Well the shit CERTAINLY hit the fan on last night’s Revenge. To be fair, the shit always hits the fan on every episode of Revenge, which is probably why I love it so much. But last night — man, this was SERIOUS shit hitting a SERIOUS fan. As in, someone just ate three burritos and backed their bootay up to an industrial sized machine reserved solely for blowing air into Beyoncé’s locks. Am I taking this metaphor too far? Perhaps. But is it wrong that I found a way to reference Beyoncé and an allusion to diarrhea in my opening paragraph? I should say not.
But I digress. Last night’s Revenge was oh so good. Needless to say, if you haven’t caught up yet, stop what you’re doing right now because the rest of this recap will spoil a deliciously fun hour (I say that as I raise a pinky to my mouth).
Revenge was on fire last night. So many great things happened: Jack got beat up (yes!), Victoria seethed extra hard (yes!), and Lydia rolled into Grayson Manor with a gun-turret attached to her wheelchair and plowed down anyone in sight. Okay, maybe that last thing didn’t happen, but oh, if it had, this might have been a perfect episode. The show was definitely in the campy, pulpy zone — as best exemplified by the soaring, EVIL strings that played when Daniel proposed to Emily in the rain (by placing what appeared to be a Super Bowl ring on her finger). On a lesser soap, we would have been treated to joyous music signaling young love and sturdy umbrellas. But here on Revenge, the director played up the film-noire, femme-fatale qualities of Emily, turning this supposedly wonderful life-event into a dark and mysterious affair.
This, of course, was made all the better by Madeleine Stowe, who as Victoria, embraced her son’s new engagement with all the enthusiasm of a woman being punched in the stomach. She succeeded in expressing utter disapproval with the iciest of smiles — perhaps the coldest, meanest rictus we’ve ever seen on network television. Beware the Victoria Grayson smile. It will kill you.
Revenge got back to basics last night as the show returned to its fun format of introducing a guest star and then utterly decimating his or her life by the hour’s end. This week’s sap: a smarmy biographer named Mason Treadwell (played by Broadway star and Desperate Housewives creep Roger Bart) who capitalized on David Clarke’s downfall by burying him in slanderous prose. It’s no wonder that Emily was so quick to pull out her SHARPIE OF DOOM and mark a big, fat X on his face.
After a tortuous break, Revenge returned to the airwaves last night with a rather action-packed episode — one that saw Tyler finally reach his breaking point, alternately threatening the Hamptons’ elite with knives, guns, and unhinged self-destruction. You see, Tyler had been on a downward spiral ever since his murky plans to ingratiate himself into the Grayson family began unraveling. It also didn’t help that his gay-ish crush on Daniel had gone unrequited. At the heart of both stymied plots was none other than Emily herself, and as we all know, there’s only room for one psychotically deranged bitch on the South Shore.
Revenge returned to the airwaves last night after a brief break, and I’m proud to announce it continues to be a loony, delirious mess. I had nearly forgotten where we were in the Thorne-Grayson intrigue, and an opening scene featuring some martial arts training between Emily and her sansei Satoshi had me seriously scratching my head. Does Emily really have her own private Mr. Miyagi? Are we really going down this road? Yes, we are. I had forgotten that the man had arrived after having received a distress call from Emily in the previous episode (an episode I have scant memory of thanks to having watched it at 3 AM slightly drunk).
Anyway, Satoshi had responded to the klieg light Bat-signal by pretending to be a potential investor in Grayson Enterprises (or whatever the family business is called). What Conrad and hunky aspiring corporate wannabe Daniel didn’t realize was that Satoshi was no investor but in fact Emily’s secret mentor (not to be confused with her OTHER secret mentor, C.C.H. Pounder). Anyway, Satoshi is one of those conveniently super-wealthy people who has $50 million to spare for the sake of a clever ruse. Same goes for Nolan, who managed to drop a cool $20 million investment with Grayson, courtesy of Tyler — Nolan’s main squeeze / rentboy / con-artist target.
In case you didn’t know, I am wholeheartedly on the Revengebandwagon, and I’m glad I joined when I did. The show is now plunging unapologetically into hardcore soap territory, as evidenced by placing Lydia in a wheelchair with amnesia (Lydia has the amnesia, not the wheelchair — although, don’t get me wrong. I would LOVE a show about a wheelchair that can’t remember things).
The past two weeks of Celebrity Apprentice have been epic, starting with Nene and Star’s massive brawl and ending with, well, Meat Loaf and Star’s massive brawl. In the middle we have laughter and tears — but mostly tears, thanks to Mr. Loaf’s highly emotional turn as Project Manager. Nearly everything caused him to bawl on camera, a wondrous sight that reminded us of how many layers of crazy this spectacular season has. It almost makes you forget the Warwick-Busey era. Almost.
I think it’s time to officially stick a fork in American Idol. I never say that about TV shows. If anything, I stick by their side way longer than I ever should (read: Gossip Girl). But Idol is the pits. And contrary to what most people are saying, it’s not the singers’ faults. Sure, we could have a better group, but to be honest, the five (now four) remaining singers are ten times better than the majority of last season’s boring bunch.
No, the real problem comes from the judges, who barely seem able to offer up any worthwhile criticism. Most people think the fun of Idol is see how the singers fare from week to week, but that is only part of the equation. It’s the rush of watching someone soar and receive glorious praise. And it’s the schadenfreude of witnessing an all-out failure, followed by soul-crushing critiques. Sure, the singing is important, but it’s the judges’ responses that keep us on the edge of our seats.
This season, however, has been a total failure for judging. Steven Tyler refers to everything as a “beautiful thing,” J-Lo encourages everyone to “push harder,” and Randy Jackson merely announces that everyone is “IN IT TO WIN IT.” Why even bother watching this show if it’s the same thing every week?
The last time I wrote about American Idol, I was on a plane to NY, about to embark on a 12 day family vacation. I was going to weigh in with my thoughts on the previous night’s performance episode, but after having endured yet another week of softball critiques from the judges, I decided to place my attention on Steven, Jennifer, and Randy. I posted “10 Things the ‘American Idol’ Judges Might As Well Be Judging Instead,” and much to my surprise, the post went pretty viral. I think that’s because most viewers are getting fed up with the same useless praise week after week. Is there anything Steven Tyler doesn’t find “Beautiful. Just beautiful.” Is there any performer that Jennifer Lopez doesn’t think should loosen up on stage and keep “pushing harder?” And is there any contestant who Randy doesn’t think is “IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!”?
There was a part of me in my heart of hearts that hoped my little post would have gone viral enough to reach the producers of American Idol and perhaps inspire them to tell their judges to change it up a bit. Sadly though, when I watched last night’s episode (I missed last week entirely), I realized that things were still the same. But to make matters worse: now we had to listen to ninety minutes of Carole King songs. I might as well lock myself in a Starbuck for ninety minutes instead.
Of course, Cindy is new to this all, and sometimes it can take a while for a newbie to make a name for herself. Let’s not forget that during her first season, Kelly Bensimon was just a quiet, pretty face for half the season until her epic blowout with Bethenny made her a villain like none other. There’s hope for Cindy yet!