Samantha Simorangkir, Author at Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GLEE Recap: ‘Dance with Somebody’…Before They Graduate and Leave You Forever (Panic!)

April 25, 2012 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Glee

Big thanks to Sam for taking on this week’s GLEE recap while Kath is traveling.

If Glee is a box of Cheez-Its, then tonight’s episode was the third or fourth last Cheez-It in the box. (Bear with me.) There are a few more left, but for the first time you realize the end is near. Then comes the pang of sadness. Sure, its not the last time you’ll ever have Cheez-Its. You’ll get a new box. But this particular box will be finished.

Rachel, Finn, Kurt and the other Seniors are leaving McKinley, and no matter what the show will be different. I came to this sad realization just as many of the crackers – er, characters – did tonight. Glee may not be ending yet, and the graduating cast members may not be leaving the show, but when the original cast graduates, it will definitely be the end of an era. This particular box of Cheez-Its will be empty.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Mash Off’

November 16, 2011 by  
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Following an episode filled with WEST SIDE STORY and sorta-sex, there was surprisingly still much story to be told in “Mash Off.” More character development for Santana, progress in the student council elections story, Quinn/Beth drama and most importantly, the new love/crush arc between Shelby and Puck.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Asian F’

October 5, 2011 by  
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The single most important and momentous occasion in this episode is this: Mike Chang sings! Not to make this about me, but I have been saying ever since they decided to pass him as a primary character that we need to hear Mike Chang sing. I’ve never been able to answer the question “Why should I care about Mike Chang?” He is nice to look at, yes. And when he dances it’s like magic. But he is part of a GLEE club and if I am supposed to believe he is an important part of the Glee club, he has to sing. He doesn’t have to sing well, but he just has to sing. Quinn doesn’t sing particularly well, but she’s had plenty of solos. Even Lauren Zises got a solo for crying out loud. So yes, my wish has finally been granted. And not only that, but his performance far exceeded my expectations.

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GLEE Season Finale Recap: ‘New York’

May 24, 2011 by  
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“I don’t like cities, but I like New York. Other cities make me feel like a dork.” Oddly enough, I can see where Finn is coming from with this rhymetastic lyric. NYC was a perfect backdrop for the drama and love and dreams and disappointment that characterize our dear show. I got such a kick out of the New Yorkness of this episode. Romance in Central Park. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – or bagel and coffee outside of Tiffany’s. Running into Patti Freaking LuPone at Sardi’s. Those red steps in Times Square in front of the tkts booth, which I happen to have been sitting at just a week ago. I don’t know about that comment about it always smelling “wet.” I think that stench is more accurately described as “urine.”

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GLEE Recap: ‘Funeral’

May 17, 2011 by  
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After the fantastic prom episode, I was fully prepared to be underwhelmed this week, but I was pleasantly surprised. All thanks to the deliciously bitchy Jesse St. James, awesome solo numbers from all of GLEE’s best vocalists, and a Sue Sylvester storyline that was touching but not overly sappy (as it often can be).

Jesse’s turn as Show Choir Consultant was a brilliant excuse to have him involved in Rachel and rest of the New Directions’ lives. I love that he took a Reality Television class at UCLA. I love that he drew a cat on his notepad instead of jotting down critiques during Santana’s performance. I love that his snide remarks are igniting a fire in Finn, allowing him to man up and make decisions (and help him wake up to his feelings for Rachel). I still can’t trust him as far as I as throw him, or throw my soul into ev-e-ry open door…oh sorry, I was having a flashback to last week’s “Rolling In The Deep.” (I’m OBSESSED with that scene. OBSESSED.)

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GLEE Recap: ‘Rumours’

May 4, 2011 by  
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“Rumours” was not a record that I grew up on, but I don’t live under a rock, so I am very familiar with “Dreams,” “Songbird,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “Don’t Stop.” I do applaud the decision to have a tribute episode that was all about the music, and not about theatrical, costume-y, image, filled with performance/music-video re-enactments (Madonna, Gaga, Britney). It’s hard to hate an episode filled with good music.

April and Will’s vocals on “Dreams” were like butter. Also, did anyone else notice how Will’s dimples are extra-pronounced during the many, many “ooh ooh ooh’s?” I thought they were going to sprout wings and fly away. I did find it a tad uncomfortable that they were being handsy and seductive with each other in front of the kids. It was fine at the bowling alley, and at the roller-rink on their own time, but at school, not so much.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Born This Way’

April 26, 2011 by  
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Oh my Gaga! The overwhelmingly positive message of self-love. Tear-jerking musical numbers. Wemma progress. Finchel moments. Puckleberry moments. Kurt’s return. “Trouty Mouth” on a t-shirt. So much to love about this episode! My GLEE cup overfloweth. Thank you, Grilled Cheesus.

Things get kicked off with a bang – or should I say, a “whack” – as Finn hits Rachel in the face during a dance rehearsal. She is rushed to the hospital to get her schnoz checked out. Turns out it’s broken, and the douchey doctor pushes her to get a nose job. Rachel is not the sort to give in to vanities, but when she learns that it may improve her singing voice, how can she say no? Nobody else seems to think it’s a good idea, and neither do I, but I can’t blame her for soldiering on anyway. It’s not like they’ve been supportive of anything else she’s done. If there’s anyone who has a say it would be Finn, and he does. He pleads “Rachel, please don’t do this. You’re beautiful.” She clearly looks like she’s been gently stabbed in the heart with that comment (in a good way) but being the strong woman she is, reminds everyone that this is not a discussion and that she’s doing it anyway.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Night of Neglect’

April 20, 2011 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Glee

On Glee’s long-awaited return-from-hiatus episode (okay it wasn’t that long, but any hiatus is a long hiatus to me), we have the reappearance of a handful of characters, including McKinley substitute teacher (and Will Schuester’s substitute-Emma) Holly Holliday, Sunshine “sent-to-a-crackhouse-by-Rachel-Berry” Corazon, and the Legion (or League?) of Doom, which consists of glee club instructor-turned-weed dealer-turned-predatory gay Sandy Ryerson, Terri “Fake-Preggers” Schuester, and Sergeant Sexypants Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby. Did you catch all that?

The glee club decides to throw a benefit concert to raise money for the academic club (what? You mean there’s more to these kids’ lives than glee and football?) in addition to funding their trip to nationals. Sunshine Corazon wants to help — her first name is “Sunshine” and her last name means “Heart,” how could her intentions be bad? Ms. Berry thinks she’s a spy — funny how when the enemy doesn’t come in the form of a cute boy with comprehensive knowledge of the Lionel Richie catalog, Rachel is better at sniffing them out. Sunshine whips out the Twitter card, and says she can fill 600 seats with her followers if they let her sing. Ah, the power of Twitter followers. That’s good enough reason for Puck, who practically demanded she be allowed to sing, and whose face was painted with lustful admiration the minute Sunshine opened her mouth and let out the first notes of “All By Myself.” What, you mean you didn’t notice his face? Think I’m crazy? Rewind your DVRs, it’s unmistakable. I would totally dig a Puck/Sunshine story line. We could call them “Punshine.” Or “Suckerman.” You heard it here first.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Original Songs’

March 16, 2011 by  
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Before I say anything else, I have to get this one out of the way.


It finally happened. Anyone who roots for Kurt (and who doesn’t?), along with anyone who adores Blaine (and who doesn’t?!) has been waiting for this for a long time. The Klaine fan in me is very pleased.

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GLEE Recap: ‘Sexy’

March 9, 2011 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Glee

Watching GLEE lately has felt like going to high school, in a really bad way. The alcohol awareness assembly of two weeks ago was followed up by an awkward and unnecessary sex-ed lesson. And all I can do is stare at the clock and count down the minutes.

Even the one-two punch of guest stars Gwyneth Paltrow and John Stamos wasn’t enough to salvage this train wreck.

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TOP CHEF ALL STARS: Feeding Fallon

The Italian guys, Fabio and Mike, are still butt-hurt about Antonia winning the last challenge. They say her combination of mussels and fennel was definitely French and had no place winning an Italian cuisine challenge. To me, her winning with a sorta-French dish just means that it tasted amazing enough for it not to matter. No matter how you swing it, there’s no arguing against a win for the tastiest dish. I get Fabio’s frustration, having made that elaborate, traditional, chicken cacciatore, but Mike and his undercooked pasta need to take their bitching elsewhere.

The quickfire challenge – judged by fellow cheftestants (gasp!) – is to make a unique fondue. Padma says this means something more exciting than chocolate and bananas. Of course, Blais takes this as an invitation to make a chocolate and banana fondue…except, it shall be infused with awesomeness i.e. liquid nitrogen. These days, Richard’s swag is leaning a bit too far on the arrogance scale for my taste. If I need to hear about how he should have won his season one more time…

Dale’s fondue is inspired by pho, which is my favorite thing to eat when hungover … I mean… on a cold day. He calls it a pho-ndue. Love. It.

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TOP CHEF: ‘Restaurant Wars: One Night Only’

I love Restaurant Wars. It always comes at a time when only really good chefs remain, so we see a lot of rock-star food coming out of the kitchen. Also, there is the added pressure of time and teamwork that always results in a good sh*tshow.

Dale wins the quick fire by coming the closest to Le Bernadin-standard fish butchering, and subsequently making a spectacular dish out of the head, wings, fins, bones and collar. His family was been cooking “nose-to-tail” long before it was cool. [Side note: When was it ever not cool?] He is rewarded with not only immunity, but also team captain power. He picks Marcel as the opposing team’s captain, to get as far away from him as possible.

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Who Went Home on TOP CHEF: ALL STARS?

What do we have here? No quick fire challenge? The chefs are hopping on a boat to go fishing in Montauk? No running around the kitchen like chickens with their heads cut off? Am I still on Bravo or did I change the channel by accident?

Well as much as I loves me some drama, I must say tonight’s episode was a nice vacation, in more ways than one.

There were no bells and whistles this week: no Joe Jonas, no language barrier at the Chinatown market – just honest-to-goodness, ocean-to-table cooking. Nothing tastes better than something you killed or caught yourself. A hard day’s work culminating in a fresh, delicious meal on the beach. It’s the way food should be. It’s the way life should be.

The only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth this episode was Marcel. I know what you’re thinking. Why should that surprise me? Still, he was extra douchy tonight. Right off the bat, he is yelling at Dale for not making as many plates as him. There is so much wrong with his rant that I don’t even know where to begin.

Ok how about here:

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TOP CHEF: You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum…

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Top Chef, Top Chef: All Stars

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At the top of tonight’s episode, we are once again reminded that someone other than Jamie was voted off, and that Jamie is still here. Jamie, how are you still here? Richard comments on how he hasn’t seen her make anything this season, likening her to an octopus: “comes out every once in a while…cooks some chickpeas…crawls back in their hole.” Incidentally, I’d love a chickpea-cooking pet octopus.

I couldn’t help but notice, though, a couple tidbits that weren’t shown in the prior episode, including Angelo offering to add more olive oil in Spike’s dish, and Spike agreeing. It didn’t seem like Angelo was intentionally messing anything up, he just seems to enjoy being on a power trip, if anything. Sabotage may have just been a convenient scapegoat, and perhaps the true nail in Spike’s ALL-STAR coffin was him falling short on fully taking responsibility for his dish.

But I digress… Moving on now…

The long-awaited Tom Colicchio quickfire is here (and by long-awaited I mean since just before Christmas)! The cheftestants are shaking in their kitchen boots. Why? As was evident in TOP CHEF: MASTERS, seasoned and well-respected chefs are brilliant but presumably have not been working on the line for a while and are therefore rusty and slow. Apparently, that isn’t the case for Tom, as he whips around the kitchen like a ninja, juggling and squeezing lemon halves, and shucking clams with ease. He even knocks over a tray of ingredients with a whole fish. Bing, bam, boom: a sea bass dish in clam sauce with tomato and zucchini…done in 8 minutes and 37 seconds! The challenge is to make a great dish in the same amount of time.

Colicchio warns that degree of difficulty will be taken into consideration, and a raw dish made in two minutes will not be impressive in this particular case. But Angelo does what he wants, so he makes a raw fish dish, thinking “cool technique” will “recompensate” for it. It doesn’t. Dale goes out on a limb and makes noodles from scratch, which bites him in the be-hind, and he ends up with a dish that tastes like “doo-doo.” If only he had a wok. If only I had a tree sprouting money in my backyard. If only I had a backyard…

Marcel and Mike Isabella (who must always be referred to by first and last name, even though he is the only Mike in the competition) make two of the better dishes, but Marcel, like the vulture he is, tries to take credit for Mike’s success by saying the judges were still tasting the lingering flavors of having just tasted his dish before moving on the Mike’s. WTF?

The elimination challenge is to cook at a dim sum restaurant. I’m not certain how this is going to go, but I am inclined to predict that it will be something that rhymes with “it show.” Marcel says: “going to Chinatown is essentially going to China.  Everybody there is Chinese, everybody speaks Chinese, you can get really cheap massages…” Lord, help them.

Dale and Angelo have a leg up in this challenge, since all they cook is Asian food. And Tiffany D. at least lived in China for a month. Everyone else, I’m fairly certain, is screwed. You can’t bullshit your way through something as particular and culturally specific as dim sum. I am Asian, raised in Asia, but I’m not Chinese, and eating at authentic restaurants in Chinatown feels foreign to me, even though I grew up eating the stuff.

I can’t imagine what the producers told restaurant patrons about what was going on… “These white people are going to be taking over the kitchen, and making your food for today.” I wouldn’t be surprised if they told them nothing, because I don’t know why they would agree to stay. These silly Caucasians are so meticulous with their plating that they can’t keep up with the hungry customers. Dale agrees with me that this is a **it show. But he wins. Tiffany surprises me with a spicy pork bun that guest judge Susur Lee finds “very Chinese.” Impressive.

At judges’ table, there are a whopping five people up for elimination. Tre made a sad, runny, orange dessert. But is safe. Carla made a beautifully wrapped Vietnamese summer roll. It’s not Chinese. Which, if it was a good dish, I think would be excusable considering no one there is an authentic Chinese chef. However, it was completely bland. That’s not okay. She too is safe, though.

Antonia made one good dish, but shared a crummy dish with Jamie. Why anyone would share responsibility for a dish with Jamie I will never know. Jamie’s other dish was a scallop dumpling, which is possibly the 624th scallop dish she’s made on the show since her first appearance. (“This is ‘Top Chef,’ not ‘Top Scallops!’” – Fabio.) Nobody liked it. Padma throws Jamie a bone, and says she applauds her for making more than one dish.  For making one-and-a-half crappy dishes then?! Why?!  Meanwhile, Casey, who at least had the balls to attempt to cook chickens’ feet – a dim sum staple – and worked her ass off to cut off those chicken claws, gets eliminated for poor execution.

Jamie, how are you still here?

Who Packed Their Knives and Left TOP CHEF: ALL STARS?

‘Tis the season to stuff our faces. And what better way to celebrate the upcoming festivities with a TOP CHEF challenge involving a holiday staple: stuffing! As Tiffani says “stuffing is house-specific.” I’ve had to pleasure of sampling holiday dishes from households of many friends. I have had stuffing with rice, stuffing with sausage, stuffing with sage, stuffing with berries, and instant stuffing out of the box (don’t care, it’s good stuff.) When it comes to stuffing possibilities, the sky is the limit… until, what falls from the sky but none other than a ridiculous twist that would never happen to these chefs in real life, but will test their essential chef-ly qualities of resourcefulness and creativity: They must cook with no utensils!

Fabio grates cheese on the top rack of a shelf. According to Fabio, Fabio is a genius. Carla bangs on an onion like a cavewoman. Casey feels like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Except she’s missing her “Wilson” (Dale Levitski *sadface*). Tre hyper-freezes his ingredients with liquid nitrogen so he can break it up more easily. Marcel finds this challenge ridiculous, which is how he sees much of the world.

Casey’s dish looks more like a deconstructed stuffing dish, than stuffing. Which may be good or bad. Jamie makes a crepinette (whatever that is) and since it is a take on a matzo ball soup, she has a broth, which she pours sloppily into her dish. Jamie, how are you still here?

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