The Hills: We’ll Never Be Friends

August 19, 2008 - Leave a Response

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate.

And we’re back.  I’ll say this much: the first scene involving LC and Whitney talking while “working” at People’s Republic gave me hope.  One of the funniest parts of this show was the “Whitney as sounding board” bit back at Teen Vogue.  You know, where she says “So, what did you do” and then LC recaps what happened in the last scene we just saw and then Whitney says “Wow, how did that make you feel”.  Its so obviously meant to be an expositional tool, and its the obviousness that makes it funny.

Lauren went on a date with an old friend.  She decided if the guy was interesting, she’d invite him to Audrina’s birthday party.  Apparently sitting across from each other and not saying anything for minutes at a time counts as an interesting date.

Heidi (who’s hair gets blonder every minute) knew her sister Holly was coming to crash at her apartment for the weekend.  Of course she wouldn’t mention it to Spencer.  What would they fight about otherwise.  Sigh.  Oh, by the way, in case you weren’t sure whether or not the Heidi-Bolthouse marriage was one of convenience before, the fact that she didn’t get fired in the wake of that ridiculous stunt in last season’s finale is proof enough.  And Holly looks like Heidi and Whitney’s lovechild.

Dear Lo: we all get it.  You want to stay on the show by being the witch and pulling LC’s strings.  The funniest part of Lo’s conversation with Audrina was that she pretty much cut off Audrina’s sentences just to make her own part.  As always, Whitney and Audrina remain the only bearable people in this “reality”.

Pretty much the same ole same ole.  Man, producers, if you’re going to manipulate things, at least manipulate things in a new way.

Final Grade: C

PS  MTV, what was up with all the mainstream music in the episode?  If nothing else, this show is good for debuting a new artist every now and then.

Summer Recap

July 21, 2008 - Leave a Response

So, I gave myself the summer off.  Yeah, it makes no sense, but I did it.  With the fall TV season ramping up, I thought I’d check in and give you quick hit reviews of new and old shows from this summer.  New show watches to come in a month of so.  Enjoy.

The Middleman

ABC Family, Mondays at 10:00PM

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy

Conceit: Meet the New Avengers, Funnier Than The Old Avengers

So, this was my first ABC Family Original show (though, honestly, I couldn’t tell you how many original shows they’ve had before), and I’ll tell you, the network is off to a great start in winning me over.  The Middleman follows the exploits of Wendy Watson, a early 20’s Art School graduate who’s wandering through life aimlessly until a temp job puts her in science fictiony danger.  Next thing she know, “Dub-Dub” finds herself being apprentice to The Middleman, a super-secret espionage type who saves the world from natural, supernatural, and just plain odd danger.

Sounds campy?  Sure is.  And that’s one of two reasons this show really works.  Its self-awareness is the basis for 60% of the humor on the show.  Middleman and Dub-Dub find themselves in the most ridiculous situations and acknowledge it with snarky comments galore.

The second reason this show soars is newcomer Natalie Morales, who makes you want to watch her with a quirky sensibility and a Sahara-dry wit.  Her interplay with all the supporting cast, and especially The Middleman, is a pleasure to watch in a Summer of mediocrity.

The two negatives of this show are minor but real.  The first is the fact that this is an ABC Family show.  Even with a TV-14 rating and a fair share of double-entendres that raise eyebrows for a “family” station, The Middleman is on a family network and is limited by it.  This isn’t fatal as the limitations rarely ever come into focus.  But its there.  The second problem is a tendency to suffer from Diablocoditis.  This usually results in 3 too many clever lines strung together, without giving the viewer a chance to breathe; this illness was last seen in the movie “Juno”.

These minor gripes aside, The Middleman is a winner of a summer show.

Final Grade: A-

Watch the forth episode of this season: http://abcfamily.go.com/abcfamily/path/section_Shows+Middleman/page_Video-Middleman_Full_1002

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

ABC Family, Tuesdays at 10:00PM

Genre: Drama

Conceit: Life if Juno Happened In the Town That 7th Heaven Took Place In.

Yeah, I know, two ABC Family shows in a row.  This show is an odd duck.  I am well aware that I am not in the target demographic for this show, which I assume is split between 8-18 year olds and 35-55 year olds, representing contemporaries of the characters as well as their parents.

What drew me in was the notion of a show that has an honest discussion of sex from the prospective of a high school teenager.  You do get that.  Sort of.

The story starts with Amy Juergens finding out that she’s pregnant after having sex for the first time with a random guy at band camp.  The first episode really does this starting point justice as being very believable both in the set up and the reactions.  If this was the main focus of this series, as commercials lead you to believe, this show would be excellent.  Unfortunately, TSLotAT (by the way, a thought provoking, but way-too-long- title) wants to represent all views on sex.

So we meet all the supporting characters, who each represent a different view on sex.  How convenient.  Now I applaud ABC Family’s attempt to show all sides of the discussion.  Unfortunately, everyone is a caricature.  We have the promiscuous girl (who is having sex to fill an empty emotional void); we have the promiscuous boy (who is having sex to mask his hurt from childhood sex abuse); we have the virgin girl (who is not having sex out of respect to her faith and her parents); we have her football boyfriend (who was a virgin for the same reason until he cheated on her with the aforementioned promiscuous girl); we have the virgin boy (who has a mega crush on Amy and has just started dating her, unaware of her maternal ways).  And they’re all connected.  Mix in some awful acting by half of the adults on the show and what could’ve been a very source of dialogue melt into just awful PG-13 rated soap opera.

Final Grade: C

Watch the second episode: http://abcfamily.go.com/abcfamily/path/section_Shows+Secret-Life-Of-The-American-Teenager/page_Video-SecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager_Full_1002

My Boys

TBS, Thursdays at 9:30PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: Sex and the City.  Just With More Guys And Less Sex.

The TBS summer-time hit is back for another run.  I always enjoyed the premise of this show: tom-boy’s life.  Very simple.  But here’s the problem: from the very first episode of the series, Jordana Spiro’s PJ has never seemed like an authentic tom boy.  The show gave her a “male” job (sports writer), a bunch of friends who are guys, save one, and a love of poker.  But none of this stuff makes a girl a tom-boy (which, by the way, seems like an antiquated phrase even as I type it).  PJ just always seemed like a bland character who didn’t seem any different from any other female character on TV.  The show used Kellee Stewart’s Stephanie Layne as a foil, showing how un-“girly girl” PJ is. No one buys it.

None of that has changed this season at all.  In fact, we barely see PJ do any sports work or play poker, so the two fake guy things are gone, making PJ even less compelling than before. 

The one thing TBS did right this season was bring more focus onto PJ’s supporting cast.  While Stephanie’s new status as an author is completely random and should be ignored, the male cast really shines in their goofiness.  Its almost as if the best bits of the show are when PJ is merely the hinge by which the guys rotate on.

Final Grade: C+

Watch this season’s episodes: http://www.tbs.com/video/index/#/all-video/shows/my-boys/full-episodes/

In Plain Sight

USA, Sundays at 10:00PM

Genre: Action-Comedy

Conceit: Mary’s Got A Gun

USA Network has really pioneered the Summer Television season movement.  In Plain Sight is their latest entry into the movement.  Honestly, I only turned on this show because it stars Mary McCormack.  I consider The West Wing to be the best television show of my time (thus far) and McCormack became a regular character in the shows lesser, I mean later, years.  So that alone earns at least an hour of my time.

McCormack stars as Mary Shannon, a US Marshal attached to the Witness Protection Program and stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  That’s pretty much all you need to know.  From their, you’re introduced to the classic cast of characters for this type of show: the quirky male sidekick; the uncoordinated boss; the hot but flighty sister; the good-for-nothing but caring mother; and the tense on-again-off-again love interest.  Sprinkle in some random action and McCormack talking about how her life can’t seem to get together and you have any given episode.

Its not that the show is bad.  In fact, its got the feel of what a summer show should be: light and easily accessed.  Unfortunately, it veers to far into that region.  There is really nothing to be gained by watching an episode and nothing to be lost by missing one.  But what it does, it does well.  So basically, if you’ve got nothing else to do, and you have space on your TiVo, its worth an hour of your time.  

Final Grade: B-

Watch this season’s episodes: http://www.usanetwork.com/series/inplainsight/video/fullep/

Psych

USA, Fridays at 10:00PM

Genre: Comedy

Conceit: Lethally Funny Weapon

This summer gem managed to get me excited for its new season with (at least what I thought) a hilarious ad campaign:

For those unaware, Psych stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a son of a cop who uses his psychic abilities to solve mysteries.  Wait, before you reach for the remote to change channels, Spencer isn’t really a psychic.  Instead, he uses his hyper-observation skills to make it seem like he has the abilities his clients wish he did.  Spencer is teamed with Dule Hill’s Burton “Gus” Guster, a childhood friend and the straight man in this comedy.  This show had really mastered the light summer feel that USA really wants.  Spencer and Hill’s chemistry sealed the deal and the supporting cast is excellent.

If you think there’s a huge “but” coming, there is.  We’re only one episode into the new season and things are not looking good.  The premiere featured a very disappointing payoff for the mystery of the week.  That would be forgivable, except for the B-story, involving Shawn’s long absent mother.  While the story itself suffers from serve predictability, in general, Shawn is portrayed as extremely…well…serious, throughout it.  And while that makes sense for the story, it doesn’t work for the show.  I’ll reserve judgment until a couple more episode air, but I have to continue with cautious optimism.  Psych, please work your magic.  Soon.

Final Grade: Pending

Watch this season’s episodes: http://www.usanetwork.com/series/psych/video/fullep/

 

 

Lost: There’s No Place Like Home

May 16, 2008 - Leave a Response

ABC, Thursdays at 10:00PM

Genre: Sci-Fi Drama

Conceit: The Thinking Man’s “Gilligan’s Island”.

There was this moment while I watched “Greatest Hits” last episode, where I started getting inexplicably excited.  Maybe its not inexplicable.  That episode really started moving stuff into place for the finale.  And Charlie’s life was or wasn’t going to end.  And it was all racing towards the end.  That’s exactly how I feel during hour one of this three hour finale.  

Jack and Sawyer.  Cyclops and Wolverine.  One is the only one who can lead.  The other is the only one you’d ever want in a fight.  Both men reached the helicopter and were one step away from just taking it back and saving the world.  Except one thing: Hurley is with Ben.  Ever since the first episode this season, we’ve been trying to figure out what Hurley meant when he told Jack he was sorry he went with Locke.  Is this it?  Is this the decision that changes everything?

I guarantee that you could not have guessed who it was doubling back on Kate and Sayid’s trail.  And when Nestor Carbonell walked through the leaves, all you thought was “that’s the missing piece; that’s what we need to make sense of this.”  Meanwhile, back on the tanker, we may be setting out for quite possibly the most tragic finale Lost has had yet.

Our flash forward went only a couple days into the future as the Oceanic 6 finally touch down in civilization.  Jack finds himself finally burying his “dad” and giving a very touching eulogy, only to be blindsided moments later with the revelation that he left his half-sister behind and he’s staring at his nephew.  Kate returned to the real world to remember that no one loves her except Claire’s baby, who she’s claimed as her own.  Hurley cannot escape the numbers, no matter how far from the island he gets.  His psychosis is just around the corner.  Sun shows that she has inherited her father’s ruthlessness.  And Sayid finally gets the girl.  I said before that Desmond and Penny are the “under the radar awesome couple”.  Sayid and Nadia are 2nd place for that award.  

I know this is only hour one of what was probably meant to be a three hour, one-shot finale, but I’m facing two realities.  First, I will be miserable waiting one week for the next episode.  Second, I will be beyond words, waiting for 8 to 9 months for the next episode.

Final Grade: A

The Office: Goodbye, Tobey

May 15, 2008 - Leave a Response

NBC, Thursdays at 9:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: Its Funny Because Its Oh So True.

Meet the old boss, not at all like the new boss.  With Tobey moving to Costa Rica, Dunder Mifflin Infinity sends a new HR rep to DMIS.  Holly seems like she’s going to be an interesting addition to the crew.  And all it took for Michael to fall head over heels in love with her was her patronizing ribbing of Tobey.  He wanted to make her a mix.  Did anyone else laugh out loud when he told her he wanted to make a mix?  But, I can’t deny that seeing Michael try to impress her was fun.  And her reciprocating was even nicer.  Yoga.  Yoda.  Turns out she’s the best thing to happen to the company since World War II.  Excellent.  But Michael Scott just can’t have everything he wants, can he?  Is there any insult greater than finding out your ex went to a sperm bank WHILE you were together because she wanted to get pregnant but just not by you?  Wow.  And didn’t Michael’s hurt just seem so real?  Michael does “the right thing”, which is bizarre because it isn’t his kid, but is expected, because its Michael Scott.

I have to admit, the bit with Dwight telling Holly that Kevin was slow was pretty hilarious.  How it kept playing out was even more funny.  Kevin is seriously one of the best of the B-cast.  What did made me sad was when Holly decided to sit in on Tobey’s exit interview.  I’m pretty sure everyone wanted to see the “bruisin'” that Tobey was surely “cruisin’ for”.  

Jim Halpert.  Man, when you get a head of steam going, you just keep going with it.  He even left Ryan a voicemail saying that he won’t back down.  Unfortunately, Ryan had bigger problems as his failed website inevitably lead to fraud.  And arrest.  From temp, to executive, to jail.  The classic story.  Speaking of classic stories: Jam.  Pam’s going to school for the summer and Jim decides its time to propose.  And Pam even sees it coming.  The smiles on their faces right before he was going to ask.  Then Andy grabbed the mic.  He asked Angela to marry her, and she said “ok”.  Dwight’s admission that it was his own fault…killer.  This stopped Jim dead in his tracks.  And made Pam think that he was never going to ask.  Dang it!

And then there was the ending.  Could’ve never called that.

This show had a home run fourth season.  And I’m thoroughly excited to see the fifth season.  Exactly what a season finale should be.

Final Grade: A

Smallville: Arctic

May 15, 2008 - Leave a Response

CW, Thursdays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sci-Fi Drama

Conceit: Superboy Meets World.

Supergirl was always an iffy concept, even in the comic books.  It was basically a girl Superman, who was more immature.  Not terribly compelling.  In Smallville, Kara Zor-El was suspect because Laura Vandervoort is not much of an actress.  From her introduction in the beginning of the season, it was obviously that Vandervoort was cast more for her looks than for any acting ability that she may have.  But give the girl some edge and she’s actually interesting to watch.  Flying out of exploding planes, double dealing Lex, this is a Kara I can get with.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t Kara, was it?  It was Milton Fine, Brainiac.  Kara was sent to the Negative Zone  Brainiac.  He has been the villain of choice this season.  I know that Brainiac is an important character in the Superman universe, but I’ve been terribly bored by him this entire season.  Which is why I took so much personal satisfaction in Clark’s slow motion punching him in the face.  I also took personal satisfaction in Clark killing Brainiac.  This has always been central to the Superman mythos: when it means more than who he is, can Clark break his own moral code?

And Lana is gone.  Man, what a lame way to get rid of her.  I mean, I know that Kristen Kreuk wanted off the show, and I know the reality is that Lana and Clark don’t end up together, and I even know that Clark and Chloe are more entertaining that Clark and Lana ever were, but that was a weak send off.  Here’s hoping for the occasional guest appearance.  

We finally got the face off we’ve waited seven years for.  Lex finally knows.  No gimmicks.  No memory wipes (yet).  Michael Rosenbaum shows why he knows the character of Lex Luthor so well.  An even balance between a desire to do the right thing and flat out narcissism.  To “save” the world, Lex needs to control Clark.  And so the fortress collapses in on itself, in this less spectacular special effects.  And that’s it. 

I know that season finales are supposed to be cliff hangers, but that was just…meh.  I mean, the show faded to black with no real pay off.  With nothing to wonder about.  Sure, Kara’s in the negative zone.  Yawn.  Chloe’s been arrested.  Ok semi-interesting.  Black Lex cradling Clark in a dying Fortress.  Lame.  Here’s hoping that next season (which I’m pretty sure is the last season) finds a workable path and sticks to it.

Final Grade: C

Hell’s Kitchen: Day Seven

May 13, 2008 - Leave a Response

FOX, Tuesdays at 9:00PM

Genre: Reality

Conceit: Like Top Chef, But Less About Food And More About Violent Yelling.

So, in case you didn’t know from last episode, Matt is mad and he wanted you to know about it.  Ominous way to start the episode, huh?  Every season, Chef Ramsey challenges the pallets of the potential chefs.  This time, he prefaced it by having both kitchens taste 3 meat dishes to see if they realize there was no actual meat in it.  Of course they didn’t.  The actual taste test was as amusing as ever.  Chef Ramsey adds a dramatic flair when Matt and Ben have to go head to head in the deciding round of the challenge.  Both men were sufficiently impressive, but the girls lead made Matt’s victory a foregone conclusion.  This also set up what was going to be a thoroughly important dinner service.  

In the Red kitchen, the pressure was on Rosann, who’s been hanging on by the skin of her teeth for the last couple of weeks.  She actually rose to the occasion and hit homeruns with the appetizers.  That was short lived as the meats became the bane of her existence.  Meanwhile, the teflon all-star, Jen, inexplicably imploded.  After getting yelled at by Chef Ramsey, Jen kept to herself and the unravelling began.  Then she started talking back to Ramsey.  And with Jen went the kitchen.  The entire Red kitchen became quiet and defeated.  The only one who really had it together was Christina.  And Matt.  Bizarre.  He did make a bit much of it, though.

Ben renewed his place as Chef Ramsey’s punching bag.  And he pokes the bear by telling Chef Ramsey he’s not used to working in a divided kitchen.  I’m not sure what he expected to be the result of this, but it went exactly the way everyone else expected.  The men’s kitchen seemed to take three steps back as they struggled to get entrees out.  Ben’s meat station was falling apart and he couldn’t find a drop of water in the ocean.  And when it rains, it pours.  Ramsey benched Ben.  

Once the men were chosen as the losing team, the end was inevitable.  My early pick to win it all, Ben, was out the door.  But not before he tried to weasel his way out.  Go out with dignity, man.

Final Grade: B

The Hills: The Next Move Is Yours

May 13, 2008 - Leave a Response

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM 

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate.

So here we are, at the end of the “season” and Spencer is still a douche.  I mean he always was but man, this guy moved exponentially throughout this season.  When Stephanie prefaced telling Spencer where Heidi was by saying “don’t do anything crazy”, what did she expect?  And man, did he go nuclear.  I mean racing from his car into the club?  There’s a thin line between devoted and obsessive.  And Spencer passed that line about a season and a half ago.  Obviously Brent Botlhouse wasn’t happy with the display (or was asked to act annoyed for the sake of the scene).  Either way, Heidi made the ridiculous choice of choosing Spencer over her job.  And she did it in wreckless fashion by not even showing up for her morning meeting.  She does remember that Spencer doesn’t have a job either, right?  My guess, SBE decided they wanted to end their relationship with “The Hills” ala Teen Vogue, and so they wrote them out like that.  Remember, this is only a reality-ish show after all.

Whitney’s back.  Its been a while.  She was back to her typical “really?  what happened?  tell me about it?” ways, but honestly, she’s a breath of fresh air compared to the stale wind that comes out of the normal cast.  She also tends to be the only reasonable one anymore.  She advised LC to talk to Audrina about this distance that LC’s been feeling; a distance which got a physical manifestation when Audrina walked by the kitchen, skipping out on dinner with the girls.  So at Lo’s urging, LC finally went to talk to Audrina in her house behind their house.  Audrina confesses what I’ve always believed: Lo is what’s pushing them apart.  And push comes to shove, LC picks Lo.  At least Audrina was actually assertive.  Which was completely different for her.  And so that’s another friendship in the trash for LC.  Well done.  Oddly enough, Audrina is the one who comes out looking like the winner.

So at the end of another “season” we have winners and losers.  Of course, Spencer is a synonym for loser.  So we won’t even address that.  But Heidi, who was a loser by the distributive property of Spencer,  became her own loser with that idiot SBE move.  Lo gets a loser award for trying so desperately hard to be on this show.  But the most surprising loser is LC.  This girl simply has not grown.  Period.  She’s the exact same girl 3 seasons later.  The winners are the two girls who seemingly get no screen time.  Whitney is finally moving forward in her life.  She is actually making smart decisions (albeit with MTV’s help) about her career.  The other winner is Audrina, who finally has started standing up on her own two feet.

PS, season 4 looks like the terribly lame old stuff its has been.

Final Grade: B-

House: House’s Head

May 12, 2008 - Leave a Response

FOX, Mondays at 9:00PM

Genre: Drama

Conceit: Who Needs Bedside Manners?

Every season, an episode begins with House, as oppose to a hapless individual who’s one ridiculous moment away from being House’s patient.  Those tend to be the best episodes in the season.  One such episode, the season two finale, was one of the best in the series.  Tonight’s episode started with House and ends with a bang.

House finds himself at a strip club, with no idea how he got there or how long he’s been there.  After realizing he has a concussion (based on his open head wound), he stumbles into the street to find that he had initially stumbled away from a bad car crash.  And try as he might he can’t piece together what happened.  More importantly to House, he can’t piece together what he’s sure was the medical problem that caused the crash.

House lets Chase put him under hypnosis to see if he can reach into his brain and remember what happens.  I’m not sure how medically accurate real this is, but I’m willing to bite.  And yes, that was Fred Durst playing the bartender.  The hypnosis ends up taking a back seat to increase Vicodin usage, which allows House to hallucinate back to the bus.  When that wears off, he drops himself into a sensory deprivation tank.  Lisa Edelstein, way to keep in shape.  They have such great chemistry.  Part of me wishes the show would get it over with and put them together.  The other part of me knows that the second they’re together, the chemistry is diminished.  Anyways, lesson learned: sensory deprivation may be good for the soul, but its not good for the body.  Though House gets it done, as he always does, not everything is as it seems.  A mystery woman keeps popping up into his visions.  A woman who wasn’t in the crash.  But a woman who keeps pointing to something bigger that he’s missing.  And so the entire cast…er, staff…finds themselves sitting on a bus as house drugs his brain into overdrive.  And when he realizes who the woman is, things go crazy.

Final Grade: A+

How I Met Your Mother: Everything Must Go

May 12, 2008 - Leave a Response

CBS, Mondays at 8:00PM

Genre: Sitcom

Conceit: 20-something.

Britney Spears returned as Abby the receptionist tonight.  Initially infuriated by Barney sleeping with her and never calling again, Abby and Barney bonded over the fact that both have been jilted by Ted.  (The one thing I couldn’t figure out was whether Spears was playing a part or just playing herself.  I expected the latter, but, was it just me or did her voice sound different?)  Barney decided to show Ted what he looks like by proposing to Abby, who doesn’t realize its part of the game.  Barney resolved this by tell her that Ted truly loved her, further increasing her stalker behavior.  Thought Spears didn’t bring much to the ep, I wouldn’t mind seeing her again.

Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily are desperate for money so they can have their apartment floors fixed.  Marshall decides that Lily needs to sell her expensive clothes to make it happen.  As a guy, I have to admit that I would have gone the same route.  Lily, appalled by the idea, suggests that she instead sells her paintings.  At that point, Marshall’s mouth outmoves his mind as he blurts out that her paintings aren’t “real paintings” and thus won’t make any real money.  And the bet was on.  After several misses, Lily sells her painting to GCWOKs (Gay Couple Without Kids).  This didn’t really work out, but in classic HIMYM style, one thing led to another before Lily finally found her target audience.  Whenever you have some free time: http://www.lilyandmarshallselltheirstuff.com

Final Grade: B

Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Kim’s Calendar For Reggie

May 12, 2008 - Leave a Response

E!, Sundays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Vapidness Sells

Well, that didn’t last long.  The Kardashians were back to pointless form after two solid episodes.  Kim is trying to figure out what to do for her and Reggie Bush’s one year anniversary.  After shooting down Khloe’s idea of a live leopard (which probably would’ve made for better TV…guess Seacrest was asleep at the switch), Kim decided to make a calendar for her NFLove.  The only thing I was wondering during this whole discussion was whether or not the Kardashian home actually has a Hollywood-style makeup room in their house, because thats where it looked like the girls were sitting.

To keep this interesting, we got to see Kim get the cellulite massaged or sucked off her thighs by some weird machine.  Not nearly as compelling as the producers must have thought.  Kim’s photo sitting was…well…something.  I’m curious to know how much the hair they added to her head cost.  Reggie ends up showing up to the shoot, unaware that it was for his personal use.  Obviously, Bush wasn’t comfortable with his girlfriend taking such risque shots.  Wow.  A decent guy on this show.  Unfortunately, Kris gets ahold of the calendar before Kim does and assumes that it was meant for mass production.   Kim awkwardly finds out when her younger brother finds the calendar on a newsstand.  She immediately knows Kris is responsible and is angry.  And she unleashes on Kris.  Kim then runs off to buy back all the calendars.  So here’s my thing: this has GOT to be Seacrest’ed.  I honestly believe that this calendar wasn’t sent out publicly.  I’m pretty sure these calendars were placed where they were placed just for the sake of this episode.  And Kim’s payback was even less believable.  It just seems highly unlikely that these calendars get mass produced and sent out withoutKim knowing.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

Bruce continued to be on camera for a change when the girls insinuated that he doesn’t work for a living.  At his daring, the girls go to watch Bruce speak at an event.  Beforehand, they go to a cocktail part for the event.  Pretty much, Bruce ends up schmoozing random guys while Khloe and Kourtney get drunk and ultimately embarrass him.  The actual event was not too bad.  It was pretty much exactly what you expect from a motivational speaker event.  The girls give him a little more credit than he deserves, but I guess that comes from them not expecting anything from him.  Apparently he actually succeeded in motivating the girls.

Final Grade: B-