<p>Bristol Palin of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Bristol Palin of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 11 Finale - Part I

The dancers perform in the hard-to-call finale, but only one couple gets a perfect score

I hate to say it, but I’m almost relieved that this season of “DWTS” is about over. I still can’t believe an enjoyably silly little dance competition reality show has somehow become a flashpoint for American politics, the 2012 presidential race and a debate over why middle America hates the West Coast, but it has, sucking the fun out of what should be prime time fluff. Of course, this has also resulted in big ratings and even bigger buzz, so we might as well prepare ourselves for “DWTS: The Awkward Politico Spawn Edition.” Yay. 

[Full recap of Monday's "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]

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<p>Nat &amp; Kat of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Nat & Kat of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets'

One team takes a huge advantage, while two teams face U-Turns

Chances are that unless you're at least an amateur film scholar, you've never heard of Edwin Stanton Porter. When it comes to legendary early silent film pioneers, George Melies or the Lumiere Brothers seem to steal all of the love.

Porter worked for Thomas Edison's film company at the turn of the 20th Century and he's credited with being one of the creators of the editing dissolve. Fortunately, he did not create the star-wipe. He's also credited with pioneering the use of cross-cutting to create tension. [Thanks to the awesomeness of YouTube, you can check out 1903's "The Great Train Robbery" in its entirety.] It's one of the most important innovations in the history of cinematic grammar. 
 
I bring Edwin Porter up for two reasons:
 
1) I'm pretentious.
 
2) Sunday (Nov. 21) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was probably my favorite episode of the entire season -- Two Two, to be sure -- and it was nearly undone by some of the most poorly matched cross-cutting I've ever seen. "The Amazing Race" is a show that's rarely any less than exemplary in its technical crafting, so this was notably weak and annoying.
 
Click through for my recap of "There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets"...
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<p>Anne Hathaway</p>

Anne Hathaway

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Anne Hathaway

The 'Love and Other Drugs' star hosts the last 'SNL' of November

Happy Almost Thanksgiving, faithful HitFix readers. It’s Turkey Time for “Saturday Night Live,” with returning host Anne Hathaway and musical guest Florence + The Machine. Hathaway’s appearance two years ago was a surprising highlight of the season, showing off her musical and comedy chops in a way that, for instance, “Bride Wars” did not. She’s here to promote her upcoming nudity (I mean, nuanced performance) in “Love And Other Drugs,” so look for fellow “Drugs” star and “SNL” favorite Jake Gyllenhaal to stop by the show tonight. Will Hathaway’s return performance exceed her first? Will I rage against Florence’s Machine? Only one way to find out.

On with the recap!

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<p>Lance Reddick of 'Fringe'</p>

Lance Reddick of 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'The Abducted'

A case from Broyles' past puts Olivia's chances to escape in peril.

“Fringe” is currently one of the strongest shows on television, with its multidimensional plotline having provided a surprisingly strong shot in the narrative and mythological arm. But the decision to play out back-and-forth episodes, while effective, also has a finite shelf life as currently constructed. The writers have luckily recognized that having an entire season as constituted would have been creative death. With “The Abducted,” we saw the beginning of the end of that structure, and while I’ve been a huge fan of the season thus far, I applaud the decision to end it in the near future. That’s not to say that we’ll see be done Over There. We’ll just get to see new dynamics at play there.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 19) "Fringe" after the break...]

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<p>Ann of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Ann of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Franca Sozzani'

Tyra Banks turns director and two models head home

We’re down to the final four, and Jane appears to have lost her personality in back the baggage claim at the Venice airport. That’s bad news, for, despite her lovely cube-shaped head, she isn’t all that memorable compared to the rest of the girls left on this 15thTK cycle of "America’s Next Top Model."

[Recap of Wednesday's (Nov. 17) "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

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<p>Chase of 'Survivor: Nicaragua'</p>

Chase of 'Survivor: Nicaragua'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Nicaragua' - 'Stuck in the Middle'

A fire at camp upsets people for two seconds and then becomes irrelevant

Wednesday (Nov. 17) night's episode of "Survivor: Nicaragua" is titled "Stuck in the Middle." Does that mean that the week's Reward Challenge is going to be a Stealers Wheel concert?

 
Click through to find out...
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<p>Kyle Massey performing on Monday (Nov. 15) night's 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Kyle Massey performing on Monday (Nov. 15) night's 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Results - Down to 3 for the Finale

Annie Lennox performs and a talented dancer gets the boot

It’s the last elimination before the big finale, and our celebrities are lined up to take their lumps (or not). The good news is that most of them look like they’ll be able to handle the news, regardless of what it is. Kyle is joking around, Jennifer is grinning and Bristol looks placid and content. And then there’s Brandy, who looks like she’s headed to her own execution. Oh, Brandy, seriously, it’s just a mirror ball. The street value of that thing probably isn’t more than five bucks.  

 

[Who went home? Click through for the full recap of Tuesday's (Nov. 16) "Dancing with the Stars"]
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<p>Gwyneth Paltrow is singing in the rain on 'Glee'</p>

Gwyneth Paltrow is singing in the rain on 'Glee'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - Gwyneth Paltrow visits for 'The Substitute'

With Will sick, a new teacher sets her sights on helping New Directions.

After careful consideration, I think I’m coming closer to understanding the perfect way to look at the weekly output of “Glee.” In the past, I’ve tried to liken it to the New England weather, ever-changing. Other times, I’ve chalked up the show to existing in whatever world in which that particular episode’s writer thinks the show exists. But there’s potentially another way to look at the show’s wildly erratic (albeit occasionally brilliant) existence.

Rather than look at what appears on a weekly basis as the carefully considered result of a fine-tuned process from initial idea to final presentation, what the “Glee” audience sees is the result of a first draft that got rushed into production so FOX had something to air on Tuesdays at 8 pm. Between last week’s “Never Been Kissed” and this week’s installment, “The Substitute,” I counted roughly ten plots all fighting for attention and coherence. And that’s without even really trying to keep score.

[Full recap of Tuesday's (Nov. 16) "Glee" after the break...]

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<p>Bill Smitrovich and Blair Underwood of 'The Event'</p>

Bill Smitrovich and Blair Underwood of 'The Event'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Event' - 'For the Good of Our Country'

Things get tense between President Martinez and Vice President Jarvis

Phew, for a moment there I was worried. After last week’s closing shot saw “The Event” ascend to the heights of random absurdity, it seemed like this week’s episode, “For the Good of Our Country,” had retreated back to dull-as-you-can-imagine political intrigue. But then, with five seconds left and seemingly all hope lost, evil, old-man Dempsey looks into his mirror-mirror-on-the-wall and briefly morphs into a young man, before transforming back to his whithered self just as quickly.

Now we at least have something fun to talk about, and distract us from the rest of this awful episode. At least, as best I can tell, that’s the plan of the “Event” team, who have given us a second incredibly dull episode in a row that’s capped off with laughably goofy imagery. 

[More thoughts on Monday's (Nov. 15) "The Event" after the break...]

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<p>Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Semifinals performances

The stars bring their best to the semi-finals, but only one gets a perfect score – twice

It’s the semi-finals of “DWTS” and everyone is competing as they’ve NEVER COMPETED BEFORE. Unless you count last week, and maybe the week before, and maybe that one time when they were on the track team in high school, and, well, never mind. Anyway, it’s the semi-finals and for some reason Bristol is still in the game, go figure. Since tonight’s show is just an hour and a half, we’d better hop to it, as we don’t want to miss a single minute of trumped-up backstage drama, lame scripted humor or, you know, dancing.

[Full recap of Monday's (Nov. 15) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]

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