Ramblings

Untitled?

I know, I know. Blog hiatuses have become more repetitious than a gregorian chant…. yes, I do know that was a weird reference…. no, I don’t know why it came to mind. Rather than lengthy excuses let’s (attempt) to reduce the overall rambling of this post and get down to the meat so to speak. As I edge closer and closer to the end of my student years I’m starting to feel that quintessential ‘quarter life crisis,’ – now don’t worry this isn’t going to be some self indulgent ‘isn’t life so hard’ type of post, however in my stress over the unknown I’ve started to crave more simplicity.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while (and if anyone has kept up with the constant hiatus I salute you!), this isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve been decluttering certain aspects of my life since April of 2012; on a side note is it weird that I remember that moment in time so clearly? I can’t remember what I wore last week or what I ate two nights ago but somehow that moment this moment remains etched in my mind. What was that moment exactly? Well, to be honest its more of a feeling. The feeling of being overwhelmed by possessions – in my case this was makeup. If you type in the search term makeup collection onto youtube, you might feel like you’re watching a mini episode of hoarders instead. Mind you my collection wasn’t nearly that bad, honestly it was probably 1/10th the size of the average youtube video. Nonetheless I was overwhelmed and needed to take control back in an aspect of my life that I embarrassingly had let fly off the rails. Fast forward 2 years later and I find myself craving that same simplicity in all aspects of my life.

Now I don’t mean to turn this into an essay or thesis, but this is the direction I want this blog take. What that direction is exactly is something I haven’t quite figured out, more so this is just one girl’s minimalism journey. I’m not about to turn into an extreme minimalist and live out of a suitcase or par all my possessions down to 100 items but there is something soothing about less – less stuff, less tightly packed, more empty space.

 

Less stuff, less stress.

Top Chef Season 10 finale

Caution SPOILERS up ahead!!

So last night marked the crowning of the 10th Top Chef. Although I would have been happy with any of the top 3 winning, this season has almost been overcast by all the controversy, bias and potential rigging. I’m a big fan of Top Chef, I’ve been watching the show since its first season in 2006 and have watched every season since; except for one (passed on season 3, I found season 2 to be a disappointment).

I do feel like this show goes in circles for me. I was about 14 years old when the first season of Top Chef aired, and I was hooked. In all honestly this is probably around the time when I first started becoming interested, and subsequently obsessed, with food.I found season 2 to be a let down, although a reality show there seemed to be a greater focus on drama as opposed to the food (don’t get me wrong season 1 had all kinds of drama). I mean do we all remember when Elia Aboumrad shaved her head pictured to to the left, or the distasteful moment where Cliff Crooks almost forcibly shaved fellow contestant Marcel Vigneron’s puffy locks as the rest of the cheftestants just watched?

loved each of these cheftestants from Top Chef: Las Vegas (ie season 6)

That season left such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn’t bring myself to watch the 3rd. I watched the 4th and 5th season out of boredom, curiosity and habit. However all was redeemed with season 6, *sigh*, oh season 6. Undoubtably my favourite, where the focus really seemed to be on the food.  Unfortunately, in my eyes, the show seems to be on a downward again. Enough with my recap of seasons past, lets get to last nights finale!

I’ve had my suspicions of rigging throughout Season 10 of Top Chef. And I know what you’re probably thinking, this is a reality show…of course its rigged! Which may in fact be true however it seemed to be SO obvious this season that even a toddler could see it!

Now don’t get me wrong I am a big fan of Kristen Kish (Season 10 WINNER!) and was glad to see her win the big prize, however it all seemed a bit too planned. Kristen was clearly both a fan and a judge favourite throughout the show, however everybody loves an underdog story and I without a doubt feel that her elimination during Restaurant Wars (image below) was pre-planned for added drama.

Because there was such a strong backlash from the fanbase against both Padma and Tom, I don’t know if it was just the editing but Padma seemed to be gunning for Kristen to go home, it does slightly taint Kristen’s Last Chance Kitchen win. Particularly during her battle with Lizzie Binder. Tom was praising Lizzie’s dish up and down, going for a second and third bite and calling it a perfect dish. Kristen’s on the other hand was called chewy and too much of a mouth-full, yet somehow Kristen scored the win? Now I for one felt a bias from Tom as CJ Jacobsen kept winning challenge after challenge. And don’t even get me started on how poor Kuniko Yagi, didn’t get a fighting chance on either the show or on Last Chance Kitchen…she had to battle 2 chefs, how is that fair!?!?!

But back to the finale.

I HATED the format of the finale. It felt like an even cheesier version of Iron Chef but without the camera work or the play by play that make that show. If you’re going to blatantly copy another show’s format, you would think they would use the best aspects of the show. What I love about the finale of seasons past was the progression of the meal, giving chefs ample time just to cook great food for a reasonable number of guests without all the theatrics. Really, cooking for 300 people in 3 hours in a live stadium was someone’s idea of a good finale? I did like seeing all the past winners of Top Chef in the audience, however I would have much preferred a more intimate finale in a regular dining room setting with the 5 head judges, the 9 previous winners and (as is typical to Top Chef) the owner of the location/vineyard/restaurant. Leave the theatrics to Iron Chef or use them in a quickfire or an elimination challenge. Not the finale.

I love how I can recognize and name each of the past winners 🙂

I like watching the chefs get judged on their overall meal progression and how each dish goes along with the past course. It has a greater sentiment and as a viewer it truly feels like you’re witnessing a raw version of each chef on a plate. Somehow all of that was lost in this finale, which felt distant, cheesy and rushed. Why didn’t we get to see each chef during their menu planning? Why didn’t we get to see them purchase their ingredients, or like Iron Chef were they pre-provided? Why didn’t we get to see how the sous chefs were picked? I have a hard time believing Brooke would let Kristen have the last 3 eliminated contestants on her team in favour of chefs who were eliminated very early on.

I’ve read various comments on last nights finale, and many people seem to think that the actual judging of the finale was rigged. While it may have been, I didn’t find it to be that obtrusive. Brooke did serve burnt pig ears…and chicken wings. This is exactly what I was talking about with a lack of meal progression. Going from scallops to chicken wings to red snapper?? Not exactly a co-hesive menu. However by the end of round 3 it was clear that Kristen would be the winner, there just wasn’t enough time for a 5th round!  It took away any suspense from the already emotionless finale. I do think that Kristen is an incredibly talented chef and I have no doubts that she could have won on her own merit. However with all the producer and outside influence this season has definitely been tainted.

Snow Day round 2?

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 10.19.24 PM

So tonight is supposed to be the second big storm to hit the GTA…which has me hoping (but trying not the jinx it) for another Snow Day (we had our first one of school year earlier this semester)! We’re supposed to get 20cm tonight, I just got back from my hot date with the library sarcasm about an hour ago and theres already an inch on the ground. Who would have known that you could have Snow Days in university? Yet somehow I’ve already had 2 throughout my undergraduate degree. Here’s hoping for number 3?

Cancellation News: Partners

Noooooooooooo!

Yep, pretty sure that was my exact reaction to hearing the news. Partners, the CBS single-camera comedy was undoubtably my favourite TV offering of the 2012 year. Its rare for me to re-watch episodes, even of shows that I love (e.g. Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy…back in its prime). However I’ve watched the 6 aired episodes at least twice each, and with some (Episodes 2 and 3) that number is probably closer to 5. This smart comedy was written by David Kohan and Max Mutchnik, the creative duo behind Will & Grace, one of my favourite comedies. The show is filled with double entendres but has a lot of heart.

Parters stars (starred?) Michael Urie and David Krumholtz as Louis McManus and Joe Goodman respectively. They play two lifelong friends who are business partners in an architecture firm. Louis is a gay man who is in a relationship with his boyfriend Wyatt (Brandon Routh) a male nurse, while Joe is a straight male who is recently engaged to Ali Landow (Sophia Bush). While I haven’t been a fan of Brandon Routh’s acting abilities, I’ve always found him to be stiff and lacking emotion, this character really works in his favour. Wyatt is a Mennonite, and while his portrayal doesn’t come off as entirely natural, I still enjoy when he is on the screen.

The weakest link in the series for me has to be Louis and Joe’s receptionist Ro-Ro, played by Tracey Vilar. Her portrayal comes off as a very one-note caricature and I don’t find her to meld well with the rest of the cast. I wish they had gone with a different actress. I’m also unsure of Sophia Bush in a comedy role. I find her to be a bit stiff but she seemed to get better and more comfortable with each coming episode. I loved the chemistry between Michael Urie and David Krumholtz, the reason I started watching the show was because I missed having Michael Urie on my screen!

With only 6 of the 13 shot episodes aired, I truly hope that CBS decides to either air the remaining 7 episodes or release the full 13 on a DVD. This is a show that I could see myself watching over and over again so I’m pretty bummed that it won’t be on my television anymore.

CBS cancelled the show on November 16th 2012, immediately removing it from the schedule and instead airing Two and a Half men repeats. The show’s online page and episodes were subsequently removed and its People’s Choice online ballet was removed. I recently learned that all 13 filmed episodes are being aired in South Africa so I am crossing my fingers, toes and anything else I can find that I will be able to find the remaining episodes online somewhere.

Ramble Geek: Emmy 2012 Snubs

So the 2012 Emmy nominations have been released, you can see a full list of nominations here. The list may seem a bit stale with the same actors/shows being nominated over and over (and OVER) again. If you were the type of person who believed the Emmy committee nominated only the best quality shows (quality should always prevail over popularity right?) you may just think that we are going through a bit of a TV rut. *Sigh* oh how committee’s can be so wrong.

Now I am a HUGE Modern Family fan (who doesn’t love some Manny Delgato in their life) however I am pretty abashed just how much they’ve dominated the awards the past 2 years. I’m sorry but it is just a slap in the face for ANY TV show to have their entire cast nominated, especially where there are SO many deserving shows. I’m astounded that Julie Bowen has been nominated for the second time, when has she ever been funny on the show!?!? In my opinion Claire, although necessary to calm the craziness that is the extended family, has always been a stale point on the show. You don’t really look forward to Claire centered episodes but you can see what she adds to the story. Community, Parks and Recreation, The Walking Dead although not part of my must watch TV repertoire, these are shows producing great content and are truly undeserving of their lack of recognition.

Then of course there are the long time Emmy snubs. Gilmore Girls, Battle Star Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer the list goes on and on of quality shows with great writing who have never received the recognition (from the academy) that they deserve. Take a show such as House. Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard are both equally deserving of the golden hardware over the years and yet somehow came out empty handed. While many will admit that the show dwindled over the years it is still an incredible snub for the show to walk out with zero nominations after their final year. I mean how has Hugh Laurie been nominated 5 times (in a row) and 6 times total and yet he has never won the category?!?

Of course the biggest snub in my eyes has got to Fringe. I will gladly call myself part of their devoted fan base. The show has been producing quality and interesting content for 4 seasons and has yet to receive any nominations. It is disgusting that John Cryer is nominated year after year (yes he is nominated in a different category but really….has he ever been funny?) when the brilliance that is John Noble goes un-noticed.This is just another instance where awards shows are demonstrating just how irrelevant they are becoming. We’ve been hearing for quite some time now that the ratings for these awards shows are declining. Maybe instead of hiring someone ‘funnier,’ ‘edgier’ or ‘more relevant’ to be the host we should focus on recognizing the show that are putting out fantastic content and the actors and actresses who are really showing their skills. Yes this post may seem like more of a rant than a ramble but I was thoroughly surprised when I saw the nomination list.

The Emmy’s will be held Sunday September 23rd on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel serving as host.