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

Anna Trebunskaya and Evan Lysacek of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Performances - Nicole and Evan land 30s

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...]

Read Full Post
<p>Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Recap: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Kafkaesque'

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...

Read Full Post
<p>Russell of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'</p>

Russell of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' Finale - And the winner is...

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...]
Read Full Post
<p>Alec Baldwin (and Steve Martin, via satellite) on 'Saturday Night Live'</p>

Alec Baldwin (and Steve Martin, via satellite) on 'Saturday Night Live'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Alec Baldwin and Tom Petty close the 'SNL' season

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...]

Read Full Post
<p>Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Season One Finale - 'Founder's Day'

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…] 

Read Full Post
<p>Lance Reddick and Anna Torv of 'Fringe'</p>

Lance Reddick and Anna Torv of 'Fringe'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Over There: Part One'

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...]

Read Full Post
<p>Sandra of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'</p>

Sandra of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' - 'Loose Lips Sink Ships'

'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...
Read Full Post
<p>Raina of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Raina of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' Cycle 14 Finale - 'America's Next Top Model Is...'

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...]

Read Full Post
<p>Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'</p>

Crystal Bowersox of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - Down to 3 on 'American Idol'

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

Read Full Post
<p>Allison Janney guest stars on a sure-to-be-controversial mythology episode of 'Lost,' and check out those hyper-symbolic baby blankets.</p>

Allison Janney guest stars on a sure-to-be-controversial mythology episode of 'Lost,' and check out those hyper-symbolic baby blankets.

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' 6.15 'Across The Sea' offers explanations... but too many?

A major piece of the show's mythology is exposed and fans debate what they've learned

Two weeks in a row now, "Lost" has started without a "previously on" montage.  I'm guessing that's because if you tune in at this point, and you haven't been keeping up, there's probably no way you're going to figure things out in ninety seconds of clips.

I'm afraid to go read anyone else's recap on this episode.  Just watching my Twitter feed go by, I can see already that people are having polarized responses to this big fat plate full of exposition, all served up at once, a mythology download that  explains a big chunk of the show's mysteries all at once.

That's a scary prospect for a show like "Lost."  The time to put up or shut up for this particular game, and this season has been a long slow fuse that is paying off now in ways that I never would have predicted as a from-the-start fan of the show.  Part of me is glad that it's really not doing anything I thought it would be doing at this stage in the game, and part of me is wondering what, exactly, it is that they're actually doing.  There's one regular episode left, then the giant finale event.  And that's it.  That's all the time they have to wrap up the on-Island conflict, the flash-Sideways structure of season six, and everything else that's brewing, and I don't envy them the position they've written themselves into.

I've spoken to people who have intensely disliked this season's contributions to the show's mythology, and until tonight, I would have completely disagreed with them.  I'm actually not sure what to make of the decision to tell an entire episode of backstory at this point in the game.  This episode feels like something that we maybe should have heard at some point in season five as a myth told by the original Others on the Island, and it could have been much more valuable if it had been dropped on us then, if the show had been building to this longer.  As it is, much of this year's legwork feels like it's been piled onto the top of the show here in the home stretch.  Too much of it feels like it's just now coming into play.

Read Full Post