Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

A second season serving of Heroes,more Kitchen Nightmares and Top Chef's season finale,part one

The Final Four contestants on Top Chef made it to Aspen this week and were treated to a hot air balloon ride before their Quickfire Challenge,judged by Padma and Eric Ripert. They had to cook trout by the side of a river,using a tree stump as their prep table and outdoor camping burners to work with.

Oddly enough,Brian had the most trouble with this challenge-Mr. Seafood kept dropping stuff all over the place. Hung finished cooking about several minutes ahead of everyone else but forgot to add some lemon(which ,Ripert pointed out later,really would've given it some extra zest). Casey wound up being the winner(Ripert praised her dish for it's "soulfullness",which seemed to irk Hung there)and was given the option of using some of her specially bought ingredients for the Elimination Challenge(no one else could use theirs at all).

Casey decided to hold off on using her special stuff,since the challenge seemed to be right up her alley. The chefs had to cook for cowboys and cowgirls,with elk meat as the main protein. This pleased Hung to no end-NOT!

Upon hearing that he had to cook for cowboys,his off camera response was"What do cowboys eat? Baked beans and baked beans and baked beans!" Uh,no,Hung,maybe you need to watch Food Network once in awhile there. I've seen a few Cowboys Cookoffs there and the menu is quite extensive. Hung also complained about not cooking the food he "wanted" to cook. Aw,poor little Hung,with the puppy dog eyes! We wouldn't want him to do his job!

Another surprise,Dale turned out to be the big winner here just as his dish was on the brink of diaster. He made a goat cheese and onion tart for his plate but saw midway thru his cooking time that it wasn't working out(like most of the tarts this season)and went with Plan B,a mix of fingerling potatoes and cauliflower. The judges also grooved on his huckleberry sauce as well.

The judges found Casey's elk to be too raw but they loved her tomato butter,so she joins Dale in the finale as well as Hung,who was told how "technically" good of a chef he was but abit cold about his food love. Hung vehemently denied that during the "tell us why you should be here" bit at Judge's Table. Brian's "whiskey river drunken elk" plate did not pass muster. It was deemed to be overrun with ingredients(which Padma teased him about) and for some reason,Ripert was annoyed about him offering two different cheeses for folks to choose from to add to the dish. I don't know why that's a bad thing-when I order a salad,I like being given a choice of dressings. So do most people. What gives,Ripert?

So,this time out,we're having a three person race for the Finale. Out of the three of them,I'm going to have to root for Dale. He's a nice guy and has turned out some decent food over the course of this competition. Hung is too damn snobby and there's something about Casey that just rubs me the wrong way. On to the Finals!

Kitchen Nightmares ventured into Manhattan this week,to Dillons,which is only a couple of blocks away from one of Gordon Ramsey's own restaurants,London. At Dillons,there's a confusing international cusine menu and two chefs in the kitchen who only know how to cook Indian food. Dillons also offers three managers,one of whom seems to think that his main duties are talking on his cellphone and having a waitress run her fingers thru his hair while he naps in one of the booths.

There were also flies buzzing around the dining room(who were probaly bred in the lower regions of the building that reeked of rat droppings and giant roaches). Ramsey ordered some vegetarian appetizers,which had meat in them and was constantly being served old lamb even when he ordered beef! Ramsey wound up having the whole place steam cleaned,simplfying the menu to basic Indian dishes and renaming the place Purmina. Interesting sidenote,the manager who had his hair fondled wound up quitting(after Ramsey suggested to the owner that he be fired)tried to sue the show by claiming that he was "set up". Cha,ya know what? I don't think so,dude!

Heroes is back for season two,and they've really hit the ground running(literally,in the case of two new characters). Matt Parkman is now a new badass cop for the NYPD,taking care of Molly(who is being haunted by dreams of the Potential New Villian,who reminds me of Sauron)while Mohinder is off on a world tour to get some funds to cure the Heroes only virus,Hiro meets his childhood idol Kensai and is quite surpised at his true nature and Claire signs up for a rather Buffied high school experience,complete with her own Cordelia and possible Angel on hand:




We'll have to wait for next week to check up on Nikki,Micah and to see what's up with Sylar(I'm most anxiously awaiting that!). Meanwhile,there were two excellant stand out scenes in this opener-the first being Mr. Bennett laying down the law to his annoying Copy Kingdom manager and the second being Peter Petrelli returning in Jason Bourne mode:

Random Notes:

Reaper: I watched the pilot episode on Tuesday and liked it alot. The humor was nice and quirky,the characters really connected well together and I was happy to see one of my favorite co-stars of Dead Like Me in a nice cameo bit as one of the Devil's DMV minions. Ray Wise does make for a rather charming Satan and hopefully this show can keep up with the promise of slacker demon fighting goodness that's been given so far.

Smallville: Season 7 starts tonight,and with SuperGirl(not the fake version we were given a few seasons back) being a major part of this go-round,I'm willing to watch Ugly Betty online and see Clark and co. back in action. There's also word of James Marsters returning as Brainiac in January,another good reason to stay tuned:

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