Still cleaning up the paper plates and spent bottle rockets from your Fourth of July backyard blowout? Here's what you missed on TV.
Saying No To The Fantasy
As The Bachelorette finishes out its season, there was the traditional Fantasy Suite Week, which is this show's barely-veiled euphemism for "this is the week they have sex." Except not, because Bachelorette Emily Maynard decided that she was, as she blogged about it, "not totally comfortable with that," and ended up choosing not to invite any of the three finalists to spend the night. So... she's finally figured out that the entire premise of this series is creepy and gross, then?
So Near Yet So Far
As The Closer winds down, Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) once again tangled with her nemesis, sleazebag lawyer Phillip Stroh (Billy Burke), who was defending a rapist whose m.o. is creepily similar to Stroh's own. In fact, when it became clear that the rapist had a partner, Brenda became sure that Stroh was the other man. Unfortunately for her, it turned out not to be true, but I'm hoping that the upcoming series finale features his comeuppance at Brenda's hand.
A Star Is Born
R&B singer Frank Ocean has been much-discussed online since a post on his Tumblr account revealed that several songs on his new debut album were inspired by a man he'd fallen in love with. But when Ocean made his television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, performing his song "Bad Religion" in front of a full string section, it became clear that the real reason to pay attention is his amazing voice. They consistently have great musical performances, but this was among the best the show has ever had.
He's Gone At Last
On The Glee Project, relentlessly self-absorbed Charlie was finally eliminated following a performance that featured absolutely the most annoying of his many irritating traits: rewriting the lyrics of popular songs to make cutesy comments on his current situation. His cloying version of Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" was filled with so many cheesy fake-showbiz tics -- down to climbing into to audience to sing directly to creator Ryan Murphy -- that it belonged in the audition rounds of American Idol.
Starting Off With A Bang
The third season of Covert Affairs kicked off with a high-stakes surprise. On the Fourth of July, Special Projects head Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy) brings Annie (Piper Perabo) to a mysterious off-site meet-up, where he warns her obliquely to watch her back. Sound advice, because Jai was then immediately killed by a car bomb.
The Return of Mike Boogie
This year's twist on Big Brother turned out to be that four high-profile former players came back: not as players, as in previous seasons, but as coaches who will mentor this year's houseguests. Geez, it's like every reality show wants to be The Voice now! The returnees are Janelle (season 6), Dan (season 10), Britney (season 12) and, ew, dudebro Mike Boogie, the winner of the All-Stars season. First houseguest out: 42-year-old mother of five Jodi, who seemed to be the most boring of a so far not that interesting lot.
What Did I Just See Here?
On his CNN show, Piers Morgan interviewed former actor and murder defendant Robert Blake. On the show to discuss his new self-published memoir about his time as a child star, Blake seemed amazed that Morgan walked to talk more about the 2001 murder of Blake's wife Bonnie Lee Bakley, which Blake was found responsible for in a civil suit after being acquitted of murder. Blake's squirrelly body language and profanity-laden non sequiturs were either some kind of weird performance art thing or a suggestion that he's perhaps not as sane as he might be.
Louie Makes A Friend
After last week's raucous, near-obscene guest spot by Melissa Leo, Louie went quiet and intimate for a trip to Miami. After overzealous hotel lifeguard Ramon (Miguel Gomez) thinks Louie (Louis C.K.) is drowning, the two men end up bonding. But when Louie extends his trip a couple days to continue hanging out with his newfound friend, it leads to a hilariously awkward conversation between the two men as Ramon delicately tries to suss out why Louie's sticking around.
Did Dave Just Spoil That?
David Letterman has always come across as a bit of a curmudgeon, but in an interview with Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, he maybe went a bit too far. While discussing the movie, Letterman casually spoiled the thus-far top secret ending. To his credit, Letterman gamely passed it off as a joke, but the look of utter shock and horror that plays off Hathaway's face when he said it makes me wonder if he was possibly telling the truth.
50 Shades of Corn Dogs
Daytime talk shows have been getting decidedly friskier over the last few years, but has anybody else noticed how full-on dirty the banter among the chefs on The Chew has gotten lately? Friday afternoon's segment where Mario Batali and Michael Symon made corn dogs while handcuffed to each other led to jokes that went well beyond double-entendre. On the other hand, given how filthy-mouthed the chefs I've known over the years are, I shouldn't be surprised.