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...]
It’s elimination night, which is never fun, but I am very curious to see who’s going to the semifinals, or more importantly, who’s not. I’ve got to think Bristol or Kurt has gone as far as he or she can, but you never know. They don’t call Bristol bulletproof for nothing. Although I don’t know what anyone calls Kurt. Maybe Big Football Player, but that isn’t really relevant to how many votes he gets.
Just when I think “Glee” can’t confuse me anymore than it already has, along comes “Never Been Kissed” to introduce a whole new level of…well, whatever that was. It sure looked like an hour of television, but it played more like a combination of wish fulfillment coupled with audience punishment. Look: there are a lot of different subsets in the overall “Glee” audience. The show doesn’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for me may not be right for some. But no matter which of the different strokes you subscribe, I can’t imagine any of you actually liked tonight’s episode.
And quite frankly, that’s a painful thing to say. I have no problem bashing the show when it’s bad, and a lot of Season 2 falls under that category. But previous misfires didn’t contain a topic that is actually important, one vital especially in light of recent events. Although it probably was filmed long before Tyler Clementi’s suicide and the rise of the “It Gets Better” campaign, the issue of bullying is one that demands not only more attention, but also a level of sensitivity that “Glee” rarely, but occasionally, demonstrates.
Having that topic in a Kurt-centric episode had the potential for actually pushing past the mere mindless entertainment into something actually vital. Auto-tuned performances? Fine and dandy. An episode that promoted understanding, compassion, and tolerance in between the singing/dancing? Even better. Not every episode of “Glee” has to address something socially relevant, but if it chooses to actually address it, then it has a responsibility to treat that topic humanely and with great sensitivity.
What we got instead was fantasy on one hand and complete hypocrisy on the other.
[Full recap of Tuesday's (Nov. 9) "Glee" after the break...]
After a week away, "The Event" returns with "I Know Who You Are," and with the kitchen sink in tow, giving us an episode full of dramatic explosions, alien portals, Russian spies and, who can forget, mutant elderly little girls. I'm reminded of that "Simpsons" bit where Burt Reynolds describes the ludicrous plot of his new movie before nonchalantly adding: "It's garbage!" Seriously, this shit is garbage. About the best thing I can say is that at least now "The Event" is descending into the sort of bad you laugh at and have a bit of fun with.
[Full recap of Monday's (Nov. 8) "The Event" after the break...]
So, it’s yet another “let’s throw spaghetti at the wall” gimmick night on “DWTS.” Oh, yay. Although this one is actually kind of intriguing, in that it’s actually something professional dancers do in competition -- the celebrities won’t know what song they’ll be hoofing it to for their second dance (well, not until mere minutes before they perform, at least). This could be a wonderful challenge or it could be a train wreck, but undoubtedly it will make Jennifer Grey grab some part of her body in agony, as she’s falling apart because she’s FIFTY, dammit, and Brandy will say with a frightening intensity that she REALLY REALLY WANTS THIS, and honestly, that’s become kind of the core of the show at this point, so let’s get to it.