Gilmore Girls
Here's why I'd choose Zack over Logan any day of the week: While the pretty rich boy is blowing off a clearly smitten Rory, the adorably grungy rock-and-roller is bonding with tough-cookie Mrs. Kim over old pictures of a bespectacled Lane. (How sweet: He likes her better with glasses because they make her look smart! Sigh.) And he was willing to spend an evening at the scary Kim house, even after Lane's mom had referred to him in public as "filthy devil-boy swine." (Brave and loyal, too!) What has Logan done for Rory lately? Use her and her copious notes to write a piece (begrudgingly, mind you) for the school paper? Tempt her with stories about his father's infamous journo parties, then not ask her to go? Flirt with her ("How come I never see you around, Ace?"), but never ask her out? Yeah, I know, I know, Rory hooks up with him a few eps later and winds up calling the relationship shots. But I'm just not all that impressed. She deserves better.

My fave line: "What's up with your face? It looks all nude!" — Zack, when he first sees Lane without her glasses — Robin Honig

American Idol
So you wanna know the only thing worse than show tunes? Classic show tunes. Ugh. This isn't a theme night. It's a theme nightmare. And I'm sure I'll lose my membership for saying this, but what Mary thought anyone would want to hear songs that are best suited to high-school stages or piano bars filled with tired old hags and the men they'll never be able to "fix"? Good lord. Let's just all cross our fingers that next week finds the kids taking on music that, I don't know, was maybe written after their oldest siblings were conceived. Or at least back when Simon's shirts actually fit him, OK? As for our bottom three, I'm thinking all boys again: a blond, a braided and an abuser. Though you never know. We could be seeing a certain funky diva saying goodbye. Which means that Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua will also be hearing a few choice words not meant for his oversize ears. And that would be a shame for all of us.

Scott Savol: Forget the bad press — or that Frenchie Davis got canned for far less impropriety. His wobbly assault on "The Impossible Dream" was impossible to forgive, much less listen to. And what rock is this dude living under that he'd never heard that Man of La Mancha song before? I thought 911 had Muzak. Or was the phone too busy flying at his baby's mama for him to hear it?
Constantine Maroulis: I know a few people who'd like to be your Funny Valentine, so don't change a hair, ya hear? Even Simon's "pouty" comment and Paula's near-slide off her chair can't take away from this one's jazzy cool take on the Babes in Arms nugget.
Carrie Underwood: Girlfriend's lucky her voice can heal the sick, 'cause "Hello, Young Lovers" from The King and I may be the dreariest thing since... all the other songs in that pulse-stopping bore. Still, so obviously in the top three.
Vonzell Solomon: Truth be told, I winced when I heard that she was doing "People." Not only is Funny Girl Barbra's turf, it's also riskier than a sleepover at Neverland Ranch. Bless her soul, Baby V. nailed it. And looked hot doing so. Now, what's a guy got to do to get her to blow a kiss to him after her next performance, huh?
Anthony Fedorov: Mother Abbess would not be happy. Screechy and way too disco, his "Climb Every Mountain" wasn't so much the sound of music as it was the sound of community-theater plus-size chicks everywhere screaming, "But that's my song!" Sorry, bud. They're right.
Nikko Smith: Hmmm. An R&B twist on West Side Story's maudlin "One Hand, One Heart." Aiiight, I'm picking up what he's putting down. Nicely done, Urkel. Now lose the friggin' hat!
Anwar Robinson: I'm with Randy here. Welcome back, indeed. Even if the act of performing anything from Camelot should punishable by mass caning, his breezy "If Ever I Would Leave You" probably won't have him leaving us this week. So at least that's good, right?
Bo Bice: How cool is this rocker that he can forget the words to Pippin's "Corner of the Sky" and still work it? All he was missing was the mesh tank top and Ben Vereen's jazz hands. Which is probably a good thing, actually.
Nadia Turner: I don't know what wowed me more, the dress or her "As Long as He Needs Me" from Oliver. Probably the dress, since the song is just, eh. She sounded great though. Finally. But yeah, that dress. Hubba. — Damian J. Holbrook

(Can't get enough American Idol? Watch Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavares dish about the show on Idol Chat, Thursday, 8 pm/ET on TV Guide Channel.)

Veronica Mars
Every time I think I've got the Lilly Kane murder mystery figured out, another wrench gets thrown in the works. Celeste seemed like the perfect suspect, but if Duncan's alibi was that he was showering and his pampered family actually washed his soccer uniform, then all signs point to the fact that Veronica's maybe-bro had some cruel intentions. Unless it is someone else entirely. Does Duncan have a twin brother we don't know about? Was Logan really not in Europe and just making up the whole blind-rage story? Did that snazzily dressed Clarence Weidman do it? And more importantly, is Abel's streaming-video patent real, and could it speed up my snail-paced browser at work? Speaking of work, I'm thinking of setting up my office in the bathroom. I know it sounds weird, but if it worked for both Fonzie and Veronica, it might be worth a shot. At least there's good lighting in there.

Did anyone else catch Amelia watching Harry Hamlin in Clash of the Titans? Logan's dad looked darn good in a loincloth in his day. And he wasn't the only father figure in the spotlight tonight: Lilly's papa doled out cash in the name of a scholarship; the sweet Hamilton sacrificed his shot at Oxford to deliver pizzas in order to cover for his daddy's devious misdeed; and Veronica's pop is finally sharing his intel on the Kane crew with his precocious daughter. It would be really good for the family business if they could crack this case wide open. Plus, ever since the Just Shoot Me alum traded in his camera for a gun, he's gotten much better dialogue. Like asking that soon-to-be-divorc&#233e who wanted to set up her husband with a hooker if she "looked up pimp in the phone book and stopped at P.I.?" And now I don't have to suffer through annoying David Spade in order to watch Enrico in action. — Angel Cohn

The Amazing Race
That was hilarious. I loved the totally opposite ways Lynn and Alex and Brian and Greg prepared for the possibility of having to give up their backpacks. The brothers stripped down to their bathing suits and donned winter hats; Alex put on extra layers of clothing for backup. (Did that remind anyone else of that Friends episode where Joey put on almost all of Chandler's wardrobe and kept doing commando-style lunges?). I'm not sure, but I think Phil actually had two discernible facial expressions when he witnessed the ingenuity of each team. Can you just imagine if Brian and Greg hadn't been eliminated and they were forced to go forward dressed like that? That would've been one awkward flight out of Africa.

It seems like this installment was all about sightseeing and mishaps. For every cool animal the teams saw (elephants, giraffes and zebras, oh my) something screwy happened or someone screwed up. When Meredith and Gretchen and Uchenna and Joyce all had to go back to finish the last task, my heart sank. Getting eliminated for such a random oversight would've really sucked. And man, Lynn and Alex were amazingly calm considering they had to get two replacement vehicles. (Personally, I would've lost it.) After getting their third car, Lynn wisecracked, "Let's see if we can destroy this one." Luckily, they didn't.

Ron and Kelly took a wrong turn into Bickering City on this leg. Assuming that the footage and editing were accurate, I'm not sure how in the world Kelly could've thought Ron said "Shut the f--- up" when he actually said, "Kelly... chill a minute." What?! They don't sound anything alike in terms of syllables and cadence, so who knows what happened there. (Yes, he said "Shut up" earlier, but that didn't seem to be what she was reacting to.) Of course it got much worse when she responded with "You're a piece-of-trash redneck," which is a lot harder to take back. It sure makes you wonder how often people misunderstand each other without the benefit of a camera crew to clarify what actually happened. — Danny Spiegel

The Office
OK, we'll throw in the Week 3 reminder that once again this show doesn't even approach the brilliance of the BBC original. There, I said it once more, and I'll be checking my feedback box for hate mail. Now doesn't that feel better? But believe me, it's bumming me out, too, because Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the star/creator and cocreator of that original, are involved in this version, too, so I'm rooting for them.

All of which makes me proud to mark my first time laughing out loud — just a slight chortle, but a legitimate laugh nonetheless — at this iteration. When Dwight listed the fake maladies people handed in for his healthcare plan, and one of them was "Government-created Killer Nanorobot Infection," my reaction was actually audible. "Count Choculitis" got another, as did Jim tossing Dwight's ice-cream sandwich against the window of his conference-room prison cell.

But the crowning achievement of the week? When Dwight said: "In the wild, there is no healthcare. In the wild, healthcare is, 'Ow, I hurt my leg. I can't run. A lion eats me and I'm dead.' Well, I'm not dead. I'm the lion. You're dead."

I don't think I've ever heard such an accurate and concise summation of our current government's attitude toward universal healthcare for its citizens. — Michael Peck

The Shield
I had to take a shower after this episode. An escaped rapist on a binge is bad enough, but forcing the victims to phone their better half after the act... that takes the creepiness to a whole new level. How lucky was that waitress who was about to become his next victim? And how satisfying was it to see Vic give the canine unit carte blanche to castrate that deviant when they caught him at her house? Gotta love street justice, Mackey style.

Looks like Aceveda's taking his creepiness to a whole new level as well. Not sure that acting out rape fantasies with a hooker is the best thing for his marriage, but what do I know? It was his wife, after all, who told him to do whatever it takes to deal with his problem. I just wish he would stay out of Rawling's way and let her do her job.

So which is more disturbing: Shane in bed with Antwon, or Dutch in bed with the D.A.? Shane playing both sides against each other should come as no surprise. But Dutch, what are you thinking? Claudette can smell corruption before it occurs — no way you're getting away with this. And Shane, I'm sorry but I see some dark days in your future, especially after that beatdown you delivered to Antwon's soldier — that was so harsh it made Vic look like a good cop. — Dan Roberts

House
At about the 40-minute mark, my wife turns to me and says, "See what happens when you cheat?" Twenty minutes later, however, I'm the one giving her the eye because I totally called it! I knew it was little miss perfect wife who hoed around and got what she deserved; a near-fatal case of human African trypanosomiasis (aka "sleeping sickness"). So riddle me this: If the husband and his running buddy are good enough friends for the latter to sleep with the former's wife and rub his nose in it, wouldn't the husband recall something like, oh, say, his good buddy going on safari in Tanzania the previous summer? Just a thought.

Equally puzzling is how Robert Sean Leonard could deliver a line like "It's not a tumor" without imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger. You simply cannot say a line like that with a straight face, c'mon!

The wife is about to check out when the husband brings her out of a coma by pleading for her to live... and why, exactly? So that she can watch him walk out on her? What the hell is that?! "No, baby please, don't die. What? You're alive!? Oh, well good. See you later, you cheap whore!" Real classy.

I don't mind watching reruns of this show, but I'm itching to see how the House-Vogler showdown turns out. — DR

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