Spend all week with your head stuck in the freezer trying to deal with the heat wave that covered much of the country? Here's what you missed on TV.
So That's Who Killed Rosie Larsen
Having not delivered a killer in the first season finale, The Killing handed over two in the second: campaign manager Jamie Wright (Eric Ladin), who's been the obvious candidate pretty much all along, beat Rosie up and threw her into the trunk of a campaign car, thinking she had overheard a discussion of his illegal casino deal with real estate developer Michael Ames (Barclay Hope). But it was Ames' secret lover, Rosie's Aunt Terry (Jamie Anne Allman), who actually sent the car into the lake as Ames and Wright argued nearby, not knowing Rosie was trapped in the trunk. Does this mean that if there's a season three (not likely, I think), there will be three killers?
Back to the Vamps
It turns out that True Blood is Fox News anchor Shepard Smith's favorite TV show: have you seen that clip where he derails a Lance Armstrong discussion to rant at length about how much he loves this show? In the second episode of season 5, we finally meet Roman (Christopher Meloni), the head of the Vampire Authority, under whose direction Bill (Steven Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) are given some old-school vampire-specific tortures: an intravenous tincture of liquid silver and (gasp!) UV rays. If you think you're supposed to see this as some kind of Vampire Guantanamo, you're right. They're not exactly subtle on this show.
Girls We Want To Like
Even after the season finale, I remain on the fence about Girls. It just seems like Lena Dunham can't decide on an emotional tone for her show. When Dunham's Hannah and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver) finally have the giant blow-out argument they should have had months ago, the scene is a powerful -- and extremely sweary -- blend of emotions that finally made me see why these people who barely seem to like each other have been dating. And then Adam just kind of randomly gets hit by a passing car, a dumb joke that all but negates the entire scene.
A Memorial That Works
I'm going to keep hyping Bunheads, a great series that not enough people are watching. As Fanny (Kelly Bishop) deals with her son's sudden death by planning a memorial service that quickly spirals completely out of control, Michelle (Sutton Foster) and Fanny's students transform the dance studio into a quiet, intimate memorial, during which the girls perform a lovely dance to one of Hubbel's favorite Tom Waits songs, "Picture In A Frame." After an episode that arguably got a touch too silly (did Michelle really just steal an old man's dog?), it was a genuinely touching, lovely moment.
Furthering the Mystique
On Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, like most late night shows, the musical guest usually just gets introduced and performs their latest single. Fiona Apple took the opportunity to further enhance her Troubled Kooky Girl image by preceding her new song "Anything We Want" with an unexpected bit of stage patter. "This is going to sound a little bit bitchy, but there's somebody that thinks the song I'm about to play is about them. It's not about you. Showing a billiard ball to the camera, she continued, "If you did not give me this, I'm not thinking about you. Yes, Fiona. We get it. You're very quirky and deep and nobody really understands you. Are you sure we weren't in drama club together in junior high?
A MasterChef's Blind-siding
The most buzzed-about contestant on the not-very-buzzed-about MasterChef is Christine, who is a competent chef despite being blind. Rival chef Ryan tried to take Christine out when he won the opportunity to assign an extra challenge to certain teammates during a competition: instead of using canned crabmeat, Christine had to dispatch and disassemble a live crab. Despite a few hairy moments, she not only did it with relative ease, her resulting dish won.
If that confusing mess of a premiere episode is any indication, CBS and the producers of Big Brother shouldn't have bothered to sue the makers of ABC's The Glass House. It's going to fail by itself just fine. And the public face of that failure will be the deluded Alex, who claims he's going to be "the most epic villain on reality TV," but is in fact an infantile attention hog whose exploits already have a bizarre stench of desperation about them. When you're already wearing another contestant's bikini in the first episode, you're not a villain, you're just a loser.
Battles Against Bullying
It nearly got lost amidst all the buzz about how Ann Curry is about to be fired from her role on NBC's Today, but her co-host Matt Lauer interviewed 68-year-old Florida bus monitor Karen Klein, the woman whose relentless bullying by a group of junior high boys went viral earlier this week. It was a remarkably disturbing video, not only for how visibly upset the video made Lauer, but how completely beaten down this poor woman clearly was. So much so that she reacted to the news that an online campaign has raised over half a million dollars for her by sympathetic small donors by saying, essentially, that she doubted she'd ever see the money. It was uncomfortable in both directions.
Dude, Seriously. No.
TLC previewed a potential new series called America's Worst Tattoos, where folks with some truly regrettable ink got their past mistakes covered up. But one guy was bizarrely proud of his hideous decoration: he'd had his wife's bridal photo inked onto his arm, as a zombie. Because zombies aren't already on their 14th minute and counting as a pop culture meme. His wife, understandably hates it. She needs to dump this neck-bearded hipster-wannabe immediately.
Tweaking the Junior Elephant Club
Finally, Real Time With Bill Maher closed with a discussion of an amusing new trend in right-wing politics: conservative-minded teenagers are blogging and podcasting the GOP's talking points like the new generation of Glenn Becks. Maher succinctly sums up the obvious problem with this new trend, which seems to have passed the older generation by: "If a 14-year-old can deliver your message, it's not because he's gifted. It's because intellectually, you're a child."