Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Would the Big Easy bring out more leering from Steven Tyler?
Some tool from the New Orleans audition of 'American Idol'
Does anybody understand how 51 people from the seemingly lackluster "American Idol" New Jersey auditions got sent along to Hollywood? Did the producers just decide we didn't deserve to see the good contestants? Were at least 30 of those contestants freaks Jennifer Lopez couldn't bear to send home, or hotties Steven Tyler was hoping to hook up with after the show?
And if the "Idol" producers thought New Jersey was capable of sustaining a full two-hour premiere, what hope is there for New Orleans, home of Thursday (Jan. 20) night's showcase?
Click through for my reactions to The Crescent City...
An act moves into the finals, but one judge isnâ€™t happy about it
'Live to Dance' judge Travis Payne
It’s probably too late now, but someone at CBS should consider giving this show a revamp before it frustrates someone to death. Wondering how much fluff is packed into the beginning of the show? Two minutes to tell us who’s going to be on the show, a minute for the judges to walk onto the stage like three little Eva Perons greeting their public, and then another minute to recap the previous week’s episode. So, if you were wondering how the producers stretch six short performances into a full hour of prime time, well, there you go.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Jan. 19) "Live to Dance" after the break...]
Restaurant Wars melts down into a 'perfect storm' of awfulness
Richard of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'
Restaurant Wars! This episode is always good for some yelling, some swearing, a little crying and, of course, at least one complete meltdown. And, oh yes, there’s food involved. Restaurant Wars is the point at which “Top Chef” starts to feel, for better or for worse, like a traditional reality TV show. All you need is Gordon Ramsay to drop by and shriek at a few chefs and you’d think you were watching the Fox network. Let’s just hope the food is exceptional this season or we might as well be watching the chefs burn beef Wellington and picking spaghetti out of the trash.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Jan. 19) "Top Chef" after the break...]
Auditions offer our first chance to judge Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez
Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson of 'American Idol'
Conventional wisdom used to be that if you wanted to win "American Idol," you had to get as much exposure as early as possible, preferably in the audition episodes. Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze have pretty well shattered that idea.
Conventional wisdom also used to be that viewers loved the "American Idol" audition episodes because they loved to see the freaks and to hear Simon Cowell's pithyÂ eviscerations. Time to put that notion to the test.
Wednesday (Jan. 19) night's 10th season premiere of "American Idol" launched the FOX juggernaut's Post-Simon Era and introduced viewers to new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.Â
How does the new season look? Click through for my epic minute-by-minute recap of the premiere...
Would the 'Country Strong' star say 'Forget You' to comedy?
Credit: Matt Sayles/AP
I wish Las Vegas would let me bet on things like “Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee-Lo Green co-performing a sanitized version of ‘F#$k You’ on ‘Saturday Night Live.’” But according to my fictional bookie, apparently I can’t. Oh well. Will Paltrow fill the audience with “Glee” or depression? Will her overall performance be “Country Strong” or reveal her to be a simple city slicker? As always, we’re breaking things down live, sketch by sketch. Here we go!
Itâ€™s a team fishing challenge, but one trio canâ€™t catch a break
Richard and Fabio of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'
This week it’s a team fishing challenge, which seems a bit extreme to me. After all, the chefs are at the mercy of whatever the ocean coughs up for them, which could be Coke cans and dirty diapers depending on the way the tide runs. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean the chefs are going to face increasingly random challenges, like gourmet roadkill or gussying up the contents of the “American Idol” judges’ refrigerators. There are simply limits to what a talented chef can do, especially since I’m guessing Steven Tyler doesn’t actually eat.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Jan. 12) "Top Chef: All-Stars after the break...]
One act progresses to the finals, but a talented duo might be homebound.
Kimberly Wyatt of 'Live to Dance'
It’s week three of Paula’s attempt to convince America she is a stern and sober dance critic and not a squishy marshmallow, which is otherwise known as the semi-finals of “Live to Dance.” Paula really has been running around town trying to convince talk show hosts that she’s unleashing, if not her inner bitch, then her inner toughy. Whom she calls Pauletta. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to, people. Oh, and if you talk about the show, and I’m not saying you will, do know that Paula says the judges on the show aren’t judges, they’re “experts.” Take that, Ellen Degeneres! Told you she was playing hardball.
[Full recap after the break...]
The 'In Living Color' sketch veteran kicks off 2011 for 'SNL'
It’s a new year for everyone, including “Saturday Night Live.” But with Jim Carrey as its first host, perhaps that new year is 1997 for the show. Do two pop culture institutions both accused of having their best years behind them equal success for tonight’s episode? Quite possibly. “SNL” is never quite as dead as people like to proclaim, and Carrey’s recent work in “I Love You Philip Morris” received critical accolades if not box office gold. Throw in musical guests The Black Keys, and you have the makings of what could be a strong first episode of 2011.
(Can you tell one of my New Year’s Resolutions was “Treat ‘SNL’ kinder than I did last Fall?” I’m trying, everyone. I’m trying.)
Onto the show, starting here on the East Coast late after Nick Folk right foot just turned into Rex Ryan’s second favorite one on the planet…
Four acts fight for the final two spots in the semi-finals
Kimberly Wyatt of 'Live to Dance'
For those of you watching â€œLive to Danceâ€ for its drinking game potential, weâ€™ll need to revise our key words for this evening. Tonight, whenever anyone says â€œlive semi-finals,â€ drink. In fact, you may just want to drink, period, because that may be the only way to make sense of some of the judgesâ€™ decisions.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Jan. 5) "Live to Dance" after the break...]
A weak link survives for another week
Fabio of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'
Before we begin, if any of you are wondering why your DVR suddenly stopped recording “Top Chef,” it’s because the title of the show was suddenly changed from “Top Chef: All Stars” to plain, old “Top Chef.” But hey, this show is in constant reruns, so you’ll probably catch it in real time anyway. In other “Top Chef” news, if you live in Southern California and are a Fabio fan, you can watch the show on Wednesday nights at his Toluca Lake restaurant, Firenze Osteria. He’ll even be there, I’m told. And if you’re not a Fabio fan, hey, free hors d’oeuvres. I can’t attest to it being a big hootenanny, as I’m busy blogging for you guys, but if you’ve gone, do tell. If you know of the other chefs on the show doing anything similar, by the way, please post about it. And by all means, tell us about the food!