Fair warning: My recaps will likely contain spoilers so if you're hording any of these shows on your DVR for future television consumption, and don't want to know what happens, you might want to skip reading what I have to say about them.
The Amazing Race: It's baaaaaack! Eleven teams of potentially ugly Americans set off from Los Angeles to jetset to Taiwan. I loved it when the two Vegas showgirls were all, "We're really smart!" and then promptly lost a passport in the gas station parking lot. Oops. But then, just when all seemed bleak for Candi and Bambi, Twitter came to the rescue and reunited the lost passport with the showgirls. Fate also smiled down on married former educating farmers when they were not eliminated on this leg after spending more than four hours wandering around wondering where the clue. I'm not saying I would've done any better. I'm just reporting the facts. I'm not wild about the football player guy and not just because he played for the Colts (although that doesn't help) and other than that, I don't really have a whole lot to say about the teams just yet. It's still early. But let's bring on the drama!
How I Met Your Mother: Victoria's almost engaged to this guy Klaus and not the hot, smoldering sexy and entirely evil vampire/werewolf Klaus from Vampire Diaries. At least one hopes. Otherwise, strangest crossover ever. Just before she and Ted split for the second time, Victoria tells Ted that his hanging out with Robin and Barney all the time just doesn't work. And Ted reveals at the very end of the episode that Victoria was right...but they just didn't know it yet. I'm still out there on my limb, clinging to my belief that Barney will somehow end up marrying Victoria (engaged to be engaged is not engaged). Also in this episode was a subplot where Barney is obsessed with Lily's pregnancy breasts and it leads him to have to wear Marshall's horrible ducky tie for a year. Silly fun to offset the rest. I love the storycrafting that goes into each and every episode.
2 Broke Girls: This was one of Ken Tucker's (of Entertainment Weekly) pick for the best five new shows of the season. After watching the pilot last week and this week's...offering, all I can say is that this does not make me think there are any decent new shows out there because this show is just bad, very very bad. It is not funny. At all. Blondie should sell her horse and her chanel necklace. Betcha that'll get them a heck of a lot closer to their cupcake business. Whatever. This show will likely never be mentioned in this segment again. Unless I'm making fun of it.
Castle: I actually kind of liked this episode. While it didn't make me stop wishing for more episodes of Firefly instead (let's face it. Nothing ever will), I found it to be rather enjoyable. It's nice they can go back to a lighter format after their emotion heavy offerings of late. The superhero storyline was fun. I knew Castle's mother (Martha?) was dressed as King Lear toward the end. I kind of wish Alexis hadn't arrived at the decision to take different classes from Ashley at the end of this episode. Yes, I wanted her to make that decision but I had hoped it wouldn't be tied up with a nice neat bow by the end. Of course, she announced her intention to move in with Ashley instead so maybe the classes detail pales in comparison.
Glee: A better episode from last week. Not great, but better. Better music too. Of course I'm a big broadway fan so there you have it. Shelby whatsherface returns to coach a rival glee club featuring the girl Mr. Shue wouldn't allow to join his own glee club because she can't sing. Shelby is Rachel's birth mother and the adoptive mother of Quinn and Puck's baby girl from season one. She tells Quinn and Puck that she wants them to be a part of the baby's life but they have to clean up their act. So Puck does homework, gets a drug test and doesn't drink. Except for that beer... Quinn refuses, tries to tell off Mr. Shue for the glee club ruining her life (Mr. Shue responds with an angry rant that made me almost not hate him for a little while) and then shows up all clean and blond at dance rehearsal claiming to want to be a part of things again when her real plan is to get full custody of her baby (cue evil laughter). On the other side of things, the gang's putting on West Side Story and my love for Darren Criss knows no bounds. My favorite line of the night came from Kurt's dad, Burt (to whom I have pledged my eternal love because of his sheer awesomeness) when he told his son (upset that he was deemed too feminine to play Tony) "Dude, you're gay. You're gay. And you're not like Rock Hudson gay, you're really gay. You sing like Dianna Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory."
New Girl: The remote wasn't in reach and so I ended up watching. I didn't hate it as much as last week's episode. Things seemed to be more toned down and it actually made both The Man and I laugh out loud. I might actually watch a third episode, just to see what'll happen.
Raising Hope: Still didn't know where the remote was but this show also made The Man and I laugh out loud. I've read good things about this sitcom but just never bothered to watch it because I was watching something else but it was really quite funny.
Ringer: I really like the music in this show. I don't know what any of it is but I like the tone it sets. This episode seemed better than the first two. Still not great, but better, I think. The best friend is annoying and I don't much care for her. SMG still isn't kicking ass though the professor guy certainly got his ass kicked. Kind of curious what Bridget is going to do as she's actually, you know, not pregnant but everyone thinks she is.
The Middle: Not a great episode but still a good one. Chord Overstreet (aka Glee's Trouty Mouth) puts in an appearance as Brick's teacher. Loved the scene between him and Mike and the answer ball. I also loved the scene where Frankie was trying to convince the kids that she's in charge, not Mike. Tonight's best exchange was between Mike and Brick when they discussed Brick's not going to gym class. Mike asked, "What will the other kids say?" and Brick responded, "I don't know but I know what they won't be saying: 'there's Brick. Let's get him.'"
Suburgatory: Made the schedule because it comes in between The Middle and Modern Family. Not horrible but not super awesome either. It made me sad to see Hoban Washburne playing a spray tanned tool. I hate you, Fox network. You ruined my life. Which is interestingly enough, my favorite line from this episode. The Emma Stone-esque teen lead screams this at her father who yells back, "I did not ruin your life" and then tells Orange Wash "I think I ruined her life."
Modern Family: Phil on a tight rope and Cam on a diet. Loved Mitchell walking us through the various stages of Cam's diet. Especially despair: "Daddy, we hided but you didn't come seek" and rage: Cam rips the door right off the cupboard. I don't really think I need to say more. Oh wait. There's one more thing. That little dog, Stella? She's frickin' adorable and I want one.
Happy Endings: My brother and sister-in-law got me hooked on this show over the summer. It's wacky fun. The cold opening of this episode was frantic and funny. The rest of the episode was all right. I think my favorite episode thus far was the one where the artist guy was living in Dave and Max's ceiling. That was hysterical.
Big Bang Theory: I didn't care for Howard and Bernadette's storyline at all. His relationship with his mother is just creepy. And while I generally find Amy Farrah Fowler to be tolerable in smaller doses, I didn't mind her so much in this episode. Probably because the Howard/Bernadette storyline was so damn creepy, I didn't notice the rest. I loved Amy's line to Leonard "That kind of moody self-obsession is only attractive in men who can play the guitar and are taller than you" so much that I had to rewind it twice to write it down properly.
Community: I didn't get to talk about last week's episode and I suppose it was all right for a season opener but it wasn't fantastic. I like Chang and the Dean more when they just pop into the study group once and a while and say something weird and then pop out again. But whatever. This week, the Britta/Chang storyline was just weird but not in a hilarious way. The Asian Annie/Model UN storyline wasn't much better either. Not that I didn't laugh during this episode. It just wasn't one of my favorites. I seem to be saying that a lot this week. Loved the bit at the end when Troy and Abed were playing Operation on a sleeping Pierce.
Parks and Recreation: Ron's first wife, Tammy, shows up and turns everything upside down. April calls her the cold distant mother she never had and proclaims her love for Tammy. Funny. Loved it when Andy tried to give Tammy a fake name because she scared him. Tammy got Ron to shave his mustache (probably the most shocking moment of the night). Also on the hair front: what the hell's going on with Rob Lowe's hair? Best lines of the night: "I'm guessing they'll be bankrupt by the end of this sentence." (Ben in reference to Tom's 720 Entertainment business) and "That's my decoy gold. You think I'd leave my gold in a locked safe buried underground where just anyone could find it? You don't know me at all!" (Ron, responding to Tammy's claim that she's stolen half his gold.)
Vampire Diaries: I should probably be embarrassed by how much I freaking love this show. But I'm not. No shirtless Damon sightings tonight. I guess the writers figured they'd be good for a while after that bathtub scene in the season opener. Anyway before I get too distracted... Stefan and Klaus went to hang out in Chicago where they relived the roaring 20's and we learned that Stefan romanced Klaus's sister and then taught Klaus a thing or two about torture before Klaus wiped away Stefan's memory of ever having met them. Damon and Elena road tripped there too to try and bring Stefan home but Stefan was mean to Elena and so she went home in tears. Katherine's also in Chicago. Not in Chicago is Caroline who once again gets locked up and tortured. This time by her father. Jeremy and Bonnie and Matt were nowhere to be seen and I honestly didn't miss them.
The Secret Circle: Is anyone else watching this show or am I the only one? I'm curious because I'm mostly bored by this series thus far and they haven't even had that great of a music selection either. Halfway though this episode I actually had the thought "aaaaaaaaand I'm done." Of course, I said the same thing about Vampire Diaries in its first season and now I'm a total addict so who knows. Just know that right now, this show bores the living daylights out of me (and no, I don't know why I'm watching it). Let's snap it up, writers.
Supernatural: Okay, I didn't talk about this one last week either but HOLY CRAP, what's Castiel's deal? So great for Misha Collins to show off some range. This week, Castiel disappears into the public drinking water supply and monsters start inhabiting the people of small town America. Hijinks ensue. The casting directors managed to find another creepy little kid to help cement my fear of children. Best line of the line belongs to Dean: "Don't let Satan change my presets." Note to writers: I will be very upset if Bobby is dead. I'm also curious how long Mark Pellegrino's going to be on the show. I like him and I like him in this role and I like this storyline but I'm wondering how long they'll keep it going for and how the hell they'll manage to resolve it.