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13 Most WTF TV Moments Of 2018 (So Far)

2018 has given TV viewers a ton of uproarious, hilarious and wildly entertaining moments, but it has also served up scenes so strange, so insanely unexpected and so unpleasant that they’ve left everyone in stunned amazement at what they just saw.

These 13 moments from the first half of 2018 represent TV at its most peculiar, brutal, unexpectedly hilarious and downright shocking, where you probably mouthed, “What the f***!?” out loud and promptly re-watched the madness that just unfolded before your eyes.

Whether embarrassingly off-kilter moments in formerly fantastic TV shows or boundary-pushing scenes in brilliantly provocative new programs, these are the moments that, for better or for worse, have true staying power.

Though the year’s only barely half-way done, don’t be surprised if many of these 13 moments still rank highly when 2018 is all said and done.

But before we get started, of course, here’s a SPOILER WARNING, because we’re about to dive deep into some of the year’s biggest and best TV shows to date…

13. Donald Glover Wears Whiteface – Atlanta (Teddy Perkins)

FX

Never one to rest on his laurels, Donald Glover delivered one of the most provocative TV episodes in years with Atlanta’s “Teddy Perkins”, a deeply unsettling 41-minute masterpiece in which Glover plays the part of the titular eccentric man, in whiteface no less.

That’s right. The above picture? That guy’s played by Donald Glover underneath colossal amounts of makeup.

Favourably compared by many critics to Get Out, the episode takes on a more disconcerting tenor than is typical for the show, with Darius’ (Lakeith Stanfield) attempt to acquire a free piano from Perkins causing him to very nearly end up murdered by the man.

Glover’s performance here is sublimely creepy yet never quite devolves into caricature or cliche, with astonishing makeup allowing Glover to make a potent social commentary on race, performance and identity.

Delicately balancing its tone between horror and charcoal-black humour, this is unquestionably both Atlanta and Glover at their incisive best.

12. The Naked Clone Swordfight – Altered Carbon (Clash By Night)

Netflix

After Takeshi Kovacs’ (Joel Kinnaman) sister Reileen (Dichen Lachman) is revealed to be the series’ main antagonist, Kristin Ortega (Martha Higareda) ends up trapped in a secret lab where Rei keeps clones of herself for “resleeving” should the need arise.

Soon enough, Ortega is forced to fight a fleet of Rei clones – all of them naked, having just been birthed from their pods – and after shooting around a dozen of them dead, she faces off against a final, sword-totting version.

After a brief yet brutal battle, Ortega manages to use her cybernetic arm to take the Boss Rei out. In many ways this sequence typifies the essence of Altered Carbon: it’s beautifully filmed, ultra-violent and jam-packed with nudity.

It’s certainly one of the most imaginative and memorable TV action sequences this year either way.

11. All The Oreo Product Placement – Lost In Space (Diamonds In The Sky)

Netflix

The first season of the new Lost in Space reboot was, honestly, a bit of a mixed bag, and perhaps nothing was more immediately cringe-worthy than the abundance of Oreo product placement.

Oreo is featured prominently in the show’s second episode, with characters stopping just short of turning to the camera and talking to the audience directly as they extol the yumminess of the chocolate treats.

In these sequences, the Oreo packaging is typically tilted towards the frame in a way that’s hilariously unnatural blocking-wise, and no effort has been made to even make the packaging look remotely futuristic. It looks like an intern just rushed to the store at lunch and grabbed a pack off the shelf.

This was the price to pay for those undeniably gorgeous production values, apparently.

10. The Rum Punch Massacre – Luke Cage (The Main Ingredient)

Netflix

Luke Cage’s second season featured a number of shockingly violent moments – Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) stabbing a guy’s face off in the very first episode nearly made the cut here – though the infamous Rum Punch Massacre from the season’s tenth episode is the most intensely disturbing.

Mariah Dillard (a brilliant Alfre Woodard) heads to Bushmaster’s family restaurant to send him a not-so-subtle message, shooting dead almost all of Bushmaster’s family members present in the eatery.

Mariah then sets Bushmaster’s uncle Anansi (Sahr Ngaujah) on fire, resulting in a prolonged sequence where he agonisingly burns to death. Callously, an exasperated Mariah eventually shoots him dead.

Mariah’s savagery was well-documented prior to this, but this was the coldest thing we’ve ever seen her do, to the point that even Shades (Theo Rossi) found it excessive and unnecessary.

9. The Insanely Bad Green Screen – Arrested Development

Netflix

Though the first half of Arrested Development’s fifth season was in many ways a return to form after a shaky fourth season, it wasn’t without its issues.

The most egregious of these is a carry-over from season four: making atrocious, ridiculously unconvincing use of green screen for actors who, for whatever reason, couldn’t make it to set.

This most obviously affects Portia de Rossi, who has effectively retired from acting but will continue to appear as Lindsay out of courtesy for the show and its fans. Presumably she didn’t want to make much of an effort to be involved, though, as several of her scenes place her against an outrageously distracting digital backdrop.

It gets so bad that there’s even a subplot where a sheet is thrown over her head, presumably in order to cut down on the number of awful composite shots required. If she can’t be present during principal photography, maybe just write her out?

8. That Brutal Cliffhanger Ending – Barry (Know Your Truth)

HBO

In the season finale of Bill Hader’s fantastic black comedy series, it seems like things are coming together nicely for Barry (Hader). All suspicion has been directed away from his murderous activities, he’s acting once again, and he’s even in a relationship with classmate Sally (Sarah Goldberg).

It all goes to pot, though, when acting teacher Gene (Henry Winkler) invites Barry, Sally and Gene’s lover Detective Moss (Paula Newsome) to his country home.

Here, Moss inadvertently discovers Barry’s true profession and subsequently holds him at gunpoint in the dead of night. After Barry begs her to reconsider and she refuses, he grabs a concealed gun and a number of shots ring out off-screen, though the audience is never shown what happened to Moss.

Barry takes a shower and returns to bed with Sally as the season ends, leaving the audience on an agonising cliffhanger, wondering whether Moss survived and what the hell’s going to happen in the morning.

7. Trish Kills Alisa – Jessica Jones (AKA Playland)

Netflix

Jessica Jones’ second season sure was a wild ride, culminating in Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) shooting Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) mother Alisa (Janet McTeer) dead during their tender reunion at the amusement park Playland.

It’s a hell of a note on which to end the season, serving as an exclamation point for Trish’s increasingly erratic – and, frankly, asinine – behaviour throughout season two, and firmly establishing her as the presumed antagonist next season.

There was little chance of Alisa surviving this batch of 13 episodes intact, though dying at the hands of Trish was legitimately surprising, and should create an intriguing dynamic for season three as Jessica probably battles Walker’s alter-ego Hellcat.

6. Tommy Wiseau Takes The Stage – 75th Golden Globe Awards

NBC

Fans of The Room’s Tommy Wiseau have sarcastically joked for years that one day he’ll end up on the Oscar podium, and while the Golden Globes sure ain’t the Oscars, we’ll take it regardless.

When James Franco won the Best Actor – Comedy or Musical award for his magnificent performance as Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, Franco invited Wiseau to join him on-stage, in one of the most wonderfully surreal awards show moments in years.

Wiseau immediately tried to take command of the microphone, of course, but Franco playfully stopped him and continued with his own speech.

Sure, it would’ve been nice to hear Wiseau address Hollywood on-stage, but it was still delightfully bizarre to witness the “modern day Ed Wood” paraded in front of the Hollywood elite.

5. Florian’s Death – GLOW (Rosalie)

Netflix

In the ninth episode of GLOW’s superb second season, Debbie (Betty Gilpin) and Bash (Chris Lowell) attend a cable TV convention in the hope of selling the show.

Though they succeed, the episode ends with Bash receiving a phone call that his butler/pal Florian (Alex Rich) has died unexpectedly from “technically pneumonia”. This vague cause of death, combined with the doctor telling him he might struggle to find a funeral home willing to accept the body, is not-so-subtle code that Florian has died from AIDS.

Even though Florian was an incredibly minor character, his death was nevertheless a shocking moment which seemed to reveal plenty about Bash himself. For starters, he has his house professionally cleaned afterwards, presumably as part of the “gay panic” that characterised the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, to irrationally ensure he couldn’t contract the condition himself.

Bash’s devastated response and kneejerk reaction to marry Rhonda (Kate Nash) also seems to suggest that Bash himself might be gay and was perhaps even Florian’s lover, though it remains to be seen whether or not this will actually be confirmed next season.

4. Allison Williams’ Surprise Cameo – A Series Of Unfortunate Events (Carnivorous Carnival: Part 2)

Netflix

A Series of Unfortunate Events’ second season ends on a literal cliffhanger, with Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) sending Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes) hurtling towards the edge of a mountain while escaping with their baby sister, Sunny (Presley Smith).

However, in the finale’s closing moments, we’re also introduced to a new female character, who is shockingly enough played by Girls and Get Out star Allison Williams. But who is she?

As we close in on Williams’ face, narrator Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) implies that she’s a previous Madame Lulu and that he “knows her very well”, causing many fans to suspect that Williams will be playing Lemony and Jacques Snicket’s (Nathan Fillon) sister Kit Snicket next season.

Kit is a major fixture in A Series of Unfortunate Events’ final three books, so seemingly casting the talented Williams in the role totally out of nowhere was a neat surprise to close season two out.

3. Michael C. Hall’s Hilariously Bad British Accent – Safe

Netflix

Though crime thriller series Safe received broadly positive reviews from most critics, there is one aspect of the show that received criticism from, well, just about everybody.

Michael C. Hall is a terrific actor, no question, but his English accent is hilariously transparent and affected, to the point that it’s tough to actually pay attention to what he’s saying because he sounds so damn ridiculous.

Granted, the show’s shamelessly soapy so it can have an easier time with such silliness, but even so, you’ll probably want to watch Safe with subtitles on to ensure you actually catch every absurdly-accented word that emerges from Hall’s mouth over the course of the eight episodes.

2. Broom Rape – 13 Reasons Why (Bye)

Netflix

13 Reasons Why’s second season was a rough departure from the first to say the least, and it arguably saved the worst for last with the wildly controversial climactic sequence in which poor Tyler (Devin Druid) is sodomised with a broom handle by Montgomery (Timothy Granaderos) and his pals.

This was unfortunately perfect ammunition for everyone who’s ever criticised this show for being needlessly melodramatic, gratuitous and tackling important subjects with insufficient finesse or nuance.

It of course leads to Tyler showing up to school with a gun, and though the show doesn’t go the full trashy hog of having Tyler go through with it, the whole subplot feels needlessly icky and hilariously forced.

1. June Stays In Gilead – The Handmaid’s Tale (The Word)

Hulu

Picking just one shocking moment from The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season sure isn’t easy – the opening hanging fake-out or sweet Eden’s (Sydney Sweeney) drowning death could’ve easily made the cut – but the climactic decision to have June (Elizabeth Moss) stay in Gilead ultimately takes the cake.

After being granted passage out of Gilead and escaping to a waiting truck, June hands her newborn daughter Holly to Emily (Alexis Bledel) and decides to stay in order to find her eldest daughter, Hannah (Jordana Blake).

A frustrating and confounding last-minute rug-pull, fans were intensely divided on whether June’s choice was an eye-rollingly contrived attempt to prolong the drama or a welcome surprise.

The polarising response only cements how much of a WTF moment it was to throw June back into the belly of the beast just when she seemed to be home free. Needless to say, season three’s going to need a major justification for the decision, and simply placing her back with the Waterfords clearly won’t suffice.

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