So, did all the hype, all the waiting throughout the summer pay off? Did you like the premiere last night of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (left)? Were you satisfied by the Season 2 premiere of Lost? You can read’s full-length evaluations of both shows in their respective TV Watch columns (Apprentice: Martha here, Lost here). My two cents: Stewart’s ”You didn’t fail, you just didn’t fully succeed” pink slip was a cordial touch, but ”You just don’t fit in” is no ”You’re fired.” Where’s the ruthless, steely, cabbage-chopping Martha we know and love? On the other hand, Mark Burnett’s casting has given us a group of applicants whose collective hostility, treachery, and boneheadedness is certainly worthy of the Apprentice mantle.

As for Lost, I would never have predicted that what’s inside the hatch would be a gun-wielding, serum-injecting, Mama Cass fan, and one who had a cryptic encounter with Jack (Matthew Fox) long before the doctor ever boarded Flight 815. To me, that was a satisfying opening while still leaving plenty of tantalizing questions: Why was Desmond quarantined deep beneath the island? What’s the source of his his food, electricity, oxygen, and whatever that serum is? What’s up with all his ’80s-vintage computer equipment? Damn you, J.J. Abrams, you’ve got me hooked all over again.