Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Top Chef serves culinary royalty,a new perspective for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a new series hopes to Reign supreme

We did get a knife pull on Top Chef this week,as the Quickfire Challenge had the contenders draw blades to choose which overdone food trend they would have to make an improved version of.

Dana Cowin of Food & Wine magazine was the guest judge for this round and her picks for least favorite trends were smoked,egg on top,kale and bacon(most of them I understand but hard for me to hate on bacon). The stakes were high here,as not only immunity was up for grabs but one of the chefs was to be sent home as well. Shirley earned her win by making a comfort food dish, rice congee with shirred egg that wowed both Dana and Padma equally.

Sent home here was Aaron,for the saltiness of his fried kale. I've never had kale(and probably won't anytime in the near future) but this did appear to be a shriveled mess on the plate.

For a moment there, it looked as if Bret was going to be out,as he made a lackluster kale salad and Dana specifically said to the folks who drew kale not to make a salad or chips,the typical go-to for that veggie! However, the food gods spared him for the moment.

For the Elimination Challenge,the chefs were taken out to dinner at The Commander's Palace, a legendary New Orleans restaurant to taste four of their renown menu items to recreate for the judges the following day.

Teams were formed by what table everyone was at but each person was responsible for his/her own version of the dish. With both Emeril(who made one of the entrees during his time at Commander's) and iconic chef Paul Pruhomme attending the Elimination meal, nerves were more on edge than usual,which sadly showed up in the food.

Most of the courses had problems,with only the dessert round being the one that everyone agreed was the best. Two of the chefs in the winner's circle were from that category,with the strawberries three ways earning a win for Justin.

The entree course that suffered the most was Emeril's veal chop ,which was either over or under cooked by that group. Bret's plate,however, was a real sloppy mess so he was handed his dismissal papers for now.

Since Last Chance Kitchen is set to start up again on Oct.26(which you can view online), Bret and Aaron will have another opportunity to get themselves back in the game,so good luck, guys!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D introduced us to a former protege of Coulson's, Akela, who was presumed dead for three years after a failed mission crashed and burned.

 Turns out she was captured by an unknown enemy and forced into their service,due to a hidden camera implanted in her eye(must be a big writers' trope this season, as Criminal Minds had a similar plot point in last night's episode).

 The camera eye allowed her to see through solid objects,which came in pretty handy as she was sent out to commit robberies. Even an elaborate plan to prevent her from seizing a fortune in diamonds was no match for the combination of combat skills and high tech advantage from the unwanted implant that Akela possessed:

Coulson naturally was all for giving her a second chance but Melinda May was of a different mind set altogether. After a showdown between the ladies that lead to freeing Akela from the control of her captors(whose ultimate goal is still uncertain), a bit of respect and trust was formed there.

I have a feeling that Akala might show up again, as her question to Melinda about the change in Agent Coulson caused Ms. Cavalry to raise a few hackles of concern. After all, Akela would be a credible source to consider when wondering about the truth behind his "magical" recovery and if Coulson is what he seems to be.

Also, it would be cool to see the both of them team up to kick some serious bad guy ass. The only regret I have about their scenes is that they didn't get to throw down long enough:

Making it's debut tonight is Reign, a new CW series about Mary,Queen of Scots which starts off with her engagement to the heir to the throne of France in 1557.

 Yes, it will no doubt be wildly historically inaccurate and it does have modern music on the soundtrack not to mention a young version of Nostradamus (who was a rather old man by this point in time) yet I intend to give it a try all the same.

Why? Well, I am a sucker for historical fiction and with the Starz miniseries The White Queen ending this weekend, this should be a fun way to replace that less than guilty pleasure. Granted,any Philippa Gregory novel is more thoroughly vetted that what is going to be presented here,a medieval Gossip Girl at best, but why not give this costume drama a chance?

It would be nice to have something like this on a regular network instead of cable for once and maybe Reign will actually encourage the younger generation to look up the real facts or at least get interested in finding some good historical fiction to read. Never hurts to hope!:


CHOPPED: Their Halloween episode has already aired but I'm sure it will be repeated in time to whet some wicked trick or treat appetites. Meanwhile, you can check out what the judges did with one of those spooky mystery baskets here:

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