SB, Author at Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Who Won TOP CHEF? (Updated)

December 9, 2009 by  
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WARNING: As someone who copiously avoided finding out the winner until I could watch, I am telling you now that I will immediately be discussing who won Top Chef. If you don’t want to know, this is your last chance to stop reading. Ready? Here we go!

The culinary competition is over. And this season’s TOP CHEF is…
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TOP CHEF: And Then There Were Three

December 7, 2009 by  
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Guys, I apologize for the delay on this one. I started feeling sick on Friday, and believe it or not, it WASN’T because Michael Voltaggio is still around. But of course, that didn’t help.

The final four headed to Napa Valley and had their Quickfire Challenge on the train, which I have to say, even as a non-wine person, looked like a really fun thing to do someday—gorgeous views and the train and station were SO quaint. And then the picturesque scene was ruined by Michael Chiarello, who you may remember from Top Chef Masters. I wasn’t a fan of him now, and I still wasn’t this time around. I mean, first of all, I really didn’t think he should be giving Bryan a hard time for using concord grapes when they were provided to him. Secondly, I really wanted Jen to win that car, especially when I heard about her little old Cavalier (and, truth be told, I had been accidentally spoiled on who was eliminated, so I wanted her to get SOMETHING), and adding insult to injury, he picked MICHAEL to win. I was SO mad.

I actually really liked this elimination challenge, and again, even as a non-wine person, the harvest party looked really fun and was totally beautiful. I’m kind of over the catering challenges and I’m ready for the finale, which is usually just the chefs cooking a meal, not necessarily for one person, but certainly not for 150, either. But I did like the meat and vegetarian requirements, and I was shocked that no one had anything negative to say about Kevin’s vegetarian dish—there’s ALWAYS something negative to say. Plus, especially after the Natalie Portman challenge, it was nice to see them using eggs and cheese in their vegetarian dishes since I always think of that as fair game unless you’re talking vegans.

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BONES: The Foot in the Foreclosure

November 20, 2009 by  
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Before we get into a discussion of last night’s episode, I have a special announcement.

Mark your calendars! Set a reminder on your iPhone! On December 10th, we’re going to host another LIVE BONES CHAT. I thought it would be nice if we could watch the BONES Christmas episode together. The episode features Zooey Deschanel, Ryan O’Neal and Booth in his boxers. Hello! Are you in? RSVP in the comments.

Hey there, BONES fans! How are things? Did you like this episode? I don’t know if it caught me on a bad day or what (actually, it did), but it felt a little forced to me. I guess I could have handled a two or three episode arc with Pops, and getting all of that storyline across in one episode seemed like too much. I will say that once again like last week, while Booth was centric to the episode, it was really more of a commentary of Brennan’s character development. Loved that.


A pretty good case, I thought. Booth and Brennan are called to a home for sale, and in the bedroom is a body (or two, as we find out) completely incinerated with the exception of a foot. Also a hand is somewhat salvageable. Booth and Brennan are cute at the crime scene. Never thought I would say that, but I’m not complaining. There are a few suspects in the deaths of Meg and Hugo. Meg’s roommate; the capitalizing real estate agent; the home owner, etc.

BONES managed to gain justice and sympathy in the end when it was revealed that Howard, the original home owner was the murderer. On the advice of the realtor, he’d moved out of the house. But he just wanted to sleep in the bed he’d carved for himself and his late wife. Seeing Meg and Hugo in the bed was enough to incite him to murder, ironically using the handmade bedpost toppers as weapons.

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November 20, 2009 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Posts by SB, The Vampire Diaries

Alright, so last night was our last episode before TVD goes on its break until January 14, which feels like forever away, right? I was actually kind of bummed out while I was watching this episode, because I decided to watch Supernatural first (BIG mistake) and because I had the hiatus information in the back of my head.

Still, there was a lot to love about this episode, not the least of which was Stefan and Elena. (Caution: If you haven’t seen the episode, just stop now. You’ll want to be surprised.) YOU GUYS. These two are such drama queens but I love them together and I can’t help it. They just have really nice chemistry, and I know people complain that Stefan is boring and a buzzkill, and you know, I see it, but at the same time, I stand by my opinion that whatever emotion we see out of him seems way more legit as a result. When Elena told him she loved him and he just stopped dead, I swear my heart about stopped. And then when he turned around and came at her to kiss her … WHOA. It was super hot. I had been kind of bummed also that I wasn’t able to get midnight New Moon tickets because I waited too long, but then I saw all this go down and I was like … yeah, I’m happy to be on my couch in my pj’s right now.
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TOP CHEF: Culinary Olympics

November 19, 2009 by  
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[GMMR: Before we get into SB’s review of last night’s TOP CHEF, I just wanted to make sure that all of you have entered our TOP CHEF: The Quickfire Challenge Giveaway. The contest ends next week so be sure to enter soon.]

Alright, NOW it’s a competition. There were definitely a lot of times, especially recently, where I thought my original top four might not remain in tact (thanks for the heart attacks, Jennifer), but I think that the top shook out exactly how it should have and I’m happy with how things went.

This episode seemed extremely challenging, maybe one of the hardest challenges I’ve seen on Top Chef. I’d never heard of the Bocuse D’or before, but everyone seemed to treat it with great respect and Michael describing it as like being chosen to represent your country in the Olympics was a good description. So thanks, Michael, I guess I can’t say you never did anything for me.

Speaking of Michael (UGH, do we HAVE to?) I like how he’s now trash-talking everyone. Well, okay, not everyone. I don’t think he takes Eli seriously enough to trash-talk him, and trash-talking Bryan would reflect badly on him, since they do such similar stuff. But he’s still carrying on about Kevin cooking the way Michael cooks on his day off (eye roll), and he’s started in on Jen and how she started off strong but has nowhere to go now. Which, naturally, made me EXTRA proud when Jen won the Quickfire. You go girl! She really needed that. Also, meats inside meats inside meats kind of grosses me out. Turducken? Barf. I know lots of people enjoy that sort of thing, but I am not one of them. Also, food on mirrors? Sort of weird. Apparently this week is, for me, all about NOT wanting to expand my horizons.

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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: History Repeating

November 13, 2009 by  
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So much happened last night on The Vampire Diaries that I almost don’t know where to start, but as when you find out you are dating a vampire, it all may be a little overwhelming but you’re already committed so you might as well just dive in head first, right?

Let’s start with Alaric, because that seems easiest. I really wasn’t sure I’d be able to like him because I thought I might just look at his face and see Werner from Legally Blonde, but not so—he was actually really cute and charming, and I like that he both shared and tossed the jackass folder. I think I might need to keep a jackass folder. See? When Mr. Tanner wasn’t busy teaching, coaching, chaperoning, and generally being the only adult in town, he had a couple of good ideas!

It made sense to put him and Jenna together, since they are of about the same age and hotness (although I think she might be just a tiiiiiny bit hotter), and so we could find out more about his back story. What did you guys think about that part at the end where he was waiting to be invited in? Billy thinks it’s a red herring, but I just don’t know—it’s almost like a red herring is too obvious so maybe he IS a vampire. But then, I’m getting into a Dwight Schrute-like circle of logic.

However … LOGAN showing up? Definitely a vampire, because he was totally dead. But this begs the question, WTF? Who brought him back and why and what is he doing at Jenna’s? INSANITY. Are vampires just starting to descend on this town or what?

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TOP CHEF: Strip Around the World

November 12, 2009 by  
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Comments Off on TOP CHEF: Strip Around the World

Man, I feel like Top Chef has been gone FOREVER, even though it reality it was only one week (for the reunion dinner, which OnDemand decided wasn’t part of the season and I didn’t need to see, EYE ROLL). But we jumped right back into familiar territory with the Quickfire, which was the old “make Padma breakfast” challenge. This one, however, was breakfast in bed and included Nigella Lawson, who is apparently famous, but whose name only vaguely rang my bell. It barely even rang. It like … tinkled.

Eli won the Quickfire, which I actually thought was a good choice, based on pretty much everything besides tasting the food. But it certainly looked good, and I thought that it was easily the most conceptual dish, which I always enjoy. Eli didn’t win immunity, or even a real prize, but the “honor” of being the only chef from the season with a recipe in the Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook. That prize is lamesauce, which yes, you can smear over the bottom of a plate before plunking a tiny pile of food on it, thank you for asking.

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November 6, 2009 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Posts by SB, The Vampire Diaries

Now y’all, I don’t want to get too carried away here, but last night was a little epic! And we can pretty much attribute it all to Lexi, who is my favorite female vampire since Pam on True Blood. And I think I even liked her MORE than Pam, so suck on that for awhile. Also, vampire/bloodsucking pun!

Her arrival was perfectly timed, because needed someone to seriously lighten Stefan up, which she did, and to force the Stefan and Elena storyline out of its standoff, which she also did. And ladies, can I get a big “hell yeah” (Dixie Chicks-style) for having an awesome, strong, funny female character who isn’t just around to cause drama and steal boyfriends? Lexi was perfect, and I was really hoping we’d get to see her again.

Obviously, that won’t be happening because Damon enacted his diabolical plan, gained the trust of the sheriff by loading her up with vervain for her, her family, the council, AND all her deputies, and then set Lexi up so that he could stake her. You all know how much I love Damon, how hot and funny I think he is and how absolutely essential to the show, but I swear at that moment, I wanted to stake him myself, and I was minorly disappointed when Stefan didn’t FINISH HIM! (Mortal Kombat-style), although I did manage to get a grip on myself before it was all over. I don’t really want you dead, Damon!

Although, you know, I really don’t think that was the only thing. Damon was also a HUGE jerk to Caroline, and making girls cry and feel bad about themselves isn’t going to win any points with me. He was HARSH. And it just grosses me out how he can be so secretly nice to Elena and so positively revolting with Caroline. Thankfully Matt stepped in to carry drunk Caroline home, and can I just say that I kind of love that pairing? I wasn’t sure I would when she stumbled into his booth, but it makes total sense. They’re very different people, but they’re going through similar issues of feeling abandoned and unloved and rejected, and Matt does love playing hero to the damaged girl types. And I really think he might be able to bring out a better side of Caroline, and I really like both of them and would like to see both of them happy, so at this point, I’m pretty much all for it.

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October 30, 2009 by  
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I know it was only one week without The Vampire Diaries, but it was starting to feel like forever and I resorted to forcing my friend against her will to watch Lost Girls online with me, so needless to say, I was definitely ready for this episode. Plus, I love Halloween episodes of TV shows.

I’ve heard people describing this one as “the best one yet” and I liked it, but I’m not so sure I’d go that far. I think I got more sheer enjoyment and shock out of Lost Girls (even if it was disappointingly light on the Caroline, as was this one), but I had some issues with Haunted. For me, the best part of the show didn’t come until right at the end (that’s what she said), but we’ll get to that.

First of all, it cannot be said enough that Katerina Graham (Bonnie) seems like a lovely girl—she’s beautiful, and she is INCREDIBLE at interacting with fans on a level that is at minimum on par with how much The Office actors embraced fans in the early years. On a personal level, I think she’s bomb. However. Her storyline is boring the CRAP out of me. I’m going to need less talking, and more action. And hanging out with your grandma isn’t exactly what I’m picturing here, and similarly, lighting candles at a party with your mind does not constitute “action”. Lighting the mean girl’s car on fire? THAT is action—more of that, please. And there was that one good scene with Damon, although any scene with Damon is pretty okay by me. But I did love the shocked looks they gave each other, and I’m excited to see where that goes. I just hope the payoff is worth this very slow build with her.

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TOP CHEF: Meat Natalie

October 29, 2009 by  
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Hey everyone!  Did you love Top Chef?  Awww, that’s nice.  Actually, I’m just giving everyone a buffer paragraph here because I am about to start the recap off with spoilers and I want to give everyone a chance to bail.  That’s your warning.  You’ve been warned.  Onward!

Well, everyone will be happy to know that we are finally rid of Mike Isabella and his douchebag comments and attitude, but we are still stuck with Robin and the talking.  Seriously you guys, did you just feel awkward for the waiters when she was talking the entire time she was plating?  Because I totally did.  And then the talking at Judges’ Table—Tom just looked annoyed, which made me laugh.  Part of me wants to know if the judges are just effing with us by keeping Robin, but I really thought Mike deserved to go home.  It was obvious that no one was crazy about it, it wasn’t cooked well, and it didn’t have any protein.  Game over, and I also agreed with Gail that he was being WAY too cocky about it.

Since we’re discussing the bottom, let me just go ahead and rip off the band-aid that is Jennifer right now.  I wasn’t really worried for her, in that I knew her dish wasn’t bad, just unsubstantial.  But I AM worried that her mental game is so off right now that she’s having trouble bouncing back, and trust me—as a Colts fan, I have seen this happen over and over.  Thankfully, also as a Colts fan, I’ve seen a lot of fourth quarter comebacks, so I still have hope.  But she REALLY needs to shake it off.
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October 23, 2009 by  
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Whoa, my first ever Office recap! I’m pretty excited, but also really bummed out that Kath still isn’t feeling well. But I think she’s been doing a great job keeping the site running in spite of all the pain she’s in—she’s dedicated and we love her for it!

Alright, so last night we got Jim and Pam back from Puerto Rico. Dwight is trying to bug (literally and possibly figuratively) Jim, and Michael is dating Pam’s mom. And Jim’s slow descent into becoming Michael picks up speed. Let’s dive in!

You know, I was sort of meh about the Dwight/Jim/mallard thing at first. I wasn’t that entertained by the opera music and involving an unwitting Andy in it, but giving it to Kelly was pretty funny and the payoff at the end was really worth it. I liked that Jim told Dwight he had to wash and wax their car, and Dwight agreed that the punishment fit the crime and went along with it. And I thought it was nice of Jim to tell Pam that Dwight was washing the car to cheer her up, even though I don’t really approve of lying to your significant other (btw, saying “I don’t approve” makes me feel like Angela), and all it would take would be Pam thanking Dwight to completely blow his cover, but I’m going to let this one go. I also cracked up and Jim telling Dwight he’d make a terrible spy, and Dwight trying to protest but getting cut off, but the big moment was the tag at the end, where Dwight had actually bugged the pen he accused Jim of leaving on his desk. His whole intense, low-voiced, conspiratorial speech straight into the camera was so creepy, and then when he was listening to Jim describe paper and saying, “I have eight hours of this,” followed by a “I’m not crazy” … that was some classic, vintage, grade A Dwight right there. Nice writing AND well played.

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October 17, 2009 by  
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Alright, so last night’s Vampire Diaries? Awesome. Definitely my favorite episode of the season, although I did miss Caroline (Bonnie, not so much). I could actually go for it if they were to keep this sort of set up going, with some Stefan, Elena, and Damon, and maybe one other side story. But obviously all the shocking stuff that happened kept it exciting too, right?

Obviously, the biggie was Elena finding out about Stefan. For me, Paul Wesley could not have nailed that scene any harder–he was absolute perfection there. Obviously I’m not an actor (heck, I’m not even a good liar), but I’ve got to think that one of the hardest things would be to show multiple emotions with your face at once. I feel like we’ve seen Ian Somerhalder do it once on this show, and now PW, and I’m really excited for the show that they got two actors who can believably pull that off. I LOVED the way he looked at her when she asked what he was, and he had this combination of disappointment but not surprise, almost like inevitability, mixed with sadness that things were going to change, and sorrow that this is how things were,but also with a lot of love for her in there too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s really a shame that CW shows can’t get respect for acting and storytelling, because this was really good stuff.

This scene also rang truer on Elena’s end than say … Bella’s. Elena was understandably freaked out, afraid, and upset, and who can blame her? And Nina Dobrev did a great job showing that–I totally bought it. She was good at being mad AND at being scared–really nice job.

You know, I love that Stefan won’t ever just let her walk away–I think that’s a really good element of that relationship. I love that he’s as honest with her as he can be and when he can’t protect her from the truth anymore then he lays it all out there. You get the feeling when he’s telling her everything that he really does care about her and that he is willing to risk his own safety to treat her right by being honest with her. I just like it. And I like that he was hanging around outside her house making sure Damon didn’t come over to do anything to her–it was caring without being completely creepy.

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TOP CHEF: Pigs and Pinot

October 15, 2009 by  
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I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, watching Top Chef at 6 a.m. OnDemand (which I give another shout out to for being awesome) after going to bed at 2 a.m., or my grumpy mood I’ve been in all week, or maybe it’s just how the last episode went, but I really expected Top Chef to be more douchey than it was this week. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just saying I didn’t yell at my TV this week.

Also, this really wasn’t my week because I am just not into wine. And I don’t know if I know anyone less into wine than I am. And people are always like, “But you just haven’t had gooooooood wine!” and I’m all, “False.” (And yeah, that’s totally Dwight-style.) I HAVE had good wine, only because I worked in nice restaurants where we were forced to taste it (and because I once had a roommate who had a stalker and he brought her some stolen wine from his job at the country club and you know how college is—you’ll drink anything if necessary), and you know, in a pinch I could drink some white wine, like a pinot grigio or a riesling or something, but I wouldn’t enjoy it that much. I’d rather have a Diet Coke, frankly. Although I am a connoisseur of cheap beers, ALSO thank you college—give me a blind taste test of Natty Light, Busch Light and Keystone Light, and I will blow your mind.

ANYWAY. I’m totally bored with the wine thing and I wish it would just die already, and I hated the movie Sideways, but apparently we’re still doing this so whatever. And I didn’t really understand the whole pairing thing, either—I mean, I understand the general idea, just not HOW it works or what they were looking for. I usually feel like I leave Top Chef learning something, and this week I was just vaguely confused but not interested enough to look stuff up later on my own. Also, I can’t spell the names of probably at least half of the dishes, I just know they sounded French.

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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: You’re Undead to Me

October 9, 2009 by  
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I don’t know you guys … I just don’t know. I really like this show a lot, and I loved the Stefan and Elena stuff, and the Damon storyline was good too. The other stories have so much potential, but this episode crossed the line of waaay too much cheese a few too many times for me last night. But let’s start with the good.

Elena being annoyed at Stefan was good—I like Nina Dobrev playing her with some attitude, and I liked Stefan being forced to make it up to her. That dinner scene was BEYOND adorable, and I love them showing Stefan’s interests throughout the years (and that he can eat garlic!). And getting a little Katherine backstory was good. And I loved the car wash, where she was taking her top layer off and got stuck, and said, “So not sexy,” and then he fixed her hair and disagreed. I mean, HELLO. So freaking adorable, right?

And Damon trapped in his vervain prison was interesting too. I was completely fascinated by what was going to happen to him (a living mummy), and the mind games he was playing to try to escape. And it was really interesting to note how powerful he still was, even in an extremely weakened state, especially over Caroline. Which does raise questions of how much of that has to do with how much of her blood he’s had or with that crystal that she picked up. There are still a lot of holes in our knowledge about exactly what kind of control Damon exerts over Caroline and how it affects her when she is and isn’t under his spell, but it appears that she isn’t currently aware that he’s a vampire and she has big blank spots in her memory … but she obviously knows Damon, so it’s not ALL the time they spend together. So is it selective? But I’m still really engaged in that story so the mystery hasn’t become tedious or frustrating yet, and I’m pretty okay with it.

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TOP CHEF: Dinner Party

October 8, 2009 by  
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Surprise! I know Kath told you that I wouldn’t be able to do the recap and she was going to take over, but Comcast OnDemand got Top Chef up SHOCKINGLY fast, so I woke up early and watched it. And since Kath has a ton of shows on her Wednesday TV plate, this worked out. Yay! I would have hated for my first week not doing TC to be the week Michael Voltaggio was in the bottom!

I’ve gotta say, this was a weird week. And I feel like it definitely played with my emotions, as Top Chef starts to do around this time in the season. And there was just so much … what is the word I’m looking for here? So much douchitude. Yes, that’s it. And since douchitude is one of my favorite subjects, let’s start there!

First of all, with a surprise display of douchebaggery, we have Bryan Voltaggio. I didn’t really see that one coming, and in his defense, I think he was just upset and stressed out for Michael. But I am NOT COOL with him yelling at my Kevin! Poor guy—I think Kevin was just trying to make conversation and Bryan didn’t want to talk about it, and that’s fine, especially saying, “I don’t really want to talk about it since it’s not my food.” But when Bryan took it to the next level with, “Did YOU try the food? Then don’t talk about it,” or whatever, I was shocked with how vitriolic it was. (See, I know real words too, not just made up ones with “douche” as a prefix/root word.) And I think Kevin was too, because he didn’t say anything negative about the food, at least that I heard. And honestly, adults being scolded like they’re children is one of my absolute skin-crawliest pet peeves. I HATE it. So I still have respect for Bryan as a chef, but my respect for him as a person went down a little bit.

Secondly, with an extremely USUAL display of douchiness, was Mike Isabella. Good god, he sucks. And not as a chef, really—he’s inconsistent as a chef, yes, but he sucks as a person. Could he have been any worse of a sport about being paired with Robin? Doubtful. His skeevy talking heads annoyed me every time, and how he refused to let Robin do anything or acknowledge her work at all. It was so unprofessional. But for me, his capital offense was during that little vignette at commercial time, where Robin wouldn’t shut up. And I’ve said before, I GET IT. I know people like Robin whose every thought comes out of their mouths and it is ridiculously annoying. I’d be annoyed too. But don’t sit in the corner and WATCH as your partner cleans up THE ENTIRE MESS BY HERSELF, you ass!

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