Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Top Chef Masters finale feast,a second look at Sleepy Hollow and signing up with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Top Chef Masters wrapped up their fifth season with a leisurely start,as host Curtis Stone made them a lovely meal at the location for the last challenge.

 Since the building happened to be a former church, the theme of this four course feast was traditional wedding prep ideals; something old,something new, something borrowed and something sous(as in their secondary chefs who made desserts for their final showdown). Douglas wasn't thrilled to find out that he wouldn't be working with his sous until the day of service but he managed to get through most of the prep just fine on his own.

 In the something old category,Bryan did a retake of the first dish that he made for his wife. It was a heavy handed chicken and fish combo originally that he lightened up by turning it into a groat salad with dungness crab,chicken skin and a hen egg custard.

The judges felt it was a great representation of the love in his food and for awhile,Bryan's chances for a win were strong here.

Jennifer had a solid presentation as well and her something new was paella gnocchi served with chicken meatballs.

The fish that went along with it(shrimp and mussels) was an extra special touch that the judges liked but the gnocchi itself was the main crowd pleaser.

Curtis Stone even said he usually preferred a "melt in your mouth" type of gnocchi but the more firm texture of Jennifer's gave him a better appreciation of the dish-high praise,indeed!

However,it was Douglas who took the win home and won the big money prize of a hundred grand for his charity.

Even with the duck breast for his "borrowed" plate being overcooked, the majority of his food knocked everyone for a loop,flavor wise.
He also redeemed the panna cotta that his sous chef lost with and while the black sesame gave that dessert a gray color, it still tasted good enough(particular since Jennifer's take on her sous's dessert was too busy and Bryan's rendition didn't hold up to what his sous had made first).

So,congratulations to Douglas Keane and his charity,Green Dog Rescue. Next week starts off the regular edition of Top Chef,this time in New Orleans which means Emeril will be on hand quite a bit.

The second episode of Sleepy Hollow settled into the creature of the week theme as Crane and his modern day partner Abbie Mills went about tracking down a resurrected witch.This did tie into the main plot thread of the impeding Four Horsemen threat,as the burnt at the stake sorceress was intended to speed along their arrival

. The show is still trying to walk steady on it's feet and some of the character quirks may get old fast such as Crane's wonderment at the new world(although I found his mini rant about doughnut tax pretty funny) and the non answers that ghosts of the past give but there is plenty of meat on these story bones to gnaw at.

 With the upcoming addition of Abbie's sister Jenny(put into an institution for insisting that the strange vision she and Abbie saw as children is real) in the next episode, more character development is on the way,not to mention more monsters:

The much heralded debut of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired the other night and so far, the hype seems to be well merited. Agent Coulson's return from the dead(and I don't buy his claims of a "magical" recovery in Tahiti) after his very fatal looking assault in the Avengers movie hasn't slowed him down one bit.

The set-up of the story line has Coulson bringing together a team of qualified yet quirky folk to form a tight unit that checks out threats posed by bad guys eager to exploit the vulnerable(such as Mike Peterson,a single father desperate for work) and create chaos in an already chaotic world.

I've taken an instant like to the brainiac pair that makes up Agent Fitzsimmons,plus Melinda May,a reluctant "pilot" who clearly has a kickass past and Skye, a savvy hacker girl eager to get on board this crazy train.

The real challenge will be in how the scripts and spine of the main plot line will hold up after a few episodes. Also, high expectations are placed on Joss Whedon for a smart and savvy season worth watching.

Granted, some subplots might take their sweet time to develop and no doubt, a few restrictions on how far things can go will be due to the network and comic book company behind this baby but let's all remember to have some fun,first and foremost here:


EMMY AWARDS:  There were the expected wins,usual disappointments and some thoughtful tributes to those departed but not much more than that. At least Neil Patrick Harris gave us some great song and dance numbers to break up the tedium:



Thaddeus said...

I finally started watching live TV again - I might've just waited for Arrow (which I recommend), but two series sounded interesting enough: Sleepy Hollow and Agents of Shield.

Sleepy Hollow is kind of crazy, but it's very well-executed and I liked the scary imagery and vibe of that pilot ep.

MAoS was very solid, even though there have now been a few hundred "sci-fi team investigates stuff" programs on the air. Clark Gregg has an effortless charm and I can't tell if it's the writing, the actor, or both.

lady t said...

I've heard good things about Arrow but just haven't gotten around to it yet(even with the extra technology,catching up on good TV is still hard!).

Hope you stick with Sleepy Hollow,because I think it might have a real shot at being more than a one trick paranormal pony.Keeping my fingers crossed!

In the case of Clark Gregg, my theory is that it's the perfect blend of character in both acting and writing)