Inside TV and Pop Culture with Liane Bonin Starr

'Revenge' recap: Will Daniel cheat on Emily with Sara?

Jack is moving on, but is Daniel?

"Revenge"

 "Revenge"  

Credit: ABC

Guess what? Nolan gets his own slice of the vengeance pie in this episode of "Revenge," and it's nice to see him get some small reward for his otherwise thankless role as Emily's sidekick. What's weird, though, is that he seems to think this opportunity to destroy someone's life requires not grim determination (Emily's standard M.O.), but an Oscar-worthy speech of gratitude. "I've learned so much from you, Ems," he gushes, so grateful is he to her for having found the inner pluck to "take control" of his own life. I really think Nolan needs to make new friends, as crushing someone like a bug under your heel isn't exactly taking the high road. 

'Real Housewives of Atlanta': Is Kenya full of it?

The gang gets together to hash out the reunion mess and fur flies

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

I don't know why, but I keep hoping that Kenya will suddenly realize how she comes across, give one last "Gone With the Wind" fabulous twirl, and start thinking before she speaks. I realize that would ruin the entire show and the rest of the cast would have no one to gossip about other than maybe Beyonce or Rihanna. Still, it's hard for me to accept that someone who can seem so sane and even charming sometimes transforms into the Queen of Crazypants when she feels she has been the victim of some minor transgress. 

'Once Upon A Time' recap: Can Ariel and Belle save the day?

A certain family Peter Pan knows all too well also makes an appearance

"Once Upon A Time"

 "Once Upon A Time"  

Credit: ABC

Sigh. It seems that, no matter what our intrepid Henry supporters do in Neverland, Peter Pan is always one step ahead of them, laughing gleefully at how they're playing right into his tiny hands. This is starting to become frustrating, and it also makes me wonder why Pan, if he's so all-knowing and powerful, doesn't just wipe Emma and the gang off the map and stick to the business of manipulating poor Henry. I know, I know. All reasons will be revealed in time. But in the meantime, all of the ingenious plotting and creative reasoning feels futile and depressing. It also might be nice if Pan, with all his powers, could turn on the lights in Neverland. Just a thought.  

Review: 'Killing Kennedy' takes aim at Lee Harvey Oswald

While we may not need another JFK movie, this one flips the script

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"Killing Kennedy"

 "Killing Kennedy"

Credit: Nat Geo

 It could be argued, and argued well, that we don't need another movie about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Of course, Hollywood has decided otherwise, so there. In time for the fiftieth anniversary of this dark day in history, we're awash in new documentaries, specials, and fictionalized accounts. "Killing Kennedy" (premieres Sun. Nov. 8 at 8:00 p.m. on Nat Geo) is adapted from the successful book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, so it was likely unavoidable that we'd get this admirably concise movie. 

Listen: CulturePop No. 32 - 'Thor,' 'Scandal,' Lady Gaga, Eminem

Melinda and I argue about Kat Dennings, too

"Scandal"

 "Scandal"

Credit: ABC

We waited until the last minute to fire up the podcast-making magic machine this week (otherwise known as GarageBand), but we're squeaking in under the wire. If you're thinking about seeing "Thor" but aren't a comic book fan you might want to hear what Melinda and I had to say about the movie (though if you are a comic book fan, there are many, many other reviews you'll find more relevant). We talked about a lot of other stuff, though, like Eminem, Lady Gaga, "Killing Kennedy" and "Scandal." This week we didn't have a guest and we hardly knew what to do with ourselves, but we had fun. We hope you will, too. Keep reading for the rundown: 

Exclusive clip: A human balloon on 'Untold Stories of the ER'

A patient's bizarre swelling even unnerves his doctor

"Untold Stories of the ER"

 "Untold Stories of the ER"

Credit: Discovery Fit & Health

Have you ever felt you're looking a little bloated? Maybe puffy around the eyes? Yeah, well, chances are you never looked like the patient in this week's episode of "Untold Stories of the ER" (airs Fri. Nov. 8 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health, then repeats Sat. Nov. 9 at 9:00 p.m. on TLC). He comes in looking swollen, and it just gets worse from there. Think Violet Beauregarde. Okay, not that bad, but you get the idea. 

'Grey's Anatomy' recap: Has Christina pushed Meredith too far?

The fragile friendship may be over

"Grey's Anatomy"

 "Grey's Anatomy"

Credit: ABC

If things between Christina and Meredith were shaky last week, this week seems to be the final, definitive nail in the coffin for the two former BFFs. It turns out that you can call Meredith crazy and you can steal her coffee, but you never, ever tell her she's a bad doctor OR bogart her 3D printer. I'm sure you also can't tell her her kids are ugly or slash the tires on her car, but we haven't covered those matters yet.

'Scandal' recap: Will Olivia get the truth about Remington out of Fitz?

Josie Marcus takes a bite out of gender stereotypes

"Scandal"

 "Scandal"

Credit: ABC

You know it's really hit the fan when Olivia drunk dials her dad. Yeah, that happened. 

While buying into Operation Remington is a bridge too far for me (for some reason I can accept the idea that the President once shot down a plane, but I find the idea that he ended up dating the daughter of a woman killed on that plane a little much -- I know, picky picky picky), I love that this conspiracy is unraveling at the worst possible time -- as Fitz is gearing up for re-election. Seeing the chess pieces move in this episode was like watching professional ballroom dancers or ice skaters glide through a routine. If backstabbing was a dance, it would be a tango. 

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Is Katherine dying?

Another doppelganger joins the fun

"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW
I hope Nina Dobrev negotiated a pay raise for this reason. It seems "The Vampire Diaries" is ripping a page from "Orphan Black" and working the show's lead actress seemingly half to death with a small fleet of characters (same goes for Paul Wesley, too). This week, we meet Amara (also known as Crazy Pants), bringing the character total for Dobrev thus far to three. Not only is Amara an entirely distinct animal from both Katherine and Elena, Dobrev is in almost every scene. Seriously, I hope she got a bump for all this work.

In Dallas with 'Killing Kennedy' and star Will Rothhaar

Lee Harvey Oswald is a hugger?

Dinner with Lee Harvey Oswald (Will Rothhaar)

 Dinner with Lee Harvey Oswald (Will Rothhaar)

Credit: Nat Geo

Last month I had the opportunity to not only watch Nat Geo's new movie "Killing Kennedy" (Sun. Nov. 10 at 8:00 p.m), but watch it in the theater where suspected shooter Lee Harvely Oswald was arrested. To make it all thoroughly meta, I was watching along with Will Rothhar, who plays Lee Harvey Oswald in the movie. Did I mention we all went to Lee Harvey Oswald's grave with Rothhaar on Oswald's birthday, too? It was the capper to a visit to Dallas that was chock full of such moments. Conversations segued seamlessly from conspiracy theories to debates about favorite movies, history intersected with fiction more often than anyone expected, and "known facts" were thrown into question by both the people who were players in both this tragic historical event and the movie about it. Let's just say it was a memorable weekend.

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