Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
After an hour of filler, 'Idol' cuts to 11 without a major surprise and without using the Judges' Save
9:00 p.m. We begin the episode with a Top 12 montage set to The Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream." Presumably the joke is that the dream is about to become a nightmare for one contestant?
9:01 p.m. Close, but not quite. "One dream is on the line," bombastic text informs us. Uh-oh!
[Find out whose dream became a nightmare on Wednesday's (March 17) "American Idol" after the break..]
Sawyer takes center-stage in an episode that feels like a stepping stone
As an important part of the overall mythology in this final season of "Lost," episode 6.08 was well-constructed by writers Jim Galasso & Elizabeth Sarnoff, and it certainly laid out certain information in a way that sets a number of things into motion for the next few episodes. But there's still something about it as a stand-alone epsiode that seems disappointing. Slight, even, and when there are only eight episodes after this before the finale, then it's no time for "slight."
The featured player in this week's flash-sideways TIMELINE A segments is Sawyer, although he's not Sawyer in this version of reality. Instead, he's James Ford, Los Angeles cop with a dark secret and a partner named Miles. The notion of Ken Leung and Josh Holloway teamed up in a buddy cop show is just plain great, and I highly advise ABC to get busy on the spin-off right away, regardless of how the series ends. The introduction to undercover officer Sawyer is pretty canny, a spin on what we've learned about him over the years. He starts the episode in bed with a woman, and he starts to run a con on her. It's the familiar pigeon drop we've seen him do before, and the problem is that she recognizes the move as well. She draws a gun on him and tells him she knows he's a con artist since her husband is as well, and she knows the moves. He tells her that he's actually a cop, and that she's walked into a trap designed to catch her husband. It's a fun game for viewers for a few minutes, because as AlternaLocke observes later in the episode, "You're the best liar I've ever seen." James could be a cop. It could be a way to get out of trouble. It could be another layer of scam. For a few minutes, there are some rich possibilities in play.
Siobhan Magnus earns Adam Lambert comparisons, but several other singers also shine
New stage set-up. New announcer. New Top 12. This is "American Idol."
Tuesday (March 16) night is the music of the Rolling Stones and I can't wait to hear what Lilly Scott and Alex Lambert are going to sing!
Huh. Well, click through for a full recap of tonight's episode. [And also check out my interviews with the Top 12.]
As CTU stretches itself thin to contain the growing threat, the terrorists make a move to secure their endgame.
You never know when your TV-watching habits are going to pay off, friends. Take “24,” for instance. At its heights a blockbuster action show worthy of extra-buttered popcorn; at it’s worst, well, full of redneck ex-boyfiends. But I never knew the show could teach me valuable life lessons as well. Just today, I found a half-foot of water in my basement and knew that I should calibrate my “DAMNIT” just slightly higher than when a suspect breaks a CTU perimeter and slightly lower than when a witness dies in Jack’s arms before (s)he can tell him the vital piece of intel that could end that day’s threat.
So thank you, “24.” I underestimated you. Onto the recap!
Adam Baldwin's Casey gets quality time in an episode that's all about choices
Hey "Chuck" fans...
I'm back from the island I exiled myself to after failing to be head-over-heels in love with "Chuck vs. the Beard" last week. I appreciate the number of you who were at least tolerant of my feelings that "Chuck vs. the Beard" was sloppy, narratively redundant and tonally over-the-top, just as I absolutely get why many of y'all felt like there was still plenty of fun to be had in the episode.
In that spirit, I plan to be totally understanding if you happen to disagree with my appreciation of "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac," an episode that I thought did a terrific job of blending madcap comic moments with truly emotional character material. I also appreciated how well "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac" handled its thematic through-line, making it an entire episode about loyalty, about difficult choices and the reasons we make them.
I'll grant that there were aspects of this episode that have now been repeated for the fourth or fifth times this season, but Monday's (March 15) episode had enough good storytelling for me to ignore the redundancies.
[Recap/thoughts on "Chuck vs. the Tic Tac" after the break...]
World War I proves confusing for all, while Morse Code proves impossible for one team
From the newly revised American 2010 Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and also women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator (or by evolution, in the case of a Godless universe) with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of a million dollars on the unscripted TV show of their choosing."
I took it upon myself to do a little Jeffersonian overhaul after watching Sunday (March 14) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" and pondering how the show's producers ended up with this pack of contestants who seem not to feel any urgency or excitement at being a part of this globe-trotting game show with a massive cash prize.
At least half of the remaining eight teams on "The Amazing Race" aggressively appear not to have any desire to win and, in addition, seem to have an almost anhedonic inability to enjoy what they're doing. At the very least, that's some dreadful casting work on a show which has thrived on pitch-perfect casting over the course of its Emmy-winning run.
So while Sunday's episode was tense and rather thrilling at points, I spent less time excited and more time eager to throttle the alleged competitors.
Click through for a recap of Sunday's Race...
'Marriage Ref' star drops by, but the Digital Short for 'Boombox' is an 'SNL' highlight
It is rare, these days, that you get what one could call a “thespian” taking over the reins of “Saturday Night Live.” Jude Law, after all, just recently wrapped up a stint playing Hamlet on Broadway, so at first glance you wouldn’t necessarily think that he would make an ideal host (at least based on the show’s recent track record, if not what would actually make a great host objectively speaking). However, then you remember that Jude Law is really quite funny (his last movie role, after all, was his nice supporting turn as Watson in Sherlock Holmes), and you also realize that he’s here promoting a film that no one has heard of and is getting dumped in March (“Repo Men”), which makes things much more comfortable. Sure, Jude Law is a really great actor, but he’s here on the same terms as every other “SNL” host, so it’s unlikely that the show is really going to become that much more classy or, well, good as a result of his presence.
A review of an “SNL” that managed to live up to, but not exceed in any way, those expectations after the jump…
As Amanda spirals further downwards, both Daniel and Joseph take steps towards finding their daughters.
With “The Imperfections of Memory,” “Caprica” featured three people searching elusive, out-of-reach goals. Joseph Adama spent the hour looking for his daughter’s avatar. Daniel Graystone sought to unlock the mystery of the MCP with his rival breathing down his neck. Amanda Graystone sought solace through drugs and alcohol. All got closer to their goals, but not without working through demons from their past.
Read on for my full take on another solid episode from the increasingly engrossing SyFy drama…
The Heroes suffer more pain, as a knee injury threatens to knock James out of the game
Pre-credit sequence. So how will JT's first alliance handle his betrayal? And how will JT's second alliance handle the fact that despite one great blindside, they still don't have the numbers? The Heroes return to camp and Colby is pleased. "Tonight, JT is a hero," Colby grins. JT goes around and says that he didn't do what he did for personal reasons. He did it for the team. He tries to argue that he made his decision at Tribal Council. "I'm really pissed off right now," Rupert says. The next morning, JT and a pouty Amanda parlay. JT keeps insisting that what he did wasn't a matter of joining forces with Tom and Colby so much as taking the opportunity to boot Cirie. He repeats multiple times that he'd never turn on Amanda and the rest of that alliance. "I see right through him," Amanda tells the camera, noting that JT has made 20 alliances so far. But she's prepared. "Bring it on," Amanda announced. Now that's the Amanda I like. Does that mean she's doomed?
[Full recap of Thursday's "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" after the break...]
Did the loser design a 'cat in a baby sling' dress or no?
Oh boy! Tonight is the night we get to see the design Heidi describes with the stinging criticism, “It’s like a cat in a baby sling!” Which just sounds so weirdly fascinating I have to see it as soon as possible. Is there a pillow involved? Maybe fur? Is this like that chicken-and-egg outfit from last season? How exciting! As much as I love the great designs on this show, it’s the disasters that really make an impression. And this season’s been a little short on weirdness. If the late, great Alexander McQueen can put his models in alien hoof shoes, well, I think these guys can push the envelope a bit further than they have.
Mila informs us that Maya is an old soul, because even though she’s almost twice Maya’s age, she can totally relate to her, which really means she likes the fact they basically have the same haircut. I mean, come on, Mila isn’t exactly the deep and meaningful type. Meanwhile, Anthony urges his teammates to “trust their viscera.” Even though he doesn’t know what that means or where to locate his own viscera. Pssst, Anthony, think fancy word for guts. But I will say, at least it sounds better than trying to inspire everyone with, “trust your entrails!”