Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Top Chef Reunion,Design Star selects it's season 2 contestants and a sad departure from Hell's Kitchen

Top Chef,instead of giving us another new episode,presented a "Watch What Happens" reunion special(a little early for that,isn't it?)that had folks from each season sharing their experiences on the show. Season One was represented by Harold,Lee Ann and Dave,Season Two had Ilan(wearing a tuxedo suit with no socks-when it comes to fashion,clearly his taste is in his mouth),Sam,Cliff and Michael and all of eliminated chefs up to this point stood in for the current season.

It was duly noted that Marcal had been asked to come but was on a "fishing trip" and can you really blame him? A few questions were asked about the Marcelgate incident with Cliff insisting that it was all meant in stresed out,drunken fun(my interpretation,anyway). A montage of TC fights were shown(a good number featuring Marcel),along with audition tapes,a never before clip of the Season 2 Final Five holding a mock Quickfire Challenge and a video of Ilan's Aspen Food and Wine cooking contest,where he snarked that Sam"surrounds himself with ladies because he's insecure." Well,you would be the expert on that subject,now wouldn't you,Ilan? Personally,I never thought Sam was that hot in the looks department. Not bad looking but he just doesn't make my water boil over.

The judges got abit of ribbing,as well,with Judge Tom's style of dissecting his food on the plate and some defensiveness from Sandee when the question of "Do you know who you're going to eliminated before you get to the Judge's Table?" came up. I didn't like the whole cheesy"Padma is De Sexy" montage that followed the rather distasteful viewer question of "How can you guys cook when Padma is around? I would eat anything off of her...I'd drink her bathwater!". As Buffy once said to Spike,"Ewww!" Yes, it was mentioned that Judge Tom is considered attractive to folks who like "bear" men but that was done with much more class and good natured humor. Padma didn't seem to have a probelm with it,but I was very put off by that needless pandering.

There were plenty of positive moments,like Lee Ann(who looked great)talking about her role as culinary producer on the show,Harold(who can steam up my windows anytime)giving us a preview of his NYC restaurant,Perilla(I noticed that Ilan pretty much went into stammer mode as he was asked about what his big plans were) and hearing some inquiries from Project Runway's Tim Gunn(who is a big fan of TC). A decent special but I'm looking forward to next week for some new hijinks.

Hell's Kitchen had plenty of hijinks this week,as Julia won the opening challenge(cooking lunch for "trendsetters" aka high schoolers)and got a trip to Vegas where she and Jen met last season's HK winner,Heather.

Meanwhile,Bonnie,Josh and Rock had to clean the restaurant and Bonnie bonded slightly with Rock over being jealous of Julia's win. Josh wound up taking center stage during the dinner sevice as he kept pre-cooking the appetizers,despite Ramsey's repeated demands not to do so. On top of that,the aps tasted so bad that customers were sending them back and Ramsey had had enough of him and threw Josh out of the kitchen and the competition:

But that was not the end of the drama;Julia had a hard time on the garnishes as her stuff kept disappearing mysteriously(Rock's turbot vanished at one point as well and I suspect foul play on Bonnie's part). Rock and Jen started fighting,most of which was Rock's fault(he really has a temper problem there). Ramsey got so frustrated with the two of them that he smacked the grill to get them to shut up. After dinner service was completed,Bonnie was told to select two people to be put on the chopping block and she chose Rock and Julia(gee,what a surpise!). I thought Rock would be on his way out the door,but Ramsey tapped Julia for dismissal instead:

Ramsey did seem sad to let her go,and made Julia a great offer-he'll send her to culinary arts school and then she can come back on the show to "win it all." I'm happy that Julia's getting such a great opportunity but truly bummed at seeing her leave. Rock may very well be able to cook,but his attitude towards others is horrible and his temper flairs make him the last person on earth that I'd want to work for.

It's hard to root for any of the remaining chefs but I will keep watching,just to see Bonnie get taken down. She is not only useless behind the stove but a whiner and a schemer. I got so mad when she complained about Julia's winning dish for the high school kids-"obviously,cheese on bread tastes good!" Well,if that was true,Bonnie's fried breaded goat's cheese should've gone over like gangbusters but it apparently didn't.

Plus,I find it hard to credit the culinary expertise of someone who tosses out a whole bunch of food because she thinks it's gone bad,without checking with anyone else first! That is so basic food prep 101 that anyone who does what Bonnie did should not be allowed to cook in a professional or even an amateur kitchen! She needs to go down hard here.

HGTV's Design Star started it's second season off,with an audition special. The hopeful designers were interviewed by two of the show's judges,Vern Yip and Martha McCully and Season One's winner,David. A variety pack of folks came in and so far,I have one contestant who I like already:Adriana.

She seemed really down to earth and very polished. Adriana did make the contestant cut but many of the truly wacky folks did not,thanks be to the Tv gods(one of them looked like Drusilla and she even had a little dog with her that gave me BTVS season two flashbacks). The hands down winner for most bizarre audition goes to this illustrater of a yoga cat book:

Random Notes:

The 4400: I totally dug the Ed Woodsian power of this week's featured 4400,Curtis Peck and his wacky yet apparently revealing conspircy film,The Marked. I just hope that whatever those doctors injected into Tom can be rendered harmless,maybe by a big shot of Promicin,perhaps?


Who Wants to be a Superhero?: Season two of the Stan Lee/Sci Fi Channel fantasy recruitment show starts tonight and what a roster of names we have here! There's Hygena,who uses cleaning products to fight evil,Braid,a gal with hair action and Mr. Mitzvah who has a Star of David paddle as his ultimate weapon(I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried,folks). Oh,and there's a lady named Whip Snap-I wonder if she's ever worked with Whip Boy to stop Lion Man's reign of terror:

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