<p>&nbsp;Chloe Sevigny of 'Big Love'</p>

 Chloe Sevigny of 'Big Love'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'Big Love' - 'Strange Bedfellows'

'Big Love' examines just why anyone would love Bill Henrickson in an uneven episode.

Why would anyone be married to Bill Henrickson? That's one of the bigger questions at the center of "Big Love," a question that the show has never really answered as well as it might have, since the three women at the show's center are so much more interesting and compelling figures in comparison to their mutual husband. Some of that may be due to Bill Paxton, a good, reliable guy at playing regular Joe types but someone who can't really live up to the lines the show gives the other characters about the charisma that shines off of him. Some of it may have to do with the show's milieu, a world where unquestioning patriarchy is the norm, as opposed to the more gender-equal society most people who can afford HBO live in. And some of it may just have to do with the fact that there's really no one who's good enough to score with Barb AND Nicki AND Margie. And, hell, Ana while we're at it.

[Full recap of Sunday (Jan. 24) night's "Big Love" after the break...]

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"Caprica" bring the world of "Batlestar Galactica" back to SyFy.

Credit: SyFy

Recap: 'Caprica' - prequel to 'Battlestar Galactica' returns

Does it have the magic of its predecessor?

For all of you that couldn’t frakkin’ live life without “Battlestar: Galactica,” today’s a banner day indeed as “Caprica” finally premiered on the Syfy Network. As background: I was a big “BSG” fan, though I couldn’t name all the variations of Six that appeared in the show’s run, liked everything about the finale except the final five minutes, and will undoubtedly make a mistake or three in terms of analyzing the show’s mythology. So I beg your kind forgiveness up front, gentle readers, as I try to contextualize this show in light of its predecessor. After all, all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.

And yes, “Caprica” is all about context. Even if you don’t have any knowledge of the events in “Battlestar,” the opening shot gives you all the info you need: “Caprica: 58 Years Before the Fall.” The tension in the show derives from the same place as, say, the 4th season of “Lost”: we the audience know that this story is going to end badly, but the characters inside the show do not. Luckily, “Caprica” seems inherently less interested is how things will end and more pre-occupied with how things get there. 

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<p>&nbsp;Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

 Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Bloodlines'

Old flames, new friends, and BIG reveals as “Vampire Diaries” returns!

 OMG, you guys! How did we all make it through the last two months without new episodes of “The Vampire Diaries?” One People’s Choice Award and countless dull Thursday nights later, the CW show is back with a bang in the form of a slow-simmering episode that picks off right after Elena’s spooky car crash. As new friends get to know each other and old ones get reacquainted, exciting developments are looming for our favorite Mystic Falls inhabitants – starting with a few big story reveals. Who’s excited?

To recap for those of you with foggy memories: Bonnie’s a witch, Logan’s back, Logan’s dead, and Damon wants to reanimate Katherine. More importantly, Elena had S-E-X with Stefan, freaked when she saw Katherine’s photo, crashed her car, and ran over a hooded man with reanimating limbs who then started coming for her. And that is where we pick up this week.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Jan. 21) "The Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

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<p>Mila of 'Project Runway'</p>

Mila of 'Project Runway'

Credit: Lifetime

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'The Fashion Farm'

The designers get an impossible task – and one designers bares butt

Does anyone else sense that “Project Runway” is getting progressively crueler to its contestants? At first I was thinking Heidi’s “ve vill make you wuhk” accent was swaying me, but no, I think the producers are gradually getting on the mucktastic reality TV show bandwagon with the goal of making their little designers cry, freak-out or come to blows. Start plying the designers with margaritas and this dog-and-pony show will be ready for VH1.

[Full recap of Thursday (Jan. 21) night's "Project Runway" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Kara DioGuardi of 'American Idol'</p>

 Kara DioGuardi of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Orlando Auditions

Kristin Chenoweth stops by to help Simon, Kara and Randy with their judging

Wednesday (Jan. 20) night's "American Idol"  auditions are coming from Orlando, which ought to mean plenty of fairy tales and Disney princesses. Click through for the minute-by-minute excitement.

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<p>&nbsp;Amy Lang of 'American Idol'</p>

 Amy Lang of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Chicago Auditions

Chicago has deep dish pizza, but does it also have a deep talent pool for Simon, Randy and Kara?

We're up to the second week of "American Idol" auditions and, due to my embarkation for Sundance, recaps will probably be touch-and-go for tomorrow night and for next week. I'll do my best to brave the snow, sleet and independent film to also keep up with "AI" auditions.

Until then, we'll always have Tuesday (Jan. 19) night's auditions from Chicago. 

Click through...

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<p>&nbsp;Brandon Routh, Zachary Levi and Ryan McPartlin of 'Chuck'</p>

 Brandon Routh, Zachary Levi and Ryan McPartlin of 'Chuck'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. Operation Awesome'

Angie Harmon thinks Captain Awesome is a spy, Superman shows up and Lester starts a fight club

What? You thought he was DEAD?

Over the past two weeks, "Chuck" has become an embarrassment of riches for fans of Ryan McPartlin's Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb, who is no longer just a convenient punchline for his ripped abs and his boundless enthusiasm.

Calling Captain Awesome the new heart of "Chuck" would be an overstatement, but he had been a key lynchpin for the main character's transition from "Stay in the Car, Chuck" Chuck to a proactive fledgling spy. When I originally reviewed the start of the "Chuck" season, I expressed particular pleasure in the two-part Devon mini-arc and I still feel that way after watching the episode, even though very little in "Chuck vs. Operation Awesome" actually made any sense.

[Recap of Monday's (Jan. 18) "Chuck" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;David Anders and Masi Oka's back of 'Heroes'</p>

 David Anders and Masi Oka's back of 'Heroes'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' - 'Pass/Fail'

As Hiro falls into a life-threatening coma, Sylar confronts Claire on campus.

This week’s “Heroes” was all about connections. Or rather, disconnections, to be precise. In Season 1, the show tried to plunk extraordinary abilities into a recognizable world. It employed archetypical characters in order to build a bridge between the viewing audience and those onscreen, exploiting and expanding our understanding of these tropes to great effect. Well, tonight’s episode, “Pass/Fail,” tried to take a step back from the weighty, mythological burdens its accumulated over the years to ask a very simple, but important question: at what point do gifts become burdens?

This is hardly the first time the show’s addressed this concern, so for some tonight’s episode was redundant at best, tedious at worst. But I personally found some of the smaller character moments quite compelling. Maybe I’ve just lowered my standards after repeatedly being pelted by sub-par episodes over the years like so many snow balls of suck, but if “Heroes” returns to giving me characters I care about, maybe the story might start sparking my interest as well before all is said and done.

[Full recap of Monday's (Jan. 18) "Heroes" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Annie Wersching of '24'</p>

 Annie Wersching of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Day 8 - '6 p.m. to 8 p.m'

As Jack works to uncover Hassan's potential assassin, a familiar face returns to CTU.

 Another night, another two-fer of “24.” Whatever did we mere mortal do to earn such good fortune? While this seems like a lot, just know that if “24” were an NBC property, they would probably air the entire season in one single day to help sell the concept of the show. So really, we shouldn’t be complaining too much.

Since a lot happened tonight, let’s get right to it!

[Full recap of Monday's (Jan. 18) "24" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Bill Paxton of 'Big Love'</p>

 Bill Paxton of 'Big Love'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'Big Love' - 'The Greater Good'

'Big Love' gets thematically rich as Bill makes a big decision.

Back around the end of season two of "Big Love" (and I have no link for this, so you'll just have to take me at my word), an interviewer asked the show's creators, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, what they kept in mind when they wrote the show. The two said that they tried to keep in mind that the family at the center of the show is full of people who love each other and that the non-traditional family unit, such as it is, works. While I don't doubt that the Henricksons all love each other, I think that the creators are either misdirecting the audience or rather underestimating the turmoil they've introduced into the show over the past few seasons with the latter description of it. "Big Love" is, fundamentally, a show about a family with members that love each other, but it's also a show about the ways that family is somewhat inherently unsustainable. "The Greater Good" is one of the series' best episodes because it returns frankly to that theme, to the tensions between love for others and self-preservation, between creed and self.

[The recap of Sunday's (Jan. 17) "Big Love" continues after the break...]

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