I've said before that I'm a bit of a sap, and it's never more evident than when I break into tears while watching TV. There are a bunch of moments that always make me lose it — no matter how predictable or silly they are, no matter how many times I've seen them — and so, just in case you're feeling mopey today, I'm counting down a few of the scenes most consistently guaranteed to leave me drowning in a pile of soggy tissues.
No. 5: The final moments of "A Wedding Story"
There was a period in my life when I worked nights and had days free, and so my morning routine went a little like this: Wake up late, make lunch, turn on TLC, cry. The whole "A [Something] Story" block of programming could make me weepy — yes, even "A Makeover Story," in my weaker moments — but "A Wedding Story" was by far the worst. No matter what squabbles the couples had on their way to the ceremony, no matter how many disasters with the caterers or the parents, the couples always made it down the aisle just fine, looking beautiful and ready to say "I do."
No. 4: The crowning of the "American Idol"
It's one of the most predictable events in television, at this point. Most of the time, it's not even surprising to learn which of the final two "Idol" contestants is going home with the crown, and we've already heard the cheesy coronation song at least twice. But there's still something about an overwhelmed teen or 20-something getting showered with confetti and balloons, singing in front of an audience of millions and somehow holding it together despite the overwhelming emotions, that gives me chills — regardless of whether I even like the winner.
Three more, including my No. 1 scene guaranteed to bring the tears, so
No. 3: The big reveal on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
My gym used to show ABC's programming block on Sunday nights, and I'd go early to make sure I snagged a treadmill in time for "Desperate Housewives." But I had to stop, because getting there early meant catching the part of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" where the family in need gets their first view of their new house. I don't even like the show, but as soon as the kids of the family began screaming at the sight of their new racecar- or dolphin-themed bedrooms, I became mayor of Waterworks City — while simultaneously stumbling through a jog.
No. 2: The end of the "Grey's Anatomy" pilot
I was hooked on "Grey's" the moment the very first episode revealed that Meredith's narration had actually been a speech to her mother, who is so ravaged by Alzheimer's Disease that she no longer knows who Meredith is. There's this one perfect shot when Ellis looks up at Meredith blankly and asks "Are you a doctor?" that just makes me feel like I've been socked in the stomach — no matter how many times I watch it, even now that I know it's coming.
No. 1: The final moments of "Six Feet Under"
I always say that the ending of "Six Feet Under" is my favorite series finale ever, but to be honest, I didn't really even see it until the day after it aired — simply because I was too busy sobbing the first time through to see much more than a blur of shapes and colors. I don't want to say too much about it so as not to spoil it for anyone who might still be catching up on DVD, but it's the perfect mixture of satisfying moments and heartbreaking revelations. Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I dug up the YouTube video, but I seriously advise against watching it in public.