A few preliminary notes before we dive into this extremely stupid list of the best and weirdest moments from television in 2022:
- This is my list, curated by me, and so will lean heavily toward things and people that brought me joy throughout the year
- None of this is meant to be taken all that seriously
- If you scroll down far enough you’ll see a screencap of Jennifer Coolidge snorting party drugs in Sicily
All true. It’s a good time. Here we go.
Best Performance – Kathy from Holey Moley
This reads like a joke but I promise I am serious. Everything about it was incredible, starting with the thing where this woman was draining putts from everywhere to take home the grand prize in the season finale of a show that involves potentially injurious obstacles that people half her age wipe out on in deeply funny fashion, and extending to the thing where Miss Piggy was in attendance while it happened. That’s something I don’t think we all have discussed enough this year. The Muppets were on Holey Moley this season. That really happened. And the season ended with one of the most shocking and inspirational athletic performances I have ever seen. I am serious about that, too. Watch it on Hulu sometime. You won’t even believe it. Kathy is the Michael Jordan of Muppet-adjacent miniature golf competitions. You’ll see what I mean.
Worst Performance – Snoop Dogg on Wheel of Fortune
— WheelRob (@WheelRob10) September 26, 2022
- This video remains incredible
- I have watched it 1000 times
- I am going to watch it again after I type this sentence
- Aaaaand I watched it three times just now
Good for Snoop. Good for all of us. Get him on The Price Is Right next.
Most Outstanding Cigarette Drags – Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul ended this year. There are plenty of places to read about its final season and various twists and the Carol Burnett of it all. I wrote a lot of words about it. But that’s not what this is. This is about Kim Wexler, as played by Rhea Seehorn, smoking cigarettes in such a deeply cathartic way that it almost made me start again after well over a decade. Look at her up there.
Look at her down here.
Better Call Saul was a show full of people having bad ideas and we can go ahead and file “what if I start smoking again?” in with all of those. I blame Kim Wexler.
Best Name of a Real Game Show Contestant – Emily Fiasco on Jeopardy
THREE-TIME JEOPARDY CHAMPION EMILY FIASCO
Please know that I said all of these sentences out loud as I typed them.
Best Fart (tie) – Slow Horses and Bluey
The competition was stiff here. Gary Oldman’s character in Slow Horses was introduced to the audience — pretty much the first time we see him — by farting himself awake, which would have run away with this category if there had not been an entire episode of a children’s show about a puff of flatulence so controversial that it resulted in the entire episode getting banned briefly from Disney Plus. That really happened. On Bluey. I wrote about it at the time.
The Family Meeting episode from series three of the hit children’s show features a faux trial with mum Chilli as the judge to determine whether Bandit did “fluffy” or “make a brownie” on Bluey’s face.
The episode opens with the six-year-old blue heeler pup saying “Dad blew off right in my face” and Bandit denying it. Later he admits: “Her face is at bum level – it’s hard not to.”
Two things are important to note here:
- I love this very much
- I have a law degree
Best Puke – The Righteous Gemstones
The Righteous Gemstones was so good this year. Again. It’s always good, though, so that’s not a huge surprise. It’s going to win another award later in these proceedings. You should watch it if you haven’t been and you should consider a rewatch if you have. This screencap is a good reason why. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better or more useful image. I have used it as a reaction to bad news maybe two dozen times since I first saw it. You can start doing this, too. Just click on it and save it right now. My gift to all of it.
Best Celebrity Endorsement – Danny Devito for Jersey Mike’s
Pretty tough to get better — in any substantial way, at least — than “Danny Devito pitching hoagies on television.” It’s beautiful. The only thing that upsets me about this commercial is that Danny Devito was not already on television pitching hoagies before this. Like, for years. Also, I have now typed “pitching hoagies” twice and have developed a mental image of Danny Devito in a full baseball uniform throwing a hoagie to a catcher. I’m upset that hasn’t happened yet either. We have some things to work on. Like, as a society.
Most Outstanding Milk-Related Assault — Players
I was late to Players, the new series from the American Vandal team, which was mostly my fault. I should have gotten in there from the jump. It remains my position that American Vandal — the first season, especially — is one of the best depictions of true crime and the experience of being in high school, which is a hell of a thing to say about a show that operates from a premise of “someone spray painted some dicks on some cars and we’re gonna figure out who.” It was stupid and brilliant and funny and poignant and about six other things all at once. Players took a similar formula and applied it to the world of esports. I do not care very much about competitive gaming and the people who do it, but I do love a show that zooms in super tight on a small but dedicated little ecosystem and shows you the absurdity and humanity of something you had never once actually thought about.
I also love that the show did it using characters with names like Creamcheese (formerly “Nut Milk”) and a running gag about a Philadelphia gaming prodigy who repeatedly smashed a bully in the head with a bag of milk. And I especially love that the milk-smashing thing turned out to be an important piece of character development. Like I said, stupid and smart all together. This, to put a laser-fine point on it all, is extremely my kind of stuff.
Best Use of Limited Resources – Atlanta
Atlanta came to an end this year, too, which is kind of a bummer because Atlanta was one of our most consistently fun and creative shows for pretty much the entire time it was on. But it wasn’t a total bummer because the show went out reminding us exactly why it was so good, by which I mean “it aired a full-on standalone episode that featured none of its now-famous cast and instead told an alternate history of a Disney executive who was obsessed with Goofy.” I can’t possibly put into words how happy this made me. It was so weird. And funny. And kind of perfect. You can go watch it right now even if you’ve never seen another episode of Atlanta. You should watch other episodes of Atlanta, though.
It was a good show. For reasons like this. But for other reasons, too. I’m going to miss it a lot.
Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Using a Modified “We’re Not So Different” – House of the Dragon
There are very few things I enjoy more than a character in a television series or a movie looking an adversary in the eye and explaining why the two of them are “not so different.” I prefer that exact wording, if only because no one in real life has ever phrased it that way. I especially like the “We’re not so different, you and I” construction. Start using it in your actual life. Say it to your DoorDash delivery driver this weekend. It’s thrilling.
Anyway, sometimes shows will do a little modified version of this, where they try to phrase it in a more normal way to slip it by me. But I remain vigilant. I will not be fooled. That’s how I noticed that House of the Dragon — a show I did not expect to like but enjoyed quite a bit — actually did it twice in its first season. Once up there, and once down here…
If you’re wondering if I saw these on my television at home and contorted myself into the full-on DiCaprio Pointing Meme and shouted about it to no one, the answer is yes. Maybe you’ll start doing it now, too. If that happens, well, then you and I won’t be so different, after all.
Most Dangerous Piece of Exercise Equipment – Peloton
It is really very funny to me that two separate characters on two separate shows had Peloton-related health emergencies within weeks of each other. First, there was Chris Noth’s character from the Sex and the City continuation series And Just Like That, who died during a workout. That one was great because people lost their minds a little. Peloton had to put out an actual statement about the whole thing. Just massively silly and stupid on a number of levels. A delight.
Then, just weeks later, a character on Billions suffered a heart attack while riding a Peloton. This one survived, but still. It’s a blast to picture the official spokesperson for Peloton sitting back on a Sunday night to relax with an episode of Billions after a stressful month of questions about his product killing off beloved characters and then seeing this happen and sighing so deeply a piece of his soul flies out.
A blast for me, at least.
Best Home Alone-Related Cameo (tie) – The Righteous Gemstones and Better Call Saul
Here’s what happened…
Macaulay Culkin showed up on The Righteous Gemstones as the adult son of Walton Goggins’ character, Baby Billy Freeman, which just made me smile a little all over again as I typed it. That was a great piece of business. He punched Goggins in the face. POW! Just perfect. And I was sure that would be my favorite Home Alone-related cameo of the year.
Devin Ratray, who played Buzz McAllister in the franchise about a little boy who is terrible at traveling, showed up in the final season of Better Call Saul. Here. Look.
At some point next year, any time on any show on any channel, but preferably on like Succession, I really need Joe Pesci to pop up out of nowhere. Let him play a rival media mogul. Let him play a senator. Let him swear at Cousin Greg. It’s a simple request.
Most Reliably Funny Thing, To Me — News Bloopers
This is a compilation of news bloopers from 2022. I watched it the other day and I started giggling almost right away and I kept going straight through until the end. It’s kind of wild. You could assemble a team of the greatest comedic minds in Hollywood and give them all time and resources they want and they would still not be able to create something funnier to me than a chuckle-happy weatherman trying to get through a forecast right after a report about a portable toilet fiasco on the highway. This probably says as much about me as it does anything else. I don’t know. I feel okay about it.
Best Creative Cussing – Reservation Dogs
- Reservation Dogs is one of the best shows on television
- It makes me very happy
- This season, there was a notable uptick in characters calling each other “shitass”
- This led to a dramatic uptick in me doing it, too
- People in my life did not enjoy it
This kind of thing happens to me sometimes.
Best Use of a Chainsaw – Hacks
One of the complaints I’ve had about television throughout the years is that there have not been enough shows where Jean Smart marches into the frame with a chainsaw in her hands, cranks the sucker up, then marches forward with a devilish glee in her eyes. I think that could have really done wonders for — to pick a show at random — Mad Men.
I’m glad we’ve righted this historical wrong. Let’s not stop now, though. Let’s build on this. Looking at you, season three of The White Lotus.
Best Use of Explosives – 9-1-1
9-1-1 is a show that is known for its bonkers emergencies (blimp crash, mid-proposal escalator malfunction, etc.), but it’s going to be hard for them to ever top “a husband was upset at his garden being ruined by critters so he set off a bomb in the yard and the wife got very upset because it turned out the garden was actually being ruined by the tunnel that ran from their bedroom to the neighbors’ house, which the neighbor had been using to carry out a torrid affair with the wife until he was severely injured by the aforementioned explosion, which the husband set off because — SURPRISE — he suspected the tunnel-based infidelity all along.”
I believe in them, though. I believe they can get weirder. It’s just a matter of time.
Wildest Character Arc – Rosie Perez in The Flight Attendant
The first season of The Flight Attendant ended with Rosie Perez’s character — another flight attendant — going on the run after accidentally selling government secrets to North Korea, which is already just about the best twist you could possibly imagine. Then, in season two, all of this happened, which I am just going to quote from my own post about it all:
- She opens the season living in hiding in Iceland with a black market tuna smuggler played by Margaret Cho
- She picks a bunch of mushrooms from a forest, which we later see her mashing up into a fine dust/paste
- You guessed it, they are poisonous hallucinogenic mushrooms
- She is running around dosing people with them to keep her secret and/or investigate other secrets
- Her cover gets blown and she comes back to America using the pseudonym “Hildegard Bouffant”
- She goes hunting for a lockbox she hid in her friend’s strip club, but the friend sold the contents of the room to some strange lady, so Rosie and her stripper friend track her down to a weird trailer in the woods and, yup, you guessed it again, dose the woman with mushroom paste and steal back the lockbox while the woman has a full-on mental collapse on the woods
She isn’t even the main character on the show. She’s just the friend of the main character. This commitment to chaos is inspiring on a deep and powerful level.
Most Unrelenting Earworm – The Los Pollos Jingle From Better Call Saul
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s in my head again.
I suppose that’s not a huge complaint.
Talk to me in a week to see if it’s still in there.
Best Pronunciation of a Geographic Location – Matt Berry in What We Do in the Shadows
perhaps matt berry's greatest line delivery yet pic.twitter.com/1wxm64GQsK
— bolus lugozshe (@gentlydirks) August 24, 2022
Bullet points again:
- I love that Matthew Berry put this much stink on it for no apparent reason
- I love that it made the final cut
- This is how we should all say “New York City” now
- Even weathermen
- Especially weathermen
I’m going to stop typing now because nothing I write can possibly top that short video. Let’s press on.
Best Fish Pictures – Henry Winkler
The end of a perfect day !! pic.twitter.com/lLewwuCO25
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 6, 2022
Two things are true here.
TRUE THING NUMBER ONE: Henry Winkler continued his yearly tradition of posting fish pictures on Twitter while on vacation
TRUE THING NUMBER TWO: For reasons I will never understand, the people at HBO let me interview him, which I used as an opportunity to ask him about the fish pictures.
We are all doing excellent work here.
Best Strut – Winning Time
Winning Time had a lot going for it, starting with John C. Reilly hamming it up straight through the fourth wall, but I’m still not over this scene. Imagine looking that cool one single time in your entire life. I cannot. And I am very, very cool. 
Best Squelching – Stranger Things
Stranger Things has a long history of squelching-related subtitles (I am not joking here, it happens so much), and it is my great pleasure to report that it continued into the most recent season. It’s to the point now where I sit here and wait for it to happen. I get mad if there’s a squelch-ish sound and they don’t put the word on the screen.
Everything is fine.
The Judith Light Award for Best Use of Cocaine in a Television Drama – Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus
The last few episodes of the second season of The White Lotus were a ton of fun. So much happened in so many ways and some people died and that’s all I’m going to say for now, mostly so I don’t get yelled at for spoiling things you should have watched already. But I will say this: there was a thing where Jennifer Coolidge did a bunch of cocaine at a party with some mysterious gays and a Sicilian gigolo, and this is the screencap I made, and I can’t stop pasting it places now. Here, text messages, work emails, all of it. Just perfect.
It also gives me an excuse to post my favorite GIF ever. This one. Where Judith Light did cocaine at a rodeo on the short-lived Dallas continuation series that aired on TNT a few years ago.
I am so proud of both of these women.
Best Voiceover Performance – Jason Mantzoukas as Tommy Lee’s Penis
To be clear…
Tommy Lee, as played by Sebastian Stan, had a full conversation with his own penis, as voiced by Jason Mantzoukas.
I still kind of can’t believe this happened.
I love that it did.
But I really can’t believe it.
Best Celebrity Profile – The Guy Fieri One From The New York Times
The entire Guy Fieri profile in the New York Times was amazing, just littered with perfect little quotes and anecdotes, but I’m going to highlight three specific passages to drive it home. We start… here.
“I want to chug the chutney!” Mr. Fieri said, daring someone to stop him. “One little bump.”
It was 9:33 a.m.
It’s so beautiful I could cry.
“If you only hear Metallica as a heavy-metal band, then you are not hearing Metallica,” Mr. Fieri said, riding shotgun after a day of filming and charity work. “Now maybe you don’t like that style. But they’re real musicians.”
The thing I like about Guy Fieri is that he’s never changed — not in any substantial way, at least — but the world has come around. This quote would have made everyone roll their eyes a few years ago but now it’s somehow charming. It’s a fascinating transition. Scientists should study it. They should teach it in colleges. I am not joking.
“He goes to all these diners, drive-ins and dives,” said one fan, Jim McGinnis, 77, explaining the show’s appeal as Mr. Fieri administered handshakes and how-ya-doing-brothers at a charity event for New Jersey veterans. “It’s just a pleasure.”
Jim gets it.