Top Moments: Burn Notice Signs Off and Gaga Reveals Her Hogwarts Past
by Joyce Eng and Kate Stanhope
Andy Cohen and Lady Gaga
Our top moments of the week:
11. Best Comeback: Nearly two decades after his raucous, late-night talk show went off the air, Arsenio Hall is back… and his shtick couldn’t be more current. In the intro segment of the first new episode of The Arsenio Hall Show, Hall lays on a couch, fretting about returning to late-night. “Once I’m at No. 1, I should be able to stay in late night forever if I want to,” he says. “That makes sense, doesn’t it?” The camera pulls back to reveal that soon-to-be-ousted (again) late-night champ Jay Leno is playing the role of his shrink. “Yeah, good luck with that. Let me know how it works out for you,” he says drily.
10. Who’s the Daddy? Award: Savi finally learns the paternity of her unborn child — Dom, FTW — on Mistresses after a horrific car accident. But the news isn’t all happy: Her husband Harry tells her that he still wants to be a family and Dom professes his love for her. Oh, and then Savi flatlines! That’s one way to get a second-season renewal.
9. Goofiest Tribute: On the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance, season-long partners Amy and Fik-Shun are crowned America’s Favorite Dancers, but it’s judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy who steal the show when they attempt a sillier, less acrobatic version of the winners’ “Let’s Get It On” diner number, in which Mary sports an oversized pink wig and choreographer Adam Shankman crashes the party with some spotlight-stealing moves. We’ll have what she’s having!
8. Breaking Funny Award: The Better Call Saul spin-off is a go, but can we do Joking Bad instead? Because it’s awesome. In a hysterical, 13-minute-long Breaking Bad spoof, Jimmy Fallon plays Walter White to a T (or, more specifically, tighty-whities). When he learns that he has six months left (at Late Night), Jimmy transforms into “Falsenberg” and teams up with the “bitch”-happy Jesse (Steve Higgins) to manufacture jokes so bad that they ought to be illegal, as Hank (A.D. Miles) is hot on their trail — after taking a dump, of course. We won’t ruin the whole thing for you, but look out for appearances by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Bob Odenkirk, lots of Breaking Bad references and a surprise cameo at the end.
7. Cutest Couple: The X Factor‘s third season gets off to a solid start with vocal powerhouses Lillie McCloud and Rion Paige, but it’s the “OMG, we’re so in love” couple Alex and Sierra who capture the imaginations of viewers. Sure, their slowed-down cover of Britney Spears‘ “Toxic” is intriguing, but it’s their unfiltered reaction to the whole experience — we’re on stage! together! people like us! — that wins us over. There’s a nerdy, almost goofy quality to them. To wit: When Simon asks if they’re siblings, Alex quips, “No. We kiss, so that would be weird.” Swoon!
6. Sweetest Vows: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo the bride! Mama June and Sugar Bear have a commitment ceremony that is four parts redneck, two parts traditional and all parts romantic. No, we wouldn’t wear camouflage to our wedding, shave our neck hair like Mama June or use a paint roller to apply spray tan, but the couple’s love and affection as they exchange vows are universal and palpable. “We’ve been together nine years; we’ve been through a lot. I’m not saying that none of us are perfect,” June says. “I do love you. I do care about you.” “I just want to start over fresh. Make this family a whole family,” Sugar Bear says, before breaking down into tears. Pass the tissues, please.
5. Best Cliff-Hanger: Walt and Hank’s cat-and-mouse game comes to a head on Breaking Bad when the DEA agent, with Jesse’s assistance, not only tricks Walt into confessing his crimes, but into leading them to the location in the desert where he’s hidden his barrels of money. Walt surprisingly waves the white flag and lets Hank cuff him… but it ain’t over yet. Though Walt had previously called off the hit on Jesse, Uncle Jack and his goons show up anyway and open fire on everyone in a climactic, edge-of-your-seat hail of gunfire, which ends in an abrupt cut to black. We know that Walt survives, but will everyone else be as lucky?
4. Joke’s on Us Award: Proving once and for all that you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet, mastermind prankster Jimmy Kimmel reveals that he was behind “Worst Twerk Fail EVER,” a viral video that involved a girl catching fire while dancing. “To the conspiracy theorists who thought the video was fake, you’re right. It was fake. We made it up. I’m also the guy who bit Charlie’s finger, by the way,” Kimmel jokes on his show. The woman in the video is actually a stuntwoman, Daphne Avalon, and the video was shot two months ago. “We didn’t send it to any TV stations. I didn’t tweet it. We didn’t put it on any news websites,” Kimmel says. “We just put it on YouTube and let the magic happen. And the magic happened. It got 9 million views in less than a week.” (Insert slow-clap here.) Well played, Jimmy, well played. And hey, you have to admit, this is way better than his Emmy prank.
3. Most Controversial Opening: Sons of Anarchy‘s Season 6 premiere opens with the club facing a number of internal problems. So why does the show keep cutting back to a young blond boy we’ve never met before? After seeing him kiss his passed-out mother goodbye and spend his day virtually alone, we finally get our answer: The boy opens his backpack, pulls out an automatic weapon (almost certainly trafficked illegally by the Sons) and walks inside his middle school, where he opens fire as screams are heard in the background. It’s a bold storytelling choice, to be sure, but only time will tell if the consequences on-screen will justify picking at the raw wounds left by similar real-life tragedies.
2. Best Celebrity Guest: Obviously, it’s a pretty big deal — or should we say an ExtravaGaGanza — when Lady Gaga makes her first appearance on Watch What Happens: Live, but she is almost upstaged by a surprise celebrity guest. When Andy Cohen asks the pop singer about dipping into the lady pool, Gaga goes on a rant about a strip club she went to in Russia and suddenly asks a particular audience member if they’ve also been. “I’m sorry. There’s a movie star in here,” Gaga says, before the camera cuts awkwardly to a slightly embarrassed Ralph Fiennes sitting in the audience. “When we were at Hogwarts, he taught me everything,” she says. We must have somehow missed that lesson in the Harry Potter movies…
1. Best Final Notice: On the series finale of Burn Notice, fans are left in mourning after Madeline blows herself up, and Michael and Fiona die in an explosion while trying to take down James. Or do they? After Sam and Jesse attend the funeral, Sam vaguely hints that “they” will get back in touch when the time is right. Cut to a remote cabin where we see Michael and Fiona by a fire with Michael’s nephew Charlie asleep in his lap. When Michael asks Fiona how he should explain his past to Charlie someday, Fiona simply says by telling him, “My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy” — aka the very same intro line from every single episode of the series. This is going to be the best (and most violent!) bedtime story ever!
What were your top moments?