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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – TV

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 movie picks!

True Detective

Airs January 12, 2014 on HBO

True Detective is a new HBO drama about Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and and Rust Cohle.  In 2012, they are brought in for separate interrogations about a murder case they solved in 1995.  As they narrate their story, each detective is pulled back into the case as questions begin to arise about the outcome of the peculiar murder.

Reasons to Watch: Reason #1 = The cast.  The detectives are portrayed by Matthew McConaughey (Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Hart). Enough said.  Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, Detective Hart’s wife.  By the looks of the trailer, they all put on riveting and gut-wrenching performances.  Reason #2 = The writing.  True Detective was written and created entirely by Nic Pizzolatto.  Pizzolatto is best known for writing two episodes of AMC’s cop-drama The Killing, including Season 1’s shock-filled finale.  The Killing is one of my favorite television shows (and one of the most underrated IMO) so I was thrilled to learn of this connection.  After conducting a little research, I discovered that Pizzolatto actually quit working for the series because he didn’t like “serving someone else’s vision.”  With True Detective being his first major solo project, I’m thrilled to see what this young and innovative writer has to offer.

Klondike

Airs January 20, 2014 on Discovery Channel

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Klondike is an upcoming historical mini-series by the Discovery Channel.  The six episode long series is the network’s first-ever scripted drama.  It follows two childhood best friends, Bill (Game of Throne‘s Richard Madden) and Epstein (Augustus Prew), in the late 1890s as they flee west in pursuit of gold.  Their journey leads to a land full of undiscovered wealth, but surrounded by unpredictable weather and dangerous characters, including greedy businessmen and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their land.

Reasons to Watch:  Richard Madden, hello!  Also, the production details of the series hint at great action scenes.  For example, over the course of 55 days, the actors faced severe conditions.  From freezing temperatures, to high altitudes; Madden and Prew literally hung off the side of a mountain for 16 hours straight for one scene.  That’s dedication.

Orphan Black  – Season 2

Airs April 19, 2014 on BBC America

Season 1 was a whirlwind.  At the season’s end, all of our favorite clones were forced to choose sides after meeting Rachel, their fellow clone and child of Neolution. Cosima discovered that the clones are property, owned by Neolution leading to Sarah’s decision to ignore Rachel’s threats in the greatest diss of all time, “Up your’s ProClone!” Cosima followed suit, but her illness will be front and center in Season 2. Allison, on the other hand, agreed to cooperate with Neolution.  What does this mean for her relationship with the other clones? Viewers can look forward to getting to know Rachel and the world of Neolution, as she takes the place of Season’s 2 “Big Bad.”  Suit’s Patrick J. Adams will be joining the cast in a very secretive guest spot, as well as Nashville’s bad boy (and the new Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones) Michiel Huisman.

Reasons to Watch: More clones!  We’ve already seen Tatiana Maslany play seven (YES, SEVEN) clones and the creators promise there will be more.  Also, I’m going through Felix withdrawals.

Penny Dreadful

Airs Spring 2014 on Showtime

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Penny Dreadful is an upcoming pyschosexual horror series that will weave together the origin of literary horror characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Gray, and Count Dracula, in Victorian London.

Reasons to Watch: Y’all, I have a confession to make. I used to be IN LOVE with Josh Hartnett. I remember seeing Pearl Harbor and The Faculty and thinking he was going to be my first kiss. Like seriously. So naturally with Hartnett cast as the lead in Penny Dreadful and perfectly positioned for a career comeback, I’m all in!

Masters of Sex – Season 2

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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We know that Masters of Sex Season 1 just finished wrapping up, but we can’t help but be excited for the shows sophomore season. In the season finale, Dr. Master’s entire professional and personal life begins to unravel and the only person he wants to turn to is Virginia (Lizzy Caplan). After a few drinks, Master’s show up at Virginia’s door soaked from the rain and finally lays his feelings on the line.

“I have nothing to offer you except maybe the truth: I finally realized that there is one thing that I can’t live without — it’s you. You.”

Reasons to Watch: In its freshman season, Masters of Sex racked up 2 Golden Globe nominations. One for best drama, and the second going to Michael Sheen for Best Actor in a Drama Series category. I’m still rolling my eyes at the fact that Lizzy Caplan got shafted (ha-ha) for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. Between the story, the acting, the costumes and that ending…that ending is enough to leave us yearning for more.

Homeland – Season 4

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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I have a confession, my confession is I jumped onto the Homeland wagon a little late. In fact, I didn’t binge watch Season 1&2 until right before the Season 3 premiere. The worst part is, it’s literally filmed out behind my apartment. I mean, I could probably start my own “Homeland” set tour company at this point.

After binge watching of Season 1&2, my feelings towards all the characters were pretty cemented. I wanted Carrie and Brody to be together, to have that happy ending, but as Season 3 started up I realized thats not what needed to happen, this show is not about happy endings. The show is at its best when the storyline sticks to Carrie and her obsessive need for the chase with the CIA, which is what I hope Season 4 is going to set up for us. If you haven’t watched the season finale of Season 3, shame on you, I’m going to ruin it for you.

  • BRODY DIES
  • CARRIE IS MEGA PREGGO & MEGA DEPRESSED
  • SAUL IS MIA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (NOT WITH THE CIA) EATING BAGUETTES
  • CARRIE IS MOVING TO ISTANBUL (MAYBE) WITH BRODY’S SOON TO BE GINGER BABY
  • QUINN IS STILL HOT
  • CARRIE HAS WICKED STAR DRAWING SKILLZ

Reasons to Watch: For obvious reasons, what Homeland needs in Season 4 is a Renaissance. With Carrie moving to Istanbul as a station leader, Quinn, Max and Virgil are sure to be in tow. Of course a big piece of the puzzle that will be missing in said gang will be Saul. Mandy Patinkin is a phenomenal actor and outside of Quinn (hot), my favorite part of the show. I do hope the writers find a way to incorporate him into show in a way that makes sense next year….or possibly just bring him back into the fold of the CIA. So why should we watch? No more Brody, no more complications. During the season finale, it became pretty clear that they are going back to the basics. Carrie and the gang, doing what they are good at, catching the bad guys.

Turn

Airs 2014 on AMC

“Turn” tells the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a New York farmer who bands together with a circle of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring,  George Washington’s ring of American spies who ultimately help America defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.  The show is based on the true story told in “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose.

Reasons to Watch: Since my focus in college was Colonial America, I’m thrilled about the storyline and historical content.  But I’m also intrigued to see how non-history loving audiences will receive the show.  As much as I want it to be great, Turn has potential to be a train wreck.  It doesn’t help that the story is based on a war of which the outcome is already known.  So why should you watch?  It’s on AMC.  It’s potential to be bad is just as great as it’s potential to be phenomenal, considering the channel’s recent track record (i.e. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Hell on Wheels).  And who knows, you might even enjoy getting a fun history lesson because, let’s admit it, you don’t remember learning about The Culper Ring in elementary school.

Honorable Mentions

House of Cards Season 2, Netflix available February 14th

Orange is the New Black Season 2, Netflix available TBD

Looking Season 1, HBO airing January 19 at 10:30pm

Boardwalk Empire Season 5, HBO airing Fall 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Season 1, BBC America premieres January 19 at 10:00pm

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‘Homeland’ React 3×9 – Best episode of the season?

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I know, I know.  I said I would be posting Homeland theories every week but I’ve been so frustrated with this season I just haven’t felt any inspiration, other than seeing Quinn (past Monday Man Candy, Rupert Friend) in the shower of course.  Why have I been so frustrated you ask, let’s recap.

In general, this season has been pretty boring with a couple of peaks surrounded by a lot of really low valleys.  First of all, I don’t care about Dana, Leo, or Jessica, and does Chris even exist anymore?  We get it Homeland, as you kindly reminded us during a moment of viewer frustration, Dana is Brody’s moral tether.  But did we really need to see her running away with Leo only to discover that he’s a sociopath responsible for his brother’s suicide?  No.  I get that it was to show Dana’s growth into a pessimistic adult and it led to her exiting the Brody home, but nobody cares!

Secondly, the pregnancy.  Can we just not?

Lastly, what many considered the highlight of the season was the jaw-dropping twist that Carrie and Saul had been working together during the first few episodes.  The plan was to make it seem like she was ousted by the CIA and available to act as a double agent to lure Iranian bad-guy, Javadi, into their grasp.  Turn’s out Saul wasn’t throwing Carrie under the bus at all, she was driving said bus.  I agree, this was an excellent twist but it kind of pissed me off.  Since the first season, we’ve had the luxury of experiencing Homeland from Carrie’s point of view; her damaged and messed up point of view.  But she’s our protagonist so no matter the incident, I’ve always been on Carrie’s side.  When the larger plan was revealed and I realized that Carrie had tricked ME, the faithful viewer, it hurt!  I felt like I couldn’t trust the show anymore.  I’ve never trusted like 90% of the characters anyway, but I always felt like I could trust Carrie.

Regardless of my gripes and complaints, it seems the series is finally finding its footing in this season’s last act.  Arguably the best episode aired Sunday night; let’s discuss what made it great:

1.  Brody and Carrie

As much as I would like for it to happen for storytelling purposes, this week’s episode proved that it would be impossible for Homeland to kill off Brody.  Every episode prior felt slow and uneventful.  The second Carrie and Brody appeared on-screen together, in which was a full minute of painful silence, the tension and chemistry catapulted the show into another atmosphere.  These two sizzle on-screen together and I can’t help but wonder if the earlier episodes felt so agonizing because of the lack of Carrie/Brody time. 

2.  We learn Saul’s full plan

As previously stated, Carrie and Saul worked together to turn Javadi, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard by proving he had committed treason.  Now he’s back in Iran, supposedly acting as a double agent.  Saul wants to use Brody to take out Javadi’s boss or “the single greatest impediment of peace,” says Saul.  The idea is that Brody will be welcomed into Iran for his actions against the United States.  He will be treated as a war hero (sound familiar?) and invited into boss-man’s inner circle.  He’ll use this invitation to kill boss-man and then be extracted by a four-member team in a small city outside Tehran.  From there, Javadi will climb the ranks and take boss-man’s place, allowing for Iran-United States relations to finally lead to peace negotiations instead of war.

The plan is a little too “make peace not war” for me.  It’s too idealistic.  It puts too much faith in Javadi who we saw murder his ex-wife with a bottleneck a few weeks ago.  I agree with Carrie, it’s reaching, but at least we’re in the loop now.

3.  Brody is back-back

Not only is Brody back, he’s back-back.  After hitting what was surely rock bottom earlier this season, he’s now in probably the best shape we’ve ever seen him.  As a key part of Saul’s plan, it is important for Brody to be drug free and in excellent condition.  After a drug-induced detox, he begins training with a special ops team and after sixteen days, he’s in his best physical and mental state.  It was great seeing such a tortured and scattered character actually motivated and focused.

Saul so easily looped Brody into his master plan, fellow Rock Paper Watch writer Ashley Foster brought an interesting theory to my attention:  Is it possible that Brody has been manipulated by Saul since the very beginning?  Like back to his days as a Marine, was he intentionally a POW to get in with Abu Nazir?  I don’t think Saul would have condoned the death of the Vice President but its still interesting to consider.  I call this the Homeland-complex, trust no one.

4.  A few season one shout outs

During Brody’s detox-induced hallucinations, Tom Walker and Abu Nazir made special appearances.  Did anyone else feel like this was Homeland saying, “Hey guys, remember these characters? Back with the show was really good?”  It made me sentimental for season one and reminded me of everything Brody’s been through, making me feel protective of his character for the rest of the episode and probably the rest of the season. 

5.  Max and Virgil doing Max and Virgil things

Y’all, I love Max and Virgil.  They’re like the Batman and Robin of Homeland.  Maybe, Black Widow and Hawkeye from The Avengers is a better comparison since they’re more sideline characters, but whatever.  Virgil is definitely Black Widow.  Whenever Carrie or Saul has a plan, they are always available for the dirty work.  Even though Virgil often questions Carrie’s motives, they usually follow her blindly and there’s something very sweet about that.  This week, they were at Saul’s beck and call, sweeping Saul and Dar Adal’s homes for bugs.  Max discovers the fishy computer mouse planted by Alan Bernard, Mira’s former lover—leading to our next point.

6.  Saul is gonna make Lockhart his bitch

Alan Bernard, turns out, is an Israeli intelligence officer and is currently working for the great Senator Lockhart!  With evidence in-hand, Saul goes after Lockhart requesting more time so he can finish this mission in return for not releasing the images and ending Lockhart’s career.  Lockhart agrees to the terms after asking Saul why not release the images and permanently keep his position as the head of the CIA.  Saul’s response, “Because it would humiliate my wife, Senator, and because it would damage the agency.”  That’s the big difference between these two men.  Lockhart doesn’t understand that they agency needs protecting; he sees this job as a simple change of power.  Something tells me this blackmail isn’t over, is it possible that Lockhart will act as a puppet at the head of the CIA and Saul will continue to pull the strings?

7. Brody’s sidekicks

How awesome is Brody’s special ops team?  Their patience during training, and relentlessness during his detox warmed my heart.  And how adorable was it when the doctor one quizzed Brody on his relationship with Carrie?  I don’t know, camaraderie always gives me warm and fuzzies.  I hope we see a lot more of them in the upcoming episodes.

But what about Quinn?

Everyone’s favorite black-ops agent was pretty much missing this episode.  He had one scene with Saul, Dal Adal, Max, and Virgil when they were discussing how to deal with Alan Bernard and Senator Lockhart.  He had one line, “what would you like me to do?” Hold your horses Quinn, no need to shoot anyone in the arm.  His little screen time in the episode proved to me that the showrunners don’t quite now how he fits the story with Brody back.  I hope this doesn’t continue moving forward, he’s been the best part of Homeland lately.

What do you think of Homeland this season?  Are you sick of any storylines?  What are your predictions for Saul’s plan?  Did you miss Brody?  Should we write a petition for more Quinn shower scenes?


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Monday Man Candy – Rupert Friend

I want to tell you guys a little story.  It is the story of how I fell in love with Rupert Friend.  In 2005, the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice came out.  While I should have been crushing on Mr. Darcy, I couldn’t take my eyes off of Mr. Wickham played by Rupert Friend.  That is when our romance began.

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I mean, just look at him.

Then one pathetic college night, I was in need of a good cry-fest and red wine so I decided to rent Young Victoria.  Whew, I’m getting emotional just typing about it!  The movie illustrates the epic romance between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Friend portrays Albert.  I dare you to watch the movie and not fall head over heels for the British actor.

God.  Love me, please.

Now you can find Friend on Showtime’s Homeland where he plays Quinn, a hitman with a heart.  I’m an avid fan of the show and I can’t help but root for a Quinn and Carrie hookup.

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The sexual tension is so intense, and Quinn is obviously in love with the manic CIA agent.  Come on Homeland, let this happen… or at least show his butt again.

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We take what we can get.

Here are some more swoon-worthy photos of Rupert Friend for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

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I think there’s room for two in that chair.

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That brooding stare
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That jawline
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HE’S IN THE RAIN, JESUS


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‘Homeland’ season 3 premiere – React to Saul’s big reveal and Quinn’s big mistake

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Y’all, that Homeland premiere.

Instead of recapping the entire episode, RPW is trying something a little different with Homeland.  We realize that Homeland is one of those shows you can’t help but watch and ask, “okay, where is this going? what can happen next?”  Each week, we will be discussing our theories, no matter how outlandish, and providing an in-depth look into the episode.  Now, with that out of the way, let’s dive in!  If you haven’t seen this week’s Homeland stop reading, SPOILER ALERT!

The episode was cleverly titled ‘Tin Man is Down’ and we eventually found out that Tin Man is the codename for Quinn’s target in Caracas.  Initially, Quinn did not pursue his target because there was a child present.  Quinn’s inaction means that Saul must act — should they continue with just five targets, or trust Quinn to take down his target so they have all six, or abort the mission all together?  In the days leading up to the op, we see Saul twiddling his thumbs, unsure of whether to pursue the mission.  To really drive the point home, Saul has several discussions with his wife about his constant indecisiveness.  Now, Saul is forced to make a decision under enormous amounts of pressure while Quinn waits patiently for his instructions.  It’s an interesting juxtaposition to see a man who has spent days emotionally deliberating over a decision, weighing all the pros and cons versus a man who acts without emotion or thought — a Tin Man, if you will — that needs his orders.

Saul ultimately decides to move ahead with the mission and sends Quinn into the home of the Tin Man to take him down.  After eliminating his target, Quinn is sweeping the office and at the sight of a flashlight, shoots the impending threat.  That threat was a child.  That’s right, Quinn shot and killed the child.  The wide-eyed horror on his face as he checked the boy’s corpse can only mean one thing, is Quinn really a Tin Man?  At the last minute, he communicates with Langley, “Tin Man is down.”   Literally, he’s referring to his target.  Figuratively, could he be referring to his armor?

Now, I’m a firm believer that Quinn loves Carrie.  In the past, he’s only deferred from his mission of “killing bad guys” once.  Quinn seems to have a soft spot, and that spot is Carrie.  With this tragedy, will the rest of his hardened shell start to fade?  How will it affect his relationship with Carrie?

Speaking of killing bad guys…

Earlier in the episode, Carrie was bombarded by the investigative committee with a leaked DOD memo.  Later, she wakes up to find the following the headline on the newspaper; “CIA officer linked to Langley bomber.”  What the heck?  Naturally, she accuses Dar Adal of planting the story.  Saul responds to her accusations coldly.

THEN, it is Saul’s turn in front of the committee.  Unlike Carrie’s session, his testimony is broadcasted and in front of an audience.  Saul swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.  Then he updates the committee of the “successful” ops and accuses them of conducting a witch hunt to place blame on the CIA.  When Lockhart tells him the op did nothing to restore faith in the CIA, that they believe it was orchestrated, convenient, and cowardly, Saul plays his last card.  He tells the committee that the CIA agent tasked with Brody (Carrie) was “unstable,” bipolar, and had a sexual relationship with Brody.

BOOM!

What the heck guys?  This is Saul.  He’s the good guy.  He’s Carrie’s protector.  Now, he’s throwing her under a bus.  While it probably would have been impossible to stop Carrie, Saul didn’t really try.  He and Quinn, if anything, enabled her relationship with Brody.  And if anyone begs to differ, I’d like to remind them of the time they listened to their sexual encounter through a wire.  They let this happen.  They let it escalate.  It’s not right.

Quinn enabled the Carrie/Brody relationship because of his emotional connection to Carrie.  I think that deep down he wants to see her happy and saw the potential there with Brody.  What was Saul’s reasoning for enabling the relationship?  To protect America?  To further the mission?

So far, the show has set up the government as the enemy and Carrie/Brody as the protagonists.  After his testimony, I found myself questioning Saul’s allegiance (think back to those “Pledge Allegiance” ads) to Carrie and to the CIA.  Did Saul act to save the CIA?  Is Saul the mole out to destroy Carrie?  What are his motives and why would he do this?

So, killing bad guys.  I’d like to remind everyone that Quinn has stated he “kills the bad guys.”  His dislike for Estes was never a secret.  And he was conveniently not at the VP’s funeral, and therefore not killed by the blast.  Guess who else wasn’t at the funeral?  Saul.

At the time of the bomb, Saul was on a ship with Abu Nazir’s body to conduct a burial at sea.  For the record, I don’t trust Quinn as far as I can throw him.  But, as previously stated, Quinn doesn’t make decisions, he simply carries out orders.  Saul is the man making the decisions.  Is it possible that Saul orchestrated the entire thing and worked with Quinn to frame Brody?  Was the plan all along for Brody and Carrie to die in the explosion too?  Is that why Quinn let Brody live?  Did guilt about the upcoming plans cause him to have emotions toward Carrie?With that in mind, is Abu Nazir even dead?  I mean, if Saul is the mole or double-agent, he could have easily faked the death and provided another body for burial.  This may seem outlandish, but just consider it.  Regardless, we’d love to have your feedback.  Do you think Saul is the mole?  Do you think Quinn and Saul are working together as terrorists?  How will killing a child affect Quinn?

Also, did anyone miss Brody?  I didn’t.  Is the Homeland team stealing a note from the Shonda Rhimes playbook?  Whenever she intends to kill-off someone she diminishes their screen time so the viewer gets used to not seeing the character.  Are they preparing us for Brody’s inevitable death?  Would you like to see Brody die?  Let’s face it, Homeland is Carrie’s story.  And the character shines brightest when she is on a witch hunt and ugly crying.  It seems like they’re setting it up so she spends season 3 investigating Saul and finding Brody.  Homeland is a feel-bad show, not a feel-good one.  Brody and Carrie will never live happily ever after, he kind of has to die.

Alright, let’s hear it!  What did you think of the season 3 opener?


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Emmys 2013 – Our Picks to Win

The Emmys air live Sunday night, September 22 at 8pm on CBS.

01

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Girls • HBO
Louie • FX Networks
Modern Family • ABC
30 Rock • NBC
Veep • HBO
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Modern Family
Louie or 30 Rock should win but Modern Family is loved by the Emmy’s.

02

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad • AMC
Downton Abbey • PBS
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Homeland • Showtime
House Of Cards • Netflix
Mad Men • AMC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – House of Cards
We’re all curious to see how the Emmy’s recognize Netflix originals since their format is quite a bit different. House of Cards is just a phenomenal show across the board. Downton, GOT (besides the Red Wedding), Mad Men, and Homeland fell flat this season. Breaking Bad would be our next choice.

03

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bryan Cranston as Walter White
Breaking Bad • AMC
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham
Downton Abbey • PBS
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody
Homeland • Showtime
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood
House Of Cards • Netflix
Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Mad Men • AMC
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
The Newsroom • HBO
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Kevin Spacey
Hands down. Have you seen this performance? It’s amazing. No one has broken the third wall like this since Zack Morris. He can convince me he’s from South Carolina any day (even though we’ll never forgive him for Russo).

04

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates
Bates Motel • A&E
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley
Downton Abbey • PBS
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison
Homeland • Showtime
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood
House Of Cards • Netflix
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
Mad Men • AMC
Connie Britton as Rayna James
Nashville • ABC
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Scandal • ABC

Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Claire Danes
It’s a safe bet. The content of season two Homeland was lackluster but her performance was still magnificent. We would love to see Robin Wright or Kerry Washington take it but they seem unlikely.

05

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
Arrested Development • Netflix
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc
Episodes • Showtime
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan
House Of Lies • Showtime
Louis C.K. as Louie
Louie • FX Networks
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
30 Rock • NBC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Alec Baldwin
Since it’s 30 Rock’s last season, give it to Alec. Louis C.K. has a strong chance too.

06

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Laura Dern as Amy
Enlightened • HBO
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath
Girls • HBO
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
Nurse Jackie • Showtime
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Parks And Recreation • NBC
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
30 Rock • NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer
Veep • HBO
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Lena Dunham
Dunham is a total wildcard and for that we’re picking her to win. Her portrayal of Hannah with OCD this season was just disturbing and downright sad. The season itself was nothing outstanding but she gave the character way more depth than she had in season 1. Guys, she actually cut her hair like a bowl.

07

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Bible • HISTORY
Phil Spector • HBO
Political Animals • USA
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Behind the Candelabra
Behind the Candelabra is our first choice followed up by Phil Spector.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
Michael Douglas as Liberace
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
Matt Damon as Scott Thorson
The Girl • HBO
Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock
Parade’s End • HBO
Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens
Phil Spector • HBO
Al Pacino as Phil Spector
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Michael Douglas
Hands down, his portrayal as Liberace was genius.

08

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN MINISERIES OR MOVIE
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Jessica Lange as Sister Jude Martin
The Big C: Hereafter • Showtime
Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison
Phil Spector • HBO
Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney-Baden
Political Animals • USA
Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish Hammond
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
Elisabeth Moss as Robin
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Jessica Lange
Her portrayal of Constance in season 1 was flawless but as Sister Jude she was dark, gritty, and disturbing. It was great to see Lange go there.

09

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti
Boardwalk Empire • HBO
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut
Breaking Bad • AMC
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
Breaking Bad • AMC
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson
Downton Abbey • PBS
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson
Homeland • Showtime
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Aaron Paul
His character’s vulnerability makes you root for him, despite the fact that he’s a drug-addicted scumbag. He’s proven to be the unlikely moral compass of the show. His performances are riveting and gut-wrenching, and he has continued to evolve his character in each new season. He created a character that America loves, despite all of the terrible and evil things he has done.

Breaking Bad: Anna Gunn as Skyler White and Bryan Cranston as Walter White

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn as Skyler White
Breaking Bad • AMC
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Downton Abbey • PBS
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
The Good Wife • CBS
Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody
Homeland • Showtime
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris
Mad Men • AMC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Anna Gunn
Anna Gunn has finally earned her place among the top performers of Breaking Bad. Her characters’ transformation from Walt’s innocent wife to Mrs. Heisenberg was tragically beautiful. The strong fan reaction to her character, albeit its negative, is proof of her incredible performance.

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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Adam Driver as Adam Sackler
Girls • HBO
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett
Modern Family • ABC
Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett
Modern Family • ABC
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
Modern Family • ABC
Bill Hader as Various characters
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Tony Hale as Gary Walsh
Veep • HBO
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Adam Driver
It would be nice to see the men of Girls get some recognition! Adam’s performance this year mirrored the crazy of Dunham’s Hannah perfectly. And who can forget this “You’re here?,” whispers Hannah. “I was always here,” replies Adam. Bill Hader is a close-second, he brought us the best characters during his time on SNL and it would be great to see that recognized.

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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester
Glee • FOX
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett
Modern Family • ABC
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy
Modern Family • ABC
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow
Nurse Jackie • Showtime
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney
30 Rock • NBC
Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer
Veep • HBO
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Sofia Vergara
Her chemistry with the cast is outstanding. This season was especially heartwarming and funny as she had to balance her two greatest loves (Manny and Jay) with becoming a mother again.

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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Scott Bakula as Bob Black
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
John Benjamin Hickey as Sean
The Big C: Hereafter • Showtime
Peter Mullan as Matt
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – James Cromwell
He played an ex-Nazi that falls in love with a nun that is possessed by the devil. I mean, really. Cromwell’s performance was something else. If he doesn’t win, we’re rooting for Zachary Quinto because we love him and his performance as Bloody Face still keeps us awake at night.

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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Imelda Staunton as Alma Hitchcock
The Girl • HBO
Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish Worthington
Political Animals • USA
Charlotte Rampling as Sally Gilmartin
Restless • Sundance Channel
Alfre Woodard as Ouiser
Steel Magnolias • Lifetime

Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Sarah Paulson
This one is too easy. If Paulson doesn’t get it, there’s something wrong with the world.

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OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW HOST
Ryan Seacrest
American Idol • FOX
Betty White
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers • NBC
Tom Bergeron
Dancing With The Stars • ABC
Heidi Klum
Tim Gunn
Project Runway • Lifetime
Cat Deeley
So You Think You Can Dance • FOX
Anthony Bourdain
The Taste • ABC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Anthony Bourdain
This category is a wildcard, always. Ratings were low for most of these shows, so we might as well pull for a personal favorite.

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OUTSTANDING REALITY COMPETITION
The Amazing Race • CBS
Dancing With The Stars • ABC
Project Runway • Lifetime
So You Think You Can Dance • FOX
Top Chef • Bravo
The Voice • NBC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – The Voice
It killed in the ratings this year and is an easy stand-out among the competition. And we’re secretly hoping they bring back Shakira and Usher, so much more interesting than Christina and Cee Lo.

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OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM
Antiques Roadshow • PBS
Deadliest Catch • Discovery Channel
Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives • Food Network
MythBusters • Discovery Channel
Shark Tank • ABC
Undercover Boss • CBS
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Deadliest Catch
Seriously, these guys deserve one, this show is just outstanding.

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OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live • ABC
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon • NBC
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – The Colbert Report

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OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Nathan Lane as Clarke Hayden
The Good Wife • CBS
Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning
The Good Wife • CBS
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn
Homeland • Showtime
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper
Mad Men • AMC
Harry Hamlin as Jim Cutler
Mad Men • AMC
Dan Bucatinsky as James Novack
Scandal • ABC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Michael J. Fox
He’s priceless on The Good Wife and we can’t wait for his show to start in the fall. Rupert Friend is also a contender.

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OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN DRAMA SERIES
Margo Martindale as Claudia
The Americans • FX Networks
Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni
The Good Wife • CBS
Linda Cardellini as Sylvia Rosen
Mad Men • AMC
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing
The Newsroom • HBO
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson
Shameless • Showtime
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Margo Martindale
Her performance as a ruthless spy/killer who could be your grandmother is perfect. It will probably go to Jane Fonda, we’re okay with that too.

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OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Bob Newhart as Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman
Modern Family • ABC
Bobby Cannavale as Dr. Mike Cruz
Nurse Jackie • Showtime
Louis C.K., Host
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Justin Timberlake, Host
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Will Forte as Paul
30 Rock • NBC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Nathan Lane

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OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Molly Shannon as Eileen Foliente
Enlightened • HBO
Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
Glee • FOX
Melissa Leo as Laurie
Louie • FX Networks
Melissa McCarthy, Host
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Kristen Wiig, Host
Saturday Night Live • NBC
Elaine Stritch as Colleen Donaghy
30 Rock • NBC
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Kristen Wiig

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OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM
Bob’s Burgers • O.T.: The Outside Toilet • FOX
Kung Fu Panda: Legends Of Awesomeness: Enter The Dragon • Nickelodeon
Regular Show: The Christmas Special • Cartoon Network
The Simpsons • Treehouse Of Horror XXIII • FOX
South Park • Raising The Bar • Comedy Central
Rock Paper Watch’s Pick to Win – Bob’s Burgers


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New Promo Alert – Homeland Season 3

If we thought we were enjoying Christmas early this year with our 16 Top Fall TV Picks, now we know for sure that the holiday season is upon us.  The trailer for the new season of Showtime’s Award-winning drama Homeland dropped today.  Check out the emotionally-charged trailer and our breakdown below:

The Breakdown

– The trailer starts with the final scene from Season 2 between Brody and Carrie before diving into a series of (emotional) clips from upcoming episodes.

– Saul and Carrie are both subjected to official investigations (and seem to be put on trial) after the events of Season 2. Can we just talk about how excited we are to see these powerful scenes unfold??

– Carrie is a mess after losing her precious Brody and winds up in a mental institution (we think).  After she miraculously got her job back in Season 2, do you think it’s possible Carrie will ever be back in the CIA?

– Brody seems to be in the Middle East or another country (definitely not America) and he’s being hunted by the CIA Abu Nazir-style (cue maps with hundreds of lines, photos, and connections).  He is now bald, and recovering from a gun shot wound in a deteriorated building AKA not in too great of shape.

– Meanwhile, his family isn’t handling the whole situation very well.  Brody is now the infamous American Hero-Turned-Terrorist, making his family a target for paparazzi and news faccets.  In addition, Dana is now a Muslim (or trying to become one), and is sending nudie pics to someone. Boy, is it too much to ask that we focus on Chris this season instead of the annoying child?

– Rupert Friend is back.  Need we say more?

– What’s the song in the trailer that you just can’t get enough of?  We thought you might ask.  Listen to “To Build a Home” by the Cinematic Orchestra here.

There is a lot going on in the trailer and it definitely tugs at your heart-strings.  What part has you the most excited?  Do you think Season 3 can live up to the hysteria that surrounds the first two seasons of Homeland?  Can Season 3 make up for the lack-luster Season 2?  We here at RPW only know one thing – we literally can’t wait for the premiere.  Is it September 29th at 9pm yet?


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19 of the Sexiest TV Moments This Year

We’re counting down the sexiest moments of TV for the 2012-2013 season.  We’ve got it all from the “oh my goodness” to the “awwww.”  Get ready to fan yourself because things are about to get steamy!

1.  ‘Scandal’ Olivia and Fitz – The President’s Desk Will Never be the Same

When we initially started discussing this list, we knew right off the bat that Olivia and Fitz would take the cake. The hardest part was narrowing down which one of their steamy “its so wrong, but it feels so right” moments would make the cut. Once we started asking other Scandal viewers which moment was their favorite, this one was brought up time and time again. The sexual tension between these two is just off the charts, you know when these two get in a room together (specifically the oval office)…panties are going to drop.

2.  ‘The New Girl’ Nick and Jess – The Kiss

Boys, take a lesson in chemistry why don’t ya?

3. ‘Nashville’ Rayna and Deacon – FINALLY!

Is there anything to be said about this clip?  Not really, it’s just one of those you need to watch.  After a season of sexual tension and unfinished business, Nashville surprised us all by going there.  Instead of dragging it out, they passionately put them together.  And man, it was hot.

4. ‘Suits’ Mike and Rachel – That Can’t Be Legal

Mike and Rachel Suits

The sexual tension between these two has been building for two seasons now.  With several will they, won’t they, Mike screwed it up again moments we finally got what we’ve been waiting for and it DID NOT disappoint.  The emotionally charged scene starts with Rachel confronting Mike about why he wouldn’t send Harvard Law School a letter objecting to her rejection.  It seems he’s going to keep the truth from her until he says, “You don’t understand what I have been through, you don’t understand what I have lost.  Because it is everything, everyone that I love. Trevor. My grandmother. Harvey. Hell, probably this job.  I’m not ready to lose you, not today!” “Then tell me,” she demands.  It’s then that we see a change in Mike, he has to tell her.  With that, Mike finally admits that he never went to Harvard. Rachel reacts with anger, she slaps him and begins to storm away.  He grabs her and with a passionate kiss she gives into him and it’s on.  What’s next for Mike and Rachel?  We will soon find out, Season 3 starts July 16th.

5. ‘Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow and Ygritte – Jon Snow Does Know Some Things.

Jon Snow and Ygritte

Finally!  A Jon Snow sex scene.  In an effort to prove himself, Ygritte convinces Jon Snow to break his chastity vow.   “You swore some vows; I want you to break them,” she says while stripping in a cave no less.  Ygritte runs her hands through Snow’s hair and says, ”You know nothing, Jon Snow” just as he makes his way downtown proving he does know a little something-something.  In the afterglow, they playfully hop into one of the steamy cave pools for a bath.  ”Let’s not go back,” she says. “I don’t ever want to leave this cave, Jon Snow.”  It’s a sweet moment between two people falling in love.

6.  ‘Mad Men’ Don and Betty – A Reunion Of Sorts

Don and Betty

“This happened a long time ago.” – Betty

It’s the revenge of Betty, y’all.  The newly slim Betty kept the upper hand during this tryst when she found herself in bed with her ex-husband, and that’s what made it sexy.  She expressed no regrets at their night of passion and informed Don that she’s happy in her current marriage and no longer thinks about getting back together.  The kicker, she even sympathized with Don’s wife Megan, “That poor girl. She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.”  The next morning when Don woke up, he found his ex-wife happily eating breakfast with her current husband.  I was cheering at my TV, you go Betty!

7. ‘Girls’ Hannah and Adam – Hannah Gets Swept Off Her Feet

Every girl (whether they admit it or not) wants a grand gesture.  You may have hated Adam in the beginning of Girls but he proved us all wrong by coming to Hannah’s rescue during her OCD breakdown.  The best part?  “You’re here?,” whispers Hannah.  “I was always here,” replies Adam.  GOD!  Why can’t all guys be there when we need them?!

8. ‘Homeland’ Carrie and Brody – A Quick Rendezvous

Carrie-Brody-2x07-carrie-and-brody-32792100-500-280

“Is this for real?” – Brody

This season, Brody acted as a double agent reporting to the CIA about an upcoming terrorist attack in which he plays an essential role.  Carrie, naturally, acted as his handler.  In episode 7, Brody, an up-and-coming politician had to attend a fundraiser.  Stressed about his double duties, he lost it and frantically called Carrie for a release.  She met Brody in the woods outside the fundraiser and just let him talk.  She listened to him recap the conversation he had with the party host, a Vietnam soldier who actually fought and didn’t disappear in a hole for eight years to reemerge as a terrorist. “He didn’t lose himself,” Brody said, “Worst part of it is, he believes I’m like him. That guy is the man I could have been, if I hadn’t…” Carrie reassuringly took his hand. They kissed, passionately.  Brody broke away “Is this for real?” he asked. Carrie replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t want you to feel used.” He tried kissing her again and then confessed: “You know what? I do feel used. And played. And lied to. But I also feel good.”  My favorite part about Homeland is how they have put together these two broken people.  They love each other endlessly but can’t seem to trust their emotions long enough to just let it be.

9. ‘Castle’ Kate and Castle – The Morning After

The after math of the Season 4 season finale. Would it be awkward? Will they just friends? What will they be?  They sure jumped right to the point with first episode of season 5….and we sure are glad they didn’t disappoint.

10. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Caroline and Klaus – A Tender Goodbye

We know, we know.  Compared to the rest of the countdown this scene is pretty tame but is there anything sexier than a man willing to wait?  “Tyler is your first love, I intend to be your last,” says Klaus with a sweet kiss on the cheek.  Klaus, if you ever get impatient, I volunteer!

11. ‘Game of Thrones’ Robb and Talisa – The Young Wolf Takes a Bite

Robb and Talisa Robb and Talisa

My word.  Two episodes before the Red Wedding we get this revealing scene between Robb and his wife Talisa.  The scene begins with the camera scaling up her body as it’s intertwined in Robb’s as he playfully kisses her.  As if that wasn’t delicious enough, he then bites and tugs on her lip.  GAWD!

12. ‘Downton Abbey’Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley – Confessions

matthew-mary--z

“I would never be happy with anyone else as long as you walk the earth, which is true. And I think you feel the same about me.”

After 2 season of “will they or won’t they?” Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley finally admit their undying love for one another and seal the deal in a wedding true to Downton style. There is nothing sexy about this show, if anything its the complete opposite, so, you’re probably wondering why its on our sexy list? Well, if a guy were to tell me or any girl for that matter that he’d “never be happy with anyone else as long as I walk the earth.” Well, things would then, in theory, get sexy.

13. ‘Covert Affairs’ Annie and Auggie – A Dance in a Dream

Annie and Auggie Kiss

After being shot and charged with treason, Annie lies unconscious at the hospital.  Auggie spends the episode trying to prove Annie’s innocence and sitting vigil at her bedside.  The epic scene starts with Auggie talking to Annie, “Annie, hey it’s me, Auggie.  You know, the guy that gave you the corvette.”  He begins they’re typical banter but then continues. “I miss you Annie, I have for a long time. Things have been different between us since Barcelona and it’s all my fault.  I’ve been closed off and distant and I can’t tell you how sorry I am for that.  I don’t know if you can hear me but I need you to wake up. I know you’re not a traitor and right now you’re the only one that can help me help you.  I need you Annie.  I never needed anyone but I need you.”  He gently takes her hand.

In Annie’s dreamland, she walks into a fancy lobby with Auggie.  They approach a door and he asks, “Do you trust me?”  She responds, “With my life.”  They walk into a fancy party, Auggie in a tux and Annie in a gorgeous red dress.  They gracefully begin to dance.  “Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?” he says.  “I clean up nicely, don’t I?,” she replies.  “I’m not talking about the clothes,” he says before kissing her.  The kiss is sweet and tender.  When they part, Annie asks to dance a little bit longer.  Auggie replies, “There’s nothing I’d like more but you and I both know this isn’t our song.  We’ll dance again Walker when the music is right.”  “Until then,” says Annie.

After three seasons of incredible chemistry, this is the first hint that Annie does have true feelings for Auggie and wants to act on them.  It’s a great moment for fans of the show.  In the finale, Auggie and Annie get their moment as he confesses his feelings and they share a passionate kiss.  This time, it wasn’t a part of a dream.

14. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Damon and Elena – Vampire Sex.. Finally!

They teased us in season 3 with an epic kiss.  Once Elena became a vampire, the big question was who would get to pop her vampire cherry.  We got our answer in the scene above as she chooses Damon over long-term boyfriend Stefan.  Fans got their long awaited Delena scene, even if it was kind of ruined by Caroline’s realization that Elena is sired to Damon so of course she would choose him it was still hot as hell!

15. ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Ted and the Mother – 45 Days

There may not be any physical action in this scene, but is there anything sexier than a man proclaiming his love for a woman?  Nope.  “I’m here now, I guess because I want those extra 45 days with you.  I want each one of them,” says future Ted who has traveled back in time to talk to his future wife even though they’re just 45 days away from meeting.  This scene also served as a welcome reminder that the end is near, Ted (and viewers) will soon meet the mother.  And we did just that in the season finale.

16. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Karev and Jo – Find Your Crazy

Talk about stretching things out.  When we first met Jo at the start of season 9, she felt important.  In episode 9, Karev and Jo we’re paired together for Bailey’s wedding and all of a sudden her presence made sense.  She is the female Alex.  Over the next 15 episodes we watched Alex slowly realize his love for Jo.  When he did, he fought it saying that she was crazy.  Meredith quickly pointed out, “Maybe Jo’s crazy fits your crazy.  Don’t give up on her just yet, we didn’t give up on you.”  Later, when the moment was right Karev told her his true feelings leading to one of the few happy moments of this year’s Greys finale.

17. ‘Nashville’ Gunnar and Scarlett – Meeting in the Middle

First, he kissed her and she pulled away.  Then she kissed him back, but it was after his brother died and he was an emotional wreck.  Afterwards, he turned her away and called it a mistake.  Finally, they met in the middle.  “It wasn’t pity,” she tells him about the night before. “I don’t think it was a mistake either,” he replies.  Even though their relationship has been a rollercoaster and the season ended with a shocking proposal, you can’t help but replay this moment.  Their duets, as well as their passion is untouchable and I cannot get enough.

18. ‘Parks and Recreation’ Leslie and Ben – Mac and Cheese Pizza

It’s true, the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach and here is the proof.

19. ‘American Horror Story’ The Honeymooners – Scary Sex

Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan Tatum

Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan Tatum play a pair of twisted newlyweds enjoying their honeymoon by visiting haunted locations throughout the US.  Briarcliff, the home of season 2, is the last stop on their list.  After wandering through the halls, he eventually straps her to a table and they go at it.  The scene is dirty, and I mean dirty!  Shortly after they are interrupted by the season’s villain, Bloodyface.  And well, it’s all downhill from there.

The sexiest list was constructed by Rock Paper Watch authors Elizabeth Bond and Ashley Foster.  Feel free to reach out with comments or questions.  Thanks for reading!