Friday, April 25, 2008

Top Chef and tofu

You know, I think it's a shame that tofu has kind of a bad reputation here in the US. And I can kind of see why...Americans seem to treat it as this bland, vegetarian meat substitute. I myself would probably never order it in a non-Asian restaurant. But being Korean, I've always loved tofu. In many Asian cuisines tofu isn't seen so much as a meat substitute but just as a different kind of protein. Tofu dishes often have meat in them or are served alongside meat dishes. That said, I was really happy to see that Richard and Dale didn't get all bummed by getting tofu and incorporated a beef flavor into their dish! Also, I loooove green curry and I'm happy to see that Dale's been bringing a lot of his Southeast Asian roots into his dishes (something Hung kind of got dinged for last season).

Dale in general has kind of been growing on me...I was a little bewildered by his whole crotch-grab outburst at Lisa a couple of weeks ago but since then I've realized that he wasn't totally in the wrong. Lisa IS negative. In fact, I think she's one of the most unpleasant contestants we've had in a long time. And so far she hasn't really shown that she has much talent behind her constant bitching. This is the FOURTH season. The cheftestants should know that 1) they should know how to make a dessert, and 2) they'll be forced to work with ingredients and cuisines and clients that they might not like or be comfortable with. So stop bitching!

So I mean, I was pretty surprised that she or Antonia didn't get eliminated. I guess the judges felt that their dish ultimately tasted better even though it didn't follow the rules of the challenge, but I feel like there have been plenty of other challenges where not adhering to the rules was the ultimate mistake. I think maybe that's the problem with these more nebulous "inspiration" challenges. Maybe I'm making this up but I feel like we've had way more of those this season than the ingredient or client focused ones. It has required the chefs to be more creative and has produced some really great dishes, but the judging seems so arbitrary.

I'm relieved that Stephanie wasn't axed though...she's one of my favorites. And I can't say that I'm that bummed that Jennifer is gone...I was getting pretty tired of all her "I'm doing it for Zoi" statements.

This week's tally:
Nikki and Mark - probably should be gone already
Lisa - needs to go immediately
Spike - can't stand him but have to give him kudos this week
Antonia - questionable
Andrew - think he's hilarious, is definitely still in it
Stephanie, Dale, Richard - my picks for the final three

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

how i met your mother

best. show. ever!

I dunno, I keep expecting to be disappointed, but the show just keeps delivering and delivering! :) I know there are probably tons of people out there who aren't fans of Robin-Barney, but I love it!

At least for now.

So good!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I heart Eli Stone!

I know it's been quite awhile since I last blogged. Life's been busy and I've barely had enough time to watch my shows, never mind write about them. But I had to write about Eli Stone because I've just been really, really loving it. Yesterday's season finale almost felt like a series finale but I'm optimistic that the show will see a second season. ABC has treated it really well, giving it a post-Lost timeslot and airing all 13 episodes and it seems like they have some confidence in it.

My first review of the show was generally positive, but things have really only gotten better since then. The show does a really great job at balancing the quirky humor and George Michael and the general wackiness of Eli's visions with the seriousness of his aneurysm and how it's changed him. I like that the show deals with faith without making it about any particular religion, and each episode is really like, life-affirming without being overly obvious or schmaltzy about it. I even enjoy the legal drama part of the show...yes, the cases are kind of crazy and unconventional but they stem from Eli's visions and tie into his personal journey so I'm more willing to go along with them than if they were on, say, Boston Legal...

And all the supporting players really bring the show to another level. I love Victor Garber in anything, of course, but Jordan's surprised me with how he too has been affected by Eli's change. (And the scenes with him singing are AWESOME!) I think Maggie is super cute and I totally squealed when we saw that vision of Eli and Maggie with a baby (yeah, the shipper in me always manages to crawl out). Even Taylor's grown on me...I still don't really get how she and Eli ever made a great couple but I buy that she really cares about him, and the story with her and Matt Dowd was pretty entertaining. And I love how they've developed the relationship Eli has with his brother, Nathan too. I thought the episode where Eli was seeing Nathan's memories through his eyes was really well done.

The season finale was just so wonderful though. It was kind of trippy, because at first you think the episode is switching between scenes of Eli before his surgery to have his aneurysm removed and then after but by the end you realize that all the scenes of "before" are actually all in Eli's head while he's in the coma. Eli's imaginary case involves a man with cancer who decides he doesn't want to go through chemo for the third time because he believed that God told him not to, which was just a perfect tie-in to Eli's situation. And it turns out that that man was already in a coma in the room next to Eli's. How crazy is that??

If there is a second season I wonder where things are going to go. It seems that Jordan was actually intending to make Eli a partner for a pro-bono division so that would work nicely but since the surgery was successful in removing his aneurysm I'm not sure what they're going to do about the visions. I hope we get a chance to find out!