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?
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.
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...]
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...]
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...]
After a brief hiatus, “Saturday Night Live” is back, hopefully with its batteries recharged. Because let’s face it: if having “SNL” stalwart Jon Hamm on the show doesn’t produce a solid episode, then the writing staff needs more rest. Tonight: returning host Scarlett Johansson and returning musical act Arcade Fire. Johansson has proved a game host in the past, so let’s see what the show has in store for her this time around.
Onto the recap!
We sure hope Nina Dobrev got paid overtime for this week’s episode, which sees her play three different roles (kinda): Modern Day Elena, Modern Day Katherine, and Ye Olde 15th Century Katherine, AKA Katerina. But while Katherine’s backstory proved interesting enough (we’re waiting for the baby she birthed and relinquished in the 15th century to pop up again one of these days), this new subplot involving The Originals and the doppelganger sacrifice just keeps getting bigger by the week. But when will we finally meet Klaus?
Before “TVD” goes into a brief Thanksgiving hiatus (returning Dec. 2), it serves up a few new faces in the form of a vampire hipster nerd and a mysterious father and son duo with an unknown agenda. We learn that Klaus’s curse-breaking scheme might involve killing everyone and not just Elena, and that certain vampires have Twilight-esque special powers.
And for those of us so inclined, the show serves up a new potential love triangle AND a smattering of sexytime to tide us over during the break. It’s been so long since a Salvatore has taken his shirt off, we’ve almost forgotten what it feels like! Bear with the flashbacks as we sit through Storytime with Katherine and remember that there’s a light at the end of the episode, and its name is Ian Somerhalder’s Abs.
[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 11) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Katerina," after the break…]
Back in my former life, I wrote about “Lost” a lot. A whole lot. A lot more than I care to think about at this point, not because I regret it but because it seems insanely ludicrous when judged from a relatively safe distance. In that time, I came up with a theory about all pieces of pop culture from J.J. Abrams. Maybe it’s less of a theory than an observation, if I’m being accurate. That theory? Each separate show or film with Abrams’ involvement belongs to a coherent, singular, fictional world. I chose to call that world “Earth JJ.” And tonight’s episode of “Fringe” was, in a lot of ways, a love letter to that world.
[Recap of Thursday's (Nov. 11) "Fringe" after the break...]
We’re down to five contestants for this high-fashion cycle of "ANTM," and the competition is getting heated!
Poor Chris; she has the best personality of the remaining contestants, and she’s clearly the weakest of the bunch right now, next to maybe what’s-her-name. That girl. What’s that girl’s name? Jane.
The other remaining contestants are just real excited to be in Milan, except for Ann, who just has to be too tall for all the medieval-era buildings.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (Nov. 10) "Top Model" after the break...]