The Wife:

Usually, the Tyra Shoot is my favorite shoot of the season, as I really do like Tyra as a photographer, but this Tyra Shoot was somewhat disappointing. Scarves, Tyra? Your inspiration for these photos actually came from you fucking around on your webcam with your headscarf on before beddy-byes? What inspiration! Couldn’t you at least have made up something about Renaissance paintings or India or old movie stars to make it sound more glamorous than the fact that you came up with this one in your final five minutes of waking consciousness?

Its okay, because Nicole doesnt look all that awake here, either.

It's okay, because Nicole doesn't look all that awake here, either.

Even less inspired than the scarf shoot was the Amazing Race through Wal-Mart CoverGirl challenge in which Nigel Barker and his wife Chrissy instructed the girls to wear cheap-ass “model basics” from Wal-Mart and compete in a foot race against the other girls to then acquire horrible-looking gladiator sandals, their photos, and, finally, put on a face full of CoverGirl lash blast lip slicks mascara gloss radiance whatever. In order to make this less droll, one or two girls got eliminated at each station, leaving on Erin, Sundai and Bianca in the final three. Furthermore, the editors honed in on Erin’s competitiveness and made the whole race about how she pushed people and hurt them and played dirty, which later made her cry in a limo. Look, she shouldn’t have grabbed on to anybody’s arm, but when you’re racing through Wal-Mart, you really shouldn’t even bother to pretend that you’ve got a sense of race etiquette that would keep you to politely running around your competitors, rather than barreling through them. All that didn’t help Erin win, though, because the Barkers liked Sundai’s cheeks, so they gave her some inconsequential prize like being on the Wal-Mart website.

Tyra then did her scarf thing, and gave one girl immunity immediately after the shoot. That girl was Brittany, who has won two things, but Erin thinks two is a million. So Brittany was given the much better prize of shooting with two male models that Tyra just discovered, because this prize, ultimately, had to be about Tyra’s merits, not Brittany’s.

Emerging from Tyras womb.

Emerging from Tyra's womb.

As for the rest of the photos:

  • Brittany: With a golden scarf across her face, this reminded me of an Anne Geddes shot of a baby in muslin.
  • Erin: Is Erin’s deal that she’s ugly pretty? She looked like a raisin in this photo. I do not understand.
  • Kara: Looks like an unpleasant drag queen, which is kind of the point, I guess.
  • Ashley: Her clothing at judging was a hot mess, and this photo was one, too. In fact, Tyra had to change her setting three times during the shoot to even get this disaster. Which just goes to show you: not every girl you pick out of a talk show audience can be a model.
  • Laura: Wearing a playset her meemaw made her to panel that I totally adored, I also adored her photo. She looked like a J.A.L. David odalisque.

    Whats an odalesque?

    What's an odalisque?

  • Bianca: Why is this girl so mad in every photo? She’s got stank face in every damn one of ‘em.
  • Rae: Lovely, lovely, lovely.
  • Nicole: Hunched over in a green scarf, Nicole once again knocked it out of the park.
  • Sundai: A nice, simple beauty shot.
  • Jennifer: This is a nice shot, but is it a beauty shot? It shows more body than face, but it does hide her bad eye . . . so  . . . draw?

Callouts: Jennifer, Rae, Nicole, Erin, Laura, Sundai and Kara, leaving Ashley and Bianca in the bottom two. This being Bianca’s third bottom two appearance, she was finally ousted. Praise Jesus!

The Husband:

So…we can all agree that Nicole is awesome, and certainly the frontrunner, right? Her weirdness hasn’t turned off too many people, has it? Walking around her high school with her books in a wheelbarrow isn’t tooooo strange, is it?

Our precious!

Our precious!

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The Wife:

So far, I can easily divide this season of Gossip Girl into things I care about and things I do not care about. I am interested in all things going on at NYU, including Blair’s adjustment to not being Queen, Georgina’s meddling, Dan’s sudden popularity and the Vanessa/Scott thing that, inevitably, ties into Rufus. I do not care about Nate’s extremely isolating romance with Bree Buckley, specifically because it is so isolating. I like Joanna Garcia and I like Bree and the idea behind this plot, but Nate needs to reconnect to the rest of the group of this plot will remain just as lost as its been so far this season.

I especially do not give a shit about Serena Van Der Woodsen and her daddy issues. Her life is a series of bad decisions which could easily be fixed by simply acting like a person. Rather than going to Brown like she told Rufus and Lily she should, she hides out with her friends in Manhattan because, suddenly, she’s decided she’s not going to college. Why? Because she doesn’t know who she is or what she’s supposed to do with her life and she can’t see how leaving everything she knows is going to help her answer either of those questions. And that, my friends, is how you know Serena is too fucking dumb to go to Brown in the first place. I mean, what? I’m pretty sure that NO college freshmen has any idea who they are or what they’re life should be, and that’s precisely why we go to college for four years, away from everything we know, so we can FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT.

So because Chuck talked to Rufus about her skipping out on Brown, she decides to ruin all of his business deals? And pit Chuck against Carter? Serena, you are infantile and an idiot. You do not come between someone and their money. You can mess with their social life all you want, but you don’t ruin someone’s business. Even fucking Tyra Banks knows that shit, yo. Just be a person, Serena. Be a fucking person.

Why are we so bad at being people?

Why are we so bad at being people?

While Serena is having a difficult time operating like a human being, Blair is having a hard time fitting in at NYU, where no one gives a shit if you’re a socialite and would really rather have pizza and beer and watch pretentious films that make you feel superior than, say, getting dressed to the nines and eating sushi and sake at a soiree. Dan takes pity on her and helps integrate her into Georgina’s way-more-appropriate rooftop kegger, only to find out that he’s been Blair’s inside man for embarrassment when she calls all of Georgina’s Jesus Camp friends to the party and tries to tell everyone it’s a conversion party. I mean, that’s pretty genius, and I’m surprised that Dan was able to turn everyone so quickly from Blair’s side simply by saying, “So, who wants to stay here and drink cheap beer with me?”

I feel badly for Blair. It’s hard to fit in when you’re so different from everyone else, but it is about time she got off her Queen Bee high horse. That shit may fly in high school, but college just doesn’t care. It’s good to see her humbled, cozying up to Chuck Bass, but that, of course, doesn’t last long when she receives an invitation to Le Table Elitaire, a totally made up secret society of college socialites, asking her to bring them a photo up for auction at Sotheby’s to secure her entrance into the group. Unfortunately, Chuck needs the same photograph to smooth over a business deal. What follows is an adorable bidding war between Chuck and Blair, which is actually a battle of who loves more than whom in their relationship. Serena, acting like a person, for once, realizes that the invite was written by Georgina, just as Chuck realizes that Georgina was turning his gears as well, via an office assistant she happens to know. Humbled once again, Blair gives the photograph over to Chuck for his business deal, which ultimately doesn’t go through when he decides, instead, to sell his shares in Bass Industries and buy a hotel on his own.

Meanwhile, Vanessa has finally started to get suspicious about Scott’s lies and finds out, after we all realize that she’d make a terrible detective, that he isn’t even enrolled in NYU. She does manage to get an easy confession out of him, where he tells her that he is Rufus and Lily’s son and he’s been trying to get close to the family to meet them. Vanessa convinces him to tell everyone at the auction, but when Scott’s adoptive mother shows up, he simply can’t tell Rufus the truth, lest he break his mother’s heart. Instead, he tells them that he is Dead Andrew’s brother, maintaining the lie that Andrew was Rufus and Lily’s son, and he wanted to meet his brother’s parents. It’s all very sweet, and was probably one of the most loving things anyone in the GG universe has ever done, but Vanessa is not happy with Scott because now she is burdened with his terrible secret. And, suddenly, I don’t think I care about Vanessa anymore.

Stray thoughts:

  • “The only queens at NYU are the ones with tickets to Liza at Carnegie.” — Chuck
  • I love Blair’s saffron wrap top.
  • Did it bother anyone else that Scott’s lies could have easily been confirmed by, oh, I dunno, looking on NYU’s website and checking course times? As well as confirming professor recommendations through ratemyprofessors.com? In a world where everyone gets gossip via text blasts, why can’t these characters use the internet?
  • OH.MY.GOD. It just dawned on me that no one has received any conniving text blasts from Gossip Girl. Where did the central conceit of this show go?
  • Oh, and there’s some old wounds between the Bayson family and the Buckleys . . . maybe this will solve Nate’s storyline isolation problem as Bree plans her revenge on Carter?

The Wife:

Sometimes it is absolutely impossible to care about what happens on ANTM, and last night was one of those nights. We’re happy to announce that, thanks to our next-door neighbors being friends with people, our cat Calliope has returned home to us. As far as we can tell, she’s alright, just starving. She’s lost a lot of weight, but she’s eating a ton here and, I think, is really grateful to be dry and near her people who will rub her little chinnies and snuggle with her.

But even if my cat hadn’t found her way back to me last night, it still would have been impossible to care about ANTM. Here’s the essence of the show in a nutshell: Lulu and Ashley complain about Bianca any time they are not individually in front of a camera. Now, I do think Bianca has a stank-ass attitude, and I also think she needs to get a new face in her photos that doesn’t look so damn haughty all the time. But Ashley and Lulu’s complaints extend far beyond Bianca’s bad behavior and seem to exist simply so they can have some thoughts in their heads at all. I’m glad sensibly insane Nicole, whom I adore, took the time to socialize with Bianca and have a “very real” conversation about the abusive relationship Bianca was in. I’d forgotten all about where Bianca’s hardness stemmed from, and while I don’t like her more for that reminder, I do like Ashley and Lulu a lot less. You know what’s less becoming on a model than short stature? Pettiness. Just stop it, ladies. Stop it.

The challenges of this episode were all about walking tall and looking tall, which Tyra justified as a necessary achievement for a petite model because if they want to compete, they need to be able to hold their own against gajillion-foot tall Glamazons. I mean, that’s how Kate Moss made it at only 5’7” right? So Miss J taught the girls how to walk tall and lean, and showed them that doing so was, in fact, so easy a 9 year old child named Diva Devanna could do it.

Even this child is bored with this episode.

Even this child is bored with this episode.

He then showed them how to walk in tandem so they could do their challenge — a runway show where each petite girl was paired up with a model 5’10” or greater. Sure, a number of them walked tall, but in the same way that a tall Chihuahua walks next to a Great Dane. Most of them tried to be overconfident, but appeared foolish. Especially the really short girls because the models they were walking with had legs that went up to their boobs. Brittany the Mathematician won the challenge by being both overconfident and graceful, which was apparently the right formula for a good walk, according to Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen Magazine Anne Shoket. Brittany was awarded a prom advertorial in said magazine and got to bring two friends. To my delight, she chose Laura. Inexplicably, she also chose Kara.

The girls were then asked to parlay their tall-walking skills into tall-photographing skills. To me, this seems to be the most sensible challenge Top Model has ever created. Everyone in the industry wants to look tall, long and lean in a photo. Hell, even non-models want that. However, any sensibility of concept was thrown right out the window when I saw the set . . . which was a playground. Because short women are basically nine-year-old runway divas playing at being adults, women, models, etc. To be fair, some of the girls had warehouse equipment to pose with, or twin-sized mattresses or things of that ilk, but the fact that the playground was there was really bothersome. They wanted to put something there to scale it so that the girls posing in front of it would appear taller, but it could have been anything. It didn’t have to be playground equipment. I really wish Bankable Productions would stop infantilizing these tiny women.

  • Erin: In blue high heels, Erin’s legs certainly looked tall and the judges oohed and aahed. Frankly, I don’t get it. I do not get Erin. At all. It’s a fine photo, but Erin is not special.
  • Bianca: Finally, by asking her to think about Jesus, Mr. Jay got some sunshine to emanate from this girl’s generally sour puss. She did not, however, do a very good job of making herself look long, slightly hunched and sitting in the playground rings.
  • Brittany: Homegirl straight-up failed this assignment, which lets me know that she is not into geometry. She lost her neck and shortened her legs and by trying to bring interesting angles to the shot — she just didn’t actually achieve any.

    On the bright side, this would be a good vampire look for when Bill finally turns Sookie Stackhouse.

    On the bright side, this would be a good vampire look for when Bill finally turns Sookie Stackhouse.

  • Sundai: The judges think she looks tall in this shot, stretching her arms up to the sky. I think she looks like she’s 5’3” and can’t reach the cookie jar.
  • Laura: By placing herself on a warehouse flat truck and being its exact length, she shortened herself. To her credit, she looks great in green and her face, as always, was lovely in this shot.
  • Jennifer: Her photo made her appear to be the tallest Asian woman in the world. And no one noticed her lazy eye! Double plus good!
  • Nicole: Once again, Nicole is the best model in this house. In a shot that would make a great promo version for the ballet of The Princess and the Pea or a romantic interpretation of Once Upon a Mattress, Nicole stood a gajillion feet tall. Amazing. Amazing. Win.

    Why is this bitch not getting first photo every goddamn week?

    Why is this bitch not getting first photo every goddamn week?

  • Lulu: On set, Mr. Jay called his Lulu’s worst set to date. Curved around the rainbow bars, she at least alluded to length, even if she was blank in the face because she’d wasted all of her emotions bitching about Bianca.
  • Kara: She managed to achieve what Brittany couldn’t and both looked tall while creating angles.
  • Rae: I think that, with her legs hanging of that palate, she looked tall, but the judges tell me my knowledge of angles is incorrect.
  • Ashley: The judges liked her angles here, but she totally failed at smizing. DO NOT FAIL AT THE SMIZE.

In the end, Kara, Nicole. Erin, Sundai, Jennifer, Bianca, Laura, Ashley and Rae all continued on in the hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model, leaving Lulu and Brittany in the bottom two. And because Brittany is another person Lulu complained about, that meant she got to stay while little lezzie Lulu got to go home to her girlfriend.

Know what’s more interesting than models complaining about stuff? A cat.

Stray thoughts:

  • So, I guess we don’t have any “My Life as a Covergirl” commercials this year. I presume this is because Teyona did not test well on camera last year, which I’m pretty sure I wrote about. Extensively.
  • The good news is that we’re still getting Nigel’s “Top Models in Action” spots, from which I was glad to learn that McKey has graced the pages of Vogue Knitting. Someone get me that back issue!

The Husband:

I don’t have much to say, but I do feel proud for simply looking at designer Kevan Hall and proclaiming that he had to be the brother of actor (Chicago Hope, Romeo + Juliet) and director (Gridlock’d) Vondie-Curtis Hall. I know my 90s actors, and people who look like them. I would not have guessed, though, that Kevan was straight, but therein lies my constant misconceptions about the world of fashion, about which my wife is far more knowledgeable.

The Wife:

Remember how we never saw Liam’s parents last season? Well, let me just say that the fact that he has a mother and stepfather shocked the hell out of me. The moment his mother appeared on screen, I was like, “Who the fuck is that?” And then to see his stepfather walk into the scene, none other than recently deceased Dr. Bowman from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, well, that was a treat. A treat because this is what I wrote in my notes:

“Dr. Bowman! You shouldn’t be alive! You’re dead! You died a horrible death because Grace had incredible sex!”

Man, if you guys aren’t watching Secret Life, you are missing out on some hilarious stuff.

For once, Liam’s parents seem to be taking an interest in his life, trying to guide him better after his summer at “Wilderness Camp,” which, frankly, sounds like one of those places that tries to “rehabilitate” gay kids. (That’s exactly the kind of place I’d send a kid who managed to break into my plastic surgery practice and steal my patients credit cards, somehow.) Their presence in his life means, essentially, that Jen Clark can manipulate them info forcing Liam to stay away from Naomi, should he ever decide to tell her that it was Jen he slept with, not Annie.

Listen, it doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. I'm going to make your life hell because I'm a sociopath.

Listen, it doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. I'm going to make your life hell because I'm a sociopath.

Naomi spends most of the episode flirting with the idea of sending out a naked picture of Annie, copied from the phone of that drunk douche she hooked up with last week, and, therefore, flirting with geeks to anonymously achieve that end. When Navid, Silver and Adriana hear the rumor that someone has a naked picture of Annie, they try to warn her and her brother. Dixon doesn’t really give a shit what happens to Annie anymore because her depression spiral its hurting her whole family, but Silver genuinely tries to help her. Annie even goes so far as to admit that she slept with Liam just to convince Naomi not to send the picture. This works to plant a seed of doubt into Naomi’s mind, until manipulative sister Jen, after explaining why she’s using Ryan Matthews to make it appear that she’s not a golddigger and therefore more easily snag a billionaire, recalls a similar situation about their father’s affairs and how their mother should have believed the circumstantial evidence because it ended up being true. Then and there, Naomi decides to send the text, ruining Annie’s life even further.

I’ve seen American Teen. I know that sexting is no joke and it really does ruin people’s lives. I can’t help but feel badly for Annie. She might be able to overcome the sexting scandal if the hit-and-run weren’t also looming over her head. By the way, what a great way to drive the mess that is Annie’s life home by airing Navid’s contentious interview with newcomer Teddy Montgomery just as Annie finds out about the sext. In this interview, which was laden with provocative questions simply because Navid feels threatened by the fact that Teddy was the first guy Adriana slept with, Navid asks Teddy if anything bad has ever happened to him, and he says that he saw a dead homeless man last June on Mulholland, killed by a hit-and-run driver. BOOM! That, my friends, is dramatic tension.

Stray thoughts:

  • I clearly didn’t pay much mind to the Silver-Dixon breakup in this episode. But poor Silver. Her friends are giving her bad advice, and Dixon is being a douche.
  • Hi there, Rumer Willis! Cute black cardi!
  • Wow, that’s so not the house Naomi bought last year!
  • Girls double-talk like Chinese food. I’m not going to explain that any further.
  • Was it just me, or did anyone else think of Star Trek when watching the surf team tryouts? Nobody wears such brightly colored rash guards. Liam, Teddy and Dixon all looked like they were on the bridge of the Enterprise in those things. And, clearly, Dixon, with his new flattop, would be Geordi LaForge. Am I right, kids?
Please revive Reading Rainbow so Tristan Wilds can host it!

Please revive Reading Rainbow so Tristan Wilds can host it!

The Wife:

With 90210, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries on the air (the latter of which I plan to write about by pairing the first two episodes), the CW seems to have finally settled into its groove of airing addictive, soapy teen-centric television that’s imminently watchable. This week’s season premiere of Gossip Girl wasn’t as OMFG as certain episodes in season one or two, but it was a well structured, well told 42 minutes of television.

And it has the bonus of not sucking like last year’s Hamptons-set season openers. The showrunners figured out that GG simply doesn’t work without NYC, so I’m very thankful that the majority of this episode occurred within the limits of the city that never sleeps. I mean, after all, the Humphreys aren’t even living over the bridge in Brooklyn anymore. They’ve spent the whole summer shacked up at the Bass der Woodsen home, tending to matters while Lily is away caring for her ailing mother, CeCe. (In other words, Kelly Rutherford is on maternity leave, so they’re killing CeCe for no other reason than that. I just hope she miraculously survives so that Jenny can have that stupid Cotillion Cece bought her a dress for.)

Serena, on the other hand, has allegedly been spending the summer Eat, Pray, Love-ing it at an Ashram, but we know from Eric and Jenny’s fussing over gossip magazines that Serena is up to something else entirely — she’s actually spent the summer trying to find her father. Of course, rather than normal methods of tracking someone down using various PIs (she only hired one) and other professional people finders like, say, bounty hunters, Serena is trying to force her father to notice her by partying it up across the European continent and having her photo snapped doing as many ridiculous socialite things as possible. Searching for daddy is a good quest, but I have to question Serena’s methodology here. She’s been tabloid fodder for years and that hasn’t drawn the attention of Mr. Van der Woodsen. Why would it change now? All I can hope is that this plotline somehow gets her kicked out of Brown so she can rejoin the others in the city. As I know from a classmate who “left” that school, the door to Brown doesn’t swing both ways, if you catch my drift.

We're all sorry about Privileged, JoAnna. Enjoy your consolation guest spot on Gossip Girl!

We're all sorry about Privileged, JoAnna. Enjoy your consolation guest spot on Gossip Girl!

Meanwhile, Nate Archibald continued his attempts to piss off his family by turning down his political internship and touring Europe for the summer. He met up with Vanessa for those Prague peroghi, but otherwise spent the entirety of his trip fucking around with JoAnna Garcia’s Bree Buckley. It takes these two wealthy morons the entire summer to figure out that they’ve actually been sleeping with the enemy as they are the scions of two rival political families. (Shockingly, the Archibalds are Democrats. Does that seem right to anyone?) How do you spend an entire summer with someone and not learn their last name? Surely, he could have looked on the plane ticket she was using as a bookmark. Baffling.

Chuck and Blair have settled into a happy routine of keeping their romance alive by playing games with each other. They both pick a target for Chuck to seduce, and then Blair arrives just in time to humiliate the target of Chuck’s affection. These two are just a step away from attending swingers clubs together or practicing some BDSM. Actually, I’d love to see them engage in the latter. I just imagined Chuck Bass in a leather mask and ball gag, and it was really funny.

If anything is going to make "fetch" happen, it's this.

If anything is going to make "fetch" happen, it's this.

And then there’s Vanessa, who’s been paling around with Secret Brother Scott, the missing Hump der Woodsen, complaining about missing her nouveau riche friend Dan, chilling at a totally different coffee shop, wearing a lot of boho Anna Sui (hello, Target tie-in!) and, evidently, not combing her hair much. (Seriously, V, how dare you show up at a polo match with your tresses only a twist or two away from being dreads. Not cute.) She’s mad at Dan for his change in circumstance, which Dan insists is stupid, and it is, only Vanessa doesn’t see it that way because she’s embodying someone from a Jane Austen novel. This, however, is all a good opportunity for Secret Brother Scott to get closer to the Hump der Woodsens, attaching himself to Vanessa as her plus one for the aforementioned polo match and going so far as to shake his father’s hand.

The final element to this story is Carter Bayson, whom Serena apparently slept with during her European vacation, but for some reason doesn’t want to admit. So she tells her friends that Carter has been stalking her, which gets Blair to slap him with a restraining order at the polo match, only for Serena to lead Carter on a chase through the woods on a stolen stallion so they can fuck like dryads. Serena makes bad decisions. She’s very bad at being a human being. Just be a person, Serena! Tell people things! It will make your life a lot easier!

Stray thoughts:

  • Okay, GG wardrobe department, you can’t feature three different rompers in one episode. JoAnna Garcia’s yellow one was passable. I’ll even give you a pass for Jenny’s polkadot one. But Serena’s brown, skin-tight romper? No. That thing is hideous. I get that this is a trend, the romper/onesie, but it needs to happen sparingly. And tastefully.
  • I will be happy if I never see another maxi dress ever again, as well. NOT EVERYONE CAN WEAR A MAXI DRESS IN THE SAME SCENE!
  • So, thank you thank you thank you for Blair’s incredible 30s-inspired polo outfit. That mint green dress with the square back and flutter sleeves is one of the most inspired pieces of clothing I’ve seen on television since Pushing Daisies went six feet under. The pink straw cloche was also a great touch.
  • “Now take your American Girl hair and your poreless skin and get out!” — Blair
  • “Well, that’s not fair. Everyone goes topless on Valentino’s yacht.” — Jenny
  • “I’m not Chuck Bass without you.” — easily the sweetest thing Chuck has ever said. I melt.
  • Favorite scene? Chuck and Blair doing a little restaurant-based foreplay roleplaying. So cute.

The Wife:

Something weird happened towards the end of the last season of this show. By which I mean, the show actually became imminently watchable. And when the new 90210 became watchable, that’s when I said I wasn’t going to come back and watch the second season.

Well, guys, it turns out that I was wrong, and the CW sucked me back in. As I don’t have classes until Sept. 30, I have nothing better to do then watch a perfectly fine hour of soapy teen television. The only bummer is that I can’t really mock the show anymore. But then again, maybe I just have to learn to write about it in a different way.

Upgrade!

Upgrade!

For instance, I don’t have much to say about the premiere of season 2 because there wasn’t really anything objectionable about it. It’s improved on so many levels. I find Adriana’s quest to be a normal person very relatable, and I get that seeing mommies happy with her babies would take her back a bit to what she recently gave up. Putting Naomi in bed with an older man (and the complications that will arise from this act) is a high-stakes plotting move, and, though the way it played out in this episode was obvious, I think it has a lot of potential further down the line. Annie’s out-of-control spiral looks incredibly promising, as does new troublemaker Teddy, who seems to complicate everybody’s lives. Let me break that down:

  • He was Adriana’s first lover, so Navid is instantly jealous.
  • He’s really cute, but because he was with Aid, Naomi can’t date him.
  • But that doesn’t matter, because he apparently wants Silver.
  • He finds Silver’s phone filled with texts from Ethan, and blurts that out in front of Dixon, causing her to lose both men in one fell swoop.
  • On the plus side, he does kind of save Navid’s cabana-stealing ass by throwing out his daddy’s name to appease angry beach club-goer Elizabeth Rohm (Angel), who also happens to be the wife of Naomi’s older lover.
  • P.S. He saw Annie commit her hit and run.

That shit is, like, Gossip Girl complicated, yo!

Even stylistically, this new season is full of promise. I love Silver’s new hair and have to admit that even though I’ve been growing mine out, I love her haircut so much that I am strongly considering getting it cut like hers. Silver has the cutest one-piece swimsuits in the world. I like the new opening credits. Everyone’s makeup and clothing looks more expensive, less thrown together out of Forever 21, more culled from Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. These are all good things. I’ll even throw a bone to Adriana’s extensions, which I think make Jessica Lowndes look far too much like Courtney Cox, but which I also can’t deny are a good look.

On a Dustin Milligan related note, from his work on 90210, I’d have had no idea the kid was a good actor, but he gives one hell of a funny performance as a boneheaded gigolo in Mike Judge’s Extract. Now that I know he isn’t a pod person, I wish he were still around on 9fneh. The potential was there, but no one ever figured out how to use it. I just hope Ethan is at peace, fly fishing his days away in Montana. And now I’m thinking about A River Runs Through It. And now I might cry a little bit, because that movie is amazingly gorgeous.

Aaaaaaaand . . . I can’t believe it took the writers until season 2 to make a “Hi-ho, Silver!” joke. Really. That should have happened ages ago.

So, it looks like you’ve hooked me, 90210. But I have managed to cleverly resist Melrose Place by TiNoing it. And every time I think about watching it, I find a better way to spend those 42 minutes. Like writing this, for instance.

The Husband:

While we, the children of Saint Clare, have found the time to write about many of the biggest shows on television (and even some small ones), there is only so much time and energy we can spend on this site. The truth is, we watch a whole lot more than what ends up on the site, and since I watch most of these on my own and yet never find the ability to write about them, their absence is mostly my fault. But no matter. For those that fall through the cracks, I have here a grab bag of the 30+ shows I watch in addition to whatever ends up on the site. These are the ones that slipped through the cracks. And hell, I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting (and also not even bothering writing about, which tend to fall under instructional/educational stuff like anything on Discovery), so if you think I’ve forgotten something, please let me know. (And no, I don’t watch any CSI or L&O shows, so don’t even try to get all up in my grill.) Here they are, the missing shows of the 2008-2009 television season, in alphabetical order.

24

I really should have written at least some criticism on this season, but work piled up and I simply didn’t have the time. It started off as the most intelligent season with some of the most compelling political questions being thrown around (welcome to the show finally, “debate on torture”), but by the fourth time Tony twisted his alliance and Jack was infected with the disease, I kind of stopped caring. Great first half of the season, though, and I think Renee is the best new character in a very long time.

Adult Swim (Xavier: Renegade Angel / Superjail! / Squidbillies / The Drinky Crow Show / Metalocalypse / Delocated / Robot Chicken / Etc.)

Thank you, young people of Adult Swim (who I have spent some time with, don’t forget) for freaking my mind week after week, and giving alternative comedy a major boost in America. And for freaking out my wife.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

Better Off Ted

It took me a couple episodes to latch onto the tone, but once I did I simply couldn’t get enough from this latest product of the mad mind of Victor Fresco. Check out some episodes online, then watch Andy Richter Controls the Universe (his previous show), and I guarantee you some of the oddest network comedy in a very long time. I still think Portia DeRossi is trying to hard, though, and should take a page from the book of Fresco mainstay Jonathan Slavin.

Castle

Bring it on, Nathan Fillion. Hypnotize me with your nostrils and your addictive but borderline-stupid mystery writer-cum-detective series. (Although how weird was that Judy Reyes episode? What the hell, Carla Turk?)

The Celebrity Apprentice 2

So sue me, I liked Joan Rivers. And the addition of the phrase “Whore Pit Vipers” to the television lexicon.

Celebrity Rehab (Sober House) with Dr. Drew

So help me, I can’t stop watching. It’s just a disaster. I will say, though, that I like the drama in the rehab far more than the sober house, as the latter seems to exist simply to destroy any progress the celebrities made in rehab. And now having seen all three of his seasons of Taxi, Jeff Conaway’s fall from grace is fishbowl television at its finest.

Dating in the Dark

Really fun, actually. I hope it gets a second season. I also hope that more matches will be made, and that people stop being massive failures.

Dirty Sexy Money

Everything I needed to say about the failure of the second season of this show can be found on this blog, and it ended its truncated run by turning itself inside-out by revealing that the show’s central mystery, who killed Peter Krause’s father, was a bust since he wasn’t dead after all. What the hell, Dirty Sexy Money? Oh well, your cancellation made room in Krause’s schedule for the much anticipated (by me) adaptation of Parenthood coming to NBC mid-season.

The Goode Family

It took a few episodes to find its footing, but by the end of its sped-up summer run, I was a major fan of the latest Mike Judge effort. (R.I.P. King of the Hill.) Vastly misunderstood by viewers who only watched the first episode, it, just like KOTH, found a middle ground between conservative America and liberal America and found the ability to make fun of both without drawing blood, choosing to love instead of hate. Some of the voice cast was misused (why was my beloved Linda Cardellini in the cast?), but as a Berkeley native, I had a blast relishing in mocking the stereotypes of my own people while rediscovering what it is I love so much about them. The bull dykes were also two of the most original characters of the season.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

The Great American Road Trip

Any show that has two contestants debating over which is more correct, “y’all” or “youse,” gets major points in my book. A nice and forgettable summer trifle after a long, way-too-hot day. Silly, yes, but I can’t say it was bad. And it was a definite improvement over the similar family-based season of The Amazing Race. (I’m sure The Soup is really grateful for this show, too.)

Heroes

Oh god, kill me now. Volume 4 was a marked improvement over #3, for sure, but I just don’t care about anybody anymore. And yet I feel that I need to keep watching. It’s too late to give up now. There was one great episode this season, though, and that was the flashback one surrounding Angela Petrelli’s stint at a mutant internment camp. Why can’t they all be this good?

Howie Do It

Yeah, I watched it. Shut the fuck up. About one-third of it was funny, and as I watched it on Hulu at work, it’s not like I wasted any of my own time. Howie Mandel is savvier than you think, but I wish he would return to his wilder roots.

How’s Your News

This Parker-Stone produced MTV show revolving around reporters who are developmentally delayed confused the hell out of me initially, but once I realized there wasn’t a mean bone in its body it became a warm bit of fun. I want a second season, dammit. These are some of the most joyful television subjects I’ve ever seen.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show

Better than the first season, but I’m still glad I only watch this online while doing something else.

In the Motherhood

Worst opening credit sequence of the year. Some pretty funny material hidden underneath unfunny slapstick. Horatio Sanz got thin. Megan Mullally couldn’t find a rhythm. I still think Cheryl Hines is oddly hot.

Lie to Me

I unfortunately didn’t start watching this until July, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. While gimmicky to a fault and not nearly as intelligent as it pretends it is, this Tim Roth vehicle about an FBI specialist who studies the subtleties of the face (OF THE FACE) is clever, compelling and well drawn. I’m not sure about the addition of Mekhi Phifer’s character, but we’ll see how it works out next season, especially with Shield creator Shawn Ryan at the helm of season two.

Life

This cancellation reallllly hurts. One of the unsung gems from the 2007-2008 television, this, the smartest network cop show in recent memory, took its great season one energy and hit the second season with all it had and came up with a compelling, hilarious, devilishly clever and gleefully violent run that was only marred by a major cast shift during the final few episodes. (I’m looking at you, Gabrielle Union. Your presence was what I like to call a massive failure.) A Zen-obsessed cop recently released from prison after serving over a decade for a murder he did not commit, this show had the best cases of them all. It also gave me one of my favorite hours of television of the year in an episode that revolved around a seductive assassin, fertilizer and pigeon aficionados. And at least the major serialized storyline (who framed Damien Lewis and why) got paid off in a major way thanks to the ever-reliable Garret Dillahunt.

lifeshot

My Boys

Putting PJ and Bobby together was a great idea, but your nine-episode seasons are too short to gain any momentum, and the spring training season finale was a bust.

Nitro Circus

Moronic glee.

Numb3rs

Man, did they put Charlie through the ringer. First, he nearly gets his brother killed with a miscalculation on his part, he questions his own validity as a mathematician and then Amita gets kidnapped just as he decides that he wants to marry her. Otherwise, another fine, if somewhat uneventful, of this show that never captured the glory of its über-nerdy first season. Also, thanks for all the great guest star work, but sometimes it gets laid on a little too thick, such as in “Sneakerhead” which brought together Bruno Campos, Patrick Bauchau, Dr. Edison from Bones and Eve. (And points for making the Liz Warner character actually bearable. I fucking hated her in season 4.

Privileged

So apparently the CW thought that their best idea ever was to get rid of this show, the smartest show on the UPN/WB merger since the Buffyverse, one that was technically pulling in bigger numbers than 90210, one that was a delight to watch and deeply addictive, and make room for what is sure to be one of 2009-2010’s worst new offerings, Melrose Place. I gotta tell ya, this cancellation hurts. While I wrote recaps and reviews of the episodes way into its freshman (and only) season, the looming axe, as well as a more heavily serialized structure, turned me off from writing on the final stretch of episodes, and I told myself that I’d only recap them if the show came back. Lo and behold, another Joanna Garcia vehicle has gone down the tubes. I’ll miss you oh so dearly, Ms. Too-Smart-For-The-CW Palm Beach satirical melodrama known as Privileged.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

Rescue Me

I thought it was a great season, and thanks to an extended number of episodes (it didn’t air in 2008 thanks to the writer’s strike), the show was able to focus much of its energy on pages-long dialogue-happy battle-of-wits in nearly episode, which to be is melodrama heaven. Gone is the maudlin tone, returned is all the comic energy, and the stories seem to actually progress instead of just flopping around like a dying fish. Leary and Tolan deserve major praise for bringing the show back up to snuff. And now having seen all of Newsradio, I love any chance I get to watch Maura Tierney, although I’m still not going to watch ER. (I am proud to have only seen three episodes of that show ever, being a Chicago Hope fan.) Special shot-out to the Sean cancer storyline, if only to allow Broadway actor Steven Pasquale (husband of Tony winner Laura Benanti) the opportunity to belt out some songs in a handful of hallucination scenes.

Samantha Who?

One of the biggest upsets of the last two years was the rise and fall of this light-hearted, occasionally gut-busting amnesia sitcom that started off the talk of the town, only to waste away its final episodes after the conclusion of the actual television season. Ending on a shitty cliffhanger (Sam’s parents are getting divorced, so Mom is going to live with you and your formerly-estranged-but-now-love-of-your-life lover), we nevertheless found out who caused the accident that brought about Sam’s amnesia, Jennifer Esposito finally made it with the towel boy, and Melissa McCarthy continued to be one of the brightest stars of the year.

Scrubs

Like Privileged, I hesitated to continue writing due to the threat of its cancellation, but now it’s continuing on into yet another season (albeit with some major changes), so I really have no reason to stop writing about it. But let’s just say that while the hurry-up to conclude its many disparate storylines often felt rushed (those two Bahama episodes felt especially odd), the conclusion to J.D.’s years-in-the-telling tale was a lovely way to conclude the season. (No props for the awful awful Peter Gabriel song that accompanied his final walk down the hallway, as laughably bad as it was when I heard it in the remake of Shall We Dance?)

The Shield

I don’t have to tell you how amazing the final season was. Watch it. Seriously. You owe it to yourself to experience one of the hardest hitting cop shows of all time. Like The Wire, a Greek tragedy hammered into modern-day policework with some of the most finely drawn characters around. And oh man, did those final three episodes pack a major punch. Ouch, indeed.

Southland

Quite a bit like The Shield, really, had it followed Michael Jace’s beat cop instead of the Strike Team. A little too dour at times for me to really give a crap, and the sprawling ensemble needs to be cut down (which is what I hear it’s doing for the second season), but this L.A.-centered procedural has a lot going for it, not least of which its pitch-perfect direction. (I especially dig the long shots, including my favorite, which involved a cabin and a K9 unit bringing down a perp.)

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Surviving Suburbia

A sitcom in serious need of finding one tone and sticking with it, this sometimes-sweet-sometimes-brutally-cruel suburban comedy worked as well as it did because of Saget as well as G. Hannelius’ performance as the precocious daughter. Still, all the jokes about disabled people, pregnant teenagers and strip clubs really didn’t mesh together with the clichés of the genre.

Survivor: Tocantins

I love Survivor, but this was one of the most boring seasons in its ten-year run. I don’t think I gave a shit about one person, and I simply couldn’t find anything compelling to write about. A waste of a good location.

True Beauty

The right person won, the losers got (mostly) schooled in this trick show designed to expose the douchery involved in modeling, Ashton Kutcher made another heroin-like show, and I concern myself for months with how they can pull the trick off a second time in the next season.

The Unusuals

When grading a cop show, I tend to focus on three things — the tone, the characters and the cases. A bizarre, pessimistic yet comedic take on all those wacky cops we’ve seen throughout the years all thrown together (one is deathly afraid of…death, one has a brain tumor, one talks in the third person, one is a closeted socialite, etc.) pushed into some remarkably dark territory, The Unusuals had tone and characters down pat, but suffered at the hands of some DOA storylines. But oh man, did the tone ever make up for most of the show’s shortcomings. Great ensemble cast, too, although I would have recast Eddie Alvarez.

Rather unusual.

Rather unusual.

Worst Week

A breezy and often hilarious slapstick comedy based off of a British hit, it could never regain its momentum after moving away from the initial “week” of the title. Kyle Bornheimer is a true find and made the more unbearable misunderstandings and embarrassing moments of the show (of which there were many) all the more palatable. I’m not the biggest fan of comedy based around humiliations, but this show found a likeable ability to have its characters not completely despise each other at every moment. This was, to say the least, very refreshing. Big points for giving me the biggest network TV laugh of the year (when Bornheimer wakes up his brother-in-law only to be thought a murderer) but major negative points for pushing back a major character-based episode into a weekend spot months after the show had already ended its run.