Happy Hour

Must Drink TV: Primetime’s Biggest Drunks

The Walker clan on Brothers & Sisters poured some deadly eggnog, the Housewives’ Riesling was spoiled, and Santa drank cognac. Kara Cutruzzula is keeping tabs on the boozehounds.

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KATHIE LEE & HODA

Episode: Winesday, December 15
Total Drinks: 2
Biggest Lush: The person who told Kathie Lee and Hoda that kids on Facebook say “HMU” (hit me up)
Signature Drinks: Riunite Lambrusco
Best Bon Mot: Kathie Lee to Hoda: “We both know how hard marriage is. You and I have both failed at it.”
Drunkest Moment: Kathie Lee giving the Christmas trivia winners her own CD.
Winesday doubled as National Cupcake Day, so the ladies celebrated with martini cupcakes… or cupcakes shoved atop martini glasses to camouflage the actual wine hiding on their desk. The hosts also tried Riunite Lambrusco, the self-proclaimed “all-time best-selling Italian wine.” Kathie Lee said it’s been around since Roman times. They seized on a bottle of the fizzy red after a recent write-up in The Wall Street Journal that claims “ a good Lambrusco gives good foam.” And at less that $20 a bottle, it gives back to your wallet, too. For the record, Kathie Lee and Hoda didn’t seem to enjoy the sparkling wine that much—or perhaps they were just saving room for dessert.

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TWO AND A HALF MEN

Episode 12: “Chocolate Diddlers or My Puppy’s Dead”
Total Drinks: 7
Biggest Lush: Charles remains in charge… of the liquor cabinet
Signature Drinks: Bourbon and Welch’s juice for Charlie’s nephew
Best Bon Mot:
Charlie: “I just have the occasional glass of wine with dinner.”
His therapist: “And how many dinners have you had today?”
Charlie: “Three.”
Drunkest Moment: After spilling his sordid love life to a stranger at a bar, Charlie ends up wasted and crashes his teenage nephew’s party. At least he was a thoughtful guest and brought his own six-pack.
Is this show even scripted anymore? This week, Charlie’s relationship imploded, he watched live girl-on-girl porn, wobbled around drunk, then went to a therapist to figure out why he doesn’t have any friends. Oh, and he crashed a birthday party and unsuccessfully hit on three women in a bar. Alan, who calls his brother “a malignancy on the ass of mankind,” has another frothy drink with a maraschino cherry. And despite his therapist (special guest star Jane Lynch!) telling Charlie he needs to make friends, he ends up at a bar with his brother. They ditch their drinks and go home to watch a Wang Chung episode of Glee. Bonus points to the show for the Johnnie Walker Blue commercials in between scenes on CBS.com.

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HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Episode 12: “False Positive”
Total Drinks: 9
Biggest Lush: Wannabe coin flip bimbo Robin
Signature Drinks: Beer & whiskey
Best Bon Mot:
Barney: “I am Mr. Charity. I frequently sleep with sixes, chubsters, over-thirties. I am the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang.”
Drunkest Moment: In a flashback to January 1, 2010, Robin pukes in a trash can and resolves to never drink again.
Last week, the gang hit their 20 drink minimum. This week was a little more subdued than usual because Marshall and Lily thought they were pregnant (hence the episode name), so the mother-to-be was out of commission. In a multi-sequence flashback, Robin is seen out on multiple New Year’s Eves—and during one she promises to finish a whole bottle of whiskey, making her our winner of the week. And during a jolt of Christmas spirit, Barney decides to give away his favorite things—velour tracksuits, remote-control helicopters, condoms, and a trip to a strip club. Shockingly, his favorite Scotch was not included. (He does say, however, “there’s no greater gift than the gift of booty.”)

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THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA

Episode 11: “Contract Player”
Total Drinks: 12
Biggest Lush: NeNe “I just got a glass of wine, I don’t want drama” Leakes
Signature Drinks: Wine for everyone but straightedge Sheree, who has water
Best Bon Mot:
Phaedra: “If Ms. Kim is a nurse, I guess that’s one of those mail-order degrees you can get for $59. Just because you strip in a nurse outfit doesn’t mean you are a nurse. Kim need to get a hobby, honey, beside hoeing.”
Drunkest Moment: Kim and NeNe mock Cynthia’s “friend contract” proposal over two bottles of Moscato wine (non-sparkling, as requested by Ms. Leakes) at a sushi and tapas place
After last week’s aberration when the Housewives didn’t even come near a bottle, this installment was a step back in the right direction. We had some vino lessons from Peter, who complained about “his” Riesling because Cynthia opened it but didn’t drink it. Phaedra claimed she tasted delicious to her new baby—because she’s a new cow! During a tanning session at Kim’s house, most of the women drank white wine and ate pizza, except for an abstaining Sheree, who made her acting debut at “The Child Support Man” later in the episode. (She mentions Tyler Perry also got his start in local theater.) And finally, Kim and NeNe giggled over a few bottles to make up for last week. Thank god.

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BROTHERS & SISTERS

Episode 9: “Get a Room”
Total Drinks: 18
Biggest Lushes: Like mother, like daughter: Sarah and Kitty Walker
Signature Drinks: A mall Santa drank cognac; everyone else had eggnog, red and white wine, and bourbon
Best Bon Mot: Nora: “It’s true, I’m a junkie. I’m jonesing for my children. I’m a vampire sucking the life out of my children.” (Less a bon mot than an expression of a late-in-life crisis.)
Drunkest Moment: The brothers and sisters band together to kill their mom Nora during a twisted It’s a Wonderful Life parody. They are all expectedly blitzed.
In a signature Christmas episode that saw the family break up—then make up—plenty of alcohol was flowing. When Nora breaks the news that she can’t handle doing Christmas this year, her kids are devastated and have some white wine to compensate for their mom taking off to Santa Fe. Nora and her man friend Carl have celebratory cocktails, but the real drama comes during Nora’s George Bailey nightmare. Her reformed alcoholic son Justin is drunk out of his mind, Kevin’s in the closet, married to a woman, and drinking bourbon neat, and Kitty is overweight and swilling beer. They poison Nora’s eggnog and she wakes up screaming. Fortunately, Christmas is brought back to reality and they all toast while a cover of “River” plays plaintively in the background.