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Television reviews and recaps
'Scandal' recap: 'Like Father, Like Daughter'

Jake is up to something and given the fact that Rowan Pope flat out threatened his life last episode, this can't mean anything good.

Before heading over to Olivia’s house for dinner, Jake tests out some explosives on a car.

Dun dun dun.   In the middle of dinner, Liv gets a call and rushes out to a college party. After a bit of searching she finds the person she’s looking for: Fitz and Mellie’s daughter, Karen. She’s slung over a bed in her underwear, puking. Olivia instructs Quinn to call Cyrus’s “black” line.

Cyrus is busy ruining his life, one romp with Michael at a time. They are engaging in a little pillow talk when he gets the call from Olivia. He’s curious as to how this happened, but Liv is more concerned about the dozens of kids with smart phones who are partying right outside.   She calls Huck and has him shut down the cell phone service at that address and honestly, how many of us wish we’d had Huck in our lives during college? Quinn finds a fire escape and they half-carry Karen...

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'Survivor' recap, 'We're a Hot Mess'

We start tonight with Coyopa returning from Tribal Council. Dale is a little shocked that his tribe got rid of John. Yes, he was the strongest, but he also had a really short fuse and that doesn’t bode well for challenges.

Over at Hunahpu, they find the flint that they lost a few days ago. Drew wants to try and barter with Jeff to get some fishing gear. He is also driving the rest of the tribe crazy, as he does absolutely nothing but sleep all day and complain about not having fishing gear. Wasn’t he the one that lost the flint in the first place? Or was that Jon? Drew complains about having to drag the rest of the tribe along, and wow, Drew, you have an interesting view of the world.

Also, I cannot keep Drew and Alec straight. It’s been a month, and I still write the wrong name at least three times a recap and have to go back and fix it. They are interchangeable to me, which is kind of an insult to Alec, who hasn’t proven to be the delusional blowhard that Drew is.

Reward Challenge...

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'Top Chef' recap, 'Sudden Death'

After 12 seasons, "Top Chef" heads to Boston, where I’m sure we will be constantly reminded about how old and important the city is and how rich it is with traditions. Oh yeah and the Red Sox. Don’t you dare forget about the Sox! #eyeroll

We start off with a montage of chefs talking about how important is it to win “Top Chef,” and beauty scenes of all the glorious historic landmarks around Boston.

Nineteen seconds in and we already have our first shot of Fenway Park. Oy.

This season, 16 chefs will battle it out for a feature in Food and Wine Magazine, an “appearance” at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, the same $125,000 and, of course, the title of Top Chef.

Wait a minute. It used to be a “showcase” at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen and now it’s just an “appearance?” What happened? Did last season’s winner, Nicholas Elmi, screw up or something? (He didn’t.)

No time to mess around: The chefs head straight to the “Top Chef” kitchen where, standing before them, is none other than...

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'American Horror Story: Freak Show' recap: 'Massacres and Matinees'

It’s just another week at the "Freak Show" – hermaphrodites and strongmen and clowns, oh my!

Here Come the New Folks: New faces arrive at Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, including Dell the Strongman (Michael Chiklis) and his wife Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett), a hermaphrodite with three breasts. They’re on the run from Chicago, where Dell killed a guy for having an affair with Desiree, because – and this is a plot point that comes up frequently – he has a serious temper. Because he is, you know, a Strongman. Dun dun dunnn.

Jimmy, who to this point seems to have been the quote unquote “man of the carnival” despite the fact that he seems to be around 25, immediately dislikes Dell, who he thinks is too busy trying to take over the show with his plans for matinees and insistence that the cast keep away from townies to boost ticket sales.

This is problematic for several reasons, one of which being that Dell is actually Jimmy’s father (cue rather terrifying flashback where it looks...

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'American Horror Story': The curious case of Kathy Bates' Baltimore-ish accent

Her beard may be the least interesting aspect of Kathy Bates' character on "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

Can we discuss Ethel Darling's unique accent? More directly: Is that some form of Baltimorese?

The signs are there: There have been quite a few "hons," super-rounded vowels and other word pronunciations that you can imagine coming from the mouths of lifelong Baltimoreans.

We're not the only ones who have noticed it. Chatter about the accent has been incessant since the show premiered last week.

One fan, Natalie Sermon, @miznattie, tweeted directly to Bates: "Your bearded lady and her evident Baltimore accent is fan-freak-in-tastic!! #heavyontheO #AmericanHorrorStoryFreakShow"

And Bates, @MsKathyBates, responded: "Glad YOU got it. Tell NY Times."

We're assuming Bates is alluding to this part of the Times' "AHS" review: "and [there's] Kathy Bates as the bearded lady, whose accent wanders around the Southern states, periodically landing on something vaguely Appalachian."


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'Dancing with the Stars' recap, Mixed-up pairings

Tonight starts with a quick medley from guest judge Jessie J. When did bondage wear cross over into mainstream? Can we blame Madonna somehow?

Jessie J's inclusion means we're without Len Goodman again. I miss him. They introduce all the mixed-up pairings for the night; we'll run down them later as the couples dance. I'll note that two of the combinations I wanted happened: Alfonso Ribiero & Cheryl Burke and Tommy Chong & Emma Slater.

Antonio Sabato Jr. & Allison Holker, Bollywood

What the heck? Why are they bringing Bollywood on this show? This isn't "So You Think You Can Dance."

Antonio seems to be having a hard time with this -- his stiffness is preventing the Bollywood bounce and the synchronization is awful. At the end, though, he gets to grab onto a rope and swing around as he hangs.

Julianne Hough compliments his heart and passion, which usually means the dance was awful. She felt that it lacked chemistry and connection, citing how Antonio's knees weren't getting as high as...

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