Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rock the HOUSE (Get it? Get it?)

Finally, that pesky World Series is over (not like anyone watched it anyway). No more easy Tuesday nights watching Veronica Mars without conflict. No more late-night reruns on USA Network just to get my grumpy doctor fix. No, my cane withdrawal ends tonight as House returns to Fox at 9 o'clock.

To celebrate the long-awaited return of Hugh Laurie to my television (yeah, I missed his SNL appearance...rrgh), here's a clip of his band, Band From TV, playing at a post-Emmy party this year. For those unfamiliar with its genius, the band features Hugh Laurie on keyboard, James Denton on guitar, and Greg Grunberg on drums. The sound may be bad, and Greg Grunberg may be hard to spot, but the good Dr. House is up close and personal in some rockin' sunglasses. I assume Wilson is off-camera in the front row, screaming and throwing his bra onstage.

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Heroes: Hero Fight

Happy Halloween! Before we start, a note on nicknames. We now know that Possible D.L. and Actual D.L. are not the same (thanks, sagejenn!), which means that the erstwhile Possible D.L. needs a new nickname. If you're a TWoP reader, you know that they call him Deep Cleaner over there, but I think I'll go with Blank Slate, because a) if he's not D.L., then we know nothing about him, and b) it's what he does. But he doesn't show up this week, so it's a cow's opinion anyway.

On to the heroics!

Hiro/Ando: They hear the message from the future, but the only bit that really makes an impression on Hiro is the sword. He's way into the katana, so I guess we know where that will come from. Anyway, the Rich Texan they cheated shows up again and forces them into a game to pay back what they owe. When Ando catches sight of a gun aimed at him, he flees with Hiro to the bathroom, and there the guys listen as Niki brutally murders the Rich Texan and his pals. Hiro's upset that he couldn't save them, but Ando bucks up the little camper by telling him he can come back and do a do-over when his powers get stronger. Yeah, but if Hiro starts bouncing all around the timeline, he's going to seriously mess up the mythology. Which may be what the writers want; if the fans really hate some plot point, the writers can have Hiro go back and make sure it never happened. Can they start with last week's Matt story?

Claire: Glasses Man wangles a meeting with her bio-rents, and Claire is disappointed to discover that they're not super. But they're also not her bio-rents, because Glasses Man hired them to get her to shut up about her real bio-rents! Mama Claire lets it slip that they tried looking for the bio-rents before, with no success, when Claire was a baby and they thought she had some chromosomal disease. The seeds of distrust have been sown. Also the seeds of love, because Claire and Zach flirt cutely. I do like Claire; I think she has the best balance between normal life and abnormal superhero life, so I always enjoy her scenes. Good thing they're going to save her, because if it was Peter, I really wouldn't care.

Niki/D.L.: D.L. tells us a story about how he was set up and sent off to prison by some mysterious woman (Niki), and that he's going to get the name (Niki) from some friends of his (the poker guys) and clear his name (except that Niki brutally kills them). Niki's mirror pal comes out of the mirror, admits to everything we already knew she did, and tells Niki proper to take the money she stole and run with Micah before D.L. finds out what she did. But Micah tells her secret, and so it's a full-on hero fight between D.L. and Evil Niki, ended only when D.L., with his Shadowcat powers, reaches up through her torso and chokes her. You'll notice that Micah is Niki's trigger – whenever anyone threatens to harm him or take him away, that's when Evil Niki takes over. And while I do find that a realistic (ahem) idea for a single mother, I wonder how long they can keep doing that sort of thing.

The Baddies: Props to all of you who figured that Mohinder's pixie-cut neighbor, "Eden," was in the League of Evil, because she totally is. After sending Mohinder off to India with quite a bit of her saliva, she gives Glasses Man a status report, including the whole "save the cheerleader" message. Glasses Man is thrown by this, but recovers enough to tell her to take Isaac out. I still can't figure out what his endgame is, and whether or not Claire has anything to do with it. Is he trying to keep her out of everything or is she just another experiment? Oh, Glasses Man, you are so bad. But you need a better lieutenant than "Eden." She's the Diet Coke of evil.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Studio 60: The End is Near? Maybe? Possibly?

Just days after NBC announced an order for additional episodes, people are sounding the death knell for Studio 60. The speculation, already reaching fever pitch online, is largely based upon a poorly-written Fox News column which says, "It's likely NBC will pull the plug shortly I am told by insiders." Oh, the anonymous source-ity and missing comma-ness of it all!

First off, I wouldn't necessarily consider Fox News a credible news source, doubly so when they're writing about something created by Aaron Sorkin, whom they have to be at least a little biased against. Although to be fair, when have we ever known Fox News to show bias? Secondly, if the show were already virtually cancelled, what's up with NBC ponying up for new episodes?

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Studio 60 was deservedly put on hiatus during sweeps, or punted to a less fabulous timeslot (especially if Friday Night Lights does well in its place tonight). Last week's episode was not only bad, it was downright insulting. Plus, the show is incredibly expensive to make. Why would NBC keep a show on the air that's not really a success critically OR in the real world?

But the show has so much potential that I think it would be a mistake for NBC to pull the plug entirely without giving Aaron Sorkin a chance to shape things up, which I'm assuming is why they ordered the new episodes. Then, if the new scripts aren't up to snuff, it's time for Deal or No Deal II in the post-Heroes timeslot (God help us). Thus, I'm calling the funeral march (slightly) premature. Back to your stations, everyone!

Update - 10/31: NBC told MediaDaily News that Studio 60, while still being closely scrutinized, is NOT cancelled, contrary to what Fox News reported.

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Desperate Housewives: Boozan!

Sex! Scandal! Murder! Booze (and along with it "Boozan," Susan's alter ego)! This week's Desperate Housewives had all of those tasty treats, plus Gabrielle in sexy lingerie (which I suppose counts as "sex," but was hot enough to be worthy of separate mention). It was the perfect mix of all the elements which make Desperate Housewives great, without being overwhelming, like last week's episode.

The ladies (sans recovering alcoholic Bree) spend some quality time together drinking on Lynette's porch and venting about their crazy lives. End result: Lynette realizes she needs to support Tom, Gabrielle confesses to the gals that she still loves Carlos, and Boozan drunkenly crashes Ian's party and admits that leaving him was a mistake.

Oh, and meanwhile, Bree finds out that Orson probably beat his last wife, who looked just like Bree, and Orson finds out that his friend (Roseanne's sister's husband, if you can follow that) was having an affair with Monique (the dead chick from the golf course, also a dead (ha!) ringer for Bree), whom Orson totally killed. Lots of great mystery development, in other words.

Oh, and was anyone else totally bummed that Lynette and Nora didn't get into a catfight? It was SO CLOSE! Ah, well...there's always next week. It also pains me to admit that Mike, confined to a hospital bed/wheelchair and basically emasculated by Edie, is getting less and less hot every week. Which I'm not sure I would have believed possible if I hadn't seen it with my own two disappointed eyes.

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The Amazing Race: Should've Dug the Ditch Deeper

The teams are sent to Mauritius this week, but first they have to find it. Even though Mauritius is off the east coast of Africa, near enough to Kuwait, the teams are still sent through London, that being the quickest way to get there. Well, that's air travel for you. Dustin and Kandice insist that the ticketing guys are idiots for trying to send them on this route, even pulling out a map and showing them how silly it is. This tactic would be a lot more effective (but still annoying) if they hadn't just had to ask where London is. I weep for the state of education in this country. If any of you reading this can't find London on a map, please don't tell me, I don't want to know.

Once they get to Mauritius, the Chos insist on keeping their six-pack alliance. It seems like they spend half the episode waiting for the others, and they end up in fourth place when they could easily have been higher. Like I said last week, I don't think this alliance helps them at all, even though they claim that they're banking on the others' help down the line. This won't happen, because Lyn and Karlyn are far more opportunistic than the other two teams, and Mary and David just aren't going to last long enough, unless they throw themselves on Phil's mercy again (more on that later).

And now, my favorite part of the episode. When the teams get to the Detour, one that involves searching an island for a mast, the producers display a fiendish – and awesome – sense of humor. They've set a trap for the racers, a thick mat of straw covering a ditch, and half the teams fall into it before they reach the masts. Sadly, they all escape, meaning that CBS will have to get its CSI corpses somewhere else.

Dustin and Kandice, despite having hit a bus, hit the mat first and hit on Phil. Phil's only response is "Um," because he's married, and his wife knows where London is. Mary and David are last, and sad music plays, but it's all a psych-out, because it's another non-elimination leg. Yes, again. I'm telling you, Phil doesn't have the heart to eliminate them. Every time they come in last, he's just going to keep claiming it's non-elimination. It could get awkward after the fourth or fifth of those, but what do you want, people? Phil's not made of stone! I like them too, but they're working their third chance now, and I find myself thinking that eliminating them would be a mercy at this point. They're outgunned, and if the Chos weren't such nice guys, they would have no chance at all.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

CSI: A Pat on the Back for Doc Robbins

I know that CSI was a rerun Thursday night, but I hadn't seen the episode before, and if you haven't seen it, it's new to you, right? So I want to give Doc Robbins mad props for baking a healthy vegan pie and sharing it with his co-workers. Way to spread the word that veganism can be healthy, Doc! Unfortunately, Catherine and Warrick get a wag of the finger for rudely expressing that the pie was gross. Boo, Catherine and Warrick! I mean, sure, when I make a vegan pie (in theory) it actually has sugar and stuff, which I believe the good doctor may have left out, but if a co-worker presents me with baked goods, I act appreciative!

So...um...way to go, CSI writers, for mentioning veganism in a semi-positive way. I feel like most of the time, it's in the context of crazy PETA activists, or something. It was a lovely break from the hot dog face-cramming that took up most of the rest of the episode. But I could have done without the "vegan baking is nasty" stereotype. Because it doesn't have to be!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Good News for The Nine and Studio 60

Yay! The Nine and Studio 60 have both received additional script orders (along with Men in Trees, ugh, and Help Me Help You, which I forget to watch every damn week). This is by no means a sign of a full-season pickup, but it probably means they aren't gonna get put on hiatus during sweeps never to be seen again, at least! Way to go, NBC and ABC!

In other news, Mitchell Hurwitz is developing the U.S. version of a British comedy about Parliament called The Thick of It. I'm torn between joy that his brilliance will be back on TV, and sorrow that it won't be with Arrested Development.

[via TV Tattle]

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Ugly Betty: It's the Great Manwhore, Charlie Brown

It's an early Halloween on Ugly Betty, and as you can imagine, Marc and Justin have the best costumes, as Betty and Gene Kelly in On the Town, respectively. Betty, a butterfly, is sent flitting around the city by Daniel on a mission to find a watch he left at one of his conquests' apartments. This plot only exists to illustrate this week's theme: Daniel should really cut down on all the random sex. Bradford, Betty, and Daniel's rehabbing mother (played with magnificent haughtiness by Judith Light) all tell him so, and the point is driven home by the fact that all Daniel's ladies are crazy. Ladies, the reason he hasn't called you is because he's a manwhore. You didn't know this? Of course, the one with the watch is Amanda, and she's waiting desperately for him to give up his manwhoring ways and notice her. This early in the show, I doubt it. This would be the sort of thing they would wait until at least season three for.

Betty, meanwhile, is torn between two guys: her boyfriend Walter and Henry from accounting. Betty, this is no choice at all. One of them broke up with you to hook up with the neighborhood slut, and the other is sweetly dorky and played by Christopher Gorham, who is hot. Hot! Unfortunately, Betty chooses poorly, deciding to stay with Walter. Stupid show, getting my hopes up. I thought they had finally provided an alternative to Walter, but no; they're still trying to make us like the whiny, needy guy.

In "Oh, the drama" news, Fey and Bradford had a 20-year affair, Wilhelmina has a daughter, and Papa Suarez doesn't have a social security number because he's an illegal. But come on, who watches the show for all that? I watch the show because of scenes like the ones between Marc and Christina, all rapid-fire Scots and snarky comebacks. Well, hell, a scene with Marc and anyone is fabulous, but Christina makes a worthy foe. Well played, Christina.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

America's Next Top Model: Thin = Sexy!

Last week on America's Next Top Model, tragedy struck and an increasingly uncommitted A.J. was sent home. Also, Michelle is sorta maybe gay.

This week, Eugena takes up the bitch mantle, giving Melrose a much-deserved break. Eugena interviews that she's getting sick and tired of all the other girls. Well, Eugena, keep working those dead eyes of yours during photo shoots, and you won't have to put up with them much longer!

Oh, and Anchal is still self-conscious about her enormously obese body. I mean, what, is she 115 lbs? 120?! Cow. Brooke gets a package from home with some "Congratulations, Graduate!" stuff and a copy of her diploma. Seems she's missing her high school graduation (And prom! Oh, the horrors!) to participate in this bitchfest.

Melrose wanders outside and discovers a Tyra photo shoot in the backyard! They show us some examples from Tyra's portfolio as a photographer, and they're all pretty much the exact same photo. Black and white, close-up profiles with the subject looking up and away. That Tyra's got some mad skillz. The mood of this week's shoot will be angry/evil, with crazy zombie hair, spooky pale eyes and cat eyes, and scary makeup.

Jaeda whines about how freaky she looks. Apparently, she likes to be "the pretty girl." (Oh, the irony.) Amanda needs a pep talk from Tyra to stop being so nervous and uncomfortable, and it seems to help. CariDee hams it up and does a great job. Love!

After the shoot, the girls travel to a theater where they meet their makeup artist Sutan's sexy alter ego, who is gonna teach them how to be sex-ay. They also meet Dita Von Teese, an apparently famous burlesque performer. Whatever, shrieking girls. You don't know who she is any more than I do. She does a mini-strip tease and hops into a giant martini glass. Hot!

Dita wisely warns the girls against trying too hard, and tells them to use their props well. And thus I've had the "You've gotta get a gimmick" song from Gypsy stuck in my head since last night. If you want to bump it, bump it with a trumpet! All the girls have to go onstage and bring the sexy. Michelle looks incredibly awkward, and Melrose fails to master the "subtle, not stripper" aesthetic, as Eugena points out.

Jaeda, in a shocking turn of events, finds it hard to be sexy with short hair. How can I say this clearly? SHUT UP, JAEDA. Dita reminds them all that confidence is sexy...Anchal. And holy shit, Jaeda is bitching about her hair AGAIN. Eugena is as sick as I am of hearing about it.

Cathy Gould, director of Elite Model Management, meets the girls with "supermodel" Kylie Bax. Cathy is throwing a private party, and the girls are "on the menu." Wait, is this the CW or Cinemax? Never mind, the dining room table simply doubles as a runway, and the girls have to walk down it with props, trying to be sexy and impress the guests seated at the table. Yeah, it's weird. And the girls' styling is very eighties/early nineties, which, as we all know, is the sexiest era of all.

This is a situation where it's virtually impossible NOT to look awkward. Do the girls even have music to walk to? They all look pretty ridiculous to me, and Cathy picks on Anchal specifically, saying she needs to be in better shape. Um...if we're going with the burlesque aesthetic here, isn't Anchal actually the sexiest?

Melrose, as the winner of this challenge, gets an editorial spread in Seventeen. She picks Brooke, Michelle, and Amanda to join her. Eugena's very sour grapes about it, but CariDee (while looking slightly bitter, since she was second-best), says that if Melrose was the best she deserves it.

Brooke fits right in with Seventeen's style, and Melrose makes the exact point I would have made, which is that it's ironic she (the oldest contestant) is going to be in Seventeen. You guys, I'm totally starting to like her more. Sigh. Welcome to the coveted "Most Hated by Liz" spot, Jaeda.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Anchal and CariDee chat about Anchal's "weight problem," and CariDee gives her very sensible advice about eating healthily. Go, CariDee! Oh, right, and "Dani" goes on a go-see at American Eagle Outfitters. Whatever.

After reading a weirdly pornographic Tyra Mail, the girls head off to meet Jay Manuel, who tells them they'll be posing for romance novel covers. Oh, SWEET. And, even sweeter, the guest star is Fabio! His torso is weirdly enormous, and his hair is just as fabulously hilarious as ever.

CariDee does a great job as a peasant girl in love with a rich man, and Fabio's totally into her. Her talent, I mean. He's into her talent. Her spooky photo, which Tyra shot earlier, is also pretty good, and Tyra loves how much CariDee committed to getting a good shot. In an intriguing twist, Amanda (the straight twin) is leaving her man for another woman. She (as the straight twin) has trouble getting into character, and Fabio thinks she's nervous. Her photo turns out well, though, and the judges really think she stepped it up. Her spooky photo is GREAT--very haunting.

Michelle plays a woman with a secret love child, and Fabio looks really, really old next to her. It's totally creepy. Her picture is only so-so, which she blames on her lack of experience in bed with other people. Tyra kind of weirdly talks about how when she was a 15-year-old virgin model, she still know how to pose sexily in bed with men, or something. Michelle's spooky shot is pretty good, though, and she gets props from the judges for posing outside the box, with her tongue sticking out a bit.

Anchal plays Cleopatra, and Fabio keeps rubbing his mouth on her face. Poor Anchal! But she "grabbed the bull by the horns," according to Jay (is that what they're calling it these days?), and did a great job. The film was a little "hoochie," though, according to Tyra. Her spooky shot is fine, but really rests on her pretty face and the makeup.

Eugena and Fabio are secret lovers caught in the act, and it's hoochie-tastic. Jay makes a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof joke about "no-neck monsters." Awesome! Unfortunately, Eugena doesn't seem to be going for it enough, and is totally unlikable in front of the panel, according to Tyra. Cathy Gould, the guest judge, questions whether she really wants it. Look out, Eugena! Her body in the Fabio shot is fine, but her face is lame-o. Dead Eyes strike again, although she does manage strong eyes through the crazy contacts in the spooky shot.

Jaeda is being seduced by Fabio the vampire, and produces a very "feh" shot. She was understandably grossed out by Fabio nibbling on her ear, and the judges call her on the shot's weakness. Maybe she wasn't comfortable posing with another dude, judges. Ever think of that? Her scary shot is intensely angry. She was SO thinking about her haircut!

Brooke's playing a woman who doesn't want Fabio to leave her, and laments being forced into adulthood by a photo shoot with Fabio. Um, it's not that kind of shoot, Brooke. Even if you did say he's "thick as a tree." She pulls what may be a Kellie Pickler when the girls suggest that Fabio must have girls over all the time, and he jokes that he's a virgin. Brooke's all, "Really? Me too!" For reals, Brooke? You really think Fabio is a virgin? Methinks Brooke knows good and well what a ballsy is, and is just trying to seem innocent and cute. If you know what I'm saying. And you probably don't if you didn't watch American Idol last season, so you probably think I'm being dirty. I'm not. Stop rambling, Liz. Okay. Brooke's romance shot is good body-wise, but bad face-wise (Dead Eyes!). The spooky photo is pretty good.

Melrose plays a madam in a brothel. Okay, aside from the different costumes, virtually all of these shoots have consisted of girls on top of Fabio or Fabio pressed against girls, with Fabio smooshing his mouth against their faces. And no bodice-ripping at all! What the hell, Fabio? Yeah, Melrose rocks it. The shoot is kind of uncomfortably sexy, though. I mean, ew! Old! And not just Melrose, either. (Rimshot!) Nigel, of course, loves the straight-up sexy shot, but Tyra says that kind of obvious sexiness is easy. Melrose brings it on the spooky shot, but Tyra's raising the bar, and thinks it's not the best she can do.

The judges deliberate solo. They love CariDee, but think she tries too hard. Amanda stepped it up this week, but Michelle stepped it...down. The judges feel that Anchal's almost too pretty, and doesn't know how to use her beauty. Um, it's not like a power you can use for good or for evil, guys. It's just there. ...Or is it? Anyway, they think Eugena and Jaeda are inconsistent, and Brooke, despite improvement, is still too "beauty queen." The judges worry that Melrose can't do weird/freaky, and Miss Jay suggests she's more comfortable being "the lady of the night." Ha, he just called her a ho!

Amanda (most improved!), CariDee, Anchal, Melrose, Jaeda, and Michelle are in. It's down to Brooke and Eugena, and I assume Eugena's out, which means that Brooke is the one who's actually out. Because I'm always wrong. And on the night of her high school graduation, too! Harsh. Tyra reminds her that all the girls graduating at her school would rather be here (implied: here with Tyra) than at graduation. Brooke interviews that she didn't see it coming at all, although now that we're looking back through all her pictures, she probably should have. CariDee is Covergirl of the week, and rightfully so. CariDee, I dub thee My Favorite.

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24: Day 6

If you're like me, and you can't wait for Jack Bauer to have another really bad day, there's good news. Fox has released a trailer for season six of 24, and, for the first time, it looks like the terrorist plot is not just frightening, but frighteningly realistic. America, it seems, has been hit by concerted attacks in separate cities. I can imagine this happening more readily than I can an attack of Sentox nerve gas or a nuclear missile hitting Los Angeles, so I'm interested to see how it's going to play out. Especially because, to save us all, Jack Bauer! Must! Die! But we know that's not going to happen... right?

What I still can't wrap my mind around is Chloe, all dressed up like an executive, with a pantsuit and season four Michelle hair. Is she in charge of CTU now? How many people had to die for that to happen?

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Scrubs: Well, there's good news and there's bad news...

Good news: Scrubs will be back November 30th! Plus, it'll be grouped together with The Office, My Name is Earl, and 30 Rock. Woo-hoo!

Bad news: It'll be up against Grey's Anatomy and CSI, this season's two top shows. (Sob!)

I'm...both elated and sick to my stomach at the same time. It's a weird feeling.

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Veronica Mars: Two Logans, both alike in dignity

As if it wasn't hard enough to keep track of the two rich, fratty boyfriends named Logan on the CW, now they're occupying my screen at the same time. Gilmore Girls Logan Matt Czuchry stays an hour late to play a reporter masquerading as VM Logan's half-brother. Awesomely, our Logan punches out the interloping Logan and Logan dominance is once again established. In much better guest star news, Laura San Giacomo starts a multi-episode stint as Harmony, a woman who hires Keith to trail her (non-)cheating husband. Elliot and Maya pick up like Just Shoot Me never left off, and it's great to watch. Nice call, Veronica Mars.

Veronica's case this week is a commission from the Pi Sig frat: help them prove that they weren't behind the rapes so they don't get kicked off campus. She gets them off the hook, and in the process incurs the wrath of the victims and protesters. So far, Hearst is looking a lot like Neptune High. Veronica has much of the same friends (although they're never around, Mac and Wallace), the same antagonistic relationship with the administrators, and the same outcast status. Of course I don't expect Veronica to be popular, but I do expect her to be branching out a little more. It's college! Get her an internship or something!

By the way, show, thanks for the cute scene of Keith and Veronica ragging on each other's dressy clothes. The father-daughter relationship is one of my favorite parts of the show, so I love scenes like that.

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Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Another Season of Crazy Bitch!

YES!!! Oxygen, bowing to the demands of crazy bitch-lovers everywhere, has renewed The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency for a second season. And (best part!) they have also greenlighted a HOLIDAY SPECIAL entitled "Christmas with the Dickinsons." That's, like, 100% guaranteed hilarity. I hope there'll be singing!

According to Zap2it.com, there will be eight one-hour episodes instead of ten 30-minute episodes, which is fine by me--all the more time for ridiculously soft-focus interviews and crying burly men. Oh, and she'll be "confronting some disgruntled models from last season," too. SWEET. And with a whole two months to film and edit the show (which will air in January, after the Christmas special), how could the quality not be top-notch?

Oh, Janice. How I've missed you. Tyra isn't half the crazy bitch you are.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Studio 60: Shut Up, Sorkin.

Oh, man. I love the show, and I love Aaron Sorkin and all, but is he actively trying to alienate viewers? I can get over the contrived crap (reminiscing with the old writer who happened to wander into the studio, finding the genius black comedian during open mike after the crappy headliner), but the intellectual superiority vibe is starting to get to me.

I mean, I'd like to consider myself intellectual, and I don't think anyone would question my liberal credentials, but even I got pissed off at the whole segment with Tom's parents. They're from Ohio, so they don't "get" smart comedy, or history, or culture, or minorities, or anything not related to fighting for your country. And they work for a living, so why should they pay attention to any of that stuff? Jesus Christ, Sorkin! I mean, having lived in Ohio, I can't say a lot to recommend it, but it's incredibly insulting to explain away ignorance by saying, "They're from Ohio."

I loved The West Wing despite its preachiness (okay, it was preaching everything I believed in already, so that's easy to forgive), and I love Studio 60 despite the fact that it's a mouthpiece for Aaron Sorkin to bitch about everything that's wrong with Hollywood (again, we're mostly in agreement there, and it's a great show otherwise). But damn, Sorkin, you are not going to keep this show on the air by insulting everyone who doesn't live on a coast. When Ohio insults annoy even me, you know you've gone too far.

P.S. Drunk Jordan = Kind of awesome.

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Heroes: Waffles!

I love this show, because it's one of the few that can surprise me. Like Nathan? He doesn't just fly, he breaks the sound barrier. Awesome! I suspect that by next season we'll all be over this sort of thing and complaining that the show has hit a sophomore slump, but for right now, it's pretty damn cool.

Hiro: He doesn't have much to do this week aside from be cute and prove that waffles are always funny. Done and done! Oh, and he also temporarily breaks up with Ando and befriends Nathan. Mostly, though: waffles!

Claire: She tells her bad dad about Quarterman being a rapist, so Glasses Man gets his pal Possible D.L. to wipe Quarterman's memory so he can make something better of his life. I guess he believes in nurture, not nature?

Matt: Possible D.L. wipes a day from his memory and thoughtfully drops him on the couch, considering that's where he'd be sleeping anyway. But surprise, the wife actually does care where he's been, so Matt uses his power for "aww" and gives his wife the perfect date. And then he has to go and ruin everything by running out to a convenience store and eavesdropping on a robber's thoughts. He talks him out of it, and then – oh, Matt – picks up the gun. So that everyone thinks he's robbing the store. Listen, writers: either give Matt something to do in the main story arc or make him less of an idiot, because right now I'm not having any trouble seeing how he flunked the detective test three times. Some people are bad test takers, true, but some people are stupid. And I hate that I'm saying this about Greg Grunberg. Damn you, Heroes.

Niki: She 'fesses up to Nathan about the whole hooker thing, and for some reason, this slick politician is completely shocked that she would lie to him! He thought they had something special! That he doesn't have with his wife! Wow, who knew he had pearls to clutch? Also, the cops show up looking for D.L., and D.L. shows up looking for her.

Peter: Future Hiro tells him that saving Claire is the only way to prevent what will happen, hence the phrase "Save the cheerleader, save the world." I think we'll all be heartily sick of that phrase in a few weeks. So, without Mohinder, he goes back to Isaac's, where he finds the cheerleader in his paintings. Well done, Peter, now can you find Waldo? After siphoning off Isaac's power to finish a painting of a shadow over a bloody cheerleader, he gets a call from Hiro and tells him he has a message for him. Dude, if Hiro's turned on a TV at all during the past week, he knows what the message is.

A note on Possible D.L. vs. Actual D.L.: Now that we've finally seen Actual D.L., I'm not convinced that he's the same guy as Possible D.L. They look similar, but the previews from next week suggest that Actual D.L.'s power is different, i.e. walking through walls (a useful power for an escaped con), rather than memory-wiping. Anybody else have any guesses one way or the other?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

The Amazing Race: Nice guys finish... fifth

Phil decides to mix it up this week and give the teams departing the mat a "hint" rather than a clue. Go to Kuwait City and find this, he tells them, providing a picture of the Kuwait Towers. Why tell them what city it's in? Just give them the picture and have them figure it out on their own! I think it would be funny to see teams end up in Berlin. As it turns out, a few teams find the towers on the internet before they leave, and the others get help from locals, so no one really has problems.

At the towers, the teams are given the options for the Roadblock and the Fast Forward, and the Chos fall on a sword for David and Mary. As you'll recall from last week, David and Mary have to come in first to avoid a penalty, so the Chos tell the beauty queens that they're thinking of taking the Fast Forward, which dissuades the beauty queens and allows David and Mary to make a getaway to the FF. It sure is nice of the Chos, but it's not good for them at all. Because they're in last, they're afraid of heights, and the Roadblock involves climbing up the outside of one of the towers. I worry about the Chos, because I think they've gotten themselves into an alliance that doesn't benefit them at all. David and Mary and Lyn and Karlyn aren't great racers, and Erwin and Godwin could be strong racers if they weren't slowed by the other teams. The reason they were last at the Roadblock is because they were waiting, along with their other alliance-mates, for a local who could show them the way. Just ask a taxi driver!

But anyway, David and Mary do make it in first, and the Chos get some good karma in the form of a helpful cop, who takes them to the next clue with sirens blaring. They are also helped by poor navigation skills from the other teams. While Tyler and James take four hours to find the Detour, if what they tell their camel can be believed, Peter and Sarah drive around forever, and by the time they actually do find one of the Detours, night has fallen and they are told to go straight to the pit stop. Hey, Phil's got places to be, you know. They are eliminated in short order, and this is when Peter pretends that he and Sarah have both decided that they're better as friends. Yeah, you both decided. It has nothing to do with you wanting to head Sarah off at the "let's be friends… who never see each other again" pass. Bye, Sarah! Get that knee fixed!

Next week: The beauty queens rear-end someone. I'm just surprised that more teams haven't gotten into car accidents before this.

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Desperate Housewives: So...Much...Drama...

Does anyone else find Desperate Housewives kind of stressful to watch? While I think it's definitely back on track this season with the new mystery, I've gotten to the point (and I confess, this has happened to me before with this show) where it feels as if the housewives' separate storylines combine to become a giant, nerve-wracking mess each episode.

Take last night: Separately, each of these storylines would have been fine. Together, I found them completely exhausting. Mike's been brainwashed by Edie (bitch!) and is totally giving Susan the cold shoulder, so she kidnaps him from the hospital to take him to Wisteria Lane so that he can regain his memory. Gabrielle amps up the divorce-related bickering with Carlos, bringing men home to make him jealous. Lynette tries to support Tom's dream of opening a pizzeria, but ultimately tells him (after a discussion with Nora) that she's worried he'll fail. Nora, of course, goes behind Lynette's back and tells Tom that she believes in him, making Lynette out to be an unsupportive bitch. Danielle threatens to run away if Bree keeps her from sleeping with her history teacher, and after Bree blackmails the teacher into dumping her, Danielle gets him fired and sabotages his divorce proceedings.

Aaaaah! Do all the housewives have to have all this drama going on every episode? Am I alone in wanting a little more mystery (now with Mike!) and a little less individual drama? I guess this is what I get for watching two episodes in a row last night (I was behind due to the cable problems last week). While I love the show, sometimes it's just a little much.

UPDATE: I totally forgot to mention the best part of the episode! Ann from Arrested Development ("Her?") played Julie's slutty, bad-haired friend!

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Most Interesting Part

Unless you've been living without cable or Internet access (but then, how are you reading this blog?), you've no doubt heard the announcement by T.R. Knight, of Grey's Anatomy fame, that he is gay. When I first heard this story, I admit, I thought it was a non-story. Yeah, so? I couldn't believe the news promo that my local ABC station ran during Grey's Anatomy on Thursday night. The announcer, in the same urgent tone used for "this household product can kill you!" and "warehouse on fire!" declared, "Grey's Anatomy star drops a bombshell!" You guys, he doesn't contain mercury. Settle down.

But I can't pretend that I don't care at all, because the fact is, the announcement did change my perception of him. First, I have to respect him for having the courage to come out. Second, the article that I read mentioned his guest spot on CSI. This shocked me, because I know almost every episode, and I didn't remember him. So I looked it up, and now I have to love him more. The episode is called "XX," and it features Knight as Zero, the mentally disabled brother of a guy who loses his entire custodial fund while gambling, and tries to make it up to Zero by killing himself and trying to make it look like a murder so his brother can get the insurance money. But the CSIs find out, and Zero is left alone and penniless. And from what I remember, Knight was heartbreaking. I really need to find that episode and watch it again, because damn, T.R. Damn.

Knight expressed in his interview the worry that his sexuality would become the most interesting part of him. I'm just one fan, T.R., but if it helps, it isn't for me. You are the guy who can make me laugh for five minutes, just because of the expression on his face ("What's this? Why, it's ANOTHER awesome B-movie!"), or who can break my icy, cynical heart with a scene I still remember two and a half years later. That is the most interesting part of you.

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CSI: Bizarre Love Triangle

This week's episode is about why you should never get involved with a priest: specifically, because your jealous ex-lover and the father of your unborn baby will kill you, tie you to a cross, and hoist you from the rafters of said priest's church. Huh, look at that, I just gave you the entire plot.

Yes, after the excitement of Greg's beat down last week, we are given a fairly uninteresting episode. Greg himself is back at work, still with those ugly bruises, but otherwise okay. He and Catherine, whose father apparently did die, bond over work therapy. It's the CSI way, after all; once you've experienced a traumatic event, you bury it so deep inside you that it can never, ever come out, until the pain and grief finally suffocate under the crushing weight of denial. Greg's on the road to recovery!

And remember how I told you last week that Vicellous Shannon had something in store for Greg? Yeah, well, I still think so, but we didn't see him this week. You know, they'd better use him soon, or else the CSI viewers will forget all about Greg's beat down. Because the show will never mention it again.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

America's Next Top Model: Double Goddammit.

Last Wednesday, Megg sucked hardcore and got tossed out on her "Rock and Roll!" ass. A.J., who was really close to Megg, is pretty sad that she's gone. Melrose has a heart of stone, and won't cry for anyone going home unless it's her. So hopefully we'll see Melrose crying this week.
Continuing the post-elimination talkfest, Jaeda whines about how much s/he sucks, and I agree with her wholeheartedly. Go home, Jaeda. Your personality is obnoxious, your looks are- well, you're a dude, and your pictures have been incredibly unimpressive.

Eugena (the ever-observant one) informs us that the twins, apparently, are two different people! With distinct personalities and everything! Amanda's the more reserved of the two, and Michelle's the more coming-halfway-out-of-the-closet of the two. Yep, Michelle tells a couple of the girls that she thinks she might be gay, but doesn't want it to be a big deal. Riiiight. Have you seen the show, Michelle?

The girls head out to be edumacated. Mark Steines, the co-host of Entertainment Tonight, meets them in a studio, where he'll be teaching them what a good interview is all about. Twist alert! They'll be interviewing him! Oh, Tyra, will these delightful surprises never fail to keep me on the edge of my seat?

CariDee cements her status as one of my favorites by being very funny, but Jaeda is so nervous she can't even interview him. A.J. also gets a bit of stage fright, cementing her status as one of my favorites by saying, "I don't like just running up to people I don't know and probing them and questioning them." Probing. Heh. Melrose is disgustingly perky, which is impressive given the incredibly obvious "We hope you fail!" vibe that the other girls are sending her.

Back at the Batcave, Michelle is feeling angsty about her semi-coming-out, and Amanda is worried about her. Michelle, however, is worried about Amanda, because she's keeping to herself a lot. I, for my part, am worried that I will mix them up and totally wrongly describe a conversation between the two of them.

Tyra Mail! I love how they always try and guess what the Tyra Mail says, and are never, EVER right. It's one of the constants that keep this show great. The girls arrive at Geoff Thomas designs, where a new line of jewelry or something is being unveiled tonight. They are going to interview Janice Dickenson on the red carpet "for Entertainment Tonight." Um, jewelry lines get red carpet ceremonies with "supermodels" and Entertainment Tonight?

CariDee has a total mental block when it comes to the phrase "over the top," and instead of wisely giving up and calling Janice something else, she settles on "overpungent." HA! Brooke, trying to warm Janice up and get her on Brooke's side, decides to go with the question, "What makes you so bitchy?" A.J. wears a stupid, stupid dog-chewed pink sweater sleeve-looking thing on her head, and Janice makes her take it off. A.J. totally loses her cool and can't do the interview. Amanda and Jaeda also tank.

Melrose, sickeningly, does a pretty good job, and wins the challenge. Janice, sensing a fellow crazy bitch in Melrose, agrees that she blew everyone away. Goddammit. The prize is to interview CW stars on the red (or perhaps ugly mottled CW green?) carpet at a launch party, or something. The girls claim they're happy they didn't win, because they don't like the prize. Yeah, whatever, guys. Melrose ends up doing a fantastic job with the interviews, obnoxiously enough.

The next morning, Tyra stops by and wakes the girls up to give them "guidance," which I'm completely confident she would have done even if Michelle hadn't just (sort of) come out of the closet. Just like she would've done the "who's a bitch in the house?" interview last week if Melrose hadn't been an enormous bitch. This time, she does one-on-one interviews, all the better for crying and backstabbing which will be used against you in judging.

A.J.'s first up, and Tyra asks what's troubling her. A.J. takes the bait and rats out Melrose for being a bitch. In Melrose's interview, Tyra asks if the other girls are intimidated by her, and Melrose says that yes, in fact, her confidence can be intimidating. She claims she's scared to be vulnerable, but she's still strong. Well-played, Melrose. Eugena starts crying as she talks about how hard it is to let her emotions out. CariDee tries to compete with other, much better sob stories as she tells Tyra that until recently, she had psoriasis (a skin disease) covering 70-80% of her body. Gross, but not good enough, CariDee.

Michelle, amazingly enough, manages to avoid the lesbian talk, but says she's worried about Amanda. Amanda says she's (understandably) afraid to share too much of herself on the show, and thus comes across as very reserved. Additionally, she's (also understandably) scared for Michelle, who has shared her uncertain sexual orientation with all of America.

This week on "My Life as a Covergirl," "Dani" manages to top throwing the first pitch at a baseball game in terms of sheer mundane non-modelness by...getting her nails done. Ooh, the excitement!

Back in the house, Amanda and Michelle call their parents so that Michelle can come out. Michelle tells her mom that she told everyone she might be gay, and her mom just asks if she's okay, which seems to upset Michelle. In the end, though, her mom ends up being really sweet and understanding, as is Amanda.

Finally, it's time for this week's photo shoot, where they'll be posing with themselves as celebrity couples. Yay! I love when they pose with themselves, and the celebrity couple thing has the potential for total hilarity.

Eugena portrays Beyonce and Jay-Z. It is, indeed, hilarious. She dances and everything. But is it weird that she's a more convincing Jay-Z than she is a Beyonce? Twiggy actually doesn't know who Jay-Z is, and the judges point out that Eugena has the old Dead-Eye as Beyonce. They love her Jay-Z, but Nigel notices that she's wearing sunglasses (thus avoiding the Dead-Eye issue). The sunglasses are also a big advantage in looking like the celebrity, FYI. Not that this fact will be important later when certain of my favorites don't have sunglasses and get eliminated, or anything.

Anchal is also hilarious, portraying Oprah (good job) and Stedman Graham (oy, the wig). Tyra thinks that whoever did the hair and makeup for Anchal/Stedman "should be shot." And don't think it won't happen!

CariDee, portraying Brangelina, makes a totally hot Brad Pitt, and an extraordinarily convincing Angelina Jolie. AND she has to work with a crying child. The judges are rightly impressed.

A.J. struggles as Marc Anthony and J-Lo, disadvantaged by the lack of sunglasses to hide behind. Seriously? She's bad. The judges think she was a cheesy J-Lo, and a boring Marc Anthony. What the hell, A.J.?

Brooke is K-Fed (HA!) and Britney. Even though she has to pose with a big python as Britney (unfair!), she does a good job, taking what I'd call her first decent photo. She makes a disturbingly good K-Fed, actually, and even proves she's a better rapper than he is during judging (yeah, doesn't take much).

Jaeda is Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. She feels comfortable as Bobby, which is unsurprising since she's a dude. And wow, she looks like SUCH a drag queen with the Whitney wig on. Seriously, she could be a Whitney impersonator at a bad drag show off the Vegas Strip, or something. The judges agree that she was great as Bobby, but not so hot as Whitney.

Michelle, in a stunning coincidence which Amanda calls "ironic," is portraying Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. She makes a great Ellen, totally nailing the dance moves, and a pretty good Portia. The picture is fab.

Amanda portrays Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. I kind of don't get why Demi has to be in a bikini for this shot, but damn is that girl skinny. She hams it up as Ashton, which Jay Manuel loves, as do the judges.

Melrose wraps it up as Melania Trump and The Donald. And you guys, she's awesome. She totally does the Donald pursed lips thing, and is hilarious in a great way. Godammit, Melrose! Stop doing such a great job! A.J. is NOT loving that the judges are loving it.

The guest judge this week is Matthew Jordan Smith, the shoot's photographer. The challenge is to watch a video of a Top Model finale party red carpet show, and provide live commentary with their point of view. Jaeda, A.J., and Anchal fail miserably. Brooke, CariDee, and Melrose do a good job.

The judges deliberate alone. They don't think Melrose seems like a real model, but recognize that she turns it on when she needs to. They're still lukewarm on Eugena, they think Jaeda and Anchal lack confidence, and they LOVE CariDee. They feel that Brooke turned in a strong picture and performance this week, but A.J. isn't comfortable with less edgy, more glamorous shots. They still believe Amanda has potential, but think Michelle is the twin that rocked it the hardest this week.

In: Brooke, Melrose, Amanda, CariDee, Michelle, Eugena, and Anchal. It's down to Jaeda and A.J. No suspense here, right? A.J. was the best out of everyone last week, and is probably the best walker in the bunch. Jaeda, on the other hand, is a whiny, insecure dude who hasn't had a great picture yet. A.J. smiles ruefully and Jaeda remains expressionless as Tyra tells them that the judges aren't sure A.J. wants it enough, and that Jaeda just seemed defeated.

Aaaand...A.J.'s going home. Um, WHAT?! She's been awesome up to this point. What the HELL?! Jesus Christ. She actually thinks she was eliminated for the right reasons. I disagree (as does America, since she was Covergirl of the week!), but whatever. I'll just assume that they're keeping Jaeda around for the big "She's a man, baby!" reveal that's sure to happen next week. Goddammit.

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Ugly Betty: Evil Marc Makes Good TV

This week, it's all about the assistants. The episode belongs to Amanda, Betty, and, best of all, Marc. Yay Marc! The three of them all end up leaking a portion of Mode's Christmas fashion spread to a guy who works at rival Isabelle magazine, and Isabelle steals the entire spread. You guys, it's not a big loss. The spread is serious ugly. It's this ridiculous "post-apocalyptic Christmas" spread, with barren deserts, a Planet of the Apes-style Statue of Liberty, and models dressed in camo with short-short flak jackets. Merry Fugmas!

So now everyone's a suspect. Amanda deals with the pressure by overeating, including sucking down an entire pan of flan, and Marc takes hits off his inhaler every five minutes. Betty, being Betty, decides she has to tell Daniel, despite the fact that everyone is telling her to keep quiet. This includes her dad and Daniel himself, who refuses to hear her confession because he doesn't want to lose her as an assistant. Aww. Of course she doesn't listen and comes clean to Wilhelmina about it, because this show is like your mom and wants you to have some nutritious morals with your junk food TV. Everything works out for the best, as it always does, because Fat Carol is the slutty, slutty real leaker. See, Betty? You could have lied and said Fat Carol did it like the others did, because she really did do it. Don't you feel silly?

Yeah, and some other stuff happens with Daniel finding out about the affair that Bradford was having with Fey, and also the attempted murder, but mostly, lots of Marc! He even gets a chance to be not so evil, bonding with Betty's nephew Justin and giving him advice on how to survive school while being fabulously gay. "Be who you are, wear what you want… just learn how to run really fast." Turns out I like Marc even when he's being sweet, but don't get me wrong, I still love the evil.

Most Hilarious/Horrifying Exchange of the Night:
Wilhelmina: Do you know how many curly-haired, effete sycophants there are lined up to replace you?
Marc: I know, you have five of them on speed dial.
Nooooo! You can't replace him! There is only one Evil Marc!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway: Goddammit.

It's the finale! FinaleFinaleFinale! And we catch up with the designers one and a half days before the show. Everyone's hard at work except Jeffrey, who's already finished, which led Laura (and, to a lesser degree, the others) to accuse him of outsourcing his sewing.

Uli regrets the accusation, but Laura and Michael don't. Laura even points out that, as a business owner, Jeffrey would have access to outside help. Jeffrey is rightfully bothered that Laura questioned his integrity, which Laura, in a fit of delusion, denies. Oh, Laura. I love you, but I'd love you a lot more if you'd come out and admit that you're out to get Jeffrey, at least a little bit. The plot thickens as Jeffrey is apparently missing receipts from the pleating company.

The day before the show, the designers arrive at the workroom, where the mood is subdued. Jeffrey spends his free time pacing around worrying, and then decides to make a skirt in case he can't find the missing receipt for the shorts he was going to use. Eight hours before the end of the day, Tim shows up and gathers the designers together before declaring Jeffrey not guilty. Uli is visibly happy, and hugs a crying Jeffrey. Michael looks a bit sheepish, and Laura seems...pensive. Jeffrey won't, however, be able to use the shorts. He's also over budget by about $200, and so will have to toss something from the collection and inform the judges. This was our scandal? Jesus Christ, Kara Saun's shoe thing in the first season was worse than this!

Jeffrey is rightfully pleased with the outcome, and decides to toss the wigs to resolve the budget issue, and use some extra leather pants he made instead of the backup skirt. Laura, continuing her delusional ways, says that the solution was a good compromise, and that she never meant to keep him from showing. I'm calling bullshit.

One hour before the end of the day, Michael (joining Laura on "Team Delusional") feels good, but nervous. Uli is also feeling confident. Oh, Michael. You're breaking my heart. Tim gathers everyone round for the last time, and is totally verklempt. He actually has to stop and compose himself. Awwww. I love Tim! He's really proud of the designers' work, and calls them all winners. Take Michael's collection out of the equation and we'll be on the same page, Tim. The designers wrap up the night with a group hug.

It's the morning of the show, and the designers are up at ass o'clock in the morning. Laura reiterates that she wants to beat Jeffrey on the runway. 'Cause I'm sure if they had found that Jeffrey outsourced the sewing, she would have turned all Uli and been like "No, it's a design competition. Let him show anyway!" Not that she should have, but come ON, Laura. You would've been happy to have him gone. Admit it!

The designers try and stay calm, but when they see the tents at Bryant Park they realize how huge the moment is. Jeffrey, who feels that he needs to prove he deserves to be there, calls it the biggest day of his life. So does Uli. Once they get inside, there is much marveling at all the soon-to-be-filled seats, and Laura and Jeffrey walk the runway. Well, Laura waddles the runway, anyway.

Two hours before showtime, there is much rushing around behind the scenes, and Michael is feeling the pressure to make sure everything's perfect. Too late, Michael. Too late. A few Extreme Zooms on the Tresemme products later, it's five minutes to curtain. The families are all patiently waiting for the show to start, and the designers are feeling the nerves and the moment.
Heidi comes out to start off the show. Our guest judge this year is Fern Mallis, the creator of Olympus Fashion Week and Vice President of IMG Fashion. I see Daniel V. in the crowd!

Jeffrey's collection is first, and he bounds onto the runway with excitement. Introducing his family, he says, "That's my son and he's crying...with glee." Ha! His music of choice is very moody, and a bit too low-energy for the collection, I think. Maybe it would be good for a collection actually influenced by Japanese ghost and demon stories, but not for these outfits. What outfits, you say? Well, the pictures on Bravo's site are a bit messed up right now, but here's the link to his collection so you can try and follow along at home, and I'll link to the ones I can.

The first bunch of looks were very...red with polka dots. I liked this one a lot (if the link works), but overall wasn't blown away. As the patterns shifted into stripes, though, I dug the outfits a lot more. Everything was beautifully constructed, and with the exception of a glaringly out-of-place floor-length Uli dress, the collection fit together and expressed a point of view very well. My other favorite was this striped blazer. He gets lots of cheering at the end (although no applause for individual looks), but I wasn't that impressed. Then again, what the hell do I know? Nothing, apparently. (Spoiler Alert!)

Uli's next! She talks a bit too long about this being her dream come true, but you can't hate her for it. I really like her music--it's sort of a bouncy piano and strings with a beat. Her collection started off with a lot of neutrals, mostly tan and silver, which was a bit of a narrow palate for me, but it all looked great. She definitely stepped out of her comfort zone with so few prints and so many short dresses. The truly "Uli" pieces came out at the end, including a great swimsuit which got a big round of applause. Nazri's beautifully patterned dress, which I can't seem to link to, was stunning, and rightfully got a round of applause. The whole collection gets loud applause and cheers. Way to bring it out, Uli! Michael Kors looks very happy.

Laura's next, and jokes with the crowd that she finally made it "big" in the fashion world (she's hugely pregnant). Hee hee. Her music is peppy and jazzy, and the collection started off with lots of gold tones and moved into black lace. It was definitely more youthful (and dressy) than her usual fare, but still very, very Laura. A somewhat risqué floor length black lace dress got applause, as did a feathered skirt that must've taken forever to make. Most of her looks had detail that looked very painstaking--beading, feathers, sequins, etc. I loved this beaded dress, and this outfit, another of my favorites, got a big round of applause. I actually didn't love the final look, which seemed a bit over-the-top to me, but it was overall a job very well done. Way to go, Laura!

Michael gets HUGE applause coming out--he's obviously the crowd's favorite. Little do they know the horrors that are to come... He says that his inspiration is a woman on the hunt to find out who she is. She finds out that she's sexy and sophisticated. Um...not unless the clothes have changed since I last saw them. Or are they all from before she finds herself?

The collection started with lots of 70's-looking white outfits. Here's a representative sample. Yeah, I wasn't stunned yet either, but brace yourself, because it got a LOT worse. We're talking Day-Glo orange, hot pink, a horrifying gold swimsuit, and a few prints that make my eyes hurt just thinking about them. Yeah, yikes. Everything seemed to fit very well (read: formfitting), and looked well-made, but damn. In Project Runway-speak, the taste level wasn't there. Especially with those huge belts. No one piece got applause, and I was NOT feeling it either. Sorry, Michael. And wow, Tim said in his blog that Michael really pulled it together from when he first arrived in New York. I cringe to think of what the collection must have initially looked like for THIS to be better.

So what the hell happened with him? My theory is that he only works well with restraints on his creativity. He excelled at extremely restrictive challenges (make something out of trash, out of room decor, in the style of Pam Grier, etc.), and even presented work made with the constraints of previous Project Runway challenges at his audition. His portfolio, as the judges later point out, was much like this collection. I'm just sayin'.

After the show, everyone's buzzing. Michael, still on board "Team Delusion," thinks it went well. Sigh. At this point, I think it's down to Uli and Laura, and most showgoers are in agreement (but apologetic toward Michael). Uli gets the most votes, and Bravo earns my scorn by interviewing a Wal-Mart executive. Lame, Bravo. Laaame.

The judges, it seems, thought it was a great show. Everyone had a point of view (Michael's being "Ugly"), it was emotional, exciting, etc. etc. And I'll admit, it was MUCH better than last season's lame-ass final show. Even with Michael's dud of a collection. But come on, as each season has brought more experienced designers, you'd think someone would be able to come close to Jay's winning collection from the first season. So far? Not so much.

The judges bring out the designers and models, and the great interrogation begins. Laura says that she wanted to do eveningwear and create a romantic, escapist, luxurious collection. The judges can't believe she created what she did for only $8,000. And holy crap, she did all the beading on Camilla's outfit herself? Wow. Unfortunately, Michael and Nina don't think she brought out the surprise factor enough. Uh-oh. Fern, though, thinks the focus was "extraordinary" given the time and budget restraints.

Michael's turn. I begin cringing in anticipation of the tongue-lashing that is sure to follow. He says he found who he was as a designer through the show, and thus thought of a safari concept. Hmm, that's cool, I guess. He was also, apparently, inspired by the 70's. You don't say! Fern acknowledges that he was the crowd favorite, but doesn't think the collection stood up to the expectations. The judges, along with me and the rest of America, are disappointed. Michael Kors thinks Michael turned the volume up too high. The judges DO like the beautiful make and fit of the clothes, and the fact that Michael made a range of types of outfits (sportswear, swimsuit, eveningwear, etc.).

Jeffrey continues to try and pass off his collection as inspired by Japanese ghost stories. Whatever, dude. Fern loved Marilinda's dress, and though Jeffrey had a lot of great ideas. I will grudgingly agree with that. Michael likes that Jeffrey gave the girls outfits for all kinds of occasions, but Fern thinks that the nicer looks seemed out of place compared to the much stronger sporty looks. Heidi calls him out on going over the budget. Apparently, though, once he tossed the wigs he was $600 under budget. How much do wigs cost?!

Uli's up next, and says that she wanted to show them a broader variety than she has before. Nina thinks the clothes are terrific and saleable, and that the solids are actually really nice. Heidi would wear anything in the collection, and thinks it was young, fun, and diverse. Michael loved Nazri's dress, but didn't think that the connective thread between the pieces was cohesive, color-wise. Fern points out that resort clothing is incredibly lucrative in fashion right now, which I didn't know.

The judges deliberate alone. They think that Uli makes the kind of clothes women want to put on. She also pays attention to detail, is passionate, and works hard. Michael weirdly thinks that her show was "just a little bit of a roller coaster." What does that even mean? I'm going to assume it was cut out of context, or something.

They think Jeffrey was the most innovative, and that the variety he showed was perfect. They hated the long gown, though, and don't like that he went over budget.

While they agree that Laura is meticulous and shows amazing workmanship, Nina isn't sure that she's creative and innovative enough to win.

They think that Michael's clothes fit beautifully, but that the taste level wasn't quite up to par.

Kindly, the judges say that all the contestants have a career waiting for them in fashion. Nina even wants Uli's number. They bring the designers back as we go to commercial. America apparently thinks that Michael should win. Did you see his collection, America? Did you?

Heidi says she's proud of all the contestants, but that there can only be one winner. Just like there could only be three finalists, right, Heidi? The judges believe in Michael's future as a designer, but he needs time to mature. That's putting it kindly. He says he'll take the world by storm, though. I hope so, Michael!

Laura's also out. What?! They say she had an exquisite collection, but that it was too limited. Fashion sucks, you guys. Her collection was AWESOME. She's at peace with the decision, though.

Ok, so Uli has to win. Right? ...Right? According to Heidi, Jeffrey's collection was innovative, cohesive, and showed his range. Uli's collection pushed her, and was beautiful and saleable. Congratulations...Jeffrey. Um...are you fucking kidding me? Goddammit. Uli's happy for him, and thinks things happen for a reason. I guess she's gonna do great things anyway, but day-am. This sucks. Jeffrey's in shock, happy, whatever. BAH, Project Runway. BAH.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Veronica Mars: Hello, Goodbye

With so much attention being paid to the new faces and exciting happenings at Hearst College, it's nice to know that Veronica Mars hasn't entirely forgotten about old friends like Weevil, who shows up this week. But the show either has too much action or too many actors, because there's a bit of a rotating cast this year. Weevil shows up; Wallace, Mac, and Parker get the week off. Considering how the credits got beefed up for this season, it's not too surprising. I mean, how much have we seen of Lamb so far? And yet, the credits tell us he's a regular. Did the actors get organized over the summer or something?

The case this week is nominally about a missing football playbook, although Veronica spends just as much time and energy tracking Logan's movements to determine if he's really worth it as a boyfriend. He never wants to hang out with her; he'd much rather party, or spend his time at an underground gambling club, or hang out with tools like Dick and the jerk who runs said underground gambling club. Doesn't really sound like boyfriend material to me. This is one of those weeks where Logan is only a step up from Dick. But she likes him anyway, probably because he's pretty, and once they apologize to each other and everything is fine again, they get it on in the library while she's at work. She must have a really nice boss.

Also this episode, Veronica sets up her future relationship with Dean Begley, Jr. He threatens her with explusion, and, of course, she ends up wangling a job for Weevil by the end of the hour. And the rapist strikes again. Anyone else suspecting the feminists? Just kidding. Although... they are getting a lot of exposure out of this whole thing. Hey, it may sound crazy, but remember who was behind the bus crash last season, and who ended up being Veronica's rapist.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No TV and No Beer Make Liz Something Something

It's day six of the Great Cable Outage of '06 in my new apartment, and I am, in fact, going crazy. A small sample of the shows I have missed so far: Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Studio 60, and tonight (sob) Veronica Mars. And, sadly, my internet is not up to the task of streaming all that televised goodness to my laptop. Another few days and I'll resort to reading recaps. For now, I'm just avoiding like the plague any conversation of what's happened on TV since last Wednesday, so it'll still surprise me when I finally get caught up.

Only one thing (well, one thing and my pride) has kept me from banging on some stranger's door in my building and demanding that they let me watch Heroes on their TV ("No, you don't understand--she was on an autopsy table with her guts spilling out! And she woke up! I HAVE TO WATCH!!!")--Season Three of Arrested Development on my computer. It's amazing how many new little jokes I've noticed, even though this is the third or fourth time I've watched most of the episodes.

Still, as awesome as Arrested Development is, this can't go on much longer or I'll spend the whole weekend catching up on everything I missed. Plus, Lori will stage a coup, appoint herself sole blogger, and change all the passwords. So hear me now, Comcast: You better show up between 9 and 12 tomorrow morning, as promised, or you will FEEL MY WRATH!

Plus side: I'm getting digital cable and DVR. Rock!!!

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Heroes: Future Shock

There is a true heir to Alias this season, and it's Heroes. It's not only picking up the action/adventure slack, but several other kinds of slack as well. Let's review. Supergirl leading a double life? Check. Intricate mythology? Check. Skeevy father figure who's up to no good? Check. Lovable geek? Check. Greg Grunberg? Check. What else could one ask for, except a bad-ass daddy? (Come on, Papa Suresh! I know you're not dead!)

Finally, the characters start to intersect. Peter meets Mohinder, Matt gets experimented on by Glasses Man and his bald buddy Possible D.L. (who can block Matt's power and, it seems, erase memories too), and Niki and Nathan hook up. And I mean hook up. Although it's probably her mirror pal who actually does the hooking up. Ah, it's so sweet when evil finds each other. And then Glasses Man and Possible D.L. abduct one of them. Which one? That's how they keep you tuning in.

Claire: She recovers about as well as you'd expect from the whole autopsy thing, and luckily/sketchily, the quarterback tried to hide her body, so she's registered as a Jane Doe and no one is the wiser. At first she refuses to say anything about the assault, but when she realizes that he's raped before and isn't likely to stop, she drives his car into a wall. With him in it. I mean, rape is bad and all, but… that seems a little extreme. Even Stabler only beats rapists senseless.

Hiro: The Hiro/Ando Road Trip '06 stops over in Vegas, where we learn that Ando speaks English and is a bad gambler. Once Hiro stops time to help him win, Bad Influence Ando convinces him to keep doing it. Which of course gets them in trouble with the casino and with a poker player and his thugs. Clearly, no one ever told them the cardinal rule of cheating, which is that you're not supposed to win all the time.

Mohinder/Peter: Peter is a leech. But seriously, he can copy other people's powers. Mohinder, however, is conveniently skeptical this week, so Peter has to take him to Isaac's to try to convince him. But Isaac is too busy shooting up and painting Claire running away from a huge shadow, and Peter strikes out. On the way back, time stops on the subway. Some guy tells Peter, "You look different without your scar," and holy crap, it's Hiro! From the future! Like, all ninja tricked out with a katana and no glasses and a soul patch and speaking English! But I wouldn't recommend getting too attached to Futuristic Ninja Hiro, as cool as he is. He's most likely from some post-apocalyptic future that they're supposed to prevent. It has to be post-apocalyptic if he's not a geek.

I've got to say, the more I see of where all this is going, the more I like this show. I'm excited to see how they all come together to save Claire and the world. And it's really cool how they blow your mind a little every week. Last week the autopsy, this week future Hiro... what's next?

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Monday, October 16, 2006

The Amazing Race: Indian Driving School Non-Dropouts

This week's theme: Everyone hates Peter. The teams actively working against him hate him, the teams nominally working with him hate him, Phil hates him (he's just too polite to admit it), and his partner hates him. Sarah finally gets into it with him at a bus stop, but, sadly, does not leave him there. Come on, Sarah! Just pick up some guy off the street and race with him!

The teams are sent from Thailand to Chennai, India, but first there are the mat-leaving interviews, and there's a particularly mystifying crop of them this week. Rob and Kimberly think that the race is a metaphor for life together. In that case, they've been forewarned that their life together is going to involve a lot of screaming at each other and getting thoroughly sick of the sight of the other's face. James and Tyler compare the feeling of powerlessness on the race to the feeling of powerlessness that comes with addiction. Now, I've never been an addict, nor have I been on a race around the world. But the two things seem quite a bit different. The Cho Bros make me laugh with a pair of awesome shirts. There's a picture of Phil, and it reads "Lost" on top, and below, "Reward: Bushel of Kiwis." Oh, Chos, you make me laugh against my better judgment. Phil, incidentally, is less amused by these shirts, because he thinks the picture is unflattering.

On the bus to Bangkok, the Chos decide it would be fun to mess with the other teams – okay, mess with Peter – by pulling out a fake cell phone and pretending to get reservations to India. This is, as you can imagine, extremely stupid. It's happened before, and it just makes the other guys work harder to try and catch up with you. And since you didn't actually do jack, they pass you. Chos, this is why I hate to like you, because you do stupid stuff like this. As it happens, everybody does what they can to get the good flights into Chennai, and only Dave and Mary get screwed due to bad luck. When they get to Chennai, the editors have a bit of fun at Mary's expense; she says confidently, "We do not think we're in last," but the caption begs to differ.

The Detour involves wrangling crocs or filling in a sand painting, and, for some reason, the two teams in last (Tyler and James and David and Mary) decide to take the slowest Detour, the sand painting. Then there is one of the most terrifying Roadblocks ever: obtaining an Indian driver's license. They have to learn how to drive on the left side of the road through packed, chaotic streets. The teams pass easily, becuase there don't seem to be many Indian driving laws, except for "don't drink and drive" and "don't hit kids and animals." This would explain the chaotic streets.

Eventually, David and Mary come in dead last, but Mary has charmed Phil enough that he can't bear to eliminate her. Nor does he rob her, as he has in seasons past. David and Mary can keep all of their money and their belongings, but they still get punished. They have to come in first at the end of the next leg or they will incur a 30-minute penalty. I like this more than simply stealing their money and/or worldly possessions, because it gives them an incentive not only to come out of last place, but to get as far ahead as they possibly can. Losing money and possessions will make the rest of the race uncomfortable, but it doesn't actually galvanize the teams the way this pentalty will.

Next week: Robot camel jockeys. Seriously.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

CSI: Federline Ruins Everything

I had a week to get ready for something really bad to happen to Greg. I saw the promos all week: "A CSI becomes a witness, a hero, and a victim." I knew what was going to happen from pretty much the first five minutes, once the gang started beating people. But I wasn't prepared. Knowing actually made it worse. Seeing Greg prance around in his suit, watching as Grissom sent him out into the field alone; the entire set-up left me curled up on my couch, chewing on my nails. This is rare example of previews actually not ruining the episode. What did almost ruin the episode is the festering black hole of suck that is Kevin Federline, but we'll get to that.

The most heartbreaking scene ever starts out with Greg on his way to a scene, passing an alley where he sees a beating in progress. He calls it in and, after a moment, decides he's got to do something. So he drives into the alley, horn blaring, but it's not until he flicks on the siren that the gang scatters. All except for one guy, who picks up a rock. And at first it seems that he's going to finish off the victim, but then he comes at Greg. So Greg hits him first – with the CSImobile. (In Greg's defense, it is a big rock.) And it's at this point that the other gang members materialize out of the night to drag him out of the car and commence a serious beating. You guys, Greg gets beat down. Down to the ground. And it's extremely painful to watch. It makes the time he got blown up look like an ice cream social. He's really not safe anywhere, is he?

And then, the second most heartbreaking scene ever. Sara, who is probably Greg's best friend on the team, comes to the scene. Greg has been stabilized, but he's still just lying in the middle of the alley (Ambulance, people! Look into it!), and Sara goes to kneel down by him. As she strokes his hair, he tells her about all the evidence they should be able to get from the scene: paint transfer on the CSImobile, skin cells under his fingernails from when he scratched one of the attackers. Sara tells him to shut up: "I came here for you, Greg." Awww! (Oh, stop screaming, Grissom/Sara shippers. She's not going to leave Grissom for him, so why can't you just relax and enjoy the sweet scene?)

The other CSIs are upset too, because while Greg may be an annoying little brother, he's still their little brother, and no one picks on him except for them, and maybe Hodges. Nick channels his anger productively by punching Kevin Federline in the gut. Of course, you don't have to be lashing out in grief and rage to want to punch Kevin Federline, so it could just be the "greasy, talentless slug" thing that sets Nick off. Whatever the reason, Nick's instincts are uncanny, because K-Fed, his own worthless self, turns out to be the ringleader of the gang and the only one who can be charged as an adult. As well he should be, because he's nearly thirty.

The guy Greg hit dies, and it's clearly the beginning of something big. Because you don't bring Vicellous Shannon on just to glare at Greg over his brother's dead body. Oh, no, not Keith Palmer. There is going to be some serious retribution, either street-style or civil litigation-style. Although, good luck winning a civil suit against the hero CSI with a face that looks like raw hamburger.

You know, it's too bad. This could have been an excellent episode. Instead, it's merely great, and it's Federline's fault. Why they chose to have this particular bit of stunt casting in such an important, emotional episode is beyond me. It was a distraction, because he's famous for nothing except being famous, and a detraction, because he can't act. They really should have gotten someone to play Pig who was closer to a teenager and who could project some actual menace. K-Fed? Well, he's nothing if not an actor, and he's not an actor.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

The Nine: Nooooooo!

I have no sense of self-preservation. None. I missed The Nine the first time around since it's on during Project Runway and my VCR was on the blink, but I heard so many good things that I decided to get caught up this week (and it doesn't hurt that Tim Daly is one of "The Nine," since he's great in whatever he's in). So I dutifully recorded the second episode while I watched Project Runway, and watched it and the pilot (yay, online streaming) yesterday. And therein lay my mistake.

Had I been smart, I would have checked up on The Nine's ratings before watching the episodes. Then, I would have learned that it lost more than half of its lead-in audience from Lost this week, garnering an anemic 5.7/9, which is especially bad considering it's following an extremely popular show which probably has the same type of target audience.

Alas, I didn't check the ratings before watching, and now I'm hooked. I like the clever "What happened during the bank robbery?" concept, the constant flashbacks and flashforwards which keep me off-balance, the steady character development, the great cast (with many familiar faces), and the unexpected twists. Who would have thought that the renegade cop with a troubled past would actually take the top brass up on their offer to promote him in exchange for keeping his mouth shut? I love a show that keeps me guessing. I especially love John Billingsley's character, Egan Foote, which is surprising, since people with a new lease on life tend to be annoying.

Let's take stock: I love The Nine. ABC is totally going to cancel The Nine. Tim Daly is cursed (just thought I'd throw that in there). Dammit.

So...watch, people, WATCH!

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Ugly Betty: Makeover, Makeover, Makeover

Cha cha cha! Yes, Betty gets a flashy, Queens-tastic makeover, but this week's lesson is about appearances, and how they're not everything. Look, I like this show and all, but do we really have to get all Full House with the weekly morality lessons? They don't really mesh with the catfights and the death-faking.

Daniel finally, finally, gets some depth this week, as he has to deal with living in the shadow of his sainted brother Alex, the Greatest Magazine Editor of All Time. Everyone compares him unfavorably to dead awesome Alex, and his dad always liked Alex better. Since it's so nice to see Daniel dealing with personal issues and because it actually brings something to the character, I'm going to ignore the clunkiness of the "dead sainted brother" plot point and just enjoy the insecurity we finally get from him.

Wilhelmina, however, has taken the week off from trying to wrest control of the magazine (I know! I was shocked too!). She's getting ready for The Senator. I know what you're thinking. Rick Santorum? Ted Stevens? No, turns out it's her dad, and she has daddy issues just like Daniel. Because the fact that she has not yet wrested control of the magazine (well, maybe you shouldn't have taken the week off, Wilhelmina) is deeply disappointing to her dad. Why can't you love her for who she is, Senator Dad? Why can't you just be proud of your evil daughter?

Two things I love more and more each week: Marc and the telenovela scenes. Marc just keeps worming his evil little way into my heart, whether it's with a look (his goggle-eyed reaction to being threatened by Betty) or a line (trilling "I just found my new screensaver!" as he takes a picture of Betty in her Queens hoochie finery). That award he accepted when he thought he was alone? That was the award for My Favorite New Character. As for the telenovela bits, the thing I love most is that they seem to be written with a Random Scene Generator. This week's scene involved a soccer player, a rich woman, a maid, and a bikini-clad woman, and the dialogue runs like this: "Ma'am, I have nothing to repent." "That's not what people say!" What? Exactly.

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30 Rock: Buy the Trivection Oven! Buy It!

Much has been made of the fact that there are two SNL-based shows on NBC's schedule this fall, and both Studio 60 and 30 Rock have real authenticity to them, in that the shows-within-the-shows are, like SNL, less than funny. Although all we get to The Girlie Show, this show's version of SNL, is a lame cat-lady sketch that actually makes "Science, Schmience" look good.

As for the show without the show, it has potential. There is lots of fun to be had at NBC's parent company's expense, with Alec Baldwin playing the Vice President for East Coast Television and Microwave Programming and going into an extended sales pitch for the GE Trivection oven. Incidentally, GE really wants you to buy it, because they air a commercial for it during the show. Alec Baldwin is shockingly funny as the crazy/stupid like a fox network guy. I honestly didn't expect him to be the funniest person on this show, but he is. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; as a frequent SNL guest host, he's no Continental, but he has a few classic moments, notably "Schweddi Balls" and Charles Nelson Reilly on Inside the Actors Studio.

Tracy Morgan, on the other hand, just plays "straight-up mentally ill" as new star Tracy Jordan (could he really not remember his character's name?). If you've seen him on SNL, you've seen him here, because he's doing the same loud moron routine. His funniest moment is actually a throwaway joke, a quick cut to him running down the 405 in his tighty-whiteys, brandishing a lightsaber and yelling, "I am a Jedi!"

Tina Fey? She's a decent straight woman, when she's not buying hot dogs out of spite.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

America's Next Top Model: Because Picking on Weaknesses is FUN!

Last week on America's Next Top Model, the crazy bitch quotient on this show went waaay down when Monique was eliminated. Unsurprisingly, everyone seems really thrilled that Monique is gone...especially Melrose. Unfortunately, all is not joy and light for Melrose, because for some reason she'd rather sleep than have a naked shower party. I'd say she should just rest happy that no one's wiping their bodily fluids on her. Megg, in the biggest shocker this week, just wants to "rock and roll!" and have a good time. Shut up, Megg and Melrose.

The whine-fest continues as Jaeda bitches about her haircut and her look, saying that she's not sure if she's "a boy that's girly or a girl that's boy-y." How about a boy that's boy-y? Oh, and she throws in this gem: "I knew modeling was hard work, but I didn't know it was this hard." Sigh.

Anchal, it seems, is more curvy than the other girls. One of the twins earns my irritation by giving Anchal crap about "cooking for a whole family" when she's making, like, four eggs. Whatever, skinny twin.

Stacey McKenzie, a judge for Canada's Next Top Model and a "model" herself, is there to help teach the girls to do extreme editorial poses, our theme for the week. Is it just me, or is Stacey McKenzie the Ugliest Model Ever? I take back everything I ever said about Furonda--I literally had to look Stacey up on Wikipedia to make sure she was really a chick. Aaaanyways, Ugley McUglie brings in some crazy contortionist to demonstrate poses that they "have to do for high fashion." Because god knows you can't be a Top Model without being able to put your ankles behind your head (no, not THAT way). Shockingly, Melrose thinks she'll rock it. They do some yoga-type crap to practice, and Melrose is totally jealous that Anchal did a good job contorting.

Melrose takes it upon herself to tell Anchal "the reality of the situation," that she eats a lot but doesn't work out regularly. Bitch! Later, the twins (who are rapidly making their way onto my bad side), Melrose, and Jaeda hang out in the hot tub, where Melrose says that Anchal's "putting on a big fat front" by pretending to lack confidence. Nice choice of words, Melrose.

They continue to talk smack behind Anchal's back, especially Melrose, who says she initially thought Anchal "was one of the stiffest competitions here," but has since changed her mind. Anchal is a "competition"? Nice choice of words, Jade. Jaeda thinks Anchal really might not know how gorgeous she is, but Melrose keeps up the bitch talk. Anchal, on the balcony above, overhears them and starts to cry. This is getting to be a really cry-heavy season, but I guess Anchal's justified. A.J., comforting Anchal, calls the other girls fake. She's not a Melrose fan.

In a totally pointless segment, the girls go out to dinner and are joined by Twiggy, Melrose's HERO, who talks about being unique, or at least tries to as Melrose crawls up her butt.

Bao Tranchi, a designer "well known" (but not by me) for her "decadent collections" meets the girls at a gallery or something. The girls are going to do "extreme poses" and become an art installation wearing fancy jewelry and Bao's clothes. Melrose: "Bao says she wants this fanticiful [sic] fairy" who's nice and sweet "but also a complete bitch." Um...yeah. Whatever, Melrose.

The poor girls have to hold these crazy uncomfortable-looking positions with a bunch of people looking at them. Eugena does really well and wins all the fancy jewelry. Melrose, somewhat hilariously, explains to the other girls that she didn't win because she wasn't smiling enough. Yeah, Melrose. That's it. Megg wants her to shut up. Megg and I are actually in agreement...damn.

In today's pointless "My Life as a Covergirl" spot, "Dani" throws the first pitch at Camden Yards. Um, yay Orioles (really, YAY!), but is that really a big part of the life of a supermodel?

Tyra, who can smell bitch a mile away (much like Joanie), joins the girls in their house. She wants to talk about fear, a subject very important to Tyra. What's made the girls feel insecure? Melrose is insecure about being old, and Tyra and I agree that this is a mad, mad world if 23 is old. Jaeda is STILL harping on the hair.

Tyra cuts to the chase and asks about in-house bitchiness. Melrose bullshits a bit about her own bitchiness, and Anchal steps up and talks about hearing the girls dissing her behind her back. Jaeda, contradicting her earlier statement and really apropos to nothing, posits that Anchal's no confidence thing is an act. Tyra tells Anchal to stand up for herself and not let Melrose get in her head. Learn from Brooke's mistakes, Anchal! Melrose feels singled out as "the mean one." Um, if you don't want to be seen as mean, maybe next time you shouldn't jump in and excuse your meanness in front of Tyra as soon as the subject of bitchery comes up.

The girls go to...the circus! They meet Jay Manuel, who explains that they'll be doing a moody turn-of-the-century circus freak shoot. AWESOME. At the shoot is a special guest: The Editor-In-Chief of Seventeen Magazine. After the shoot, Megg thinks she's out. I wouldn't be that sorry, Megg. Her hair looks like some frizzy crap, too. Jaeda also says she feels like she'll be going home, but you can tell she's lying.

At judging, Tyra proclaims that the girls are actually all dressed like real models tonight. The Seventeen editor is the guest judge. Sadly, there's no challenge at judging this week. Boo.

A.J. is "The Cannibal," and she does a great job. The judges love her contorted pose, her energy, and her intensity. It's a pretty scary shot, and the judges think she screams "model." Brooke, as "Rubber Girl," isn't as good. She has good body language, but a bad face. This seems to be a recurring theme for Brooke in my mind, if not in the judges'. The Twins are, unsurprisingly, "Siamese Twins." ...With giant, giant frizzy hair. Eighties Siamese twins. The judges think the picture is fine, but one of them has a lighting issue that makes her chin look big.
Megg, "The Bearded Lady," turns in what I think is the worst Top Model photo I've ever seen. Seriously, it's terrible, and not just 'cause she has a beard. The pose sucks, and Megg starts crying during judging, saying she's disappointed in her photo. Oh, Megg. You're so fucked. ALWAYS wait until the judges say they totally hate the picture before you bring out the tears, at least. The judges say she just can't take a good picture, but Seventeen lady likes her.

CariDee, on the other hand, has a GREAT photo as "The Elephant Woman" (with a trunk and tusks instead of giant tumors). She's got a great pose, a great face, and totally rocks it, even with the big prosthesis on. Eugena has another animal-themed photo, as "Bird Woman." The judges like her eye contact and her in-person presence. The photo's okay, but the judges think it may be a lucky shot, since the rest of her shoot wasn't very good. Miss Jay practices her bird impressions.

Anchal, you know, the girl with weight concerns, portrays the "Giant Lady." Harsh, producers. Harsh. She does better in her shoot after a pep talk, but doesn't manage to make herself look giant enough, despite her enormous, enormous size. According to the judges, she looks beautiful because she's a beautiful girl who takes beautiful pictures, but she doesn't look like a model.

Jaeda gets a similarly mean assignment: the "Strong Woman," with giant masculine muscles. Her picture is only okay. It took a lot of effort to coach her, and Tyra doesn't like the snarly face (which, HA, was based on Jay's suggestion to imitate a Tyra photo hanging in the house). Seventeen lady did NOT like her, and says they had to push her too much. I think Twiggy's catching on to the whole man thing when she calls Jaeda "too masculine," but it turns out she just thought the drawn-on abs were real.

Hee hee, Melrose is a woman with an "Old Face/Young Body." They had to make up a kind of freak to exploit her weakness! Did they even need makeup? Sigh...she did great, though. Yeah, she looks ridiculous, but the judges love it.

CariDee, Eugena, A.J., Melrose, Michelle, Anchal, Amanda, and Brooke are in. It's down to Jaeda and Megg, and I'm happy either way. Aaand...it's "ROCK AND ROLL!!!" Megg. A.J. and Anchal are especially sad, but I'm happy. Megg plans on being a musician/model. Is that a real thing? And wow, as they review her pictures for us, I realize how much she really did suck. Yikes.

Next week: Michelle sort of comes out of the closet, and JANICE DICKENSON!!!

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