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People's Choice Awards 2014 recap: The highs, the lows, the paisley, and the boobs

Welcome to the People’s Choice Awards, where everyone’s a winner as long as he or she shows up. Oh, cool, you’re in town? Why, YOU’VE WON. That’s the short version of this recap. Join me, below, in an extended visual romp through Wednesday’s telecast, if — like most of the nominated performers — you didn’t watch! READ FULL STORY

'NCIS' recap: 'Find him'

This week’s NCIS could have — and should have, if you ask me — been two hours long. But alas, we are left to fester in our anxiety for the next seven days thanks to a cliffhanger that left McGee’s girlfriend Delilah in peril and Bishop under immense pressure.

Allow me to explain: READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' recap: Career Opportunities

It’s a new year, Newbies, and Jess & Co. had to look back in order to move forward on Tuesday night. Given this season’s unfortunate stasis thus far, it was only appropriate that “Clavado En Un Bar” (named after the song that closed out the ep) was predicated upon a scenario that could have been a total game-changer, at least in Jess’s mind, but it ultimately resulted in the gang mostly resisting any sort of forward movement.

Sure, the ep had its moments (“this crazy English muffin we call Winston’s life,” a recurring visual gag involving African-American newborns and basketballs, Nick’s habit of quoting sports movies like… A League of Their Own), but season 3 has yet to recapture last spring’s magic or sense of character development. That said, tonight’s installment opened and closed many doors for the characters, so maybe it will ultimately set up a bit of momentum so that New Girl can close out the season on better footing. Until then… read on to find out about Jess’s potentially life-changing opportunity.  READ FULL STORY

'The Big Bang Theory' react: What did you think of Penny's [spoiler]?

“Words don’t always have to mean things.” — Leonard

Oh, but they do, Leonard. (Spoilers from here on out.)  READ FULL STORY

'The Sing-Off' finale: Going out in glitter

Holiday songs! Pentatonix! Benatar! GLITTER BLAZERS! The Sing-Off finale was everything I needed it to be and, yes, I did need it to be something. I needed it to be something my whole family could watch together while I’m home for the holidays. I needed it to be fun and exciting enough to make me think thoughts worthy of writing down later for fellow a cappella knuckleheads to read (“worthy” might be an overstatement, but where better for hyperbole than The Sing-Off?). And I needed it to be, as I think Nick Lachey once said, some damn fine music. And damn fine, it was. READ FULL STORY

'The Sing-Off' Recap: Oh yes, it's judges night

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I do enjoy these short episodes: just a quick hit of that hard a cappella stuff to get me to Friday. And it’s easy to be short and sweet when we’re down to just four groups in the semifinals. Hey, remember last week, when this show had just started? Me neither, that was 70,000 words ago!

Tonight we embark upon The Sing-Off’s penultimate episode and the judges are choosing the songs for The Filharmonic, Ten, Home Free, and Vocal Rush. I mention this so I’ll seem only slightly less creepy when I start gushing about the host. Three-two-one… YouguystonightisallaboutNickitssogreat. It’s fairly obvious I don’t think of Nick Lachey as a human. I think of him as a robot created in an NBC lab (the same lab that successfully rehabilitated Christina Aguilera’s personality on The Voice this year) specifically to deliver puns and tight suits from The Sing-Off stage to my “TV set” (his words, not mine). So when NickBot is let loose on the contestants with free reign over his thoughts and emotions, it’s both disconcerting and exhilarating. I think that might also be the plot of Almost Human.

Anyway, Nick is mentoring the four remaining teams and, as if he knows I’m slightly uncomfortable with him expressing himself musically, he’s finally, FINALLY wearing a jewel-tone dress shirt for the first time all season. Thank goodness for bright teal and thank goodness for Florence + the Machine, whose “Shake It Out” is tailor made for a soaring group performance. I think I might now officially be shipping Austin and Emoni after their duets. That’s just a lot of good hair and chemistry. On to the judges’ choices! READ FULL STORY

'The Sing-Off': Let's all go to the movies

Listen, I’ve seen a lot of magical things in my short time at the EW offices; it’s a cool place. David Blaine straight up proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a sorcerer by making a deck of cards disappear from my bare hands a few months ago. And I don’t want to get anyone worked up, but maybe the most magical thing I’ll ever see here, I saw today: Pentatonix came to our office and sang, amongst other things, their Beyoncé medley. I laughed; I cried; I wouldn’t blame them if they took one look at my face mid-performance and got a restraining order going.

Is there another Pentatonix on season 4 of The Sing-Off? Probably not. Those people are freaks. But there have to be the really good Jordin Sparks amongst the unforgettable Clarksons and the Underwoods. Sparks is super good, you guys. She might not make me sweat while I briefly speak to her beside the EW vending machines because I’m so in awe of her talent (this story based on real-life Pentatonix events), but I get totally amped when “Battlefield” comes on. Similarly, I found myself quite amped on tonight’s “Movie Night” performances from the six remaining groups. READ FULL STORY

'NCIS' recap: 'Tis the season (to be afraid of spores)

Nothing says the holidays like a terrible public health outbreak!

But as terrifying as the circumstances were for that gang of NCIS on this week’s holiday-themed episode, the episode was from from all doom, gloom and a bunch of sick children who’d been infected with an African spore that cause strep pneumonia. There was also a lot of heart. READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Justice (and scotch) is served

Having people in your life who you’d do anything for — even go to jail — that’s the dream, so said Barney at the top of tonight’s How I Met Your Mother. And right he is. But as he — and we — were reminded this hour, sometimes one of the best things you can do for someone you care about is let them go.

But how did we arrive at such a poignant lesson? A troublemaking wedding attendee named Darren (Andrew Rannells) is partly responsible and I’ll explain how in a bit. First, let me tell you about Darren, the emotional proctologist who caused a lot of problems for the gang in tonight’s fall finale. READ FULL STORY

'SNL' recap: John Goodman returns for a 13th gig, solidly hosting a shaky episode

Thirteen times; seriously, John Goodman has now hosted Saturday Night Live 13 times. I can’t think of anything significant I’ve ever done 13 times. And I was really looking forward to maybe rubbing Goodman’s episode in the faces of those who are just holding on until Fallon/Timberlake next week. It’s not that those two aren’t great; they are, and all of my fingers are crossed for them. But Goodman has been just as good in the past, an SNL champion if ever there was one.

It was 2001 when Goodman last hosted and, for reference, Ja Rule was the musical guest. We have a tendency to glamorize the past and I know that there were stinkers back then like there were last night. But there were also huge successes, like Goodman’s Wilford Brimley “diabeetus” commercial or anytime he was conniving as Linda Tripp. I don’t think we got anything like that from SNL last night.

The episode certainly had its moments, but those moments were more, “oh yes, that is a true and funny thing,” than laugh out loud. If next week’s turn with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake is supposed to be like going to the most outrageous Saturday night party, then John Goodman is usually like deciding to stay in with delivery and not feeling guilty about it: As a host, he’s joyous and reliable, a return to a level playing field. It’s been 12 years without the jovial host since his last turn, and I was glad to have him back, even if last night’s episode hovered around a B. It wasn’t mind-altering, but it was better in Goodman’s hands than it would have been in anyone else’s.

If you gave up after Weekend Update, I would understand, but then you missed some of the more redeeming sketches of the night. This was no outright chuckle-fest, but the cast got down to business trying to make a series of one-joke sketches into something more.
READ FULL STORY

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