Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates and Joel McHale on "Sons of Anarchy"

Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates and Joel McHale on "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Toad's Wild Ride' (with Gemma at the wheel)

Joel McHale guest stars on another eventful episode

Jax: "She's a goddamn trainwreck."
Nero: "She's still your mother ... Women like your mom, they don't do so good without family."

It's been a very Jax-centric season of "Sons of Anarchy" so far, but Clay and Gemma took the reins tonight while Jax was mostly just trying to keep up.

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<p>Michaela Page of &quot;The Voice&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Michaela Page of "The Voice" 

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - The Battles Continue, Part 4

Another night, more Battles from NBC's hit
We’re here at the end of the Battle Rounds, which has yielded as many great moments as headscratching ones for “The Voice”. The introduction of the steal has increased the drama of this phase of the game, but hasn’t solved its inherently odd structure. Building up a solid team only to systematically dismantle it via one-on-one sing-offs really can’t be the best way to narrow the field down to more manageable size. But holding out hope for its removal from the show before the next cycle is probably asking too much.
But let’s focus on the present, rather than the past. Only four slots remain. Adam Levine’s team has been filled, but there are spots left for Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, and CeeLo Green. Plus, Aguilera has the one remaining steal left, and something tells me she’ll use it tonight. Let’s get down to business.
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<p>Nicole Nelson of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Nicole Nelson of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - The Battles Continue, Part 3

Presidential Debate reduces Monday's Battle to an hour
Last week’s rapid progression through the Battle Rounds was appreciated, but baffling. Why was the show in such a rush to reduce the field to forty contestants when it had a full three hours this week in order to wrap things up? Well, the answer is tonight’s presidential debate, which cuts “The Voice” in half for this one instance. That makes the remaining twelve slots make sense: the show can lock down six per night this week, then start the Knockout Rounds next week. (Unless they drag this out within an inch of its life. Which is possible, but I’m trying to be an optimist here.)
With only two steals remaining, those won’t be as omnipresent as they have been over the past two weeks. But both Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera are in a position to land a strong singer in this final week via this season’s twist. Adam Levine and CeeLo Green have both used up their two steals, and might find some strong talent pitted against their squad down the line.
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<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Bruno Mars

Would being host and musical guest work out for Bruno Mars?
There are times when you can reasonably guess the quality of an episode of “Saturday Night Live” by the host. It doesn’t yield a particularly reliable prediction of what unfolds, but it’s a fairly good rule of thumb all the same. Christina Applegate hosting? One could reasonably assume a solid show. Daniel Craig? One could reasonably assume a shaky show. Neither assumption directly related to the result, but expectations were raised or lowered accordingly ahead of time. But with a host like Bruno Mars? All bets are off. It could be the best show of the season thus far. Or the worst. Or somewhere in the middle. Anything is possible, which is both thrilling and terrifying. Mars’ musical chops are known. His comedic chops? Far more unproven. But hey, Eli Manning was also unproven, and he led one of last season’s strongest episodes. So let’s err on the side of optimism until proven otherwise.
As always, I’ll be rating the sketches in real time. As always, you’ll be doing a Google search to discover where I live so you can bring the pitchforks to my place of residence rather than the comments section. Why mess with success?
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<p>Kurt Sutter and Maggie Siff of &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;</p>

Kurt Sutter and Maggie Siff of "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Small World'

The body count keeps rising this season on 'Sons of Anarchy'
The body count keeps rising this season on "Sons of Anarchy" and "Small World" was full of "collateral damage."
The hour's four violent deaths provide a pretty decent overview of the episode, so let's look at each one:
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<p>&nbsp;Tuesday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

 Tuesday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Tuesday - The Battles Continue

NBC's hit turns in a less-than-thrilling hour
We’re slightly more than halfway through the Battle Rounds on “The Voice”. With only three steals remaining, there isn’t much in the way of strategy left for the four coaches. Then again, “strategy” hasn’t been the name of the game thus far in this phase of the competition. Still, there have been a surprisingly high number of good pairings thus far, with the lesser ones shunted off into montage-form for our benefit. Tonight’s one-hour installment will take us that much closer to The Knockout Rounds. Early favorites in that round already include Trevin Hunte, Amanda Brown, and Nicholas Davis. Will anyone join that upper tier tonight? Only one way to find out. As always, I’ll be recapping the show in real time.
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<p>Monday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Monday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - The Battles Continue

It takes a while, but Monday's episode features some standouts
After one week of Battle Rounds, “The Voice” now has slightly over a quarter of the forty contestants that will participate in the next phase in the competition. So we have about three weeks left of people scream-singing at each other or working together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts. So far, the judges haven’t exactly grasped the concept of this season’s twist, with both CeeLo Green and Adam Levine leaving themselves wide open to having one of their strongest team members swiped by a competing coach via The Steal. Let’s see if the superstars get any smarter about their pairings as the Battle Rounds continue. And let’s see who will be the first contestant indignant about his or her partner.
It’s another 2-hour installment tonight, so we should see quite a few pairings before the night is through. Let’s see what Green, Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton have up their sleeves tonight. Spoiler alert: I’m guessing the final battle of the night will be the most dramatic. I just…have…a hunch. As always, I’ll be jotting down my thoughts in real time.
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<p>Christina Applegate prepares to host &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>

Christina Applegate prepares to host "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Christina Applegate and Passion Pit

Could 'SNL' bounce back after a weak episode?
The good news? There’s little place for “Saturday Night Live” to go but up after last week’s Daniel Craig-hosted debacle. The fault lay not with Craig but the way the show used him. Rather than using his stoic persona to comic ends, the show bent over backwards to portray him as a wacky guy. It didn’t work, and the show (as well as its audience) suffered as a result. Hopefully, “SNL” has more of an idea what to do with tonight’s host, Christina Applegate. A gifted comic actress, Applegate last hosted the show in 1993 during the middle of her run on “Married…With Children”. Since then, she’s dealt with a dead babysitter, Ron Burgundy’s jazz flute, and countless other fictional conundrums. Along for the ride with her tonight is musical guest Passion Pit.
As always, I’ll be grading each sketch in real time. As always, you shouldn’t worry too much about the grades. As always, most of you will violently overreact. It’s just a thing that happens round these parts each Saturday night. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
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<p>Anna Torv of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

Anna Torv of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'The Recordist'

The show takes a step back as the rebels seek to take a step forward
After a strong second outing, this week’s “Fringe” faltered as it set out on the first of what promises to be several outings dedicated to the scavenger hunt established in “In Absentia”. Well, if all outings are as poorly executed as this one, I think we might be second-guessing the show’s decision to go down this route. It’s more likely that “The Recordist” will be an outlier rather than standard operating procedure over the final ten episodes of the series. But who knows? I didn’t expect last week to knock my socks off, and I didn’t expect this episode to bore me to near tears. Surprises are fun. Until they aren’t.
Tonight’s episode opens on Astrid lasering the wall of amber in Walter’s former laboratory. Inside they find the third of a still-unknown number of tapes, since Walter went so far as to leave the video evidence of his plan against The Observers out-of-sequence. The tape reveals coordinates in a wooded area of Northern Pennsylvania. What do our heroes have to do there? No one knows, but the Bishop Boys, Olivia, and Etta head out anyways and leave Astrid behind to slowly piece together the rest of the damaged message. Had the episode been stronger overall, I wouldn’t have constantly wondered, “Why didn’t they simply wait until they had the tape deciphered before leaving in the first place?” I understand that time is nominally of the essence, but it certainly seemed like the five of them had full run of the place without fear of Observer detection.
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Theo Rossi, Charlie Hunnam, David Labrava and Tommy Flanagan in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Theo Rossi, Charlie Hunnam, David Labrava and Tommy Flanagan in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Orca Shrugged' goes to extremes

From a very special guest star to a violent attack, just another week in Charming

Gemma: "Not a lot of grey in this life sweetheart. Extremes become average."
Tara: "I'm not sure I find that comforting."
Gemma: "You're not supposed to."

"Sons of Anarchy" certainly went to extremes this week. From a jaw-dropping bit of stunt casting so ridiculous you had to love it, to a tragic burst of violence too predictable by half, "Orca Shrugged" wasn't lacking in big events. But the problem of making a show that lives on extremes is that those extremes can become average. And while this episode was an improvement over last week, it still wasn't anything special.

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