“America’s Next Top Model”
Wednesday 9pm, CW
What started out as a dreadful season has turned out to be a lot of fun. For “Top Model’s” 18th cycle, evil genius Tyra Banks launched a “British Invasion,” pairing seven new American would-be models with seven former contestants from “Britain’s Next Top Model.” The first few episodes were nearly painful to watch, with some of the dumbest photo shoots in the series’ history—and that’s saying a lot—and Tyra’s goofier tendencies indulged like never before (the supermodel super powers? Oh, Tyra…). But the remaining girls are actually lovely. I’d say it’s a safe bet that an American will take the win, but I’m pulling for Brit Sophie. In other news, Tyra just pink-slipped longtime cronies Jay Manuel, J. Alexander, and Nigel Barker, so get your fill of those bozos while you can.
“The Vampire Diaries”
Thursday 8pm, CW
This supernatural teen drama had killer freshmen and sophomore seasons, but that hot streak came to an end halfway through this third season, when this whole stupid “Originals” plotline went completely off the rails. Parts of the season have been handled well—Bad Stefan is a hoot; Elena’s burgeoning relationship with Damon has been nicely executed; the bit about Alaric’s magic woo-woo ring screwing him over was inspired. But anything to do with the insufferable Klaus and his siblings (minus the terrific Elijah) has been infuriating. The bloodline twist was novel, and it ratcheted up the drama. But this Originals shit has to end in these last few episodes of the season (although I hear it won’t…). One promising spoiler: the May 10 season finale will flashback to the night of the accident that killed Elena’s parents, a plot point that has always bugged me (specifically Stefan’s unclear role in it).
Thursday 8:30pm, NBC
After a couple of bum seasons “30 Rock” has made a big improvement this year, which has made an uneven year for “Parks and Recreation” and “Community” barely being on the air somewhat more tolerable. Jenna’s sexual walkabout, Jack’s continued mission to make his crappy Kabletown company legit, and Kenneth’s confusing career path have made for some great ongoing plotlines, and the jokes have generally been sharper, too. This week we get the return of “Queen of Jordan,” Angie’s hilarious “Real Housewives” parody that was a highlight of Season 5. Let’s see if D’Fwan remembers his catchphrase this time.