Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Johnny Bagel's Top 5 Goriest TV Moments

Halloween is pretty cool. It's the one holiday that stays consistently awesome through out your life. While Christmas is the shit when you're a tyke it eventually becomes nothing more than an expensive headache with the occasional awkward "holiday" party. Thanksgiving is a time of awkward family time and heartburn and don't even get me started on Valentine's day. Halloween, though, that just goes from o.k. to awesome with age. When you're a kid it's all candy corn and dressing like Raphael. During your rebellious teen years, it's eggs, shaving cream and mayhem (and maybe some candy still). And by the time you're old enough to drink it's nothing but drunken debauchery, girls dressed like sluts and even more candy. But the thing that sets Halloween apart from those other increasingly lame holidays is the scary stuff that comes with it, like Snoot and Bagel's favorite thing in the world: Gore! Yes, there's plenty more gory shows out there that I've never seen like The Walking Dead and Dexter, but whatever, these are my favorite. Happy Halloween everyone (and hopefully you're not eating lunch during this).

5) Chris Beats Michael's Step Dad to an Unrecognizable Pulp on The Wire

The Wire and Breaking Bad seem to be linked by most people as the two best shows of all time (closely followed by the Sopranos) but they had little in common besides intelligent shows that deal with the illegal drug trade and occasional hard to watch violence. Season 4 was chock full of shootings and execution style killings but this murder stands out from the rest due to it's brutality. Dispatched by Marlo to knock off new recruit Michael's mother's baby daddy (?), Chris flies off the handle at what we can assume is a shared memory of child molestation. He beats the guy until he looks like a wet paper towel.

4) Michael Tortures his Girlfriend's Baby's daddy on Brotherhood

Brotherhood was seen by almost nobody in the 3 seasons it aired from 2006-2008 (so few people that I couldn't even find video for this scene), which is too bad since it was a pretty good show that featured some strong acting, interesting plot lines and lots of ridiculously violent acts on the mean streets of ToughIrishmantown, New England (or Providence, Rhode Island). Loosely based on the real life story of Whitey Bulger (of Departed fame), the show revolved around Michael Caffey (seen above in his usual pose) and his brother being on opposite ends of the societal spectrum, one a rapidly rising congressman and the other a brutal criminal. Of course, being a post modern crime show on cable, we were supposed to see that THEY WEREN"T ALL THAT DIFFERENT (gasp). Anyway, the show ended with one of the more brutal character developments in TV history. While Walter White is being seen as the first truly evil character to be a protagonist, Michael broke some new ground in the series finale. While Tony Soprano may have done some truly despicable things, it was always grounded in some type of reasoning (usually faulty reasoning but reasoning nonetheless). Either it was to protect his family or the code that he adhered to as a member of La Cosa Nostra. Meanwhile, Michael Caffey just goes straight off the deep end, torturing his girlfriend's ex for much of the final episode of the series. This being a 2007 cable series, Michael was an allegory for the Bush Administration but it's still intensely painful to watch. Take my word for it.

3) Breaking Bad- Gus get's half his face blown off

PTU's favorite show went away for the Winter a couple weeks ago, but not before leaving us with one of the gorier moments in television history. Crystal Meth Kingpin and Fried Chicken entrepreneur had spent most of the 4th season being an emotionless terminator type so it was fitting that he would go out the way he did. Half of his face melted clean off, the ever fastidious Gus fixes his tie before slumping to the ground, a disgusting mess of a cyborg/man.

2) Boardwalk Empire-Eli Kills a guy and The Old Guy gets Scalped

In it's one and a half seasons on the air, Boardwalk Empire has already won numerous awards, critical praise and a devoted audience in the heralded HBO Sunday Night spot. It's also had it's fair share of blood letting. Boasting a number of Sopranos' alums in the cast and behind the scenes, it's no surprise that each episode serves up a tasty helping of splatter along with the requisite angst and psychological explorations of characters. While most of the violence had heretofore been confined to the usual gangster stuff, shootings, beatings, stabbings, etc. last week's episode ratcheted up the gore with one vicious beating and one scalping (a first for television I think). First, Nucky's brother Eli, in a drunken moment beats a main character to death with a wrench in a scene that makes the head stomping in Drive seem tame. And secondly, Jimmy and scary, misunderstood Richard get some vengeance on an old guy who patronizingly (and stupidly) underestimated Jimmy's gangster. Not a smart idea as he would soon learn (by having his brains exposed).

1) Phil Leotardo gets his head crushed

The finale of the Sopranos is of course best known for the sudden and controversial cut to black, but few remember the other shocking scene that took place just a few minutes earlier. The entire season (last 3 seasons really) had been building up to the showdown between Tony's crew and thick eye-browed villain Phil Leotardo, who had been systematically taking out the entire Soprano crew. Tony was a jerk, but Phil was a real, truly heartless dick who killed indiscriminately and without remorse. We all knew he would get his just desserts just like we all thought we'd see Tony get his (or not). Unlike the kick in the balls that was the final scene, we got revenge on Phil in about as graphic a way as possible, all the way down to the sickening crunch as we look at his oblivious grandbabies. Sick stuff. Maybe it's just as well we didn't see Tony get what he deserved.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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