Throughout the last decade, there have been a ton of “Holy shit, did [insert favorite character’s name] just do that” moments in network, cable and streaming TV.
While it wouldn’t be feasible for all of these creative nuggets of genius to be acknowledged in one sitting, we can certainly talk about some of the finer ones.
Here are a handful of the good, the bad, and the ballsy:
Jack Bauer Goes On A Suicide Mission For ‘Merica – 24
If you were like a most of Americans in the early 2000s, your pupils were more or less crazy-glued to Fox’s 24 and its groundbreaking minute-by-minute episodic format.
Coincidentally, we all managed to ignore the painstakingly obvious elephant in the room: Why the hell did nobody ever need any sleep? But hey, it was Jack f’n Bauer, and he was the exception to all million-dollar questions.
Understandably though, his daughter Kim never felt the same way about Jack that we all did, especially when he was planning to sacrifice himself via crashing a nuclear bomb-ridden plane into the Mojave Desert. Poor Kim literally never knew when her not-so-doting Dad was coming, going or dying.
If it weren’t for a certain asshole-gone-good CTU Director who was terminally ill, Jack was hell-bent on kicking the bucket to save civilian lives. One word: Respect. But not from Kim Bauer, whom he had phoned for what he thought would be his final hoorah.
Frank Underwood Derails A Hottie – House Of Cards
A penchant for politics is not required to fully appreciate Frank Underwood’s assholery in Netflix’s House of Cards.
There’s no way around it, Kevin Spacey’s character on the show that made binge-watching cool is indeed a backstabbing, dishonest prick. But to his credit, the man’s gonads are tougher than an overcooked steak at Waffle House (for him, more like the bone marrow in Freddy’s ribs).
Case in point: When the then less-than-trusty congressman sadistically took the life of Zoe Barnes. If you fancied seeing Kate Mara grace your Smart TV as much as I did, you were certainly irritated when Spacey’s political embodiment of the Devil shoved her into an oncoming train as we were forced to watch its bloody aftermath.
Carmela Puts Tony In His Place…Like A Boss – The Sopranos
Believe me when I tell you this if you’re not already aware of it: Nobody, and I mean nobody, throws a bitch fit Tony Soprano’s way and gets to keep their pulse–unless you’re his wife that is.
If you were a fan of HBO’s The Sopranos then you knew Tony always had a stable of women at his beck and call. On the other hand, if you were Carmela, then you could only ignore that sad reality for so long–the very reason why she confronted him from inside their kitchen.
And if that weren’t gutsy enough, Carmela confesses that she’d been getting hot and bothered at the thought of having Furio. That sets Tony (RIP James Gandolfini) off, as he proceeds to put his right hand through the sheetrock wall.
Standing up to a mob boss takes balls. Remaining in the same house with that man afterwards takes even bigger ones.
Michael Chiklis Makes Road Kill Out Of Jax Teller – Sons Of Anarchy
Females loved him for his bad boy persona. Bros loved him for his alpha male traits as the leader of the Sons. Collectively, we all loved the show so much that we even turned a deaf ear to those instances when Charlie Hunnam let his real-life English accent seep into the California-born Teller’s dialogue.
Bro or not, just admit that a part of your manly heart wanted to see SAMCRO’s prez get himself and his two kids out of Charming to give “the honest life” a go. If so, I assure you there’s no shame in that.
However, if you were a true SOA loyalist and somewhat familiar with creator Kurt Sutter’s sick and twisted psyche, you knew that Jax making it out of the club alive was a pipe dream at best.
Nonetheless, who better to be doing the deed in a semi than the legendary Michael Chiklis?
Not sure what actually happened quicker: Jax purposely offing himself for his children’s future, or Hunnam pulling out of 50 Shades of Grey. You may not have watched it, but I assure you that your girlfriend did.
Don Shows His Children The “Childhood Symbol” Of The Ghetto – Mad Men
Arguably, no other TV character had the ability to hone in on the desires of others quite like Mad Men’s Don Draper. For crying out loud, the man could sell his version of ice to Eskimos anywhere he went.
Did Don ever permanently change his dishonest ways? Maybe not. But, he finally did muster up the cajones to come clean to his children, Sally and Robert, about his checkered past.
Although “Hershey’s is the currency of affection, the childhood symbol of love,” Sterling Cooper’s franchise player never knew the good life when he grew up in a whore house.
Kudos to Draper for giving his silver-spooned mouthed children a ghetto reality check. It takes testicular fortitude to show that kind of vulnerability to your offspring, especially if you’re Don Draper.