Proof “They” Don’t Always Know: Despite media experts telling anyone who’d listen that SHARKNADO 2 would prove a ratings disappointment, the cheesy sequel brought in 3.9 million viewers to set a record for SyFy Channel flicks.
Hardest To Watch: While the Guilty Remnant have creeped us out from the very beginning of THE LEFTOVERS, the stoning death of Gladys was downright brutal… even for this relentlessly depressing series.
Least Shocking Shocker: Come on… given everything you’ve ever read about Kiefer Sutherland, are you really surprised by allegations that he’s a pain in the butt to work with?
Best Return: Ah, it’s so good having bad girl Kristen DiMera (and portrayer Eileen Davidson) back on DAYS OF OUR LIVES!
Cheekiest Theft: If you were hoping to see more of sexy Detective Hosko on REVENGE next season, you’re outta luck. Portrayer Tyler Jacob Moore — best known as SHAMELESS’ Tony — was grabbed up by ONCE UPON A TIME, where he’ll play Frozen’s Prince Hans.
Best No-Show: To explain his absence at Comic Con, SONS OF ANARCHY star Charlie Hunnam and several of his co-stars recorded a hysterical video during which he got a massage and basically abused those tending to his every need.
Coolest Set-Up: The opening 10 minutes of THE QUEST featured a ridiculously well edited, scripted and illustrated entry into bizarre mash-up of reality-TV and fantasy dramas. Only time will tell if the set-ups will continue to be as intriguing… or it will turn into this summer’s version of last year’s laughably bad WHODUNNIT?
Biggest Overreaction: THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Victoria freaked upon finding out that possible babydaddy Ben did time behind bars for having killed his abusive, alcoholic daddy. Now, in fairness to Victoria, she was probably reacting to the fact that he lied about his past (which included stealing the identity of a dead guy in order to get a fresh start). But in fairness to the hunky doc, his crimes don’t even begin to compare to those of Victoria’s mom, Nikki, who has — as will happen to a long-running soap heroine — offed at least three people! I mean, Nikki’s kind of a serial killer!
Biggest Understatement: During a July luncheon with reporters, CNN exec Jeff Zucker said of the news network’s AMERICA’S MOST WANTED rip-off, THE HUNT, “If somebody is caught, we are going to report it.” What he didn’t say, but we should have expected, was that if somebody was caught, CNN would exploit the hell out of it, as has happened since Monday’s fatal shooting of Charles Mozdir, who’d been profiled on THE HUNT.
What Somebody Finally Said That Really, Really Needed To Be Said: Deadspin.com’s Drew Magary took those who cite SAVED BY THE BELL as a classic to task. “It wasn’t funny,” he wrote, “It wasn’t well acted. It wasn’t well written. It was… designed to keep you in the TV room an extra hour before heading out to softball practice.”
Dude Who Deserves Better: Hunky Mark Valley will join CSI next season, where his alter ego will be paired up (both professionally and, no doubt, personally) with that of Elisabeth Shue. Am I the only one who thinks this guy shoulda been a much bigger star by now? Anyone? Bueller?
Worst Decision: Katie Couric’s failed attempt at a self-titled talk show wrapped with a “Farewell To Katie” episode. Given that nobody even said “Hello” to Katie, wouldn’t it have made more sense to go out with something more popular, like, say, a “Farewell To Ebola” show? Because, I mean, who wouldn’t tune in to wave farwell to Ebola, right?
Most Unlikely Bonding Moment: So thanks to GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Alice — a housekeeper who moonlights as a wrestler named The Dominator — receiving a visit from WWE’s David Otunga, many mothers and their teen sons found themselves actually sharing a common interest for about five minutes.
Deadliest Game: Sure, BIG BROTHER’s Caleb seems like the kinda guy who might slit the throats of a houseguest, but the Israeli version of the show can top even that: Thanks to bombings not far from the house’s location, the contestants are periodically awakened by sirens warning them to seek shelter!
Coolest Discount: Burbank eatery Not A Burger Stand will give customers a discount if you order your meal using the voice of the week’s chosen TV or movie character. A recent sign read, “Order in the voice of Scooby-Doo and get 10% off your bill! (Order in the voice of Scrappy-Doo and we’ll add 10% to your bill.)” We’re holding out for 2 BROKE GIRLS WEEK so we can order ala Max by saying, “Bitch, of course I want fries with that!”
Surprise We Should Have Seen Coming: When MURDER IN THE FIRST’s Erich Blunt, having just been found not guilty, told cops, “You’re right, I did kill that dumb bitch,” we practically shouted, “Well, of course he did! It’s Draco Malfoy, you stupid muggles!
Tastiest Gift: To promote episodes that were shot on location in Paris and Monte Carlo, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL sent the soap press tins of delicious cookies. Yes, I was hoping that mine might contain the Hope For The Future Diamond (or, as we refer to it at Soaps In Depth, The Electric Boogaloo Blue Diamond), but sadly, Wyatt opted to give that to Hope. Anyone else think he is so gonna get lucky in Paris?
Most Honest Moment: “If you didn’t love me,” a heartbroken Nick asked THE BACHELORETTE’s Andi, “why did you make love with me?” The answer she didn’t dare speak: Because it’s all part of the game.
Worst Use Of A Metaphor: The usually sublime MASTERS OF SEX became borderline unwatchable thanks to an episode that used the world’s longest boxing match to illustrate that men are men and women are chumps and, in the end, you can, in fact, beat a dead horse.
Richard M. Simms watches way too much television and, as executive editor of Soaps In Depth, actually gets paid to do so. You can chat with him on Twitter @dispatchesFTC.