The O.C.
All right, is it just me or did it feel like Josh Schwartz was trying to right a couple wrong turns? I mean, after months of lesbian kisses, hot yard guys and water-polo dullards that went nowhere, we finally got our core quartet back together without all those other incredible-looking interlopers and actually had some fun! Sure it took getting locked in the mall and five not-too-conspicuous Beck tunes, but you know what? Totally worth it, if only for Marissa's confession that she still loves Ryan. Nothing against Alex. As Julie said, she seems nice (and I do like her pants, too), but if the girl can't click with Seth, Ryan or Marissa, maybe it's time to take her out back and shoot her, you know? Oh, and speaking of shooting, who else was ready to put a bullet in Billy Campbell, with his button nose and flirty chatter? KiKi does not need some hotsy-totsy editor to be paying any sort of attention to her so soon after Sandy's li'l Kim Delaney dalliance. But then I realized that Campbell's character may secretly be a Judy Garland fan. Think about it. The bitchy "ex-wife." Those Tales of the City sideburns. The casual usage of the word "cocktail." Trust me, straight guys do not suggest "cocktails." However, he is gonna be around for six episodes and they've already done the "alternative lifestyle" story, so who knows. What I do know is that the dude blackmailing JuJu also played a scumbucket on Guiding Light like 100 years ago and had the same inspirationally cultured stubble. So I'm betting that Newport's own Paris Hilton will be seeing her Porn Identity winding up either in the wrong hands or playing on Orange County screens everywhere very, very soon. Until then, though, I'm more than happy just watching The Fantastic Four become fantastic again. And the...

Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith trailer
Oh. My. God. Between the ADD-inducing shots of Chewie, the Stormtroopers, a crying Queen Amidala, Yoda getting his swamp-butt zapped by who knows and Samuel L. Jackson working that light saber like it's his beeyotch, I almost peed in anticipation. And then they give us that kicker of Anakin in full-on Vader mask mode! Man alive. If Lucas can pull this off, he may actually be forgiven for the last two. But if he screws it up? Two words for ya, folks: Geek. Riots. — Damian Holbrook

Survivor: Palau
Loved the American Gladiator-inspired challenge, if there was just a guy named Turbo in too-tight Lycra on the Koror tribe, I would have been all set. But instead we had to suffer through stupid comments from the garbled James:

"I guess the other team won." — His well, duh, moment when it was pitch-black outside and the reward for the winning team was due to be delivered before sunset.

"I'm gonna stomp anybody's a-- that lags." — His lame attempt to inspire his tribe mates to win immunity.

"It feels terrible to have my butt whooped by a homosexual. But a lot of gay folks are strong, they work out at the gym and all." — After Coby knocked him off the floating platform... twice.

Meanwhile, the slacking Kim got sent packing, and it's about time. Thank goodness Angie and Stephanie decided against the all-girl alliance — did someone finally remind them how poorly that concept worked out for the Vanuatu gals? Even Jeff Probst looked disgusted with the Ulong tribes losing streak and their lack of leadership. I love it when he gets that stern look on his face. But the biggest problem for the Ulong tribe isn't their inability to win, it is their lack of clothing. The poor intern who gets paid to blur out offensive things is working overtime between Bobby Jon's butt hanging out of his droopy drawers and Angie's skimpy bra revealing way too much of her tattoos. Just wondering how come they didn't blur out James's mouth, because that's the most potentially offensive thing on the show. — Angel Cohn

The Apprentice
John — the Vince Vaughn look-alike — was dismissed by The Donald. I'm guessing he's not really feeling "so money" right now. Perhaps it was his "hipster" wear that led to his downfall. But he should consider himself lucky because with all his chauvinistic remarks I'm surprised that Erin or Stephanie didn't take that wallet chain and choke him with it.

But the real star of tonight's episode was Tana, after she and Craig got traded to team Magna, she became their MVP. She was a self-proclaimed MILF on camera (though I'm not entirely sure she knew what it really stood for — rent American Pie if you don't know). "Mom I'd Like to Fool Around With." Ha! Please tell me she was just being polite for the camera crew. However, she gamely tried to fit in with the hip-hop lingo while checking out Lil Jon's bling — I don't think she knew what crunk stood for either — all the while securing fabulous and over-the-top items for bidding on. And she totally scored a home run by making Carolyn nearly fall over laughing with her "We be talking now" comment. Anyone who can destroy the tough blond's composure is OK in my book. I just hope Tana's two kids are too young to be embarrassed by mom's attempt at being cool. Otherwise school today's going to be awkward. — AC

The Contender
Ouch! Is it just me, or was Jesse Brinkley's victory overshadowed by Jonathan Reid's defeat and consequent walk of shame. Maybe it was Reid's four children and his extremely pregnant wife sitting ringside and watching their collective dream come to an end. And is it really a good idea for a woman who looks to be two deep breaths from going into labor to subject herself to the stress of watching her man take a beating? I'm sure Mark Burnett was in the control booth crossing his fingers that her water would break. I stopped feeling sorry for Reid when I looked up his record and saw that he's already had a shot at the title. Three years ago, he was ranked 10th in the world when he was dropped in the fourth round by former middleweight-champ William Joppy.

I know the first episode was 30 minutes longer, but this time around, everything felt rushed. When Jesse says "A lot of these guys underestimate me. You don't know where I've been, what I've done." I'm thinking, "You're right. We don't really know the first thing about you!" Maybe if NBC wasn't trying to set a new record for most advertising minutes in an hour of television, there would have been more an opportunity to get to know these men who we're supposed to care about. Seriously, every aspect of the show was shortchanged, from the sparring session to the stair-running/logo-building challenge, even a surprise visit from George Foreman was relatively underwhelming.

"Plan your work and work your plan," philosopher Foreman tells big-mouth Ishe. I still don't know what that means, but I do know it gave Ishe the perfect excuse to back down from his bravado and his boasting that he's ready to fight Ahmed "anytime, anywhere." Does anyone buy this trash-talking routine, or does it look like these two clowns are auditioning for The Real World?

Girls, you're both pretty, and I for one, can't wait to see one of you kiss the canvas — better yet, how about both of you. I want a double knockout, like the end of Rocky II where he squares off against Apollo Creed just for fun. I want to see Ahmed and Ishe dancing around the ring, talking trash to each other, slowly closing in, looking for that opportunity and POW! They both connect with a straight right hand and knock each other unconscious, effectively eliminating each other from the contest. Then we can get on with the real drama. — Dan Roberts

PoweR Girls
I don't even know where to start with this one, aside from the obvious, Who the hell decided that Lizzie "Hit and Run" Grubman should get her own TV show? Hasn't she already earned more free publicity from her "incident" than any noncelebrity person should get in a lifetime? And does she only hire people with names that sound kind of like hers? There are two Kelly's, an Ali and a Millie. How the heck Rachel got the job is a mystery.

Ranting aside, I could not take my eyes off of this name-dropping train wreck. It hurt my head to watch, but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. I think Lizzie summed this show up best when she compared the morning after a launch party for a new nightclub to the recapping that sorority gals do after a big event. I never joined a sisterhood, but I read Pledged, and the similarities were striking. All of Lizzie's employees (with perhaps the exception of the blurred-out girl, — did MTV have to borrow one of the CBS staffers for that?) seemed to treat their chosen occupation as if it were just one big party with gossiping, giggling and power tripping.

All said, the PR biz is exactly what I imagined while skimming my US Weekly but there were some strange revelations, like Lizzie telling her staff that they couldn't even drink water during the launch party for fear that it would look bad. Oh yeah, that's what's going to make them look bad. And Kelly B. admitting that PR is just something she does on the side when she's not doing modeling and acting, shortly after telling the world that her boobs are fake. But then again in the promo for next week she says that her idol is Paris Hilton; maybe that explains her ditzy comments. But I'd rather keep things in my life Simple — at least those girls are funny in their own stupid way. — AC