A broken clock is right twice a day. And every once in a while, “Glee” works on every conceivable level. There’s no guarantee that what happened tonight will happen again anytime soon, but there’s no denying that “Duets” took what could have been another awful “Theme Week”-type episode and used it for the strange purpose of actually advancing character and story. I call that purpose “strange” not because that it’s wrong, but “strange” because the show so infrequently chooses to do so.
[Full recap of Tuesday's (Oct. 12) "Glee" after the break...]
I have made no secret of my general distaste for â€œThe Event,â€ but I nonetheless go into each week hoping for the best, and ready to extend the show some benefit of the doubt. Part of this is because Iâ€™d rather not watch terrible television, and part of it is because I genuinely cheer for almost all art to be good; even if itâ€™s not a show for me, Iâ€™ve wanted â€œThe Eventâ€ to live up to its potential and offer something decent to its fans. But at this point, sadly, my patience and good will are wearing awfully thin. Within the first couple minutes of tonightâ€™s episode, â€œA Matter of Life and Death,â€ I was ready to throw my hands in the air and declare this series a lost cause.
[Full recap after the break...]
It’s the first acoustic week ever on “DWTS!” Wow! But wait, that’s just one of several HUGE changes for the show, none of which is a big whoop, but will be presented as such! I’m assuming this is happening because ABC has decided that D-list celebrities dancing awkwardly just isn’t enough to hold your interest, fickle viewers, so this is really all your fault. Anyway, the dance floor is now round and elevated, and the judges will be providing two sets of scores – one for technique, one for performance. Wow! Color me shocked! Knock me over with a feather boa! A new dance floor, I swoon! I’m not really sure why there are two sets of scores or whether this will have any impact on who stays or goes, except that it forces me to do more math in my head than I would like, but whatever.
We are informed through a truly ridiculous montage sequence that dancing to acoustic music is REALLY HARD and will put the celebrities under A GREAT DEAL OF PRESSURE which may end in tears or broken bones. Okay, maybe not the last part, but still, big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I love “DWTS.” But then, I like watching dancing. And I like watching some celebrities dance badly even more, because it makes me feel better about the fact that I have squashed many a toe in my lifetime. I don’t really need ABC to create false drama, or force their pro dancers to do canned segments about how acoustic music is SO DAMN HARD TO DANCE TO while they try to look earnest, even though you know they’re thinking, “Damn, this is stupid, but I’m making about a million times more doing TV than dancing at some pro ballroom competition or teaching frisky seniors how to rumba on a cruise ship, so yeah, I’m sucking it up and then some.” Really, ABC. Calm down. I’m sure you had most of us at “rumba,” and the rest of us at “D-list celebrity.” But speaking of rumba, let’s get to the dancing!
It’s been a week since “Saturday Night Live” sent a bottle of sparkling apple juice to your house. (Did you get it?) Aside from the stunning Kanye West performances, last week’s episode didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Bryan Cranston might be a three-peat Emmy winner, but SNL is in danger of starting its season 0-3 in terms of providing an overall entertaining episode. Will Jane Lynch save the day? Will Bruno Mars prove a better musical choice than 30 Seconds to Mars? And what’s the over/under on “Glee” actors showing up for cameos tonight?
Only one way to find out. Let’s break things down, sketch by sketch.
[Recap after the break...]
Alliances shift and things heat up as Mystic Falls' resident werewolf proves a much more dangerous frenemy in tonight's juicy episode of "The Vampire Diaries." And thanks to the focus on Mason Lockwood and his wolfy secret identity -- the worst kept secret in Mystic Falls -- we're treated to intriguing developments that set up a much bigger showdown to come, all part of Katherine's still-ambiguous master plan.
Among the episode's better moments were scenes that reminded us why we love these characters. Caroline, fast becoming one of the series most watchable characters after spending a season as its most irritating, shows her true colors both as a friend and as a super-powered vampire when she stands up to her crusading mother. (Candice Accola also seals her place as the most bad-ass vamp on the show when she's in full veiny-eyed vampire mode, like a bloodthirsty blond angel of death.) Elena and Stefan, seemingly secure in their commitment to each other, engage in a fascinatingly layered pretend arguments that feels too real to be a complete fabrication. But one genuine argument later, they're back in harmony again, united in a love that can get them through any trial, be it Stefan's little substance abuse problem or Katherine.
And then there were the plot turns, the big reveals, the bullets, blood, and male bonding. The subtle callbacks to previous events, the clues that unveil themselves, and the minor progressions of secondary threads that suggest it's all being guided to a larger event, advancing the overall story. Something big is coming our way. For now, revel in the foreplay.
[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 7) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Kill or Be Killed," after the break…]
I know, it’s time to talk fashion and the improper usage of epaulets and fringe, but first, did everyone see Tim Gunn’s video for The Trevor Project? (If you haven’t, it’s here). In it, Tim admits that he attempted suicide when he was 17, which just hurts my heart, because I cannot imagine a world without Tim Gunn in it. Or maybe I can, but it would, in a word, suck and we really don’t even want to think about it, honestly. It would be like a world without Lanvin or “Modern Family,” but even worse. Anyway, big props to Tim Gunn for reaching out and sharing in that wonderfully avuncular way he has.
[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 7) "Project Runway" after the break...]
So much of “Fringe” deals with the limits that science can impose on the human mind, or, to be more specific, human will. It’s not a particularly original topic in the world of science fiction, but that doesn’t make it any less potent in this realm. Where “Fringe” deviates from the norm is showing multiple case studies on what in many ways are identical test subjects. The question isn’t “Which version of Olivia is real?” when deciding between the iteration that we followed during the first two seasons and the “Fauxlivia” that has lived a similar though obviously different path on the other side. As the Peter inside Olivia’s brain pointed out tonight: “Real is just a matter of perception.”
[Full recap of Thursday's (Oct. 7) "Fringe" after the break...]