<p>Jeff Bridges</p>

Jeff Bridges

Credit: Kristy Wigglesworth/AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Jeff Bridges with Eminem and Lil Wayne

The Dude, Slim Shady and Weezy close 2010 with a typically uneven 'SNL'

So this is the Christmas episode of “Saturday Night Live.” And what have you done, “SNL”? You’ve brought together Jeff Bridges and Eminem for your final comedic jaunt of 2010. The Dude and The Real Slim Shady: like chocolate and peanut butter, but with more facial hair and anger issues. Vegas places 3:1 odds on “Lazer Catz” meeting “Tron” during tonight’s episode, and me liking the result at about 50:1.

Will Bridges redeem a rather tepid Fall for the show? Only one way to find out. As always, what follows below are my insta-reactions to each sketch as they happen. Like “SNL” and Bill O’Reilly, WE’RE DOING IT LIVE! Onto the recap after the break...

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<p>Tiffany of 'Top Chef All-Stars'</p>

Tiffany of 'Top Chef All-Stars'

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef All-Stars' - 'New York's Finest'

After Jen’s freak-out, the chefs try to play it safe

 

Since we can now watch 3-D television in our homes, I can only hope that someday someone can create taste-o-vision (I’m perfectly happy to skip smell-o-vision, as viewing one episode of “Hoarders” with that sense intact is probably enough to put you off your feed for all eternity). While it’s easy enough to condemn bad dancing or design or even crummy cake decorating, we have to take the judges’ words at face value on “Top Chef.” After last week’s episode, I’m not entirely sure I want to jump on the Crazy Jen bandwagon.
 
Yes, she acted like a total nutbag, but was her dish truly as lousy as Tom and Gail made it out to be? Yes, Tom Colicchio has won the James Beard Award, so it’s not like he can’t tell fine dining from something whipped up out of a Rachel Ray cookbook. But Jen does work for Eric Ripert, and the man doesn’t hire crap chefs. I find it hard to believe she’d send out something that tasted like an old, wet, bacon-flavored sock and then stubbornly go to the mat for it. And for all the judges’ nattering about how personality and attitude aren’t taken into consideration when cutting a chef, all I say to that is, come on. Taste-o-vision would solve this once and for all.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (Dec. 15) "Top Chef All Stars" after the break...]
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<p>Team Watermelon took a Watermelon in the Face. But did they win The Amazing Race?</p>

Team Watermelon took a Watermelon in the Face. But did they win The Amazing Race?

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' Season 17 Finale - The winners are...

The Racers arrived in Los Angeles. Would history be made?
I said it on the very first week of this "Amazing Race" season: When you start with a watermelon in the face, there's really nowhere to go but down. I didn't expect that prediction to be *quite* so prescient, but indeed it was.
 
"The Amazing Race" wrapped up its 17th installment on Sunday (Dec. 12) night with a finale that only continued the prolonged fizzle of recent weeks. 
 
Yes, "The Amazing Race" made "history" (I'm hesitant to call anything that happens on a reality show "historic") on Sunday night, but at what cost? Drama, alas.
 
Full recap of the "Amazing Race" finale after the break...
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<p>Paul Rudd</p>

Paul Rudd

Credit: Peter Kramer/AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Paul Rudd and Paul McCartney

The 'Clueless' Paul was hosting, but 'SNL' gave Sir Paul plenty to do

Robert DeNiro may have iconic Hollywood status, but doesn’t necessarily have skills that translate to “Saturday Night Live” success. Paul Rudd, however, possesses those skills in spades. Will he help SNL take the rather ragged Fall run towards a successful conclusion? Sure, Jeff Bridges will take things home next week, but we can’t worry about the future. We can only worry about the Power of the Pauls: not only the host, but musical guest Paul McCartney. Will Paul honor the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death in one of his numbers tonight? Only one way to find out.

Onto the recap, with all thoughts composed live as the show proceeds…

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<p>Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'By The Light Of The Moon'

Several new arrivals in town cause trouble, while Tyler undergoes his transformation

Hey, everyone – didja know it was a full moon tonight? Because it’s a full moon. A FULL MOON. Get it in your head already. The moon? It’s full.

The last episode of “The Vampire Diaries” until January 27 served up more of what this show does well: It moved characters closer together while adding to the series mythology, giving fans just the right amounts of emotion, action, intrigue, and surprise to carry us through the winter break.

But the best part was that Elena/Katherine didn’t overshadow the episode. Instead, everyone else got a chance to play in the supernatural sandbox thanks to the full moon and all it brought to Mystic Falls: Bonnie and Luca, Damon and Rose, and Little Red Riding Caroline and her Big, Bad Wolf Tyler all grew closer, though none of those pairings is without its complications. Even relative newcomers got into the mix: Elijah made his face turn and revealed his agenda, while Mystic Falls’s first lady werewolf made a memorable, violent entrance.  

The idea of duality is another scripting trick that’s become a “TVD” signature, here more subtle than usual as Elena/Katherine found themselves in similar predicaments, both pining for Stefan.  (Another no-fail element: The art of the love triangle. Everyone in town’s got one.) The storyline packing the most affecting emotional punch, however, was the budding friendship between Caroline and Tyler, which developed in unexpected ways as he experienced his first full moon. What girl can resist a guy who’ll collapse half-naked in a heap of tears and allow himself to be taken care of at his lowest moment? I see great things ahead for Tyroline. Start counting the days to January 27…

[Full recap of tonight’s (Dec. 9) episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” entitled “By the Light of the Moon,” below…]

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<p>John Noble and Joshua Jackson of 'Fringe'</p>

John Noble and Joshua Jackson of 'Fringe'

Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Marionette'

As Olivia struggles to re-acclimate herself, Peter struggles with his own guilt.

In some ways, last week’s episode of “Fringe” could have served as a perfectly satisfactory Fall finale for the show. Getting the two Olivias back to their home universes could have marked the end of one block of programming and allowed things to start from there next January, when the show moves to Fridays with an episode called “Firefly.” No, that’s not a joke. No, it’s not April Fool’s. No, Whedon fans that love “Fringe” are NOT amused.

[Recap of Thursday’s (Dec. 9) “Fringe” after the break…]

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<p>&nbsp;Joe Jonas and Padma Lakshmi of 'Top Chef All Stars'</p>

 Joe Jonas and Padma Lakshmi of 'Top Chef All Stars'

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef All-Stars' - 'Night at the Museum'

You won’t believe the contender gets sent packing in this week's Joe Jonas-tastic episode

One thing I’ve learned watching “Top Chef” is you’ve really got to eat dinner before the show, because otherwise you open up your fridge, look around and get depressed. Just a thought. Anyway, this all-star season is especially tempting, as so far I haven’t seen anything gag inducing (not always a given in previous seasons) and tensions were already running high in the first week. So let’s get to it!

[Full recap of Wednesday's (Dec. 8) "Top Chef All Stars," after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Sash of 'Survivor: Nicaragua'</p>

 Sash of 'Survivor: Nicaragua'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Nicaragua' - 'Not Sure Where I Stand'

A somewhat dull episode is all about Sash and poor Kelly-Nay
Last week, it was 2 a.m. in London and I was recapping "Survivor" and then everybody in the game quit. It was weird. Will we actually have a Tribal Council vote on Wednesday (Dec. 8) night? And what impact will the departure of Purple Kelly and NaOnka have on the "Survivor: Nicaragua" season? My hunch? None.
 
Let's find out...
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<p>Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith of 'Glee'</p>

Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith of 'Glee'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'A Very Glee Christmas'

Brittany and Sue have very different attitudes towards Christmas, with New Directions caught in the middle.

Many of you might think of me as the “Glee” Grinch who swoops in weekly to steal away the joy you get from the show. That’s definitely not my intention, and I definitely don’t get a sense of joy at tearing down a particular episode that I dislike. Disliking “Glee” is never, ever my first option: in fact, I think it’s singularly capable of producing as much joy in my too tiny heart as anything on TV right now. So when I leave out my weekly emotional milk and cookies and get television coal in return, well, I get a little angry.

[Full recap of Tuesday's (Dec. 7) "Glee" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Jill and Thomas of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

 Jill and Thomas of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I'm Surrounded by Ninjas'

Could Team Quitter -- Nick & Vicki -- recover from their penalty?

Well that was an hour of TV! No. Really. Including commercials, Sunday's (Dec. 5) episode of "The Amazing Race" definitely took up an hour of primetime real estate. I say that with all confidence and sincerity. 

Was it a more entertaining or efficient a use of time than a clip show would have been? Probably. Was the extra leg more fun for the competing teams? Probably. Would a clip show have been every bit as exciting and Sunday's episode? You betcha! In fact, a clip show probably would have included between five and 10 minutes of Watermelon Incident replays, which might have given it an advantage.
 
So there you go. Sunday's episode of "The Amazing Race" -- Better than a clip show, but only barely!
 
Full "recap" of Sunday's "Amazing Race" after the break...
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