<p>'Glee' meets KISS in the 'Theatricality' episode</p>

'Glee' meets KISS in the 'Theatricality' episode

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Theatricality'

KISS, Lady GaGa and more get the 'Glee' treatment

The costumes may have been gleefully ridiculous, but "Glee's" Lady Gaga episode didn't exactly capture the same kind of magic that Madonna night did a few weeks back. Blame it on the limited catalogue Gaga's unleashed upon the world in her brief reign over pop culture. (What else is there besides "Bad Romance" and "Poker Face?" Not much, according to this episode.) Or blame it on the crippling lack of Sue Sylvester, sorely missed this week.

In what promised to be the most outrageous episode of the season we got a lot of the same old stuff, starting with Rachel and her mommy issues, represented via Idina Menzel's sweet but snooze-worthy rendition of "Funny Girl" and later with a Rachel-Shelby duet of Gaga's "Poker Face." Also familiar was the "Kurt and Finn as stepbrothers" subplot, which brought their family drama -- and Finn's latent homophobia -- to an unexpected breaking point. If anyone's previously overlooked Mike O'Malley's contributions as Kurt's dad Burt, you won't forget him after watching him lay into Finn in one of the tensest, most emotional scenes of the series so far.

But the question remains: was this the episode that Lady Gaga fans deserved, or the episode "Glee" needed to move its characters' arcs along?

[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 25) "Glee" after the break…]

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<p>Nicole and Derek of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Nicole and Derek of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Finale -- The Mirror Ball goes to...

Nicole, Evan and Erin were the favorites for most of the season and the winner was...

If you had asked me whether or not I was looking forward to tonight’s show on, say, Monday afternoon, I would have said, unequivocally, yes, yes yes! But after seeing last night’s debacle, I’m approaching this big finale with dread in my heart. I’m not sure if I’ll be happy regardless of who wins. Do you give the mirror ball to Erin, as her performances were the strongest last night, despite her not being the strongest dancer overall? Do you give it to Nicole because, even though Derek screwed up her routines left and right last night, she’s been the best dancer of the season? Or do you give it to Evan for simply tolerating Anna’s crap choreography? How no one was able to knock it out of the park last night, largely due to the missteps of the pros, still baffles me, and any victory feels as if it’s going to come with an asterisk. Okay, I’m just being sulky at this point, so let’s get on with the dancing!

 
[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 25) "Dancing with the Stars" finale after the break...]
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<p>Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'</p>

Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Finale Performances: Crystal vs. Lee

Crystal Bowersox dominated Lee DeWyze in the finale, but can Lee still win? Sure!

Wow, kids. We're reached the "American Idol" finale. Or at least we've reached the first-night performance component of "American Idol." Then, after two hours tomorrow night, we'll actually know whether our next Idol is Crystal Bowersox or Lee DeWyze.

But on Tuesday (May 25) night? We're singing. How did Crystal and Lee acquit themselves with their trio of performances? They're singing one song of their choosing, one song selected by Simon Fuller and their first sing (not to be confused with the traditional coronation dud).

Click through for the full recap...

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<p>Evan Lysacek on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Evan Lysacek on last week's 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Finale Performances

In a disappointing finale, more than one pair botches their routines
Eeeek, it’s down to the final three and I don’t know about you, but for me choosing just one team to root for is like “Sophie’s Choice” if Sophie had three sets of strangely talented conjoined twins and that unfortunate Holocaust theme wasn’t involved. But if I was placing a money bet, that would be easier. I’m putting my money on Evan, unless he throws up on the dance floor or spends his dance time quota making longwinded political statements. From my in-depth and scientific surveying (I talked to my friends), it seems everyone is kind of leaning toward Evan because he’s a little better than Erin but didn’t start from the same high water mark as Nicole. And, if you’re me, you give him a pity vote because his partner seems to secretly loathe him and he’s just so nice and so dull you just want to pat him on the head and give him a cookie. But enough about Evan, it’s time for dancing!

[Full recap of Monday's (May 24) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
 
Erin and Maks
Make that almost time for dancing. Before Erin and Maks can get to their redemption dance, we have to see footage of Bruno crashing their rehearsal and shrieking “Look at your ass! Look at YOUR ASS!” Which strikes me as being particularly difficult to do, but then I remembered they have mirrors. Anyway, Bruno gives Erin tips on how to make her samba sexier. Erin somehow accomplishes this, which is impressive, given that Bruno usually just sounds a whole hella lotta incomprehensible crazy.
 
The Dance: Okay, the whole ending a dance by kissing Len thing is pretty cliché at this point. But Erin actually seems to be enjoying herself this time around. Her moves are more fluid, there’s no deer caught in the headlights looks, and there’s some of the fire we see between her and Maks in rehearsal actually showing up on the dance floor. Girlfriend’s much more confident this time around, and it makes a big difference. Big enough to beat Evan and Nicole, I don’t know, but she’s definitely up there.
 
Judges Say: Len thanks Maks for keeping his clothes on, then gives Erin props for improving. Bruno, of course, has a fit and tells Erin she’s hotter than noon in the tropics, then begins jerking around like a crazed bobblehead. Carrie Ann thought Erin moved up by three notches. Why three notches, I have no idea. But suffice it to say, everyone thought she did pretty well.
 
Score: 29. I’m a little surprised. Erin danced well, but when Nicole has yet to hit the floor, it’s a little risky to be throwing tens at pretty good.
 
 
Evan and Anna
Len visits Evan and Anna to coach them on the Viennese waltz. Len seems like a very good coach. Maybe Anna needs to spend some time with Len. Or Evan needs to dance with Len. C’mon, it’s the 21st century, it’s time ballroom got with it.
 
The Dance: Oh crap, did I just see skater feet? Obviously, Evan is miles better than he was in week one, but I’m a little worried. At the beginning of the dance, he looked stressed, but loosened up and started smiling in a groom on top of the wedding cake kinda way halfway through. I feel bad for Evan and Anna that they had to dance a friggin’ waltz, which isn’t as fun and sexy as a samba and tends to look forced unless it’s between two professionals. Truth told, this is a little on the dull side, and when you combine a dull dance with a dull guy (sorry, Evan), it’s like television Tylenol PM.
 
Judges Say: Bruno said he liked the connection between the two of them. Carrie Ann says it was an emotional, enchanting dream. Len said Evan collapsed a little bit in his standing at times, but overall did a very good job.

Score: 28. This seems about right, unfortunately. It’s comparing apples and oranges, but for pure confidence and comfort on the dance floor, Erin definitely outshone Evan. Fingers crossed Evan and Anna bring it in the freestyle.
 
 
Nicole and Derek
 
Carrie Ann comes in to coach Derek and Nicole on the rumba. Carrie Ann wants Nicole to connect to Derek and stop worrying about the steps. Nicole is determined to live the dance. Do we even need to see this? Nicole always wants to bring it, Derek always wants to challenge her, yada yada yada.
 
The Dance: Boy, this is a bad cover of “Lady in Red.” Holy crap, Nicole ends the song by propping herself up sideways, holding on to Derek with one leg. How is that even possible? Really, Nicole is in a league of her own in this competition. But the thing is, she’s been in a league of her own since the beginning of the show. She’s improved, yes, but as I recall, her first rumba was pretty good, too. If you listen to Erin and Maks, the point of “DWTS” is to show improvement. And, if that’s really the barometer, Nicole has only been able to add a plus to her existing A grade.
 
Judges Say: Carrie Ann thought it was mesmerizing. Except for the lift at the end. WTF? Okay, yes, technically, Derek picked Nicole up as the music was fading out. But come on! I can’t decide if I’m pissed at Derek for screwing up or Carrie Ann for being such a stickler. Dammit! Len loved the subtlety, but does think she lacked confidence at times. Bruno starts rolling Rs and says it was superlative.
 
Score: 28. Nicole looks like she’s ready to haul off and slug Derek, and I can’t blame her. This would have been, at worst, a 29 if not for the lift. Derek tells Brooke Burns he feels a lot of responsibility, which he should. I mean, they’re just dancing for a stupid mirror ball trophy, not even big wads of money or a trip to Tahiti, but it would blow to lose the whole thing on a technicality.
 
 
Erin and Maks
 
Maks wants to do a contemporary/lyrical freestyle to tell the story of Erin and Maks. Um, this could either be a disaster or R-rated or, perhaps, an R-rated disaster. He asks choreographer Mandy Moore, who has done great things on “So You Think You Can Dance,” to help out. This should be interesting. And you may want to ask young children to leave the room for this one, unless you like explaining the birds and the bees during prime time.
 
The Dance:  The minute I saw that the dance of Erin and Maks had a big bed right in the middle of it, I could not stop laughing. Wow, this isn’t on the nose or anything. There’s lots of rolling around on the bed, which doesn’t look so much like dancing as rolling around on the bed. I’m not sure if this risk pays off, although I think Erin committed to portraying herself as kind of a mattress back admirably. Still, this dance just seems out of place on this show, to say nothing to whole “hey, look, we’re screwing! A lot!” subtext, which is pretty tacky, honestly. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion Len is rolling his eyes on the sidelines, but that’s just me.  
 
Judges Say: Len says they took an enormous risk, then admits he liked it but didn’t love it. Why am I not surprised? Bruno agrees it was a risk, and thinks some of the moves were incredibly well done. Carrie Ann loved it, but thought there was one stumble during the bed tossing. Maks explains it wasn’t the bed they rehearsed on. Which, I’m assuming, was in his apartment. Just saying.
 
Brooke asks Erin what the hell they were thinking by doing a contemporary freestyle, and Erin admits they just wanted to be different than Nicole and Evan. I think they may have been just different enough to get knocked out of the competition, honestly.
 
Score: 26. Not a great score for the finals, I’m afraid.
 
 
Evan and Anna
 
Uh-oh. In rehearsals, Evan wants to take risks. Anna wants to pout and cry and freak out. Anna is having choreography block, which is like writer’s block but involves wearing yoga pants. So, she calls choreographer Bobby Newberry, who has a Mohawk, so he should be all about the risks. Now, Anna and Evan are excited about their freestyle, problem solved, cue the Disney music. Gee, it’s always such a nail biter in these walk-ups, isn’t it?
 
The Dance: Oh no, Evan has that Ed Grimley hairstyle again. Nooooo! And crapballs, what’s with the highwaters and white socks? And the bowtie! Oh ma god, what, is this supposed to be “Footloose” meets “Revenge of the Nerds”? Whatever.

The good news is, this is an upbeat, high energy number, and Evan really comes alive once you pick up the beat. The basic truth is, he usually seems a little miserable doing the pretty dances, but you let him rock out and he’s a happy boy. And, while Evan seems to be having a ball, this is not a great routine. Bobby Newberry and his Mohawk did not deliver. Evan’s moves start to get loosey-goosey halfway through, as if they didn’t have enough rehearsal time, and it’s just kind of a mess that doesn’t seem to have enough structure or, specifically, connection between Evan and Anna. Evan’s just flapping his arms around like he’s being electrocuted, and I think he’d have really benefited from being able to, I don’t know, dance with Anna instead of dance alongside her. I know Anna doesn’t really like the guy, but come on. 
 
Judges Say: Bruno says it looked like Evan had a screw loose, but he went for it. Carrie Ann tells them it was odd, but great energy. Len thought it was the path of least resistance and it wasn’t what he wanted to see. I think Evan and Anna are in big, big trouble.
 
Score: 24. Evan says it feels good to get this rotten score, but he’s got to be kidding, right? This is hugely disappointing. I was sure Evan was going to blow us away in the finale. And now, well, I’m doubting he’s going to make it to the final two.
 
 
Nicole and Derek
 
In rehearsal, Derek is doing lifts he’s never done before. I’m guessing he means lifts he’s never done in this competition, because really, I know Nicole is good, but I wouldn’t use her as a crash test dummy.
 
The Dance: I know it’s supposed to be cute that they’re wearing matching black suits, but Derek, you dumbass, I can’t see what either of you are doing! As ugly as the yellow shoes are, they at least make their feet stand out. Oh, now they’ve stripped down, good move. Still, even though this wasn’t my favorite dance of theirs, it’s pretty great… until the ending, when Derek almost dumps Nicole on the ground in a horribly botched lift. This is nightmarish. Derek, in trying to push Nicole and himself to do more than any other couple in “DWTS” history, has pushed too far. Literally, Derek, not Nicole, is screwing up their chances for a mirror ball left and right. Nicole, you are cordially invited to kick his little blond ass.
 
Judges Say: Carrie Ann says it was the freestyle they’d all been waiting for, but that it killed her when they slipped on the last lift. Len saw the salsa, the jive, the samba and fun. Bruno thinks it was amazing, and said the slip at the end was only because they tried to do what has never been done. True dat.
 
Brooke asks Nicole why the hell she didn’t try hip-hop. Nicole wanted to push herself, duh. Then, Derek begs for votes. Which he should, because he’s the one who messed everything up.
 
Score: 27. Wow, this is one of Nicole’s worst showings, and it’s the damn FINALS. They’re still at the top of the leader board, but only because Evan and Anna blew it and poor Erin thought it was a good idea to roll around on a mattress for her last dance.
 
 
Have to say, I had high expectations for this episode, and I’m sorely disappointed. The worst part of it is, the fault really lies with the pros, not the celebrities, who did their level bests but were either pushed too far, given crappy routines or encouraged to take risks that didn’t pay off. At this point, it seems like Erin might come from behind and win the whole thing, which would be fine if I didn’t feel like her competitors got tripped by their partners on the way to the finish line.
 
Do you think Nicole should have been docked for Derek’s mistakes? Do you think Anna’s bad choreography cost Evan the mirror ball? Who do you think should win – and has your opinion changed?
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<p>Kiefer Sutherland in the finale of FOX's '24'</p>

Kiefer Sutherland in the finale of FOX's '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Series Finale - '2 p.m. to 4 p.m.'

Having learned the true depth of the conspiracy, Chloe stops Jack from starting an international war.

 “24” rode off into the sunset tonight, although the plan is for it to ride right into your cineplex in the not-too-distant future. So our mourning may be muted: yes, we’ll never see another failed perimeter grace our television screens, but the possibilities for Parisian, Peruvian, or Pakistani perimeters being breached on the silver screen are endless! Since it was a two-hour finale, I will waste as few words as possible mulling over the impact of the show now, and will hold off grander thoughts for the end. For now, let’s dive into what went down during the series finale of the show. 

 

[Full recap of Monday's (May 24) series finale of "24" after the break...]

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<p>Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi of 'Chuck'</p>

Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi of 'Chuck'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Chuck' Finale - 'Chuck vs. the Subway'/'Chuck vs. the Ring: Part II'

'Chuck' finishes its third season with comedy, tragedy and a new direction
That was an odd, truncated, bifurcated season for "Chuck," wasn't it?
 
"Chuck" premiered in January with three episodes over two nights. It vanished for the Olympics. It returned and forged ahead through "Chuck vs. The Other Guy," which walked like a finale, quacked like a finale, had webbed feet like a finale, but wasn't actually a finale. Then, after a couple weeks away, "Chuck" returned for a five-week, six-episode mini-season.
 
It's been a scheduling and recapping roller-coaster and for fans, it's been even bumpier. Two months of Shaw and Hannah as impediments gave way to exactly two weeks of happiness before the Intersect started devouring Chuck's brain and it turned out that shooting Shaw multiple times in the chest wasn't actually an effective way of killing him.
 
When Season Three (and Season 3.1) of "Chuck" come out on DVD, the tag should be "Don't get too comfortable."
 
I'm sure Sepinwall will have done an in-depth job of recapping, so I don't know how detailed I'm going to get, plot-wise, but I definitely want to give my reactions to the finale and possible to the season as a whole...
 
Click through for my thoughts on "Chuck vs. the Subway" and "Chuck vs. the Ring, Part II"... Spoilers, obviously...
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<p>Sawyer, Kate, and Claire run for it as the Island collapses around them in the unforgettable finale to the long-running series &quot;Lost.&quot;</p>

Sawyer, Kate, and Claire run for it as the Island collapses around them in the unforgettable finale to the long-running series "Lost."

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' finale 'The End' hits every emotional note right

Season's biggest gamble, the flash-sideways, will remain controversial

Recapping a show is, for me, a very different process than just watching it as a fan.

For the first four years it was on the air, I don't think I wrote more than 500 words about "Lost."  At Ain't It Cool, Hercules the Strong was the TV guy, and "Lost" was a particular favorite of his.

More than anything, I just wrote e-mails to Herc to geek out about the show, which I loved.  Right away.  The pilot had me on a hook.  And I have to say that as I sit here ready to put the show to bed, I love it still.  I think I've got a lot to say about the way they stuck this particular landing, but for the most part... they did it.  I think "Lost" is a show that will have a shelf life.  It's a badass ride.  It's a really, really well-told pulp story.  It's got style and wit and character and big ideas just spilling out of it.  It's overstuffed way past the breaking point.  It's so full of good things that many of them are just dead ends.

That's sort of the nature of TV, though.  TV, no matter how much you plan out where you're going, is going to be reactive to some degree.  And some shows are very, very reactive.  Those shows embrace the notion that community is important for a show's lifetime on the air, while longevity is important for an afterlife.  I think "Lost" is a show that people will watch as an event in the future.  I think it is so much fun as a story when it's cooking along, doing its thing, getting all weird and soapy and throwing SF big idea left hooks and Univision-level shameless soap opera right hooks with the occasional pop culture joke jabs thrown in.  That's the "Lost" that I love, and that's the "Lost" that got its groove on tonight with a vengeance at times. 

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<p>Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Fly'

Walt and Jesse deal with a minor annoyance that stands in for some very big problems.

 "Fly" belongs to a club of my very favorite types of TV episodes. They're the types of episodes that feel like small plays, the types of episodes where it seems like the writing staff comes up with a challenge to give themselves and then spends its time trying to meet that challenge. Properly speaking, this is a "bottle show," but it's a bottle show unlike any other. The usual way to do a bottle show on a series like this is to trap some portion of the regular cast in a small room and have a threat pacing around just outside. Think of, say, "Lost's" "Lockdown," which featured Ben and Locke trapped in the Hatch together, or that "24" episode where everyone had to spend their time in one small room because of a toxic attack on CTU. That sort of thing.

[Full recap of Sunday's (May 23) "Breaking Bad" after the break...]

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<p>Leonard Nimoy of FOX's 'Fringe'</p>

Leonard Nimoy of FOX's 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Finale - 'Over There: Part 2'

William Bell and Olivia desperately try to save both Bishop Boys in the alternate universe.

For about 90% of tonight’s finale of “Fringe,” I wasn’t really buying what the show was selling. Ideas? Crackling. Character work? Top-notch. But the story wasn’t up to par. Obstacles were overcome too easily, with enough plot holes to threaten an additional crack between the two universes. But then the true endgame was revealed, and everything before that moment clicked into place. And that cliffhanger? Well played, show. Well played indeed. 

[Full recap of Thursday's (May 20) "Fringe" finale after the break...]

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<p>Lee DeWyze got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. That's cooler than being the winner of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Lee DeWyze got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. That's cooler than being the winner of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - 'Idol' sets its Top 2 and welcomes Justin Bieber

With only one week remaining, 'Idol' sets the pairing for its Finale

9:02 p.m. ET Tonight we find out who makes it into the "American Idol" Finale. Or else we're all just waiting around for Justin Bieber. It's all about how you look at it, I suppose.

9:03 p.m. Over 47 million votes came in last night, Ryan tells us. That's the most this season, not that he needs to mention it. We already know. And last year? Same week? 88 million votes.

Wednesday's (May 19) "American Idol" recap and results after the break...

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