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The Week in Superlatives: The Loudest Slap, Feistiest Fanfic Controversy, and Best Girls' Day Out

The best and wildest moments of the week in TV

Amanda Bell

This week may have been filled with Fourth of July festivities, but there were still plenty of items worthy of your attention on the small screen. Now that you've taken in all the fireworks and tank-trotting parade action your patriotic heart can handle, let's take a look at some of the other stand-out moments in TV this week.

The slap heard 'round the world: Violence is never the answer, obviously, but there was something intensely satisfying about seeing Celeste (Nicole Kidman) give Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) a much-deserved whack in the face on Big Little Lies this week. The monster-in-law decided to ramp up her torment of her late son's victims by moving into the same apartment complex as Jane (Shailene Woodley) and Ziggy (Iain Armitage), and it that wasn't bad enough, she also accused Celeste of being at fault for Perry's (Alexander Skarsgård) wandering eye. So, yeah, violence is never the answer. But that slap was completely deserved.

The bitterest feud: The Loudest Voice aims to shed some (rather unflattering) light on the foundation of Fox News by the late Roger Ailes (Russell Crowe), and after the series premiere on Showtime, one of the show's PR reps spoke up about efforts that are already underway to discredit the series based on its initial viewership numbers. The first episode was something of a softball -- although we certainly got to see how the so-called "War on Christmas" gained steam -- so we have to imagine that when this thing gets into the real nitty gritty of what Ailes is now known for, well, this could get really ugly indeed.

Feistiest fanfic controversy: Sunday's episode of Euphoria was as weird as ever, but who knew it'd result in so many headlines about how Louis Tomlinson didn't approve of having his animated image sexing it up with Harry Styles? The scene in question stemmed from the character Kat (Barbie Ferreira) having her most popular fic read aloud over some lurid anime-style enactment, and the One Direction star was not amused. He wrote on Twitter that he was "not contacted" about the scene and did not "approve" of it either.

The genius move: Fear the Walking Deadfinally offered some insight into those helicopter people who stole Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and guess what, folks? They're actually pretty OK because they have the good sense to create bite-proof clothing to defend themselves from zedheads. The fact that no one thought of this before is the biggest mystery the show's offered yet. We've seen plenty of people drench themselves in zombie guts, but it's taken almost 10 years for anyone to think of this. Why?

Weirdest throwback: MTV's revival of The Hills, subtitled New Beginnings, is clearly meant to take us all back to the mid-aughts, when reality drama was still a nascent thrill, but the second episode really leaned into the throwback appeal by re-hatching an old feud between Mischa Barton and Perez Hilton, of all people. Understandably, the internet was left completely confused about what year -- nay, decade -- it was after seeing those two on their screens again.

The biggest oops: Are you watching Spin the Wheelyet? The Justin Timberlake-produced game show features Dax Shepard as host and blends together all manner of genre traditions: spinning the wheel, answering random trivia questions, and having a partner get in on the game. That last bit really proved to be a problem for the Feiler Family in the show's sophomore outing as the mom contestant managed to work her way up to a $1.14 million prize purse, only to find out that her daughter had already accepted the very first walk-away offer of ... $39,000. Her quick click cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Scream! We'll have to circle back to the Feilers around Thanksgiving and see if they're even on speaking terms after that costly flub.

The tease that makes us break mad: After last week's mean tease, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston decided to toy with Breaking Badfans' emotions again this week. This time, they shared a picture of themselves traipsing through what looks to be a shallow river (the Rio Grande, perhaps?) with the caption, "Even sooner." To that we say, not soon enough! We suspect this might have something to do with that Breaking Bad movie or perhaps a co-cameo on Better Call Saul, but whatever it is, it better be good.

Best girls' day out: There's a lot to like about Stranger Things 3. It's gross, it's funny, and it manages to breathe new life into the series while keeping a consistent tone with the previous seasons. One very welcome development of this leg is the newfound friendship between Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink), who enjoy some much-needed girl time shopping, taking a couple of key Glamour Shots -- a very important tradition back in the day -- and snacking on sweet treats together. Last season, they were pitted against each other thanks to a misunderstanding, but it's heart-swelling indeed to see these two rad little ladies team up at last.

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Winona Ryder and David Harbour, Stranger Things 3