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Monday Night Recap: "Dancing With the Stars," "How I Met Your Mother," "2 1/2 Men"

By admin Published: April 14, 2009

I've customarily done in-progress recaps of "DWTS" as it airs, but my schedule and energy level just haven't made that possible lately. I'll show Len Goodman what hectic looks like! I did watch the show, though, and posted a brief note on Twitter and FB. Some longer notes, as well as comments on my Monday comedies, after the jump.

For me, "Dancing With the Stars" has settled into a three-way race among Gilles Marini, Shawn Johnson and Lil' Kim, and my two favorites are Gilles and Kim. Melissa Rycroft has gotten a good ride out of her long legs and her "Bachelor" history (referenced yet again last night in the ring conversation), but I don't think she's in the league of the other three. As the judges noted, she lacks some passion, and last night would have been a perfect opportunity to show it. Johnson is hampered on the hotter dancers by her youth and the show's wish to keep her dances "age appropriate," so Melissa could have made more points by steaming things up -- and couldn't quite do it.

Still, Gilles, Len's "hectic" comments notwithstanding, is a dazzler, and I really like Lil' Kim, so I'd be very happy with them in the finals. (Wouldn't kick, though, if Shawn got there.) So where does that leave everyone else? Ty Murray continues to look uncomfortable on the dance floor; he has his moments but I don't think he'd be too upset if his run ended. Lawrence Taylor had one of his better nights, but he's still not in league with the big three.

Steve-O isn't a good dancer, and he also looked ill at ease last night. That said, he's not a 4; that's just Len trying to run him off. Long before Steve-O performed, I predicted he would get straight 5's just because he's Steve-O; he managed to just about hit that total with a 16, although the individual scores were crazily divergent -- 7 from Carrie Ann, 4 from Len, 5 from Bruno. Of course, this was one of those nights when Len had his crankypants on very tight.

As for Chuck Wicks, well, once again I had to look at a contestant list before realizing he was still on the show. He is very lucky to have girlfriend Julianne Hough as a dance partner, but he is thoroughly unmemorable.

As for my comedies, I like the way "How I Met Your Mother" is bringing Barney's love for Robin closer to center stage. And we got another example last night of how close in personality -- and therefore well matched -- Barney and Robin really are, with both the look at Robin's sad dating life and her sleeping with Ted's assistant. (BTW, I remember some other show where a character had a superfluous assistant but am blank on which one. Help!). Good work by both of them. Nice way to get Lily out of the show so Alyson Hannigan could have her baby. And I guess I can live better with their not trying that hard anymore to hide Cobie Smulders's pregnancy, than with elaborate attempts to keep it covered.

The stuff at Marshall/Barney's office was all right -- liked Fantasy Guy showing up as a Robin date -- but not paid off that well. And the Ted-procrastinating storyline was just another demonstration of how uninteresting Ted can be. He's the Chuck Wicks of "HIMYM."

"Two and a Half Men," meanwhile, still makes me laugh. Sometimes it's at very stupid things, like Jake and the toilet paper, or Alan testing his watch in the water pitcher. But laugh I do. And the payoff to Chelsea's descriptions of her nightmarish mom was effective and suitably brief; if we had actually seen the dinner with Evelyn, it would have been overkill after the blast of lines when Charlie brings Chelsea's mom home.

But here's my beef with "Men": Does anyone else find Jennifer Taylor's Chelsea a bad fit for the show? I keep thinking that she looks like the kind of woman Charlie would want, and therefore willing to think about settling down with. But she doesn't seem to be acting in the same show as everyone else; her line readings seem to take things more seriously than the dialogue calls for. I suppose she's meant to provide a measure of realism for Charlie -- a departure from farcical past relationships -- but it puts the show off balance.

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