What better time than summer for a meltdown?
As we head into the final weeks of the season, we're stopping to marvel at the year's worth of scandalous (and, at times, downright disheartening) news that peppered just the past three months, from the quickfire collapse of Paula Deen's reputation to a Real Housewife feeling the heat of a 39-count federal indictment.
Happily, plenty of lovely stuff happened to temper the wild 'n' crazy news—including, ironically, the secret wedding of the star of Scandal. But those are warm tales for a cold, winter night.
Check out the eight biggest burns of summer 2013 right here:
1. Sins of the Past Come Back to Haunt Paula Deen: The former Food Network star literally got summer-schooled. Though she uttered the fateful truth in May, it wasn't until June that the world found out that Deen had admitted, while being deposed in a lawsuit, that she "of course" had used the N-word in the past. Companies started dropping her like fly balls in the sun and, though she had her stalwart supporters, by the time July rolled around, it was clear that no major brand name wanted to be the one to forgive first. But just as autumn signifies a fresh start for so many school kids, so it may go for the 66-year-old Daytime Emmy winner. A judge dismissed all of the claims, including racial discrimination, in the lawsuit that led to Deen's downfall, and her fellow celeb chefs are encouraging us not to count her out.
2. Cory Monteith's Fatal Overdose: The death of the 31-year-old Glee star due to a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin was simply just terribly sad news. While this was hardly the first time, nor will it be the last, that a bright young star loses his battle with drug addiction, something about Monteith's demise seemed particularly tragic. Maybe it was the absence of headline drama before his trip to rehab in the spring, or how frankly he spoke about his problems after treatment—and in so doing made it sound as if he was going to be one of the lucky ones who comes out clean on the other side. Maybe we all just wanted to be convinced that the handsome, charismatic actor had his demons beat. Maybe it's the way that everyone is now able to grieve in public, thanks to Twitter, et al, so it was easy to see just how many lives he touched. Whatever the reason, or lack thereof, Monteith's death was a gut-check.
3. Paris Jackson Attempts Suicide: Speaking of demons, we hope that Michael Jackson's 15-year-old daughter is getting the help she needs and has the sort of unconditional support from her family that a child who's been through what she has truly deserves.
4. Simon Cowell Impregnates His Friend's Wife: Longtime bachelors become dads every day, surely. But not all of them have their pal's estranged wife as a baby mama. We'd really like to criticize Simon for poor form (in an acerbic British accent), but now Lauren Silverman is just about divorced and starting to show and... Who are we to judge? That's always been Simon's job anyway.
5. Big Brother 15 Gives Reality a Bad Name: And knowing this crowd, that name is unprintable here. While the inexplicably long-running CBS series is known for its volatile housemates and shady, in-the-name-of-the-game on-camera behavior, no one was expecting to hear racial and homophobic slurs coming in loud and clear on the 24/7 live feed. Guess someone forgot that Big Brother is always watching! And with the network already on the defensive, Spencer Clawson obviously picked the wrong season to joke about child porn.
6. Amanda Bynes: She spent all spring getting to 10 via Twitter and an alleged bong toss, but the onetime Nickelodeon star cranked her behavioral issues up to 11 when she lit a fire in a driveway near her parents' L.A.-area home. The 27-year-old has been hospitalized on a psychiatric hold since being taken into custody on July 22 and her mother has been granted a temporary conservatorship. We sincerely hope that this odd summer marks a turning point for Bynes, and all is on the up-and-up for her from here on out.
7. Anthony Weiner Goes From Comeback Kid to Go-Away Punchline: The former Congressman who resigned in the wake of a sexting 'n' tweeting scandal in June 2011 was perhaps thisclose to winning the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City—until it was unceremoniously revealed that he just couldn't lay off the naughty-texting sauce in 2012. That's months after his resignation and the birth of his first child with wife Huma Abedin. He remains in the mayoral race, but Chance in Hell of Winning said adios to Carlos Danger long ago.
8. Real Housewife in Real Trouble: The financial issues that reportedly plague the people who populate the various Real Housewives zip codes are mind-boggling all on their own, but now Teresa Giudice and hubby Joe of The Real Housewives of New Jersey are facing the possibility of prison time after being charged with bank, mail and wire fraud and other malfeasance in connection their 2011 bankuptcy filing. The couple have pleaded not guilty on all counts and, in our entirely non-expert opinion, it's really hard to fathom that either will go to prison for 50 years (the maximum amount when you consider all the charges) no matter what happens, but...still. That's a table-flipper of a story.