The Mogo Mogo tribe regained its mojo after giving Richard the heave-ho and we have Kathy to thank for putting us out of their misery. With political savvy worthy of Capitol Hill, she organized the delicate coalition that downed Hatch. "Kathy is the biggest power player of all," says Shii Ann. "She's got all of us wrapped around her finger." Nobody was more happy to see Richard go than Susan, still recovering from last week's too-close encounter with Survivor's original flasher-in-the-pan. Initially, she hid her embarrassment and shame by avidly collecting snails, but eventually the hurt feelings surfaced. "Richard naked kept flashing through my head," moaned Susan under the baleful influence of the too-much-information side of her brain. "Why did he have to touch me?" Given that he's gay, I'm guessing he's asking himself the same question. At least Richard can take solace in the knowledge Susan had a semi-nervous breakdown that cost her team a challenge and got her butt tossed off the atoll. Tom was so joyous he launched into "Susan's Gone," a cheerful song-and-dance number based on "Ding-dong, the Witch Is Dead!" that Alicia found "insensitive." I think the tribes should be challenged to build nightclubs and put on cabarets to earn Susan's edible snail leftovers.
All About the Andersons
Anthony's son Tuga wants a bicycle because all his friends have bicycles. Anthony drags his feet about buying one because he never learned to ride, though to be fair, he's only 30. Moreover, Joe's constant nagging about not "hitting the slow kid" only causes sweat to accumulate on Anthony's handgrips. There were collision gags galore, but when Anthony finally managed to keep his balance, I couldn't help but smile. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 8, and only then after I panicked, forgot how to brake, crashed into a curb and flew over the handlebars into a neighbor's front lawn. Of course, this was back in the old-school, pre-bike helmet '70s, when childhood head injuries were popular.
Will & Grace
My age is probably showing, but I remember this show when it used to focus on Will and Grace. Instead, it's only interesting when guest stars show up. Of course, you have to be careful what you wish for. One positive was Dave Foley, whose Stuart was a sweet foil for hyperactive Jack. Eileen Brennan was a pip as the crabby woman who wanted Will to get her apartment back for her. Minnie Driver simply sparkled. I was optimistic her acid Lorraine could split Lyle (John Cleese) and Karen for good. I especially enjoyed it when Lorraine let slip the fate of Karen's limousine. "I didn't misplace it, I lost it in a bet," she growls in between swigs from a beer bottle. The two women trade predictable barbs ("Daddy's gonna crack the whip!" yelps Karen after Lorraine is upbraided) before Lyle breaks it to his nasal, sozzled, self-absorbed lover that she is expendable. He doesn't want to risk losing Lorraine because of Karen. "Do you know that my daughter skinned her knee today and I kissed her boo-boo?" he moans. "And now, thanks to you, I'll get hepatitis for nothing." I almost wish Lyle had contracted hepatitis, because then maybe he would think twice before saying lines that stupid again. Instead, he proposes marriage to Karen in a pub after Lorraine and Karen bond in the latter's returned limo over a contrived duet on "A House Is Not a Home." Of course, Cleese manages to work in a hackneyed aren't-British-people-repressed-and-pathetic crack a trite joke he has told with Pavlovian regularity since his Fawlty Towers days. As a Cambridge law school graduate and author of best-selling books on pop psychology, I'm sure Big John could run rings round me logically should he deem it fit to rationalize the comic brilliance of his performance. Indeed, the only thing lacking in Lyle was laughs.
This has the makings of a musical. "Don't cry for me Omarosa/just because the Donald sent your weepy ego packing..." Last night, after balancing the teams by shifting Amy to Versacorp (lucky her), the Donald set his charges loose on the art world. "You gotta believe in what you're selling," he cautioned. "If you don't, it'll never work." Prescient advice. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Protégé and Versacorp combed the joint for painters with commercial potential. For Versacorp, project manager Nick decided on the graceful brushstrokes of Andrei. Kwame, the Protégé chief, chose Meghan, an avant garde artist inspired by frogs and concubines. "Her artwork is freaky and weird," Heidi said with the enthusiasm of the doomed, "but I'm going to sell it and get used to it." Heidi showed more spark when she railed at Omarosa for a long lunch that Omarosa ascribed to a concussion she suffered previously from falling plaster. The dissention in Kwame's ranks foretold catastrophe. At one point, Heidi pitched what looked to be a rusted toilet seat. This piece had a drain that, when removed, revealed a tiny painting of a tiny nude lady. It went unsold. In fact, the night was an orgy of sales inertia. Protégé realized that though Meghan's pieces were unpopular, people were willing to stick around as long as the wine kept flowing. (I'm guessing everybody behaved themselves because I didn't see anyone misuse the toilet seat.) In the end, Kwame & Co. sold one piece for a lousy $869, while Nick's team sold eight pieces for $13,600. Even Trump was amazed by Protégé's ineptitude. "We've had some disasters, but this is the worst," thundered the man who gave us Trump: The Game. Despite Heidi's misgivings about her previous close shaves ("I think I'd have to nominate myself just to stay consistent") and Kwame's colossal failure as project manager, it's the bawling Omarosa who is jettisoned for constantly groaning about her concussion. "Huge chip on her shoulder... very smart, but always has excuses," says Donald, happy to have one fewer headache to worry about.
HP Technology commercial
This commercial consists of clips of adolescent kids jamming away on electric Fender guitars and basses in their bedrooms and basements. In one, two boys jam to "Smoke On the Water" (the riff in power chords is G-Bflat-C/G-Bflat-Csharp-C/G-Bflat-C-Bflat-G for you ax-heroes). I'm 36 years old and I do that. Long live rock!
Diana: The Secret Tapes
At first, I thought this was a documentary about the tapes Princess Diana recorded in Woodstock with the Band after her 1966 motorcycle accident. Then I realized I'd confused Diana with Dylan, as both of them rely on surreal wordplay. These Diana tapes the ones that don't contain embryonic versions of "This Wheel On Fire" or "The Mighty Quinn" were secret interviews conducted by Diana's close friend (so we're told) James Colthurst, who recorded them for biography to be written by Andrew Morton, who dishes more royal dirt than a corgi. Any aura of respectability Jane Pauley was supposed to lend to this aural scavenger hunt was dispelled when we got a look at Pauley's "salute to the '70s" pantsuit. The flaps of her shirt collar lay flat on her lapels. I thought I'd tuned into the lost "Princess Diana" episode of The Partridge Family. From there, viewers hop on the pickup truck to Hyperbole-ville as Jane explains that Di's life was "anything but a fairy tale" and that the tapes "reveal how deeply unhappy she was." Diana discusses the pressures of Royal life, her suicide attempts, bulimia, Charles' feelings for Camilla Parker-Bowles... blah, blah, blah. These lurid, sad details are already public, but here we have the novelty of Diana herself discussing them. Can't wait for the CD, though Colthurst and Morton repeatedly point out the covert nature of the interviews. In other words, the comments were not for public consumption, just TV viewers'. Worse, neither of these ticks seems troubled to hear their late friend ruminating like a corpse on a psychiatrist's couch. (Does Zoloft help the dead?) Hell, why not dig her up so she can lip-synch? Or else, let's give her peace a chance.
Rebecca Peterson is on vacation. Today's column was written by G.J. Donnelly