Here’s a look back at the best and worst of TV in the past week (Aug. 6-13).


1. “Friday Night Lights” (NBC). What a perfect season finale. I loved it. So what if it wasn’t at all realistic? (What, Luke’s mom didn’t want Tami as West Dillon principal, but she’ll let her be head counselor at her son’s school? And Landry kicking a 45-yard field goal? Nuh-uh.) We got a fantastic feel-good ending, wrapping up a ton of storylines and dampening eyes across the country (what was more emotional: Landry’s kick, Tim’s manning up or Matt and Landry’s bromance?). It was a dark, bleak season, and viewers really needed this touch of goodness to cap it off. My favorite moment may not have actually happened (I think I remember it, but I deleted it and can’t go back to check), but I swear when Coach Taylor called Landry to kick the game-winner, he called him “Landry” and not “Lance” for what might have been the first time ever.

2. “No Reservations” (Travel). This series is at its best when it opens your eyes to different cultures, and the Dubai episode is a shining example. From the extremes of homesick Indian and Pakistani migrant workers to the Americanized young Emiraties (err, Emirates? Emirateys?), we saw the good, the bad and the audacious. I’ve seen lots of Dubai from travel shows and “Amazing Race” and such, but this episode showed me an entirely different side and really humanized a mega-city.

3. “Mad Men” (AMC). Poor Don. He’s oozing desperation now, a dinosaur amid changing times, and he doesn’t even realize it. The only place he’s ever really comfortable is with Anna as Dick Whitman, and with the shocking news that she’s dying, he won’t have that much longer. There were a lot of great comic moments in the episode, as Don and Lane got shellacked at work (geez, Don even spilled booze pouring it into his flask), ate steaks (loved Lane’s Texas belt buckle), watched “Godzilla” and called a couple of hookers. Quite a way to ring in the new year. I have a feeling Don’s troubles are going to get a lot worse before they get better.


1. “Bachelor Pad” (ABC). It could have been incredibly bad, or so incredibly bad it was good. But instead it was just boring. There might have been a half-hour’s worth of content stretched out for two hours. Good lord, what a waste of time. MTV’s “Gauntlet”/”Fresh Meat”/whatever challenges between “Real World” and “Road Rules” contestants uses the same concept, and manages to be a whole lot more entertaining. And when you’re using MTV reality shows as an example of what a show should be like, there’s a big problem.

2. “Next Food Network Star” (Food Network). Did someone really have to win last week? Everyone screwed up in the “Iron Chef” challenge. Aarti’s food was good, but her color commentary was bad. Herb had big flaws in both food and commentary. Tom aced the commentary, but served inedible food. And Aria cooked boring dishes and didn’t even bother trying during the commentary. You’ve gotta wonder if any of these guys have it in them to actually be a TV star.

3. “Top Chef” (Bravo). Oh no, they killed Kenny! I don’t understand this. Alex, sure, he did the least and did it all poorly, but I accept that the winning team has immunity, so he’s safe whether we like it or not. But Kenny at least showed leadership and ran a tight kitchen, without massive service delays (like the other team). I think that should have saved him. Amanda did one dish, and did it poorly. How did she not get the boot? This season has often been aggravating to watch, and this was no exception. I really hope Alex is next to go. His kitchen skills are zilch, but what really bugged me was the disrespectful way he treated his servers. The dude’s a royal ass, and he needs to get off my TV screen ASAP. I’m just worried he’ll linger a while longer, and become this season’s Robin or — even worse — Lisa.

Looking forward to . . .

Ehhh, I don’t know. I’m on vacation next week, and other than the usual shows, I’m planning on catching up with “True Blood” (I’m only four episodes behind now) and “Hung” (I’m pretty much the whole season behind) and a handful of movies (how’s a double feature of “Waltzing with Bashir” and “Hot Tub Time Machine” sound?).

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