"Parks and Recreation"

 "Parks and Recreation"

Credit: NBC

Watch: Kristen Bell plays Leslie Knope's rival on 'Parks and Rec'

Watch Amy Poehler face off against Bell's beauty queen character

As if you needed another reason to watch "Parks and Recreation" (Thurs. at 8:00 p.m.), now Kristen Bell ("Veronica Mars" star, sloth lover and Dax Shepard's baby mama) is doing a guest arc (starting this week) as Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)'s beauty queen, upper crust nemesis from Eagleton. Will this be awesome? Nod your head, because yes, yes it will. In fact, watch this clip and get all kinds of excited about this.

Will you be watching "Parks and Rec"?

"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: It's Hollywood night! But can Bill Nye play?

After a serious injury, things don't look good for the Science Guy

It's Hollywood night! That means lots of silly costumes, which is always fun, and some concepts that probably seemed like good ideas in the drawing board stage but shouldn't have been attempted, and usually some not-great music. Anyway, this season stands out in that, even at this early stage, I think it's safe to assume the dancing will be pretty good. Crazy, right? 

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"Styled to Rock"

 "Styled to Rock"

Credit: Bravo

Rihanna, Pharrell Williams will judge Bravo's 'Styled for Rock'

The Grammy winning star picks the talent herself

Like rocker fashion? So does Rihanna. “Styled to Rock” (premiering Fri. Oct. 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Bravo) is executive produced by the multi-Grammy Award winner and fashion icon. Pharrell Williams will also show off his fashion sense as a mentor-judge on the show. 

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' season finale recap: Is this goodbye?

With prison a possibility, it seems as if this could be the end

After all the tears, hugging, horseshoe cleaning and Zennis the ladies of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" endured this season, I was fully prepared for them to come completely unhinged in the season finale. Sure, they'd gamely tackled all the New Age ridiculousness Bravo could throw at them, but I never believed they'd actually, you know, buy into all that nutty-twiggy crap. In Jersey, you make good meatballs, you wear lots of mascara, and you FIGHT. Simple. 

But, even though we get the fighting, it's misdirected. When Penny explains that, duh, Teresa is the one behind all of her friends' nasty comments on Twitter, Teresa squawks, eyes wide, like a parrot who's seen too much. "You're full of bleep! You're full of bleep! Squawk! Cracker?"

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"Revenge"

 "Revenge"

Credit: ABC

'Revenge' season premiere recap: Big changes in the Hamptons

It's a fast forward reboot, but does it work?

We all knew "Revenge" was due for a reboot. After fans grumbled about the more ludicrous story lines that had developed (Ninja warrior training? Really?) and creator Mike Kelley was shown the door, there was definitely talk of the show narrowing focus and getting back to basics -- Emma's plot to destroy the Graysons. It's a 99 percenter fantasy! While that's clearly back on the table, there were quite a few other stories in play. Did they all work? That, of course, remains to be seen. 

We kick things off with Emily (Emily VanCamp) wearing a wedding dress and getting shot repeatedly, which gives us a rather lovely shot of her falling in slow motion off of a boat (God forbid she slump to the floor in a wad of white tulle). So many possible shooters! But no time to explore that, as we're soon jumping back in time to see what's been going on in the Hamptons. 

To start, Charlotte isn't pregnant anymore, so that happened. We've flashed forward six months, and apparently losing both Declan and the baby have made her a kind of grumpy that even a long trip to Paris can't fix. It's pretty clear that the show's writers just wanted to pretend Declan never happened, which honestly isn't the worst idea ever. 

One thing we find out about (as does Charlotte) is that the hunky guy Victoria has been stroking out in the country is actually her son. This would be reassuring if Victoria's version of motherly love didn't look so much like it was heading to hot sex. Anyway, Patrick seems nice, moral and far too good to be a Grayson, which either means he's going to disappear forever, change, or he's just a great liar (since it's out on the great Interwebs that Patrick Harper is a recurring character this season, I'll go with options two and three). 

Someone who is actually and truly gone is Ashley. Her brief flirtation with blackmail that leads to her hasty exit is pretty disappointing, and even though Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) has Tweeted she's done with the show, I can't believe that's a forever thing. She had become a bit of a plot device, but a plot device with a great pout and an English accent, and that's never a bad thing.

At the very end of the show we discover that Aiden is back, but I'm not sure what he's up to. If he's truly turned on Emily (which I don't believe), I can't believe he's going to make inroads with Victoria. As far as Emily sidekicks, I'm not sure she needs anyone other than Nolan. Even if he's reluctant to play computer sleuth this season, I'm okay with him parachuting into scenes and generally being Nolan. Given that too many of the characters on this show are far too serious about crazy, sudsy story lines, we can never have too much comic relief.

Alas, the big moment we've all been waiting for -- Jack kissing Emily -- was a bitter disappointment, as he claims he felt nothing, he hates her guts, and even though he understands her desire for revenge, he's giving her a time limit before he outs her true identity. Wha? I doubt he really didn't feel anything anymore, but I'd prefer straight mad Jack over "I get you but I hate you" Jack, as this strange middle ground screams "creating a ticking clock for the plot!" as opposed to logical emotion. Emily, it seems, isn't happy either way, and I'm already missing the sad, mopey scenes of desire derailed we had back in season one.

But the good news is that, as in that first, heady season, we're no longer worrying about the Initiative or Takeda or any of the other stuff that never made much sense. No, we're now getting straight-up revenge (the fake Huntington's diagnosis was TOTALLY illogical, but hey, this is still "Revenge," after all) and lots of backstabbing and frontstabbing and just... stabbing. That's good enough for me.

What did you think of the premiere? Who do you think shot Emily? Were you disappointed in Jack and Emily's kiss? 

"Once Upon A Time"

 "Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time' season premiere recap: 'Heart of the Truest Believer'

It's off to Neverland, but it's not the one you might expect

"Once Upon A Time" has done a pretty great job of tweaking fairy tale convention and beloved children's lit. Some of these revisions -- Little Red Riding Hood as both the innocent little girl AND the wicked wolf is still on of my favorites -- have been truly inspired. Others, not so much (Prince Charming has an evil twin? What is this, "Sunset Beach"?). But this season, the show kicks off with one I think (and hope) will not only be great, naughty fun but will also help to aggregate storylines that started to feel scattered and rambling last season. Because, and this is a spoiler (actually, there are quite a few spoilers after this sentence, so don't read this before you watch)...

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"Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

 "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: It's a wedding on the finale of 'Secret Sex Lives: Swingers'

Not every couple is feeling so committed, though

Sadly, "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers" is wrapping up, and in the season finale our intrepid couples are questioning their commitments to one another and, in one case, walking down the aisle and sobbing about it. Yeah, I'm not sure why they're bothering to get married either, but maybe Rebecca just wanted the dress. This exclusive clip from the show (which airs Sat. Sept. 28 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health) reveals exactly what happens when swingers get together. 

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"The Blacklist"

 "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Melinda and I have to admit that we've had amazingly good luck with getting fun, fascinating guests for our CulturePop podcast, and this week was no exception. Jim Colucci, author of "The Q Guide to the 'Golden Girls'" and "'Will & Grace': Fabulously Uncensored" and the Must-Hear TV correspondent for 'The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, joined us to talk about both old and new TV shows, including "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and, of course, that beloved '80s sitcom. And yes, we're definitely having him back soon. Here's the rundown: 

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: It's double trouble for the designers

It's time for the textile challenge!

If you haven't watched the episode yet, you may want to before reading this. It's not that last night's "Project Runway" was all that exciting (in fact, it was a little dull), but that the elimination was actually shocking. Thus, I proceed, but I'm starting with spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

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"American Horror Story: Coven"

 "American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

Watch: 'American Horror Story: Coven''s opening titles

Take in the voodoo goodness

We'll be seeing this at the start of every episode soon enough, but there's something special about the first time, isn't thee? The main titles for "American Horror Story: Coven" have been released, and they're just as creepy and unsettling as you'd expect. 

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