Spoilers for, in order, "Doctor Who," "Ugly Betty" and "Survivor" after the jump. (And, out of curiosity, anybody here still watching "Dexter"? Now that Showtime's caught up with the episodes I've seen, I may add it to the rotation next week.)
As I said a couple of weeks ago, I'm a "Doctor Who" newbie, having come to the show late in the Eccleston season. I Netflix'ed the Tom Baker "City of Death" DVD, but haven't had much time to watch it -- and, besides, it doesn't feature either Sarah Jane Smith or K-9. So, in theory, I shouldn't be the target audience for such a continuity-heavy episode as "School Reunion" -- yet I was more moved by it than anything on the show since The Doctor cured all the gas-mask people in "The Doctor Dances." All that I really needed to know was that Sarah Jane was the Rose of the early '70s, and Elisabeth Sladen's performance did the rest -- with some support from David Tennant, who actually made me sad that the tin dog was about to die. A really touching meditation on the difficulty of living a normal life on Earth after getting a chance to see the entire universe. And, for added value, Anthony Head was having himself a fine old time vamping it up as the head baddie. The only thing I didn't like at all was Rose's reaction to Mickey becoming a companion. Don't keep stringing the guy along if you're clearly that over him, okay?
"Ugly Betty" is now three-for-three with episodes where Betty breaks down crying and either quits or offers to before Daniel talks her out of it. There's a TV-producing philosophy that says you have to essentially re-do your pilot a bunch of times in a row, both for the benefit of viewers who missed the first episode and to help reinforce the characters for everyone else. But I feel like we've seen enough of that device for a while. Also, while Betty's hoochie makeover was an obvious attempt to derail any questions of why she wouldn't start dressing better with the new job, I can't totally suspend my disbelief yet. After all, why wouldn't Daniel -- who needs her brain but also realizes that her image is a potential distraction -- just hire her a personal shopper for an afternoon or something? But if I can buy Clark Kent's glasses as the ultimate disguise, I can go with this for now.
I've delayed so long saying anything about "Survivor" because I'm not sure what I have to say. As I wrote last week, once they got rid of the racial component, a lot of the air went out of this season for me. I think the casting's been pretty good (loved Jonathan The Actor heckling Probst's punny play-by-play, followed by Jeff's lemon-sucking face), and I even like most of the challenges (the climax to this week's IC was one of the more intense ones we've had), but I'm feeling "Survivor"ed out at the moment. Maybe after they cut loose a lot of deadweight -- starting with this week's double-elimination -- I'll feel more into it, but for now, not so much.