All right, Fox, I've got a couple of bones to pick with you. First of all, you've completely spoiled me rotten with this four-hour premiere in just two nights — how am I supposed to cope for a whole week without another episode? And like it's not enough that you've totally got me wrapped around your finger, then you have to go and rub it in by showing Golden Globes press-room footage during the commercials, while I'm TiVoing it to watch 24
"live." Look, we spoiler-free freaks here on the West Coast have a hard enough time maintaining media blackouts with the time delay — you're gonna have to help us out a little. You won already; I'm watching your
network. I've seen the Idol
promos approximately 300 times in between all the Kiefer-based butt-kicking. Is it so much to ask that I get to find out that Sandra Oh won for best supporting actress while I'm watching the actual awards? Not cool, dudes. Not cool.
Of course, I'm going to forgive you immediately, because I'm all hopped up on the exploding airport/chloroformed first lady/Samwise Gamgee action. Jean Smart is still completely rocking my world — you gotta love a woman who's not afraid to involve the "girls" when necessary. High-level government official won't give up his key card after you've interrupted his bathroom break? Boobily time. Top-secret document needs safekeeping? Ditto. (Unfortunately, it's tough to maintain a secure brassiere after being drugged by Walt the Mole, but a valiant effort nonetheless.) And what's the deal with Sean Astin barging into CTU and demanding Buchanan's office? My awkward-o-meter's pointing toward something in the stepson and/or protégé range, but with any luck there's something extra-nefarious at work. Ooh, and what's in the big cryo-vault of death? For half a second there I was expecting Doc Brown to show up and start yammering about needing 1.21 gigawatts to power the DeLorean. Because clearly, that's really the only thing missing so far: time travel.
But perhaps most shocking of all: I can't believe how much I'm not annoyed by Derek — it's actually a little disturbing. "Jack saved my life. He saved everyone's life." That's cute, isn't it? It's almost like he's never seen the show before. — Chana Shwadlenak
The Bachelor: Paris
At first I wasn't so keen on ABC's rebroadcast of the premiere episode with never-before-seen footage. How manipulative of them to strong-arm viewers into catching a repeat! I was pleasantly surprised, however, by this new and improved version. It helped me catch my breath and settle into the show by getting a second look at now-familiar faces with some added insight to my first impressions. Plus it gave viewers more footage with which to mock Allie G., this season's desperate suitor. I loved that, behind closed doors, Travis' confessional reactions mirrored my own. His unbridled giggles at Allie G.'s use of the word "reproduction" was priceless. I mean really, "Who says that?!" Who, indeed. And who goes on a dating show with a friend to compete for the same guy? Susan and Lisa, that's who. I hope that in a future confessional at least one of these gal pals explains why they would test their friendship this way.
Now that we know everybody, let's move on to the dating. It was either bubbly, blonde Kristin's poetry or her bad teeth that did her in on the first one-on-one date. The group dates were pretty bland: drinks atop the Arc de Triomphe and champagne tasting in, of all places, Champagne. Travis gets along well with everyone, so at this point everyone is at risk of being sent home. The dates were a wake-up call to women like Sara and Susan who were feeling pretty secure but didn't receive a flower on their outings. Though Travis' face speaks volumes, he is great at maneuvering through awkward situations. When Tara and Jehan, the unexpected pre-rose-ceremony rose recipients, busted up Susan's private birthday celebration with Travis, you could see the frustration on his face. Ever charming, he sent them off with a gentle reprimand and a piece of cake. Moments away from a hot kiss, I'm not sure I would have been so kind.
At the rose ceremony, Travis made his first real cuts. Susan had to sweat it out and wonder if Yvonne, Cole or Elizabeth would get chosen over her, while we all knew she was going to get picked. Despite the faux drama, this Bachelor is holding my interest. Though my colleague Nicole thinks it rude that Chris Harrison referred to Travis as the "best Bachelor ever" when so many have come before, I may have to agree with that assessment. — Rhoda Charles