Thursday, May 10, 2012
Game of Thrones gets chaotic,TAR's winner and we go Around the World in 80 Plates
Bravo unveiled their new cooking competition show last night,Around The World in 80 Plates,where contestants travel to different countries and get to know the local cuisine before preparing it at eateries in the area for the natives,who vote for the best version of their regional food.
There's a big cash prize at stake,naturally,and our hosts/judges are Curtis Stone and Cat Cora who didn't get a lot of one on one with the chefs here but the opportunity for that may occur soon(I hope).
The first stop was London and the arriving chefs had to quickly divide into two teams(Red and Black)and go through a Course before tackling the main challenge. The Course was a pub crawl,aka hitting the bars,and each team had to find three of them.
At each pub,the teams had to finish a plate of standard pub food(black pudding hash,steak and kidney pie,fish and chips)and/or a drink before moving on to the next one. Red Team won the Course and as a reward,were granted an Exceptional Ingredient to use for the main challenge that the other team couldn't. That ingredient was potatoes,a huge blow to the Black team since fish and chips had to be part of their menu.
For the big challenge,each team took over one of the pubs they visited and had to make every dish offered to them for the regular customers and the judges.
That caused a problem for both groups,since none of them tried the steak and kidney pie,opting to finish off a yard long glass of ale instead. Not smart,folks-you would think a pack of chefs on a competition show would taste all of the food available to them,right? Plus getting drunk that soon in the game wasn't a great idea. They also were allowed to add appropriate plates of their own,which helped and hindered the results.
The Black Team,for example,was able to compensate for not having potatoes by making polenta fries to go with their fish and chips. Special guest judge Nigella Lawson really liked them and so did the pub diners.
They also offered a halibut that went over just as well and wisely chose to go with a dessert.
The bread pudding,made by "Cheven"(his name is Kevin,so this is a combo of Chef and Kevin. Believe me,he's not as interesting as this may sound)was a crowd pleaser that earned the Black Team the win for this round.
Cheven got annoyed when fellow BT member Chaz was singled out for honors here,due to the bread pudding being his idea. Chaz,however,provided the right tone of leadership required to make all of the team's efforts succeed,so he deserved that immunity award there.
The Red Team had to vote off a member of their group and a ripe contender for that spot was "Nookie"(I'm sorry but I can't take a man seriously whose nickname is the same as a Limp Bizkit song).
His steak and kidney pie was so terrible that Nigella Lawson proclaimed it to the stereotypical notion of how awful some people claim British food to be.
"Nookie",however,convinced others on his team to vote Clara off,instead. Granted,her vegetarian version of a bubble and squeak(which is a mash-up of Sunday roast dinner leftovers)didn't wow anyone but the feedback from the diners didn't name Clara's dish as a deciding factor in liking RT's menu or not.
That steak and kidney pie was outstandingly bad but he got away with it,for now. I'll be watching this show for awhile and hopefully,there will more food focus than team member manipulation as we go on. The next stop is Leon,France and with any luck,the only fishy thing about that round will be on the plates.
It was a two hour finale on The Amazing Race,where the next to last leg was in Japan and Ralph and Vanessa were tagged out,due to her badly sprained ankle.
She really should have wrapped that up in some sort of bandage,particularly during the game show challenge where you could clearly see how swollen and purple it was. Vanessa did her best there and Ralph,to his credit,was mainly concerned for her welfare.
The final leg was in Hawaii and two of the three remaining teams had trouble along the way. Team Border Patrol got lost at one point and Team Big Brother took a taxi when the clue stated that they were supposed to walk(Rachel even read it out loud before they went off!). None of that mattered in the end,as Dave and Rachel,the military couple,won the Race. Despite their fighting,which got nasty at times,those two did manage to work well together and set a TAR record by being the team to win the most legs,a nice feather in their cap indeed:
Things are getting out of hand for most of the main players on Game of Thrones,as Dany is having trouble getting anyone to give her ships in Qarth and losing her dragons(something that didn't happen in the book but I think I know why it was done for the show. The next episode will soon tell me true on that score)and Arya had to cash in her second dead man chip sooner than expected.
A major sign of chaos spreading throughout the realms,however,was the riot in King's Landing. Upon sending Myrcella off to Dorne,the Lannister royals made their way through the streets of starving citizens,one of whom chose to throw a piece of literal crap at King Joffery. He took that as well as expected and soon violence broke out all over the place.
Sansa was nearly ravaged by a pack of men,as she became lost in the confusion. Fortunately,Sandor came to her rescue and brought her back to the frying pan instead of the fire raging outside amongst the residents of the city. Only Tyrion expressed any gratitude for that action(or even cared about what happened to Sansa)but Sandor had his own reasons for saving her,as we will see as time goes on:
Meanwhile,the Starks are taking a direct hit at their base,as Theon Greyjoy captures Winterfell. That wasn't hard to do,considering that the place is stacked with a skeleton crew,due to Robb waging war,and the only other head of the family at home is Brann. Way to go,Theon,in bulling a little boy who happens to be crippled into calling you "Prince."
For added measure of misery,Theon's new friends caught a Stark banner man,Ser Rodrik,and his outrage over Theon's disloyalty lead to an impromptu execution.
It's too bad that Theon didn't listen to the Maester's advice,because now he's in this gruesome game for keeps. Robb was furious upon hearing this news and his wrath will be the least that young master Greyjoy has to worry about, but worry he should:
MAD MEN: Megan's decision to pursue her acting career seems to have shaken up both Don and Peggy pretty badly. While the agency will probably do just fine without her,that departure is being taken as a personal judgment by the two of them,who at one point,sound as if they're arguing about their child that an adult in their lives,if you ask me. Whatever the subtext,it was good to see Peggy not take any of Don's misdirected anger anymore and tell him off:
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