Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Jack sets his sights on an old nemesis to help uncover the conspiracy.
For a lot of the finale season of “24,” there’s been a lot of action but not a lot of momentum. Things happened, to be sure. But they often didn’t feel as if they were building towards anything. Well, in this week’s “24,” disparate threads started to come together in a way that felt satisfying. Part of this comes from the approach of the season/series finale, the time of year in which the waiting is over and the payoff (hopefully) starts. But part of it comes from an hour in which everything that’s been held together by a thread started rapidly, and hopelessly, coming apart. While I haven’t been onboard all season, episodes like this will remind me of what “24” could do when firing on all cylinders.
[Full recap of Monday (May 17) night's "24" after the break...]
Everyone brings their A game for the semifinal - but one performer falls flat
It’s the semifinals for “DWTS” and, have to say, this is a pretty impressive foursome. Okay, except for Chad. Chad, he still looks a little constipated on the floor, and I think he’s really tested the last of Cheryl’s patience. But I digress. As exciting as the semifinals might be, next week is sure to be plenty more exciting because (wait for it)... Kate Gosselin’s coming back for the finals (along with pretty much everyone else, but whatever)! To the horror of dance lovers everywhere! I’m hoping they recruit her to do some actual dancing, because I’m dying to see her clomp through a waltz or maybe a bit of disco with all the grace and femininity of a dying orangutan. I’ve honestly kind of missed her since she’s gotten the boot, and apparently America has, too, as the ratings have gone into a nosedive since America lost their blonde Octomom punching bag. But until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with the semifinals. Let the excitement begin!
[Full recap of Monday's (May 17) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
Walt and Gus parlay, while Skyler has an solution for Hank's mounting medical bills
The most important thing about telling a lie is not the lie itself. It's not coming up with a believable story or figuring out just the right way to diverge from reality to win over the person you're lying to. All of that helps, of course, but the most important thing about telling a lie is the decision to do it, the commitment to the fact that you are going to willingly deceive another person to achieve your own ends. Once you make that choice, you can usually pull off the performance, suck the person you're lying to down into your web. Walter White's been making that choice since episode one of "Breaking Bad," and despite a few missteps here and there, he's become exceptionally good at misleading just about everyone he meets. In "Kafkaesque," what's notable is that his wife chooses to join him down in the depths.
[Full recap of Sunday's (May 16) "Breaking Bad" after the break...
Could the Villains continue their dominance? And could Russell finally win?
Pre-credit sequence. After a lengthy pre-credit sequence, we return to Yin Yang for Night 36. Parvati and Russell are debating whether or not Sandra's decision to play her Idol that night was stupid. Russell thinks it was pointless and proved that Sandra is a liar and Sandra doesn't understand what sort of etiquette she was supposed to observe. Sandra, who refuses to back down, makes it clear that Russell wasn't exactly forthcoming with all of his Idols. Russell doesn't just think Sandra's lying. He's also convinced that Parvati knew about the Idol, which makes her sneaky in his eyes. Parvati compares Russell to a two-year-old child who had his toy taken away, but Russell's pouting has had its desired effect. Jerri's talking about how she'd been wanting Parvati out since the first day, while Colby is just smiling and nodding politely. As Colby puts it, "Any time this dysfunctional family of Villains is not getting along, it takes the attention off me.
[Full recap of all two-plus hours of this "Survivor" finale, leading up to the climactic vote, after the break...]
In his 15th time as 'SNL' host, Alec Baldwin tries to live up to Betty White
Alec Baldwin may be an “SNL” veteran, but I don’t envy him the gig this week, even if it is the season finale. On the heels of Betty White’s spectacular performance, even a full-on reprise of classic Baldwin skits like Schweddy Balls would be hard pressed to match one of the most entertaining (and well-written) episodes in, honestly, recent years. Though Baldwin could probably go toe-to-toe with White performance-wise, unfortunately he won’t be bolstered by last week’s other big score, which was a return of former castmates like Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler whom, I suspect, weren’t shy about editing out bonehead material and penciling in their own. And God knows, this season there’s been plenty of bonehead material screaming out for a smart edit. But, fingers crossed that Baldwin will bring the funny against unfortunate odds.
[Full recap of the May 15 "Saturday Night Live" finale after the break...]
The season finale goes out with a bloody bang as sparks fly between Damon and Elena.
Tension is high from start to bloody end in the season finale of "The Vampire Diaries" as the sinister town council prepares their final vampire solution with the help of Johnathan Gilbert's ancient anti-vampire weapon. By the end of the night, the vampire genocide will leave no family safe -- even the ones you least expect.
Completing an incredibly strong 22-episode run, "The Vampire Diaries" ended its first season not just with a bang, but with an explosive, fiery, violent, sexy bang that tied up some story threads and created other deliciously unexpected ones. This was an episode that gave a lot to fans, a tense piece of storytelling that offered plenty of hints and foreshadowing and delivered on clues dropped throughout the season.
In the season finale we had to say goodbye to a few characters (one beloved, others not so much) -- but as we all know, nobody is truly forgotten in Mystic Falls, even in death. More importantly, as vampire hunters and vampires and the humans who love them found themselves hurtling toward an explosive climax, Elena and Damon found themselves hurtling towards each other.
(And kudos to episode writers Bryan Oh and Andrew Chambliss, along with director Marcos Siega and the entire "Vampire Diaries" team, for giving us an ending that made us all go back and rewind our DVRs.)
Get ready to squeal, Delena fans.
[Full recap of Thursday's (May 13) "The Vampire Diaries" after the break…]
Walter and Olivia summon some unlikely allies in an attempt to cross over and rescue Peter.
Here’s the thing about two-part season finales: there’s the part in which everything is set up, and then there’s the part where all the really fun stuff happens. “Over There: Part One” felt like one long overture, tuning the series up to get to the start of the actual sci-fi symphony in next week’s season-ending episode. Along the way we got a Rogue’s Gallery of past “Fringe” nemeses, coupled with a fun look into the familiar-yet-different sociology/topography of the other side. What we didn’t get was anything terrifically dramatic. As such, while glimpses of the other side delighted, there wasn’t enough going on over there to truly pique my interest for a full hour.
[Full recap of Thursday's (May 13) "Fringe" after the break...]
'Survivor' turns itself into a Sprint commercial as families come to visit
Pre-credit sequence. So, um... Now what? The tribe returns to camp broken entirely into many pieces, the solidarity of the Villains Alliance seemingly gone for good. While the fractured Villains are pulling each other aside in confusion, Rupert's figuring his chances of winning get better each week, since he's now survived two straight evictions where he ought to have been the prime target. Off to the side, Jerri tells Parvati that Russell threatened her, while doesn't exactly help Parvati's composure. "I think Russell was jealous of my relationship to Danielle and he wanted to make sure that it was he and I who were the closest two," Parvati says, calling Russell the biggest villain the game has ever seen and vowing to keep him around only long enough to dispatch Rupert and Colby. Pulling his alliance close, Russell makes his argument that Danielle was trouble and he tries reassuring Parvati and Jerri that he won't be coming after them next. But although Russell made his move to increase Parvati's dependance on him, her subsequent insecurity is worrying him.
Full recap of Thursday's (May 13) "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" after the break...
It takes two hours for Tyra Banks to crown the most predictable winner in 'ANTM' history
And we’re down to the Final Four-slash-Finale of "America's Next Top Model" Cycle 14! Krista doesn’t want to go back to being a store manager! Alexandra knows she has to step it up! Angelea is silly as sullen and bitter as ever! Nobody likes Raina! She’s just too happy!
Bring. On. The. Dreckitude.
[Full recap of Wednesday's (May 12) "ANTM" finale after the break...]
Busy Wednesday features an elimination plus Bon Jovi, Fantasia and Daughtry
9:00 p.m. ET. Wednesday (May 12) night's "American Idol" opens like an utterly half-hearted movie trailer homage/parody. There are tens of thousands of self-edited YouTube clips with a better understanding of movie trailer grammar than this. On with the show, y'all...
Full recap of Wednesday's show, plus results, after the break