American Idol
It's official. Paula Abdul needs an intervention. First off, nobody is that peppy without some serious street-grade "assistance." And second, the woman only has a career because her dancing helped us overlook those crappy songs, and now she's wobbling around that table like a high-schooler who's had eight too many Zimas at an Applebee's happy hour. Granted, maybe Simon's abuse has driven her to huffing or something, but it's getting ugly. She's interrupting her fellow judges, doing that Frankenstein-monster clap and calling people "bright lights" or whatever. Honey, that's just the swirlies. Get some rest and they'll go away, OK? Hopefully, the same can be said about a certain way-past-his-welcome wannabe who shall remain nameless. As should whoever came up with the theme of Songs from the Year You Were Born. Lame. Thankfully, at least half of the hopefuls pulled it off and gave us some good stuff. The others? Well, they looked nice, right?

Nadia Turner: Ooof.

Crystal Gayle's "When I Dream"? You sure about that? Great vocals, fabulous dress, dreary tune. Keeping my fingers crossed that two out of three keeps her out of the bottom three. If only so she can silently stick it to Simon for forecasting her ouster this week. Jerk.Bo Bice: Wait, that's how "Freebird" is supposed to sound? Not bad at all. But please, for the love of all things holy, Bogart, please ignore Randy's advice. Nobody needs that Lynyrd Skynyrd punch line to hit the airwaves again. There are enough crappy cover bands out there botching it as it is.Anwar Robinson: Still waiting for this guy to tear it open, you know? I mean, the voice is so there, even if Dionne Warwick's "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again" didn't prove it. Or keep my eyes from slamming shut. Zzzzzzzzzz...Anthony Fedorov: Every time someone sings Paul Young's plodding "Every Time You Go Away," I go away. Far away. Though A-Fed probably won't, since even Simon says he done good. And it's about damn time!Vonzell Solomon: Let's hear it for Baby V! Not only did she erase the horrifying memories of Niecey Williams' Footloose track, she also scored major props from Randy, Simon and the drunk chick drooling into her Coke cup between them. And no worries, hon. I know at least one person who voted for you tonight. Four times. Is that weird?Scott Savol: Oh, so audience members Hall & Oates were partying with Paula before the show, huh? That explains those painted-on smiles while this one amped their "She's Gone" into a tent-revival wail that still doesn't make up for his death-moan low notes. Whoever "she" is, he should be gone along with her.Carrie Underwood: How do you forget the words to Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield"!? There's only like, 12 of them! Dag. Even with extra points for throwing in the shoulder shimmies from the video, this hottie could be looking at her first trip to the bottom trois.

Constantine Maroulis: Soap-opera camera gazes aside, I'm with Simon on this one. His "Bohemian Rhapsody" was astonishing. And so not queenie... if you know what I mean. — Damian J. Holbrook

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

Gilmore Girls
For someone who believes in all the romance of renewing wedding vows (complete with an extravagant sit-down dinner for several hundred rich snobs at the most prestigious reception hall in town, ballroom dancing to a full orchestra and fields of fancy-schmancy flowers), Emily Gilmore sure doesn't have much faith in love. Caught up in an emotional moment on her "wedding day," she advised Lorelai and Rory to "marry someone who knows how to pick out jewelry." (Oookay. 'Cause when she was feeling neglected and ignored, Richard's taste for Tiffany really made huge difference.) Why would she think Christopher is a better choice anyway? Reckless and flighty, he ran out on Lorelai several times, leaving a teenage mother to raise their daughter alone. Despite his good pedigree, Emily has hated Chris for years. Besides, what has Luke done that's so wrong? Offer her congratulations instead of best wishes? Ridiculous. Meanwhile, how bad did you feel for poor Luke when a drunken Christopher announced that everyone knows that he belongs with Lorelai; that Luke might be with her now, but it's not forever; that it's not too late. And when he pointed out that Rory is his daughter, my heart just sank. Can you even compete with that? Who would want to? Yeah, I know Luke and Lorelai get back together a few eps later. But I'm hoping this was Chris' last shot at Lorelai. 'Cause desperation doesn't get any worse than this. — Robin Honig

The Office
Writing this show up has become a balancing act between commiserating with my fellow BBC snobs, who think it's really, really tough to even approximate the quality of the original, and the "USA! USA!" crowd, who think I'm an ass for having an opinion that doesn't mirror theirs. So here's one for the ass crowd: I like the theme song! OK, so not as much as the Stereophonics' version of "Handbags and Gladrags," but still... there you go.

And here's another: This is the best episode so far. The Jim-Dwight interaction in the Survivor-esque alliance intrigue was actually pretty good.

But oh, wow — a bird card with a real fake feather! How does that fit into an envelope? More importantly, where do I get one for myself? (Not that I'd ever actually give it to anyone I liked, of course. But my family has a long, passive-aggressive history of giving crappy gifts to those you're mad at, and such a card would be a truly apt way of flipping someone the bird.)

Extra points to the writers, too, for not having Dwight shipped out in the box, which I was quite sure they'd end up doing (and which nearly every other mediocre sitcom out there would've done). &#151 Michael Peck

Veronica Mars
First of all, I just have to extend my gratitude to UPN for picking up one of my favorite shows for another season. But I'm so conflicted right now: I had to rewind and rewatch Logan and Veronica finally act on all the unexpected sparkage between them and give way to a super-hot kiss. But I love 29-month-older boyfriend Deputy Leo and don't want him to disappear. Also, I still have the sneaking suspicion that Logan is the one responsible for Veronica's rape. So Ms. Mars and Logan's romance seems to lead to nothing but trouble, but just based on chemistry, these two get straight A's.

Also love that Neptune seems to be the locale where forgotten Home Improvement stars wind up. First Zachery Bryan resurfaces for a few eps as jock boy Caz, and now Jonathan Taylor Thomas shows up as an undercover FBI agent in teen-angst clothing. The artist formerly known as JTT totally frames the slightly freaky but otherwise innocent Norris, but of course the world's most adorable P.I. wouldn't let that happen. Even if she does have to suffer through flirting on the sword-collector's part. Just say no to the Kurosawa fest, sweetie, you've got enough men issues. Not only are there the double-your-pleasure love interests, but with your ex-boyfriend and maybe-brother Duncan hightailing it out of town after discovering that you were digging up the dirt about his dead sister's murder, and your daddy dating your best friend's sexy single mom, the last thing you need right now is a guy obsessed with his swords. That last sentence may appear to contain a lot of psychological, Oedipal, and sexual innuendos. That wasn't my intent while writing it all out, but if one of those topics piques the interest of another potential Veronica addict, I'd be really happy.

Oh, and I tried to go to the scary school-bombing countdown website that they mentioned a bunch of times, but to no avail. And now I've probably triggered some sort of red flag by typing in web addresses about death and destruction. We already had bomb-sniffing dogs in the office last week, and now if they return I'm just going to have to sit in paranoia, wondering if they are here for me. At least I don't have a bag of weed stuffed down my pants, just a cube filled with Hello Kitty stuff, and I'm sure the working dogs will have a field day with that. — Angel Cohn

The Amazing Race
Was I the only one who had the feeling that this was a nonelimination episode? Can you imagine being those teams that thought they had a rest coming up but instead found out that there was much more to come? That reminded me of this obstacle course I did years ago. There was a bike-pedaling part to it, and I thought we had to do only one lap, so at the end I gave it my all and pedaled like a madman. As I crossed the finish line, I found out that — oh, my god, no — there was one more lap to go. I kept pedaling, but I really thought I was going to vomit and pass out by the time I came around again.

But anyway, back to the race. For the most part it appeared that Ron and Kelly were back on track, but I'm not sensing an overwhelming amount of affection between those two. (Then again, ex-Racers Ray and Deana have announced their engagement, so what do I know?) There's also no love lost between them and their allies-du-jour, Rob and Amber. But at least, while they may not entirely trust Rob and Amber, they don't insult their intelligence behind their backs like Rob did. I'm still waiting for Rob to make one of these low-blow remarks and for Amber to tell him that wasn't the coolest thing to say. I promise I won't hold my breath for that, because I think I would turn a rather deep and unhealthy shade of blue.

For whatever reason, India brought out the largest crowds we've seen so far this season. I haven't seen that many people cheering from balconies and roadsides since A.C. Cowlings chauffeured his pal O.J. down the L.A. freeway. I imagine that when the autograph-seekers got home, they looked at their scraps of paper and thought, "Who the hell are Meredith and Gretchen?" The answer, my friends, would be this episode's unluckiest and most exasperated duo. When that last clue guy told Uchenna that he looked "tired," I thought to myself, "You think Uchenna's tired? Wait till Gretchen gets there!" But, bless 'em, those lovable grandparents are in it for at least one more week. — Danny Spiegel

Here's a riddle: Who knocks on the door when they're ready to leave a House?
Answer: Allison

House, you jerk! Why didn't you kiss her!? You could have at least taken her outstretched hand, given it a gentle squeeze, or given her a quick hug, pat on the shoulder, "Here's lookin' at you kid" — something, anything! Aaaah, the problem with this show is that the writers are too smart for our own good. House can't be getting all lovey-dovey and start playing doctor with one of his staff because that would compromise his character. And let's face it, without his crotchety disposition and misanthropic cynicism, this show might as well call itself Grey's Anatomy or Medical Investigation. Still, isn't there a compromise where we get the satisfaction of seeing him return her affection for just one moment — maybe he let's her play his video game! — and then the next week he doesn't speak to her again and takes his Nintendo DS back? I know, you can't undo intimacy like that on TV or in real life. Oh, well, I'm gonna miss Jennifer Morrison. House wasn't the only one who had a secret crush on her.

Hairy cell leukemia? Sexsomnia? Was Trey Parker a ghostwriter on this episode? As it turns out, both are very real diagnoses. The former is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects a patient's bone marrow. The latter is a potentially face-saving excuse for not calling back the person you brought home from the bar at 4 am.

As for Senator Wright, could they have run any more tests on that poor guy? I mean the way they poked and prodded him, you'd think he was some kind of alien or a "Brother from Another Planet." (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Now for a billionaire businessman, Vogler is dumber than a box of hair. C'mon, did he seriously think House was going shill for his pharmaceutical company? Yeah, right. That's about as likely as him planting a slippery wet one on Allison's lips. Or maybe he's saving that for Sela Ward? — Dan Roberts

The Shield
This episode was all about putting people in their place. First, Aceveda's new high-priced lady friend gets a little too chatty, so he quickly reminds her that he doesn't pay her to talk. Next up is Rawling. After she confronts Aceveda about sandbagging her at a community forum on drug seizures, he tells her that he will be overseeing her "well-intentioned social experiment."
Rawling: "Well, I guess we'll need to figure out how to get along then."
Aceveda: "Learn to do what I say and we'll be just fine."

Then it's Dutch's turn. When Claudette discovers that he's been trading favors with the D.A. behind her back, she goes after him with a fury that makes me cower. To his credit though, Dutch tries to return the venom. But you can't mess with Claudette when it comes to righteous indignation, I mean really. Having caught the exchange on closed circuit TV, Rawling takes it up a notch and confronts the D.A. Problem solved. And something tells me Claudette and Rawling are going to get along just fine.

But of course the person really put in his place is the one who needed it most, Shane. With a metal folding chair to his partner and a boot to the back of his head, ouch! That was like a professional wrestling beat down. Shane thought he was in the driver's seat, but no, Antwon has him right where he wants him. Buckle up! — DR

Channel Surfing
It's the little things about Scrubs that make it so funny. Like learning that the janitor has a tattoo of a mop, that Dr. Cox has seen Lindsay Lohan's Confession of a Teenage Drama Queen oh, about nine times and that J.D. has a victory-dance coach. The constant stream of non sequiturs never fails to pump life into this series. Isn't that right, Webster?

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