New Year’s Eve on CNN: Are Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper uncomfortable or hilarious?
It’s true that Kathy never let ”Andy” get a word in edgewise (a trend dutifully noted by the Twitter community like four minutes before the ball dropped?nice), but honestly, she was cracking his s— up the whole time, particularly when she dropped the f-bomb just like last year during a discussion of stupid Balloon Boy’s dad. I mean, yeah, I’m a little drunk, but I don’t think he was faking it. Sometimes watching someone (ESPECIALLY ANDY) suffer from a 90-minute case of the giggles is way better than waiting for him to crack a joke. There is magic in their awkwardness. —Annie Barrett
Better Off Ted: Best lines from last night’s new episode, plus the ‘Save Ted’ campaign begins!
The more intricate satire occurred with a sexual-harassment subplot involving Ted, Linda, and a new employee, Sheila, played by Merrin Dungey (she’s always be ”Evil Francie” to me). Sheila sobbed over the death of her cat; the animal, Sheila said, loved puns. The animal’s name? ”Meow Is The Time For All Good Men To Come To The Aid Of Their Country.” —Ken Tucker
Worst Cooks in America: Worst thing I watched most of last night
The whole thing doesn’t work as a concept. These citizens are bad cooks, and they’re, what, proud of it? Ashamed? But shame doesn’t keep anyone off reality TV, so they’re all proud, I guess. And they’ll dramatically improve to win a prize of $25,000? Yeah, I bet I, too, could learn pretty fast to do more than open a can of tomato soup and sprinkle on some pre-shredded cheese, as one guy did here. —Ken Tucker
Brothers & Sisters recap: The obvious happened!
From the moment Kitty decided to opt for the all-or-nothing bone marrow transplant, you knew Ryan would end up being the only match. I suppose it was surprising that the writers didn’t drag it out longer and make him showing up at the hospital for the transplant the final scene. After Holly confronted Ryan and told him that he was the only person caught on the security camera at the time the valves to the Coastal Reserve were tampered with, he was planning on running. Cue a cop knocking on his door, and my fear that we were going to watch a deal be struck: He’d take the blood test, and the charges would be dropped. Presumably, that’s not what happened. It was just Robert calling in a favor and demanding the police find Ryan since he wasn’t returning calls. Ryan’s reaction to finding out that he was a match was legit, ”Is someone playing a joke on me?” Here he was being asked to save a daughter of William Walker when, in his eyes, William took his mother’s life. —Mandi Bierly
Desperate Housewives recap: Imagine All the People…
Deaths, injuries, and reconciliations follow in the wake of the Lane’s plane crash, along with lots of wondering about what might have been
Despite the somewhat gimmicky nature of the plane-crash-resolving, flash-forward episode of Desperate Housewives, this was one hour of television that was more than worth the nearly month-long wait through the holidays. The alternately dreamy and scary and, at least in one case, tear-jerking (you did it to me again, Lynette!) ”what if” structure of the episode more than made up for the bloated, messy plane-crash hour that was dropped before us like a lump of coal right before Christmas. —Tanner Stransky
The Bachelor recap: The Tatas Come Out to Play
In a relatively turbulence-free take-off, Jake meets 25 potential co-pilots, many of whom come equipped with their own flotation devices
Just when I was beginning to bemoan the lack of instability in this hussy roster, here comes Ella, a single mom who’s described onscreen as a hair stylist, but perhaps producers should have ID’d her as a psychic. ”Me and Jake and [my son]] Ethan, I’m already looking forward to our life together,” she explains serenely. ”I believe that it’s meant to be.” Cue the ominous music and shots of Ella punching an invisible foe in the boxing ring. ”I know what I want, and I mean, I’m there to get it, and he is coming home with me.” Apparently, after Ella we’re done with the entertainment portion of the lineup, because producers burn through the rest of the ”ladies” with nary more than a sound bite apiece — most notably ”I think tonight my experience from pageants in the past will help me” (Caitliyn); ”I’m 25, I’m ready to be a wife” (Michelle); and the ever-popular ”I will definitely cut a bitch if someone pisses me off” (Kirsten). —Kristen Baldwin
Conveyor Belt of Love: The bad, the ugly, and the awwww
In a perfect world, Conveyor Belt of Love would be the most utterly convenient set-up a girl could ask for. The men coming down the conveyor belt for my viewing pleasure would all be tuxedo-clad, tall, good-looking cogs, ready for molding into the perfect man. But this is reality television and all the men on Conveyor Belt are freaks.
Okay, perhaps that’s harsh, but the men featured in last night’s special premiere fell largely into three categories: Men who try too hard (like the one who described himself as the Filipino Criss Angel or the man who did the turkey call), artistic d-bags who take themselves and their faux talent too seriously (like the guy who recited a poem about taking a milk bath), and the creepy aggressive ones who try to talk their way out of being rejected. —Sandra Gonzalez
The Biggest Loser: Couples recap: Best Foot Forward
Season 9 begins with the show’s heaviest contestant ever and twin brothers whose combined weights come close to 1,000 pounds
After weighing themselves at home, it was time for the contestants to step onto the ranch, prompting Sherry to say, ”Yes, it’s the gym!… Oh, dear lord, it’s the gym.” (I completely sympathize, as that is something I say every time I trudge to my 24 Hour Fitness.) Greeting the contestants was Ali Sweeney, who apparently decided to pay homage to Jennifer Love Hewitt in Can’t Hardly Wait by bringing along her wind machine this season. Seriously, all that was missing from that ridiculous hair-waving scene was a Hot Chocolate tune.
But all the smiles and niceness was purely for appearance, as we soon discovered that Ali is PURE EVIL. How else do you explain her forcing the contestants — make that ”the sickest group of contestants we’ve ever had on The Biggest Loser” — immediately bike 26.2 miles? Why not just hit them in the stomach with a 6-foot metal pole and get it over with?—Kate Ward
Friday Night Lights recap: ‘The Toilet Bowl’ was a lot better than it sounds
This week’s episode took us on a college road trip with Julie and Tami, and if their squabbling didn’t result in a murder (can anyone ever look at a college-tour TV episode and not think of the one in The Sopranos? first season?), it returned Julie to the screechy, self-absorbed brat we know and love. And I mean that as praise and as someone who knows first-hand how a child’s daily moods (in Julie’s case, still morose over her Matt break-up) can completely kill a day meant to introduce that child to the beauties of a college campus and four future years of higher education, partying free of parents, and hundreds of chances to forget the guy you’re stressing over now. I sort of figured Julie would pull it together at the last minute to ace her Boston College interview, even as I hoped FNL wouldn’t resort to such an easy plot twist, but I chalk that up to the season’s cramped plot quarters: so many stories to serve, too few subtle mood-transitions to make. —Ken Tucker
Nip/Tuck final-season premiere: A lip-chewing drama
The hour was more concerned, however, with exploring the roots of Christian and Sean’s relationship, complete with flashbacks using younger actors. The two men’s traits were fully in place when they joined up in college, with Christian always urging Sean to loosen up and have decadent fun.
One line last night stood out for me: It was when Christian said to Sean, ”You are never gonna guilt or change me — don’t you know that by now?” This was a small nod to the fact that we’re coming to the end of the series, and that Sean should have learned this lesson by now. —Ken Tucker
Ugly Betty Bites: 24 flair-filled lines from last night’s episode, ‘The Passion of the Betty’!
Its first episode in its new Wednesday-night timeslot was yet another fantastic one, featuring Wilhelmina’s triumphant return to Mode, a bunch of weird Betty-themed artwork by her boyfriend Matt, and Marc’s delectable new ”boyfriend” (played by Becki Newton’s real-life brother, no less — how perfect!). Slam dunk, in my mind. —Tanner Stransky
Cougar Town recap: The funniest lines from last night’s episode (with Lisa Kudrow)
Cox and Kudrow (as a vicious dermatologist with a superiority complex) had some awesome exchanges as well, none better than Jules getting short of breath after Dr. Evans aimed her she-beast laser at Jules’ profession: ”Real estate’s what you do when you have no other options. You know, I guess it’s like being a stripper, except you get to see your face on a bus bench. Well, not this face, of course, the air-brushed version.” And then there was Dr. Evans showing up unexpectedly at Jules’ house, on the arm of Jules’ ex Bobby: ”Hi, Jules. Oh, you need more chardonnay! And better chardonnay.” —Michael Slezak
Modern Family recap: Where there’s smoke, there are hot firefighters (and a not-so-funny Benjamin Bratt)
The first Modern Family episode of 2010 may not have had as many guffaws-per-minute as its already classic Christmas-themed 2009 closer, but I absolutely loved the way a single, wacky plot point — ”The firemen in our town have a reputation for being hot,” Phil reported, stone-faced — exposed another inappropriate character trait shared by siblings Claire and Mitchell. Indeed, Julie Bowen takes home the Episode MVP award just for Claire’s combined embarrassed/indignant reaction when Phil (suffering from kidney stones) busted her for changing into a flirty outfit to impress the musclebound hunks who were about to cart him off to the hospital. That goofy development yielded loads of laughs throughout the half-hour, from Phil’s sarcastic reprimand (”We want you looking your sexiest when the hunky gay firemen get here”) to his later request to his kids if he didn’t survive his procedure (”Please be nice to your new fireman daddy.”). —Michael Slezak
People’s Choice Awards 2010: The PopWatch categories
After thoroughly eviscerating the 2009 People’s Choice Awards, I was honored (possibly not the correct word) to be asked by my editors if I would watch and comment on this year’s ceremony. And while I do not believe I deserve any credit or thanks — send your notes of gratitude to whoever hired Survivor producer Mark Burnett ? I am thrilled to announce that the 2010 People’s Choice Awards were at least 47 percent less utterly moronic than their predecessor. In fact, it is possible I legitimately enjoyed entire seconds of the broadcast. —Whitney Pastorek
Celebrity Rehab season premiere: ‘Someone calls me a whore, it’s a compliment’
”I’m Heidi Fleiss and I was the greatest madam that ever lived,” said Fleiss. ”Every woman’s a hooker to me. Someone calls me a whore, it’s a compliment.” Well, it shouldn’t be difficult to come up with group therapy topics for her. Fleiss asked Shelly whether this was ”real rehab, not pretend-rehab.” Shelly assured it was real.
But is it? That?s always the question with this show. Lionized recently by the New York Times, Dr. Drew Pinksy hosts with his usual serene calm, and isn’t afraid to reveal his own ego. He began the premiere with a voiceover that said these recovery attempts have ”changed me forever.” Not necessarily the patients: him.—Ken Tucker
The Real Housewives of the O.C.: Love (and Divorce) is in the Air
Like Don, we must accept Vicki for her short-comings. We must accept that she will say something crass when presented with the view from their lavish resort suite. (“See, if somebody says money doesn’t matter, they’re poor.”) We must accept that she will make multiple Viagra/conch shell jokes. We must accept that after Don pours out his heart in his ravishingly sincere and touching vows Vicki will counter with carat size. The girl can’t help herself! But if Don is in, then I’m in too. I can’t help myself. Vicki, I love you.—Karen Valby
Jersey Shore: 10 unintentionally(?) hilarious moments
10. Nomenclature: Snooki vs. The Grenade and her friend, Hippo
9. Snooki on the After Show: ?Like, there?s no way I?m gonna be on the show without teeth? (re: getting punched in the face) and ?Like, obviously, there were the ?60s or whatever? (when asked if she?d invented the Poof hairstyle) —Annie Barrett
Apocalypse Man last night: Did you learn how to survive?
A survivalist’s dream-show starring armed-forces vet and martial-artist Rudy Reyes, Apocalypse proved to be an utterly fascinating, documentary dramatization about how to survive a massive cataclysmic event.
And now I know how to remove a manhole cover without getting a hernia, and almost know how to hot-wire a car engine, something years of watching TV and movie crime stories failed to fully impart. —Ken Tucker