Top Moments: The Week Stephen Colbert Did Everything Right
Stephen Colbert, Alan Cumming
Our best moments of the week:
12. What's in a Name? Award: Is the world big enough for two famous Adam Scotts? After Adam Scott the golfer won the Masters, Adam Scott the actor was predictably inundated with jokes. And he's sick of it. "The jokes were really lame," the Parks and Recreation star vents on Conan. "'I can't believe anyone could mix up the two Adam Scotts. They're "Poehler" opposites.' 'Hey Adam, you know what's way below par? Your acting.' ... I mean this with nothing but love in my heart, but, please, can everybody shut the hell up?" Impressed with how Scott handled the situation, Conan presents Scott with his own... green blazer.
11. The "Unhand Me, Sir!" Award: When Jaime Lannister assumes that he knows how to play the Game of Thrones, he makes a costly mistake and gives his enemies the upper hand (so to speak). The Kingslayer tries to convince his captors that they'll receive a reward from his wealthy father in exchange for his humane treatment and safe return. And while bribery and namedropping are strategies that have worked for the arrogant knight in the past, in a shocking turn of events, his captors instead lull him into trusting them and then unceremoniously chop off his sword hand. Ouch! That situation certainly got out of hand!
10. Language of Love Award: On How I Met Your Mother, Lily turns down a job offer from The Captain for which she'd have to move to Rome because she's afraid of failing. Marshall sweetly convinces her to change her mind, repeating the sole Italian phrase that he knows ("C'mon, bro, don't Bogart all the Funyuns") as code for: "I know in my heart that you understand me anyway because no one has ever understood anyone better than you and I understand each other. Is this trip going to be scary? Yes. Do I like the idea of not knowing the language? Of course not. But I believe we can do this. I love you, Lily." "All right!" Lily says. "We're going to Italy." Now that's amore!
9. Best Reveal: Not so fast, Dallas fans! After spending most of the season wondering who shot J.R., fans get not one, but two answers. In the first half of the Season 2 finale, Bobby and the rest of the Ewings band together to pin longtime Ewing family rival Cliff Barnes to both the murder weapon and the scene of the crime. But Cliff's repeated proclamations of innocence kind of ring true to our ears, and sure enough, in the final moments of the episode, we learn that J.R. asked his best friend Bum to kill him because he was suffering from cancer and only had days to live. "The only person that could take down J.R. was J.R.," John Ross states. A fitting end for such a lovable rogue.
8. Weirdest Kanye West Tribute: Three years after Kanye West so memorably interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs, Aubrey Plaza decides to pay tribute to the infamous moment by taking the stage during Will Ferrell's acceptance speech for the Comic Genius Award at the MTV Movie Awards. Plaza, with the name of her new movie written in black marker across her chest, awkwardely and silently tries to pry Ferrell's award from his hand before she quickly leaves the stage and runs back to her seat. "Just like we rehearsed it," a visibly confused Ferrell jokes shortly before Plaza is escorted, off-screen, out of the ceremony. Is it a publicity stunt? Or maybe a drunken mistake? Either way, we know Leslie Knope would not approve of Plaza's civil disobedience.
7. Most Shocking Finale: After escaping death one episode prior, Southland's John Cooper has another run-in with the Grim Reaper. Clearly frustrated that the police department won't let him return to active duty, John deteriorates before our eyes as he is alienated by the few loved ones he has left: His former training officer questions the judgment that got John kidnapped in the first place and his ex-wife tells John that she doesn't want to have a baby with him. Angry and distraught, John picks a brutal fight with a neighbor who is running a generator late at night. When the police roll up, John refuses to surrender and is shot by his fellow officers. The episode (and perhaps the series) ends with Cooper bleeding out on the pavement. Although we'd love the show to come back, we actually can't imagine a more fitting (if incredibly bleak) ending.
6. Most Brutal Ending: Although history dictates that Spartacus ends with the legendary leader losing the slave rebellion against the Romans, we are not quite prepared for the merciless string of deaths that range from gory (Naevia's horrific execution) to heartbreaking (Gannicus crucified along the Appian Way). We rejoice to see that Nagron lives, but shed tears for the loss of our two Spartacuses -- Liam McIntyre's version, who expires peacefully on the mountainside, and Andy Whitfield's version, whom we see in the final moment of the closing credits declaring triumphantly, "I am Spartacus!" Heroic, touching and over far too soon -- the sword-and-sandal drama's swan song is a fitting farewell to Whitfield and the spirit of the rebels lost long ago.
5. Best Smackdown: After Tessa finds out about Dalia's dip in the lady pond, and Dalia subsequently breaks up Tessa and Ryan on Suburgatory, the only thing left for these two long-standing rivals to do is to fight it out. And fight they do. Once Dalia throws an empty hairspray bottle at Tessa's head — because that green jacket supposedly makes her look like a garbage can — Tessa leaps on top of Dalia and the two get into an all-out punching, kicking, hair-yanking, mop-stick-dueling and eyelash-extension-pulling tussle in the Chatswin High hallway in front of the entire school. Does Chatswin High have a fight club we never knew about? Because, well, it should.
4. Laying Down the Law Award: Sorry, Pete, but you'll never be Don. Though both guys are having affairs with their neighbors on Mad Men, only Pete's dalliance comes back to bite him in the ass when a bloodied Brenda shows on at the Campbells' doorstep after a fight with her husband. After Trudy thoughtfully tends to Brenda, she reads Pete the riot act, telling him that they're "done" now that he's violated their unspoken agreement to be discreet about his infidelities. "I refuse to be a failure," she says, rejecting the idea of divorce. "I don't care what you want anymore. This is how it's going to work — you will be here only when I tell you to be here. I'm drawing a 50-mile radius around this house and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you." Hell hath no fury like Trudy Campbell scorned!
3. Best Diva Moment: One of the themes on American Idol this week was Divas, and apparently that extended to the judges' panel as well. For the first time during the live shows, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey take their feud to prime time, sniping back and forth after a performance by finalist Kree Harrison. Minaj begins her critique of Kree by saying that she disagrees with Carey and Keith Urban, who had already given their feedback. But Carey later interrupts Minaj, saying that based on what Nicki is saying, it was actually only Urban that she disagreed with. "You don't really disagree with me," Carey says. "No, I do," Minaj retorts. The ladies go back and forth until Minaj shuts down the conversation with a contentious, "Simmer down, sir," directed at Carey. It should be noted that Minaj praises Carey as a singer later in the broadcast, but let's hope that they go back to just ignoring each other's presence next week.
2. Best Parody: Stephen Colbert hits two home runs in the same week on The Colbert Report. Days after his moving Boston tribute (see: below), Colbert addresses another hot-button national issue — the Brad Paisley-LL Cool J collaboration "Accidental Racist" — with his own tune, "Oopsie-Daisy Homophobe." Colbert, complete with a cowboy hat and an acoustic guitar, croons to the man stretching next to him at the Crunch gym down on Main about how "when I said God hates f---," he meant to say "I'm a Skynyrd fan." Moments later, out-and-proud LGBT activist and Good Wife star Alan Cumming joins him on the stage, rapping about brunching nine times a week, telling Colbert that "if you don't judge my tight pants, I won't judge the way you dance." Now that's what we call a compromise!
1. Best Tribute: Tributes to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing poured in from every corner of late-night TV, but none is as impassioned, emotional or as witty as Stephen Colbert's on The Colbert Report. Touting Beantown's unshakable strength, he says that "whoever did this obviously did not know sh-- about the people of Boston." After all, the city was founded by the pilgrims — "a people so tough they had to buckle their goddamn hats on" — and the "cowards" stupidly attacked an "event celebrating people who run 26 miles on their day off until their nipples are raw for fun." Other historical Boston resilience: Aerosmith's longevity and enduring the 86-year-old Curse of the Bambino. "Here's what I know," Colbert says. "These maniacs may have tried to make life bad for the people of Boston, but all they can ever do is show just how good those people are."
What were your top moments?