What a juicy second-season premiere. Nice touch casting Joely Richardson's real-life mother, Vanessa Redgrave, as Julia's mother, Dr. Erica Noughton. But this chilly witch is a child psychologist? Yikes! That aside, Erica certainly wasn't chilly toward Christian when she slipped his hand underneath her skirt. Tell me you didn't see that hook-up coming from a mile away. Still, it was slutty, soapy fun, especially considering the added complication of Christian and Julia's unresolved mutual feelings. Speaking of soapy, Sean's mysterious case of "the yips" — or what I call Soap-Opera Surgeon's Shaky-Hand Syndrome — has been done and redone on daytime dramas for ages. Yawn.

Meanwhile, I'm reminded that Julian McMahon (Christian) spends lots of time stark naked on this show. Never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I'm tired of looking at McMahon's arse. Notice how he's always clenching his cheeks to make 'em look firm? And there's more simulated soft-core sex on Nip/Tuck than on Skinemax! Can you believe how Christian "interviewed" prospective nannies for Wilbur? What an absolute hoot. But it turned rather sad when the nanny ho revealed that a "binka-tini" (a pacifier dipped in cough syrup) was her secret for quieting the baby. (I'd suggest Christian install himself a nanny cam, but the X-rated footage would probably rival Paris Hilton's home movies!)

Regarding that gay guy/straight girl friendship gone so bizarrely wrong: Take it as a cautionary tale, all you girls 'n' gays. Misery is the only logical conclusion when people try to live like Will & Grace. My pals and I know (and have dated) such people. Trust me, that codependent crap works on a sitcom, but definitely not in life.

P.S. How freaky was Vanessa Redgrave's face-lift scene? Ewww. Very realistic, but heinous enough to make you rethink going the Extreme Makeover route to fight wrinkles, eh? I'll stick to my vitamin supplements and Estee Lauder Resilience Lift eye cream, thanks very much.

Outback Jack
If you haven't seen this new TBS reality dating series yet, the full skinny was in yesterday's Insider. If you have seen it, you know it's pretty amusing. My fave part was the city girls in evening gowns expecting Bachelor-style glamour, then having to skydive out of an airplane in the middle of the wilderness to meet "Jack." I'm not sure what's scarier — the parachuting out of a plane or the camping bit. Ugh. My feeling is, if God had meant for me to sleep outside, He'd have made me homeless. And I don't care if this dude's good-looking or has a fun Aussie accent. Ain't no man worth sleepin' in no tent with no killer bugs. No sir. Still, the fun of reality TV is (apparently) watching others suffer from the comfort of your own home, so I guess there's no reason I can't tune in again. But don't ask me which chicks were eliminated, I dunno. (Like I was really gonna stick around for a whole hour of this?)

AFI 100 Years 100 Songs
Bette Midler being interviewed about "The Rose"? Lorna Luft talking about Mama Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow"? Paul Simon dishing the theme from Philadelphia? Cool! This AFI 100 is the gayest TV-list show ever. Mind you, there's no way I would ever sit through all three hours of this either, but still, it's cool.

Oooh! Blast from the past: Years ago in high school, Johnny hooked up with Ava's best friend, Tracy. This nasty bit of gossip came out when said friend's husband kissed Ava, which was hardly Ava's fault. (C'mon, Tracy's hubby, Brian, wasn't even remotely attractive, so it couldn't have been mutual.) But Lori Loughlin and Shawn Christian are supposed to be all star-crossed and whatever, so the show has to find reasons why they can't couple up. Blah blah blah. Meanwhile, the beach party had silly romantic melodrama for all ages. There was the Aussie boy Jay, doing this "pretend boyfriend" act for Susannah to make her ex jealous. It was cute when he acted all outraged at catching them in bed — but I'm still having trouble accepting Merrin Dungey (Susannah) as any character other than Bad Francie from Alias. Whenever she frowns, I expect her to start kicking somebody's ass kung-fu style! Speaking of which, it was funny to see lil' Nikki catfight with Amber over that boy. What was up with Amber, anyway? She looked 14 years old at most, and she showed up at the party wearing only a bikini and Ugg boots, sneering and spouting catty lines like she'd seen Mean Girls too many times. I hope no young girls are watching this show and getting ideas on how to act or dress. At least Ava scolded Nikki for wearing makeup like a good mom.

Or at least a cool aunt who's substituting as Nikki's mom because her real parents died, forcing her and her siblings to move to Southern California and live a glamorous beach lifestyle. Yeah, 'cause that could happen!