– The “sneak preview” of Glee. Although I think airing the premiere episode of a series Fox doesn’t plan to air for another three months is, how shall I say this, idiotic and a programming strategy that only Fox could come up with, this was one of the best pilots I’ve seen in a while; funny and clever, with great musical numbers, and it built to a ringing, enthusiastic finale that nonetheless obviously showed room for development and growth. All the better for it being unique among the current crop of television shows.
– Tower of Greed. Simple in execution yet incredibly addictive. The first Flash game I’ve played in a while that felt really fresh, despite the “keep going up or you die” concept being far from original; ToG’s system of giving you occasional options to opt out to finalize your score really puts a stamp on the style that’s a good gameplay twist, and the 80s-ish pixel graphics are exactly what I like to see in a platformer like this one.
– Marcos Martin’s “Saga of Captain America” backup feature in Captain America #50. Hey, what if all those Marvel Saga-type summaries Marvel is putting in their books these days to justify the extra dollar in price were actually something you wanted to see because they had gorgeous new art with a strong sense of design? Wouldn’t that be cool? Well, that’s what they did here. Marcos Martin has permission to draw anything he wants to for ever.
– Gaby Rojas’ audition on the first episode of So You Think You Can Dance. One of the rare times when Nigel’s praise was not in fact even a bit hyperbolic. Absolutely astounding, and one of the best solos on this program ever, be they auditions or competition or whatever. (Other solos that were excellent: Peter Sabasino the tapper, Kayla Rodomski who made her grandpa cry when she got through, and of course Natalie Reid and Brandon Bryant, who both would have made top 20 last year if it weren’t for the producers trying to spread out talent and also give a street dancer the best chance of winning.)
– Terminator: Salvation. Loud and stupid and disappointing in all the wrong ways. A couple of really great action sequences, sure, but then again Star Wars: The Phantom Menace had a couple of really great action sequences and nobody says that was good (and the acting and dialogue in Terminator is as near-witless as the acting and dialogue in Menace). With the exception of Star Trek, the summer movie season this year is just floundering in terms of quality.
– Nigel Lythgoe’s burst of homophobia when presented with a same-sex ballroom couple (who were actually quite good technically despite a screwup). Nigel, your jokes weren’t funny (much like, you know, all your jokes ever), but worse you went from unfunny to outright offensive this time. Save the moralizing for… well, never.