TV Watch: 13 Highlights from August 27 to Sept. 3, 2009
Project Runway recap: Carried Away
After pairing up and taking on two designs, one designer made a major misstep by not sharing the workload, and his exit made show history
Team challenges are always the most rife with drama, and last night played like an episode of The Young and the Feckless. In one corner, you had Team Capital WTF?, which saw poor Ra'mon juggling the majority of the sewing and designing, as well as the unenviable task of trying to keep Mitchell focused. What if they had used sequins or sparkles in their garments? Ra'mon would have had to lock Mitchell in some sort of neck brace to prevent him from going completely gaga over the galaxy of shiny things before him. — Missy Schwartz
Big Brother recap: Nat's All, Folks
As the power in the house shifts, a newly powerful Natalie helps give Jeff the boot
Kevin had a solid lead in the HOH challenge, followed by Michelle, with Natalie trailing alongside Jordan. Natalie claimed that once she saw that Kevin was winning, she began to throw it: ''Why show any of the other houseguests that I'm a strong competitor?'' First of all, considering she hasn?t won any competitions, I don?t think there?s any chance of anyone having that revelation. But secondly, at this point in the game, why wouldn't she want people to realize she has some skills? With her goose-egg record (for now, DAMMIT), if she made it to the final two, people would just see her as a floater who did nothing to deserve her position. Dr. Will didn't win any challenges, but people knew he was playing a mental game. The only game Natalie has played is candy poker. — Josh Wolk
The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Starring NeNe's melons
Just when I thought I had lost all patience with NeNe — tired of her ghetto accusations, her goofy desire to paint Kim black, her bossy meddling — she went and charmed me a little. Maybe it was her easy camaraderie with the always delightfully calm Gregg. Maybe it was the fact that she was a surprisingly relaxed and productive director. Or maybe it was her genuine excitement about the photo shoot and her respectful treatment of the other women. All except for Kim perhaps, who was peeved that her Stepford wife costume didn't come with a porno wig and didn?t involve a prop bottle of Chardonnay and a Parliament Light. — Karen Valby
Top Chef recap: Military Precision
The chefs worked as a team in less than ideal conditions to give 300 airmen a feast, but it turned out that defending their dishes was a solo affair
Preeti, Laurine, and Mike I. were in the bottom three, much to Mike I.'s chagrin. On the one hand, we can understand his feeling sour when his cooking partner, Michael V., won the challenge. At the same time, no one made them cook in pairs, so tough luck if your ''teammate'' won and you're on the bottom. Mike I. was livid and his mouth started running, admitting that he wasn't 100% comfortable serving the salad, to which Padma whipped back, ''Then you shouldn't have served it.'' Ouch. — Archana Ram
Weeds' season 5 finale: Shane=this show's best character
We knew Shane had it in him. Sure, up until season 5, Strange Botwin has been the ''good kid'' to brother Silas? derelict, but there was a major role reversal all season — Silas is now a responsible business owner while just last week we saw 14-year-old Shane swill red wine and pull a knife on teenage Spanish-speakers who unwisely chose to use heroin under his roof. The show?s always suggested a dark and dangerous mind beneath Shane?s usually placid exterior. ''I?ve got rage in me,'' he matter-of-factly told the school therapist after composing this rather threatening bitch-ass white boy ''rap.'' — Annie Barrett
America's Got Talent recap: Who's judging the judges?
The Muppets were apparently not entertainment enough for one night, so The Hoff returned to his first love — a talking car the stage — and performed a jazzy song about nothing in particular. Paris, it looked like? Evening wear? Was that the song he used to end the Cold War? (My grasp of history?s a little fuzzy.) — Henning Fog
Chris Brown on Larry King: What'd you think?
The closest Brown came to acknowledging his acts was also his closest brush with eloquence: ''Nobody taught us how to love one another.''
There was so little to discuss that King pretty much tossed in the towel in the last ten minutes, and started asking Brown how he felt about Michael Jackson?s death. ''I was devastated. I broke down.'' Duly noted. — Ken Tucker
18 Kids and Counting adds 'cast'
I hadn?t watched this series in quite a while, so it took me a bit of time before my eyes adjusted to papa Jim Bob?s high-beam, ever-present, gleaming-white smile. Really, there is nothing for which this man cannot find a smile, even when confronted with the seemingly-impossible task of buying 20 subway tickets from a D.C. vending machine. (It?s the little things in a big city that throw off the Arkansas-small-town Duggars.) — Ken Tucker
America's Got Talent recap: Tough decisions
Next up was Drew Thomas Magic, who drew from the ''disappearing girls'' well once more and bored the judges with what is, at this point, sort of a repetitive routine. Illusions are tough — the whole ''variations on a theme'' approach that might work in another medium doesn't go over as well here. People demand NEW, and get bored when you can?t deliver. All that changed here was the ''daddy'' story?which was just kind of uncomfortable with the busty assistants. — Henning Fog
Hell's Kitchen recap: Why we love Dave and Tenille
I'm aware that many of you on the comments board are anti-Tennille, and I agree that she can be grating at times, but come on — she's a riot! When Andy stepped up for the tasting challenge, Tennille was worried that he'd ace the test, prompting her to deliver the most bewilderingly marvelous line uttered so far this season: ''Andy is one of the most epicurious mamba-jambas I've ever met before in my life.'' Now, epicurious isn?t a real word (it's a combination of epicure, meaning a person with refined taste, and curious), but it sounds damn impressive. And then to follow this seemingly sophisticated word with mamba-jambas is simply sublime. — John Young
Mad Men recap: The High Life
Roger's fancy garden party reminds Don that he's still on the outside looking in, while Peggy puffs her way a little further into the boys' club
Peggy tried marijuana for the first time and we all got a great contact high. Peggy, Smitty (who I now love!), and Kinsey were stuck dreaming up vacation scenarios for Bacardi. The boys wanted dope to get their wheels turning so Kinsey called up his squirrelly Princeton buddy to hook them up. Peggy's new motherly and devoted secretary, Olive, warned the girl against going into the boys' den. But in she marched with a tuna fish sandwich. She introduced herself and announced her intention to get high. It was great. When Kinsey tried to tell her she wouldn't like it she shut him down. ''How do you know what I'll like?'' she demanded. ''You never ask how I feel about anything except brassieres and body odor and makeup.'' — Karen Valby
Jon & Kate Plus Eight recap: Home (and away) on the range
It's ranch life for Kate and the boys, and she even gets to take aim at a new target...kind of
From the very beginning, the boys were utterly fascinated by the ranch, musing that the horses looked like cows, which Collin quickly affirmed that it was because they were, in fact, ''horse-cows.'' The mysterious and majestic horse-cows held the lads' attention until grasshoppers stole the spotlight. The boys' playful nature and funny running commentary salvaged what could have just been an interchangeable themed episode. — Aly Semigran
True Blood: Evan Rachel Wood explains it all
Series creator Alan Ball, who wrote this episode, made the choice to play a lot of this week?s episode for laughs and campiness. The exhilarating thing is, this decision did not preclude the hour from also being scary and suspenseful. Having Bill come to Sophie-Ann to ask how to defeat the maenad Maryann and be forced to stick around for an endless game of Yahtzee — I can see sales of this game going through the roof. — Ken Tucker