The Bachelor recap: Sextracurricular Activities
It’s the most dramatic cocktail party EVER as Rozlyn is booted for ”inappropriate” behavior off-camera — but at least the ”disappointed” Bachelor gets his rose back
Throughout Chris’s lecture, Rozlyn remains oddly calm and quiet…. So was this fake drama dreamed up by producers, as some (including Rozlyn herself) have suggested? Or did it all happen exactly as it’s been presented to the viewers? Given the vagueness of the term ”inappropriate,” I’m guessing the answer is somewhere in the middle — something hinky went on, and it was exaggerated a bit for dramatic effect. And really, is that so surprising? Ten years into the reality TV craze, is there anyone out there who hasn’t learned by now that the genre involves some degree of manipulation, of both participants and viewers? Okay, rant over. Let’s move on. —Kristen Baldwin
The Return of Chuck, Last Night and Tonight: Now, it’s Really ‘Chuck Versus Chuck’
The back-to-backs, ”Chuck Versus The Pink Slip” and ”Chuck Versus The Three Words,” set up what Sarah enunciated quite succinctly: ”You’re a spy now, Chuck; you have to keep your emotions to yourself.” By which she was also referring to herself, of course. This led to a pleasing tension between the two of them.—Ken Tucker
Big Love season premiere: ‘Where is Roman Grant?’
The Big Love producers could have gone one of two ways this season: They might have scaled back the series to re-focus on Bill and his three wives. (Lots of fans find the scenes of multi-family life the most interesting for the emotional and organizational complexity required.) Or the Love folks could expand the range of the series and follow through on all the inter-generational competition, back-stabbing and, in the case of Bill’s father Frank (goaty Bruce Dern), and mother, Lois (flinty Grace Zabriskie), front-stabbing.
It’s the latter path that’s been chosen. Whether this was the wisest decision remains to be seen.—Ken Tucker
Brothers & Sisters recap: Bond, Nora Bond
During the final minutes of last night’s Brothers & Sisters, my jaw dropped as low as Kevin’s in this photo. When I realized Nora was turning a lunch date with Simon into a sting operation, I literally chanted ”No-ra! No-ra! No-ra!” on my sofa. I may also have yelled ”Suck it, Simon!” at some point, too. Not proud, just honest. —Mandi Bierly
Modern Family recap: How Much is That Doggie Butler Hanging Out the Window?
Last night’s episode of Modern Family, ”Not in My Home,” revolved around household anomalies treasured by one party and reviled by others: Barkley the Dog Butler at Jay and Gloria’s, a nudie pic promoting agribusiness at Phil and Claire’s, and a troubled gardener at Mitchell and Cam’s. As usual, hilarious dialogue abounded but my favorite parts were the sweet bonding moments among the family — you know, when they bitch and moan (to our delight) for nearly half the scene before realizing how alike they sound and how maybe their respective relationships aren’t so bad after all. I loved the heart-to-heart Claire and Mitchell shared over an invigorating beaded comb sheath crafting session at Luke’s birthday party, for example. Anyway, this time, it was Jay and Mitchell who decided to focus on how good they had it with their unlikely spouses. ”Just drop it, kid,” Jay told his son. ”We’re both with people different from us, and that’s gonna create stuff. But you want different.” Awwww! —Annie Barrett
Cougar Town recap: The Kiss Heard ‘Round the Block
I believe Cougar Town is the only show on TV that serves more wine than Brothers & Sisters. A bottle of red loosened Jules up enough to tell Jeff (guest star Scott Foley, you will be missed!) ”You’d make a pretty girl? Seriously, I have a skirt that’s a little too big for me, and god knows, you’ve got the legs. All we got to do is shave you down, and then tuck some stuff back up?” —Mandi Bierly
House recap: Guy Love
At Chez Hilson, Wilson’s chatting up a friendly (buxom) neighbor who’s called Nora here but will always be Gretchen Witter to me. She thinks Wilson is funny and nice and agrees to go to dinner with him as long as he brings ”that good-looking guy with the cane.” ”House?” ”Your boyfriend’s name is House?” Oh, be still my heart.—Margaret Lyons
Heroes recap: It’s Like Swimming, But Inside Out!
Everybody is everybody’s pal on Heroes now — Sylar is the neighborhood delinquent, Samuel Sullivan is the kooky neighbor next door, but no one’s ever really in much danger, except for the Multiplier’s Multiples, who evaporate bloodlessly into thin air if anyone is even a little rude to them. (”Oh no, my only weakness: mild hostility!” Least threatening henchman/men ever? Yes.) This isn’t the stuff of great drama, but on a well-oiled episode like last night — which had a couple of good lines, a great guest-star, and the first hint of playful self-awareness we’ve seen in years — Heroes approaches something reasonably compelling. Call it negative boredom. —Darren Franich
Parks and Recreation recap: Will Arnett Can See Your Insides
In the imaging room, the creep factor was upped to all new levels when Chris made comments about Leslie’s ”industrial-sized” baby ”oven” (”Honestly, if you wanted to, you could go triplets right off the bat, Leslie.”) and when he unsubtly hinted that their date would migrate from the MRI room to the bedroom. (Chris: ”You’re not on your period, are you?” Leslie: ”No. Does that matter?” Chris: ”Not for this.”). —Sandra Gonzalez
Community recap: Jack Black Attacks!
Jack Black frequently straddles the thin line between genius (School of Rock) and annoyance (nearly everything since School of Rock), and as the study group’s newest member, Buddy, he most definitely crossed that line. I would have cherished a Jack Black who played someone other than a Jack Black caricature. Alas, we received exactly what we expected. —John Young
Project Runway recap: Let’s Hear it for New York!
Tim (and Michael and Nina!) are back where it all began with a new quirky cast and a chance to make up for last season
I’m positive this is going to be a good season. It has to be: After the three-month dental appointment from hell we endured last fall, our expectations have never been lower! Heidi is TV-pregnant again, Tim’s really psyched about the new HP technology he gets to promote, and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are not going anywhere. Both will be leashed to their director’s chairs by a sparkly chain of whichever jewel tone Heidi is really into that week. And best of all: We’re back in NYC, concrete jungle where dreams are maaaaaade of! There’s nothing Anthony can’t coo…. Let’s hear it for New York! It cannot be disputed that the concept and physical presence of Tim Gunn simply makes more sense when he’s in front of a proper skyline. Not to mention, ”Parsons School of Design” rolls off of Tim’s tongue much more comfortably than ”Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and Wide Open Spaces and Too Much Light Makes the Timmy Go Blind.”—Annie Barrett
Grey’s Anatomy recap: Time to Grow Up
Sloan really becomes a parent when his grandson is in danger, and Cristina has to make a choice
”That is not how you bond with children.” — Addison, upon hearing that Mark connected with his newly discovered pregnant teen daughter by telling her they’d slept together Conveniently enough, Sloan’s daughter’s baby had amniotic bands wrapped around his legs in utero, and naturally the only person who could fix this was Addison Montgomery of Private Practice. So she flew up from L.A. to help. And to suddenly be reminded of her affair with Mark, which hasn’t come up in any significant way in seasons. —Jennifer Armstrong
American Idol recap: Devil Went Down to Georgia
Simon Cowell’s farewell tour stops in Atlanta, where a church boy, a pageant queen, and a country gal all make strong impressions
Now it’s not like over eight-plus seasons of Idol we haven’t seen hundreds of Vanessas — small-town dreamers hoping that the nation’s biggest TV show might spring them from cages of anonymity and relieve them of the sometimes exhausting toll of workaday living. And it’s not like I wasn’t aware of the way the producers were manipulating my emotions from the get-go: queuing up the fiddle-and-banjo soundtrack (she’s from the south, y’all!); showing footage of her walking a dusty rural road carrying nothing but her guitar; and building up to that image of Vanessa attaching her audition number (92276) to her torso while declaring ”This is the biggest thing that’s happened to me.” It all played out like a hokey Hallmark Channel movie — only funnier and more interesting.—Michael Slezak
American Idol premiere recap: Bean There, Done That
Victoria Beckham brings a fresh face to the judges’ panel, but the Boston auditions can’t erase fond memories of Kris, Adam, and Allison
Katie Stevens’s take on ”At Last” contained the kind of smoke and swing (not to mention emotional depth) that few contestants (let alone teenage ones) would be able to pull off a capella. Yeah, the way the producers cut from footage of Katie singing for her Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother to a shot of her singing to Idol‘s judges was as subtle as a flare gun shot off in a linen closet, but at least in this case, raw talent managed to trump formidable back story. If Katie can do on a big stage what she managed to do in a tiny holding room — delight the judges, bring tears to Seacrest’s eyes — she could turn out to be a contender.—Michael Slezak
Desperate Housewives recap: Forgive and Forget
Bree and Orson are back under the same roof and hating it, while Lynette and Tom finally deal with their sorrow
The best part of the story line, though, was Madison De La Garza, the little actress who plays Juanita Solis. She’s been a hoot all season, especially through the home schooling scenes with Gaby, but tonight she was particularly downright side-splitting. ”I’m Mexican?!?” she screamed when the administrator at Oakridge mentioned her ethnicity. ”Since when? I thought we were American!” And she was right. But no matter, the bluntness with which she said this was too amusing. But that instance was just one in many funny moments for Juanita. I about died when — at the behest of Gaby and Carlos, in a bid to showcase Juanita’s desirable ”diversity” — the little girl creeped back to the administrator’s door after leaving to give him a begrudging, ”Adios, señor!” That’s good stuff. And later, after Gaby fumed that Juanita should know she’s Mexican because ”we eat Mexican food all the time,” the sassy Juanita replied curtly: ”We eat Chinese food, too. Does that mean I’m Chinese?” I love love love Juanita’s character. —Tanner Stransky
The Biggest Loser recap: This is Your Life!
Dr. H. is on the scene to take the teams to task, one contestant is injured, and another goes home
Cheryl and Daris had to see ”how your old, unhealthy diet affects a healthy person.” Cue Jillian Michaels, standing in the kitchen with five or six huge plates of all-American (albeit mostly-Mexican) food. ”I have to eat one of your meals!” she explained.
I didn’t think that anything could make Jillian Michaels afraid except for the realization that there is only one inhabited world in our solar system for her to conquer. But she was terrified as she pulled off the plate covers. French fries! Quesadillas! Tortilla chips with some decadent-looking guac! ”This isn’t even food. It’s chemicals. Meat parts, preservatives, hydrogenated oils. Pure crap!” Jillian spewed burrito remnants into the trash can. This is officially the vommitiest season yet. One more episode and it’s a streak! —Darren Franich
Bones recap: The Truth (About Angela and Wendell) Is Out There
The ”X-Files episode” seemed long overdue, seeing as how in the pilot of Bones, Booth refers to he and Brennan as Mulder and Scully, and Bones shoots on The X-Files‘ old stage. But it was worth the wait (even if they could’ve used B&B being in Roswell alone, under the stars, to advance that romance plot). —Mandi Bierly
The Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Mean Girls Night
Alexis needed a break. It can be exhausting telling two nannies what to do all day, y’all. So she went with her girlfriend and got a massage. (So many massages on this franchise! Surely the producers would have realized by now that a spa date does not good TV make.) Alexis felt like she was bonding well with the Housewives, particularly Tamra. They both have the same values, they both wear bejeweled cross necklaces, and their marriages are rock solid. (Uh oh, Alexis!) She actually was looking forward to Vicki’s little girls’ slumber party. She could sneak a glass of wine and not worry about Jim smiting her from across the room. ”When your husband’s there you have to be so on, so perfect all the time,” she said. If the image of Jim grounding her for sneaking a shot of tequila wasn’t desperate enough, we later learned that the man has not once, in the course of three young children, ever changed a diaper. The man has never changed a diaper. Not one diaper. Three kids. Not even a pee diaper. —Karen Valby
Jersey Shore: Hook-ups, Left Hooks, and the Best Lines from Last Night
Last night was a back-to-back double dose of the Shore, and, continuing one of the show’s many proud traditions, both episodes ended with somebody’s hand connecting to somebody else’s face. For a show about vacation and leisure at the beach, there has been a lot more punching in and around the head area than I would have first expected. These people can’t tie their shoes or spray their tans without running nose-first into someone’s outstretched fist. —Keith Staskiewicz