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'Scandal' finale: Talk about it! -- UPDATED

UPDATED: Holy Scandal, Gladiators! Want to know what happened in the season 3 finale of Scandal? Click below, and check out our full recap! READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: I'm Okay, You're Okay (JK, We're All Broken Up)

Whenever New Girl has had a big plot point in, it’s always been interesting how they handle — or don’t — the fallout in the next episode. A few examples: Jess and Nick’s first kiss in “Cooler” was followed by the Indian speed-dating shenanigans of “Table 34″; the roomfriends were doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well in “Virgins,” but “Winston’s Birthday” felt a bit like a digression; and it’s probably best if we don’t dwell too much on “Exes” (aside from Adam Brody’s dreaminess therein) because it had the misfortune to air in the wake of the excellent “I love you” declarations on “Prince.” So, as you can see, New Girl‘s track record when it comes to following up on its milestone moments is… well… not so good. I’m very happy to say that the latest episode, tracking the repercussions of Jess and Nick’s split, is the exception. From the returns of Tran(!) and Furguson(!!!) to the throwbacks to the ridiculous costumes and submissive monkey noises, the episode was a real treat. Sweet as a Honey Roast-ed peanut, and just as cute. READ FULL STORY

'The Challenge': Let's hand out superlatives from the 'Free Agents' premiere!

MTV’s jacked-up reality competition The Challenge returned for its 25th(!) season on Thursday night, adding one deliciously cruel twist: No one is safe. Now, most times when a show makes that grand claim, it’s all hype. But this season’s Challenge, subtitled Free Agents, really is taking no prisoners. None. Zero. Zip.

Get a load of this: Even after the Challengers — who are all competing as individuals, or “Free Agents,” this season — are forced to stir up internal friction by voting two of their fellow players into an elimination round, the rest of the players are still at risk of fighting for their lives thanks to a giant new ”screw you” from producers called The Draw. Regardless of performance in that week’s Challenge, the Challengers must select cards until both a guy and a girl pick one with a skull and crossbones on it, which signals he or she going into the elimination battle. Consequences? Anyone could go home any week. Some people will probably be a victim of The Draw multiple weeks, maybe consecutively, stronger players can no longer rely on their brute force or wits to keep them on top, and alliances now have essentially no value.

Let that sink in (and stop reading now if you don’t want any SPOILERS)… READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Rising from the Ashes?

What a set of bookends! True American, that green shirt, a hallway embrace. I can’t say I saw it coming. I can’t say I’m 100 percent on board. But I also can’t say it’s not the right decision. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, stop reading now because SPOILERS about Tuesday’s episode of New Girl lie ahead. If you’ve seen “Mars Landing” and want to feel feelings with me, click through…

READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Courtroom Brown

The ep may have been called “Fired Up,” but it fizzled more than sizzled, no? Is Schmidt’s sudden descent into poverty a long held-over karmic make-good for his cheating? Why does Nick’s former life in law keep resurfacing? Why hasn’t Winston gone off to police academy yet? What is the point of Cece’s new relationship (if you can call it that)? And would it be too soon if we never saw another episode of Jess at school? Ponder those questions as you read… READ FULL STORY

'New Girl': Live-in Lovahs

We had two returns to celebrate tonight, Newbies! First (and most importantly) FURGUSON! Oh yeah, and a financially ruined Schmidt is moving back into the loft. Also, Abby’s moving out. So much has changed, so much has stayed the same… READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Good Cop, Bad Girl

Now this was an episode. I know the reaction to Abby has been mixed, but I liked how she spiced up the dynamic in “Sister II.” No doubt she’s annoying and self-obsessed — like, well, everyone else on this show at times — and despite the fact she is actually dangerous to be around (Sky Knife!), the gang needed a jolt. You can’t say that she hasn’t provided one. That it will likely be temporary is good, but that it happened at all is an improvement in my book.

Also, WINSTON!!! The writers managed to do what has heretofore eluded them by giving him a primary story line that showed substance beyond a new set of tics. Yet the episode also allowed Lamorne Morris to run wild with his brilliant improv skills — the very ones that have made him my favorite character in season 3 in spite of Winston’s flimsy character development. Tuesday’s episode inched him a step closer to being fully fleshed-out.

So let’s not delay anymore, Newbies! READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Twisted 'Sister' (a.k.a. Bar Mitzvah Crashers)

Poor Winston! He was so excited about his “meet my friends” dinner with his weird new girlfriend Bertie (Jessica Chaffin), and everyone totally bailed on him — well, everyone except Coach and Cece, who couldn’t think of anything better to do until they realized they could do each other (or try, at least). Bad form, gang. “Sister” challenged a lot of bonds, both in and out of the immediate friend group, but I can’t really say it moved all that much forward. The only exception: We should be getting a lot of backstory on Jess now that her sister Abby (Linda Cardellini) is set to stay for a while — hopefully Abby turns out to be a less bats–t-crazy sis than Caroline Sackler. Now to the business of how the New Girl gang got a new loftmate… READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Misled 'Exes' and Places for Sexin'

Can’t say this episode did a lot to move sitcom gender politics forward, folks. As we have long known, women only have two modes: adorably naïve or vengeful psychopath. Men, meanwhile, are just out to bone. Feel free to disagree with me (and all respect to Adam Brody and Mary Elizabeth Ellis), but this ep felt like a bit of a letdown after Sunday’s genuinely hilarious, plot-advancing post-Super Bowl episode. Sure, it exposed an emotional side to Nick we rarely see (albeit one even Jess didn’t fully buy),  but it also lost some ground — for me at least — with a reliance on clichéd “big concepts” rather than small-scale character comedy. The latter is where New Girl thrives. So, shall we? READ FULL STORY

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