Lingering tube thoughts: Wednesday night

8 Jan

There is nothing interesting happening in the world right now (stop reading right now if you don’t enjoy being bored), so let’s talk about television. Two shows I watched Wednesday night:

1. Top Chef

I’m not going to recap the whole episode for you, but I would like to kindly point out that Scott Tobias from the AV Club (one of my favorite writers/sites) is wrong wrong wrong about a couple points. First one:

When Toby Young, a British food critic and author of the caustic memoir How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, opened his new gig as Top Chef judge by comparing Radhika’s spicy soup to WMD, I cringed a little.

But by the end of the hour, I started to come around. Yes, he did deliver a few more canned bits of sarcasm (“the bland leading the bland”), but he also proved lively and incisive, and will definitely be a stronger presence on the show than the (temporarily or permanently?) departed Gail Simmons, who always maintained a certain level of wishy-washy politesse.

No, Scott, that is incorrect. Toby was an insufferable ham with awful rehearsed jokes and vainly forced opinions. It took about 30 seconds of Toby on my screen for my Top Chef enjoyment level to drop almost in half. Dude’s a hack, and his lame-ass “everyone listen to me and my hilarious one-liners I rehearsed on the subway on my way over” attitude is threatening to compromise my enjoyment of the show. Wah.

I’ll tone down the hate if this annoying chap tones down his “jokes,” but until then…you’re on notice, Top Chef.

Here’s the second point Scott is wrong about:

Tonight started with the Quickfire Challenge—pardon me, the Diet Dr. Pepper Quickfire Challenge, which meant there was plenty of sickly sweet soda around to sabotage the dishes. (I welcome your Diet Dr. Pepper horror stories in the comments below. I’ve never tried it myself, but I hear it tastes exactly like Dr. Pepper… as filtered through a freshly cleansed rectum.)

Wrong again! DDP tastes like Dr. Pepper as filtered through the urethra of little baby Jesus. Diet Dr Pepper is the balls, and I’ll have no guff about it.

2. The Real World: Brooklyn.

I’m not going to recap this one either, since Gabe already handled it like pro he is, but I have to say, the lack of siliconed whores-in-training and ‘roided frat bros was refreshing. I mean, there wasn’t even one orgy in the premiere. Though at one point I think I heard the transgender make a remark about hoping everyone is OK with seeing her naked that made me vomit in my lap, so I guess we’ll call it even.

5 Responses to “Lingering tube thoughts: Wednesday night”

  1. Murph January 9, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the Top Chef stuff…

    I was telling Stinger & MJ last night that it was pretty disappointing for TC to subscribe to the lame trend in competitive TV shows of hiring an obnoxious British guy to judge its contestants.

    I thought this was America?

  2. lattewarrior January 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    RE: Top Chef

    I’m a huge fan of the show. I’ve gifted the cook book multiple times. I’m feverishly loyal to the Glad family of products. I create culinary delights on a GE Monogram Series range (not really). I often shop at Whole Foods even though I can’t really afford to shop at Whole Foods. I’m an apologist for the show on every level. I even look the other way when Padma (a model) tries to pretend she’s a food expert. That said, Toby Young was the latest misstep in what has been a terribly disappointing season thus far. Tom Colicchio can be a pompous assface but at least he’s a respected chef. As far as I know, Toby Young is a noted satirist (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) who spent some time doing restaurant reviews in England. Somehow he parlayed that experience with his abrasive, Simon Cowell-esque personality to land some gigs on food-related reality TV shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef. It seems that his role on the show is not to evaluate the talent and creations of the contestants but rather to humiliate them. Not cool. Bring back Ted.

    While B. has given me an excuse (and stage) to address my Top Chef concerns, let’s talk about the casting for this season. Are these really the best candidates the producers could find? Has the show lost its punch?

    Ariane: Spunky MILF from Jersey whose biggest moment thus far was making a turkey that the Foo Fighters didn’t hate. Wow.

    Danny: Unfunny New Yorker who thinks he’s funny (stop me if you’re heard this one before). No creativity and even worse, couldn’t imagine how anyone could think his work sucked). Fortunately for us, he’s gone.

    Alex: Didn’t want to be there and pretty much sacrificed himself to go home and be with his fiancee. How does someone whose heart isn’t in it make the final 12? A Bravo executive should get their wrist slapped for falling asleep on Alex.

    Carla: Looks and sounds like the Muppets’ Beaker. Matches her spectacle frames to her outfit, which is almost as annoying as her hair and her voice. Plus, she can’t make anything other than soup. I’m not a fan.

    Fabio: Looked like one of the favorites early on but has struggled lately. Pretty charming guy for Euro-trash. Has skills.

    Eugene: Nice story as a guy who worked his way up from dishwasher to executive chef but really only knows how to do sushi. And he’s not open to criticism. He was cut on Wednesday.

    Hosea: Very likeable cat who has game. I’m forecasting that he makes the Final Three.

    Jeff: Looks like he could moonlight as a soap opera star. Very competitive guy who tends to overextend himself, which could get him sent home early. I root for this guy because I think he’s the most creative among the remaining contestants.

    Jill: Gone after two episodes. She was kinda foxy though.

    Lauren: Similar to Jill. First cut.

    Leah: Very talented for her age (27). She has an anti-establishment vibe that I like but could rub the judges the wrong way.

    Melissa: Thankfully cut along with Eugene this past Wednesday. She was in the bottom three on virtually every elimination challenge.

    Patrick: One of three members of the Gay Alliance, Patrick (who is only 21 years old) lost the play-in game in Episode One.

    Radhika: Very pleasant Indian woman who apparently only knows how to make Indian food. I’m all for diversity but the diversity should come from one’s cooking perspective, not their ethnic background. Now, if Radhika was an Indian woman who could cook the hell out of quail eggs and pork tenderloin one night and make a kick-ass crepe the next, I’d say she’s got a real shot. But all I’ve seen her do is variations of curry and tandoor and I can’t imagine she can survive on that much longer. Maybe she’ll surprise us. I hope so.

    Richard: Another member of the Gay Alliance, Richard was cut when he made some awful banana smores for the Foo Fighters. I didn’t think it was something to get cut over but I’m not an expert like Padma. I liked this guy and wished we could have gotten to know him better.

    Stefan: This salty Finlander has been billed as the villain but I have yet to see any evilness from him. They keep previewing an emerging feud between Stefan and Jamie and, frankly, I can’t wait. Like him or not, I don’t see any way Stefan doesn’t make the Final Three.

    Jamie: Third and most talented member of the Gay Alliance but not nearly as talented as she thinks she is. Feels she gets ripped off everytime someone else wins a Quickfire or Elimination. I really can’t stand her. Not because she’s an angry lesbian, but because she’s an angry lesbian with a false sense of entitlement. Oh, and she thinks all the straight guys on the show want to bang her. Are you sensing I don’t care for Jamie? Like Season 4’s Lisa, this is someone for whom I’ll cheer when they are eliminated.

    My Final Three predictions:


  3. Murph January 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    Great synopsis Lattewarrior…

    Muppet, huh? I’m more of a sasquatch mated with an alien guy myself. It’s the only way I can comprehend her incredible height and head shape.

  4. JLH January 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Can Danielle do a guest blog and summarize Monday’s bachelor for us? Just don’t let her commit and then mail it in like the Sports Gal.

  5. B. January 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    JLH: I’ll ask, but my guess is she shoots me a roll of the eyes and a no. The little lady thinks blogging is for nerds, and reminds me of that at least thrice weekly.

    Latte: Wow, that was superb. I agree on most fronts, but I think that by and large, the talent is similar to past seasons. There are always a dozen or so cooks whose talents come and go, and a few that rise to the top. Remember, the hated Lisa made the finals last season. (Shudder) Anyhow, you are hereby given carte blanche to write about Top Chef whenever you feel the need. Light up the comments or send to me directly.

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