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The best television moments of 2011

Some wonderful moments, plus a little trash



With 2011 on the way out, it can be best remembered for the political and social movements that swept across the world. With the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the massive protests in Russia, it was like 1968 all over again but with more capable filming techniques.

This, of course, made for some epic television that most of us didn't watch because we were too consumed by the television programs I'm about to write about.

Now, without further ado, here are Pique's five most memorable television moments of the past year. And please beware that I will be spoiling several TV endings, so it's best to avert your eyes if you care about any of them.

Game of Thrones

It's like The Sopranos set in Middle Earth. If you're not watching this show, you should be watching this show. If you're not a fantasy fan (and I am not), once you get past the geekiness of the setting you'll find one of the most engrossing, addictive dramas on TV right now. It's incredible and there's enough sexxxiness to appeal to both men and women.

Boardwalk Empire, Nucky ices Jimmy

Major spoiler alert: Nucky Thompson murders his former protégé Jimmy Darmody. Not since Silvio whacks Adriana in season five of The Sopranos has a TV show led to such a shocking and unsettling conclusion.

But in this case, Jimmy (portrayed by Michael Pitt) was a major character in the show, and a favourite among fans, and killing him off might not sit well for a show that can actually be a bit slow. It was a very bold move by the show's writers and it'll be interesting to see how fans react to a third season without one of its primary characters.

Louie saves TV comedy

Louis C.K. is the greatest living comic right now. There's very little debate about it. His vitriolic pessimism is like an excavator's lamp as he peers into the dregs of our miserable culture, showing it for what it really is.

With his show Louie, which finished its second season on F/X this year, he diverts from the usual sitcom route most comedians take, choosing instead to show life as it really is: horrible in its lows, unrelenting in its drama but hilarious in the meantime.

In a year consumed by Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian (which we'll get to in a moment), Louis C.K. shows that comedy is an important tool to cope with the difficulties of life...and proves, as well, that television comedy hasn't gone completely to hell.

Breaking Bad — Walt of Gus

Another major spoiler alert: Walter White finally gets Gustavo Fring, but if I've spoiled the season four finale for you it's still worth seeing how it all goes down. It's crazy. A truly cinematic television moment and one of the most memorably TV moments of all time.

And now, with Gus out of the way, the writers have set the stage for Walt to take the role as lead villain in Breaking Bad's fifth and final season, as per creator Vince Gilligan's vision for the show. "He (Walt) is going from being a protagonist to an antagonist," Gilligan told USA Today earlier this year.

Kim Kardashian's wedding

Look, we're all entitled to indulge in a little trash now and then, aren't we? Trash TV is like McDonald's: taking it in every day will cause some serious damage, but a little taste never hurt anybody.

And so, with the (most likely a sham) Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphrey wedding, we get the epitome of TV trash — a humongous waste of money and humanity's precious time that happened to look great on the home entertainment system.

While watching this, any rational, thinking person consider all the reasons they deserve better than to sit around watching it, and in the process become slightly more self aware. Self-awareness is exactly what good art should achieve, so in being the worst TV moment of all time it simultaneously becomes one of the best.

This, faithful reader, is what our culture has devolved into.

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