A Renaissance festival-style wedding is very Stars Hollow. Cute, quirky and quaint. Of course, you know GG only did this so Lauren Graham (Lorelai) could look adorable in one of those flowery, ribbony hair wreaths. The nuptials of Luke's sister, Liz — and all TV weddings, for that matter — serve as a great umbrella for all the show's romantic issues. Liz's brother, Luke, got to bring Lorelai as his date. Yes, they're dating! It's about time 'cause the "will-they-won't-they" stuff was bordering on tired. Plus, Liz's son, Jess, came back to town for another shot at Rory. And to annoy me with more of Milo Ventimiglia's broody, James Dean-wannabe thing, of course. So glad Rory blew him off, so we can finally fuggedabout him. On the brighter side, I'm glad Lorelai's softening up Mrs. Kim so she can give Lane a break. I have a good gal pal with very strict, traditional Korean parents, so we know Lane's pain.
My fave part of tonight was the WB's soapy preview of next week's season finale: Luke and Lorelai are finally gonna kiss! And Lorelai catches Rory and Dean (who has a wife) in a compromising position. Oooh, and she calls her daughter "the other woman." Me likey the spicy drama! It's about time Rory stopped being such a saint and did something baaaaad.
Disco is not dead! And I have a lot to say, so let's get down to it...
Disco queen Donna Summer presiding over her very own theme week? Excellent. Miss Donna's On the Radio album was the first record I remember listening to in my life. At 3 years old, I knew all the words: "MacArthur Park, it's melting in the dark. All that sweet green icing, floooooowing down... Someone left the cake out in the rain..." Ahem! Excuse me, I digressed into my very own disco-queen moment for just a sec there. Won't happen again.When Ryan announced the new judge switcheroo, I was relieved. Randy's boring — even Paula's begun telling him to "Shut up!" It's smart to have Simon go first, since his comments are what everyone really wants to hear, and sometimes the acerbic Brit (and his fans) have been shortchanged when the show cut him off to go to commercial. Simon's Jasmine slams were dead-on. Her voice cracked throughout — and bless her, she's gotta go. Poor thing, she smiled bravely through all the criticism, but after even Donna and Paula (both softies) found fault with her, the waterworks began. It's gotta be agony for a 17-year-old girl, so hopefully AI fans will put the child outta her misery like John Stevens.
LaToya's a fine singer, but what she lacked in fierce disco attitude, Miss Fantasia definitely made up for in the first round. Not to be outdone, La notched up her sass on "Don't Leave Me This Way," tipping my scales back in her own favor. Diana gets props for her tribute to the '70s with her Farrah-like 'do. She also wore better clothes and, more importantly, was the only contestant to do an actual Donna Summer signature song! She worked "Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)" and like Simon, I must give her "total respect" for that. Could Di compromise Fanny and La's apparent lock on the final two? Hmmm...
Flub of the Night: LaToya committed a major faux pas by telling Ryan she's not worried about the competition because "at this point, we're all winners. Everyone's going to have great careers after this." That sounded rather arrogant. Plus, her comment basically undermined the entire premise of the competition! It assumes you don't need to win AI to land a recording contract. Yes, it's true Clay Aiken's done well, but can you think of any other non-winners from the past who've actually become full-fledged pop stars? Most past contestants have fallen off the radar. They all exit the show claiming they're "working on an album." Whatever. And sure, some are still managing to stretch out their 15 minutes by eking out small-time gigs in the entertainment field. But AI is supposed to be The Search for a Superstar — it's not just the search for a part-time correspondent on On-Air with Ryan Seacrest.
America's Next Top Model: The Runway Ahead
Let's face it: Nobody's been watching UPN since Top Model ended — OK, maybe I caught The Parkers finale — so they rehashed this past season's craziness in a one-hour special. Seems like they really want us to think girls can actually get modeling careers off this show. I was left mildly convinced. Most of them seemed like they were still trying to get agents. Hmm... Here's a few highlights:
1. Sara — the Persian girl who's upset her dad thinks she's a "whore" — wants to change his mind. So she gets a trashy dye job and poses for Maxim in see-through undies. Good luck with that whole respectability thing, hon.
2. Shandi relived her scandalous, tearful "I cheated on you" phone call to her boyfriend. It's nice they stayed together, but I can't believe she actually had to go back to work at Walgreen's after the show. That's not right. After all she did to help Top Model's ratings with her high drama! (OK, I snickered at that one just a little bit.) At least Tyra mentioned Shandi had some magazine shoots coming up.
3. Yoanna the winner had a nice birthday party and... I honestly don't know what else viewers learned about her. Didn't care. Mercedes shoulda won and I'd just as soon forget about this ice queen. Besides, the Model retread show was on up against...
Alright, I know I'm going a little list-crazy tonight, but like I said, I got lots to say...
So Andy Sipowicz's baby made it in the season finale, but Mommy Connie's MIA since Charlotte Ross quit. How weird it feels not to have onscreen closure with the actress. Meanwhile, they hinted that Rita's replacement partner — Jessalyn Gilsig's Det. Kelly Ronson — is a lesbian. Cool! It's nice that Bill Brochtrup's John apparently isn't the only "family" working in the squad room. Speaking of Brochtrup, he had lotsa lines in this episode! I chuckled at the awkward dialogue about Andy's newborn's name:
John: [Excited] I love the name Matthew!
Andy: [All macho] We'll be callin' him Matt.
How sweet that Andy was everyone's dad this week. He wasn't just paternal with his kids, but with John (his detective partner, not the gay secretary) and Baldwin, who had his own fatherhood issues to deal with. Mark-Paul Gosselaar did a decent job with some unusually heavy material, by the way. His crazy girlfriend's suicide was rough. It's so sad and frustrating when, despite your best intentions, you've gotta learn you just can't save some people from themselves.
This week's episode was titled "What Power Is..." and it sure was powerful. The resolution to Captain Aceveda's rape storyline was so satisfying. I sensed he wouldn't really kill Juan Diagur, even though he went gunning after the creep with his "personal piece" last week. Shady politician though he is, Aceveda's still no down-and-dirty killer like Vic Mackey. Instead, he handled Diagur his way, outsmarting the ignorant junkie with his intellect. The way he dug up all that dirt on Diagur and his loved ones — threatening "a dozen different kinds of revenge" — I thought I was watchin' J.R. Ewing on Dallas! Hence, Diagur dropped his smirk, agreeing to confess his crimes — and keep his mouth shut about the rape.
By the way, thank heavens Aceveda erased the sleazy souvenir photo taken by Diagur's dead accomplice during the rape. (I have always thought those camera-equipped cell phones were a recipe for trouble. There's all these pervy shutterbugs using 'em to snap Peeping Tom photos!) This episode just leaves me with two questions:
1. Vic knew something was up between Aceveda and Diagur. Will he somehow learn about the rape and use it as leverage against his tormented boss?
2. And this one's way more important: Does actor Frankie Rodriguez — who played Diagur — really have teeth that bad? He reminded me of those heinous dental cases on The Swan and Extreme Makeover! Maybe there'll be a prison dentistry program where they can fit him with some porcelain veneers. That way, he can begin to heal his self-loathing and stop smokin' up and raping people.