Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top Chef breaks it down,Heroes seek Redemption and Mad Men's office party massacre

For the Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef this week,the chefs were asked to make a duet of dishes to represent the "angel" and the "devil" of their natures. Robin,whose cancer treatments have made her more selective about the foods she can eat,won immunity with a apple fennel salad that was paired up with a cardamom and ginger apple crisp.

There's a lot of resentment towards Robin and I really don't get it. True,she's had some bad dishes but so have plenty of the others. Also,what Eli said about her win in the aside interview was terrible(apparently,he's apologized but that was still totally uncalled for).

The Elimination Challenge was to make a "deconstructed" classic dish for guest judge Michelle Bernstein and the team of Penn and Teller(who did one of their show and tell magic tricks for the group). Toby Young returned,sitting in for Judge Gail,which made everyone extra special nervous. The dish selection was chosen by knife pull and the plates had to be served up in pairs.

Jennifer had meat lasagna and she was freaking out throughout the whole service,convinced that her dish was a dud. Turns out all the worrying was for naught,since the judges chose her as one of the Top Four this round. Padma particularly loved the cheesy crust that Jennifer achieved for the top of her flat iron steak with mascarpone bechamel sauce and parmesan crisp.

Ashley joined her in the winner's circle with her take on pot roast that had Michelle Bernstein swooning about the meat. I was a little anxious about the dish during prep because Ashley had said while she liked the flavor of pot roast,she wasn't crazy about the texture.

Even Michelle Bernstein mentioned that it wasn't her type of food but she liked it here. No offense to the vegans out there,but who doesn't love a good pot roast? I know I do!

One of the Voltaggio brothers was up for the win but Kevin took the top honors for his breakdown of chicken mole negro. He was tense about it( a lot of shaky nerves this round)since it was similar to what he had made for the last challenge that didn't go over well. Kevin was given a set of cookware as his prize,pretty sweet.

Two of the three chefs on the bottom had dishes that are British favorites,so Toby Young was keenly critical of them. Ash's remix of shepard's pie lacked any potato(his potato and parsnip puree was gummy so he substituted pea puree instead)which is a major component of the plate. Also,his lamb chops were either over or undercooked. Consistency is key here,folks.

Laurine's fish and chips had very few chips due to her screwing up most of them and not a great fish to boot. She was not shy about expressing her discomfort with making deconstructed food which,as the judges pointed out,showed up on the plate.

Ron was the one to go,for his seafood paella that wasn't really deconstructed. He might have been spared if his rice and fish were not overcooked but alas,they both were. He took it well and best of luck to him. I think the guy was just overwhelmed by this challenge but he chose to make this experience a positive one.

Next week,Mikey I has to team up with Robin for the Elimination and he's not too thrilled about that or the ingredients they have to work with. This dislike of Robin is putting a bad taste in my mouth and either they come up with a good reason why or let it go:

Heroes started off season five with Clare going to college,Peter working overtime and then some as an EMT in NYC and Noah Bennet trying to make peace with a revived Tracy,whose water powers have increased tenfold.

In addition to that,Mama Petrelli is worried about Sylar breaking out of the Nathan shell that Matt put him in(one of the worst ideas ever!)with the added bonus of Sylar becoming Matt's personal Freddy Kruger who shows up even when he's awake.

The new Big Bads on the block are a group of super powered carny folk led by Samuel(Robert Knepper)who is determined to have the likes of Peter,Sylar and Hiro join his ranks. He's already started with Hiro,encouraging him to tamper with fate via time travel and an emissary of his(Ray Park,who played Toad in the first X Men movie) had a deadly encounter with Peter and Noah Bennet over a mysterious compass:

The title of this new chapter of the Heroes saga is "Redemption"and while most of the characters here won't be achieving that any time soon,there are some interesting plot lines set up to keep me interested for awhile. One of them is the mystery regarding the untimely demise of Claire's roommate(who was the most annoying roomie since that demon girl Buffy shared space with in Season Four)and what the carnival crew is really up to. Should be worth watching:

Mad Men had quite a show stopper this Sunday as Joan's going away party at the office took a gruesome turn for the worse. While the Sterling Cooper crowd was drowning their sorrows over their British bosses paying a visit that didn't bode well,Lois took a ride on that John Deere tractor that ended in a mini bloodbath. If this show wasn't fast becoming a TV legend,this scene alone would have surely done the trick:

Joan proved herself extremely useful in a life or death crisis and hopefully,the higher ups at Sterling Cooper do more for her than just dry clean her dress. No doubt that she will somehow still be part of this show but I just hope they won't make us wait long. She and Don shared an oddly nice moment,which was lovely to see and make you wonder what might've been if those two had hooked up romantically:


EMMY SURPRISE: The only thing that I regret about not watching the Emmy awards on Sunday was this "unexpected" on-air invasion by Dr. Horrible and friends. Thank goodness for the marvelous internet for catching up on such goodies as this:

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