Every season of “Saturday Night Live” is a beast unto itself. But in my short time recapping episodes for HitFix, the time between seasons has seen the most change. Stalwarts Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg are gone. Jason Sudeikis will join them in a few months. Three new cast members (Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong) have been added as featured players. Lorne Michaels finally decided to let Jay Pharoah play President Obama. These aren’t seismic changes, to be certain. The show has handled more turnover in its past. And no one expects the overall quality of the show to take a sudden downhill turn even with the aforementioned changes.
Being brand new to the cutthroat world of "Glee" recaps, I was really hoping to write something about why I like the show, why I've stuck with it over the years and why I've often been annoyed with its status as a designated punching bag in some corners of the web. An episode like the season four premiere, "The New Rachel," makes that hard to do.
In many ways it was a fresh start for the show. We've been hearing for several months that season four will take on the ambitious challenge of splitting screen time between New York -- where Rachel Berry is newly enrolled at NYADA -- and the usual setting of McKinley High, where a handful of returning cast members will be joined by new recruits. There's a lot of potential in this approach for both success and failure, and after watching the first hour I'm more concerned than optimistic.
That's because "Glee" has a whole new problem. For the first time they've introduced a slew of characters who are one thing the show almost never is: boring.
I'm still reeling from Wednesday night's bizarre interactions between Danielle & Shane and The Fierce Five.
Nobody had a clue who anybody was, but they were all so darned pleased to be meeting.
And I'm also reeling from Danielle's Head of Household win, as she continues to Forrest Gump her way deeper and deeper into the game.
On the assumption that Danielle's going to protect her in-game boyfriend Shane, we're about to lose one of the two people who actually deserve to win "Big Brother" this season.
Click through to see how the drama -- Julie Chen's been tweeting big promises -- unfolds...
So, it's down to the final five, or what I like to call the Quack Pack and Jenn. Not that the Quack Pack is much of an alliance, as everyone except Shane seems to have a final two deal with Dan (and that may have happened and I just missed it), and Dan is eagerly rubbing his hands together in anticipation of stomping on their broken bodies on the way to the finish line. The crazy part is, of course, that every remaining hamster seems likely to smile up at him as he does it. "Gee, Dan, you're really good at cracking ribs! That barely hurt! And not nearly as much as when you stepped on my nose!"
The power dynamic between Jax and Clay isn't the only thing that's changed as we begin season five in Charming. This year's action-packed, fast-moving premiere introduces new players, reestablishes burgeoning rivalries and alliances, and contains one of the most brutal and disturbing scenes the show has ever seen (that is not a low bar to cross).
We can only speculate where any of this is heading, but as set-up, it worked. Mostly.
So, do you think Dan is an evil genius, just evil, easily manipulating gullible and possibly stupid fellow players, or all of the above? Discuss. Anyway, we rewind a little bit in this episode so that viewers can watch all the crazy strategy and backstabbing that took place during this week's double elimination of Frank and Joe. And yes, there was a lot of crazy strategy and backstabbing, most of it on Dan's part. But surely, the dark underbelly of his game play will finally be exposed, won't it?
Sorry. I was out of the country and missed all of last week's "Big Brother" drama and I spent much of this afternoon catching up on Dan's Funeral, The Cutest Eviction Showdown in "Big Brother" History, the tragic exit of Britney (NOOOO!!!!), The Return of Jesse, Ian's Bismuth and... well... everything else.
I was only away for a week, so it's hard to believe all that has happened.
So Dan's a brilliant sociopath, suddenly? And Frank's a carrot? And Jenn still thinks she made a big strategic move? How peculiar.
And Thursday (September 6) is a double-elimination episode?
Let's see how things go... After the break...