Our top moments of the week:
12. Cutest Acceptance Speech: When Neil Patrick Harris picks up his best comedy actor trophy at the People's Choice Awards, he is forced to switch languages from English to baby talk ("ug-ha, baga-badga," to be exact), in order to thank his new twins. (Note to other celebrity parents: Only Harris has the skills to make baby talk seem charming.)
11. Most Progress: Orson tries his best to win back Bree on Desperate Housewives by denigrating her surprising relationship with Keith. Just when fans think her ex-husband has won her back, Bree runs after Keith and collapses on top of him in a pile of mud, showing how far Wisteria Lane's most prim and proper resident has really come. Aw, true love is sweet... and dirty.
10. Speediest Demon: Speed was the theme of this week's Top Chef: All-Stars, kicking off with its quickest Quickfire ever and a Top Chef first: Tom Colicchio entering the competition and challenging the cheftestants to beat his Quickfire time in cooking a dish. He whips up a delish-looking black sea bass dish in a jaw-dropping 8 minutes and 37 seconds. Impressive, but we can't help but wonder how much faster it could've been had Hung been the challenger. Lest we forget "chicken time."
9. Best Teaching Method: On Modern Family, Luke unleashes a hilarious and totally effective way to teach a bicycle-phobic Gloria ("That's how they grab you!") to pedal on two wheels: squirting her with a Super Soaker. The same wet method comes in handy later during a study session with Haley. (He soaks her into submission until she correctly answers a question.) Teacher of the year indeed.
8. Most Meta: Who would turn down a one-night stand with a hot movie star? Richard Castle, that's who. When screen siren Natalie Rhodes (guest star Laura Prepon) makes a move on the writer on Castle to further prepare for her titular role in the movie adaptation of his Nikki Heat book series, he manages to extricate his lips from hers to say no. "Why?," Beckett asks later. Because Rhodes is playing Nikki who's based on Beckett, he says. "Way too meta."
7. Second-Best Tearjerker: It's hard to trump How I Met Your Mother's shocking waterworks (see below), but Parenthood is a close second. After Haddie's new boyfriend impresses her parents with tales of his lifelong struggles, the Bravermans decide that he's too old for their 16-year-old daughter. Haddie is devastated, but your heart breaks most when mom Kristina starts crying at the thought of hurting her daughter. Apparently, parents really just don't understand.
6. Most Impressive: In the past few months, Gwyneth Paltrow has shown she can do R&B ("Forget You"), Broadway (Chicago) and country (the CMA Awards, Country Strong). On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, she also shows her talent for old-school R&B when she and Jimmy put on their biggest shoulder pads and shades to became Shazzazz, for a rendition of the '80s-flavored jam "We Did It." Is there anything she can't do?
5. Most Unlikely Godfather Impression: On OWN's Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, we learn that ever since a 1997 appearance by Mary Tyler Moore made Oprah Winfrey "do the ugly cry," she has hated surprises — this from the woman who shrieked "We're all going to Australia!" to her season-premiere audience. "Don't do that again," she says (with the contempt of a Corleone) to a producer who thought it would be sweet to have The Judds sing Winfrey's favorite song while a montage of emotional moments from the show played. Fine, Oprah, no smoked turkey for you then!
4. Best Story: Ted Williams, the panhandler whose golden voice has led to a dream job offer and a home, visits the Today show to put that voice to use and to share his stunning story. Clearly appreciative of his remarkable reversal of fortune, Williams openly discusses his various addictions and arrests, and leaves viewers with the tried-and-true adage: Don't judge a book by its cover. "If you're going to give to any homeless person, give from the heart," he says. "And not give and say, 'Oh, I know they're not going to do anything with it but use it for drugs and alcohol' because that's not always the case. I'm just thankful to be here and I'm taking it one day at a time."
3. Accidentally on Purpose Award: Just when we thought we've seen just about every racy thing imaginable on Jersey Shore, new girl Deena Nicole Cortese sets the bar even lower with her "accidental" striptease. After The Situation finds her "Blast in a Glass" hat (which apparently means cowboy hat), Deena thanks him with a little show — and off comes her bikini bottom. She later claims she accidentally took it off. Riiight.
2. Biggest Fangirl: Yes, vampires are all the rage, but Madison takes it a little far by wearing fang orthodontia on The Bachelor. We were shocked enough when Brad Womack gives her a rose, but horrified when she responds with a hug and goes in for a bite of his neck. Gives new meaning to "sinking your teeth into someone."
1. Saddest Countdown: How I Met Your Mother hurls an emotional punch to the gut when, in the final seconds of the episode — titled "Bad News" — Lily tells an ecstatic Marshall, who's trying to deliver good news to his father, Marvin Sr., that his dad had died of a heart attack. It's a shocker, but the foreboding signs were there in the subtle and at times not-so-subtle countdown from 50 to the number 1 on Lily's cab. Were the numbers a distraction? Maybe, but they're also in a way reflective of life: We go about our lives never realizing a clock is ticking down in the background to a life-changing event and, like Marshall, are "not ready for this" when it happens.
What were your top moments of the week?