The O.C.
OK, I didn't think I missed the gang this summer since I had the DVD box sets, the repeats, the 120 soundtracks and Laguna Beach to keep me company. Not to mention a growing disdain for Adam Brody's too-hip-to-be-squareness. But amen that they're back! Really, how nice to see everyone. Even Trey. Of course, coming out of that coma to accuse Ryan and his massive biceps of shooting him was a tad unfortunate. I don't care if the back-to-bitchy Julie did bribe him into betraying his bro to protect Marissa; you'd think the guy wouldn't be flipping karma the bird so soon after a near-death experience, right? And shame on Jimmy for not stopping her! Fortunately, Coop and Summer's candy-striper scheme worked, the truth came out and Scruffy McRapist hopped on the next bus to guest-star-ville. Now the kids can have some fun, watch Teen Wolf, go sailing or, you know, frolic on the beach like their postcard-y montage that had me waiting for Danny Zuko and Sandy to pop up accompanied by the strains of "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing." Speaking of Grease, how slimy is Jeri Ryan's character? Cozying up to Kiki at rehab, pulling that whole "My rich dad made me drink, too" routine. Please, you see that girl's eyes? Crazy with a capital whacko. Bet ya anything she's after her money, her man or hold onto your Sappho statues Hot Mommy Cohen herself. Only time will tell, but I'll tell you something: If Mr. Josh Schwartz keeps this up all season, I may forgive him for offing Caleb, writing out Anna and inflicting Zzzzzach on us all last season. Jess the coke whore, however, is gonna take a serious Chrismukkah miracle. So get crackin', buddy.  Damian J. Holbrook

Big Brother
Janelle won HOH... I think this might be the happiest I've been while watching TV all summer. Hold on a sec while I go vote for her to get the day on the set of Two and a Half Men... her winning would rub some serious salt in the wounds of the remaining nerd herders. It makes me even happier that Janelle won HOH by answering all the questions about the houseguests correctly. Especially since from reading the live recaps online, I know that the Friendship has actually been studying and trying to recall details. It must just irk them to no end that the ditzy-looking blonde can keep all those facts in that pretty little head of hers. Just like that kid who slacked off in class but always aced the finals. But I'm not going to feel sorry for any of them, because even Ivette's own mom and girlfriend didn't approve of her trusting the Friendship members, especially April. I love that girlfriend Maggie aka Tushy, so as not to be confused with houseguest Maggie thinks Janelle is getting a bum rap. But the funniest part of tonight's ep was Tushy's utter confusion about Ivette's annoying obsession with Cappy. Hello? I've been baffled by that all along, too! And Ivette, who has been desperately seeking her family's approval, would probably be sad to know that her own mother thinks that she abandoned her partner, Beau, in favor of her new so-called friends. Mama knows best. It's just too bad that she didn't have a psychic connection that could have stopped Ivette from voting Howie out. I just don't get how Ivette could say she'd be sad if April won the money and then not vote her out when she had the chance. I mean, anyone whose husband sends her Ugg boots can't need the cash too badly. Which has to be a bit annoying to someone like Ivette, who seemed well-practiced in the art of making a ghetto slide.   Angel Cohn


ReunionHalfway through 1986, the show hooked me in that campy, guilty-pleasure kind of way. And that's despite being hit repeatedly over the head with awkward '80s pop-culture references. I'm going to forget one guy just called Wham! the next Beatles (my apologies to George Michael). What isn't '80s enough about these flashbacks is the hair. I'm sorry. Back then, the hair was big. Like Mt. Everest big. And there was no such thing as too much blue eye shadow. Now, on to the drama: Sure, we've seen it all before, but I admit I want to find out how in 20 years, six buds go from Friends to an episode of Law & Order: SVU. But for now I'm digging the fact that Six Feet Under's Keith is once again a cop. Yeah! And I'm having fun matching the characters to '80s movie icons:

Craig: Looks like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Acts like Pretty in Pink bad-boy James Spader.
Aaron: Just called him Duckie the entire hour.
Jenna: Think of her as Lea Thompson in Some Kind of Wonderful mixed in with a little Demi Moore in St. Elmo's Fire.
Carla: Mary Stuart Masterson in Wonderful plus a bit of Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.
Sam: She's Ms. Ringwald circa Breakfast Club as well as Ally Sheedy in St. Elmo's Fire.
Will: I tried to go retro with Will, but I'm in agreement with my little sister. She thinks he's pretty much like Chino boy Ryan Atwood on The O.C.

And speaking of Will, is it me or did he not seem too upset to be sitting in jail? The guy is taking the rap for his best friend. But I guess falling in love with said best friend's girl makes up for everything, right? Bring on 1987.   Bettina Charles