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Best of Summer 2011: TV’s Biggest Moments

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Aug 25, 2011 | 8:16am EDT

Summer TV is a bit relaxed. There's a whole lot of disposable reality and a few nuggets of really great entertainment, but by the time we reach the end of August it's hard to remember where we've been. Blame it on the sweltering heat or too many days spent sunning ourselves at the beach, but I bet we're all in need of a bit of a refresher. So, here they are, the biggest moments from Summer TV.

Eric and Sookie Consummate Their Relationship in a Fairy Tale Forest

Eric and Sookie True Blood

Finally. FINALLY. When Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) finally find themselves alone in a forest, it takes all but a few seconds for them to ravage each other but it was like we could all feel the blanket of collective vicarious sexual frustration lifted as True Blood fans everywhere got what they’d been waiting for seasons for. Of course, in full True Blood fashion, it looks like the euphoric couple is consummating their relationship in some idyllic forest our of a Disney movie which makes it all that much more depraved and delicious.

America Embraces a Man in a Dog Suit

Wilfred FX

Wait, so it’s a show about Elijah Wood and his best friend is a guy who wears a dog suit? Oh, the guy is a dog? But why is he wearing a dog suit? It’s all in Elijah Wood’s imagination? But how does that work? Aren’t people going to notice he’s talking to the dog like it’s a human? Wait, the dog smokes weed? What is going on? And that, my friends is how FX got their highest rated comedy premiere ever. This perplexing reincarnation of the successful Australian series, Wilfred, owes much of its humor and charm to its Australian lead, Justin Gann, and while it teeters on the brink of overly-gimmicky, continues to be an intriguing presence in the Summer lineup.

Lady Gaga is Brought to Tears on So You Think You Can Dance

Gaga SYTYCD

It was the case for many seasons that choreographer Mia Michaels was the queen of crying on So You Think You Can Dance. The woman was consistently moved by touching performances again and again, so much so that even as a former dancer and current lover of the art form, I was starting to get a little tired of seeing the water works. But this season took the cake when Lady Gaga stopped by, and not to be outdone by anyone ever, completely broke down and balled her eyes out while watching one duo perform a contemporary routine to Jeff Buckley’s “I Know It’s Over.” Of course, she had some equally sappy commentary to add to her gushing tears.

Two Macho Shows Take Their Final Victory Laps

 

Rescue Me

Both Rescue Me and Entourage began their final seasons this summer. Two pinnacles of manly arrogance will soon be relegated to Blu-ray and DVD collections – or Netflix instant in these times of gimme-what-I-want-right-now. Of course, while Rescue Me’s Denis Leary and Entourage’s Jeremy Piven may share their knacks for lovable arrogance, their characters couldn’t be more different. In these trying times, we watch Piven’s Ari Gold fight to make more money from the Taylor Lautners and the Vincent Chases of the world while dealing with the wrath of his soon-to-be ex wife. Leary’s Tommy Gavin however, is still dealing with the mental repercussions of his experiences on 9/11 and the season will end its run on Sept. 7, just a mere four days before the 10th anniversary of the horrific event, which is pretty powerful timing. Rescue Me: 1. Entourage: 0.

Bachelorette Ashley Hebert Finds True Love – For Real This Time, No, We’re Serious

 

Bachelorette Finale Ashley Hebert

The Bachelorette delivered her final rose in Fiji, and against her sister’s will, chose Long Island’s J.P. Rosenbaum over Ben Flajnik (who’ll get his second chance at love as the new Bachelor next season). When Ashley Hebert shared the happy news with Rosenbaum, he got down on one knee and proposed and at least so far this Summer, it’s smooth sailing for the happy couple. And it seems the couple has taken the media’s constant inquiry as a challenge to strengthen their relationship. “You make it through something like this together, you can make it through anything,” said the New York construction manager. Well, here’s hoping these two will be the only Bachelor series couple to land on the Trista and Ryan side of things.

Kim Kardashian X-Rays Her Butt

kim kardashian butt xray

It was only a matter of time before this event graced our televisions, really. And it’s all our fault. If we the collective consumers of pop culture weren’t so enamored with Kim’s derierre, some of us wouldn’t have started to question its validity with entire websites devoted to proving its falsity with rumors of butt implants exploding on airplanes. Yes, someone actually wrote that up as a legitimate news post…on a blog about Kim’s butt. This oh-so classy occurrence was the straw that broke the camel’s back-end and Kim’s sisters marched her straight to the plastic surgeon so he could x-ray and analyze Kim’s rear end on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I’m not sure which was more shocking – the fact that this happened and we watched it or the fact that the first people Kim showed the x-ray to were her mother and her step-dad. Strange folks, those Kardashian kids.

Nancy Botwin Switches Teams Momentarily

nancy botwin weeds lesbian kiss

Weeds’ Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) has always been a highly sexual being. She’s managed to get married twice and get busy countless times with strangers played by Zac Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), drug dealers, DEA agents, CEOs of major corporations, you name it. Nancy is a bit of a freak. So it only makes sense that at some point – this point being the first episode of Season 7 – Nancy changes it up a bit and shares a passionate kiss with Zoya, her cellmate at the women’s prison. Of course it turns out this new love was all part of a scheme to get her hands on Zoya’s assets (and Zoya’s brother, hubba hubba) outside of the clink, but it was a monumental moment and the culmination of Nancy’s sexual exploration nonetheless.

Entourage Has a Serious Discussion About a Rubber Phallus

entourage final season

We’ve already mentioned that it’s Entourage’s final season and that its flimsy, glitzy plot is put to shame by the gravity and relevancy of Rescue Me’s concurrent final season, but this moment is enough by itself to merit an entire slot on this countdown. When Vince needs to take a drug test after witnessing an old friend’s suicide where copious amounts of cocaine was present, he panics because he smoked a joint a few days prior. Clearly the solution is for him for get a fake penis and fill it with someone else’s urine so he can pass his drug test. But we’re not here to talk about the penis or the fact that when Vince passes the drug test he and his friends throw it around like teenage girls at a pillow fight, we’re here to talk about the intense, all-too-serious discussion that goes down in the courthouse bathroom after Vince flashes E with the fake phallus. It’s sort of the epitome of this show; we encounter a discussion that brings up the longest running theme in the whole show but its credibility is cut down by the fact that the subject of the discussion is a rubber penis hanging out of Vince’s pants. So perfect, so Entourage.

Snooki and The Situation Try To Give Ronnie and Sam a Run For Their Money

Snooki Situation

Finally, right at the end of the summer, we find the return of Jersey Shore and this time, they’re in Italy. Of course, by now we’ve grown tired of Ronnie and Sammy constantly fighting and it seems they have too because instead of throwing furniture and stomping around, it seems that this season Sammy just walks outside and cries. Which is about as much as we can handle with these two. Of course, we need someone to be fighting, so luckily The Situation insists he has feelings for Snooki who’s got a long-term boyfriend back at home. And boom goes the dynamite. It’s really far more entertaining to see these two firecrackers fight because with Ronnie and Sam, fighting was what made them interesting, and with Mike and Snooks, they are already interesting which makes their fights that much better. Oh trashy television, how you fix us so.

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