Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Did 'SNL' turn the 'Hop' and 'Arthur' star loose?
Credit: Matt Sayles/AP
Well, usually the third episode of “Saturday Night Live” in a row without a break signals a weak effort. The strain of producing the show non-stop for that long tends to produce a subpar episode. But throwing Russell Brand into that third slot? Well, color me more intrigued. Will giving him a live stage upon which to perform yield buzzworthy television? And what will have to say, if anything, about beleaguered musical guest Chris Brown? Let’s just establish this right now: if that combination of guest host and musical act can’t provide at least a few memorable moments tonight, then the show’s no longer allowed to put on three consecutive episodes.
Agreed? Whew. Glad we got this settled in a way that is easily applicable and enforceable. Yea internets! As always, I’ll be grading each segment live, as they happen. Put on your skinny jeans and let’s do this, people.
Over There, a series of murders leads to a shocking revelation for Fauxlivia
It’s a week later, and I’m still not sure quite how to feel about the revelations in the end of last week’s episode of “Fringe.” But the follow-up installment, “Immortality,” certainly indicates that this new direction will be followed through for the rest of the season. And if the fate of the two universes coming down to essentially the most dramatic rose ceremony ever bothers you, then the revelation of Fauxlivia’s pregnancy probably made you perfectly apoplectic. (And perhaps alliterative, as well.)
[Full recap of Friday's (Feb. 11) "Fringe" after the break...]
The werewolves fight back â€“ but theyâ€™re no match for Elijah
Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'
Credit: The CW
I guess the werewolves who survived last week’s bloodbath are hiding in the woods, crying for kibble and looking into open dog positions. Or at least that’s what any werewolf who doesn’t have a speaking part in this episode should consider doing, because they’re probably going to last as long as a nameless red shirt on the Star Trek Enterprise. Anyway, that hot lupine couple Jules and Brady aren’t going down without a fight. Well, okay, another fight. They want that moonstone and they want it now!
[Full recap of Thursday's (Feb. 10) "Vampire Diaries" after the break...]
Is it time for Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson to start playing favorites?
Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson of 'American Idol'
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
We've survived seven episodes of auditions and if we scratch our heads and think really hard, we may even remember a few of the better contestants who shared their sob stories with us.
But now, it's the start of the Hollywood Round, when the scores can really change...
The winning act is revealed â€“ and Paula gets mushy
Farewell to Paula Abdul's 'Live to Dance' and Paula Abdul's happy clap
AAAH! It’s the finals of “Live to Dance”! Someone’s life will be FOREVER CHANGED! Okay, I get it, someone’s going to get some money. And half of it will go to taxes. And once they divide it among everyone in the act (assuming the winner isn’t Kendall Glover, the one solo dancer), then get a new car and a sofa and maybe a nice vacation, that will take care of the rest of it. Especially if the Vibe, the troupe of 38 dancers, wins. They may just want to leave their checks at the studio.
Full recap of Wednesday's (Feb. 9) "Live to Dance" finale after the break...
The chefs cook for Jimmy Fallon â€“ but one chef lays it on too thick
'Top Chef' judges Jimmy Fallon and Padma Lakshmi
I love it when “Top Chef: All Stars” kicks things off by showing that, as much as we hope it’s just one big happy family of chefs on this show, some of the culinary divas kind of quietly hate one another. Case in point: Mike and Antonia. Mike can’t bring himself to congratulate Antonia on winning last week’s challenge with mussels. It’s a French dish! Well, French or not, the judges clearly liked it a whole lot more than Mike’s underdone pasta. Mike, clearly, is a sore, pouty loser. So we get to see Antonia and Mike quietly snipe at one another while Fabio tries to lighten the mood in his distinctly happy, Fabio way. It’s kind of like sitting down at another family’s uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner or watching “The Real Housewives of Something Or Other.” Except I don’t think those women can cook. They’re too flammable.
After last week's talent-free auditions, could Steven, J-Lo and Randy find a star?
James Durbin of 'American Idol'
Last week wasn't a very good "American Idol" week, was it? Two episodes, two hours, not a single contestant I remember seven days later. You know who didn't seem to care? America! There's a lesson here and when I figure it out, I'll let y'all know.
Meanwhile, on to Wednesday's (Feb. 9) audition episode from San Francisco, an old reliable "Idol" haunt. Will we see the next Adam Lambert or William Hung?
Valentine's Day brings up mixed emotions, and new complications
Heads (and plenty of eyes) may have rolled in the post-Super Bowl episode of “Glee” that aired a scant forty-eight hours ago. But if the show had really wanted to put its best foot forward, it would done itself far more justice had it aired tonight’s edition, “Silly Love Songs,” instead. Had the football team simply been doing well, Finn’s stock could have risen equally as high, putting the basic premise at work tonight in perfect position to wow the largest set of eyeballs that show will probably ever see. Oh well. No one ever accused “Glee” of doing things the easy way.
Tensions arise when the football team is forced to join New Directions before the championship game
A scene from Sunday's 'Glee'
It’s been roughly two months since the last episode of “Glee,” during which time I forgot how to actually watch the show. Sure, I’ve watched plenty of television in the interim. Probably too much, according to my family. But “Glee” breaks the rules of how television is supposed to work, and so coming back into it is now is liking coming from a 3 Doors Down concert and then sitting front row at a jazz fusion festival. Not that “Glee” would ever do jazz fusion: I’m not sure its supposed demographic of seven-year olds would appreciate covers of “Bitches Brew.”
[Full recap of Sunday's (Feb. 6) "Glee" after the break...]
Justin Bieber, Wayne's World, Church Lady and more in a guest-filled episode
'Saturday Night Live' host Dana Carvey
For those that continually say that “Saturday Night Live” isn’t as good now as it used to be, well, tonight should prove to be an interesting test case for that theory: “SNL” alum Dana Carvey is back to host tonight. He’s not promoting anything, unless there’s a Criterion Collection “Master of Disguise” DVD being released and I’m not aware of it. Normally I’m against the show simply trotting out the same old characters week after week, but expect a parade of Carvey’s classic characters tonight, plus a potential parade of other alums as well. Should be interesting to say the least, which is more than I can say about tonight’s musical guest, Linkin Park. (They seem more anachronistic that Carvey at this point, to be honest.)
As always, I’ll be grading each sketch as it happens. Onto the show!