The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour
What exactly happened here? It's been so long since we've had a successful variety show that it's hard to even judge this genre anymore. Was Nick and Jessica's over-the-top stage banter purposely forced or just naturally choppy? (I mean, were Sonny and Cher like this?) I also remember seeing some MTV bio thing on Jessica that gave the impression that she used to be somewhat embarrassed by her rather large breasts. Safe to say, she's gotten over that particular inhibition. I mean, d-a-m-n.

The '70s and '80s kitsch factor was sky high, with appearances by Mr. T, Kenny Rogers, KITT (the Knight Rider car), Johnny Bench and the Muppets. Toss in performances of "I've Got You Babe," "Islands in the Stream," "Take My Breath Away" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and this would have played nicely in 1983. (Yeah, I know that Berlin song was from 1986, but I needed a middle-ground year.) I will say though, that I did enjoy "10 Seconds of Awkwardness with Mr. T," as well as Jessica's duet with Jewel. Their rendition of "Who Will Save Your Soul" produced some pleasing harmonies until the end, when they played the "Who Can Hold This Note the Longest?" game. Jewel won by .013 seconds.

The Sopranos
I think I'm going to start a new office pool in which you have to narrow down the approximate minute — or 20 seconds to be more accurate — that Jamie-Lynn DiScala passes by onscreen each week.

Well, we were all waiting for Tony B. (Steve Buscemi) to finally snap. But gosh darn it, if it wasn't the ol' "bag o' crack money dumped in the street" scenario again. I didn't see it coming, to be honest. And what's even worse, I hear his old laundry boss, the guy who got cracked in the face, was thinking of asking Carmela out, too.

Quote of the Weekend:
"Where the f--- is my Tupperware?!" — Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico) on The Sopranos, to Vito (Joseph Gannascoli), whose wife was late with the delivery of the handy storage containers.

According to Richard Hack, author of the new book "Puppet Master: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover," the legendary FBI director had naked pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Eleanor Roosevelt. What bachelor parties was this guy going to?

Jennifer Garner dresses up quite convincingly as a Goth, I have to say. And Melissa George isn't bad either. But Michael Vartan? U-h-h-h-h — no. Sorry, man. And you can tell from the uncomfortable expression on his face that even he knows that the black-eyeliner-spiked-hair look just isn't workin' for him.

Once again Sydney, Vaughn and an increasingly violent and desperate Lauren rack up the frequent-flyer miles and nervous beads of sweat searching for the Passenger. Meanwhile, Jack checks out Sloane's claim that he wasn't in cahoots with the Covenant, but instead, had been recruited by a secret government faction called the Trust. You know, usually I give a fair amount of leeway for the fictional names on this show, but that last one seems a bit of a stretch. I can picture the writers sitting around the table going, "All right, so far the suggestions are 'The Secret Group,' 'The Smooth Operators' and 'The Fat Elvises,' which I don't exactly get, but whatever. Now does anyone have anything else?"


Saturday Night Live
Considering how uncooperative Janet Jackson was on Letterman a couple of weeks ago, I was seriously wondering how this would pan out. Would she be a good sport about the big Super Bowl flash or not? The rundown:

  • Janet exposes her pixelated, not-really-naked breast during her impression of Condi Rice. What a weird crossing of subject matter.
  • The Good Times parody came late in the show (which usually means a sketch will stink), but I thought this was pretty funny, especially Kenan Thompson as regal Esther Rolle.
  • Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan showed up for the Simon Cowell bit, which had the former SNLers "singing" with Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz. The overly blunt American Idol judge summed up their performance by saying, "I'd rather let William Hung lick honey off my nipples than listen to you for another second."
  • Janet performed two songs. Did her hair keep falling in her face? Yes. Was she singing live? Good question.
  • On that note (accidental pun), Maya Rudolph displayed a more powerful voice than Ms. Jackson's when she impersonated Beyonce during the now recurring "The Prince Show" sketch.


    The D.A.
    The season finale (after only four episodes) seemed like a cross between Law & Order and Cold Case. You had a magnificently convoluted murder from 10 years ago that was miraculously solved with someone suddenly breaking down out of nowhere. I did find it a little hard to believe that a daughter would knock off her entire family for a $2-million real-estate deal. Look, even if you're amoral, wouldn't there be some other option that would still leave you a place to go for Thanksgiving?

    Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
    Before Deidre Hall landed her dignified role on Days of Our Lives, where she's currently a crazed serial killer, she starred in this campy 1970s superhero series with some actress named Judy Strangis. TV Land aired an episode late on Friday and somehow I was sucked in by the nostalgic value of this amazingly low-rent production. The special effects and dialogue (and everything else, really) are so unbelievably lame you can't help but laugh. And then switch the channel after about seven minutes of them battling the dreaded Sorcerer.