American Idol
Love Diana DeGarmo's curly tresses. Much better than those straight Hilary Duff bangs she was sporting earlier. Her first "Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher"-style ditty — written by Tamyra Gray and backed up by a gospel choir! — was faboo. Gotta agree with Simon's diss of Fantasia's first song — the arrangement felt like a mess, with the choir doing most of the singing and Fanny accompanying them.

Seemed dangerous to have the girls re-sing tunes they'd already done, though. It invites comparisons in voters' minds that could be unfavorable. For instance, Di's retread of "Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)" didn't sound as good as last time — she was yelling it. However, Fanny did "Summertime" fierce and fabulous. Can you believe Simon calling her the "best contestant we've ever had in any [AI] competition"? Wow. The man has a gift for hyperbole.

In their final verdicts, the judges roundly pooped on Diana and praised Fantasia, just like you knew they would. Simon even called Fanny's last song her "acceptance speech." Hmm... Ya think Simon, Randy and Paula were hoping to influence voters?

P.S. Crooner Paul Anka's humorous AI-themed take on "My Way" was cute. Problem is, I doubt most of this young-skewing show's viewers even know who the hell Paul Anka is.

ABC Extreme Bloopers
Dick Clark and Less than Perfect's Sara Rue host an hour of "Oops!" moments. Too bad the goofy outtakes from shows like Perfect, George Lopez and One Life to Live are so much more watchable than the actual finished products. Zzzz... Guess this clip show was ABC's idea of cheap counterprogramming for senior citizens who don't watch American Idol. Click.

The big series-finale episode! OK, so it's a rerun, but the first-run aired on my pal Damian's Watercooler night. Dammit, I want my say, too! I agree with Dame — who in Hades needed Sarah Michelle Gellar? If Buffy had returned like David Boreanaz wanted, this TV event might've been splashier in the ratings, sure. Still, it would've been unfair to Angel's existing cast members for Miss Scooby-Doo 2 to overshadow their farewell like that. They deserved their final bow, and they got it. Please indulge me in sharing a few of my own post-mortem thoughts...

1. Loved Angel's reunion with son Connor, who'd been granted a normal life, thanks to Daddy altering reality. Nice touch having the kid remember the misdeeds of his nasty previous incarnation — including his "erotic" past with Cordy! No Angel aficionado was ever gonna forget that freaky storyline, so it's cool they gave us a little wink there.
2. Yes, Illyria bidding Wesley good-bye by turning into "Fred" was touching. (When he said "Lie to me," it was so poignant. Who among us wouldn't sometimes prefer the illusion of true love, as opposed to nothing at all?) But this Harry Potter fan loves nothing more than a wizard battle. So I was all charged up to see Wes trading quips and hurling fireballs till the bitter end. And "Fred" turning back into Illyria as she crushed that awful crimson-skinned sorcerer's skull! Yucky, but neat.
3. Lorne the green lounge-singer demon sure didn't leave this swan song on an up note. Sad. Though puttin' a bullet in fair-weather hero Lindsey was likely the right move. But boy, that Christian Kane was hot, wasn't he? Y'all know I'm not about tattoos, but I wouldn't kick Kane outta my coffin.
4. Same goes for Spike. Some of his rabid fans refuse to believe James Marsters is 42. But I think it's great. Guys like Marsters and Hugh Grant look so good, they give me hope for my 40s. (Which are still a loooong way off, mind you.)

According to Jim
I can't stand Jim Belushi. But I do like this third-season-finale storyline about his TV wife wanting him to have a vasectomy. I don't think his sort should be permitted to reproduce either, hon. Birth-control issues aside, I gotta think celibacy is a far more attractive option than havin' that grunting behemoth all over her. Ugh. Couldn't a gal with Courtney Thorne-Smith's looks do any better? Anyway, curse this lousy sitcom for making me think about Jim Belushi having sex. Now you're picturing it, too, aren't you? At least I'm not suffering alone. All together now: Ewww!

This season finale was good. Amazing how they packed all that action into an hour and Jack Bauer still had time for a good cry! Boy, did he deserve it at the end of this very long day. First, Gael's wife guns down Saunders before he can share crucial terrorist info. (R.I.P. Hunky Brit actor Paul Blackthorne.) Then, I knew something bad would happen to James Badge Dale because of rumors that he won't be around next season. And because Chase started talking about transferring into a safer job for Kim's sake. You just knew that couldn't bode well. But can you believe Jack had to cut Chase's hand off to separate him from the virus-dispersal device?! Ouch! My stomach was in absolute knots during that whole showdown in the school science lab. I also think it's cool President Palmer opted not to seek re-election. Highly unrealistic, but cool that a sitting U.S. president who's been involved in such shady doings would voluntarily opt to leave the top job. Tony and Michelle's hot kiss was also great — they're so in love! Will he go away to prison? There's rumors Carlos Bernard won't be back next season, either, so it doesn't look good for Tony. Oh well. All I know is, I'm glad this lethal airborne virus business is over with. Phew! Now all we Los Angelenos have to worry about is breathing in the most polluted air in America, according to a recent study by the American Lung Association. What a relief, huh?

The Shield
Oh my! Loved the brief yet telling look at Det. Claudette Wyms' personal life. After a rough day at work — she took that robber housewife's death hard — we got to see her shed a tear and share a shower with her new lover. Go Claudette! Girlfriend deserves a little TLC. And I guess she needed a good cry like Jack Bauer from 24. These superheroes of law enforcement are no mere pencil pushers — they know from job stress.

Meanwhile, Vic Mackey's still chasin' the skirt of that canine-training officer with the codependent boyfriend. (By the way, in case you care, that's Natalie Zea playing Vic's comely crush. I remember her pinch-hitting for Susan Lucci's daughter on Passions in the role of Gwen! I'm thinking this show's a way better career move.) Anyway, I couldn't believe that the Strike Team members voted against Vic dipping into the money-train stash to pay for his autistic children's therapy. Bad move, dudes. The only thing worse than this guy angry is this guy desperate. Every week, it's intriguing to watch that moolah gradually straining their trust and tearing their friendships apart. Very juicy stuff.