Of all the scripted dramas on television, "The Vampire Diaries" may churn through more pure plot than any other. More happens in one episode of this show than several weeks worth of, say, "Nashville" or, say, "Criminal Minds." It's never less than exciting, but man, don't blink.
Elena is hot for Damon - and her brother Jeremy is out for blood
It's a retro challenge - with a crushing double elimination
Remember the fighting we saw at the end of last week? How everyone hated Dallas John for bagging on Kuniko? Yeah, that wasn't all of it. Of course the show saved a little bit of crazy to kick things off this week, and just to confirm, everyone really, really hate Dallas John. And he's pissed about it! As far as he's concerned, "Josh was a redneck and CJ was playing me." Um, what does that have to do for calling Kuniko just short of an idiot? But wait! Dallas John has one sole defender -- Stefan. I think Stefan's just relieved someone else is the villain this season.
The angel of death drops by, and Sister Mary Eunice is not amused
Is anyone else having nightmares after watching this show? Anyone? Well, if you are so unlucky as to have the opening credits playing in a nightmarish loop in your head, take heart. Tonight's episode is relatively low on gore (it's hard to top those Shelley episodes), so that should be some small comfort. As luck has it, the angel of death (who pops up almost immediately and is played with understated grace by Frances Conroy) has a strangely calming influence on this episode. Yes, she tends to appear when people are contemplating suicide or are hurtling toward high speed car accidents, but in her modest black suit and kick-ass black wings, she makes the Big Sleep seem no more troubling than closing your eyes and leaning in for a kiss. Of course, when you're stuck at Briarcliff, the angel of death probably isn't all that scary at all.
Pamela Anderson, Joey Fatone, Kirstie Alley and other eliminated celebs return
So, tonight's the night. One couple will get the treasured mirror ball trophy and two couples won't. It's a big deal, but really, what do you do with a mirror ball trophy? Put it on the mantel? Hang it from your ceiling? Decorate your tree with it? Just wondering. Anyway, this is the night Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco will learn who made the final cut. And has to take that big, shiny thing home. I guess that at least if you get two, they could make nice bookends.
First off, we see all of our eliminated celebrities, I think. Maybe not. There are a lot of people on the floor. Hey, there's Sabrina! Well, you knew she'd be available.
A growing interest in the lifestyles of the less-than-elite is a good sign
When I mention the A&E show "Duck Dynasty" to people, I usually get blank stares and rapid blinking, as if I've suggested a vigorous round of dwarf tossing or a moonshine-and-possum Thanksgiving. Of course, that's still better than the reaction I get to "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Lips curl. Eyes roll. "Disgusting," one acquaintance muttered. "I'd never watch that garbage. It's just the lowest of the low."
Shawn Johnson, Kelly Monaco and Melissa Rycroft battle for the mirror ball
Here we are in the all-girl finale of our "DWTS" all-star season. It's only an hour and each couple has to power through two dances, so let's just get to it. It's gonna be one speedy episode, so don't blink.
Kenya begs for a baby, Phaedra terrifies hers and Kim gets angry
Do you remember last season? You know, when Kim seemed to have blossomed into a semi-decent person, thanking God every few minutes for all her good fortune, getting all mushy about life with Kroy and their new baby? Yes, she fired Sweetie (and rehired her this season – I smell producer-suggested plot twist), but mostly she just seemed her happy, foul-mouthed self, tossing back her wig-hair and rising above her fellow housewives' silly squabbles. Yeah. That was last season. This season? Kim takes all that Zen reserve, wads it up into a ball, and hurls it out the window while screaming four-letter words at it until it shrivels and dies.
It's a friggin' Lifetime TV movie, remember?
In the weeks before "Liz & Dick" was released, I'll admit I was looking forward to it. It was going to be Lindsay Lohan's comeback! And if not that, the casting was very meta. Lohan's career could hardly be called a mirror image of Taylor's, unless bounced off a cracked, tarnished and very small rear view mirror. Yes, they were both child stars, chased by paparazzi and troubled by bad press, but let's face it -- Liz Taylor was the sex symbol of her generation and a two-time Oscar winner to boot. Lindsay Lohan... well, she was good in "Mean Girls."
It's a Thanksgiving challenge pitting Creole dishes against Italian
I'm curious to know what a turkeypocalypse might be, and not just because it's making the autocorrect on my computer short out. But yes, it's a Thanksgiving-themed episode just in time for our Thanksgiving, so everyone who's cooking anything tomorrow can know beyond a doubt that their food is not as good as what these people are serving up. But first, we start with that grand old Thanksgiving tradition -- a dumpling challenge! Because when I think Thanksgiving, I think dumplings, don't you?
What creates a serial killer? Lack of hugs, for starters
For the record, “American Horror Story” does not get you into the holiday spirit. Or maybe, if you really, really hate the holidays and want to kill anyone who wishes you a chipper “Season’s greetings!” in late October, or who camps out on Black Friday or deep fries their turkey and accidentally sets an entire city block on fire, this might be just the show for you. And hey, there are even cooking tips in this episode! As Dr. Thredson says, “Nutmeg makes all the difference in the world.” If you have not seen this episode, you might think that’s handy advice. And if you have seen this episode? You may never, ever cook with, eat or use the word nutmeg again. As if I needed another reason not to eat pumpkin pie.