<p>Michaela McManus of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Michaela McManus of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The Descent'

Rose falls ill from her werewolf bite – but is she a goner?

So “Vampire Diaries” is back, and not a moment too soon. There are so many loose ends that need tying, what with that moonstone and ancient curses and dead werewolves and the like. Luckily, “VD” keeps things simple this time out, just in case you’ve been busy and had to reallocate the valuable brain space you once used for keeping your werewolves, witches and vampires straight for something like, oh, algebra or the intricacies of your data plan. But just in case you’ve forgotten, new girl in town/werewolf tried to kill Damon but bit Rose instead, vampire Caroline is torn between werewolf Tyler and nice boy Matt and Elena is generally a big, mopey bore. Caught up? Good! Let’s get to it.

[Recap of Thursday's (Jan. 27) "Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

Read Full Post
<p>Matt Dillard of 'American Idol'</p>

Matt Dillard of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Nashville Auditions

It's off to Music City for Randy, J-Lo and Steven Tyler.

For me, the Sundance Film Festival is over. And for "American Idol," it's off to Nashville for another audition episode.

If technology at the Salt Lake City airport holds up, I'll be recapping Thursday's (Jan. 27) "American Idol" after the break...

Read Full Post
<p>Paula Abdul of 'Live to Dance'</p>

Paula Abdul of 'Live to Dance'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Live to Dance' - Performance Show #3

The judges make their last pick for the finals – and pan one act for blowing it

This is the last qualifying week for the finals! Wheeeee! This is the most important dance stage in the world right now! Someone tell the Bolshoi Ballet, I’m sure they’d be happy to hear that they suck in comparison to a TV show packed with amateurs. Really, I feel like Andrew Gunsberg might be better suited to infomercials, because he acts like he’s going to wet his pants from the excitement of “LTD.” But hey, I’d buy a Slap Chop from him, no problem.

Oh, yay, we have the royal appearance of the judges. Aw, they’re all holding hands like lovey-dovey Hollywood starlets or pre-school students! Everybody, grab your Safety Buddy! Especially you, Paula!

Read Full Post
<p>'American Idol' contestant Scott Dangerfield</p>

'American Idol' contestant Scott Dangerfield

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Milwaukee Auditions

Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson and J-Lo head to Wisconsin

As you may have noticed, I've been in Utah for the past week covering the Sundance Film Festival, but who has time to catch two evening movie screenings when "American Idol" is doing two hours of audition footage from Wisconsin?

Click through for Wednesday's (Jan. 26) recap of Milwaukee's Finest...

Read Full Post
<p>John Noble and Michael Cerveris of 'Fringe'</p>

John Noble and Michael Cerveris of 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'The Firefly'

A visit to a musician sparks new fears in Walter about the fate of Peter.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way up front: dubbing the return episode of “Fringe” as “The Firefly” is a pretty good joke. It keys in nicely with FOX’s marketing strategy to make Fridays not simply another victim in the so-called “death slot.” (Incidentally? “Death slot” is a phrase I am so loath to use I feel like I just consumed some of Walter Bishop’s special milk that so does NOT make a body feel good.) But we’re not here as leaves on the wind, findin’ trouble in the ‘verse. We’re here to talk about “Fringe,” and the slam-bang return that was tonight’s episode.

[Full recap of said episode after the break…]

Read Full Post
<p>Some tool from the New Orleans audition of 'American Idol'</p>

Some tool from the New Orleans audition of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - New Orleans Auditions

Would the Big Easy bring out more leering from Steven Tyler?

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...

Read Full Post
<p>'Live to Dance' judge Travis Payne</p>

'Live to Dance' judge Travis Payne

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Live to Dance' - Performance Show #2

An act moves into the finals, but one judge isn’t happy about it

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...]

Read Full Post
<p>Richard of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'</p>

Richard of 'Top Chef: All-Stars'

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef All-Stars' - 'Restaurant Wars: One Night Only'

Restaurant Wars melts down into a 'perfect storm' of awfulness

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...]
Read Full Post
<p>Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson of 'American Idol'</p>

Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 10 Premiere

Auditions offer our first chance to judge Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez

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 pithy 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. 

How does the new season look? Click through for my epic minute-by-minute recap of the premiere...

Read Full Post
<p>Gwyneth Paltrow</p>

Gwyneth Paltrow

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green

Would the 'Country Strong' star say 'Forget You' to comedy?

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!

Read Full Post