Happy Hour

Must Drink TV: Primetime’s Biggest Drunks

This week, Boardwalk Empire rationed out the whiskey, Celebrity Rehab premiered, and Atlanta’s Housewives went swimming in wine. Kara Cutruzzula is keeping tabs on the boozehounds.

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GOSSIP GIRL

Episode 10: "Gaslit"

Total Drinks: One onscreen

Biggest Lush: Serena van der Woodsen wins by default (hangovers count)

Signature Drinks: No drinks allowed in rehab

Best Bon Mot:
Blair, who's stone-cold sober, writes to Chuck: "Just because we can't be friends doesn't mean we aren't."

Drunkest Moment: Serena wakes up with pills strewn about and a bottle of vodka in—horror of horrors!—a motel room in Queens.

'Twas a dry Thanksgiving in Gossip Girl land. Dear former druggie Serena woke up in a stupor, bottle of vodka at her bedside, in an outer borough. For that offense, she was committed to the Ostroff Center against her will. Her mother, Lily, drank a bit to cope with S's "relapse." (You see, casual viewers, Serena's overdose was plotted by Juliet—no, you don't need to know who that is—and that Goth sourpuss Jenny Humphrey.) Because most of the action took place in rehab, there was nary another drop of strong stuff. Blair sent a pumpkin pie peace offering to her estranged beloved Chuck, but those two are addicts of a different sort.

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KATHIE LEE & HODA

Episode: Winesday, December 1

Total Drinks: 4

Biggest Lush: Their sips are getting smaller by the week

Signature Drinks: 2009 ONEHOPE California Merlot

Best Bon Mot:
Hoda singing the classic "Tootsee Roll" by 69 Boyz: "To the left, to the left, to the right, to the right/ To the front, to the front, to the back, to back"

Drunkest Moment: Kathie Lee's joke about the (fictional) creator of the Hokey-Pokey was a low point.

What a big Winesday! It was also World AIDS Day, the start of December, and the beginning of Hanukkah. The Today hosts could hardly contain themselves. After Hoda serenaded the studio with "Tootsee Roll" lip-synching and dancing, they took a taste of a merlot (Hoda's favorite) by ONEHOPE, an organization whose profits go to charities that support the fight against AIDS. They also had white wine after eating soup—Fall Vegetable with Maple Mascarpone and Wild Mushrooms, White Bean and Greens—with the owner of Souper Jenny's restaurant. But a troubling trend is taking hold: the ladies don't seem to be enjoying their booze as much as usual. It's chilly in New York, maybe a switch to Hot Toddy Tuesdays is in order?

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BOARDWALK EMPIRE

Episode 11: "Paris Green"

Total Drinks: 6

Biggest Lush: Nucky "Never Met a Decanter He Didn't Love" Thompson

Signature Drinks: Whiskey, always

Best Bon Mot:
Annabelle to Harry: "You're totally broke? You fat, worthless fool!"

Drunkest Moment: Nucky, Margaret, Annabelle, and Harry celebrate while watching Hardeen, the lesser-known Houdini and brother of Harry.

During this season's penultimate episode the storylines revved up as the drinking wound down. Nucky half-heartedly watched Hardeen Houdini perform a few pitiable magic tricks; they probably looked more impressive after a few fingers of whiskey. He also reamed out Mayoral candidate Ed Bader and his team for joking around when there's Important Work to be done. The most depressing drink was Jimmy's at his dying father's bedside. He washed down an arsenic-laced biscuit with a shot of whiskey—some kind of twisted adult version of milk and cookies. His father said "You're still a little bastard." Replies Jimmy: "I'm what time and circumstance have made me."

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THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA

Episode 9: "NeNe Get Your Gun"

Total Drinks: 16

Biggest Lush: Kim "Love Doesn't Have a Gender" Zolciak

Signature Drinks: Red, white, and sometimes even blue wine

Best Bon Mot:
Cynthia: "Mr. Luscious was wearing nothing more than a sock. On his penis. And then he started to take it off."

Drunkest Moment: When the stripper's sock went missing.

Thankfully, the Housewives never disappoint. On Kandi's webcam talk show "Kandi-Coated Nights" the ladies appeared plenty drunk when a leopard pant-clad stripper gyrated them through the closing credits. Kim almost always drinks red—the only time she abstained this week was while helping her 13-year-old daughter pick out an abstinence ring. While taste-tasting Appleton soy marinated tenderloin and mango cake for their wedding, Cynthia and Peter drank Champagne and white wine. And no doubt Phaedra, still recovering from childbirth, will jump back on the wine bottle soon. Her kindest comment for her new baby boy? "And now I'm sorta chained to this baby…"

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THE A-LIST: NEW YORK

Episode 9: "To the Sky"

Total Drinks: 20

Biggest Lush: Friends turned enemies turned frenemies Derek and Austin

Signature Drinks: Heineken and Amstel Light

Best Bon Mot:
Reichen, regarding troublemaker Austin: "Oh, I wish I could stop him from drinking right now because it's just going to get worse."

Drunkest Moment: Austin's cryfest about interfering with resident couple Reichen and Rodiney's crumbling relationship.

The A-List's only contribution to humanity is its very important inclusion in Must Drink TV. For that, we thank you. Now please pack up your mascara and go. The first season (series?) finale about gay "Housewives" in New York wrapped up as follows: Go to Maine. Drink Heineken. Shuck corn. Austin disrobes. Reichen stares into space. His boyfriend Rodiney blinks. They get on jetskis. "I was a catty bitch." More beer. Gym. Wine. Reichen sings. Drink. "Why are you being such a bitchy queen?" Drink. "I love you." Fade out forever.

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CELEBRITY REHAB WITH DR. DREW

Episode 1: Premiere

Total Drinks: Zero

Biggest Lush: Um…

Signature Drinks: They're not choosy

Best Bon Mot:
Rachel Uchitel: "If we're going around in a circle and I say 'I'm addicted to love,' I feel like an asshole."

Drunkest Moment: Leif Garrett did drugs on the limo ride to rehab. Points for him!

Hm. On their quests to get clean, the fallen stars—Janice Dickinson, Laguna Beach's Jason Wahler, oil heir Jason "Gummi Bear" Davis, and Eric Roberts among them—are ditching alcohol, pot, heroin, and dozens of pill bottles. Preternaturally composed Dr. Drew will help them navigate lives of sobriety. There were memorable flashbacks of mug shots and gin-soaked nights— Janice berates the paparazzi at one point—but no one slipped up or snuck in booze…yet. It's early. Meanwhile, viewers have plenty of time to ponder the merits of Rachel's "love addiction" and count down until the first Tiger reference. Tick tock.