Month: June 2014

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 8 Chefs Compete

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Last week, Melanie was new to the Blue Team and had a big opportunity to prove herself.  Miraculously, Gabriel is still on the show?  Weird.  On to the recap!

Challenge: Chef Ramsay presented 4 dishes that are presented as one dish, but when tasted, are completely another.  The point: a chef must count on his or her palate.  AND WITH THAT IT’S TIME FOR MY FAVORITE CHALLENGE!

The Blind Taste Test

If you are unfamiliar with the blind taste test, it is exactly what it sounds like.  Ramsay blindfolds contestants and places headphones on them as well so the only sense they have at their disposal is taste.  They are fed and must guess what they are tasting.  And it’s the freaking best challenge of the season.

  • Joy gets pear, so does Rochelle
  • Joy misses arugula, so does Rochelle
  • Joy gets carrott, so does Rochelle
  • Joy misses fillet mignon, Rochelle gets the point for Blue with “beef”
  • Anton and Gabriel miss anchovies, mango, and peas, but they both get mozzarella
  • Scott gets hot dog; Jason does not
  • Scott gets radish; Jason does not
  • Both miss macadamia guessing another nut
  • Both also miss green beans
  • Melanie misses parsnip, so does Kashia
  • Both miss bell pepper as well
  • Melanie misses chicken, but so does Kashia keeping Blue in the game
  • Melanie misses cheddar, and Kashia gets it sealing Red’s victory by 2

Red wins an ice skating reward including a lesson with an Olympic figure skater Rachel Flatt, while Blue breaks ice blocks then makes ice cream by hand as punishment.

Note: Kashia couldn’t kayak and Kashia couldn’t ice skate because she was scared.  Rewards are wasted on the unwilling.

Dinner Service

Melanie doesn’t have a lot to work with on the Blue Team, but appetizers start out well in both kitchens.  Red comes up one scallop short on their final app order, because apparently math still isn’t a part of cooking.  Entrées prove tricky, especially for Red.  Kashia braises salmon for some reason, and chicken comes out severely undercooked.  Rochelle’s Wellingtons impress Chef Ramsay on the blue side, but Anton on Red overcooks theirs.  Sous Chef Andi comes to teach, but Anton disrespects her an infuriating amount.  “Shut up, and say, Yes Chef!” she yells, and earns Anton a walk to the freezer with Chef Ramsay.  You’ve got to get it together! he yells.  Meanwhile, he pays a serious compliment to Blue for their extremely high standard of service.

It’s no secret who won.  I guess Melanie did make a difference on Blue!  Red elects Anton and Scott for elimination.  Ultimately, Anton is eliminated.

I tell you, I will NOT miss his voice.  Tonight, we’re in for the toughest service for the Red team, with only three team members.  Black jackets may be coming out tonight!  We’ll see thought, we’ll see…

WCW: Joan Cusack (Shameless)

My cousin’s been telling me for months to watch Shameless.  Aside from my access to Showtime being a recent occurrence, my hesitation came from the episode I watched of the UK version by the same name.  It just didn’t click.  Though the first episode of the American version was very similar to what I remember of the UK version’s first episode, something clicked this time.  Perhaps it was just the magic of a second try, but I think it’s the American cast that sealed the deal for me.  Emmy Rossum is fantastic, yes, but my favorite has got to be Joan Cusack.  Thanks to Shameless, she’s my Woman Crush this Wednesday!

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I’ve loved Joan for a long, long time.  She’s a shining star in my favorite movie, (perhaps the only movie I truly love,) Addams Family Values.  She plays Debbie Jellinsky, a serial killer known as the Black Widow who marries Uncle Fester.  Her final monologue in this dark comedy is one of my favorite things ever and kind of a personal slogan: Don’t I deserve love? And jewelry?

She next caught my attention in a family favorite, School of Rock, as the principal of Horace Green.  From singing Stevie Nicks to announcing that “all of your children have gone missing,” she carries off this uptight role with the most hilarity.  I remember being surprised to see her in this then, recognizing her of course from AFV and the many John Cusack films of my youth.

These days I recognize Joan by her voice first, my eyesight not being too keen and my TV being farther away than my eyes like.  Her voice is how I spotted her in SVU, and her voice is what first drew me to Sheila.

Sheila– neurotic, agoraphobic, and a little bit slutty– has been an absolute joy to watch so far.  I’m making my way on to season 2 and savoring every bit of crazy Joan infuses into Sheila!  I’m so excited to have Joan on my screen in episodic format.  She’s making Shameless for me!

I’m interested in trying out the UK version again now that I’m onboard.  Thoughts?

All Men Must Die. Some already have.

Setting sail for a new season...

Setting sail for a new season…

Season finales are hard on all of us. George R. R. Martin, like my beloved Joss Whedon, seems to love killing off characters. When I think about season 4 ending, I tend to think of all the characters we’ve lost along the way. After season 3 ended, we were still reeling from The Red Wedding and mourning Catelyn and Robb. This season, I feel like the carnage was more warranted. Let’s be morbid and count down Game of Thrones season 4’s top 3 deaths.

 

3. Tywin Lannister, on the throne

Can anyone say anything in favor of Tywin Lannister? He was kind enough to Arya when she was a fugitive, yes, and he’s a smart guy. I think that’s where the good ends. Lannisters are not our favorites. Tywin was father to the monster that is Cersei. He is the ultimate puppet-master, even with his own kids. He was also the cruelest (perhaps, save for Cersei) to the only Lannister we do like, Tyrion. Tywin met a fitting end, as his son Tyrion burst in on him while he was “on the throne…” and not the kind that the title of the series refers to. Tywins lifelong cruelty to Tyrion caught up with him. “I am your son;” Tyrion pushed these harsh words in his face as he shot him through with a crossbow. Twice.   And he deserved it: a crappy end for a crappy guy.

 

2. Lysa Arryn, through the Moon Door

I enjoyed this one in particular because of my Tully-love. We knew something was wrong with Lysa from the moment we saw her, when Catelyn paid her a visit early in the series. She never wanted to help her sister. What kind of Tully is that? We learned this season that she killed her own husband, the former Hand of the King, which set off the events of the whole series. This crime was attributed to the Lannisters. That makes Lysa as bad as a Lannister… worse than some of them. This season she was ready and willing to take Sansa’s life— the same jealousy that colored her relationship with Catelyn reflected upon her neice. The Eyrie is a creepy place and Lysa, its unstable keeper. She’s already made her son as nuts as she is. The two favored their home’s Moon Door, and through it, Lysa met a fitting end plunging to her death in a free fall. Gooood riddance!

 

1. Joffrey Baratheon, at The Purple Wedding

He had it coming. In truth, Joffrey was a great villain. He came in a little, blonde package that in no way indicated the evil within. There are few characters I’ve wished to die the way I did with Joff. His cruelty grew from the first season— it starts small, first turning on Sansa’s his betrothed, but with the death of Ned Stark, he proves that he is a monster. His days as king did terrible things for his ego. As a young boy, he is mad with power. He never treated people well, and as king, he embraced the fact that he really didn’t have to. We saw him grow crueler, more violent, and more heatless— delighted as he was with the deaths of Robb and Catelyn Stark. He made Sansa’s life miserable, and he made many enemies. Drinking a poison cup of wine on his wedding day sealed his fate. Finally, we are rid of the horrible Joffrey Baratheon. Even his almost-wife, Margaery Tyrell, is glad to see him go. Neither his brother Tommen nor his uncle/father Jamie seems too upset. The only one who mourns is Cersei. Everyone else is glad his reign of terror has ended.

 

Bonus: Which death am I most sad to see this season?

The Hound

We’re not clear that he’s actually dead, but I think it’s a safe bet. I cried as I watched him beg Arya for death. I didn’t think I was this attached to him! I guess I’m just sad the The Adventures of Arya & The Hound have come to a close… but with Arya setting sail, new adventures are soon to come! Bring it on, season 5! I seriously cannot wait.

Clone Club Catch-Up: Rachel Snaps

“I think those are his brains,” says Donnie as we open “Things Which Have Yet Been Done” on he and Alison disposing of Leekie’s body.  Alison is living her bizarro play all over again, eh?

We then move to Helena, who we haven’t seen for a while, who’s having her embryos implanted at the Prolethean homestead.  The girl doesn’t know what her cervix is, but she certainly wants babies.

Rachel and Delphine discuss Cosima’s diagnosis.  Does anyone else think it’s weird that Rachel calls her father by his last name?  Rachel asks Delphine to take over as interim director of the program, saying she’s uniquely qualified and that she and Rachel could take it in a whole new directly.  Delphine, “the new Leekie” goes to Sarah and Mrs. S to discuss forging a new relationship.

Cosima, Sarah, and Alison Skype together like the good ol’ days.  Alison dries her tears seeing Cosima’s state.  She keeps Donnie’s secret of having killed Leekie.  The couple works out why Dyad would tell everyone he died on a plane.  Alison rightly guesses that they believe he is dead, or gave him every indication that he should be.  “Maybe they told him to be dead and live in Guadalupe, but he’s in our freezer,” she ventures.  They apparently settle on burying the body below the concrete of their garage.

Don't worry, Donnie; Alison's got this.

Don’t worry, Donnie; Alison’s got this.

The Prolethean homestead gets even weirder, as we see a preschool on sight.  Helene really does like kids, but yo, there are a lot of kids here.  Who do they belong to?

Back at Mrs. S’s, S says she knows a pediatrician that could help out with harvesting Kira’s bone marrow.  Fe isn’t in favor, and Sarah is torn between not wanting to involve her daughter and not wanting “her sister” to die.  S points out, it’s not any of their decisions.  Sarah talks to Kira about bone marrow, needles, and Cosima’s state.  Kira agrees to help Cosima.  At first, I wondered why this pediatrician doesn’t think it’s weird that all of these Dyad folks are present for Kira’s procedure, but then I remembered that everyone S knows is sketchy.

Scott and Ethan Duncan locate the infertility sequence in the clones genetic code, which is long and encrypted.  “I brought the cypher,” Duncan says, pointing to his head.

While Donnie and Alison dig in the garage, Vic pays a visit to their home.  Though they try to shove him away, he hangs around and watches Alison measure the new garage crater made to hold Leekie’s body.  Donnie presses a gun to his head and holds him over the opening.  He spills that there’s a cop outside.  “Angela DeAngelis?” Alison asks.  Vic confirms and adds he doesn’t think it’s official, since Angela thinks there are 5 of them.  Donnie pipes in, 11.  Newly badass Donnie goes out to Angela’s van and threatens her to back off.

Hendrick mentioned earlier that it was time for his daughter to bear fruit.  We now see what he meant, as they implant embryos in Gracie as well.  So, do Proletheans not have sex?  Helena sees Gracie’s sadness and asks why she doesn’t want to be pregnant.  Gracie reveals that her father is the father of the embryos, and that Helena is the mother.  Gracie asks, haven’t you been listening to anything my  father says?  “Not really,” admits Helena.

Marian and Rachel meet.  Is Rachel’s hair darker?  Marian wants to know about Sarah and why she is who she is.  Rachel grabs a martini and watches home videos of her life with the Duncans.  Oooh, she’s not in a good place.  She drains the drink, tears fall, and then she changes the image on the screen to photos of Sarah and Kira.  Jealousy is ugly, Miss Duncan.  Back in her office, Delphine pays a visit and sees Benjamin Kirkland’s name pop up on the screen.

With a better grasp on what’s happening on the homestead, Helena decides to flee to her sistra.  Gracie decides to come too, since she’s having Helena’s babies.  Her father stops them, knocks Helena out and locks up Gracie.  Mark, enamored as he is with Gracie, will not allow her to stay in that cage.  “You had to put your own child inside of her?  You had to be the father too?”  As he yells, Helena gets up and attacks Henrik.  She tells Gracie and Mark to run.  After a completely vile but fitting punishment, Helena burns the Prolethean homestead.

In Kira’s recovery room, S tells Sarah that Delphine is here to see her.  Delphine tells Sarah about Benjamin being compromised by Rachel.  Sarah runs in to get Kira out of there, and Fe springs into action asking her what’s going on.  Just then, his phone goes off… it’s the real Sarah from the car with Delphine.  This has been Rachel, and she takes Fe down.  Real Sarah walks in, accuses Benjamin of taking Kira, but S knows it was a trick and Rachel’s taken her.

Kira wakes up in a flowery bedroom to Rachel.  Rachel has kidnapped Kira, just as the Dyad did to her years ago.

Alpha, Omega, Mega

Well, I’m officially on Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby watch!  Whenever I’m having a bad day, it seems Pokémon comes to my rescue and releases bits of information on the much-anticipated Hoenn remakes.  The other day, pouting through my to-do list, I saw this video tweeted out:

Doesn’t Hoenn look fabulous in 3D?!  On to the point of this video: here in gen 6, Mega Evolutions are a thing, so of course they’ll be around in Alpha Sapphie and Omega Ruby.  This video shows up the Mega versions of the Hoenn starters, Sceptile, Swampert, and Blaziken.  We’ve seen Mega Blaziken before, of course.  I even had him on my team fighting through Kalos.  Pokémon’s twitter also let up know that Sceptile’s Mega Evolution gains a Dragon type, which makes it at least 75% cooler.  Swampert’s Mega Evolution apparently gains the Swift Swim ability, but that bulky dude doesn’t look too swift to me.  

The video also previews the newest pokémon announced, Diancie.  Sure, we’ve heard a lot about Diancie, but it seems like the distribution is coming up soon.  The COOLEST thing the video shows is Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre.  There’s still some questions in my head about these forms, but I’m assuming they’re different than Mega Evolution.

Twitter has been a wealth of information lately, as Mega Sableye was revealed the other day.  Best of all, it has given us A RELEASE DATE!!!  November 21st, I can’t wait to see you!!!

Who’s as excited as I am for Hoenn remakes?!

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 9 Chefs Complete

Well, well– as of last week we are officially down to single digits.

I’m surprised to see Kashia apologizing to Melanie as the episode opens, and I’m still surprised to see Anton getting along with Red, his new team.  I guess that’s what the switch up is all about, though!  People really turn it around in a different colored jacket.  A surprise delivery and a very sad rap kicks off the dinner service challenge: teams are to design their own menus for the night.

I spoke too soon, because immediately Anton butts heads with his team… mostly Melanie.  Kashia suggests a tuna slider, and Scott completely ignores her.  When Melanie suggests the same tuna slider, everyone is in agreement.  Weird… Eventually, Kashia gets props as her team remembers her signature dish from the start of the show, and even Anton’s voice is heard and suggestion accepted.  Joy pushes for fried chicken which makes her team nervous.  Have we seen one successful fried chicken this season?  Blue is more cohesive in their thought process, putting together their menu with ease at first.  Rochelle, however, does say much.  She admits that she’s not confident making suggestions.  Don’t forget, it’s 5 v. 4, Red to Blue right now.  They need all the help they can get.

Can we just talk about how the person who captioned this doesn't know the difference between plural and possessive?  I know "hos" is a slang term, and certainly not something you write everyday, but apostrophes are for possessives only.

Can we just talk about how the person who captioned this doesn’t know the difference between plural and possessive? I know “hos” is a slang term, and certainly not something you write everyday, but apostrophes are for possessives only!

The teams prepare their dishes for Chef Ramsay’s approval.  For Red, Ramsay notes the both appetizers– seared tuna and beef carpaccio– are raw, so they really have to be exceptional.  Anton’s seared scallops needs less garlic and Joy’s fried chicken comes out delicious but isn’t “sexy” on the plate.  All and all, Red does pretty well.  Blue’s risotto is described as phenomenal.  Gabriel’s short rib is delicious, but the crab cake prepared by Rochelle is horribly burnt.  So, highs and lows for Blue.  Rochelle has a bit of a freak out after her mess up.

Dinner Service: Red v. Blue

The diners have the choice of which menu order off of and Blue starts out as the most popular.  They are able to keep up a steady pace, until Richard’s crab cakes slow things down.  For Red, Anton’s scallops are popular, but the way he told Melanie to prepare them is not the way Chef Ramsay formerly tasted.  A bunch have to hit the trash because of this.  Anton blames Melanie for this, but if she’s preparing him the way he told her, is it really her fault?  Melanie’s second attempt are undercooked.  Kay, that one’s her fault.  With all those bad batches, Red finds themselves scallop-less.  Anton goes in search of some, and gets some from the Blue kitchen.  Finally, Melanie is able to produce.  Phew!  Blue finds themselves stuck waiting on garnish from Richard.  After continuous problems, Ramsay pulls Richard off the station and asks Rochelle to take over.  Gabriel is completely inconsistent on meat as well.

Ramsay’s assessment at the end of the night is that Blue came out of the gate strong, but lost it along the way.  Red had a slow start, but finished strong.  He declares Red the winner and that Blue will be losing one member.  While Blue goes to nominate a team member for elimination, Red is tasked with something as well: Ramsay asks Melanie, Joy, and Kashia for a volunteer to switch teams.

Gabriel and Richard are the obvious choices for elimination.  They both, however, think that Rochelle should go up for crying, despite her holding that service down.  Jason knows this, so the other two men do indeed go up.

Richard is eliminated, but I know Gabriel is not long for Hell’s Kitch!

And now, who volunteered as tribute?!  Melanie raises her hand.  Here is her real opportunity to show leadership skills.  Let’s see if she can pull it off tonight!

OITNB Season 2

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I was away for the weekend, but I still found the time to binge-watch Orange is the New Black!  I had originally planned to do this post in two parts, sort of my reactions mid-season and my impressions of the season as a whole.  Of course, I had absolutely no restraint and had burned through the season by Sunday night.

If you aren’t as psychotic as I am, I’ve included some mini-recaps, episode by episode with very minimal spoilers!  And if you binged through it all like I did, I’m dyinggg to talk about it!  More specifics are under the cut.  Enjoy!

Episode 1: We’re as confused as Piper is through most of this episode. She and Alex are the only characters we see, so you want to get through it quickly because we miss our favorite inmates so much! The end makes it feel worthwhile, though.

Episode 2: We finally get to catch up with our girls! The childhood flashbacks feel warranted thanks to the same kind of back-story reveals we got last season. We do not see Piper, but the episode does not lack her storyline.

Maybe I’ll pinterest. I hear that’s a thing.” – Morello

Episode 3: With a slew of new inmates we get some new characters: a new, first-time inmate, and an old acquaintance of a couple Litchfield girls who is going to be big trouble. We get a whole new perspective on the Piper/Tucky fight from last season and WOW is it interesting.

Episode 4: Morello’s always been one of my favorites, and I’m so happy to see some focus on her— in this episode’s Morello flashbacks we get to see what kind of crimes she committed; we’d actually never seen her out of prison before! Piper moves in with Red who finds a way to regain power.

Episode 5: This episode has the best title ever, “Low Self Esteem City” which embodies a challenge between Nicky & Boo. Piper asks Healy for furlough to see her dying grandmother who responds, “Furlough is like the Loch Ness Monster— much discussed and rarely seen.” We find out Caputo is in a band called Side Boob.

Episode 6: It’s Valentine’s Day and we get little mockumentary interviews about love throughout that are hilarious. I really enjoy the line dancing as well. Red’s new supply chain is in action, but she’s not the only game in town.

Episode 7: Piper gets involved in journalistic endeavors. This episode is full of business dealings and hilarious quotes, like Poussey’s “…If a cow breaks me out of here, I stop eating meat that day,” and basically everything Sophia said to Red.

Episode 8: Caputo is on a rampage to figure out where the contraband is coming from. Red tries to make an alliance with the Spanish kitchen crew against the new Litchfield bully. I know I said I didn’t miss him, but I was kind of excited to see the return of Pornstache.

Episode 9: Wait, are Piper and Larry really done? Real life Piper married Larry, but I’m not so sure about fictional Piper… In other news, this is the first time I’ve cried all season. Red apologizes to her girls earning their love back, and keeps her alliance with the Golden Girls— looks like she’s about to be a super power again!

Episode 10: My heart breaks for Red in this episode, and even more for Morello. I love these two so much. I’m seriously softening to Pornstache too. It’s nice that Morello’s kind of come clean; I feel better about her sanity now.

Episode 11: Red’s armed with two pieces of knowledge: (1) someone told Vee about her supply chain, and (2) drugs are again flowing into the prison— have we learned nothing from what happened to Tricia? Said betrayer turns on Red and the family. Red’s new friends, the old ladies, reveal themselves to be tougher than expected.

“Wow. That was a short mystery.” – Nicky

Episode 12: A storms brings a blackout and flood to Litchfield adding an additional element of danger to an already deadly environment. Someone gets slocked (that’s being hit by a lock in a sock) and it is absolutely horrifying.

“You want to assassinate someone, vision is a basic requirement. It’s like, step 1: pick a person to kill; step 2: kill them first!”

Episode 13: I’m very, very happy to see someone alive.  I’m happy to see everyone rally to try to bring down the big bag.  I absolutely love the end– Morello, shouting to Miss Rosa, and that one loose end, tied up for good.  Admit it: we all wanted that to happen.

 

Alright guys, now for the spoilers…

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