Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Heroes returns,The Dresden Files open and Top Chef sets up their Season Finale

Part One of the Top Chef season 2 finale took the four finalists to Hawaii,where they were greeted by Miss Hawaii upon their arrival and flown by helicopter to a special lunch with the judges and guest judge Alan Wong. The meal consisted of several traditional Hawaiian foods which lead to the big Elimination Challenge. They were asked to cook two of the dishes they had at the luncheon for Chef Wong's birthday luau,using the native flavors but adding their own personal spin to it.

This showdown took place two months after the Marcel shaving incident so Elia and Ilan had time to grow back some hair. That time apart,however,didn't make them stop hating on Marcel. Tensions were not as bad as before but still there,simmering just slightly under the surface. Contestants were allowed to bring their own favorite recipe supplies so Marcel finally got a chance to use his cooking chemistry kit.

Marcel's pineapple poi was a big hit,thanks to the use of Xanthan gum(a high tech version of cornstarch,from what I gather). Elia mixed some Mediterranean flavors in her food,which made her dishs seem less Hawaiian. Ilan succeeded with his Spanish take on the food but the saffron in his dessert was considered to be overpowering. Sam was sort of middle of the road and as Judge Tom pointed,the food wasn't really cooked at all,just served up raw.

When it came time for the two finalists to be announced by the judges,Elia and Ilan brought a batch of bad sportsmanship to the table by trying to sandbag Marcel with lame accusations of cheating. When pressed to come up with an example,Elia mentioned that Marcel had moved a pot that she was going to use off of an unlit burner. Ooo,how evilll! Did that affect her dish? No,as she said so herself. Here's that bit in the kitchen,along with a crack made at Ilan,who burned something midway thru:

Moving a pot is not cheating,Elia. Use it or lose it,babe. Judge Tom wound up telling her that he was sick of this mess and didn't care what happened in the kitchen,only the food. Ilan had been griping about Marcel with Elia and Sam before being called back to the Judges' Table and pushed Elia into saying something about Marcel. Sam was the one who suggested a cheating charge but when it came time,he tried to keep out of it(just as he did before with the shaving party). Ilan tried to rope him in but Sam advised him to wait and see what the outcome was going to be.

The results were that Sam and Elia were out,which means Marcel and Ilan will be going head to head next week to take the Top Chef crown. That menu should read"Ladies and gentlemen,for your dining pleasure tonight,our chefs will be serving up Roasted Bone ala Bloodsport with a side of Snide Remark soup." I was so glad to see Elia go-her two faced behavior towards Marcel really bothered me-and was surprised by Sam's dismissal. He wasn't one of my favorites and a tad sneaky at times but still a decent chef. Sam did win the Fan Favorite contest,so he gets a cool ten grand for his trouble there.

When this season started,I never expected to be rooting for Marcel to win. Ilan's fixation on Marcel over the course of the show is disturbing,to say the least. Marcel is annoying and can make plenty of social errors but he didn't go out of his way to stomp on someone else's dish in front of guests or mock someone by calling them a virgin or encourage other people to gang up on one person. Guess who did all of those things? If you said Ilan,you win the kewpie doll! Also heard that Marcel was recently assaulted in Las Vegas;a girl came up to him in a nightclub and asked him if he was Marcel from Top Chef. He said yes and got clocked in the head with a bottle that required him to need 30 stitches! That does it,Go Marcel,Go!

Heroes is back and quite a few interesting developments,with Hiro finding his sword(well,almost)and meeting up with Nathan"Flying Man" again,Peter waking up from his mini coma and running into Mr. Invisible and Claire struggling to keep her dad in the dark about her non-erased memory. Is it surprising that Niki/Jessica is having trouble staying well-adjusted in the slammer? Ali Larter has really developed some nice acting chops with this character and I'm looking forward to seeing a truly kickass prison break on TV,especially after Jessica's sinister little bon mot at the end of the show:

The SciFi channel debuted The Dresden Files last Sunday,which stars Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden,a wizard detective who aids the police with his mystical knowhow and assistence from ghostly mentor Bob. The show is based on Jim Butcher's series of books and while I haven't read them,this show should increase Butcher's fanbase nicely. The tone is pretty low key but it has alot of promise.

You can watch the first episode online at the SciFi channel website but here's a little YouTube taste of it. Seeing a group of gothed-out bird people make sure that their young charge has enough whipped cream on his ice cream sundae stuck me as darn funny,plus this nifty gizmo known as a "doombox"-very nice!:

Random Notes:

American Idol: New York proved to be a mass breeding ground for the wacky,as folks like Ian Bernardo(who also auditioned for "So You Think You Can Dance")demonstrated so well. Carole Bayer Sager was the guest judge this time out and she seemed to hold up under the madness. Paula's outfit in this clip would've looked complete if she had worn a cross around her neck,so all-girl's school!

Ian looked modest compared to Isadora,whose psychic powers didn't alert her to what the judges would say about her performance:

Veronica Mars: New episodes of VM started this week,with a decent mystery about a missing lab monkey and a look into the Dean's alledged suicide. It looks like Mac is getting a boyfriend(yes!)and that the LoVe train is back on track. Poor Phiz;Veronica should really give that guy a chance. He seems cool and doesn't hang out with jerks who think that taking Polaroids of their privates and tossing them out of the window for folks to find in the street funny(that Dick Casablancas,what a reliable tool!).

Ugly Betty:Glad to see Daniel back at Mode and is it just me or is he starting to crush a little on Betty? Sure,he's encouraging her to hook up with Henry(along with the rest of us)but that moment on the bridge between the two of them had some sparkage. Rebecca Romijin made her uberdramatic entrance as the newly remade Alexis Meade and she'll fit right in with her smirking evil self:


Pop Culture Diva said...

It had been so long since the last Heroes, I had some trouble remembering what had happened. Glad to see it back.

And yes, I think Daniel was feelin' Betty. Have you seen the Get Ugly T-shirts. Too cute.

lady t said...

No,I haven't seen the GU T-shirts yet. I gotta Google those bad boys!