This ep started off a little slowly, with Lorelai ogling the Twickum house, pointlessly bantering with Luke over Star Wars, then adopting a dog as the most obvious Rory replacement ever. Let's get to the good stuff already! I started getting seriously impatient with loony-tune T.J's over-the-top antics. (Smashing a huge hole in Lorelai's house? Come on, now I know Stars Hollow does quirky, but this guy makes Kirk look normal.) Things definitely picked up in the last 15 minutes when Rory went to see Luke at the diner. She looked totally crushed when she walked in, then completely devastated when Luke told her about the engagement. Her poor, sad face broke my heart. (Though I do have to say Alexis Bledel looks absolutely gorgeous this season. I'm not sure exactly what's changed since last May; maybe it's the longer, flowy hair?) I'm with Lorelai he shouldn't have told her, even just as filler in an awkward conversation. Then again, if Lorelai wants to practice the tough love she's preaching, this was exactly the way to go. Ouch! For a second I thought she might offer Rory an olive branch when she saw her spearing garbage on the side of the road. (Did anyone recognize the song playing on her car radio? Was it "Proved Me Wrong" by Slick Shoes?) But then I quickly realized that the hurt runs too deep, on both sides. The clashing that ensued ("Be sure to send me a wedding announcement!" "Let me know when the pool house has been redecorated") were the girls at their prickly best. Just the way we like them. Robin Honig
Hello, Aetna? I'd like to change my primary care physician to Dr. House. Seriously, I want a doctor who will try anything to extend my life. Even if it means killing me. Of course, I say this after watching last night's episode about 9e-year-old Andie, who's struggling for life in the face of certain death. Plagued with a plethora of ailments cancer, tumor on her heart, hidden blood clot in her brain Andie bravely accepts her fate, fearing nothing more than expiring without ever having kissed a boy. Enter young Dr. Chase. Blond-haired and blue eyed, at 30 he's in the prime of his life and a perfect object to desire from a cold, hard examining table. Andie, expertly working her adolescent mojo, gets her kiss. Bad doctor, she's 9! I will give Chase credit, though, for at least hesitating before he planted one on her.
Dr. House, on the other hand, isn't quite as touchy-feely. He avoids all contact with his patients until he's figured out what's wrong. I can live with that. Honestly, the guy is a genius diagnostician. He used his iPod to pinpoint the location of Andie's tumor, for crying out loud. And here I thought it was just for music. Speaking of music, it was time for Andie to face it. Once Dr. Cuddy greenlighted the unorthodox procedure that would literally kill Andie and then bring her back to life. the show kicked into high gear. The best scene was when House he breaks it down for Andie: "Nobody wants to die, but you're going to. I'm asking if you want this to be over." Thank god they faded to black when Andie burst into tears, because I needed a moment. I suspect House did too. That's my kind of doctor. Rhoda Charles
My Name Is Earl
The talking-ad insert NBC put in my Entertainment Weekly last week, in which Jason Lee yelled, "I'm talkin' about karma!" every time you opened the magazine, nearly turned me off of the show (especially after my husband hid it under my pillow one night). But I'm glad I disregarded all that. And I could just about ignore this whole plot conceit about Earl righting his past wrongs by hunting people down and forcefully becoming their Roma Downey for the day. What gets me about Earl are the little things these ignorant, lying, cheating, lazy, small-town characters and the details of their pitiful lives and simple pleasures: the "We're gonna do the monkey" song at the opening; perfect white-trash temptress Joy (Jaime Pressly); Earl and Sonny's ongoing game of beer-can tag; Earl and Randy's childhood habit of calling "dibs" on girls; Patty the daytime hooker; Randy's bliss every time someone presses B-7, "It Takes Two," on the jukebox; Kenny James' parents' bird-figurine collection; Earl sending Randy to buy cheeseburgers from the vending machine and the way Randy skips off like a little kid to do it. I adore Lee, and don't even mind that every time he gives a speech, he sounds just like he gave one of his Kevin Smith characters a Southern accent. That must be why I'm able to swallow the preposterous notion that someone who's done these 258 bad things can instantly become the sweet-natured guy who takes the kid he picked on in elementary school to a gay bar. I'm kind of worried about Earl, though, because he seems kind of naive. The same fool who married a woman six months pregnant with someone else's baby, and stayed with her after the second kid popped out looking suspiciously like Darnell the Crab Man, now has $100,000 in cash in his glove compartment. If he's not interested in a bank account, he'd better rack up that good karma right quick. Sabrina Rojas Weiss
"I don't think they like either of us," said Maggie to Ivette after hearing the jury's remarks. What a brilliant comment that so suits this whole show. But the quote of the night might have come from Howie, who told the finalists: "I'm stuck voting for America's last choices." Ah, Howie such a straight shooter, pulling no punches right until the end. Meanwhile, Maggie won the top prize, big surprise. So much for the "Summer of Secrets." I was hoping that Jen's vote would be swayed after Maggie denied her involvement in the Kaysar ouster, but I guess not. I also didn't realize that if Ivette had picked Janelle, the Friendship would have turned on her, per their agreement. Oh, well. I'd love to see a recap a week from now, showing how the sequestered houseguests react when they see themselves on TV. Especially Beau, who will likely be confused by his utter lack of airtime. Only the first-ousted Ashlea made less of an impression, and she didn't even get to talk during the finale. And though I know I was initially down on James, his honestly delighted face when he saw his girlfriend, Sarah, was so refreshing and sweet that I actually found myself hoping that they can put this whole experience behind them and stay together. Me, I'm just glad to get back my three-plus hours a week (reading about the live feeds can really suck up some time), which I will probably waste on teaching my Nintendog new tricks and watching more TV. AC
Rock Star: INXS
With an overindulgent run of nearly two and a half months, it's surprising this series didn't OD like so many rock stars before it. Lord knows that recapping it for two, sometimes three, consecutive nights each week brought me closer to joining Jim Morrison in that bathtub in Paris than I've ever cared to be. And I didn't make it easy on myself tonight. On the finale, of all nights, I set the VCR and headed out to catch a wicked live set by lap-steel wiz Slo-Mo and Philly's underdog roots-rockers Marah. So it's very late, and I'm watching Brooke Burke introduce all the past contestants. Who are some of these people? Wil? Tara? Maybe it's the Rolling Rock still on my breath, but I don't remember them. And apparently INXS didn't remember how solid their fellow countryman MiG has been throughout the competition, 'cause they showed his Aussie ass the stage door.
Which leaves us with the final two: Marty and J.D. And after that perfect performance with INXS, is it any wonder they chose J.D.? With a little channeling of Michael Hutchence, he made "What You Need" sound effortless yet extravagant. I can't believe I'm saying this about a guy I was so against in the early days of the series, but J.D. deserved to win. (And I know some of you agree; I've read your e-mails.) Now let's hope INXS does something worthwhile with him like release "Pretty Vegas" as their first single. I know I'd buy it, along with a ticket to one of their gigs. See you all there? Joseph Hudak
At last! It seems like forever since we last saw our favorite plastic surgeons nip it in the bud and make each tuck everlasting. So right away I was like, "This better be a dream sequence Christian can't be dead!" Then, after shots of Sean ID'ing the body and the funeral, we learned that this was just Christian dreaming that he died. Come on four and a half minutes is too long for a dream sequence! After I got over the Debbie Downer beginning, I began to enjoy the show I've missed so much since last October. Where do I begin? This 90-minute season premiere was chock-full of highlights. First and foremost, let me point out that we have to wait until (get this) the very last scene of the very last episode of this season to find out who the Carver is. Ugh! So this entire season will lead up to that revelation. Right now, knives are pointing to new series-regular Bruno Campos as Dr. Quentin Costa, but I'm thinking that might be too obvious. It is supposed to be someone we know, though. I've loved me some Campos since his days on the brilliant NBC sitcom Jesse. So kidding about the brilliant, of course. What I'm not kidding about is my Bruno fondness; I even watched him on Showtime's Leap Years. I think he'll add some spice to an already hot show. Speaking of hot, how thrilled am I that Rhona Mitra is on Nip/Tuck? I was not a happy camper when I found out Rhona was leaving Boston Legal, so it's great that she'll now be guesting on a show opposite her former show. (Boston fans, please note that Rhona will be on the first few episodes beginning next Tuesday.) Rhona is perfect playing opposite Julian McMahon. I was thinking "Yeah, right" when her threesome scene with Julian and Kelly Carlson began, then I turned into Paris Hilton and thought, "That's hot."
The main story line was, pardon the expression, very large. Kathy Lamkin was quite effective as the obese woman who literally couldn't get off her couch. How many of you have watched hours of TV lying on a couch and thought that you were becoming part of the couch? I know I have. Nice moment when Christian offered her his hand to hold. It's moments like those that let us know he's not as plastic as his surgery is. Dave Anderson