The 50 Best Episodes Of 2012 (My Picks)

At Ology, myself and other editors got together and ranked the top 50 episodes of 2012. An annual list, we watched many shows over and over again to make the best list possible, while also showcasing shows that may not get enough credit. (I know, hard work.) Check out my pieces below:

13. “Reckoning”, Revenge (ABC / Season 1, Episode 22 / May 23, 2012)

What the hell just happened and how could this only be the first season finale? “Reckoning” ran some very unexpected shockwaves up and down the Hamptons coast, giving viewers SIX huge game changers to mull over before season two arrives. To call this finale epic, jaw-dropping, shocking and earth-shattering is a complete understatement. Spoiler Alert: Emily and Daniel are over, Ashley may be moving in on him, Charlotte overdoses, Conrad and the white-haired man help take down a plane that Victoria and Lydia were in, Amanda returns pregnant with Jack’s baby, and Nolan reveals to Emily that her mother is still alive! Never has such an evil and twisted place been so entertaining. So much has surfaced already, and yet there’s still a lot more moments away from hitting the surface, uprooting the lives of so many. As Emily says before the credits, “Let it play.” Stephanie Webber

24. “Clear Skies From Here On Out”, Parenthood (NBC / Season 3, Episode 4 / October 4, 2011)

Oh, to be a Braverman. This show proves to have heart, give humor and leave viewers with effortless moments that feel so real week after week, and there were absolutely no clear skies by the end of this chillingly beautiful episode. Alex breaks up with Haddie and in a bittersweet scene (that had us in tears), tells Kristina how much he’ll miss the family. It’s hard to grasp what was actually more emotional: witnessing the saddest, yet best-acted scene between a mother and the man her daughter still loves, or knowing that there was a chance Michael B. Jordan wouldn’t be stepping into the Braverman household ever again. Stephanie Webber

27. “Chaos”, Revenge (ABC / Season 1, Episode 15 / February 15, 2012)

“Chaos”, the episode where the haunting series opener is finally played out, was so highly anticipated you’d think it was a series finale. WHO was murdered on the beach? The camera shots are misleading for your viewing pleasure, beautifully executed work that deserved a second glance just to appreciate how the moments fell so effortlessly together, while throwing every storyline on its heels. A shocking kidnapping, Jack running to Amanda’s side, the stunning Hamptons and the heart-stopping overture made it feel more like a film, still leaving viewers with unanswered questions, and realizing for the first time that Emily could be in way over her head. She also might not be the only one playing the game. Stephanie Webber

28. “Valentine’s Day”, New Girl (FOX / Season 1, Episode 13 / February 14, 2012)

Nick and Winston spend time with their ladies, but it’s Jess feeling “twirly” that makes the episode: Schmidt wants to help her get some, so True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten guest stars as the one-night stand (no complaints there), but Schmidt has to drive them home and won’t leave because of neighborhood “yoouuths”, and sidenote: we find out Schmidt enjoys reading first season scripts of The Vampire Diaries and Nick can’t handle cockfights. Turns out that Little Jess doesn’t get any because of a wild ex-girlfriend, she lands outsideSchmidt’s door with her box of 100 condoms. Thank God Nick catches her at the right moment, because it’s Schmidt and Cece finally taking their relationship to the next level, right on the other side. Stephanie Webber

41. “Another Ham Sandwich”, The Good Wife (CBS / Season 3, Episode 14 / January 29, 2012)

Firstly, Wendy Scott-Carr is the absolute worst. Secondly, Will’s indictment for allegedly betting with other judges finally comes to a head in front of the Grand Jury in “Another Ham Sandwich,” and what could be better than Will finally getting off the hook by duping Cary and Dana? Cary actually felt bad about the situation, Kalinda helped the case even though she got a smack for it and the jury raised questions on why Peter would have his wife put on the stand in the first place. Alicia’s testimony was the guilty pleasure viewers were unexpectedly waiting for as was the sweet ‘we can still be friends’ Kalicia moment and Will dancing to celebrate his win. Of course, Scott-Carr got fired because of her terrible prosecution but that didn’t stop her from telling Peter that she’ll move on with the case herself. See? She’s the absolute worstStephanie Webber

42. “Spooky Endings”, Happy Endings (ABC / Season 2, Episode 5 / October 26, 2011)

Out of all the costumes stocked in stores, and out of all the Halloween episodes done over the years, no other show has ever created such memorable outfits like what this Chicago gang wore for “Spooky Endings”. Max went as Penny’s ‘wing’ baby, which forced them to go back and forth between potential suitors during a party, a sick Alex went as Marilyn Monroe and later was mistaken for a man, and Dave went as his dorky self, aka, Austin Powers.  Meanwhile, a bacon-dressed Jane house sat with Brad and got involved in a battle with trick-or-treaters because they had no candy to give out. When everyone got back together in the end for the big dance off, Alex inevitably got beat by Max because he finally decided to change into Penny’s red bathing suit that she was wearing underneath their costume. He also won because he has “a big (…you know).” The storylines were odd and far-fetched, but that’s what we love about this show. Stephanie Webber

45. “Top 5 Results Show”, The X Factor (FOX / Season 1, Episode 21 / December 9, 2011)

Who knew that the first season of The X Factor could leave audiences with such a heartbreaking moment in reality TV? As the finale is fast approaching, the elimination round comes down to the very eager Rachel Crow, 13, and Marcus Canty, 20. Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul opt to save the bubbly teenager while L.A. Reid goes with Marcus. Instead of saying who she really thinks should go home Nicole takes the easy way out and asks for a deadlock to find out whom America has voted to kick off. As Rachel’s name is read it’s a quick bug-eyed shock and collapse to the floor. Heavy cries both from Rachel and Nicole ring through the small screen as Simon goes up to console the aspiring singer. The moment was so cringe-worthy yet worth a repeat (ultimately making us feel like terrible people). Stephanie Webber

46. “At My Brother’s Wedding”, Parenthood (NBC / Season 3, Episode 18 / February 28, 2012)

After a full year of emotion, arguments and heartbreak, the NBC series leaves viewers in the exact same fashion with the added bonus that the very sweet moments will effortlessly continue into its fourth season. Adam and Crosby’s disagreement about selling The Luncheonette comes to a head during the reception of Crosby and Jasmine’s beautifully lit wedding. As the two make up, the struggle Crosby has endured all season to win Jasmine back finally ends on a very happy note. As Sarah says goodbye to Mark, Amber takes the right move in staying at her job with Bob but only as friends. Meanwhile, Drew loses his virginity and Zoe shows up to apologize to Julia for keeping the baby. In a very bittersweet and uncalled for moment, Julia and Joel do receive a special surprise though. After trying all year to have another child, the two welcome a young boy into their family that ultimately was taken away from his own. As always, even through the struggles, the idea in wanting to be a Braverman never gets old. Stephanie Webber

 
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Interview: ‘Revenge’ Star Ashley Madekwe Dishes On Her Fashion Blog ‘Ring My Bell’

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There’s no question about it. Revenge actress Ashley Madekwe is absolutely stunning on and off the set. With just one episode left before the explosive finale, we felt it necessary to chat all about Ashley’s eye-catching style. Many may not know but Ashley has her own fashion blog named Ring My Bell that features her day-to-day wardrobe and is photographed by fiancé Iddo Goldberg. By a look at the page, it’s no wonder why she was invited on for an episode of E! Fashion Police to comment on the several looks those in Hollywood have to offer. Her photographs on her blog are to die for. Though it’s obvious that her character on the ABC series has great taste, she herself is very fashion forward in her own right.

“I’ve always loved fashion blogs and have always loved reading them and have always been inspired by them so I figured maybe I could do this too,” she tells me. “I don’t put anything about my acting on there because I don’t know—I don’t want to use anything about my acting to make my blog successful. I guess eventually they’ll mold into two but I just loving doing it.” Her looks vary on the site with our personal favorites that include neon heels, vintage, jumpers, lace shorts and mint and coral jeans and features retailers like Steve Madden, Michael Kors and J. Crew.

[Her beautiful vintage engagement ring]

“The problem with me is I’m uncommitted. I love it all. I always want to try new things and I’m really inspired by all the women just walking down the street or fashion blogs or magazines. I’m always looking at things going, ‘How can I recreate it? What do I have that looks like that?’ I enjoy doing it. I like doing different things.”

Though she keeps her Hamptons style semi-away from the real one, asking if she has any say in her wardrobe for Ms. Davenport was a must. “It’s really collaborative,” she begins. “I don’t use my own clothes but Jill [Ohannesson], the costume designer, brings in loads of options and the original fitting we had–the first fitting is kind of finding out what you both like, how everything’s felt, how you see the character. You try on absolutely everything and try to put the character together. We originally came up with this character we’re both pretty happy with…she’ll buy it in a size and alter it to fit and I put together, I pick the dress or shoes or cardigan. She’s really good about letting me have a lot of options in my trailer in the morning so I’ll have the outfit and then my shoes and my jewelry and then my belts in the trailer so I can put my outfit together and then she’ll take it.” Ashley tries to style her the way she would but doesn’t try to make Davenport exactly like herself.

Madekwe keeps busy with the addicting series and definitely seems to love having her blog as a second creative outlet too. But what’s been on her mind first and foremost recently? Her wedding! She and fiancé Goldberg are set to marry this June and the two actually just touched down in London Tuesday to continue the planning. “I hate to do a ‘weather’ tweet but…This is NOT going to be good enough for my wedding. Sunshine by June please London!!!” she tweets.

With Ashley’s gorgeous fashion sense, her wedding dress is sure to be memorable. We also have a sneaky suspicion that some of her co-stars will join in on the celebration. Will we be seeing some wedding pictures on her blog? Let’s hope so! As you head on over to her site Ring My Bell, just think: When Ashley returns for season two of Revenge on Sunday’s next year she’ll be coming back to the Hamptons a married gal!

[Photography: Iddo Goldberg]


Interview: “Friday” Star Rebecca Black Debuts “Sing It,” Dishes On Zooey Deschanel Run-In And More!

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Rebecca Black is back! Remember that song “Friday” that you just couldn’t get out of your head last summer and it later got featured on an episode of Glee? Of course you do. The song came out in March 2011, instantly catapulting Black into the public and later making her a household name. Recently I chatted with the singer (who turns 15 in June!) about her music ambitions and her latest tune “Sing It” as she leaves those “Friday” days behind.

Just last week Rebecca premiered the new single and she hopes that it will become her next success. Though she’s in the industry for the long run and has appeared in Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night,” she reveals that she’ll be attending college when the time comes. What else? She also details about her favorite female band of all time, which stars have left her star struck and yes, even what day just so happens to be her favorite second to Friday!

 

New song “Sing It” just released. Tell me about it!

REBECCA BLACK: Basically it’s just a very carefree song. It’s all about just being and letting the music encompass you. It has a very summery vibe so I hope people would want to play it in their cars…Something to jam to at the beach or something like that.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

Oh my, gosh! I haven’t thought of who I would want to collaborate with. Right now I’m just doing solo stuff but I would love to.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

As of right now hopefully still being in the industry because this is my main passion. This is what I have to do. It’s just a part of me but I’ll probably be in college. College would be good. [Laughs] That is still the main plan.

Majoring in music?

I would think so. I mean I still have a lot of time to think about it.

Do you have a favorite artist out there right now?

I’ve really been liking Maroon 5. I love Maroon 5 and I love their new song “Payphone.” So good!

What about a favorite artist or song of all time?

Oh my, gosh. I’ve always been a huge Destiny’s Child fan. Love Destiny’s Child and I’ve always had! Even when I was like a baby and I still listen to their songs.  I listened to them last night and they’re still just as good and they’ll always be just as good!

Would you ever want to become a triple threat?

Yeah! I love acting and I actually started off first being into dance when I was a teeny little kid. I still love dancing and so I would love to use more of that in the industry as well.

You’ve worked with Katy Perry and have gone to a lot of award shows this past year. Have you ever been star struck?

I’m always star struck! I think I’ve always just been able to keep my cool I guess. I feel like I would be beyond embarrassed if I lost my cool in front of someone. Luckily it hasn’t happened yet. [Laughs] But yeah, I’m always like “Oh my God.”

See anyone in particular at the Video Music Awards?

Yes, I was doing interviews on the carpet and I look to my left and Flo Rida was there. And then it’s always the ones that I’m not planning on where I’m like, “Whoa.” I’ll be walking in and out of a room and I’ll be like, “Oh hi.”

It must be such a whirlwind since “Friday” came out last year and still going to school. How have you been able to manage?

Yes, I’m homeschooled. It’s been really hard just because I’ve made the big switch between public school and now being homeschooled. It’s had its own challenges. It’s different from the sitting in a class all day. Online, that’s what my school is now. It’s just one click away! [Laughs] It’s been fun. I like it just because I get more time to be able to go out to L.A. and be in the studio or go and do some press. I really like that about it.

It’s great you’re able to manage it all! What are three other passions besides singing you have?

I really enjoy photography. Love photography. It’s something I’d really like to explore as I grow up and I also really love psychology, which I kind of really got into this year and I really think it’s super interesting. I’m also a super huge fan of New Girl! It’s like my favorite show ever!

One of my favorites! It’s so funny.

It is so good! I love Zooey Deschanel and that is someone I definitely got star struck by when I met.

Where did you meet?

I met her on a plane. It was like a super early flight I think to New York and then all of a sudden I was just sitting there and my manager just goes, “Rebecca. Rebecca! Oh my God!”

What would be your second career choice?

I would probably say photography. Its something I love and I definitely think I’ll end up doing something photography wise.

“Sing It” is here for summer but any other projects up ahead?

I know I’ll be getting back into the studio working on an album. It’s all kinds of different things. We really have a huge variety of songs. We’ve got some ballad slow songs and we also have very fun ones to dance to.

Lastly, on to a Twitter fan question! What’s your favorite day besides Friday?

I love Saturday’s just because it’s the day after you get out of school and you still have one more day! [Laughs] It can be a lazy day. Just being completely lazy and doing nothing and just relax.


Happy Birthday Gabriel Mann! The ‘Revenge’ Actor Dishes On What Distinguishes Him From Nolan

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If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty obsessed with Gabriel Mann. Not in the way Charlotte is to prescription drugs or Emily is to taking down the matriarch Victoria. The infatuation is more about his personality and how he’s made it possible to be just as likeable as his character Nolan Ross on Revenge. He’s offbeat, just wants to be loved (Ahem, Jack), has the best one-liners and yet Gabriel is an even match for the CEO of Nolcorp. Sure, he admits to me that he’s not necessarily like Nolan and his sneaky ways, but just like his phone plans to Emily, his phone conversations off screen are quite memorable too.

So, why are we bringing this all up today even though the game changer “Grief” premieres two days away? Because it’s Gabe’s birthday! The actor celebrates turning 40 just days after his co-star Emily VanCamp turned 26. I spoke to Gabe a while back and he filled me in on his three passions besides acting.

“Besides Revenge? Oh my God, well I’m just a vessel filled with Revenge!” he quipped. “I got nothing left to give. Three passions, let’s see. Music, cooking shows and now I was just thinking the other day how I’ve gone through so many strange phases in terms of things that’s you know, caught my fancy along the way. I was remembering like, ‘What happened to the 20 Swatches you used to have? Where those go man?’ You talk to me like 15 years ago and I would have been like, ‘Ah, man! Swatch watch.’ He may have left those in a draw somewhere but oddly enough, the watches seem right up Nolan’s alley. “Right?” he added. “That would be genius. It’s time to bring back the vintage archival Swatch watches and I think he would wear two or three at once.”

Gabe grew up in Middlebury, Vermont and based on his interests, his former days as a fashion model seem to have rubbed off quite a bit. Art is one of his many interests once he tucks away his whale camera for the night and walks off set. “I’m a big painting and painter enthusiast. Art appreciator. I love traveling to different cities and going to see their museums and artwork, the modern stuff like Warhol Basquiat and the classics like Rembrandt.”

Swoon. Am I right? He didn’t think so though! “I’m like, ‘Music, art, cooking shows and swatch watches.’ Wow, like really dude?” he laughed at himself. “I wish I were half eccentric and interesting as Nolan is but I’m a little more straight forward. Well, actually, thank God! Could you imagine my friends and family? What they would have to deal with if I was really like that?”

True, but at least he would still be fun company. In any case, compared to stirring up trouble in the Hampton’s (or trying to keep Emily out of major trouble), Gabe admits to opting out of situations like that in his real life. Which just makes us like him even more.

“I don’t have the time or energy to be running around doing half the shit that Nolan does, nor do I have any personal vendettas that I kind of want to ruin peoples lives like that. You know in my experience over time, maybe Nolan would smarten up and say this to Emily at some point. ‘Look, karma takes care of everything, everybody gets what’s coming to them whether you bring it or life brings it.’ You know its kind of just always the way. In my life it takes care of itself. It’s not overnight. Sometimes it’s not as soon as we like but hang in there.” Nolan could potentially get that chance to tell Emily that too, being that she’s one step away from leaving some major blood behind.

Gabe’s views on life just prove how easy it is to like him. After all, co-star Ashley Madekwe did tell us that he’s the big sweetheart on set. He comes in each morning with a big kiss and hug for everyone.

Don’t be mistaken though. He may not be diving into the red pens like his character but heck—that doesn’t mean playing the role isn’t fun! This is the guy who pops his collars we’re talking about here. “Sometimes the best revenge is smile and do nothing. But in the meantime, if you’re going to give me freedom to do all of this on the show—bring it on!”

Love! But seriously Nolan. Don’t get hurt! We’ve seen the cutup face photos and we’re so not happy about it.

Happy Birthday Gabe! What’s better than catching up on the ABC series every week? Knowing that the memorable personality you play in the Hamptons effortlessly transcends to off screen too.


‘Revenge’ Interview: Ashley Madekwe Teases New Romance And Victoria Bond, Opens Up About Co-Stars

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So much has happened since the Revenge beach shooting. Daniel is close to escaping prosecution, Nolan’s been one step ahead while Jack tries to find Amanda, Victoria’s affair has surfaced and Charlotte and Declan are over. What’s been two of the biggest shockers overall though? Emily recently finding out that the Grayson’s actually murdered her father David Clarke and that Ashley is on her way out the door.

Don’t worry though, not like that. Based on the newest clip for tonight’s “Absolution” Ashley gives Victoria her two weeks notice. Why condone to what those in the Grayson Manor have to say anymore when she can move up in the Hamptons world?

But something just doesn’t feel right. How will this change the dynamic between Ashley and the other characters? Will she step away from the friendship she’s built with Emily? The winter chill is brewing and we’re hoping that Ashley is just in the middle of it! Think about it. The mysterious beauty was the one to secretly reveal the bloody Daniel shots. She’s the one that has taken control of the Grayson affairs in front of the press. She’s the one we still don’t know much about. Where’s her family? Does she have a hand in all of this? A plan of her own?

Getting to speak with Ashley Madekwe for the second time was an absolute pleasure. This time around she teased her character’s storyline with Victoria, what’s the biggest inside joke she shares with co-star and friend Emily VanCamp and even gushes about the rest of the cast.

The beach shooting was clearly just the beginning. Last we spoke you were hoping for a darker side and looks like you may be getting it! What are you hoping for now?

ASHLEY MADEKWE: I really enjoyed it and happy with it and really hope that we follow up with the scenes that we got to play. Like kind of going over the line with Conrad. And I’m also still really gunning for some backstory with her. Just something. It’s not real until we have it on the show.

What are your thoughts on Ashley’s relationship with Victoria?

I’m not really quite sure about it and I think there’s definitely [something] between the two of them for whatever reason. I think it may have to do with Victoria’s backstory and that she didn’t always come to money and she’s worked to the top while being a professional mother. I think that maybe Ashley admires that. I guess you can say. I don’t think that ambition is an unattractive quality to Victoria and I think Victoria and her have that in common. Whenever we are in scenes together we are careful to make sure that Victoria doesn’t talk down to Ashley or one hundred percent rude to her because there have been some cutting lines in the past that she’s fought hard to change.

Of course since the pilot Ashley and Emily’s dynamic has changed a bit. Are you hoping Ashley finds out more about Emily’s plans?

Nothing would make me happier than that! I mean I love working with Emily and the scenes working together are just some of my favorite times at work. [Laughs] I was so used to it for a while.

It would be great to see Ashley learn more. Every character seems to have their own motives. There’s no telling on what’s to come in season two!

Well…because there’s so many characters and because the time of events is so broad—I really think it could go on forever. We can say that Emily’s revenge is this season and we could continue to think that she’s the revenge mastermind until we find out that somebody else is puppeteering. I mean nobody wants a show to go on forever because they get boring but I definitely think there’s more than enough material for season two.

Exactly! Anything can happen. For instance, Jack definitely has shown a different side. Could we expect other characters to get fleshed out a bit?

Everyone has those preservations instincts in life and I kind of agree to give it, I know I’ve been showing that side to people. I don’t think that Jack changed. I think he just reacted to the situation he was in. I think if you put any of these characters in a stressful situation, they’re going to go off.

Could we be expecting a new romance soon?

I don’t have one. All season I’ve been blunted. With Tyler and at the birthday party there was a moment between Nolan and Ashley, which Gabe [Mann] and I really enjoy playing and we just kind of hope for more of that! Yeah we hope for it, but it just never turns out with so many unlikely alliances in this show. I really would love a juicy love story in this show and drama.

Winter is definitely making a scene in the Hamptons. Will there be new locations or a different mood that will come with the new season chill?

Well, I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I don’t think we’ll being going anywhere anytime soon. I think it was like episode 13 where there was a hurricane or a storm brewing and they really played off on that and it was windy and gray. I thought that looked really good and I hope we do more things like that.

Revenge is dramatic but what’s it like when the camera is off? Is there any inside jokes on set?

Well Emily and I, my character always has an iPad and it works so I use it to play Apps between takes and Emily gets really upset and says when I have the iPad I don’t pay enough attention to her. There have been a couple episodes where I don’t have it and we have this joke where Emily had some words about taking my iPad out of the show so I would pay more attention to her. We joke about that all the time. And if I get the iPad out, she kind of looks at me disapprovingly like I’m a selfish girl.

That’s hilarious. All of you are obviously so close. How would you describe each actor?

Emily, I’ll say is—this is a quote from her. She’ll say, “I’ll take care of business.” That’s what she says. If we need to organize a trip somewhere, like we went to Las Vegas for my birthday and it’s really hard organizing such a big group of people. I found it really hard to organize it. She came in one day and she was like, “You know what, I’ll take care of it.” And she did. Literally by the end of the day, everyone had booked his or her hotel room.

Gabe is a lover. He comes in every morning, no matter how early, and has a hug and a kiss for everybody.

And Christa’s [Allen] like a little girly girl and we really love talking about clothes and fashion.

What about some of the other guys like Nick [Wechsler] and Connor [Paolo]?

I see them outside of work. We never have any scenes together. All the other ones get to interact.

That really needs to happen. Ashley and the Porter boys in more scenes together would be great.

I know, right?

The cast is extremely sweet and the writing is just amazing. It must feel like a dream come true to be a part of it.

I mean, I’m so psyched to be a part of it. It’s a dream job to me. To be here shooting a show in L.A. with people that I love. It’s such a gift. There are TV shows that you work on and even though you’re working on and it’s a professional relationship, you become friends with them and it’s amazing and we’re all hanging out.

I know where I want Ashley to go but it’s not up to me and I know we’re going to flesh out the storyline of Victoria and Emily. I know that’s the main storyline and we’re going to flesh that out. And maybe we’ll hear anything more about us for season two.