Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Alterna-Locke's endgame kicks into a bloody high gear
Has John Locke been a ticking time bomb since his earliest moments on the Island in the first episode of "Lost"?
You know it's going to be a packed episode when there's no time for a "previously on" montage at the start of the show.
My entire Twitter reaction to tonight's episode: "Oh, my. OH, MY. You hear me, 'Lost'? I SAID OH, MY."
The show started cold this week with Locke in TIMELINE A waking up in recovery after being operated on to repair the damage done when Desmond ran him down. The first thing Locke sees after waking up is Jack, who wants to discuss the emergency surgery with him and to inform him that there's a good chance another surgery might restore his ability to walk. "You're a candidate," he tells him, and Jack's excited to share the news, which makes it more confusing when Locke tells him that he doesn't want any more help from Jack.
Helen shows up, emotional about Locke's close call, and she starts to profusely thank Jack for saving Locke. As she does, we jump to TIMELINE B, where Jack wakes up on Hydra Island, having been saved in this timeline by AlternaLocke and Sayid.
Meanwhile, in Widmore's camp, the rest of the Lostaways are being herded into the polar bear cages, and Sawyer decides he's not getting back in one of those cages, no matter what. He snatches the gun away from Babyface and tells him he's not doing it. Widmore walks out and puts a gun to Kate's head. When Sawyer tries to call Widmore's bluff, Widmore explains, "I have a list of four names. Kate Austin is not on it." That does it. Sawyer backs down. As they're all being locked into the polar bear cages, Widmore asks his people about the fence and when it will be ready. They tell him it'll be about an hour. "We haven't got an hour," Widmore responds. "He's coming."
Indeed he is.
Rumors about the glee kids spread through McKinley High. Bad rumors...
At least they didn't take the easy route and cover Joan Jett.
In the aptly named episode "Bad Reputation," everyone's got one -- or if they don't, they're desperately trying to get one. Unless they're Will Shuester, whose about to get what's coming to him for getting cozy with both Elphaba AND Galinda in the span of two weeks. But look who else is triple teaming her dating profile -- Miss Rachel Berry, who gives those Puckleberry fans something to coo about and puts those Broadway-ready emotional facial muscles to good use in one of the better finale numbers in recent memory!
But the real unsung heroes of Episode 17 of "Glee?" They're names are Olivia. Vanilla. Stanley Kirk Burrell. And the indomitable Miss Bonnie Tyler. Let these names not be left behind in the annals of pop culture… even if music in the '80s and early '90s did kind of suck.
[Full recap of Tuesday (May 5) night's "Glee" after the break...]
On Tuesday, 'V' resembled an actual television program one might watch and enjoy.
So, yeah, "V" kind of headed in a direction that felt vaguely interesting as it opened tonight's episode. I was down with the idea that we were being dropped into the story in medias res. I didn't need to learn just why the Fifth Column members were taking out a V shuttle. I knew that because I'd WATCHED THE SHOW BEFORE. And while the promos for the episode completely spoiled the big twist here - the shuttle was full of HUMANS - I still liked the way the series stuck with the characters as they realized they'd become everything they least wanted to be. If they didn't value human life, what made them any better than the V's? It's a provocative question to build an episode around, and it suggested that the series might be willing to dabble in philosophical weight given enough time.
But then the episode brought up the text "12 Hours Earlier," and I groaned.
[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 4) "V" after the break...]
'Idol' squeezes 5 performances into 61 minutes with Lee as the standout
Lee Dewyze of 'American Idol'
Once upon a time, "American Idol" used to shift from single performances to doubles when the contestants reached the Top 5. That meant 10 performances and "American Idol" used to magically do that in an hour. Unbelievable, right?
On Tuesday (May 4) night, "American Idol" could only find time for five performances in 61 minutes. And how could you possibly do more when you have two clip packages -- one for mentor Harry Connick Jr. and one for Frank Sinatra, whose songs made up the night's theme -- and a five minute filler conversation, plus one commercial break before the first song?
Credit is due to Connick, who arranged the Sinatra songs specially for the Top 5, brought along several representatives from his band and even joined them himself on the piano and organ. At least that guy was a committed mentor.
But did his efforts pay off? Or did the "Idol" singers turn me into the Chairman of the Bored?
Fred Willard, Swoosie Kurtz, Udo Kier and a tiger guest star
Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski of 'Chuck'
So I'm out at the movies over the weekend -- "Please Give," which HitFix's Gregory Ellwood adores, but which didn't really work for me -- and the latest trailer for "Robin Hood" comes on. I already don't have any interest in the movie, but then I see who the Big Bad is and all I can do is go, "Gee whiz, Mark Strong again?!?"
I like Mark Strong, even if there was something vaguely unsavory about his appearing in brown face in "Body of Lies." He's a good actor and plays a fine villain, but must he now be the villain in every single movie?
I confess that I'm getting very near feeling the same way about Fred Willard. The guy is a terrific actor, really one of the most reliably funny folks in the business. And in the past three weeks, Fred Willard has appeared on "Castle," "Modern Family" and, on Monday (May 3) on "Chuck
This leads me to ask, "Can there ever be too much Fred Willard?"
Your answer may be, "No." That's totally acceptable. My answer isn't "Yes," just yet, but I've no reached the point at which I'm giving it consideration. When he shows up on "Gossip Girl" and Playboy TV
's "Foursome," I may need to revisit the question.
And now on to Monday's "Chuck," titled "Chuck vs. the Role Models," after the break...
Jack and Cole make a desperate play to spring Dana, which leads Logan to employ some personal help in reigning them in.
I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the final run of episodes on “24” feel no more or less urgent than…well, any other episode of “24.” At its best, the show has built upon its long history to give both context and weight to the overall proceedings. Even in its shaky seventh season, the Big Bads has a history with the show going back several years. But this year, even with the insertion of figures like Charles Logan, feels self-contained. Even if the show wasn’t aware this would be the last season at the outset, there’s just no sense that the show’s total run has led up to this current state of affairs. It’s just another (admittedly awful) day in the life of Jack Bauer. No more, no less. It’s not bad, but it could have been so much more.
But less about what might have been and more about what actually is. Let’s see what went down tonight.
[Full recap of Monday's (May 3) "24" after the break...]
Hank has a few very bad days on 'Breaking Bad'
Dean Norris of 'Breaking Bad'
There was a time when you just didn't kill a regular cast member on a television series. Major TV deaths were so few and far between that the ones that did exist - Henry Blake's plane being shot down over the Sea of Japan or Rosalind plunging down the elevator shaft - became weirdly legendary. Then, about ten years ago or so (I'd place it to roughly the death of Big Pussy on "The Sopranos"), killing off characters because just a Thing You Did if you wanted to be taken seriously as an Important Drama Series.
[Full recap of Sunday's (May 2) "Breaking Bad" after the break...]
The teams remain in Shanghai for the last pre-finale elimination
Brent and Caite of 'The Amazing Race'
Following Sunday (May 2) night's installment of "The Amazing Race
," we're down to only three teams with a hope of winning the million dollar prize on next week's finale.
And, all things considered, this isn't that far from the Final Three you probably would have predicted from looking at the original cast list, much less after watching the first episode or two.
A few more words on the Top Three, plus a brief recap of Sunday's slightly frustrating and occasionally confusing episode of "The Amazing Race," after the break...
Romance, revelations, flashbacks and shocking deaths this week in Mystic Falls!
Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'
Credit: The CW
Flashbacks, revelations, and the truth about how Stefan and Damon became vampires abound this week in Mystic Falls, where we also see the beginnings of puppy (or is it vampy?) love between Anna and Jeremy. We also get answers to some juicy questions: Why has Damon hated Stefan for over a century? Why does Stefan want to die an angsty death? And are you ready to see beloved characters kick the bucket in this shocking episode of "The Vampire Diaries??"
[Full recap of Thursday (April 29) night's "The Vampire Diaries" after the break...]
A grief-stricken Walter turns to the literature and music of his youth to process Peter's absence.
Anna Torv in the 'Brown Betty' episode of 'Fringe'
"Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights." A line from Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep,” and potentially apt for “Fringe” as a whole. We’ve got soldiers, but these soldiers don’t come from any round table. They come through cracks in dimensions, shape shifters and scientists and other than violate the known laws of the universe in order to ensure their side wins in a war neither really understands. All the know is they have to win, even if the first shot fired was friendly in nature.
[Full recap of Thursday (April 29) night's "Fringe" after the break...]