<p>&nbsp;Kathyrn of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

 Kathyrn of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Week 7 - Eliminations

With the finale only a week away, two go home, but not the ones you might expect

It’s the show before the finals! OMG! I am exhausted before the show even starts. Maybe watching elimination Wednesdays could count as a workout, because they have become pretty nerve wracking. The truth is, at this point you don’t really want anyone to go because the bar has, truly, been set so high. Not even Mollee. No joke.

[Full recap of Wednesday (Dec. 9) night's "So You Think You Can Dance," including the results and your Final Six after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Ashleigh of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

 Ashleigh of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Week 7 - Top 8 Performances

One dancer is injured, but does that mean it’s the end of the road?

Final eight. Or, um, seven. One of the girls is missing. And it’s (racking my brain, racking my brain) Ashleigh! No! This can’t be happening! Or maybe it isn’t, because Cat, who is dressed like a 1980s pirate who chooses to wear her ill-gotten gold as ugly shorts instead of burying it (though really, I’d suggest burying those shorts or at least melting them down for cash or a nice necklace), isn’t mentioning it. At all. She yacks about next week, and then this week, and I have just about decided that Ashleigh is dead and everyone’s too broken up about it to say anything or I just imagined she wasn’t in the intro and I’m having early onset dementia, when she finally tells Ashleigh to come onto the stage. So, at least I know she’s not dead. That’s a good thing.

Ashleigh, it turns out, has injured herself. In rehearsal, she accidentally popped her shoulder out of its socket and then got all war commando and popped it back in. Go, Ashleigh! I knew the girl was tough. Anyway, she’s not dancing tonight and seems pretty broken up about it, but we can still vote for her. I hope she gets the pity vote. She looks so sad when she’s not wearing high heels and a ridiculous sequined dress. Poor Ashleigh.

Anyway, everyone else can dance, so let’s get to it!

[Full recap of Tuesday's (Dec. 8) "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Ericka and Brian of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

 Ericka and Brian of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Finale -- 'Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound'

The Final Three teams visit Las Vegas and make friends with Wayne Newton before the pit stop
I lost my favorites in this season's "Amazing Race" relatively early on when Justin & Zev mislaid their travel documents during a leg they actually won. I lost my guilty pleasure favorites a couple weeks later with the Poker Girls ran up against a task that required more physical strength than they collectively possessed. And my other favorite went out just last week, when Team Globetrotter (or Big Easy, to be specific) hit a mental block on a Roadblock.
 
So I entered Sunday (Dec. 6) night's "Amazing Race" with only a minor vested interest. Given the choice, I'd have said I was rooting for Meghan and Cheyne, Team Tetherball. Probably Team Miss AmeEricka, Brian & Ericka, would have been my second pick. But I wouldn't say I was invested in any real way.
 
Fortunately, Sunday's finale was a really compelling episode, generating ample tension even without a rooting interest. The finale made good use of its final destination, Las Vegas. All three teams had advantages and seemed to have captured momentum. And even if the tasks weren't necessarily exciting or creative, they were shot in a way that had me perched on the edge of my couch, tapping my knee nervously. And when the winning team reached Phil Keoghan, I found a way to be happy for them, which I might not have been with a weaker finale.
 
[Recap of the "Amazing Race" finale, with spoilers, after the break...]
 
OK. Let's get into the spoilers.
Read Full Post
<p>Rihanna in her brand new &quot;SNL&quot;&nbsp;digital short.</p>

Rihanna in her brand new "SNL" digital short.

Credit: SNL

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Rihanna and Samberg rock a brand new Digital Short

Plus: Blake Lively isn't bad in her first stint as host either

 

After taking two weeks off following the disastrous January Jones and disappointing Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted shows in mid-November, it was a relief that the "SNL" crew came back with a much better effort.  "Gossip Girl's" Blake Lively made her debut as a host and in what might be a surprise to some, showed some great comedic skills.  For many, the show was just a pit stop before "New Moon's" Taylor Lautner hosts next week, but there was a bunch that really worked tonight. And, as always, a good chuck that didn't.

The Salahis Just Can't Stay Away

Obama (Fred Armisen) appears at a Pennsylvania event while the infamous Salahis (Bobby Moynihan, Kristen Wiig) show up behind him, crashing the event.  Taking photos, posing, while Obama has no idea.  Best moment is when the secret service agent asks them what they are doing and they shoo him away like "It's all good" and he believes them.  Then, a second agent appears behind him and they all start taking photos of each other.  Meanwhile, of course, Obama has no idea what's going on. Finally, an agent comes on board to take them all off.  One beat later, they return with fake mustaches.  The agents come back AGAIN ready to carry them away, only to have Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis) come on and just OK the whole thing.  And yes, they start taking photos again.  

The punch line?  The Salahis, Biden and the agents ask Obama to stop during his speech and take a group photo.  He complies as though it's no big deal and then returns to his speech.  Oh, wait, he got it wrong.  Can they try that again? And, the nice guy Obama is, he takes it one more time.  Cue "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night..."

Grade: B -.  Great idea, but went on way too long.  Love that "SNL" is non-partisan (remember that Fox News) but do we seriously need to see them mock Obama every single show?  Really?

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Fran Kranz and Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'</p>

 Fran Kranz and Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'The Left Hand'

'Dollhouse' wraps up its two-parter with more Topher than you can shake a stick at

 "The Left Hand" pays off nearly every moment set up by "The Public Eye" in spades. It ups both the political commentary (Daniel Perrin's brain scan is revealed to show himself to be "very ambitious for a junior senator" - a comment that could have been taken from a right wing blog in the thick of the presidential race last year, but he's also revealed to be a dupe running only on his family name, which, again, George W. Bush) and the action, but it's mainly an episode about the ways we can never really know the people we love the most. If "The Public Eye" brought the insightful commentary on the World We Live in Today that I love from this show, "The Left Hand" was an hour of payoffs both action-wise and emotional.

 

[Full recap of the second of Friday's (Dec. 4) "Dollhouse" episodes after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Summer Glau of 'Dollhouse'</p>

 Summer Glau of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'The Public Eye'

'Dollhouse' returns to FOX with a two-parter. Part one introduces Summer Glau's Bennett

 "I think her bad guys are badder than my bad guys." - Echo

"The Public Eye" is like the "Dollhouse" version of one of those Daily Kos diaries where the diarist rants about how the Obama administration's incremental pragmatism has crushed said diarist's greatest hopes and sold out the political left. Though it was produced quite a while ago, it's on a Joss Whedon show, Whedon's a renowned lefty, and there are just too many parallels throughout to think that it's not a bit of "be careful what you wish for" storycraft. Also, like any good Daily Kos diary, there's a little George W. Bush bashing thrown in for good measure. Though, to be fair, very few Daily Kos diaries have two women beating the crap out of each other underneath a bridge somewhere in the D.C. area (though more should).

[Full recap of the first part of the "Dollhouse" return after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Dave of 'Survivor: Samoa'</p>

 Dave of 'Survivor: Samoa'

Credit: SCBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Samoa' - 'Off with Their Heads'

Two chickens and one unsuspecting player end their 'Survivor' journey
Pre-credit sequence. There's a crab slinking across the camp. It seems to be threatening the Aiga chicken. Oh no! Oh wait. That's just editing. So maybe it's just symbolic. Huh? Explain yourself, nature-obsessed "Survivor" editor! "Medusa has been dethroned," gloats Shambo, returning to camp after the elimination of Laura. Shambo's grasp on Greek mythology has been suspect from Day One. John is still explaining why he decided to abandon his Galu alliance at the last tribal council, depriving viewers of the chance to watch both teams draw stones for elimination. He feels like he has Russell's assurance that a Foa Foa will go home next. And he trusts Russell, which seems bizarre. Monica, still smarting from John's betrayal, calls him a Judas and announces that he's next to go. And your power comes from where, Monica?
 
[Recap of Thursday (Dec. 3) night's "Survivor: Samoa," with spoilers, after the break...]
Read Full Post
<p>Glee goes to bed in &quot;Mattress&quot;</p>

Glee goes to bed in "Mattress"

Credit: FOX

Glee musical recap: Schue, Terri, Sue go to the 'Mattress'

Watch the full episode: The baby bump bluff is up, Will is out, we just 'Smile'

To the mattresses!

The phrase means go to war, and is an apt one for this week’s episode of “Glee,” titled “Mattress.” Sue, as always, tries to bring things to a head with Will Schuester and his club, with a few gotcha moments a jabs. Will and his wife finally have a productive confrontation, Quinn faces off with Sue, Ken bristles at Schue and the whole school passive-agressively battles the gleeks.

First, there’s Cheerios coach Sue vs. Glee: she effectively gets the group’s photo out of the yearbook, on the grounds that the photo always gets defaced (True.) and because she wants to further demoralize and erase the crew from school history. Schue pays to get them back in, even if it the photo’s spot is so small that it can only host two students’ mugs in it. Naturally, Rachel is one and, even though she convinced (whined for) Finn to join her, he flakes because he fears the chiding (potatohead!).

As Rachel gets here solo pic taken, she gets tipped of to some acting parts in a mattress commercial. She ropes in the rest of Glee, without Schue’s approval, to star in the TV spot on the basis that it will make them celebrities and they’ll never get made fun of again. They agree, make an A-DOR-AH-BULL showing, and the commercial airs. The store owner sends them some mattresses as a “thanks.”

Which leads us to a mattress of another sort: Terri’s pillow baby bump is finally discovered by Schue and she gets her pregnant bluff called. Awful, awful Terri stumblebums all over an explanation why she lied, he leaves her and spends some quality time sleeping in his office. On one of the mattresses. A week before counselor Emma gets married. Asking for her advice if he should divorce Terri, Emma is sweetly even, saying “You’re a lot to lose.”

After a stirring television editorial appearance encouraging “uglies and fatties” to stay home to give her “retnas a break,” Sue makes another discovery: the mattress commercial. As the students have been “paid” in mattresses, she protests that Glee is no longer has amateur status and cannot compete at sectionals, thus ringing the death knell for the group. Schue takes the bullet by returning the rest of the mattresses and stepping down from the group, since he’s the only one who accepted “payment,” even though he wasn’t even in the thing.

Quinn, too, who has long sought getting back into the Cheerios, calls Sue on shenanigans, since the cheerleaders get free swag all the time. In her blackmail, she tells Sue to give one of the Cheerios’ pages to a full-group shot of Glee. It happens, the crew is still in competition, they all “Smile” for their picture.

And the photo gets defaced anyway.

We appreciated the pocket-square-Ted-Knight reference (don’t worry, we had to look him up too), a line from “When You’re Smiling” – our favorite version comes from Billie Holiday – and the mention that Finn’s forehead could act as a tablet for a haiku. And Terri's observation that, "This marriage works because you don't feel good about yourself." Thanks for saying what we're all thinking.

“Smile”

One of two songs in this episode by this name, this one is performed by Rachel with much skipping and skirt-twirling, which is prominent in the music video to the song’s original performed by British singer Lily Allen. The track topped the U.K. charts in 2006 and made a good showing in the ‘States when the album “Alright, Still” dropped in 2007. Results are not in yet as to, whether or not, it will enhance your yearbook picture grin.

“Jump”

Van Halen, that stalwart of ‘80s rock and ‘90s disenchantment, probably never envisioned their “1984” album hit as a soundtrack to a mattress commercial or fodder for a high school glee club television dramady. But here we are. The kids jump (and nothing gets them down) on mattresses as they sing this groundbreaking track: the original featured keyboards, not Eddie Van Halen’s typical shred, as the leading riff, a rare thing for Van Halen and for pop music of the time. It was the band’s only No. 1 hit ever and even scored them a Grammy nod.

Speaking of Grammy nominations, check out the new ones here.

“Smile”

Charlie Chaplin is normally thought of as a silent kidder from early film history, but he was in fact behind this melancholy classic. It was sung in his 1936 movie “Modern Times,” then actually updated for modern times first by Nat King Cole and then dozens of other pop stars – including Michael Jackson and his brother Jermaine, after the King of Pop died.

 

<p>&nbsp;Kathryn of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

 Kathryn of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX Searchlight

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Week 6 - Eliminations

Snoop Dogg sings and a fan favorite gets the boot

Dum, dum, dum dum-DEE-dum, dum-DEE-dum. I think that’s the Darth Vader theme, or maybe it’s a Lady Gaga song or one of those infernal KFC commercials, but in any case, my point is that it’s elimination day, poor widdle Cat’s least favorite day of the week, wah. And I’m not exactly looking forward to it either, because I’ve been hugely disappointed with the judges’ taste when it comes to picking off the dingbats and I have a lot less faith in the average couch jockey.

Does Cat look like a windblown hooker tonight, or is that just me? Is she wearing a massive Ace bandage? I have to say, she was looking pretty darn normal for a while, and this Madonna circa 1993 outfit is just obliterating that. I know she styles herself, but I’m saying, Fox, come on, get her a professional.

But enough about Cat. It’s time for the group dance! Whee!

[Full recap of Wednesday (Dec. 2) night's "So You Think You Can Dance," with results, after the break...]

Oh, no. No wheel. Crap, they’re dancing to Billy Joel. Wearing black Spandex. This is very high school musical, and I don’t mean High School Musical, I mean a bunch of kids who aren’t too coordinated running around and dancing. Too much is going on and none of it’s coordinated. Oh, wait, they just did a quick little group shimmy. Toasty Oreo put this together? Oh, Toasty, not your best work. I am officially embarrassed for him on so many levels.

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Legacy of 'So You Think You Can Dance'</p>

 Legacy of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Week 6 - Top 10 Performances

Despite a 'New Moon' homage, one routine really sucks

Now that the presidential address is over, it’s time for the really important stuff -- the “SYTYCD” top ten! Or really, the top eight plus Mollee and Nathan. I know, I know, this week everyone’s partnered with different people and they’ll have a chance to grow and mature, but seriously, if I wanted to wait around for 18-year-old kids to mature I’d teach community college classes. The competition is way too stiff for dead weight at this point, and I’m really hoping this is the last week I have to put up with these adolescent dingbats. And now I have to go check outside my house to make sure no angry, hormonal tweenagers are spray painting my garage with “I HEART NATHAN” and “MOLLEE FOREVER” or some such crap.

Oh look! Cat’s wearing a skinned poodle over a black satin nightie! She must be so proud. Not every tall, blonde gorgeous woman can so effortlessly evoke crazy cat lady in a single evening. Cat tells us that things are CHANGING, dammit! Pretty much the same way they change every season, which is that the judges no longer get a say (though I’d pretty much lost all faith in them anyway) and everyone picks their partners out of a hat. Thanks, Cat, but we know the drill, geez.
 
[Full recap of Tuesday (Dec. 1) night's "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]

Read Full Post