5. The O.C. – Kirsten’s car accident – “The Showdown” (2005)
No matter how hard this show tried (and it did, and I appreciated it) it could never compare to Beverly Hills, 90210, but oh how it tried. I was highly fascinated by Kirsten Cohen’s budding alcoholism, seemed a perfect story line for a program about rich teenagers because you can’t have wealthy mansion dwelling brats without alcoholic mothers! Unfortunately for the viewers, Kirsten never mortified her son by single handedly RUINING a mother daughter fashion show on account of her addictions. What she did do, was have a psuedo-affair with an attractive co-worker (consultant?). When the two “broke up” Kirsten’s drinking really got out of hand. For Christ’s sake! She had a bloody mary one morning, and then passed out on the couch with an empty glass later that night. After a confrontation with her husband, ol’ Eyebrows Cohen, Kirsten goes to the bar, gets a snoot full and realizes that she needs to reconcile with Sandy. She pays her tab, leaves the necklace her (what’s the male term for mistress?) gave her and departs. In the car, this drunken moron pulls out her cell phone and calls Sandy to tell him she loves him and she wants to work things out, what do we think is going to happen next? Hmm I wonder if she’s going to get nailed by that oncoming car? Nope. Safe and sound, just a close call. OH SHIT! Here comes a semi. . .
4. Desperate Housewives – Lynette Gets Shot in the Supermarket “Bang” (2006)
It’s no secret that the only reason this even made my list is because it features Laurie Metcalf (Aunt Jackie) as a maniac wife who finds out from Bree Van de Kamp that her no good husband has been cheating on her with some tramp named Monique. This otherwise pleasant suburbanite charges into the local supermarket, where her dirtbag husband is manager, wielding a gun and takes hostages. Meanwhile, her husband is locked in his office with Edie (this does not bode well for anyone). Her hostages include Lynette Scavo, Lynette’s husband’s baby mama, Julie Mayer and her boyfriend Austin (Edie’s nephew) and that guy that played Fisher in Roseanne and turned out to be a pedophile on DH. Anyway, my point is, everyone from Wisteria Lane who WASN’T in the supermarket, had a close relationship to someone who was. Well, as luck would have it, shit escalates quickly and shots are fired. Carolyn Bigsby is eliminated, as is that crazy mother (I think she was on SBTB: The College Years) of Tom Scavo’s first child, Lynette though, is also shot. Will she survive another day? Oh joy, she will.
3. Brothers & Sisters – Robert has a heart attack “Troubled Waters (Pt. 1)” (2009)
FINE! I cry EVERY time I watch this show, but this part, wow, right for the heartstrings. When Robert and Kitty’s birth mother goes into labor, Kitty insists that Robert cancel his afternoon agenda and come to the hospital. Instead, Senator Robert goes ahead with his rooftop press conference, announcing his upcoming bid for governor of California. At the hospital, a saddened and defeated Kitty throws Robert under the bus, realizing that he has once again chosen work over family. No sooner does she make the “fuck him” face does Robert abruptly, but tactfully, end his press conference and head towards the hospital, but in the parking lot, he suffers the most realistic television heart attack I have ever witnessed. Oh god, and he’s just so proud, he doesn’t want anyone to help him, he even hesitates to collapse, because he is so strong willed. Oof, and then they roll him over to reveal his limp, sweat covered body at the same moment his son is born. Oh, did I mention that this came in a montage format? Featuring Coldplay?
2. Dirt – Lucy Spiller is brutally stabbed in “Ita Missa Est” (2007)
This amazingly trashy FX original show starring Courtney Cox as the editor of a filthy Hollywood tabloid only lasted two seasons, which is a super shame because it was really entertaining, and reeeally dirty and I reeeally loved it. A sort of “ripped from the headlines” premise, the show was unforgiving of celebrity behavior–as long as it sold magazines. Throughout season one, Lucy Spiller (Cox) has been stalked, but in the final episode it is revealed that it was only her bitter brother (who she outed in her magazine) teaching her a lesson. But now that her guard is down, it’s the perfect time for the jilted ex-lover of Lucy’s new squeeze and Hollywood action superstar Holt McClaren, Julia (who has just been informed of all of Lucy’s “wrongdoings” by Lucy’s nemesis Tina Herrod (JENNIFER ANISTON)) to take her revenge. Essentially Dirt magazine has ruined Julia’s life and career (obviously her heroin addictions and sex tape–that she leaked herself–had nothing to do with her demise) and in the final moments of the season, she surprises Lucy in her home and STABS her! Somehow in the scuffle Julia is also stabbed. The most amazing part? Lucy calls her photographer crazy Don and commands him to come to her home and take photos (EXCLUSIVE of dead celebrity and half slain magazine editor) before calling 911. Julia dies (good I was sick of her damn story line) and Lucy survives, and sells a shitload of copies of that issue.
1. Beverly Hills, 90210 – Kelly Taylor gets shot “Aloha, Beverly Hills (Pt. 2)” (1997)
I could have made my entire list out of the predicaments faced on BH, 90210, and probably on Kelly Taylor alone, which is why I saved this gem for my number one favorite life threatening predicament of all time. When Donna is sent to Hawaii with her boss for a photo shoot, the gang (sans Kelly) tags along for a much needed vacation. When Brandon runs into old flame Tracy (that clingy bitch we all hated) Donna calls Kelly to let her know the two were frolicking in the ocean. Kelly hops on the next plane, and feels like a real jackass when she gets there, because Tracy is happily engaged. Good, now she and Brandon can enjoy their tropical vacation. Soon the gang arrives back in L.A. where Brandon discovers his car has a flat tire in the LAX parking lot and chooses to fix it, rather than accept a ride from someone else. When he sees a couple of thugs stealing a car (btw There wasn’t a second car. Did they WALK to the parking lot? From where?) he slightly taunts them and fails to avert his eyes and mind his business, which is something any defenseless, 5’5″ white kid with a meak girlfriend in tow should obviously do. Oh then, wouldn’t you know, said thugs roll back around closer to Brandon and Kelly and OPEN FIRE! They actually SHOOT AT THEM! In the LAX parking lot, they are shooting at random strangers! Ooohh, and would stupid “do the right thing” Brandon take a bullet? Noooo, that is reserved for “been through the ringer six dozen times” Kelly. Amazing. I will say, that this event didn’t make the number one spot so much because of the shooting (and the requisite pre-tragedy “I love you.”), but because after some complications in the hospital, Kelly wakes up with AMNESIA! And no one loves an amnesia plot point more than? More than? Uh, watch this. . .