The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards are almost here, TV fans, which means we're about to find out once and for all whether Game of Thrones' most divisive season will earn another crown for Best Drama Series or not — judging by the double-digit wins the series notched at the Creative Arts Emmys, it's a safe bet. Meanwhile, there are a ton of network shows making their series debuts next week, so count on the small screen scene to get even busier as the fall slate begins. Until then, though, here's another round of recognition for the show moments that most got our attention this week.
Best firsts: There were a lot of cool mini-moments of progress on the small screen this week. Dorian Hunter became the first black woman to win MasterChef. America's Got Talent's new champ is a Kodi Lee, a man who is blind and has autism. And Bachelor Nation just featured its first same-sex couple engagement; Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty from Bachelor in Paradise are tying the knot. They're nice wins for inclusion, even if they're only in reality competition series. On the other hand...
Most embarrassing self own: The decision to cast Sean Spicer on Dancing With the Stars was a controversial one, to say the least, but if the embattled former White House Press Secretary hoped to somehow subdue his lightning rod status and blend in with the rest of the cast, his appearance in the season premiere proved that end is impossible. Not only was he clad in a neon yellow-green disaster of a shirt, but his terrible dance moves made him an instant joke on the internet. Period.
"The tweet speaks for itself"pic.twitter.com/ZsFCcaGdqe— Matt Viser (@mviser) September 17, 2019
The gratuitous abs display: American Horror Story is back, baby! 1984 is already making good on the '80s slasher theme, what with ridiculously bone-headed character decisions, two stab-happy villains, and more spandex than we truly deserve. Perhaps the defining moment of the premiere occurred when a pair of dudes (Gus Kenworthy and DeRon Horton) randomly decided to have a showdown over whose abs were the most muscular because, yeah, who doesn't need a front seat to a testosterone-riddled bro-down after someone's almost been murdered by The Night Stalker?
Craziest fake win: The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 gave new meaning to the phrase "shove it" this week. Team USA's Laurel thought she'd pulled off the impossible by beating Natalie, who's literally called "Ninja" for being such a boss on American Ninja Warrior, at a climbing competition. Her smack talk was instant, and she even celebrated with a very GIFable "suck it" move. But then Natalie made the keen observation that Laurel hadn't actually placed her pole in the right hole and proceeded to finish the game the right way, sending Laurel packing at last.
Most uncomfortable family reunion: The strained relationship between Candiace and her mother, Dorothy, was a driving story in the most recent season of Real Housewives of Potomac, and it seems as though the duo won't be reconciling their differences any time soon. After the finale revealed Candiace and Dorothy were no longer speaking, the pair reunited during Part 1 of the Potomac reunion, and Dorothy showed up WITH THE PURSE she used to hit Candiace in the face during a previous argument. When Dorothy tried to demonstrate that it was Candiace's face that actually hit her purse, using host Andy Cohen as a stand-in for her daughter, we officially entered surreal territory, folks.
Most vicious memes: Netflix's The I-Land is terrible, and we tried to warn people not to watch it. But we're kind of glad they did because the memes that have come out of it have been so much better than the show itself. In most cases, all Twitter had to do was screengrab moments with closed captions on, and, bam, the jokes wrote themselves.
everybody SHH this woman on The I-Land is trying to figure out a VERY HARD CODE pic.twitter.com/kWZOX9eLR2— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) September 14, 2019
First 10 minutes of the I-land and these two geniuses are trying to start a fire with a lense in the shade. pic.twitter.com/30V9DFkfjU— Michael H. "Ghoulman" (@MG_live_on_tape) September 15, 2019
There's a lot of absolute bonkers, MST3K-movie-level stuff that goes down on The I-Land, but the reveal that we're ALL pronouncing the title wrong absolutely broke me. pic.twitter.com/CH3ehwc5FC— Brett White (@brettwhite) September 13, 2019