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(Lots of) Stuff I Have Been Watching

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

Notes on "Dancing With the Stars," "House," "HIMYM," "Two and a Half Men," "Mike & Molly," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Amazing Race," "Saturday Night Live" and more, after the jump.

I am among those who believe that Sarah Palin was booed on Monday's "Dancing With the Stars" (even if Tom Bergeron has reportedly claimed the booing was for Jennifer Grey's scores). But I also believe that it may have helped Bristol -- that the judges' very kind treatment of Bristol, including generous scores, was in compensation for the booing. Her performance -- the last on the show, as ABC made the audience wait for one of the most talked about contestants -- was not the worst of the night but it was not as good as the scores implied.

Best of the night: Jennifer Grey, Audrina Patridge, Kyle Massey. Worst: Michael Bolton. Not the worst ever -- has everyone forgotten the night Master P had a TOTAL score of 8? -- but still awful, and Bolton well deserves to be sent home. Dogged by the judges: Florence Henderson was better than the scores indicated. Keeping good thoughts for: Margaret Cho.

Monday night also included a good episode of "House," which I previewed about a week ago; the whole House-and-Cuddy-going-public thing was much more entertaining than their one-on-one interaction the week ago.

"How I Met Your Mother" was another so-so episode, although NPH did fully commit to the "Lean on Me" sing-along. But the episode never seemed to find the right tone, and the laughs were sporadic. "Two and a Half Men" was amusing but, even more significantly, continued to remind audiences that is by far the dirtiest show on network television. And gets away with it.
The second installment of "Mike & Molly" was far funnier than the premiere, especially when Melissa McCarthy cut loose. Worth more viewing.

I have seen only about half of Monday's "Hawaii Five-O" yet but I did see enough to admire the way it figured out what it is after the pilot. Basically, it's a Big Dumb Action Movie made for the small screen -- lots of violence, wisecracking and noise -- but it knows how the format works. Alex O'Loughlin is still a bore, but Scott Caan is a lot of fun and pushes O'Loughlin in their banter. But I want more of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park; maybe in the second half of the episode? Anyway, it's not must-see but it was a nice way to disconnect some brain cells for an hour.

Sunday saw the return of "The Amazing Race," and it was a joy to see again. The usual mix of likable and unlikable contestants, beautiful views, funny moments (the Tattoos' confusion re boats and London) and at least one person I want to go home now. Was sorry about the elimination because the guys were amiable, but understandable; this is not a show where you can drive around lost for a long time.

And the watermelon!

I generally expect "Saturday Night Live" to amuse only with certain hosts, like Justin Timberlake and Jon Hamm, who are game for anything. But the season premiere with Amy Poehler, in spite of some dull spots, had a reasonable component of laughs in what I watched. (Skipped the last 10 minutes or so because the show had already started winding down.) Loved, for instance, how they handled the Katy Perry/Elmo debacle; the hair-restoration ad, and the end of the blind-gov segment being used to cut off any sentimentalizing about the departure of Jeff Zucker.

So that's some of what I've seen lately. I still have a bunch of things from Thursday to talk about, but I may wait for this week's shows before providing extended comment. Briefly: Good "CSI," funny "30 Rock" and "The Office," adequate "Grey's."

On another note, I won't be writing the results on "Dancing With the Stars" until late tonight or early tomorrow because I have a movie screening first.

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