<p>Nick &amp; Vicki of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Nick & Vicki of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I Want to Be in the Circus, That's Where I Belong'

Penalties aplenty and the producers forget to explain a key plotpoint
I'm not really sure what to do with Sunday (November 7) night's "Amazing Race."
 
There was a difficult and intriguing Detour. There was effective use of Russian geography and architecture. There was a dramatic ending.
 
But the dramatic ending was fueled almost entirely by a trio of rules violations, as two teams both hit the mat with penalties and the "winner" was the team with the fewest penalties. 
 
And looming over the entire episode was a confusing absence that the "Amazing Race" producers somehow felt that they had no responsibility to explain to even faithful and devoted viewers. What the heck, guys?
 
In the end, Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode was so full of frustrations and annoyances that I couldn't enjoy it at all. There are pleasurable ways of tearing your hair out during a TV show. Sunday's episode was of the unpleasurable sort.
 
Full recap of the Sunday's headache of an episode after the break...
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<p>Ian Somerhalder and a bit of Paul Wesley's head on 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Ian Somerhalder and a bit of Paul Wesley's head on 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Rose'

While Elena learns about vampire lore, Stefan and Damon take a roadtrip

For an episode simply titled “Rose,” this week’s “Vampire Diaries” sure was complicated. The curse, the doppelganger, the doppelganger’s doppelganger, the sacrifice – tons of new details surfaced to flesh out the series’ next arc, but does anyone care about the new vampire baddies yet?

The problem is, Katherine was such a delicious villain that it’s hard to leave her locked in the tomb while other old school vampires step up to give Elena, Stefan, and Damon something to worry about. Elijah and his “Originals” might spice up Mystic Falls in the weeks to come, but tonight they just gave us a serious Twilight/”True Blood” vibe – a little bit of the Volturi mythos here, a dash of Russell the vampire king of Mississippi there.

That said, these greater vampire politics promise fascinating returns as we learn that the vampire world exists outside of Mystic Falls (as if!) and wonder how the Elena-as-sacrifice storyline will play out. Besides, what Delena fan could complain about an episode that sees Damon deliver the heartfelt admission we’ve been waiting for – and in the most heartbreaking way possible – while other unexpected couples stumble their way toward romance. (Bonneremy vs. Tyroline: Who makes the better pair?)

[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 4) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Rose," after the break…]

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<p>Anna Torv of 'Fringe'</p>

Anna Torv of 'Fringe'

Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Amber 31422'

Walternate subjects Olivia to a series of tests while she investigates a mysterious robbery.

A lot has happened since “Fringe” aired its last episode. The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, the Republicans took back the House of Representatives, and the television landscape now has 50% less J.J. Abrams influence thanks to the cancellation of “Undercovers.” But Over There, much less time has passed for our Olivia. Only a few days have transpired from her perspective. But those have been sleepless days, haunted by a subconscious that looks an awful lot like Peter Bishop.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 4) "Fringe" after the break...]

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

Chelsey and Ann of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Margherita Missoni'

The models head to Venice and Milan for this year's international jaunt

We're down to the final six in this cycle of "ANTM," and you have to give it to Liz. She whines about everything, but at least that “everything” includes her own work.

“My commercial was horrible,” she mentions. “It was God-awful.”

Yes, the product for said commercial is even sillier than the commercial itself, but Tyra is Tyra, and she’s allowed to be as silly as she wants, fools.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (Nov. 3) night's "Top Model" adventure after the break...]

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

NaOnka of 'Survivor: Nicaragua'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Nicaragua' - 'Company Will Be Arriving'

After a merge, the theft of food fragments a fragmented tribe
It appears that we're heading towards a Merge on Wednesday (Nov. 3) night's "Survivor: Nicaragua." The tribal reshuffling last month altered the game permanently, throwing that Old vs. Young nonsense out the window. What will a Merge do? Click through...
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<p>Bristol Palin of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Bristol Palin of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Results - Down to 5

'Dancing' offers an elimination plus 90 minutes of Election Night counter-programming

So, it’s elimination night on “DWTS.” And it’s election night. We can only hope as many people voted for their political representatives as “DWTS,” but that’s probably too optimistic. In any case, all that election stuff is, apparently, stretching this elimination program, which shouldn’t be more than a half hour at most, to an agonizing hour and a half, so at the very least, hope you get the senator you wanted.

[Full recap of Tuesday's (Nov. 2) "Dancing" results after the break...[

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<p>Rick Fox of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Rick Fox of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Returning champs split the Top 6 into teams

Past contestants return to judge, but one couple doesn’t impress

It’s the 200th show week of “DWTS,” which sounds fairly dramatic until you realize that just means the show’s been on the air for five years. And eleven seasons. Remember when seasons were roughly the same as calendar years? This is starting to hurt my head, but let’s just say, “Dancing,” big hit, yay.

 

[Full recap of Monday's (Nov. 1) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
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<p>Chad and Stephanie of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Chad and Stephanie of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Run, Babushka, Run'

Cinema and classical music prove challenging for the teams in a Russian leg
With a World Series game on one channel, a reasonably good Sunday Night Football game getting ready to start on a different channel and the annual Late October Costuming & Candy Beggary Festival taking place outside, Sunday's (October 31) installment of "The Amazing Race" was always going to have to struggle to find an audience.
 
The producers probably couldn't have anticipated that this particular leg would line up with Halloween Night and its myriad entertainment alternatives, but the timing was fortuitous. 
 
[Full recap of Sunday's "Amazing Race" after the break...]
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<p>This is actually a picture of Jon Hamm the last time he hosted 'Saturday Night Live.' We're assuming he looked roughly the same this time.</p>

This is actually a picture of Jon Hamm the last time he hosted 'Saturday Night Live.' We're assuming he looked roughly the same this time.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Jon Hamm and Rihanna

'Mad Men' star makes his third visit to 'SNL' with positive returns

The World Series is currently in full swing for Major League Baseball. A Jon Hamm-hosted episode of “Saturday Night Live” may not qualify as important as a game between the Giants/Rangers, but one could make the argument that for their respective audiences, there’s as much excitement surrounding each. Hamm’s first appearance on the show blew people’s minds. The second confirmed that his first outing wasn’t a fluke. Will the third time be as charming as Don Draper himself? (You know, when he’s not in a drunken haze stealing ideas post-Clio Awards.)

Musical guest Rihanna will also appear tonight. Sadly, that probably rules out another installment of “Hamm and Buble,” though I must confess than I prefer my pork covered in Nutella…ella…ella…ay…ay…ay. Last time out, Rihanna rocked out with “Shy Ronnie,” proving she had comic as well as musical chops. Hamm + Rihanna sounds pretty harmonious on paper. But how will it play out? Onto the breakdown!

[Full recap of Saturday's (Oct. 30) "SNL" after the break...]

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<p>Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Masquerade'

A plan is hatched to take Katherine out for good, but will the witches cause hitches?

Operation: Kill Katherine Dead is in full effect in this Very Special Halloween episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” which is also throws in a little Mission: Impossible and touch of “Jerry Springer” for good measure. Who will die? Who will NOT die? And who’s the dude in the creepy clown mask?

Katherine’s arc appears to come to a close – at least for now – as Damon and Stefan’s task force sets an ambush at the annual Mystic Falls Masquerade Ball. Jumping into action from the get-go, show runners Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson take the scripting reins, deftly shifting momentum around so that everyone gets some action – even dour Bonnie, whose love life might finally be looking up after tonight.

The episode’s best trick, alas, turned out to be a one-off gimmick. (How are Elena and Katherine connected, if not by a single magical spell?) Tonight also demonstrated how much we’d miss the sensual, smart, badass Katherine if she weren’t around anymore to make wanton passes at Mystic Falls’ most eligible bachelors and slyly show us that she knows that we can tell her and Elena apart.

So bid farewell to Katherine (at least, for now) and get ready for more dowdy, whiny Elena as Katherine’s arc closes and another one begins. At least those annoying Mystic Falls High floozies are gone. Bring on the next underboss!

[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 28) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Masquerade," after the break…]

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