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TV’s Most Shocking Moments

Posted in TV

Recently TV Squad ran a piece called the 50 Most Shocking TV Moments.  So using just their list, I came up with my top ten [beware, there are spoilers, but my guess is you already know them]:

10.  Snakes and Rats – ‘Survivor’ — ‘Season Finale’ (Aug. 23, 2000)
Sue Hawk’s rant was the talk of Survivor fans and helped make the show must see tv.  It shocked viewers and still is considered one of the “highlights” in the show’s history.

9. Mama of Anarchy – ‘Sons of Anarchy’ — ‘Albification’ (Sept. 8, 2009)
Sons of Anarchy has had a lot of shockingly brutal moments, but the rape of Gemma at the hands of white separtists was brutally shocking.

8. A Family Affair – ”The Shield’ — ‘Family Meeting’ (Nov. 25, 2008)
Shane and his family had been on the run and it was clear that there wasn’t a good ending waiting, but the fact that Shane killed his wife and kids and then himself was a shocking end to a character who had been on the show since the first episode.

7. Sinéad O’Connor Declares War – ‘Saturday Night Live’ — ‘Tim Robbins/Sinéad O’Connor’ (Oct. 3, 1992)
Sinéad O’Connor killed her career with her misguided act of protest.  She’d have better off to go on Oprah and jump on the couch.  O’Connor’s act of tearing up the picture of the Pope was and is so shocking that it’s only been seen on tv once since it happened.

6. Jumping the Couch – ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ (May 23, 2005)
Tom Cruise was a box office superstar who could do no wrong… well, not counting that Brooke Shields incident… and then he started jumping on Oprah’s couch.  Again and again.  Faster than you could say whacky, Tom’s career was hurting and he was the butt of jokes everywhere.  Shocking then and even more shocking that his career still hasn’t fully recovered.

5. A Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss – ‘Star Trek’ — ‘Plato’s Stepchildren’ (Nov. 22, 1968)
I had just turned ten years old and still remember the first interracial kiss on television and how controversial it was.  At the time  didn’t understand the hoohal.  I mean Kirk was kissing all kinds of aliens, so why the big deal about kissing an attractive human?  Still, public reaction makes this a shocking moment.

4.  Two for the Death of One – ‘Lost’ — ‘Two for the Road’ (May 3, 2006)
When Michael shot and killed Ana Lucia I was shocked. Then Libby suddenly walked in, and Michael had to shoot her to cover up shooting Ana Lucia (which was done to cover up his release of Henry).  Well played, Lost writers.  You shocked us!

3.. Rocker Shocker – “American Idol’ — ‘Elvis Presley Week’ (May 10, 2006)
Many, myself included, thought that Chris Daughtry could win it all.  Everyone, including Daughtry himself was caught by surprise when he was voted out in the fourth spot.  After finding out he was leaving, Daughtry told Ryan Seacrest,”I’m a little bit in shock.” Who am I to argue with Daughtry.  Shocking it was.

2. “Chloe … Edgar …’24’ — ‘Day 5: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.’ (March 6, 2006)
Some folks are expected to die on “24” but who would have thought that CTU geek Edgar Stiles would bite the bullet?  He was such a popular character, a love story seemed to be blooming and he worked in the CTU headquarters.  Who could be safer?  Definitely shocking.

1. Boob Tube, The Sequel – ‘Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show’ (Feb. 1, 2004)
I remember watching the half time show and thinking that Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson would put on a good show.  When the, ahem, “wardrobe malfunction” happened, I remember thinking, “Did I just see that?”  Everyone else in the room had the same look.  Shocking indeed.

Here are a couple of other shocking tv moments that didn’t make the TV Squad’s list, but should have:

  • At the end of the first episode of the very first season of The Shield when Vic Makey kills the undercover cop.  That action completely changed the tone of the show and set into motion all the events to follow.
  • Season 19 of Survivor finale – Russell does not win after dominating the game, finding idols with no clues and completely out playing, out witting and out lasting all ofther contestants.

It would be shocking if I forgot to thank Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine for the link.

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