Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Welcome to New Zealand'

The models take a 22-hour flight, do go-sees and pose with sheep

<p>Alexandra and a sheep of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Alexandra and a sheep of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Anslee is gone, and six girls remain for Cycle 14 of "America's Next Top Model" -- you know, the rustic sheep cycle! This episode sees the girls traveling to New Zealand to do their go-sees and check out the, um, fashion scene. Well, to its credit, New Zealand probably has a seriously ferocious wool sweater industry. Anyway, it’s down to Jessica, Alasia, Krista, Alexandra, Raina and Octomom -- I mean, sorry, Angelea. At this point, Raina, Krista and Angelea have the strongest portfolios, but Alasia just may have the most raw talent in the bunch, and Alexandra, last time I checked, still has those killer looks. Jessica, well, it takes all kinds.

[Full recap of Wednesday's (April 28) "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

Recap: 'American Idol' results - Down to 5 for 'Idol'

Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts perform before another 'Idol' contestant is sent home

<p>Michael Lynche of 'American Idol'</p>

Michael Lynche of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

9:00 p.m. ET Wednesday (April 28) night's "American Idol" begins with another of those hilariously bombastic high-drama openings that suggests that tonight, dreams will be shattered, rebellions fomented and the very laws of gravity will be defied. 

Full recap, including Wednesday's results after the break..

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Home'

Kristin Chenoweth returns and Mercedes and Kurt get emo in this heartfelt ode to home

<p>Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison of 'Glee'</p>

Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison of 'Glee'

Credit: Carin Baer/FOX

Greetings, Gleeks! We kick off the third post-hiatus episode of "Glee" with a return to some of the best, underappreciated things about this show: namely, Kurt, Mercedes, and storylines about family, home, and self-confidence. Kurtcedes fans (that's Kurt + Mercedes, natch) are treated to an episode headlined by the fab twosome while Schuester is reunited with an old friend: Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes! Just how meaty is this episode? Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, AND the lady who plays Finn's mom get to cry! Dig in and tell us what you think below.

[Full recap of Tuesday (April 27) night's "Glee" after the break...]

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Results - Another dancer takes flight

The contestants have improved, but one misstep sends a dancer out the door

<p>Anna and Evan of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Anna and Evan of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

It’s time for the tediously drawn-out results episode of “Dancing with the Stars”! Yay! Not that viewers seem to care as much now that Kate Gosselin, the freakishly untalented baby machine, has been kicked off the show – last night’s episode scored the lowest ratings of the season. I will admit, I do miss Kate’s presence on the show, only because watching her clomp around the stage made me feel pretty darn good about myself

 

[Full recap of Tuesday's (April 27) "Dancing with the Stars" results...]

Recap: 'V' - 'Heretic's Fork'

'V' makes a good argument for ABC to renew 'FlashForward'

<p>&nbsp;Joe Gretsch and Elizabeth Mitchell of 'V'</p>

 Joe Gretsch and Elizabeth Mitchell of 'V'

Credit: ABC

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pay attention to "V" when there wasn't a new "Lost" before it? I, honestly, thought it would make it easier. There wouldn't be that constant comparison of "V" to a show that actually does most of the things "V" acts like it wants to do. There wouldn't be the slowly waning adrenaline rush of ONE OF THE LAST NEW EPISODES OF "LOST" EVER clouding the judgment. It would be that much easier to overlook some of the flaws "V" has and just let go. Instead, it somehow became even harder. I don't know what it was, but I would have turned off this episode of "V" were I not subjecting myself to it for the sake of you, gentle readers. Actually, I know exactly what it was: "Lost" gives me the hope every week that science fiction TV can be done well. And while "V" slowly smothers that hope, that hope is always present when I begin. No such hope existed this week, and the episode struck me as particularly bland.

[More on Tuesday's (April 27) "V" after the break...]

Recap: 'American Idol' - Shania Twain helps the Top 6 feel like a woman

The judges love Casey James and Aaron Kelly, while nobody mentions Mutt Lange

<p>Casey James of 'American Idol'</p>

Casey James of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

I really wish that "American Idol" wasn't insisting on calling Tuesday (April 27) night's theme The Shania Twain Songbook.

I'm not saying that Shania Twain doesn't have hits aplenty. She's popular and Grammy decorated and it often feels like she's written enough hits for 30 different Dodge and Chrysler commercials.

But The Shania Twain Songbook? Come on. Bob Dylan has a songbook. Cole Porter has a songbook. But in 60 minutes of programming tonight, do you think we're going to hear the name "Mutt Lange" mentioned a single time? Because if you aren't going to acknowledge a man whose name is on nearly every meaningful page in the Shania Twain Songbook, maybe you ought to just call it "The Music of Shania Twain" or just "Shania Twain Night."

Full recap of Shania Twain Night after the break...

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Performances - Can anybody beat Nicole?

Erin Andrews also shines, while Evan fights a head-wound

<p>Nicole and Derek dance on Monday's (April 26) 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Nicole and Derek dance on Monday's (April 26) 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: ABC

Did you know that last week “DWTS”  was the number one show in television? Do you care? Really, Tom Bergeron, I wouldn’t get all that cocky, because now that Kate Gosselin is gone, there’s really no one truly  loathsome on the show, and really, that was half the fun. Now all that’s left is to hypothesize about who’s doing who, marvel at the ugly-ass outfits and think about, oh yeah, dancing. And seriously, who really likes ballroom dancing?

Anyway, this week, it’s tango or samba and a swing dance marathon. The kids are trotted out and Pamela Anderson is rocking a dark wig this week – I guess she’s trying to look more serious, less “Baywatch.” And, in other news, Erin Andrews appears to be mostly naked except for a hideous purple skirt and matching appliqués over her naughty bits. Really, I know ABC wants to keep that top spot in the ratings, but really, this is one step removed from pimping.

It’s time for dancing!

[Full recap of Monday's (April 26) night's "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]

Recap: '24' Day 8 - '10 a.m. to 11 a.m.'

With Jack on the loose, President Taylor takes drastic actions to keep the peace agreement intact.

<p>Cherry Jones of '24'</p>

Cherry Jones of '24'

Credit: FOX

When last we saw Jack Bauer, he was flying away in a stolen helicopter with new CTU head Chloe O’Brien watching from the ground. With the show keen on showing that Jack’s work has left him all alone, it’s only fitting that he’s setting off to singlehandedly expose the involvement of the Russian government in the day’s atrocities. All this is well and good, but still pales in terms of the excitement of Alan Sepinwall announcing that he’s coming to HitFix, possibly to expose the nefarious acts of one Daniel Fienberg. So make sure to keep an eye on developments there, while I try and keep you abreast of the activities in the world of “24.” 

[Full recap of Monday's (April 26) "24" after the break...]

Recap: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Honeymooners'

'Chuck' channels 'The Lady Vanishes' and '39 Steps' in a romantic, fun episode

<p>Yvonne Strahovski of 'Chuck'</p>

Yvonne Strahovski of 'Chuck'

Credit: NBC

After Monday (April 26) night's episode, "Chuck" fans have seen the future and the future turns out to be a ton of fun.

There's a lot of erroneously motivated paranoia regarding the horrors visited upon TV shows that consummate the will-they-or-won't-they tensions between main characters. Both audiences and the characters force themselves to hedge their bets by asking questions like, "What will happen if we hook up? How will everything change?" Those questions imply that change is evil and that change can't be organic in the same way that occasional human lives have been know to change dramatically in the real world.
 
In the season's last new "Chuck," Intersect-enhanced spy Chuck and handler-turned-colleague Sarah finally gave in to chemistry, temptation and flirtation and admitted that they loved each other.
 
Oh no! What will happen now that they've hooked up? How will everything change?
 
Maybe it's the 47 episodes it took to get us to this point, but Monday's "Chuck vs. the Honeymooners" made a compelling case that a "Chuck" in which Chuck and Sarah are a happy, sexually fulfilled couple can be every bit as good as a "Chuck" beholden to yearning glances and unspoken feelings. If "Chuck vs. the Other Guy" was the best episode of the season, "Chuck vs. the Honeymooners" was perhaps the season's most purely entertaining hour.
 
[More recapping of Monday's "Chuck" after the break...]

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Sunset'

'Breaking Bad' surely had its fans wearing their fingernails down to nubs with 'Sunset'

<p>Dean Norris of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Dean Norris of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

"Breaking Bad" is better than almost any series on right now at ramping up tension in almost completely organic ways. That's because, I think, it takes its time to build toward those moments of tension. It believably puts all of the pieces in place to make catastrophe seem not only plausible but almost the only logical outcome of what's happening. It puts the dominos in place, and then it just casually flips over the first, letting the others fall in rapid succession. That means that the show's more casual fans complain when it seems like there's not a lot happening, but it also means there's little fans can do but get ready for what's to come when that first domino falls. Other series would have drawn out many of the developments in this episode for the better part of a season. "Breaking Bad" is content to have Hank's investigation into the RV last just three episodes and culminate in one of the most effortlessly tense scenes I've ever seen in the medium.

[Full recap of Sunday's (April 25) "Breaking Bad" after the break...]

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