Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back
I'm trying to figure out what Disney character Anna reminds me of. There's definitely a lot of Little Mermaid in her — and now in addition to those relentless shots of her rising out of the water, she takes all the guys to Sea World? Their activities couldn't get more childlike and innocent. It's obviously a big juxtaposition to the impending invasion of the so-called hunks, with their James Bond action shots and exposed, impeccably waxed chests. By the way, can you say stunt drivers? There's no way these self-absorbed jocks were actually driving their red sports cars in perfect formation. But what's up with all the Joes being from New York and New Jersey, while all the jocks (with the exception of rather ugly, obnoxious Carson) at least seem like they're from California? (This is where I say my silent prayer of thanks to Cupid that I'm not single in New York any more.)

Poor computer science geek Aaron: He got the absolute perfect date with Ariel, I mean, Anna and her finned friends, and he still came off like a cold fish. She obviously has nothing against studious types, but a girl's gotta feel like things will eventually go beyond holding hands. Date No. 2 with Gino got a little scary. The sweet Italian-American exterminator was so head-over-heels, the only coherent sentence he could put together was that he loved her round face. Original compliment. Still, she didn't seem too creeped-out and really enjoyed the flattery. For some reason, she clicked with Arthur and his suave, mature "Rat Pack" approach. Personally, I think he lost major points the second he compared Anna to Jessica Simpson. The eliminations came as no surprise. Who the heck was Dan? She was obviously put off by larger-than-life Igor and his box of condoms, and underwhelmed by Aaron. As for Joshua, he should have skipped the makeover — which made him look really average and doughy — and gone back on tour to find a cute hippie chick to love his Jesus look. Next week things should heat up as Anna gets to peruse her "candy store" of hunks. So far, they seem more interested in their competition than in her. And boys, that kind of misdirected machismo is seriously unattractive. — Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Empire
Did I miss something? Because all of a sudden, whimpy Octavius is all "I'm a Caesar, hear me... whine less." I mean, I get butching up after being hauled off to the dungeons with Tyrannus, but should he really be messing with mercenary gladiators? Especially since you know Lil' O is gonna need his strength to save the very Vestal Camane. Then again, her biggest threat is from newly minted religious guru Brutus and really, I'm betting that the hottie virgin can totally take a dude in a dress and an olive-leaf scrunchie. Sadly, guest-star Dennis Haysbert didn't fare so well as the general who wound up in chains — and a bloody heap — all for helping our heroes dodge the Senate's assassins. Cripes, he's safer hanging out with Jack Bauer. Ad I'm safer fast-forwarding through the silliness of Cassius' quest to name a figurehead ruler, seeing how he's basically just anointed ancient Rome's rendition of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. Complete with "waa waa whaaaa" punchline music. And we're supposed to believe that these are the same people who thought up orgies? Please. — Damian J. Holbrook

Rescue Me
OK, it's time to admit Tommy's Jesus dreams are starting to freak me out. Which is all right, since they're starting to freak him out, too, and — more important — they seem to be keeping him from hitting the sauce. And speaking of freaking out, which is worse, Paulie banging on Tommy's door (well, his neighbor's door, anyway) in the morning or Sheila calling about an "emergency" dream she needs to talk about a few minutes after that? Easy. At least Paulie doesn't have his number. With that out of the way, however, here comes the challenge of the episode — getting the entire crew to vote for Tommy to come back, which you know is a lot tougher than it sounds if you've been watching. (And I'd comment further on what two big possessions Lou thinks qualify Tommy for a break from the crew, but a reader named Steven has requested that I write my columns without any profanity. It's a tall order, considering I cover this show, The Shield and Deadwood, for crying out loud, but this week I think I can pull it off, so long as I don't quote anyone directly.)

Not that I'll stay away from unsavory topics altogether, mind you. Take Franco's "friend" asking him if he's only into her because she gives him drugs. He says no, but of course the fact that he walks away from sleeping with her is a big yes. Just as ending up in bed with Laura is a big no-no that's bound to come back and haunt both of them. Lesson one for Laura: Despite what you say, sex between co-workers is never meaningless; most people find that out the hard way. And a bigger lesson for Sully: If you're going to cross-dress in a public club, make damned sure you know where all the exits are in case of a fire. Whoops — too late. Which means Tommy's back. Poor Paulie. Poor Sheila. And poor everyone else depending on Tommy to be dependable. Then again, that's the show, ain't it? — Michael Peck

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Blow Out
Oh my god! I was so going to rant about the staff at the 90210 salon harshing on Kiara for bringing her kid to work and Jonathan's crying at the drop of a bottle of conditioner until I saw Jonboy working the heads of the ladies from Passions. Then all was forgiven. Maybe it's my unsightly addiction to soaps, but have you guys seen that one? A hoot! Anyway, our not-so-macho Mr. Antin redeemed himself for bawling four times tonight by turning a quartet of Harmony's hottest teen vixens into even hotter "bunny rabbits," doing sudser vet Lisa Rinna's messy mop and finally ending the ongoing drama with that massive tool Scott, the design guy from Zorbit. Throw in a supercute line about needing to call his mom after learning that Sephora picked up his product line and suddenly, I'm realizing that this is man is more than just killer cheekbones and dude 'tude. He's actually as sweet as he can be sour. You see how he was with his sister and her Pusssycat Dolls? And the client who went through chemo? Anyone that devoted to family must be good people, right? Now, if he'd just can that helium-voiced poser assistant Scott and tell the gang to get off Kiara's back, all would be golden. Which, of course, would make the rest of the season a total snooze. So bitch on, kids! And book me for a trim. I'll be out there the week of the 23rd, aiight? — DJH

Channel Surfing Thank god for the brilliant but probably chemically induced creation of The '70s House. It is easily one of the funniest reality shows of this summer. All the pretty little MTV wannabes who thought they were getting a shot at fame and fortune via The Real World or Road Rules looked flabbergasted when they saw the shag carpeting, rotary telephones, groovy clothes and that their elimination round was a game of Operation. Also, loved their disbelief at Oliver, their version of "Charlie", an unseen voice who is watching their every move. But the most inspired part of this entire show is the intercom that randomly spouts "The Hustle" and forces the 20-somethings to drop it like its hot, er, rather shake their groove thangs. — Angel Cohn

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