Gossip Girl (10/19)
The Hillary Duff storyline remains incredibly stupid, and the much ballyhooed Bass Gay Kiss was looking mighty retardo for a second there before they pulled the rug out; then it got awesome. I also appreciated how Vanessa's mom was pretty much every bad thing you've ever said about Vanessa, times a billion. But the lack of surprises there held it back a bit. Though I did like Blair reenacting the final scene from Cruel Intentions. And as far as I'm concerned, Lily can give Blair the tough love speech once a week. Good stuff.
The Amazing Race (10/18)
You guys, Dubai is ridiculous. Come on, Dubai, put it back in your pants. That being said, after failing to identify Jackie Kennedy last week (granted, they weren't alone) and this week needing to ask their cabbie where the Persian Gulf is, Sam and Dan have sadly plummeted in my esteem. I WANT to like you, boys! Be smarter and stop doing stupid shit like hanging around with those poker players while they wait for a replacement car. My new favorite team? Brian and Ericka. That "chocolate melts" moment killed me, and they seem to be able to get right up to the edge of freaking out (Ericka at the top of the sledding hill) before pulling back with some humor (Ericka at the bottom of the hill).
13 Even Scarier Movie Moments (10/15)
The last time they updated the "Scariest Movie Moments" countdown (the original, you may recall, I loved beyond all measure), it was the disappointing "30 Even Scarier Moments" installment, a.k.a. Bravo's Love Letter to Eli Roth. This installment features even fewer movies, almost all of them made in the past five years, and even fewer talking heads whose opinions you'd remotely give a damn about. The main problem has been the downgrade in talking head commenters -- the drop from Romero, Craven, Carpenter, King (among countless other horror legends) in the original, to Eli Roth and Jenna Fischer almost exclusively in the second one (nothing against either of them, but that's a dropoff, for sure), hits a nadir here with Roth, Bijou Phillips, and then mostly a collection of random internet no-names with little to no credibility. And yet, I can't completely hate on it, because it included The Strangers, Bug, and (at #1) The Descent. If you're going to largely limit yourself to the last five years of horror, those might be your three best options right there.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10/15)
A powerhouse episode for Kaitlin Olson as Sweet Dee, and those are always my favorite ones. Add to that Charlie dealing with that beehive/wasp's nest/hornet's nest, plus Nick Weschler who I LOVED on Roswell and who hasn't been seen since, here playing the shady fiance. All in all, one of my favorites of the season so far.
30 Rock (10/15)
Funny if unspectacular episode, but there were some hilarious moments, including the return of Kenneth's hill-people accent. And Tracey's "Rabbi Shmuley" joke killed.
Parks and Recreation (10/15)
Okay, I'm officially declaring April as the breakout character of the new season. That blase tone speaking Spanish to the Venezuelan intern? Killed it.
A banner episode for Quinn that finally got me onboard with her. Much credit to Dianna Agron, of course (her hurt at Sue's betrayal felt real), but the show was really smart in the ways they kept cutting to her in the musical numbers, for example. And that "Ride Wit Me" scene was everything I've ever said about the benefit of not having the vocals be so canned. Flip side, though, they knocked that Avril Lavigne number out of the park, and the massive production was a big asset there.
Cougr Town (10/14)
Easily my least favorite of the episodes so far. More boring than anything else. I appreciate the effort to deepen Josh Hopkins's (still wicked hot) character, but they need to hit some different comedic beats between him and Jules. Also, Travis is way better playing off his mom than his dad. Two episodes in a row of Travis on the land boat is a waste. On a positive note, Christa Miller has improved two weeks in a row now.