I finally finished Kings, I'm having some issues with Glee, and Project Runway gets ugly. [Reprinted from the sidebar for ease of commenting.]
The Soup (9/11)
They brought back Whitney's "Kiss my ass!" That's all I needed.
Project Runway (9/10)
First of all, I hated Althea's outfit, like a lot, and I hate the weeks where outfits I hate win. Also, not to pile on, but I'm so not feeling these substitute judges. Nina and Michael manage to deliver the "safe" or "boring" critiques without revealing the ugly truth that the fashion industry sneers at anything actual women would wear. Marc Bouwer and the two lady judges seemed to revel in it. Which, again, explains Althea's win. As for Quristal, I was over her round about episode 1, though I appreciated the irony of her being eliminated on the one week she didn't deliver some garish aqua explosion.
So You Think You Can Dance (9/9)
New season! Same delightful Cat Deeley, whose glee at finding out Ryan Kaspyrzak has a smiley-face tattoo on his butt was as pure as anything on TV. And much as I am weary at the prospect of Ryan making the Top 20, his tap-off (trade?) with Bianca was everything Adam Shankman raved it was. Beyond them, and that other tapper who put Ryan's ass tat on blast, were a handful of good contempo dancers, plus getting to watch Mary Murphy stage-whisper all through that "shatter" guy's audition. Insanely short off-season or not, we're back and I'm in!
You guys? I'm sticking with it because I love Ryan Murphy and I think it's got a ton of potential, but this episode has me worried about this show. It needs to figure out the show it wants to be, tune down Jane Lynch's character, get rid of the hystrerical pregnancy arc, figure out a way to do the performances in a way that isn't so depressingly canned, and make me care even a little bit about any of the kids. Lea Michelle has a great voice, but she hasn't been able to draw me to her character. Jayma Mays is the one unquestionable bright spot. Let's build on that!
The Real World (9/9)
I don't think a "Real World" season has ever quite wrapped up with a twist ending before, but that's the only way I can describe it. Joey and Ayiiiiia? Good lord. So now that we're well rid of this season full of jerks, we can get to the task of drafting them into the Challenges. Obviously, CJ is destined to be an alpha dog (provided he doesn't get signed by an NFL team -- HA!); Bronne is a suck-up in the Landon mold; Derek seems game; and obviously Ayiiiiia and Joey are just the kind of bugfuck assholes they're looking for.
I kept the conclusion of this series -- which was pretty much canceled immediately and allowed to play out the string of its first season -- on the DVR all summer, not wanting it to be over. Not a huge surprise NBC couldn't get anyone to watch this, but I sure did love it. The abrupt cancellation had its casualties (Leslie Bibb and Macaulay Culkin's characters seemed the most cut short), but for the most part, this was a complicated and operatic season of TV. If I were re-doing my Emmy ballot, I'd for sure add Sebastian Stan (as Jack, the single most interesting character) and perhaps the aforementioned Bibb. Would've been great to see what Season 2 had held.