<p>&nbsp;Allison of &quot;America's Next Top Model&quot;</p>
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 Allison of "America's Next Top Model"

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Kathy Griffin'

The reality stars do a photo shoot in which they pretend to be reality stars

As we open this next episode of America’s Next Top Model, we see what Bianca looks like without her mommy bodyguard sister best friend, Bre, who was eliminated last week. 

 

“I don’t have a clique,” says Bianca. Yes, honey, but you do have an agency, so why aren’t you delivering better photos? 

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<p>A scene from Wednesday's &quot;America's Next Top Model&quot;</p>
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A scene from Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model"

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Coco Rocha'

For some reason, Tyra gets the models to play flag football
Question of the week for all you fashion fans: What is a classy supermodel like Coco Rocha doing on the same show as Bianca Golden, aka (as Lisa puts it) that “spoiled little brat”? It’s as if an A-list movie star, say, Drew Barrymore, was slumming it as a spokesperson for Cover Gir- uh, never mind. 
 
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<p>Jason O'Mara of &quot;Terra Nova&quot;</p>
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Jason O'Mara of "Terra Nova"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Terra Nova' - 'The Runaway'

In which our reviewer looks for ways to make this season more enjoyable for all

You know, it’s hard to review an episode of television in which nothing actually happened. Often I say something like that as a form of sarcastic hyperbole, but it’s not far off to say that nothing happened in tonight’s episode of “Terra Nova.” What’s important to take away can be summed up in about one paragraph. But there’s not much else to talk about. If you watched the episode, you know what I’m talking about. Part of my job is to not just tell you what happened, but what it meant. But there’s not much in the way of meaning that be teased out of “The Runaway.” 

That’s not because the episode is as impenetrable as the box under Mira’s old abode. It’s because the episode, as well as the show, is all surface. The only reason anyone does anything on this show is because of family, lost or found. The Shannons’ are the show’s central domestic unit, but they stand in contrast to the myriad of people in “Terra Nova” that are part of fractured families. Whenever a base reason for any action is discovered, it boils down to, “I am doing it for [INSERT LOVED ONE HERE].” We learned tonight that the Sixers aren’t exactly freedom fighters so much as hired hands. But Mira, their leader, is doing it for the same reasons little Lea Marcos infiltrated the camp: for a family member held by someone else. Even Taylor, the enigmatic figure who likes to wear prehistoric couture running jackets when not out battling dinosaurs, has a secret past involving a missing son. At a certain point, this reasoning gets old and clichéd. And we’re already well past that point.

Essentially, the entire hour was built around a desire to have Mira and Jim sit around for a few minutes and expand the mythology of the show. But, you know, not TOO much. So we got dialogue like this:

Jim: “What’s Terra Nova really about?” 

Mira: “You’ll see.”

Ryan McGee: “YOU CAN BOTH DIE IN A FIRE.”

That’s the type of dialogue that drove fans of “Lost” crazy go nuts for years. But at least that show had a wide cast of compelling characters to get one through the obfuscation. Here, we have a camp that’s already established (problem #1), filled with people we haven’t gotten to know (problem #2), and therefore have no investment in when things inevitably break down thanks to the dire threats of cute little girls and/or dinosaurs that invade during booty calls (problem #3). It’s not so much that we’re curious if the citizens of Terra Nova or The Sixers are in the “right” here, because both sides are equally faceless at this juncture. It’s not that we can’t tell, it’s that we don’t care.

“Terra Nova” has tried to pay some passing attention to character development, but it’s unclear how to unveil it through the course of the story. By introducing Lea into the occasion this week, the show had a perfect opportunity to see how each member of the Shannon family might react to this new visitor. Would Jim favor her over his own daughters? Might Josh magically turn into a human being around her? Might Zoe get territorial? All fine questions to explore and give dimensionality to this cardboard cutout family. But no: instead, barely anyone besides Jim spent any time with her, leaving this week’s character-building to a vocational irony story involving would-be doctor Maddie’s fear of gross anatomy. Did that tell us anything about Maddie? No. It was pure padding that added nothing to the episode except time between commercials.

At this point, the most of us can hope for are the little drips of story that seep through the cracks around the fifty minute mark each week. At the end of the pilot, I theorized that Mira’s dialogue near The Rock of Perpetual Mathematics indicated Taylor was actually the Big Bad of the show, something the Shannons would discover over the course of this season. Now, we learn that both Taylor and The Sixers are “innocents,” as it were, both fighting a nameless force from the future. Taylor might have been a company man once, but either went insane in the membrane during his time alone, or had a change of heart after his separation from his son. After that rebellion, “they” sent The Sixers back, holding something precious that belongs to each of the pilgrims in 2149 to assure their plan actually succeed. So rather than sending the Shannons over to the Sixers to fight Taylor, I’ll wager the two sides unite against a large army of super soldiers that some through the portal next. Until then, it’s just gonna be moppets hugging, I guess.

But we’re going to have to wait eight hours to see if that theory is right. That might not seem like a long time, unless you’ve seen these first five hours of “Terra Nova.” Then you realize it will be a might long time indeed. So with my editor’s permission, I’ve come up with a “Terra Nova” drinking game to get you through this first season. I myself will not be participating, because The Powers That Be at HitFix seem to frown upon reviews that consist of nothing but “oh come on”, “really?”, and “jdhfjdhfjksdjsj.” They are strange, that way. I know. But here are some simple rules, based on what’s gone down over these first four episodes, of ways in which you can take the show’s tropes and use them to your advantage. (Unless you’re under legal drinking age, of course. Then, you can drink soda until you’re sick. Deal? Deal.)

Take a sip whenever… 

…Josh does something that makes you say, “What a douche.”

…future science is introduced to solve an unsolvable problem.

…one character tells another about an amazing action scene that happened off screen.

…a soldier walks in wearing armor from the videogame “Fallout 3.”

…the show finds a reason to have Jason O’Mara shirtless.

…Taylor mysteriously asks a person if they just heard anything about him, and in the process only makes himself seem guiltier.

…a dinosaur obviously shows up due to a studio note, not a story need.

 

 

Take a gulp whenever…

…Zoe actually has a line.

…the Shannons are actually all in the same room at once.

…someone besides the Shannons, Taylor, Washington, Reynolds, or Skye get a line inside the camp.

…something or someone easily penetrates the perimeter of the camp.

…Maddie says something that forces you to wonder why Reynolds is remotely interested in her.

…Josh does something that makes you think, “Wow, maybe he ISN’T a douche.”


 

Drink the whole thing whenever…

…a dinosaur kills a human being under the age of 20.

…someone answers a question about the past in a non-evasive manner.

…someone shows an emotion other than “blasé” at living amongst dinosaurs 85 million years in the past.

…Randy Jackson shows up during sweeps to tell a T. Rex he sounds “pitchy”. 

 

 

That’s a pretty good start, no? And with two weeks until the next episode, we have plenty of time to build upon the work I’ve started here. And unlike the work that went into to creating the camp, we’ll be able to document all the work done here to make our time more palatable upon the show’s return. Nothing would make me happier than to have such a game be unnecessary to enjoy it. But for now, I fear it is. And even if I can’t personally enjoy it, I bestow this gift to all of you. I can’t give you a portal, but I can give you this.


Is such a game even necessary for you? Am I being too hard on this show? If not, what other rules should we add to the game? And what does the show need to do to sustain your interest enough to stick with the show for this season? Sounds off below!

 

 

 

 

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<p>Drake and Anna Faris and Jason Sudeikis of &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
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Drake and Anna Faris and Jason Sudeikis of "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Anna Faris and Drake

Stick around after a slow start for some top-notch skits

It’s the fourth straight week that “Saturday Night Live” is airing new episodes. That can’t be a good thing, right? If I don’t get eight hours of sleep a night, I resemble an extra on “The Walking Dead.” I can’t imagine how the talent both in front of the camera and behind it are fairing after a month producing a live show each week. Will I take that into account when grading tonight’s ep? Nah. That wouldn’t be American of me. So I’ll throw the grading hammer down on host Anna Faris and musical guest Drake the way I would any other show. Who knows? Maybe running on fumes will produce a hallucinatory episode that will stand the test of time. Or, it’ll just be Kristen Wiig trotting out every old character for one final parade. Anything’s possible. Only one way to find out. Onto the recap! 

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<p>Anna Torv of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>
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Anna Torv of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Subject 9'

Tonight's hour features a major breakthrough that produces even more questions

On last night’s “Community,” the show enacted several different timelines that played out based on a single roll of a die during a group game of Yahztee. I’m not as big as fan of the show as some people at HitFix, but I did appreciate how the show succinctly demonstrated how the removal of one person from the group brought out interesting sides of the others that remained. What works for twenty-one minutes, however, doesn’t always work over a much longer time period. We’re now four episodes into whatever roll of the die “Fringe” has currently cast, and the final moments of tonight’s episode doesn’t mean that we’re any closer to figuring out what Yahtzee reality we’re currently in.

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<p>Allison of &quot;America's Next Top Model&quot;</p>
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Allison of "America's Next Top Model"

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'LaToya Jackson'

The girls model Kardashian-wear and do a Michael Jackson-themed shoot
Camille and her pageant poses have done her in, leaving Bre and Lisa with the biggest targets on their backs. Oh, but at least they’re designer targets. Or maybe they’re just from Target. This isn’t exactly the classiest of seasons, after all.
 
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<p>Roar.</p>
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Roar.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Terra Nova' - 'What Remains'

If we don't know our core characters, how can we miss them when they lose their memory?

It takes a special talent to make a show about people going through a wormhole to dinosaur-infested prehistoric times inside an alternate time stream…and then make it this spectacularly dull. I almost want to applaud the show’s writers for achieving something I didn’t dream was possible. There’s a lot of talent behind the scenes on “Terra Nova” that came from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Had tonight’s plot showed up intact with the crew of the Enterprise standing in for our prehistoric heroes, no one would have blinked an eye. It would have been perfectly of a piece with that show. Here’s the difference: “TNG” would have at least known to tell this episode in its third season, not as its third overall offering.

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<p>Ben Stiller and Foster the People on this week's &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
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Ben Stiller and Foster the People on this week's "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Ben Stiller and Foster the People

At least one special guest joins the 'Tower Heist' star

Any time “Saturday Night Live” airs for three consecutive weeks, you can often see a downturn in the overall quality of the show. It’s a fairly insane schedule to maintain even for one week, never mind two. But when “SNL” goes back-to-back-to-back, well, it’s time to hold onto your seats. Then again, perhaps Ben Stiller, returning to the show for hosting duties for the first time since 1988, will use his manic energy to keep things on an even keel this week. He’s here to promote “Tower Heist,” or as I’ve been calling it, “Another 48 Towering Fockers.” Along for the ride are Foster the People, a band so ubiquitous on the radio right now that it’s only a matter of time before they become a punch line for a terrible joke over on “2 Broke Girls.”

Deep breaths, everyone. We can get through this together. Onto the recap! 

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<p>Seth Gabel and Anna Torv of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>
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Seth Gabel and Anna Torv of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Alone in the World'

The hour has plenty of heart, but the season continues to be head scratching

One of the great pleasures of reviewing “Fringe” each week is that there’s rarely a lack of things to discuss. Writing about certain shows is akin to drawing blood from a stone every seven days, to be sure. But there’s usually a lot of ground to cover when it comes to this one. Even when I don’t like a particular episode (and both previous ones this season have given me pause), there’s hardly a time when I stare at my computer screen, blankly staring at the cursor blinking before me. Well, congratulations, “Alone in the World”: you’ve achieved the seemingly impossible.

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"America's Next Top Model"

 "America's Next Top Model"

Credit: CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Anthony Zuiker'

One model gets eliminated and another ends up in the hospital

So, we start out the show with a whole lot of nothing. The girls get care packages from home, yay! But Camille doesn't. She gets a box of bills. And you know why she gets a box of bills? Because she's OLDER than everyone else. She has RESPONSIBILITIES. Given that Camille reminds us no less than three times that she's older than the rest of the contestants on the show, I'm starting to think she may also have early onset Alzheimer's disease because she just can't let this go. Someone, get the girl a walker and a box of denture cleaner, fast!

Camille may be old, but at least she isn't on death's door. That seems to be the case with Kayla, who starts throwing up and hyperventilating for no apparent reason. An ambulance is called and the models proceed to mourn as if Kayla is a close personal friend and not someone they secretly hope is going home and staying home. The models all act tremendously relieved when Kayla returns from the hospital at 2:12 a.m., even though I'm sure at least one of them thought about packing her bags for her. In any case, Kayla isn't going to die, as she just had a cardiac arrhythmia. She reveals it could be stress related, so everyone keep an eye out for other all-stars sneaking up behind her and screaming "SPIDER!" or "BOO!"

Time for the first challenge! Jay Manuel tells the girls they will be auditioning for "CSI" and show creator Anthon Zuiker, who pops up. Literally. He was pretending to be a corpse and abruptly tosses off the white sheet to a cacophony of screams. Did someone keep an eye on Kayla? 

The all-stars have to memorize a scene in thirty minutes, and it's a scene full of words like gas chromatography mass spectrometer, hydrocodone and methamphetamine. Well, they should know that last one. Camille shakes like a leaf.  Angelea is sure she can nail it and she does, if nailing it means pronouncing the names without showing up. Bre also manages to get through the list. But Lisa, the self-proclaimed actress in the bunch, falls apart. But she has an excuse. Actually, a lot of excuses. She wasn't allowed to look at the script for an hour and a half, she was the last one to go, she was tired, blah blah blah. That and two bucks will get you a cup of bad coffee, Lisa.

The two finalists are Bre and Angelea, and the winner is Bre. Angelea is pissed because, after all, she nailed it! Angelea, please take your 716 back to the 716. It's not attractive, even if Jay tells you it is. 

Next, an Express photo shoot at a mansion in Beverly Hills. The models will be expected to play one of four characters: the girlfriend, the flirt, the cool chick or the socialite. And to spice things up, they get to interact with three hot male models: Josh, David and Sean. Not an exciting challenge, but I think Kayla's probably had all the excitement she can stand for the week.

Even though the challenge seems pretty straight-forward, a number of the models really struggle with it. Bianca wants to push the limit of flirt, but she's too pose-y and awkward. When Jay points this out, Bianca gives him attitude, pointing out she's the "real" model in the competition. What? Bianca, this is a good way to get sent home to be a "real" model somewhere else. Camille knows she needs to bring it because she's OLDER -- so she doesn't.  Lisa decides that the best way to show off Express clothing is to have weird, spastic jumping fits for the camera. Lisa says she isn't drinking on this season, which is admirable, but she might benefit from some Ritalin.  

Judging from what we see at the photo shoot, Camille is really in trouble (but not because she's OLDER -- she took terrible pictures) and Bianca's attitude could catch up to her. I wasn't a big fan of Shannon's shots, either. 

Soon it's time for judging. Crazy Tyra introduces the panel: Nigel Barket, Andre Leon Talley and Anthony Zuicker. I'm so glad Anthony Zuicker stuck around... because he will be able to tell us which model looks dead and which doesn't? I have no idea. But really, he picked Bre, he has his actress, he should just go home. 

Laura shows up in a ghastly Wanda Sue special, but her picture is adorable, and the judges agree. Anthony thinks Kayla's shot is stunning. Nigel thinks Dominque sells just the right amount of sexy and she creates an attractive S shape with her body. Bre's shot is not a hit, as it does look a little JC Penney. Alexandria's photo looks mannequin-like and matronly. Nigel thinks Allison's photo is relaxed, which is surprising given how awkward she is in real life. Camille, unfortunately, looks frozen. She tries to blame it on tripping. Oh, Camille, don't make excuses. The judges all give her a disdainful look and, thank God, she shuts up.

Andre thinks Lisa's photo is unhappy despite the smiling. I'm not sure where he gets unhappy, but it's not a great shot. Nigel thinks Lisa makes a lot of excuses. The male models were tired and hungry! She couldn't interact with tired, hungry hot guys! Tyra tells her it was up to her to get the male models to stop being cranky. Bianca's photo is so-so. Andre thinks Angelea looks like a Russian wife, and this is apparently a compliment. I think. Tyra says she looks like new money and she thinks it's fabulous. I think this is code for rich and trashy, but okay, the judges seem happy with it, though I doubt Express will be. Shannon's photo is a hit, surprisingly, because I think it's pretty awful. 

The juges send the models away to mull things over alone. Laura's photo is, of course, a hit. Allison is deemed an innocent doll who needs more control. Nigel loves Kayla's picture, but Anthony thinks she doesn't command his attention. Shut up, Anthony. Andre loves Dominique's shot. Nigel thinks Alexandria's photo skew 40-plus, which is sadly true. It's like a horrible St. John catalog shot. Nigel thinks Camille's photo is personality free. Andre is annoyed by Lisa's excuses, but Nigel points out that, hello, her clothes look awful in the shot and it's a shot for a clothing ad. Ouch. Bianca is boring but Andre likes her picture and Tyra thinks it's amateur. Ooh, dissent in the ranks! Nigel thinks Angelea is selling it. Tyra thinks she has great confidence. Shannon's horrible shot gets mixed reviews -- Nigel doesn't love it, Tyra wishes she'd pushed a little more and Andre likes it. Nigel doesn't like Bre's smile. Anthony wants a full face, not a half face. Although on his show, he probably prefers a half face, because that means the rest of the face has been blown off. Why are we listening to him? 

Tyra calls Angelea first, as she's the most fantastic trashy Russian wife out there! The runner-up is Dominique, who turned in the better picture if you ask me. Then we have Allison, Laura, Kayla, Shannon, Bre, Bianca, Alexandria. Tyra tells her Alexandria she's more talented than her shot implies, and Alexandria sighs with relief. Lisa and Oldie McOlderson Camille are in the bottom. 

Tyra informs us that Lisa and Camille have nothing in common -- except excuses. Lisa stays, Camille goes. I have to say, this was pretty obvious from the beginning. Camille psyched herself out with her "I'm OLDER" mantra, and the unfortunate result is you can see her fretting about whether or not she has a blossoming wrinkle in every shot. Honestly, if she hadn't said she was 33 over and over again, I wouldn't have guessed it. 

Camille is disappointed, but she ha to reinvent herself. She actually seems a little relieved to be getting the boot, and she gives herself a pat on the back for having done as well as she did. Maybe someone will give her an ad campaign for wrinkle cream or those peach-colored Depends they keep plugging. There's a market for older, Camille, never fear!

Do you think Camille deserved to go? Did you think Angelea's photo was the strongest? And what did you think of the promo for next week with the Kardashian sisters and LaToya Jackson?

 

It's down to ten and the Kardashian sisters and LaToya Jackson. 

 

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