Value of a 1871 map of the Great Chicago Fire: $900-1,000.
Value of a men's pocket watch and girly chatelaine: $7,500.
Value of time lost to tonight's show: priceless.
Watching the Antiques Roadshow makes me wonder: Would I be willing to fake surprise at the value of my supposed garage sale finds just to get on television? Not really. But it seems like half the people who get airtime do. They must. Their reactions are too calculated. There was only one guy from tonight's episode that I actually believe had no clue how much his piece was worth. The gray-haired owner of an 18th century map of Virginia and Maryland used in the Seven Years War. Mister-Mister stumbled backwards and didn't know what to do with his hands after the Roadshow expert appraised his piece at $18,000 to $25,000. "You're kidding!" he said. No, Grandpa, they're not. Congratulations.
Fear Factor: Couples
OK. I'm just too bitter to watch cute couples with great bodies compete for trips, prizes and $1 million. There, I said it.
But I am not too bitter to catch this Lifetime gem. Ladies, forgive me, for I have strayed from the Television for Women congregation. It has been years since my last inspired-by-a-true-story tale. But, thanks to Gracie's Choice, I am back. And what a time to return. This made-for-TV flick about a teenaged girl (Kristen Bell) who fights to keep her siblings together and out of the foster care system after her ailing grandmother dies and her mother gets thrown in jail again was classic. The casting: Brilliant. (Anne Heche costarred as the drugged out, biker-boy-doormat mom. Hello!) And the melodrama: Top Lifetime form. "Won't you go to hell!" Heche's character yells during a mother-daughter spat. "I was born in hell!" The daughter returns. 'Nuff said.
House of Dreams
Think Habitat for Humanity meets Survivor and you get the gist of this A&E show about 16 people who compete to win the house they're building in Harmony, Fla. One of the competitors, Tony, is a down-on-his-luck homeless man. Seriously. If he loses, dude will return to the Orlando shelter where his wife and two kids already live. And do you think his tentmates care? No. They did for maybe a minute in last week's premiere. But now it's on like neck bone, and some of them are plotting to get rid of the old boy because his sob story decreases their chances of getting the home if they're up against him in the end. This is the house that Mark Burnett built, people, and it is not cute. So of course I'll be watching. (Footnote: Lendingtree.com gives each contestant a surprise $5,000 check after being voted out of the builders camp. That's kind of nice. In a creepy product-placement sort of way.)
The B2K Dr Pepper Commercial
Boring. Apparently, this boy band broke up just to be with Smokey Robinson.
Joan was standing just a few feet away from Brock when she called to cancel their we-might-get-back-together date. And it was killing me. Why didn't he just turn around. Turn A-Round! Goodness gracious, I've missed this show.
Great con of the night: Stand on a street corner and tell strangers in an authoritative way "You made the right decision." Or "She's right in front of you." And somebody's bound to think you're clairvoyant. It's a funny, very Joan of Arcadia, I-might-be-God-in-disguise thing. And I might be coppin' it.
Guest star of the night: Singer/poet Jill Scott as William's new crush. He's going to take a long walk around the park with her. I just know it.
Half & Half
Mona's closing line: "I'll just be Mona, the older sister married to her career." Gulp. That's hitting a little too close to home.
Two and a Half Men
Charlie's you've-got-a-lot-too-learn, kid bonding with his nephew was too cute. And the sick-guy jokes were predictable. Yet I still laughed a lot during this episode. Especially when Charlie and Andy each stopped the conversation to go barf over the balcony then come right back and continue talking as if nothing happened. I thought that was funny... What's happening to me? Seriously. What am I, turning into a 12-year-old boy?
A few quick things:
1. Alec Baldwin as a hotshot CIA agent turned security specialist. Yeah, right. I knew he was going to try to rob the Montecito when he handed his "mentor" Big Ed the tribal mask. Why are these plots so transparent?
2. And why do I keep watching? (Survey says: To see Josh Duhamel.)
3. Best Q&A of the night: One gamblin' country singer says to his cowboy friend, "Are you feeling lucky?" The friend replies, "Like a puppy with two peters."
4. Sam got drunk and spoke, as my grandmother would say, her sober thoughts. "Danny would you like to (wink, wink) get to know me better?" Like she needed alcohol to make that move on that tall drink of soap-opera water.
5. Alright. I will give Las Vegas writers this: The Portland Dangler/Master Impersonator turning out to be a super-hacker was a surprise. Unlike every other turn in this plot, I didn't see it coming. And kudos to his inside joke. When the Dangler was tying up Nikki Cox's why-is-my-character-still-here, Mary, he did a dead-on impersonation of Cox's real-life husband Bobcat Goldthwait.
Need I mention that I still hate Larissa Meek? Oh, poor Larissa. Tim got too violent when he was literally fighting for her. Bull-freakin'-bleep! Oh, Justin "had to leave." Right. Dude got out of Dodge. I'll believe the excuse she gave if he comes back and says it himself. And yeah, I'm ranting here of course Miss Larissa enjoyed her please-paint-a-portrait-of-me date with the artist Tony. She's a vain, condescending, beauty-queen beyaatch who's only in this for the clip reel. And I'm not even jealous of her. I just, literally can not stand her. Hate her. Hate her. HATE HER!