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FBOTU TV: As the Parallel World Turns

By Chance

February 14, 2011 at 8:53PM EST

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I choose Frank.

A few articles I read prior to viewing this week’s episode of Fringe touted it as a “game-changing” moment in the series, so my expectations were very high. However, because I watched a lot of All My Children as a kid, I kind of saw this one coming. Remember when Natalie and Erica were in the burning building and Jeremy could only save one of them? So, of course, he saved the one who was allegedly carrying his baby. You can throw the characters in alternate universes and give them a big mystical machine to play with, but it’s still just Erica and Natalie clinging to a fake fire escape. Give me a real game-changer, Fringe! Let Fauxlivia have Peter and give Frank (above, shirtless) to Realivia! Or, better yet, have Peter and Frank run off together and leave all the Livias behind. Game changed!

Chloe is back on Smallville, and she’s ruining everything. Wait, were you expecting me to talk about Lionel Luthor’s return? Yeah, he’s back, too. But when Chloe was gone, Oliver was always taking his shirt off or getting tied up naked every week (but that’s not the problem). The problem is that now that she’s back, we still get shirtless Oliver, but that now includes shirtless Chloe, too. Here’s a shot I managed to get of Oliver sort of shielding Chloe from view, so enjoy.

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Oliver, have you met Frank?

As for Lionel, he apparently followed Clark back from the parallel universe and wants to try his hand at destroying the lives of his children over here for a while. Poor Lutessa. Why? A.) Her name is Lutessa. B.) She’s finally made some friends and now her jerky parallel universe father shows up and wants to ruin it all. I think Will Smith said it best: “Parents just don’t understand.”

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“We’re gladiators in love. What could possibly go wrong?”

I haven’t been watching Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, because I don’t have Starz, and my brain is still recovering from the first series. But then a friend told me I could watch it instantly on Netflix, so I bit the bullet and watched all the current episodes on my iPad, which certainly helps diminish the gore, but does nothing to help with the painful dialogue and acting. I never thought I’d ever get tired of hearing the word c*ck. It’s one of my favorite words, actually. Or, it was. Since it’s also everyone else’s favorite word on this show, I’ve been forced to turn it into a drinking game, which means I’m passed out before the opening credits even roll. Seriously, Gods of the Arena, lay off the c*ck.

As for the rest of the show, there are really only two reasons to watch. First, Lucy Lawless manages to elevate the material and actually brings a welcome dose of subtlety to the proceedings. Second, hot, naked gladiator men. In one episode, the rock star gladiator swaggers into the practice yard, wearing his little gladiator jock and a pair of thigh-high boots or leg warmers of some kind, which begs the question: “Are any straight people watching this show?” There’s plenty of homo intrigue, that’s for sure, including gladiators in love, full frontal bath time and the constant threat of becoming the butt boy of whatever traveling dignitary is passing through Capua.

Finally, in case Fringe thinks it’s being terribly clever with the homage to All My Children, I predict Gods of the Arena will pull out its own One Life to Live moment in future episodes with some surprise pregnancies and eventual baby-swapping. Tune in tomorrow, soap fans!.

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Evil black-and-white flashback Sam will shoot you in the face.

They did it again! Remember last week when I said I was expecting Supernatural to draw out Sam’s amnesia for a while before telling him about his soullessness, then—POW—they dropped that bomb by the end of the episode? Then, this week, I predicted they’d probably save the crumbling of Sam’s mental hell wall until the season finale, then—POW—they end the episode with him writhing on the floor. I’m just going to go ahead and assume everything will be fixed by the end of the next episode and that a whole new story arc will take us into the finale. Seriously, Supernatural, why do you always have to prove me wrong? You’re making me look bad here.

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“You check the dark basement, I’ll check the haunted woods.”

While watching The Vampire Diaries, I tried to imagine what my parents would do if I were 16 and asked to go away for a romantic weekend with my 164-year-old vampire boyfriend. I’d like to think my mom would hesitate a bit. My dad, I think, would just be happy to get me out of the house for a couple of days. The thing that I love about this show is that going off to a secluded cabin in the woods seems like a good idea to these people. Like, “I know we’re being stalked by werewolves and witches and prehistoric vampires, but I hear Camp Crystal Lake is really pretty at night. I’ll go wander around outside by myself, looking for firewood!”

Like I said, that’s what I love about this show. Another thing I love is that Elena has offered herself up as a sacrifice to protect her friends, and Stefan has the worst reaction in the history of ever. Instead of taking her in his arms and telling her how brave and noble she is, he accuses her of being a martyr, then sulks off, presumably alone, in the woods. We don’t even get to see the inevitable awkward ride home.

I tried to think of a comparable Young and the Restless moment I could compare all of this to, but the best I can come up with is when Cricket took the wrap for Phillip’s drunk driving, so he wouldn’t have to go to prison. He ended up dead, anyway, so maybe Stefan has a point. On the other hand, I hear Phillip is back (and gay now), so maybe he’s a vampire, too. In which case, Elena is doing the right thing. Right?

Now, it’s your turn. What are you watching? Tell us all about it in the comments section!