There have been thousands upon thousands of great TV shows over the years, that have delivered some memorable moments. But some moments can be described as truly jaw-dropping because we never saw them coming. I’m sure you have a few that stick out in your mind. Here are a few of mine, in no particular order (and of course there will be spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen any of these)…
Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Buffy reveals she was in Heaven
The season five finale was an emotional episode for any Buffy fan, given that it ended with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) sacrificing herself to save the world, by jumping into a portal that was about to bring hell on Earth. But perhaps the most jaw dropping scene of the entire show comes early in the following season. Thinking the vampire slayer was trapped in a hell dimension suffering eternal torment, Buffy’s friends perform a ritual to raise her from the dead. We see Buffy shocked and disorientated at being alive once more, which the viewer naturally attributes to her having suffered in the afterlife, and having to dig herself out of her own grave after her friends forgo doing it before performing the ritual and being attacked. But in the third episode of the season, in a conversation with Spike (James Marsters) she reveals that she was in fact in Heaven, where she was happy, having received her reward for the good she did as the Slayer. The scene is a shocking one because we automatically assume that Buffy’s friends must be saving her from a hell dimension, only to hear that they unknowingly tore her from the peace she had unquestionably earned.
Breaking Bad – Walt lets Jane die
I’m currently watching Breaking Bad, and I’m on season 4. I know, I’m crazy late to the party. I’m really liking it though. One of the most shocking scenes that I always think of came from season 2. Jessie (Aaron Paul) moves in next door to Jane (Krysten Ritter), a recovering drug addict. They quickly strike up a romance, and Jane eventually relapses. When Walt goes to Jessie’s place to try and reconcile, he finds them both passed out after a heroin binge. The horrifying moment in this scene comes when Walt witnesses Jane choking on her own vomit due to an overdose, but chooses to do nothing. While he does this in an effort to make Jessie stop doing drugs, it’s a hard scene to watch. Also, up to this point we had sympathy for Walt, who we see as a good man who finds himself in tough circumstances. But this moment (at least for me), made me reassess that view.
How to get away with Murder – Wes dies
In the first episode of the third series of How to get away with Murder, we get a flash-forward to two months down the line, in which a fire at Annaliese Keating’s (Viola Davis) home has claimed the life of somebody. The following eight episodes have little flash-forwards that help to piece the mystery of who is killed together. But, when it is revealed that Wes (Alfred Enoch) is the body taken from the house, it’s definitely a jaw-dropping moment, considering he was probably one of the most popular characters after Annaliese, and seemed fairly central to the overall story. I for one never thought it would be him under that sheet, but I commend the producers for taking the risk and killing of a prominent character.
Friends – Chandler and Monica sleep together in London
They may have dropped subtle hints about it, such as when Chandler (Matthew Perry) suggested him and Monica (Courtney Cox) getting together in the episode where Ben is born in series 1, or at the beach house in the series 3 finale. But, it was still a shock when Monica emerged from under the covers after sleeping with Chandler in London before Ross’ (David Schwimmer) wedding. I don’t think anybody really saw them together given how opposite they are; Chandler being goofy and sarcastic, Monica being hyper-organised and bossy. But, as everybody knows now, it ended up weirdly working.
Game of Thrones – Oberyn’s death
I’ve read the books Games of Thrones is based on (and am patiently waiting for the next two, whenever they do arrive). So, I wasn’t surprised when Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) kicked the bucket during the shows fourth season. But my jaw nearly hit the floor at just how brutal it was. If you haven’t seen it, take a look in the video below.
The Sopranos – The last ever scene
After running for six seasons, The Sopranos drew to a close in controversial fashion in 2007. Just as it looked like head of the family Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) was about to get his comeuppance, the screen cut to black. I remember watching it at home in our house and we all just turned to each other open-mouthed, convinced that the TV had broken at the worst possible time, or that a switch had tripped somewhere. Then the credits rolled, and we were all left thinking WTF!!! So, ultimately viewers were left to decide for themselves what happened, but it was definitely a tense piece of TV.
The Walking Dead – Negan kills Glenn
Much like with Game of Thrones, I have read The Walking Dead comics. So, when Negan appeared at the end of the sixth season, I knew that somebody was going to be losing their head at the beginning of the next series. And my money was on Glenn (Steven Yeun), because that was how it happened in the source material. When Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) had his head bashed in by Lucille, I wasn’t surprised because I knew somebody was going. But when Negan then turned on Glenn as well, it was a shock. Not just because two main characters were offed, but because of the brutal way in which it was done. It’s easy to see why it caused some controversy.
Only Fools and Horses – The Chandelier fiasco
The Trotters had plenty of hair brained schemes throughout the run of the series. But perhaps one of the most hilarious of all was when they managed to destroy a priceless chandelier. Having over heard a wealthy Lord enquiring about a chandelier cleaning service, DelBoy (David Jason) offers their services to make a bit of money. Only problem, they unscrew the wrong chandelier, sending it crashing to the ground. To funny!
South Park – Cartmen feeds Scott Tenorman his parents
It might seem difficult to believe being shocked by an episode of South Park, but when Cartmen gets the ultimate revenge on Scott Tenorman for tricking him into buying pubes, it’s impossible not to stare at your TV with your mouth hanging open. If you haven’t seen it, think chilli, meets dead parents. Shocking, but one of those moments you can’t help but laugh at but feel dirty for doing so.
13 Reasons Why – Hannah’s Suicide
13 Reasons Why was one of the big Netflix hits this year. And a controversial talking point as many felt it glamorised suicide. The story revolves around Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) who has taken her own life, and left behind a series of tapes for the people she feels pushed her to do it, to listen to. Although we know while watching the series that were are getting closer and closer to the point where Hannah ultimately decides to end it all, the actual scene is incredible tough to watch in that it is completely unflinching. I had to pause the episode after watching this part just to take a moment to process. Personally, I think the series doesn’t glamorise suicide and I think it’s an unfair criticism. But it doesn’t shy away from the grim reality either, which I think is important.
Lost – Micheal kills Ana Lucia and Libby
I remember back when I was in secondary school and during college, Lost was the big show that everybody was watching to the point where it was almost social suicide if you weren’t keeping up to date with it. One of the most shocking moments came during season 2 when Michael (Harold Perrineau) went to the dark side. Seeing that Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) was struggling to make the decision to kill the Others leader Ben Linus (Michael Emerson), Michael offers to do it for her. Instead he unexpectedly turns the gun on her, killing her, and also shoots and kills Libby (Cynthia Watros) accidently when she stumbles upon the scene. He then frees Linus and shoots himself in the arm to make the other survivors believe he had been a victim of the attack also. Given that Lost was well known for the many weird and mysterious storylines, it was a jaw-dropping moment in the series when two relatively new and prominent characters were killed off in such a cold-blooded fashion.
Revenge – David Clarke is still alive
Revenge starring Emily Van Camp was an exciting premise for a TV show. Young girl who was taken from her parents, forced into foster care, before spending time in juvenile detention, all while having lost her inheritance, trains herself to her physical and mental peak in order to exact revenge on those who were responsible. For two seasons, it was compelling viewing before it lost its way. This decline in quality was cemented by the revelation that the father she was out to avenge was in fact alive all along. It was a shocking moment to be fair, but it was intended to add drama to the series. Instead, it ended up feeling more like there was no point to everything that had happened before.
Big Little Lies – Jane’s rapist is revealed
For a small series, Big Little Lies certainly grabbed attention this year, what with its combination of A-list actors, and compelling writing. The series had many talking points but one that stood out for me was when Jane’s (Shailene Woodley) rapist, who she spent the series trying to find, was revealed to be her friend Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) husband (Alexander Skarsgärd). It was cleverly done, given that Skarsgard’s character was violent and controlling towards his wife throughout the series, but I for one didn’t see it coming.
This is Us – The series takes place in two timelines
One of my unexpectedly favourite series’ to debut this year was This is Us. And I loved the big twist at the end of the very first episode. We are introduced to Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who are expecting triplets. We are also introduced to twins Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) and their adopted brother Randall (Sterling K. Brown). At the end of the episode, we find out that Jack and Rebecca have lost one of the babies and they decide to adopt a black baby boy that has been abandoned at a fire station. We then realise that the series is taking place over two different time periods, and Jack and Rebecca are actually Kevin, Kate and Randall’s parents. I thought it was very clever.
Mad Men – The lawnmower scene.
If there is one thing that Mad Men proved, it’s that office parties, alcohol and ride on lawnmowers don’t mix well together. Definitely a scene to turn the stomach.