After a few slow weeks, the entertainment world is back in full swing! This week, the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced, and while there were some very predictable outcomes — Game of Thrones notched a new record nomination count, for one — there were also some serious surprises, of both the pleasant and disappointing varieties. Meanwhile, San Diego Comic-Con is underway, bringing all the sizzle reels, creative insights, and news your TV-loving heart can handle. In case you missed anything, here's a look at some of the other stand-out moments of the small screen this week.
Creepiest payoff: For those who've stuck with AMC's oddball series adaptation of Joe Hill's NOS4A2, this week's episode offered quite a visual reward, as it finally gave screen life to Christmasland. And the sinister homestead of Charles Manx's (Zachary Quinto) collection of scissor-wielding vampire children was exactly as fantastically creepy as you'd expect from a place where unhappiness is simply not allowed. From the holly jolly lighting of the carnival rides to the smugly smirking moon overhead, it certainly earned its billing as "a place of wonder and joy" ... until the killing commenced, of course.
The moment that made us lose our lunch: The Season 2 premiere of Sweetbitter was about as unappetizing as it could be. Tess (Ella Purnell) and the rest of the restaurant staff were taken to their supply farm to better familiarize themselves with their products, and instead of plucking fresh strawberries or getting a tutorial on organic growing techniques, they got an eyeful of a cute pig getting taken down by a bolt pistol. As if that wasn't bad enough, Tess later saw its carcass being carved up for specials plates by the kitchen staff, and the banality of it all was even more disturbing than the visuals.
The most brazen bail: Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have had a lot of vocal defenders in the wake of the show's divisive finale. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, for example, called the controversy surrounding the final season "silly" and said that the slew of Emmy nominations validates the writing of the final season. Meanwhile, George R.R. Martin has repeatedly slammed "toxic" fan culture, and he vowed not to change his narrative in books in response to fans. A lot of the show's stars have also condemned that viral petition to re-do it all with new creatives on tap. Benioff and Weiss, however, have so far remained silent about the backlash, so fans and detractors alike were looking forward to hearing what they might have to say about it at the final Game of Thrones panel at Comic-Con. However, at the last minute, the two backed out of the appearance, alongside a couple of other cast members. Even though the official reason given for the absence was a scheduling conflict, you'd be forgiven for thinking they just didn't want to face all those "this is more of a comment than a question" moments at the Q&A.
The surprise save: Lately, there have been a lot of "save this show" campaigns that worked (most recently One Day at a Time), even more that didn't (sorry, Daredevil stans), and a few that resulted in a partial resurrection to give ardent supporters some much-needed closure (like Timeless). One show that we're pretty stunned to see freed from detention was NBC's A.P. Bio, which was not only uncanceled, but which now has the distinct honor of being NBCUniversal's first original show planned for their new streaming service. Huh.
Most awkward kiss: We knew the moment beauty queens Christen and Katrina entered the CBS Love Island villa they'd shake things up. But Thursday's episode went beyond what we could've imagined. Christen set her eyes on Yamen, who was Alana's "Baemen," and took her chance when she got a text asking to exile one of the girls to the hideaway so she could share a bed with her pick. In the biggest twist of the night, Yamen decided he'd be much better off dating the girl who set her roommate's bed on fire two years ago, rather than sticking with fan-favorite Alana. Alana was understandably furious about Yamen's decision, but right before leaving the villa, she pulled the ultimate power move, kissing Yamen in front of Christen after saying goodbye. Yamen wiped his lips, incredulous at what just happened. It was very, very yikes ... which is why we decided to memorialize the moment in GIF form! - Tatiana Tenreyro
Hottest binge: Netflix's new glass-blowing series Blown Away has gotten a lot of attention from the internet this week, and for good reason. It melds the traditional competition show style with an ad-free streaming service format, which means we don't have to endure manufactured drama built to keep us watching through commercial breaks. Instead, we get a clean and crisp challenge that's sharply focused on the craftsmanship of the artists. It's still got all the visual dynamism of shows like Top Chef and The Great British Bake-Off, but audiences won't experience hunger pangs as a side effect from watching it.