Entertainment Television

TV CHEAT SHEET: Mariah madness!

TV maven Denette Wilford says Mariah Carey's new reality show is going to be a hot mess. E!

TV maven Denette Wilford says Mariah Carey's new reality show is going to be a hot mess. E!

DENETTE WILFORD/ 24 HOURS

** WARNING: Some content may contain spoilers **

 Reality Bites: Mariah's World

Oh, Mimi. Her world? More like another dimension. Unlike other reality shows where the stars almost forget that cameras are filming them, Mariah always remembers they're there. And from angles and lighting and hair and makeup, she's conscious of the fact that she's putting herself out there. But did you expect anything else?

Carey has insisted there's nothing scripted about the eight episodes of Mariah's World, which debuts Sunday, but considering every move she makes is carefully calculated, I have to give her one wary side eye.

That being said, while I thought I would eye roll the hell out of E! latest reality offering, Mariah's World actually has some funny moments. No, Mariah isn't carried around by shirtless men on a chaise lounge but she does require four people to help her put her shoes on. Mariah might be the butt of the joke, but she's also in on it, not taking things too seriously while at the same time, being dead serious with her intent to entertain. She's a diva, sure, but the drama comes to her — which is what makes this kind of amazing.

From the return of evil alter ego Bianca, to her wedding planning to billionaire James Packer all while working on a seemingly last-minute European tour, it was a crazy time in her life to have cameras following her every move. But anyone who keeps up with celebrity gossip knows Carey cancelled the South American leg of her tour, Packer is her now-ex-fiancee and one of her backup dancers, who gets some decent camera time, is rumoured to be part of the reason they broke up. Yep, this just got even more interesting. What did I tell you? Drama, baby. It comes to her.

 Real Deal MasterChef Canada: All-Star Family Edition

It's almost that time of year when it's all about family, friends and, most importantly, food — which is what makes Monday's MasterChef Canada special the perfect thing to watch.

Previous champs Eric, David and Mary along with Pino, the winner of the show's holiday special, go head to head, and they've brought their nearest and dearest to take part in the culinary adventures. The former home cooks-turned-expert chefs cooking alongside their moms, siblings and better halves is exciting stuff but I'm guessing there were times when it felt like too many cooks in the MasterChef kitchen.

The chefs compete not only for bragging rights but also $10,000 for their charity of choice. Watching the passion food ignites in everyone is one thing, but what's better is their desire to win being overcome by something bigger, something kinder, something more generous, making the two-hour special simply a joy to watch. Honestly, if you tune in just to watch Pino's mom in all her awesome glory, it's totally worth it.

Really?! The Walking Dead

An episode devoted to Tara, of all people? And an extended one to boot? Come ON. I get that TWD cast is stacked but Alanna Masterson's character is sometimes easy to forget, especially in these post-Glenn days.

The hours devoted to one particular character are more like studies sandwiched between epic, bloody, water-cooler premieres and finales. And that would be fine if the pacing of these particular episodes wasn't so drawn out.

The 70 minutes wasn't all snoozy, and it was interesting to learn about the collective of women in this post-apocalyptic setting (you know, after Negan killed all their men and boys over 10 because, of course). But back story is one thing. They have to at least make it exciting, make us care.

Will all this character investment lead to a proper mid-season finale payoff that involves the people of Alexandria, the Hilltop colony and the Oceanside group teaming up against the Saviors? Not bloody likely. At least, not yet. At most, it'll just be another huge episode where lives are lost — and not necessarily the ones we want to lose. That's all well and good, and what we've come to expect — but the stuff in between has to satisfy as well.

 Applause, Applause: Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Graham slipped right back into her old TV role like it was nothing — but it's clear she picked up a few things from her time on Parenthood. Yes, the revival got a ton of backlash, and if you break it down and look back at the musical and the Berta antics, the lack of Lane and the Wild stuff, admittedly, it wasn't perfect. But without those scenes of Lorelai attempting to channel Cheryl Strayed, we wouldn't have gotten the most heartbreaking scene of the series.

Yes, it didn't happen until Fall, the fourth 90-minute episode of A Year in the Life, but boy, was it worth the wait. When her quest to hike her way to self-discovery failed once again, Lorelai found herself inadvertently staring at a stunning mountain landscape that gave her the epiphany she was looking for.

Lorelai calling Emily, choking back tears and openly sobbing as she recalled when Richard consoled her with a soft pretzel and a trip to the movies after suffering her first real heartbreak was the anecdote she should've told at her dad's funeral. But since Lorelai's always got her guard up and sarcasm is her bread and butter, we had to know that openness in front of virtual strangers was never going to happen. But in that moment, when it was just Graham and nature and Kelly Bishop on the other end of that call, the actress explored every bit of sorrow that Lorelai had buried deep throughout the previous three seasons, from losing her dad to never really connecting with her mom. To know Lorelai is to love her but that scene, that phone call, was Graham at her rawest. Hell, that was Graham at her best. No offense, Sarah Braverman.

 Quote of the Week: Criminal Minds

"I don't know about the rest of you but I'm getting tired of losing to this rat face son of a bitch. He's not going to take anyone else away from us, not on my watch, am I clear?"—Prentiss (Paget Brewster) to her team about catching serial killer Mr. Scratch

And with those two sentences, I forgot Thomas Gibson's Hotch ever existed.