The country is at war, the world economy is teetering, and a presidential election is weeks away. It's time to either fixate on the problems of the world or take comfort in the realm of fantasy. With this week's list, we do a little of both.
9. Biggest Surprise Snooze: You might think John McCain and Barack Obama would have interesting things to discuss at Tuesday's night's presidential debate. But no, it was more of Obama playing it safe and McCain deriding earmarks, including $3 million for a projector for a planetarium in Chicago. The funding never actually came through, which is too bad: Looking at constellations would be a lot more informative than watching more canned candidates.
8. Most Unexpectedly Awesome Impersonation: Playing Joe Biden couldn't have sounded too exciting to Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudeikis: Most people tune in for Tina Fey's endlessly celebrated Sarah Palin imitation, and Biden's tame debate performance didn't give Sudeikis much to satirize. But he dug in and created a memorable and hilarious caricature of Biden as an oily politician who offers only the most backhanded of compliments: "I love John McCain. He is one of my dearest friends. But at the same time, he's also dangerously unbalanced. I mean, let's be frank, John McCain and again, this is a man I would take a bullet for is bad at his job and mentally unstable. As my mother would say, 'God love him, but he's a raging maniac...' and a dear, dear friend." Watch Hardball's take on the impersonation on our Online Video Guide.
7. Most Lacking in Common Sense: After being the first team to complete the detour on The Amazing Race, uber-needy and whiny Terence and Sarah take off in search of their designated cabs but go in the wrong direction. Ending up on the side of a road, lost and bickering, they see two cabs carrying other teams zoom past them. And yet they can't figure out they need to walk backward until a helpful Dallas and Toni stop to tell them. Slow, party of two.
6. Moment We Knew Was Coming: Tyra Banks officially loses her mind. Because this week's photo shoot on Top Model centered on embarrassing award show moments, she tried to justify her black-hooded dress as a tie-in to the "drama" themed shoot. And dubbed herself "little black riding hood."
5. Best Argument for Materialism in These Belt-Tightening Times: So Life's Zen, material-possessions-eschewing and car-less Det. Charlie Crews has the hots for his ex-wife. And he (finally) gets her in the backseat of her car. And things are starting to get dirty. But then, suddenly, she boots him out because it's her "husband's car." Cut to Charlie, standing alone in the street: "I have to get a car."
4. Best Character Development: Sylar making waffles? A look five years into Heroes' future finds the ultimate killer, who pretty much eats brains for breakfast, now flipping pancakes for his nine year old son. He's also doing everything in his power to protect the kid from the future interlopers who are after past Peter. Does anyone else find it an odd coincidence that the nugget's name Noah just happens to be the same as HRG's?
3. Best "Pep" Talk: Posing as a military-school teach in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Derek takes the wind out of a kill-happy student's sails by sharing a gripping, non-glorious story from his own time on the battlefront. (Little does the kid know, Derek's talking about a future war.)
2. Most Extreme Work Ethic: Jim tests the limits of Dwight's refusal to talk about personal interests at The Office by engaging in a sublimely nonsensical Battlestar Galactica conversation with the clueless Andy. Saying that the new BSG is a shot-for-shot remake chock full of "Klingons and Wookies" whose plotline involves "Dumbledore Calrissian" taking the "ring back to Mordor" Jim sorely tempts Dwight to breach his "personal time" moral convictions but somehow Dwight summons the will to remain silent.
1. Most Promising Debut: Life on Mars' charismatic and handsome Jason O'Mara upstaged Mr.-Old-School-Noo-Yawk Harvey Keitel and I-just-moved-across-the-Hudson Michael Imperioli. Beware of the predictable Anglophiles who will say the BBC original was better. O'Mara alone would bring us back next week. Get a look ahead at Life on Mars in our Online Video Guide.