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 it's 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? The editing really did a great disservice to this show. They either cut off so many people toward the end of their songs or they entered mid-tune. They barely acknowledged the concerts in Johannesburg, Canada, Paris and Tokyo. Granted, the acts there weren't 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 if I'd in Philly, I probably would have been annoyed at the audience (and maybe 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 toward 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 there were a ton of cool acts that I'd have loved to see 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 with a mother attached to it past the censors 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 Billy Jo 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 Aid — 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 have seen U2's entire set and, for that matter, all of Sir Paul's songs together instead of randomly interspersed throughout the night. I know they'll put out a DVD, which I'll probably buy, but I just hope that I don't have to wait 20 years (like they did for Live Aid) for a complete set that 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 Summit. Instead I wound up with about four hours of snippets of music, a lot of unnecessary chatter from the hosts and fairly disappointed. — Angel CohnSUNDAY
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 a pair of 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 foulmouthed 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 see out what Entourage is all about? Find out with our video clips. MONDAY
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 they weren't worth it? They did look wondrously Cling-y. 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 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 a gig 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. TUESDAY
Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back
I'm trying to figure out which Disney character Anna reminds me of. There's definitely a lot of Little Mermaid in her — and now, in addition to those relentless shots of her rising out of the water, she takes all the guys to SeaWorld? Their activities couldn't get more childlike and innocent. It's obviously a big juxtaposition to the impending invasion of the so-called hunks, with their James Bond action shots and impeccably waxed chests. By the way, can you say stunt drivers? There's no way these self-absorbed jocks were actually driving their red sports cars in perfect formation. But what's up with all the Joes being from New York and New Jersey, while all the jocks (with the exception of rather ugly, obnoxious Carson) at least seem like they're from California? (This is where I say my silent prayer of thanks to Cupid that I'm not single in New York any more.)
Poor computer-science geek Aaron: He got the absolute perfect date with Ariel, I mean Anna, and her finned friends, and he still came off like a cold fish. She obviously has nothing against studious types, but a girl's gotta feel like things will eventually go beyond holding hands. Date No. 2 with Gino got a little scary. The sweet Italian-American exterminator was so head-over-heels, the only coherent sentence he could put together was that he loved her round face. Original compliment. Still, she didn't seem too creeped out and really enjoyed the flattery. For some reason, she clicked with Arthur and his suave, mature "Rat Pack" approach. Personally, I think he lost major points the second he compared Anna to Jessica Simpson. The eliminations came as no surprise. Who the heck was Dan? She was obviously put off by larger-than-life Igor and his box of condoms, and underwhelmed by Aaron. As for Joshua, he should have skipped the makeover — which made him look really average and doughy — and gone back on tour to find a cute hippie chick who'd love his Jesus look. Next week things should heat up as Anna gets to peruse her "candy store" of hunks. So far, they seem more interested in their competition than in her. And boys, that kind of misdirected machismo is seriously unattractive. — Sabrina Rojas Weiss
OK, it's time to admit Tommy's Jesus dreams are starting to freak me out. Which is all right, since they're starting to freak him out, too, and — more important — they seem to be keeping him from hitting the sauce. And speaking of freaking out, which is worse: Paulie banging on Tommy's door (well, his neighbor's door, anyway) in the morning or Sheila calling about an "emergency" dream she needs to talk about a few minutes later? Easy. At least Paulie doesn't have his number. With that out of the way, however, here comes the challenge of the episode — getting the entire crew to vote for Tommy to come back, which you know is a lot tougher than it sounds if you've been watching. (And I'd comment further on what two big possessions Lou thinks qualify Tommy for a break from the crew, but a reader named Steven has requested that I write my columns without any profanity. It's a tall order, considering I cover this show, The Shield and Deadwood, for crying out loud, but this week I think I can pull it off, so long as I don't quote anyone directly.)
Not that I'll stay away from unsavory topics altogether, mind you. Take Franco's "friend" asking him if he's only into her because she gives him drugs. He says no, but of course the fact that he walks away from sleeping with her is a big yes. Just as ending up in bed with Laura is a big no-no that's bound to come back to haunt both of them. Lesson No. 1 for Laura: Despite what you say, sex between coworkers is never meaningless; most people find that out the hard way. And a bigger lesson for Sully: If you're going to cross-dress in a public club, make damned sure you know where all the exits are in case of a fire. Whoops — too late. Which means Tommy's back. Poor Paulie. Poor Sheila. And poor everyone else depending on Tommy to be dependable. Then again, that's the show, ain't it? — MPGet more of Rescue Me with our video clips. WEDNESDAY
Beauty and the Geek
Caitilin and Chuck may be the big winners, but after watching tonight's finale, to me Chuck seems like a dud who hasn't really learned much from the experience. He was grouchy and seemed unwilling to accept people (like Richard) and their differences; the only way he was able to pick up girls was to pretend that he was gay; and he basically pouted when his gal pal Scarlet got ousted. He hardly made an effort in the kitchen when Caitilin was trying to teach him to cook, and ignored her obvious discomfort when it came to being physically threatened. In fact, did it seem to anyone else that she was a little too excited to hit him in the stomach as hard as she could? They earned the cash by being a strong team, obviously paying attention to each other's stories, and he did remember how to spell her impossible name — hey, so did I; do I win a prize, too? But to me Richard and Mindi were more enjoyable to watch and to root for. Richard can be totally obnoxious, but he actually tried kayaking and seemed to like it, and he made sure his partner was having a good time while he showed off his piano-playing skills. Even if he did do a lot of acting out for the cameras, some things sunk in along the line. I did feel bad that he lost the chance to make out with Mindi, though her offer was probably the funniest moment of the entire series: "Don't think I won't do it!" Anyway, the social experiment has ended — at least until the reunion special next week — and I do think that Ashton had the right idea to make this an experiment and not a dating show. But that won't keep me from addictively watching Average Joe for the rest of the summer. — AC
Dancing with the Stars
Well, as expected, Kelly and Alec won. I had my fingers crossed for John, but I figured she had a slam dunk when it came to the audience vote. I was really surprised that she won over the judges, too, and with a perfect score to boot. And although my friend Monica thinks she should have lost points for not using a barrette to keep her hair out of her eyes, I have to hand it to her because she looked H-O-T during the freestyle, managed not to fall out of her dress and actually seemed to smile. That is a major improvement over where she started. If I were Kelly, I wouldn't be surprised if the General Hospital writers worked some dancing scenes into her story line. Hey, they could even hire Alec to boogie with her; he's got those soapy good looks and he'd be great so long as he didn't have a lot of dialogue. But I thought that John — who was such a consistent performer — totally took home the much-needed comic-relief prize with his hip-wriggling action, and he managed to do the heavy lifting. I'm not trying to insinuate that Charlotte is heavy or anything, but it has got to be easier to be lifted and spun than to lift and spin someone else. I'm just guessing. And he had Patrick Swayze in his corner. With his background in choreography and his proven ability to make Jennifer Grey fly, the Dirty Dancing guy he knows a thing or two about lifts. I hope that sweet John isn't too bummed out that he didn't win the big disco ball-looking trophy; at least he's got that pretty wife to go home with and hopefully a lasting friendship with sweet Charlotte! Not to mention the Progressive commercials that aired during tonight's ep, which were much funnier than early-eliminee Rachel's silly cell-phone ads. But I'm sad that this fun show has ended; it was great to watch comeback-kid Kelly really learn to dance from the ground up... it gives hope to the rest of us. I mean, I learned to do the hustle today, that's just one step away from the cha-cha right? — AC