Top Chef: Poor poor Kevin, doing so well and then getting saddled with Preeti as a sous chef for the prep day. Was this the "let's not have a Voltaggio have to get saddled with Robin" decision, or a "we haven't had enough twists this season" decision? Either way, Kevin got hosed, not that it probably would have made a difference. He who lives by the pig, dies by the pig, and had his pork belly been properly cooked, he'd have had a better chance of making it through. Well, that and not serving a massive slab of mushroom-that-he-didn't-know-how-to-cook in his mystery box dish. Kevin and Richard Blais can go get drunk together and think about what might have been...
Meanwhile, Michael wins "Battle Voltaggio" and the title of Top Chef. Having the brothers finish 1-2 was pretty impressive, although the least suspenseful season ever, what with most people having predicted the final 4 somewhere around September. It's the blessing and curse of the increased talent of the contestant pool. The crap chefs are exposed very early (save for Robin), a fact that was glaringly obvious when you looked at someone like Preeti as opposed to Eli or Robin acting as a sous chef. I'm going to silently rage about that some more, actually. Way to go, Magical Elves. Okay, and I'm better now. Great season though, even with Robin's presence much longer than she deserved. Can't wait for the next one.
Scrubs: I've been cautiously optimistic about the return of Scrubs, especially after a great series finale. However, Bill Lawrence has said that this is simply a way for everybody on the show to keep their jobs for at least another year, which I can't argue with (seeing as how that's the industry I'm attempting to work in). Even better, the new concept works, making for some good television so far. The new concept is that Central Heart has been relocated next to a medical school, and the Sacred Heart staff are now among the teaching staff. Cox, Turk, and JD are the only main characters that are really back full time (Elliot showed up all preggers in the premiere and Carla is mentioned but not actually shown), but they were the stronger characters on the show, so it all works out. The new med students are interesting enough to carry their end, as we get a girl version of JD (which sounds redundant...and probably is), a cocky legacy kid (Dave Franco, the little brother of Spider-Man's friend), and an older former med school burnout. The trick is to present the standard "new doctor" stories in a way that doesn't feel too much like rehashed Scrubs Season 1, and they've been doing well so far. The fantasy sequences are still there, as are just plain bizarre elements (like JD keeping office hours on a tree branch). It just doesn't feel right without The Janitor, but I really like the new take on the JD/Cox relationship; giving them moments where they really are equals, although JD still craves the approval of Cox. It's an interesting enough spin on the original concept, so we'll see how long it can go.
Better Off Ted is also back, coupled with Scrubs on Tuesdays, and I'm really hoping that the show finds an audience. It's by the creator of Andy Richter Controls the Universe, which was criminally underrated and cancel much too soon. That same mix of eclectic behavior in a structured workplace environment is present in Better Off Ted, although with a slightly more accessible lead. Ted is generally the center of normalcy within the storm of quirks, and it keeps the show grounded in the midst of hijinks. Portia de Rossi steals any scene she's in, and the rest of the supporting cast holds their own. This is the only show I know of to successfully pull off a "separate drinking fountains" joke, so let that serve as my highest recommendation. Old episodes should be available on Hulu or ABC.com