<p>Cassi of 'Big Brother'</p>
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Cassi of 'Big Brother'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Season 13 Premiere

Julie Chen introduces the new houseguests to some notorious favorites

Welcome, Friends... It's premiere night for "The Chenbot and the Merry Hamsters," better known as "Big Brother 13." Before continuing this this recap, a couple words on HitFix's coverage of "Big Brother" this season:

In order to maintain collective sanity, we're splitting recapping duties into three nights done by three bloggers. I'm taking Thursdays, because Thursdays are results nights and results nights lend themselves to minute-by-minute recaps and as I'm profoundly lazy, I like that. Liane Bonin will be handling Sunday nights. And Monkeys as Critics regular Ryan McGee will be subjecting himself to the amusing experiment of his first season of "Big Brother," recapping the Wednesday telecasts. All recaps will be in the Monkeys as Critics blog, rather than asking you to seek them out through different corners of the site.

And with that... let's go see what Julie Chen and her perpetually uncovered shoulders have to say about the new season of "Big Brother"...

Recap: 'Big Brother' Season 13 Premiere

9:00 p.m. ET. Oh gracious. Julie Chen's shoulders are covered. What am I supposed to do with this information? Down is up. Up is down. Dogs and cats are cuddling together. This truly will be a "Big Brother" season unlike any other!

9:01 p.m. "Dynamic Duos have ruled 'Big Brother,'" Julie reminds us. It turns out that even the new players will have to play the game with a partner, a partner they have to select on-the-spot.

9:02 p.m. Let's meet our hamsters, including Cassi, who receives her key in a stylish bathing suit. Team Cassi!

9:03 p.m. Dominic is an adrenaline junkie, but he also lives with his mom. He likes his adrenaline thoroughly mixed in with his mushy carrots and apple sauce. Cassi is a model and she describes herself as a guy's girl. If that means "a girl guys think is hot," I'm inclined to agree. Lawon calls himself "bold." If that means "setting the cause of small screen racial representations back by 35 years," I'm inclined to say "DYNO-MITE!" Keith is a deacon and a youth minister, but he spends all of his free time chasing tail. Ummm... Good for him. Shell's philosophy is "Look like a woman, act like a man and work like a dog." And Adam becomes my immediate favorite by declaring himself a huge fan of "90210." I assume Adam's talking about the original "90210." Kalia describes herself as "a real-life Carrie." She's a blogger and insists she's, "like, really good with words." Kalia should be warned that I don't much like the fictional Carrie and I'm not instantly warming to the real-life version. Porsche is "a VIP waitress." Frankly, if you name your daughter Porsche and she *only* becomes a VIP waitress, she's won the legitimate vocational lottery.

9:06 p.m. Keith packs his Bible. Lowan packs his afro wig. Kalia loves sex. Dominic is a virgin and doesn't plan on having sex, but he'd be happy to have an older woman to cook and clean for him. Adam doesn't like people who are too religious. ACK. This is too much information. Hugs are exchanged and everybody heads off for "Big Brother."

9:07 p.m. The hamsters see each other for the first time. They can ogle, but they can't talk. They also may not be able to count, because Julie has to point out that there are only eight of them. Or, as Dominic's mom would explain it to him, "10 little piggies, minus two little piggies who went to market."

9:08 p.m. Dominic, Shelly, Porsche and Lawon enter the house first. "I am just so HAPPY," the excitable Lawon gushes. "I've gotta be honest, 'Porsche' sounds a little bit like a stripper name, but she seems cool," admits Shelly.

9:09 p.m. Adam, Kalia, Keith, Cassi enter. "The Lord is my Shepherd and he knows what I want," says Keith, looking at his summer flock. Keith and I have different ideas about spirituality. Then again, *my* God hasn't given me Cassi and Porsche as summertime playthings. We get our first weird phobia of the season: Kalia doesn't like hair. 

9:10 p.m. Porsche admits that while her personality is real, her breasts are not. Thanks, dear. We'd... guessed.

9:11 p.m. It's math time. They're counting glasses and beds and other random things around the house. "I'm gonna take these people, I'm gonna use 'em up and I'm gonna spit 'em out," Adam says, looking at his rivals.

9:11 p.m. Keith begins by lying and saying that he's actually a matchmaker. He admits his weakness for women, but not his healthy appreciation of Jesus. Adam isn't just a fan of "90210," he's also a big fan of bacon. Team Adam!

9:13 p.m. Keith loves God and God has blessed Kalia with "puppies." Awww. Puppies. Wait. He's talking about her breasts? Grow up, man. They're booby-melons.

9:13 p.m. Porsche's immediately taken with Dominic, who's everything she looks for in a man (she doesn't know yet that he's not sexually available unless she first helps him design a Halloween costume). Porsche's Big Lie is telling the houseguests that she's a student. She's afraid they may think that her life as a VIP waitress is too glamorous. Gracious, Porsche. A student? Why didn't you just claim to be an astronaut or Rihanna?

9:14 p.m. Cassi's Big Lie is to say that she's a stylist's assistant. She doesn't want the stigma of being a model attached to her. Yes, she says "stigma." Not bad, Cassi. Team Cassi, again!

9:18 p.m. Come on, Julie. Tell me who the other three couples are. 

9:18 p.m. Not just yet. Julie sits the houseguests down and tells them to expect the unexpected. She reminds them that dynamic duos have ruled the game and then tells them the first twist: They're about to get to choose their partners. If you win Head of Household, the player and his or her partner will be safe. And instead of nominating two players for eviction, they'll have to nominate one partnership.

9:20 p.m. Keith had planned on aligning with the women and calling themselves "Keith's Angels." He'd been planning on running the game. Oh well. Keith declares his intention to woo Porsche, who admits she might be sad to go against Keith and his outfit. "You're not picking a prom date," Dominic grumbles. Shelly and Cassi form a partnership based on shared Southern heritage and, um, other stuff. Adam picks Dominic, who is too scared of the big guy to say no, which leaves Lawon with a less-than-eager Kalia.

9:22 p.m. Julie promises that "the twists are far from over" and warns that they aren't the only pairs playing this game. But she won't tell them anything else. They don't know what Julie means, but they vow that if All-Stars walk in, they're all going to stick together.

9:24 p.m. The doorbell rings. Oh God. Rachel and Brendon walk in. They're engaged now. "BrEndOn took me OUT on a hOt aIr baLOon ride," Rachel reveals. Oh, Rachel. how I've not-missed you. Kalia thinks Rachel's breasts should be their own houseguest. Adam is not pleased. "I'm bACk, bitchEs. I'm bETTer thAn evEr," Rachel promises. Shelly doesn't do a very good impression of Rachel's laugh, but I'm sure we'll hear the real thing plenty.

9:26 p.m. Everybody is MUCH happier when Jeff and Jordan walk in next. Even I'm content to see them again. Lawon is especially happy to have them back. Shelly describes herself as "star-struck." Jeff and Jordan are still together after a year and a half. Or that's Jordan's version of the math. Jeff thinks it's closer to 21 months and takes the opportunity to make fun of her. Good times. "I'm freaking out big time," says Dominic. Oh Dom, surely momma said there'd be days like this.

9:30 p.m. The doorbell rings for the last time. Who will it be? It's Dick and Danielle. If you thought Shelly was star-struck before, she's utterly agog at Evel Dick's appearance. But she's not the only one. "It was like Tori Spelling walked in the door," Adam says. "My mind is like a Twizzler," says the confused Lawon. Gotta love that Dominic has no clue who Dick is and instantly assumes that Danielle is his girlfriend. 

9:32 p.m. Danielle is a brunette now and Keith is ready to ditch Porsche for Danielle. [Is nobody gonna mention that Evel Dick has been living HARD since his "Big Brother" win? It's like his face was run over by a cement mixer. Also, I resent having to remember that it's "Evel" Dick and not "Evil" Dick.]

9:33 p.m. Evel Dick introduces himself to the houseguests as "the only winner here." Jordan is offended. Or Jordan isn't sure if she ought to be offended. "Dick makes me feel like chopped liver and I hate chopped liver," Jordan giggles. It turns out that Dick and Danielle haven't spoken in three years. Or at least that's what they're saying and why would anybody ever lie to their fellow houseguests on "Big Brother"? Jeff, to his credit, doesn't fully believe the feigned tensions. 

9:38 p.m. There are bananas everywhere and the first Head of Household challenge is appropriately titled "Going Bananas." The task? Each player has to hold onto their bananas for as long as possible. Wasn't last year's first challenge all about weiner-clutching? "Big Brother" is not a production that rewards subtly. Of course, each two players are clutching a single banana, forcing some unexpectedly Kama Sutra-y positions. "This is very awkward having my daughter's ass in my face," Dick cracks.

9:40 p.m. They get hit by great gouts of chocolate, prompting Cassi to ask, "Is it edible?" First to go out is Shelly, who claims that she and Cassi decided they don't want to win, because they don't want to be seen as targets. Out next is Jordan. Jeff notes, "Jordan is first to fall off my banana. Big shocker." After perching with his butt on Porsche's head, Keith goes out, followed by Cassi and Lawon. Rachel's beginning to get cocky about her position as only Rachel can.

9:43 p.m. Adam falls and has to pray to "the Banana Gods" for Dominic's success. Jeff goes down. Dominic falls. Brendon topples. "I'm riding that banana like a bucking bronco," says Last Man Standing Dick. After Kalia goes down, Porsche's the last Newbie left. "It's all well and good riding a big banana and then you get shot with whipped cream in the face," Rachel says.

9:45 p.m. Porche and her pixelated thong goes out next. It's down to Rachel, Danielle's thong and Dick. Deal-making begins. Rachel promises to protect Dick and Danielle. She swears. And the Donatos go out. Our first Head of Household for the summer? Rachel. "nO onE cOMes betwEEn me aNd MY BANana," Rachel says, while Brendon says he'd marry her today. Adam is growly. But Julie promises another twist is coming.

9:51 p.m. One last twist... oh give me one last twist. It never felt like this... Oh give me one last twist.

9:51 p.m. Being nominated for eviction this summer will be both a blessing a curse. The Big Brother Golden Key will go to the member of the targeted partnership who isn't evicted. That Golden Key is a ticket directly into the Top 10, which is a pretty big deal, at least for a few weeks. "That's crazy," Rachel says. "I'm plotting against Danielle right now," Evel Dick tells everybody. 

9:54 p.m. "It's bound to be an exciting summer," Julie Chen says, before cutting to a long clip package that appears to be almost entirely bikini shots. Suddenly I'm not missing Britney from last season nearly so much.

9:55 p.m. We return to the House for a few seconds with Jeff trying desperately to explain The Golden Key to Jordan. It's going to take more time than we have...

 

Sound off, fans. What do you think of the new hamsters? And which of the returning hamsters are you happy to have back? And two questions about the Golden Key: How do you expect it to impact the game? And will Jordan ever understand its ability to impact the game?

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<p>Fiona Shaw of 'True Blood'</p>

Fiona Shaw of 'True Blood'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'True Blood' - 'You Smell Like Dinner'

Eric takes interest in the local witches and they in him

This may or may not be the episode where Jessica pops her shirt open. We’ve been seeing that promo for weeks now, and it would, indeed, be right nice if Jessica would just get to the shirt poppin’ already, but until then, we’re stuck with a scene involving a teenager licking Jason Stackhouse’s bloody head. You’ll remember from the season opener last week that the panther children of Sure Shot done clocked Jason, in his hade, to be exact, and locked him in a cooler. The teenager, feeling guilty, helps to free Jason, but not before Crystal’s squire busts in with a shotgun and threatens to bust a cap up Jason’s sorry ass. Stackhouse’s ass is quite a lucrative one for Alan Ball, and something tells us that the shotgun will not win.

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<p>Stephen Moyer of 'True Blood'</p>
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Stephen Moyer of 'True Blood'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'True Blood' Premiere - 'She's Not There'

Sookie returns from Fairy Land to discover things have changed in Bon Temps

By our reckoning, “True Blood” has tackled vampires (of course), werewolves (natch), ancient Greek sybarites (props to the research team on that one), brujos (fresh!), shapeshifters (fair enough), fairies (really?), psychic visionaries and well-meaning witches. That means that we have only gelatinous blobs, ancient Egyptian curses and flesh-eating zombies left. I vote for the blobs.

[Full recap of Sunday's (June 26) "True Blood" premiere after the break...]

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<p>The mentors on 'The Voice'</p>
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The mentors on 'The Voice'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - Semifinals Results

Which four singers are heading for next week's finale?

It’s Semifinals Results Night for “The Voice,” people. I’ll be standing in for Fienberg tonight, as he’s busy polishing his chops to compete for inclusion in the second season of the show. As Dan noted yesterday, it was pretty incredible to see how much more fun this show can be when actually good singers take up the majority of the airtime. Tonight, the show is going to take us from eight contestants to four. How? Damned if I know. The tax code is less complex than the rules on this show. It has something to do with audience votes, artist downloads, and judges’ scores. (The latter element led to the unexpectedly riveting scene of Christina Aguilera struggling to do math on live television. “Breaking Bad” doesn’t feature scenes this tense, people.)

 I’ll follow Dan’s house style for this recap, if not his expertise. So it’ll look the same, even if it won’t always sound the same. For the record: I’m predicting Vicci Martinez, Beverly McClellan, Javier Colon, and Xenia. Kidding! Just seeing if you’re paying attention. Dia Frampton will move on, and Xenia’s family will finally be released from whatever hostage situation they are currently in. (OK, fine: YOU explain her abject terror each time she performs. Honestly, if she continues onto next week, we might be looking at the first live human rights’ violation in television history.)

Onto the recap!

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Curtis Stone, Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton appear on "Top Chef Masters."

Curtis Stone, Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton appear on "Top Chef Masters"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef Masters' - 'Blinded Me with Science'

Padma shows up and another chef goes home

Top five! This season has flown by. Although the challenges have gotten progressively weirder, I can’t say this is my favorite season ever. All the chefs are fairly likeable, but there’s neither a sense of fun or feisty competitiveness. It’s like watching line chefs go through the paces at a very slow five star restaurant. It gets done, there might be a little stress, but mostly it’s entirely pleasant and somewhat boring. Floyd, of course, has a competitive spirit, but I would call it less feisty and more “I think I’ll slip ground glass into your pudding.” I’m just saying, I don’t think we’ve seen his dark side yet.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (June 1) "Top Chef Masters" after the break...]

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Dancers audition in New York for Fox's  "So You Think You Can Dance"

Dancers audition in New York for Fox's  "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' hits New York and Salt Lake City

The talent is out there -- but the weirdoes are, too

Did you know Salt Lake City is THE place to find dancers? Or that at least it is if you’re “SYTYCD”? Me neither. But six top twenty performers have come from Salt Lake, and for tonight’s show we’ll be seeing the Salt Lake auditions and the New York auditions. Take notes, because I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing a chunk of our future top twenty tonight, at least if the producers pick their footage wisely.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (June 1) "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]

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<p>Curtis Grimes and Emily Valentine of 'The Voice'</p>
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Curtis Grimes and Emily Valentine of 'The Voice'

Credit: NBC

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

Christina, Cee-Lo, Blake and Adam stage their final Battles

Welcome to the first episode of "The Voice" airing outside of the 2010-2011 TV Season and, thus, the first episode of "The Voice" airing without heaps of direct competition from ABC and CBS. NBC is so confident in the talent show's long-term viability that the network announced earlier today that "The Voice" will get the coveted slot after the Super Bowl next spring.

But for tonight, the only business at hand is ending the rather prolonged process of cutting the field from 32 down to 16 competitors. Only four more Battles to go, so let's get down to business... 

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<p>'Bachelorette' star Ashley Hebert</p>
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'Bachelorette' star Ashley Hebert

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelorette' Week 2 - Dating and Jabbawockeez

But will evil Bentley and creepy mask wearer Jeff survive?

I’m not even sure I can sit through this episode, because we’re going to be subjected to another two hour dose of BENTLEY. Let’s say it all together: Bentley is EVIL. Evil, evil, evil. Evil. And why is Bentley evil, ask those of you who missed last week’s first episode of this installment of “The Bachelorette”? Because he thinks Ashley, cute little Ashley, is not his type. More than that, he doesn’t particularly want to touch, kiss, date or marry Ashley. He’s on the show because he likes to be competitive. That’s it. He just wants to beat out some guys who are there for the right reasons (if there really is a right reason to go on national television to find your significant other, but that’s a conversation for another day) because HE CAN. Apparently, he thinks it will be fun to stomp on Ashley like a bug.

That being said, I’m a little ticked at Ashley, too. She has every reason in the world to kick Bentley to the curb, as she was actually warned by a family friend that the guy is only going on the show to promote his construction business. First off – how exactly is it good for business to act like an unscrupulous scumbag on national television? Do people really say, hey, I done saw that man on TV and he acted like an amoral psychopath! I want him to slap an addition on tha back of ma house! But let’s get back to Ashley. Ashley may have applied the brakes for, oh, about one second, but then she decided Bentley was super cute and just threw caution to the wind. That’s using your head, Ashley! Yes, she talked herself out of a relationship on “The Bachelor” last season, so I understand her need to dive right in. But maybe she could apply that same enthusiasm to J.P., the smoking hot construction manager, or, well, anyone who isn’t Bentley! Aaargh!
 
[Full recap of Monday's "The Bachelorette" after the break...]
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A dancer practices to audition for Fox's  "So You Think You Can Dance"

A dancer practices to audition for Fox's  "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

Recap: So You Think You Can Dance' premiere hits Atlanta, San Francisco

Mary Murphy, Tyce D'Orio and Niles Lythgoe judge the new talent

So, the “SYTYCD” hot tamale train is revving up again, and with it we see the return of Mary Murphy, who returns to the judges’ table after beating thyroid cancer. I have to admit, even though the screaming would get on my nerves by the end of a season, I’ve missed Mary and, more importantly, her insight into ballroom dance. Another good change I’m happy to see – instead of cutting to a final competition of just ten dancers, which left some considerable talents by the wayside, we return to a final twenty – with All-Stars partnering with our dancers once they’re cut to the final ten. It sounds like a good idea to me – when the All-Stars entered the game too early, it felt distracting. I’d be too excited to see, say, Twitch to really notice his partner, who was still something of an unknown quantity. So, this should be best of both worlds – fingers crossed.

[Full recap of Thursday’s premiere after the break]
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<p>Lauren Alaina, Ryan Seacrest and Scotty McCreery of 'American Idol'</p>
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Lauren Alaina, Ryan Seacrest and Scotty McCreery of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

'American Idol' Season 10 Finale Live-Blog: The winner is...

After two hours, will Scotty or Lauren be chosen as our Idol?

It's time for the two-hour (and seven minute!) "American Idol" Season 10 finale. That means 125 minutes of performances, guest appearances, costume changes and summer movie commercials leading up to the triumph coronation of Scotty McCreery (or, conceivably Lauren Alaina). Since this was alread

y going to be a minute-by-minute recap, I might as well go whole-hog and live-blog the whole thing. 

Click through for all of the action...

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