American IdolAnother season of American Idol begins with double the twin action. Does anyone agree that two sets of male twins plus the small-town

Barrettsmith sisters might be overkill in the family-drama department? It smells a touch gimmicky, but at least all the siblings can back it up with their voices. So can single-named diva Mandisa and Gina, the tongue-pierced, fishnet-wearing dental assistant who managed a decent Celine Dion vocal. But really, we don't tune in to see the true talents this early in the season. There will be plenty of time to see how they fare. No, the premiere episode is all about the truculent train wrecks, and Chicago was full of 'em. Here's a hint for future Idol wannabes: When the judges recoil in horror, it's time to pack it in. First off, it seems like Amanda, whose "Something to Talk About" just made Bonnie Raitt's gray streak a bit wider, and Stuart, with his Assyrian garb, only barely belong in the train-wreck category. They were almost quaint next to Derek Dupree's second-chance song (lifted from the preppy scene in Trading Places), Blake's Statue of Liberty getup, Yuliya's inappropriate gyrations and Jessica Nelson's bleeped-out trash-talking. When she said she has a stronger voice than most of the other contestants, all I could think was that strong language does not equal strong voice. We've seen plenty of young guys slide into the finals by flirting with Paula Abdul, and Chicago proved no exception to this tried-and-true American Idol rule. Zachary Smits and David Radford worked the fresh-faced, puppy-dog-eyes thing for a ticket to Hollywood. But no matter how hard she tried, puppy-dog eyes didn't do a thing for Stacey Q, oops, I mean Crystal. I believe it is physically impossible to properly emote from underneath 8 lbs. of eye makeup. And Simon Cowell getting Crystal's doppelganger mom onstage ranks right up there as one of Idol's best moments ever. A Simon smack-down with a devoted grandma never came to fruition, but Paula and Simon continued to get under each other's skin. Get a room already, you two! Producers saved the strangest moment for the end seriously, who else was stunned that barefoot "talk to the animals" Dave Hoover is going to Hollywood?  Ken McGilvray

Gilmore Girls
I just want to make sure I've got this straight. Luke was completely freaked out about his long-lost daughter. Should he tell Lorelai? Yes, yes, he should. OK, how should he tell her? No, not over the phone. Definitely in person. Yes, yes, in person. All right, when should he tell her? Today? No, no, she's busy. Tonight. Tonight is good. The man had waited two entire months  naturally, she found out by accident. (Whoops! April's filling up salt and pepper shakers at her father's diner.) Guess what? Lorelai's pretty cool about it. She doesn't lose it. No screaming. No shouting. No crying. (She even said the girl was cute!) And again, at the winter carnival. No hysterics. No threats. No ultimatums. And get this: Lorelai was the one who offered to postpone! (This coming from the woman who had every little wedding detail set in place. In one day.) She couldn't have been more understanding. She even sympathized with him about being a single parent. All should be right with the world, right? So why did Luke look so relieved? (Maybe he should be more worried that his ex and his fiancé are both quirky, fast-talking, boho-chic hotties with brilliant daughters and the same exact stained-glass dragon-fly lamp. Uh, yeah. The lamp. Anyone else notice that?) And hello, you don't casually walk away from a woman who's just agreed to put off the wedding you've been dreaming about for eight years. Luke's smarter than that. More practical than that. More in love than that. What is with the people in this town? Well, I guess as Zack would so eloquently put it, "welcome to the SH, bitch."  Robin Honig

The absurdity is just out of control on this show. I still laugh when I think about last week's kung-fu-fighting scene and the chest hands. They proceeded to get even more out of control this week. Elliot, who normally annoys me, had some of the best moments, like when she agreed with Carla's sentiment that "helping someone move is like oral sex: You do it once and then they owe you for life." Just the look on her face when she was talking about the guy who still does her taxes priceless. Also, she names her eggs during ovulation, comes up with cutesy terms like Icky Sticky for sexual acts or conditions and, best of all, her conclusion that, for a guy, a baby isn't the worst thing that can come out of sex. "Losing a baseball scholarship because a bear ate your arm is a much worse consequence of sex." Oh, and the other great non sequitur of the evening was J.D. revealing that his prison name would be Gizmo. The second episode was even better. How? A random Gary Busey appearance, a Raiders of the Lost Ark homage inside someone's colon, J.D.'s vampire-doc screenplay "Dr. Acula" and Todd trying to get into the Janitor's "borrowed" physical-therapy tub wearing only a banana hammock. That action sent Todd right to 10 on the pain scale. You could tell, since the look on his face when he was receiving the ultimate wedgie matched the frownie face on Elliot's chart. The patient Elliot and Turk were treating could have really used some help from the dashing Dr. House: He's good at figuring out the unexplainable. The sweet dying woman hit the nail on the head with her quick evaluation of J.D.: "You are a very strange young man, aren't you?" That's an understatement. The shocking revelation of the night? Carla discovering that the Janitor has feelings. Seriously, who knew? But why a staff photo? Does any company really do that?  Angel Cohn

Love Monkey
A bit of a disclaimer: I was more than a little bit biased watching this show. Ed is one of my favorite shows, I find Tom Cavanagh utterly adorable, and to top it all off, they tossed Jason Priestley into the mix. My lingering 90210 loyalties run pretty deep. So it isn't all that surprising that I adored the first episode of this new series, in spite of its ridiculous name. (Yeah, I get that he's trying to find love and swinging between trees it is still just a bizarre title.) It combines elements of Jerry Maguire Tom's boardroom speech about his love for music and High Fidelity  the music snobbery was running rampant with the merciless mocking of artists like Air Supply and Billy Joel. Not that there is anything wrong with either act in my book, per se, but in Tom's warped mind, a person's taste in music says pretty much everything about him/her, and if you choose to disagree with his taste, you are destined to be looked down upon. He rolled his eyes while explaining that his girlfriend "listens to Jewel and weeps, while I prefer real music." He also was upset by her choice of inspiration during their split: "Did she just quote Sting in the middle of breaking up with me?" But aside from the quick wit, this Monkey has a well-rounded cast with some fun romantic entanglements looming on the horizon. And if all that wasn't enough, they tossed in actual singer (with really pretty eyes) Teddy Geiger as up-and-coming musician Wayne. Though I think they could have called him Teddy and saved us some confusion.  Angel Cohn