Saturday, October 28, 2006

Top Chef recap: Where the hell are my lichees?!

Seriously, who knew lichees could be so exciting? Apparently they have the ability to ruin careers. If I could just figure out a way to harness their power to bring down the Bush administration!

For the quickfire they have to make sushi. Mia is bent over by the fence. Did she find some evidence? No, she's gonna puke. I think it's morning sickness. OK, who got Mia pregnant? We're not starting this challenge until someone fesses up!

For the elimination challenge they are split up into a Korean team and a Vietnamese team. Each team has $500 to feed 1,000 people. OK, I'm not that good at math but I think that's 50 cents per person. I'm pretty sure that can't be done. So, they are obviously not making 4,000 servings of food. I'd love to know how much food they really are making and how they decide that. (They mention 250 spring rolls but how did they come up with that number?)

Team Vietnam immediately makes Josie the leader, creates a menu, calculates costs, and makes a shopping list.

Team Korea immediately creates Sangria and gets trashed.

A little later and team Vietnam is planning everything out while team Korea is now doing Jello shots and dancing the limbo. OK, turn down that damn music and listen up! I'm only going to ask this one more time: who got Mia pregnant?

Next day we are at the grocery store and it's like the allegory of good and bad government frescoes by Lorenzetti at the Palazzo Publico in Florence (too much?); team Vietnam walks in, grabs what it needs, pays for everything, and gets back to the kitchen. Team Korea, on the other hand, stumbles into the store, starts fighting, can't find anything, and leaves without paying.

As they get into the van Otto says something to Marisa:

Otto: "Ha, ha, I did it; I got out without paying for the lichees! Suckers!"

Marisa: "What? I didn't quite catch that."

Otto: "I said I just stole a case of lichees."

Marisa: "I'm not sure I understand. I'll let that sink in and then bring it up again once we get to the studio."

Otto: "Sounds like a plan."

At the event Michael is sawing away at the spring rolls, making a huge mess:

Michael: "Man, I have no idea what I'm doing here."

Josie: "Don't worry; I'll do it."

Michael: "Stop talking to me like I'm a child!"

Josie: "Calm down; I just said I would cut the spring rolls if you're having a problem."

Michael: "Don't act like you're the only one who's talented enough to cut spring rolls! I'm not your bitch, bitch!"

He should probably shut up. I'm pretty sure Josie could kick his ass.

Betty is flirting with 1,000 people. That's hard work! Love her!

At the judges table:

Team Vietnam wins! Betty is chosen the individual winner because of her aloe drink and because she's such a huge tramp. Congratulations, Betty! She wins a knife. I'm not a chef so I don't understand what a great prize this is. Apparently this is a really cool knife. Possibly even better than a Ginsu knife. Betty loves it so that's nice.

Team Korea is a mess. Otto, who originally admitted to Tom that he said they got the lichees for free when they were leaving the store, now tells the judges he didn't say that. I have never seen such a look before as the look on Marisa's face. I will have nightmares about that look.

The judges tell Marisa that the panacotta was so hard they chipped their teeth. Marisa says she made it perfectly and it must have been some unpredictable weather patterns or alien force that made it inedible. The judges ask Elia if she would serve that at her restaurant:

Elia: "Um, well, I'm not really into gelatin so I'm not really qualified to have an opinion on that."

Marisa: "You said it was good, you bitch!"

Elia: "I take it back. I am qualified to say that desert was shit."

Frank doesn't seem to understand that the team already lost and sticking together is not going to keep one of them from being kicked off the show. But come on, he can't even make rice.

Frank: "No one betrays the family."

Team Korea: "We get it Frank, you're in the Mafia. Can you give it a rest?"

Otto realizes he's getting the ax so he heroically quits.

And what about the lichees? They're just sitting innocently on a shelf like nothing happened. Bastards.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Blogging Top Chef: why the hell not.

OK, time to start my Top Chef blog.

"Try not to sound too excited, Eric."

Well, it's just a little hard because we don't really know the participants yet. And there are so many of them! So many that Bravo didn't even bother introducing all of them. We seemed to only get the little profiles for about half of them. Maybe I'm wrong, but we were watching and going, "hey, who's that?" I'll try to describe the few I can remember:

So there's a really annoying young guy who thinks he's really hot shit named Stephen ... oh, I mean Marcel. Everyone instantly hates him and wants him off the show. He'll tell you it's because he's so talented but it's really just because he's a jackass.

Suyai is just like Cynthia from season one: sweet and funny and self-deprecating and ... a complete disaster in the kitchen! Buh-bye.

Marisa has a great ass. Apparently she thinks this is going to help her win on a cooking show. Whatever distracts me from her face. Kidding!

OK, there's a new host. I don't know what was wrong with the old host but whatever. At least Tom is still there. Complaining about everything. That's why we love him.

First of all, did I stay up and watch the premier of season two at eleven o'clock?

Bitch, please! I'm not watching television until midnight!

On to the Tivo'd episode:

For the quickfire challenge the chefs get to set things on fire. Elia screws up and tries burning grape juice. Even I knew that wouldn't work. Harold is wearing flip-flops in the kitchen. I realize he isn't cooking but that still seems strange to me.

So, for the elimination challenge the contestants are divided into two groups according to race: the black team and the ... orange team ... oh, sorry it's not race; it's just the color on the knives. OK, good; I thought I was watching Survivor for a second.

One group has to make something with processed American cheese and the other group has to make something with frogs legs. Tom complains that everyone is frying the frogs legs like chicken. Seriously, why didn't anyone think of making a desert?

The winner is Ilan. Mia of the Sunday-dinner-at-grandma's thought she was going to win. Girlfriend is not happy.

Suyai has to pack up her knives and go.

Tune in next week when all the chefs threaten to kill each other. Doesn't that look like fun? I didn't think so either. It's enough drama to really make me not want to watch. But I will. And hopefully I'll have something more interesting to say once I start caring about some of these people.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway Season Three Finale: what the hell just happened?

So we pick up from last week:

Jeffrey: "Gosh, I just love Laura! I really appreciate the fact that she accused me of cheating because it gave me a head start on replacing the garments I won't be allowed to use in the show!"

Laura: "Well, I only did it because I care about you so much! Here, give me a big hug!"

OK, I think we missed something.

Tim: "Jeffrey, we need the receipt for your shorts and you're going to have to cut something because you're over budget."

Jeffrey: "Well, I didn't think I needed receipts because I have all my work done by Sanford and Son and that was a really popular television show that you can still see on Nick at Night so I thought that would be all the evidence I would need.

Tim: "Nope. We still need receipts."

Jeffrey: "OK. Well, here's my plan for what to cut: I was thinking maybe the models' heads. I mean, they don't really use them and that way I wouldn't need the wigs. Ha ha, I'm just kidding! I was thinking about the headless model thing way before I found out I was over budget."

Later on:

Tim (sniffling): "Designers, please gather 'round."

Jeffrey: "Tim, why are you so emotional? Are you having your period or something?"

Tim: "No, (sniff) it's just that this is the last time this season I'll say (sniff) 'gather 'round' and I'm going to miss you. You're all just like the children I'm so glad I never had."

Designers: "Awww!"

On to the runway shows!:

Wow, look at that crowd! The tent is filled with thousands of previous Project Runway contestants! Oh, yeah; and also Brandy and that annoying girl from The View!

The world of fashion changes so quickly. Do you remember last season when all the models were goose-stepping like they were late for an SS meeting? Well, it's only a few months later but that style of walking is completely auf. Apparently now you are supposed to shuffle like a zombie who is too lazy to even look for brains. Seriously, what's wrong with those models? I know they are hungry but shouldn't all the cocaine give them more energy than that? Other Eric suggests it's the weird platform heels but I can walk better than that in those shoes. Oh, you know I've done it!

After the shows the crowd is asked who they want to win. The consensus seems to be Uli. I agree. Wait, did Michael's new girlfriend, Brandy, just say she's rooting for Uli? Ouch. [OK, after reading other blogs, she apparently said Michael, not Uli. Am I going deaf? I played it back three times and I thought she said Uli.]

Back in the studio, the judges talk with the designers:

Heidi: "Uli, your collection is beautiful, innovative, wearable, sexy, and fun! You really surprised us! I would wear every single piece! Obviously we're disappointed; we expected more from you."

Michael Kors: "Michael, I love your street-walker collection!"

Michael: "Um, that's 'Street Safari.'"

Michael Kors: "Oh, in that case, I don't get it."

Nina: "Laura, you know what I would have liked to have seen in your collection? Maybe an outrageous chartreuse coat."

Michael Kors: "Oh yeah, that would have been nice."

Laura: "Son of a bitch."

Fern Mallis: "Jeffrey, what was with that long blue dress? It looked like something that exploded out of a baboon's ass."

Michael Kors: "True dat!"

The following scene had to be cut and re-shot but I think it explains what happened:

Heidi: "And now we have a very special guest to announce the winner: Jack Palance!"

Jack: "And the winner is . . . oh shit, where are my glasses? . . . Um, Marissa Tomei?"

Heidi: "Mr. Palance, the winner cannot be Marissa Tomei. It has to be either Jeffrey or Uli."

Jack: "Oh, OK. Then the winner is Jeffrey!"

Heidi: "Alright, whatever."

Nina (to Michael Kors): "What the hell just happened?"


Well, that's the end of the season! Thanks for reading! I may be blogging about Top Chef so check back if you are interested. Otherwise, I'll see you in nine months!
Quick PR reaction: not a recap

I may not be a Jeffrey fan but I would have been happy to have seen him win last night if he had had the best collection. Unfortunately, there was a clear winner last night and it was Uli. Her collection was consistently beautiful, wearable, and interesting. Jeffrey had a few good pieces but, on the whole, his collection was not impressive.

I hadn't seen any of the pictures of the collections because I wanted to be surprised but, from what I saw last week, I really thought I was going to like Jeffrey's but I just didn't. Laura's was beautiful and looked really expensive but I completely agree with the judges that it wasn't innovative. Michael's, I'm sorry to say, just looked cheap. He definitely needs more experience, just like Daniel V. But Uli really surprised me with her amazing collection. No, matter what your personal taste, her collection was superior.

Last season I wouldn't have been happy no matter who had won, because I found all three collections really bad (I preferred Kara's). But this season had a winner. She just didn't win. Oh, well.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Project Runway Finale Part 1: Here, have some poop!

By the way, I watched 30 Rock before Project Runway Wednesday and I suddenly feel the need to buy a GE Trivection oven. Did you know it can cook a turkey in 22 minutes?

OK, on to the show: Heidi comes out on the runway to address the final four. Dear Lord, what is she wearing? It looks like her top was made out of a Mylar balloon. I think I can see the words "Happy Birthday" printed across her stomach. Fortunately, she should be dressed by Michael Kors the next time we see her.

We see the designers leaving the Atlas. Did anyone see the special on Windsor Castle on PBS a few months ago? It showed the process of the maids unpacking and packing the luggage of any guest at the royal residence. They make a list of every item they take out of the luggage so that they can repack it in the exact same order. The only difference is that everything will be individually wrapped in tissue paper when you leave. Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that this is how Laura packs her luggage.

Tim flies across the country with a 2007 Saturn Roadster stashed in his carry-on. It really is such a practical and versatile car!

Tim makes a surprise visit to Keith Michael:

Tim: "Keith, I know you aren't in the final but America would like to know what you've been up to."

Keith: "I've been very productive. I've divided my time between sulking, threatening to sue people, and writing ranting, insulting letters to the fans."

Tim: "Well, good for you!"

I'm sure we were all shocked to learn that Uli's inspiration is the beach. In fact, she can't stop being inspired by the beach. Just try to stop her! No, really, would someone please try to stop her?

We learn that Jeffrey tried to hang himself. Fortunately, he couldn't find a rope long enough to fit around his neck. Unfortunately, the attempt left these disgusting black marks on his skin. We also learn that Jeffrey has so much love for his son that it completely makes up for the hatred he has for everyone else.

Just when you thought grey was the new black, we learn that going on safari is the new black. Michael's theme is "Street Safari," which, of course, means to dress like a whore. Uli is going on a surfing safari, which, of course, means to dress like Uli. Laura wants to use "Fabulously Glamorous Safari" but her adorable, soon-to-be-gay children tell mommy that her idea sucks ass and she better come up with something better!

Tim agrees with the kids: "Laura, I have a suggestion; instead of this chartreuse number, why don't you make something pretty?"

Well, I kind of liked that freaky chartreuse outfit but I'll forgive Tim simply because I've been trying to think of the name of that color for weeks! Chartreuse is my favorite color but for some reason the word keeps slipping my mind; it's driving me crazy! I'm thinking of having it tattooed on my neck so I won't forget it again.

So, the designers get back to New York. The designers all agree the work room is "cool." Well, thank goodness for that. They pick models. Laura wants models with hips, Uli wants models that can look good while laying in pools of their own vomit. Michael is in search of that elusive model who can wear a bathing suit. Good luck with that!


Now, of course, for the most dramatic moment of the episode: Laura talks to Tim outside about a delicate matter:

Tim: "Oh, it's really nice out here on this balcony."

Laura: "Yeah, Jeffrey really likes it out here. Oh, speaking of Jeffrey..."

Tim: "Nice segue!"

Laura: "Thanks! So anyway, I have a problem with Jeffrey. We've been here two days already and he hasn't called me a shriveled old hag or said he hopes I die in childbirth. Not even once!"

Tim: "Well, that certainly doesn't sound like Jeffrey."

Laura: "I know! He appears to be a nicer person and I think he may have received outside help in this transformation. Like maybe group therapy. I mean, you don't just pull a personality change like that out of your ass. We all signed a contract and it was explicit: No personality changes during the course of the season. All the other designers seem to have understood this. Vincent stayed crazy, Uli stayed drunk, Alison stayed clueless, Michael stayed nice, I stayed fabulously glamorous; it isn't fair that Jeffrey thinks he can get away with suddenly not being an asshole!"

Tim: "This is a very serious accusation and it will be difficult to prove but I assure you the producers will be looking into it."

Laura: "I understand. Thank you."


Later, in the work room:

Laura: "Jeffrey, I just want to let you know I spoke to Tim about the fact that I think you got help in becoming less of an asshole."

Jeffrey: "That's ridiculous! I'm just as much of an asshole as I ever was!"

Michael: "Don't blame this all on Laura. I noticed it too. You're less of an asshole."

Uli: "I don't know, guys; if you look really carefully you can see that he's still kind of an asshole."

Next week: will Jeffrey be disqualified for receiving help in becoming less of an asshole? We'll find out! Oh, yeah; there will also be some runway shows.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Project Runway Season 3 Reunion Episode: the return to innocence.

In the most surprising twist of the entire Project Runway series the designers all appear to be sober at the season 3 reunion special!

Anyway, here's what happened:

The designers showed up. Keith took complete responsibility for his actions and understood why he was kicked off the show. Jeffrey apologized to Angela for his inexcusable behavior toward her mother. The designers all hugged each other and went home.

Oh, alright; that didn't happen.

Let's start from the beginning:

Heidi recaps: "We started with 15 designers. Each week one designer was sent home. Except that week when no designer was sent home. Oh yeah, and that week when three designers were sent home. Oh, and what about that week when Keith was sent home in addition to another designer; does that count? Oh, forget it!"

Heidi is joined by Tim:

Tim: "Mitigate faux bois consternation sturm und drang circuitous ambivalent placate Constructivist consternation amorphous misapprehension anemic egregious idiosyncratic caucus!"

Keith: "Ha ha, he said caucus!"

Vincent: "That turns me on."

Laura: "There is some serious ugly going on in this room!"

Robert: "It's boring!"

Bradley: "boop, boop, boop."

Stacey: "Remember me?"

Uli: "I can't even go to the toilet without being followed. Let's get vasted after the show. Fahrvergnugen!"

Kayne: "I'm all about pageants my sisters were in pageants I'm from Tennessee lets cut to the chase what I envision for this reunion show is something gorgeous I haven't decided on colors yet I would love to see this set in olive green that's the look and whole feeling I want it's going to look gorgeous it's going to look like a million bucks!"

Angela: "Jeffrey, I think you and I could have been friends if we had never met."

Alison: "Animals make me happy!"

Vincent: "I don't want my fucking clothes fucking fluffed and folded. Is that too fucking much to ask? This shit isn't cheap shit! What the fuck is wrong with you fucking people?!"

Now we're getting somewhere. Tell us more.

Vincent: "The show is full of amateur designers. It's my opinion and I'm entitled to my opinion, and I'm proud of my opinion, and I stand by my opinion. I'm not calling you amateurs. I'm just saying it takes a certain level to be at a certain level of design and I stand by that, yeah."

Tim: "Fortunately we have Guadalupe Vidal standing by on the phone. Lupe, can you translate that for us?"

Lupe: "I agree, as well."

Tim: "Thank you."

Michael Kors and Nina Garcia come out with a big, obnoxious poster check.

Michael Knight is crowned Miss Congeniality. Kayne wonders why he wasn't asked to make the gown.

The scoring is explained:

Heidi: "First we score the garments from 1 to 5."

Nina: "Then we ask questions of the designers."

Michael Kors: "Then we just pull decisions out of our asses."

The designers ask questions of the judges:

Angela: "Would my Jubilee Jumbles outfit have been better if it had a better story?"

Nina: "Not even if the story had been written by Alexandre Dumas."

Kayne: "If I had made my couture dress in a different color would it have been better?"

Michael Kors: "Anything is possible."

Kayne: "People love that dress!"

Michael Kors: "There's all kinds of taste out there. Have you seen some of Heidi's outfits this season?"

Previous designers are asked who will win. Jay has it all figured out.

Jay: "The first season the gay white guy won, the second season the Chinese girl won, so the third season the black guy will win."

OK, but Chloe isn't Chinese.

Jay: "I don't care if she's Chinese, Japanese, or Chuck E. Cheese; the point is she's Asian."

The season four winner will be a Mexican hermaphroditic dwarf.

Jeffrey farts.

See you next week!

(Legal disclaimers: Jay never called Chloe Chinese. I made this up in order to use the Jaime Presley line from My Name Is Earl. Please drink responsibly.)