This season’s Dancing With the Stars seems to be planting its shuffling feet firmly in the oddity tent.

Throughout the years, the hit show has showcased a wide spectrum of “stars” ranging from Tony and Academy Award winners to millionaire moguls to Olympic athletes.  Mostly the show has stuck to celebrities wanting to ignite or reignite their celebrity profiles, making sure to include someone with actual dancing skills so as not to become a sideshow.)  This year even a celebrity on the show called her and her fellow contestants a “circus.”)

Included in the mix are Carson Kressly (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), basketball star Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace, reality star Rob Kardashian, and author/activist Chaz Bono.  Mix in the likes of Nancy Grace, Rikki Lake, a reality bad girl, and George Clooney’s ex-girlfriend, along with Gulf War veteran turned actor J.R. Martinez, and you find yourself rooting for the show’s heart-tuggers, for David Arquette and for Martinez because of their outlook on life more than their dancing ability.

There was no major revelation on the dance floor, but notice was taken of Brook Burke’s adding husband David Charvet’s surname to hers.

REVENGE

I don’t get the promotional poster for Revenge, the ABC soap opera that drew large numbers for its premiere.  The poster has Emily Van de Kamp’s black dress blending into a black thorn patch.  I can’t really see how that relates to the show beyond the fact that the lead character assumes the surname of Thorn….

Each week a character feels the sting of vengeance for an act that leads to the lead’s downfall and death.  The first week this transpires via banishment from the show’s fictional version of Martha’s Vineyard society.  For that the character gets a red X marked off on a photo.  How ‘bout some bodily disfigurement and familial dismemberment?  I prefer vengeance in the Shameless mode over this.

There’s a sea of white people doing bad wherever you look, and while I doubt Christina Chang’s cameo is going to turn into something akin to Dynasty’s Dominque Devereaux, Madeline Stowe (who’s part Costa Rican) will have to make sure that the booze her character consumes doesn’t engender … boos.

GLEE

Glee returned with Darren Criss’ Blaine (spoiler alert!) transferring to McKinley to be closer with boyfriend Kurt (Chris Colfer).  The episode lacked sparks, save for the joyful finale of their rendition of Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”  Little more than a setup of the season (by presenting but not developing conflicts), the season premiere weighed more on the flat notes than the sharp.

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons

MODERN FAMILY

Modern Family hit all the right notes.  Debuting two episodes of its third season on its opening week [following an hour of the underappreciated and critically well-received The Middle], the second episode showcased its newest cast member, the spunky Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, as Lily.  It’s been said that the casting of Modern Family is perfection, with each member of the main cast irreplaceable.  Anderson-Emmons continues that tradition. This episode had her inheriting some of her fathers’ less attractive qualities, an overall theme for the episode.  Already a two-time, undefeated Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy, the show will be hard to beat this year again.

The intro for the show has been modified to include Anderson-Emmons, and it gave me chills.  She’s so adorable when she gives a simple shrug of one shoulder, as if to say, “Yeah, I’m all cuteness.”

 

— Ken Choy and AW

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