to cling on to the side of the building, but even though Bart says he really does care about his son, Chuck refuses to give him a hand and Bart eventually falls to his death. So if the Basses are Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, does that make Dan Yoda?
7. Worst Family Values: Scandal's Huck is heartbroken to learn he was framed for the president's murder by none other than Becky, the woman with whom he shared all his secrets and has fallen in love. Unfortunately, when Becky figures out that Huck plans to betray her and turn her in, she breaks his heart again by killing the innocent family he spent so many months watching. It's ironic that the closest Huck ever comes to the family is when they are all lying lifeless in their home, but the moment is still a devastating loss for a man who is not so great at getting close to anyone other than Olivia Pope. Oh, it's on now!
6. Best Christmas Miracle: Kristina's battle with breast cancer on Parenthood has been heartbreaking to watch. Fortunately, the worst of it thus far, when Kristina is admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve and goes into septic shock, is followed by the best, when Adam suddenly wakes up in the hospital to find Kristina awake and laughing. See, Victor? Santa really does exist.
5. Best War of Words: It's not often that Stephen Colbert is left speechless, but Mandy Patinkin manages to do just that when he drops by The Colbert Report. The Homeland star says he's not afraid of terrorism, to which Colbert takes issue. Launching into an intense tirade, Patinkin says he blames America "partially" and "the other side equally," and would go to war with words, not weapons. "Peace in the Middle East isn't going to be created by another war or violent act on the other side," he says. "It's going to be created by someone like yourself and someone like me, two individuals who have a belief and who can talk to another group of individuals and people start changing their minds. It's not a magic trick." At a loss for a zinger, Colbert finally remarks: "You convinced me, but only because I thought Saul Berenson was talking there." (Don't worry, it's all good between them — they perform "Good King Wenceslas" with Michael Stipe afterward.)
4. Most Vengeful: On The Vampire Diaries, Klaus not only thwarts Tyler's plan to take him out, but massacres every one of the hybrids in Tyler's army. As if that isn't enough to get back at Tyler, Klaus finds a slightly tipsy Mayor Lockwood and decides to hit Tyler where it would hurt most: drowning his mother. How's that for a Mystic Falls Merry Christmas?
3. Best Exit: Stick a fork in Kim Zolciak because she is done.... with the Real Housewives of Atlanta. OK, don't really stick a fork in her because she is pregnant, but the reality star makes it clear that she is leaving the Bravo series. After a fight with the other ladies over a vacation, she says, "I'm done with this whole thing," and goes to take off her microphone. As she's leaving the restaurant, and the show, she curses at the cameramen to back up, and her normally soft-spoken husband Kroy Biermann enters the picture and tries to shove the camera away before the producers intervene. It's a surprising, but fitting, final moment for one-half of the franchise's most explosive duo. Who will NeNe Leakes spar with now? Oh, wait.
2. Most Anti-Climactic Death: After highly trained FBI teams spend hours unsuccessfully trying to locate Abu Nazir on Homeland's penultimate Season 2 episode, Carrie has an epiphany: He never left! So she takes a team on one last sweep, and before you can hum the theme to Halloween, Nazir has slit a soldier's throat and is chasing Carrie through the poorly lit warehouse in a way that would make Michael Myers proud. Carrie fights Nazir long enough for backup to arrive, and when they draw down on Nazir, he takes the bullets with a martyr's peace. It all seems too... easy. Which is why we're eagerly waiting for the other shoe to drop in the finale.
1. Worst Prop: Ryan Murphy was not wrong when he said real-life horrors are scarier than ghosts, and this week's episode of American Horror Story: Asylum is proof of that. After Dr. Thredson rapes Lana, she discovers she's pregnant with the spawn of Bloody Face. Not ready to face 18 years of mothering her captor's evil spawn, she attempts a coat-hanger abortion, but is unsuccessful. Where do we register for a skinned cat mobile for the wee one?
What were your top moments?