Only two eps left before the series finale and we're stuck with a mid-season rerun about the broken hearts all over Playa Linda. Who got knocked around worst? Bradin, who's in forbidden love/lust with his surfing coach? Jay, who watches his ex falling for Bradin? Nikki, who has a crush on her gay lit advisor? Cameron, who's pining away for oblivious Nikki? Or Ava, who suffers through the most well-deserved but harsh kiss-off-you-had-your-chance lecture ever from Johnny? It's tempting to pick Bradin, since first-time love can hurt so freaking bad, but I'm gonna go with Ava. So she wasn't smart enough to hold on to the guy the first, what, hundred times she had her chance. But she deserves props for putting herself out there. I mean, who has the nerve to ask your ex to move back in with you when he's already got another girlfriend, they're living together and they've opened up their own restaurant. ("Go for it!" wouldn't exactly be my advice, but hey) Now that we know that Mona will eventually, um, kick the bucket, a few eps later, Ava's pleas don't seem that ridiculous. Just sorta desperate. Okay, very desperate. Still, you felt sorry for her, right? (I couldn't help it as her face screwed up, and the tears started falling. I'm easy like that.) After all they've put everyone through (including me!) those two better get married during the last episode. — Robin Honig
Six Feet Under
Daniel Holzenchenko: 1939-2005. So Uncle Danny had to have the cling peaches that bad, huh? Well, they may have killed him, but who am I to say it wasn't worth it? They did look wondrously clingy. Anyway, I'll briefly slap Nate down for inviting Maggie over for dinner. Why do so many unfaithful men have to do it right in front of their spouses, if not involve them directly? (No, he hasn't cheated yet, but you know he's gonna.) That said, though, I hate to agree with him on much, but he's right about Brenda being out of line. It's his call as to when to tell Maya about Lisa. And speaking of being out of line, it seems to be an epidemic this week, what with Rico telling Vanessa's private business to Julio's principal and Margaret using herself as bait to ambush Claire.
And that's all the slack I'm cutting Claire, whom I continue to hate. She's full of self-pity because Ruth insists she actually go out and get a job? As my own mother would say: Pooooor baby. Looks like it'll have to be one where she'll be needing skills other than the ones she's currently honing — sitting around stoned and just generally being a pain in the ass. (Can't blame her for sneaking out the door on Billy, though. Jeez, pal — pull yourself together.) — Michael PeckIf you've missed out on Six Feet Under so far this season, you can still catch up with our video clips.
I'm mildly impressed that Mariah Carey flew from the Live 8 concert in London to NYC to be at the Macy's Firework's Celebration. What I don't understand is what Mariah in a skimpy outfit and Donald Trump hawking I have to do with Independence Day. And I'm also little bit baffled by the fact that the orchestra playing the music that has been carefully timed with the fireworks display is all the way across town in Bryant Park. I've also come to the realization that watching fireworks on TV is tediously boring... OK, I changed my mind. Nothing truly says patriotism like Jeff Foxworthy poking fun at the president and Hilary Duff dressed like a trashy school girl on the Salute to Our Troops special. Josh Gracin has not aged well, in fact he really looks like he could use that marine corps diet again. I was excited to see Denise Graves, but other than that I could have done without the rest of the special. Geena Davis? Which was just a blatant way of saying don't forget to watch Geena's NBC show this fall, oh yeah, and Happy 4th. — Angel Cohn
Entourage Finally! After weeks of being "I don't wanna do a big movie" whiny, Vince went and got himself a pair. And not a moment too soon. Even if it took Ari and E. botching the Aquaman deal, I am so relieved to see that our "It" boy is more than just barely tended-to eyebrows and has stepped up to lay down the law. Hopefully, E can sweet-talk his supercute ex, Emily, into scoring Vinnie a sit-down with James Cameron. And speaking of scoring, how about Bob Saget and the house of hookers? I had always heard his stand-up routine was more foul mouthed than Full House'd — and I'm certainly no prude — but there is something so wrong about Mr. Tanner sparking up a bong and warning Vince away from his daughters. What is so right is Ari, as usual. Between using his own daughter to ambush agent Dana Gordon at their kids' school and his "Michelle Kwan in drag line" about Lloyd's Andre 3000 outfit, the man makes scummy strangely sexy. That's weird, right? — Damian J. HolbrookWant to find out what Entourage is all about? Find out with our video clips.
Queer As Folk
Wait, was that Brian turning down sex? With his rough-riding rival, no less? Dag, there may be hope for him yet. Sadly, the same can't be said for that poor Brandon's scraggly hair. Of course, we knew Kinney the Walking Gland would win their love-em-and-leave-em contest, seeing how he always seems to come out on... um, top. But who knew that Emmett's hottie football star hook-up from last season would not only show up, but come out? Nice work, Showtime. That's what we call fiction, kids. A major celeb admitting to the love that dare not speak its name is about as likely as seeing an A-lister lose his mind on a national talk-show, right? Anyway, it was a nice little twist that at least tempers my current rage blackout at Mel for hookin-up with that new girl. Hello, what about Lindsay? Haven't these ladies ever heard of mourning periods? Or couples' therapy? I mean, come on, girls, it's not all trips to Home Depot and Womyn's Music Festivals, OK? Thankfully, we still have five episodes before the final kiss-off, so let's keep our fingers crossed that these two work things out. And that Hunter comes home. After all, without that one around, Michael may actually have to tell Ben and his life-giving biceps that their same-sex Donna Reed routine is about as silly as Deb's entire wardrobe. — DJH
First off, I'm kind of kicking myself for not making the trip to Philadelphia or London for that matter to see this rare event. I didn't feel like dealing with the crowds and the lack of restrooms, but I think that is the only way I would have actually appreciated this eight hour extravaganza. While Bob Geldof managed the massive feat of putting together this amazing concert, MTV could have at least pitched in and skipped the commercials and found a better way to edit this. I mean how many times does one person need to see P. Diddy and Jessica Simpson promoting acne cream while I'm trying to reflect on starving children in Africa? But the editing really did a great disservice to this show. They cut off so many people towards the end of their songs, or entered mid-tune. It barely acknowledged the concerts in Johannesburg, Canada, Paris and Tokyo, granted the acts there werent as strong, but still if someone made this big effort to put them on, I'd like to see more than one person from each worldly locale. And I probably would have been annoyed at the audience in Philly if I had been there and been desperately typing this in jail because while Will Smith was giving his touching "three seconds" speech and showing the premiere of that moving celeb-filled commercial, people kept clapping and cheering when they recognized someone famous that they liked. And when Jay-Z was trying to make his point about how we spend so much money to destroy lives in a war and that we should put some cash towards saving lives, his fans were yelling his pseudonym Hova. And speaking of Jay-Z his set with Linkin Park was quite lengthy and yet MTV managed to air it with few commercials and almost in its entirety... now I've got nothing against either Jay-Z or Chester, Mike and co., but I saw their almost identical Mash-up gig only a few months back, and I'm there were a ton of cool acts that I would have love to seen more of, not just them. And it didn't help that there was something wrong with Jay-Z's mic during their first joint? Did he not show up for sound check, or were they just being overly cautious after I swear Snoop Dogg got an f-bomb past the censors with a mother attached to it while he was on stage in London?
Anyway, it was really cool to see Pink Floyd back together after all these years, and to see the Who still rockin' out in Hyde Park, Stevie Wonder generously sharing the stage with some of today's talent and Green Day belting out "We are the Champions" even if he doesn't quite have Freddie Mercury's chops. And it was pretty touching to see Bob Geldof bring out a young woman who had been directly helped by the original Live 8 — though the poor girl looked lost when Madonna came out. My personal favorite moment was Paul McCartney performing "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," with U2. So awesome. I would have loved to see U2's entire set and for that matter all of Sir Paul's songs together instead of randomly interspersed throughout the entire night. I know they put out a DVD, which I'll probably buy, but I just hope that I don't have to wait 20 years for a complete set which will allow me to actually see the whole concert. I can't believe I was naive enough to think that if I spent eight hours watching this I'd get at least seven solid hours of music with an hour or so of info about Africa and the G8 concert. Instead I wound up with about four hours of snippets of music, a lot of unnecessary chatter by the hosts and fairly disappointed. — ACFRIDAY
Degrassi: the Next Generation
Who's the last person you'd think would enter a contest to earn bracelets for performing various sex acts? Yep, that would be wholesome tree-hugger Emma, who used to blanch when she kissed a boy during a play rehearsal. Yet, when the doe-eyed, innocent beauty goes inside the van with bad-boy Jay and leaves with a blue bracelet on her arm, you don't roll your eyes, and you don't judge. That's because her desperate need to connect to something, to anything, makes sense. After all, she'd witnessed a fellow student gun down another classmate only to point the gun at her before being killed. Nothing about her honor-student good-girl life could make sense after that. So why not try on a new identity? Become the girl who swaggers down the halls ripe with sexual confidence. The girl who wears her experience on her sleeve, literally. The girl who hides her wounds but still uses them to her advantage. (Loved when she realized that crying on cue about the shooting could get her out of trouble for coming home at 3 am, the look of satisfaction on her face afterwards was priceless.) But eventually her new reality (betrayal, loss of respect, gonorrhea) catches up with her. "You're better than that!" Manny says after she finds out Emma's been with Jay at the ravine. "What do you know about who I am?" Emma spits back at her best friend. But Manny does know the true Emma. Even Jay knows she's been acting all along, and tells her so. (And it's no accident Emma's also playing another role, the lead femme fatal in the school adaptation of Dracula.) "What have I done?" she laments on stage after "kissing" Dracula and becoming a vampire. "I, who have walked in meekness and in virtue all my life." Don't worry Em. Going back might be hard, and it might take a lot of work. But it won't be as painful as the vampire's fate, a stake to the heart. — RH
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