FlashForward recap: Moving Things Along
Doc Jensen takes on the series’ return and finds familiar territory, such as possible time travel, a grand conspiracy, and Big Themes
The second half of the two-hour spring premiere was a kind of Frankenstein tale, in which not-so-simple Simon revealed himself to be both creation and thrall to a fringe science cabal that nurtured his smarts into monstrous genius and then exploited his brain for their vague, allegedly villainous ends. (When a guy called Flosso says he’s a villain, he must be a villain. Right?) However, by story’s end, Simon had begun turning the tables on his makers/masters with one of the strangest assassinations seen on TV this season. Simon mounted Flosso’s tubby chest and pushed on his emphysema-sick lungs, compressing death into him/life out of him — cardio-pulmonary ruination. Flosso said he was just a middle-man for bigger baddies, and so we must wonder how much Simon truly gained by murdering his ”Uncle Teddy” — and if indulging his angry black heart cost him more of his soul in the process. —Jeff Jensen
The Office recap: What a dump!
One by one, the sales staff members have to find their leads. Michael turns Jim’s leads into clues, leading him on a wild goose chase through the kitchen and into the parking lot. Angela blackmails Phyllis (fabulously bitchy tonight!) into doing clerical work before she can get her potential commission leads. And Erin, officially my new favorite character on TV, lured Andy into the most adorable, almost sexy but actually just awkward game of Hot-or-Cold. The more she said ”hotter” the more it seemed like our sweet little receptionist had hidden the leads in her bra. When she said ”lower!” you could almost see the steam shoot out of Andy’s ears at the prospect of a blue index card being hidden somewhere downtown. In the end, the cards were under Erin’s computer keyboard. —Jessica Shaw
Project Runway recap: It’s a Hell of a Town
Half the remaining designers get it right when they all have to use NYC neighborhoods as their inspiration for two outfits.
Maybe now you see why I was so sure that Team Emilio/Seth Aaron was gonna win. And they both did, in a Project Runway first. I’d argue it was Seth Aaron’s denim ensemble that gave them the edge, since it captured Harlem to a fashion-forward T. Now, I haven’t been Seth Aaron’s biggest champion this season (”Duh!” says a chorus of loyal recap readers), but I can appreciate that he has a way of imbuing pieces with his own signature flourishes — even if, as Nina pointed out last night, indulging in fewer of them would up the taste level. —Missy Schwartz
Parks and Recreation recap: Let’s hear it for the schlemiel and schlemazel
Back in the park, we meet possibly one of the most annoying characters ever to visit Parks: A loud-talking park ranger named Carl (played by Andy Samberg), who shows Leslie and Co. the scene of Jerry’s mugging. His voice can clear a field of crows, as the episode showed, but the character has the power to clear a room of viewers, as I wish I could have shown. In an otherwise great episode, the scream-talking gag got old fast. I would give my best raccoon-savaged, urine-soaked golf cart to the person who could guarantee me we’d never see that character again. —Sandra Gonzalez
The Real Housewives of New York recap: Bethenny and Jill spar
Oh LuAnn. How her ego did swell when her startlingly lovely daughter Victoria mentioned that her guy friends thought she was hot. LuAnn, acting 14 years old herself, pumped her daughter for more information like a teenager would ferret out the details of a sighting of a crush at the mall. LuAnn is a goof, and a vulnerable one. I give her points though. At the fashion show, attempting to explain Jill’s case to Bethenny, I found her rather diplomatic and restrained. She wasn’t out to make trouble, and she looked great in her jeans. Good on you, LuAnn. For your efforts, Bethenny calls you a snake next week! —Karen Valby
American Idol recap: Sympathy for the Bedeviled
As the first season 9 finalist gets kicked to the curb, the focus shifts to guest stars good and bad; plus we get new insights into several remaining contestants
Seriously, though, it’s blasphemy to discuss David Cook and ”Ke$ha” in the same sentence, especially since the erstwhile Idol champ was kind enough to give the season 9 finalists a front-row look at how to own — not rent, not test-drive, not borrow — the song, the stage, and heck, the entire room, whenever you’re lucky enough to be in front of an audience. Singing with conviction and a pitch perfection that’s been rare among the season 9 males, David proved you can keep a crowd’s attention without having to reinvent a track from the ground up and without moving out from behind the mic stand. (A crisp red shirt and black jacket don’t hurt that cause any, by the bye.) —Michael Slezak
ANTM recap: Starving, hysterical, naked
Anslee, who might be the world’s sourest person, gave the camera a ”telescopic view into her nether regions,” which is the quote where I decided André was the best thing to happen to this show since Janice Dickenson. Sorry, Ms. Jay, but you’ve been ousted. Simone didn’t smize hard enough, Gabrielle’s shot was met with disapproving silence, but the perky Jessica’s shot was terrific. Both Krista and Naduah’s photos were weirdly bad, but Brenda — who for some insane reason still doesn’t like her completely awesome haircut — looked great. Tatianna’s face-on shot was surprisingly elegant, even though she seems sort of hulking, and the incredibly grating Alasia’s shot was so crummy that the show inserted clown music. When André claimed to love it for its weird badness, Nigel openly laughed at him. —Margaret Lyons
High Society recap: ‘People don’t have jobs and stuff down here’
The second episode of High Society made it clear that socialites are taught to live by a different set of rules. For any Tinsleys in the making, fear not, for here is your introductory course free of charge.
Lesson 1. Always wear heels.
Tinsley, who hates, hates, HATES flats!, pranced around her apartment in Prada heels (she told us so, I’m not that much of a fashionista) while unpacking items from her old life (because it feels more natural than walking in flats or being barefoot). —Emily Exton
South Park season premiere review: Tiger Woods got golf-clubbed
The South Park boys enjoyed a new video game last night, a new Tiger Woods game in which players can make Woods’ wife beat him with a golf club. (Cartman, thumbing the controls wildly, used his ”Pre-Nup Power-Up Option;” instead of losing points, Woods ”loses endorsements.”) —Ken Tucker
Lost recap: Working the Angles
This Sawyer-centric episode gets us set up for the action to come next, while possibly giving some insight into Fake Locke This ”set-up” episode was all about set-ups, from its opening sequence fake-out that seemed to present Sideways James Ford as every bit the slutty, soul-numbed vengeance-questing criminal as his Island iteration, but then revealed himself to be a… slutty, soul-numbed vengeance-questing cop. No doubt the happy sunflower glory days of his previous life as Dharma Initiative security chief had prepared him for the gig. But alas, there was no Juliet in this sad sunflower’s life, and we were made to ponder if that made all the difference. His partner seemed to think so. Miles! Detective Miles Straume, who tried to fill Jim’s lonely void by setting his buddy up with a blast from Lost‘s freighter-folk past, Sideways Charlotte Lewis. (Apparently, no matter the world, Miles will always end up wearing a badge with Sawyer.) —Jeff Jensen
American Idol recap: The Jaggered Edge
While Crystal and Siobhan offer their typical tour-de-force efforts, the rest of the field tightens up behind them — leaving half the remaining singers at risk of elimination
Lacey Brown: ”Ruby Tuesday” Dear Lacey, I am so sorry about your dry-cleaning accident this week. The way your beige bustier and your grandmother’s doily collection got cauterized to your black-and-white vertical striped blouse, and the way said blouse got one shoulder torn off during the ironing process… well, it’s a wonder you had the courage and the strength to get up on that stage and sing at all. With all that in mind, I am so proud of you for sticking it out up there. But while there are definite sweet spots in your vocal, and while I kind of enjoy the idea of you on paper as a quiet, lilting folkie who veers in a direction that’s atypical in the Idol arena, you definitely have ”some issues where you don’t hit the notes right,” as Kara so politely put it. —Michael Slezak
The Biggest Loser recap: The Transformers
The contestants’ weight losses are really starting to show. Now, if only a boring food challenge didn’t slow things down
Not long into the workout, Jillian — wearing a tooth around her neck that I imagine once belonged to Melissa — could sense that one of her contestants, Ashley, wasn’t feeling 100 percent. Why? Because Ashley was upset about still having to lose 120 pounds — and felt pressure to spend time with her mother, who she cared for after the death of her father. Jillian forced Ashley out of the gym and into the woods, where Ashley rightly asked: ”What are you about to do to me?” Ashley, never follow Jillian to a second location! —Kate Ward
16 and Pregnant recap: One of the most wrenching episodes to date
Lori was given up for adoption as a baby by her teen mother. In cruel irony, Lori too finds herself as a pregnant teen with an extremely difficult decision before her. Lori’s parents lobby for her to give her child up for adoption, but Lori and her boyfriend/baby daddy Cory aren’t so sure. Lori wants to experience the blood relationship she never had and Cory wants to take responsibility.
This is usually where I would talk about the awful things that the teen father says to his girlfriend or the scarily naïve questions the soon-to-be mom has about childbirth. But this episode didn’t have either of those factors, both of which are usually standard for 16 and Pregnant. There was no villainous teen dad or clueless mom. They were simply a seemingly well-adjusted (for teens anyway) couple trying to decide what was best for their child. —Sandra Gonzalez
90210 recap: We aren’t connecting
The don’t-give-me-attitude-even-though-I’m-blackmailing-you-to-go-out-with-me couple: Jasper declared that he and Annie weren’t connecting because they hadn’t been intimate (not because he’s a lying, creepy drug dealer). Completely grossed out, Annie finally got in on the manipulation game by using Jasper’s feelings for her as collateral for her freedom. She broke up with him and said that if he turns her in, he’ll destroy any and all possibility that they will ever get together. —Emily Exton
Gossip Girl recap: Some burning (and not-so-burning) questions answered
After a lot of back and forth (and I’m talking a lot), we finally discovered that the mystery woman was planning on giving Chuck up for adoption at 19 because she was not ready to be a mom. Bart, Chuck’s dearly departed dad, felt differently. He wanted his son, kept him, and over the years, Bart even paid the magically disappearing mommy to stay away. She told Serena, who seems determined to make everyone’s issues about her, that she never needed the money because she wanted to stay away. Serena took offense to this and mumbled/garbled harsh words to Chuck’s mom. My Serena translator reports that she either said, ”There’s no child that doesn’t want to know their parent.” or ”Is my cleavage really that apparent?” You choose. Either way, Chuck’s mom was moved and decided to meet with her son. It ended with a truly vulnerable moment for Chuck, where he excitedly told Blair that he’ll call her in the morning and give her deets on his private convo with his mom. The ”I will” he said to Blair might be the two most honest words to ever come out of Chuck’s mouth. Me = melting. —Sandra Gonzalez
Brothers & Sisters recap: Hi, Kitler. Hello, Tommy.
The paparazzi found Sarah’s house and ambushed her and Luc on their way home from a run. Sarah, always colorful, didn’t take kindly to being asked how much older she was than Luc and sort of attacked one guy’s camera and uttered the word ”douchebag,” which, frankly, isn’t used enough in primetime. Sarah blamed Kitty for turning unwanted attention on her and getting her dubbed The Famous Pasadena Cougar; Kitty blamed Sarah for not keeping her cool in front of the paparazzi and for giving the political blogosphere ammunition in the first place by getting involved with Luc. —Mandi Bierly
Sons of Tucson premiere: A homeless man gets the creepiest job ever…and it’s kind of funny
Tyler Labine does a great job at making Snuffkin a lovable buffoon without crossing the line into campy. The pilot also rested on Labine’s ability to portray the undeniably creepy Snuffkin as likable, considering the premise.
The series’ three boys, all relative newcomers to television, also have a considerable load to carry. Frank Dolce, who plays middle brother Gary, made a name for himself during his run in Billy Elliot on Broadway and is clearly the standout in terms of acting ability. But in terms of comic relief, the night belonged to the youngest brother, Robby (Benjamin Stockham), and his dry delivery and misleadingly innocent face. I never thought something as simple as a butt-cheek punch could make me laugh so hard. —Sandra Gonzalez
Caprica Recap: My brain hurts so good
What Zoe was saying, if I understand this correctly, suggests a different sort of creation: not making everything, but rather, designing a pattern by which everything makes itself. It’s as if, instead of creating the universe, some higher power created a system that would lead to the universe’s creation. This is all rather heavy stuff, and Alessandra Torresani has never looked so beautiful as when she said that. It makes me wish that more TV shows featured two smart people falling in love. —Darren Franich