Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The return of The 4400,Hell's Kitchen hijinks and Top Chef gets a real grilling

Top Chef started off with a rather sweet Quickfire this week,to create a dish using fresh Florida citrus fruits. Padma lead the guest judge,Norman Van Aken,around to sample everyone's plates,which had Sara N. so nervous that she couldn't even describe her dish properly. I found it funny during one of the off camera asides that she was surpised that he was being "so critical." Uh,yeah,that's what a judge has to do there,hon. Can you say "Duh!"? I think you can.

Hung won the Quickfire,which made him immune to the Elimination Challenge to follow. The theme there was gourmet barbequing,as everyone had to prepare some fancy BBQ for a champagne outdoor party. Tre kept saying that he had this thing in the bag,since he's a Texan. That didn't prove to be the case,as his peach glazed salmon portions were either too salty or underseasoned. That landed him in the bottom four but I can understand how that could happen when you're cooking several pieces of meat at a time.

Sara N. redeemed herself from her lackluster QF by turning out a tasty Vietnamese pork dish that was easy to roll up and eat,which made judge Gail very happy. Micah also rebounded(she had a few moody moments during prep,saying she missed her daughter) with a grilled lamb and halloumi number that set her apart from the rest. Most of the chefs went with the usual red meats you see at barbeques.

Brian was one of the few who didn't and it paid off with a win for his seafood sausage dish. Pretty nice there,especially after last week's attempt at rattlesnake and eel which divebombed. He didn't get a prize like Tre did(what is it with the random giving out of gifts to the winners during TC rounds? On shows like The Amazing Race,the winner of every leg gets some goodies. What's the deal here,Bravo?)but he was pleased,regardless.

Sandee's lobster plate didn't please the judges,mainly because she didn't grilled it at all-her lobster was braised the day before and poached at the party. Also,the vanilla butter drowned rather than enhanced the lobster flavor and what was up with that huge stick in it? That stick would make sense if you were serving a shish kebob but not one little hunk of fish! Howie wound up on the chopping block again for his jerk pork being too tough(he prepped it way too soon) and when Joey,who was also in the bottom four for his boring chicken legs,was asked who should go,he tapped Howie. That was not cool,since Joey admitted to not having tasted Howie's dish(he did try Tre's and Sandee's)and that lead to a war of words with Howie in the waiting area.

It's soon for me to root for anyone here just yet but Joey is getting on my nerves with his constant whining and pointing fingers at folks,like getting mad that Hung served a watermelon drink at the BBQ after Joey had made one at the Quickfire. Dude,stop being such a jerk,especially to Howie since I think he can pretty much take you in a fight.

I am officially rooting for Julia to win Hell's Kitchen,particularly after the nonsense that went on during the elimination selection this week. The entire Red Team had to choose amongst themselves who would be put up on the chopping block and most of the gals picked Julia,despite the fact that her leadership skills earned them a win in the breakfast challenge for the army(she was even sent over to the Blue Team so that the navy folk could get some food since the guys couldn't hack it) and she had the sense to stop Jen from serving up spaghetti taken out of the garbage(not kidding here,folks)before Gordon Ramsey saw what was happening.

So,what was the logic behind selecting Julia? Well,according to Bonnie(who couldn't even cook her scallops for the dinner service) and Melissa,Julia doesn't "know the product" due to being a short order cook at a Waffle House.

Melissa bragged that it took her ten years to learn all of the ingrediants for fine dining,so how could Julia possible gain such vast knowledge during her brief run at Hell's Kitchen? Especially since she doesn't know how to make a creme brulee? How would Julia know what to shop for if she was given a four star Michlin restaurant?

Well,as Joanna(who was already in dutch with Ramsey for cooking with rancid crab meat) put it"That bitch could run a Michlin restaurant!". I agree but the bitch here is Melissa. It took you TEN YEARS to learn about ingrediants? That tells me that you're a real damn slow learner,hon. Not something that most would boast about. And Bonnie should just shut the hell up,since all she seems to know how to do is stand around half dressed and look more confused than an Amish farmer at a nudist colony.

Jen atleast redeemed herself by stepping up during the elimination and confessing her trashy spaghetti incident to Ramsey. Joanna was dismissed for the crab meat but Jen got a stern reprimand for her garbage picking ways.

The Blue Team didn't fare any better,as all of the guys wanted to be the leader of the group but the dubious honors went to Brian. Brian's being in command didn't improve matters,as Josh nearly exploded after Ramsey complained about the rawness of the eggs for the appetizers:

The guys did get a break as Aaron was finally dismissed,due to one last fainting spell that landed him in the hospital. Take care,cowboy and take some comfort in being one of the more memorable candidates of the season:




The 4400 began their fourth season,with Kyle waking Shawn out of his coma,thanks to a suggestion from a mysterious stranger,Tom finding out where Alana was taken to due to info from an inprisoned and powerless Isabelle,Diane coming back to the states to see what happened to her sister April who bought herself a shot of Promicin and Jordan Collier publicly displaying his special ability of deactivtating the new breed of Promicin powered people if he doesn't approve of their methods. That sounds fine in theory,especially with this week's probelm child having a Jim Jones vibe that turned a whole city into chaos, but I suspect that some of the newbies will want to take Jordan out of the picture for that little trick.

Random Notes

AFI's NEW LIST OF 100 GREATEST MOVIES: Citizen Kane reigned again at the top of the list and while I was glad to see some fresh blood(LOTR:Fellowship of the Ring @ #50),I was sad that Frankenstein didn't make the cut. Also happy to see Dances With Wolves not here,but Toy Story? I like the movie but not that much,even at number 99. You can check out the whole list here if you missed the show last night. Morgan Freeman was a great host and I'm glad that Shawshank Redemption placed well on the list.

Rescue Me: I'll have to catch with this week's episode over the weekend,due to the AFI special,but here's an amusing scene from the premiere as Garrity and Maggie try to bond over adult films:

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