Top Chef – Texas: Block Party

E:  Well, you knew it was coming. Really, how many times can they show inconsistent, wacky Chris pining for his lovely wife and child before giving him the boot?

M: Quick admission…  I was an idiot this week.  I went to re-watch last week’s LCK On Demand before watching this week’s episode, but accidentally selected this week’s, which opened with the shot of Chris J, so I knew who was gone before ever even starting the episode.  I’m not sure my viewing experience would have been much, if any, different, but still, I don’t like to know the ending before I watch. Continue reading

SAG Award Predictions 2012

E: Coming as they do mere days after the Oscar nominees are announced, the Screen Actors Guild Awards assume a particular significance.  The Golden Globes let us know early who the favorites in a given race are; perhaps more than anything else, they shape the nominations.  SAG, however, winnows those nominees down to winners.  Sure there’ll be another 3 weeks before the Oscars, but it could be just time wasting (or time to see the nominees you’ve missed) in terms of the winners.  If Oscar is a popularity contest, SAG really lets us know who the popular kids are (especially since actors are the biggest branch of the Academy). When it comes to the movie awards, there aren’t a lot of categories where there’s any doubt as to the winners.  But those categories?  Well, they’re pretty interesting ones, and they are very much worth a bit of discussion.

Continue reading

Castle Review: “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

C: As you might be able to guess from the title (maybe), this week’s subculture on Castle was the world of dog shows. Although in actuality, the episode was primarily concerned with the star of a Kardashian-like reality show and a Dog Whisperer. So, no Best in Show-style humor here.

E: That was rather disappointing, wasn’t it?  I wanted to spend more time with neurotic pet owners.

M: I agree, there was very little in the way of dipping into the dog show subculture, not at least to the usual Castle level.

E: On the other hand, it did lead to what might have been the funniest line of the show – papparazzi swarming over Castle, then backing away in disappointment. “Hey, that’s not Jason Bateman!”

Continue reading

Oscar Nomination Predictions, 2012

E: Here it is again, that time of year.   It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of film (much of which, depending on where you live, probably still hasn’t come to a theater near you).  It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of guesses, of anticipation, of pedigreed films which fell flat at the box office or with the critics, with festival darlings who may or may not make the grade, with movies flying under the general radar, but worth the search.  Ready for a month of marathon movie watching?  Ready to make those final guesses?  Ready to get up early tomorrow and hear the news?

The nominations always bring greater surprises than the actual awards; that makes nomination day my favorite of the awards season.  Let’s start with one of the worst categories – but I’m going to leave the very most important and very worst of all, Best Picture with its uncertain number of honorees, for last.  And as always, I will be hoping to be wrong.

Continue reading

Top Chef: Fit For An Evil Queen

E: M, you must be psyched. As far as I’m concerned, this episode gave us everything you’d be dreaming of from this season and hadn’t yet gotten.

M: You’re right, I am!  Now, I know that the show was taped months ago, and that our piece on literally has only had 14 views, but it felt like they read all of my criticisms and everyone, contestants, judges and producers alike, all stepped up.  And yes, I know that that is amazingly narcissistic of me.  I think I’ve been seeing too much of Newt Gingrich.

E: You said it, not me.

M: Gotta call a spade a spade.

Continue reading