Posts filed under ‘Reviews’
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been staring at my blank screen trying to figure out what to say about this episode. I laughed, I cried, I threw a little hissy fit at the end. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Damn you Next Iron Chef for doing this to me.
To get logistics out of the way…this episodes theme was transformations. The main challenge was to take canned items and make them something yummy. Some of the cans were mystery cans with questions marks on them so there was a fun little easy twist in this competition. I always find it so funny how much chefs retch at canned food. One day I want Alton Brown to just school them in the history of canned foods and while it may not be the most tasty of healthy for you, it certainly changed the world we live in. Chef Falkner ended up winning but that doesn’t really matter (well it does but come on….). The bottom two going into the showdown are Spike and Marcel. I was shocked! Not my boys! As Chef Alex put it, this is not a showdown but it is a brodown. I’ve commented in my past reactions that I love the bromance that is going on between Marcel and Spike and I am not ready to let that go. Not in the least! Do you hear me Chairman?!
It seemed like the gods were shining down on Spike and Marcel and they got a great secret ingredient. Lobster was revealed which makes all of this so bitter sweet. Neither Marcel nor Spike want to knock the other out. There is a rock and a hard place and they are right in the middle. Spike goes about making a soup while Marcel starts making some poached lobster with mango and some hibiscus and black bean sauce. There were tons of bro moments where they were supporting eachother and saying how good they both looked and stuff but then things took a turn for the interesting.
Marcel asked if Spike wanted to plate on the same plate. In a move of solidarity and if they go down they go down together. Spike agrees and this sets all the other chefs in a tizzy. They are saying how this is going to get them both eliminated and how they are making a mockery of iron chef etc etc. Correct me if I am wrong but last I checked this was still just a bastardized American version of a Japanese competition show right? When did this become the end all be all people? If anything I think it shows good on their character as friends. No man left behind and all that good stuff. The other chefs are taking this WAY too seriously. Please feel free to contest this with me either via the comments, twitter (@notmakefriends) or our email (podcastATnotmakefriends.com).
Goofiness ensues as Marcel and Spike really ham it up in front of the judges. They make ninja poses as the sliding doors open to reveal them and crack a few jokes. This is why I love these guys. Life isn’t meant to be so serious and when you are forced to go up against your best friend in the competition there needs to be a little bit of lightheartedness. The judges did not really see it the same way I did. They saw it as cocky and a bit juvenile but I saw it as fun and good natured. What were they supposed to do? Try to punch eachother or something? The boys really only faultered once. They judges asked if they were meant to be judged together. Is this a real all for one and one for all situation? They waffled a little bit and that was the end of that. I wish they just would have said yes and stood by their decision. If they did, the two chefs one plate concept would have worked much better. I must admit though I cannot take credit for coming up with “two chefs one plate”. That is the brainchild of Spike and Marcel. How can you not love these two?!
Marcel edged out Spike only on creativity of his dish. They both put out great food. I was really hoping there would be a decision to save both of them but evidently I don’t take this show as seriously as others. I just love seeing the bros bump fists and hypothetically slap butts and have a good laugh. Hopefully Marcel can pull off a win and Spike can sometimes guest star on his podium in kitchen stadium. That would be awesome.
What are your thoughts?
Have a great leftovers week!
Wow! Just wow! I really liked this episode. This is what I have been waiting for in this show.
In episode 3 here we start out with the chefs taking some awesome pictures at the LA Farmer’s Market. While this seemed out of place a little, I loved it because it was fun and since I’m Not Here To Make Friends is based in LA it is awesome to see our city looking amazing. The pictures all turned out lovely and were meant to showcase the chefs personalities. My favorite was Greenspan’s picture with all the cheese. I wish I could find it for you to put it here but just watch the episode.
The pictures were great but here comes the twist….are you ready for it? The chefs get paired into teams of two and they need to make a simple (did I mention the theme today was simplicity? No? Well the theme was simplicity) one bite dish showcasing the personality of their opponent! Crazy!
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I will warn you now dear reader that this reaction will be short. The second episode in on TNIC:R (yes that is how I abbreviate it now) was nothing short of boring. If you are looking to keep me hooked Food Network, you are failing.
This episode revolved around innovation. The chefs were divided into three groups. Group Taco, Group Falafel, and Group Banh Mi. Their task was to innovate these foods that we all know and love into something the judges could love even more. The twist here isn’t in the challenge itself since it is pretty straight forward. The twist is that 3 people will be going into the final showdown challenge this week (the bottom chef from each group). Each group would have a winner and then an overall winner would also be announced who would get the advantage in the chairman’s challenge in the next episode.
The winners were Chef Alex, Chef Mehta, and Greenspan. I was surprised on these winners. Alex just made some crazy dish with squash blossoms that didn’t even seem to resemble a taco at all, Mehta just wrapped some falafel in rice paper to make rolls, and Greenspan just took a Bahn Mi and made it a salad. None of these dishes seemed to be amazing to me but I suppose they were the best of the bunch.
Cooking for their lives were Chef Falkner, Chef Freitag, and Chef Duskie (I just like saying her name is Duskie…it kind of sounds like a stripper name). The secret ingredient was white bread. White bread! I always like to lean over to Bryan and tell him what I would make if I was on this show. I told him I would make my mother’s hot tuna on toast. I am sure I would have been eliminated but hey it would have been tasty and true to who I am. Going home was Chef Duskie (damn I am going to miss saying your name girl). I think her dish probably would have tasted the best but it just didn’t use bread as the main feature in the dish. Not like Falkner who made some kind of crazy french toast. I am sorry to say but I think that is a bit of a cop out but who knows….I wasn’t there eating it.
This entire episode was just boring and had challenges that have been overplayed. The most annoying part is that they started the episode at the Nickle Diner in LA. This is a great diner that makes a killer bacon maple donut but it really had nothing to do with the episode. It was more or less just a room that they stood in to choose teams. I didn’t feel like most of the cooking was as good as it could have been and there was far less humor or suspense than I would have wanted. The only suspense was when all three chefs were fighting for their lives because they were all in the same space and running into eachother a little bit and all using the same kitchen space. That does not make a good show. I found myself playing words with friends a lot during this episode and just not being able to really engage with it.
Atleast Spike is still in it though and who knows…..maybe next week will be better. Maybe their main story editor called in sick or something. Right? Chairman? Alton? Right?!
This post may be a little late to the game (as I am sure other blogs have already covered this) but I bet you are wondering to yourself….”What does Allison think of TNIC: Redemption?”.
Ask and your prayers will be answered because here it comes!
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I am not sure how many of you troll yahoo.com as much as I do but in the past year they have really put out some amazing original content. One of our most viewed and commented on posts is from a few years ago announcing the cancellation of the FX show 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock. Since the cancellation, Morgan has been busy at work making his documentary movies like The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. How many of you knew that he was still working on short format content as well?
Recently, I saw a few episode of The Failure Club and fell in love with it the same way I did with 30 Days. The episodes are about 8-10 minutes long (perfect for a quick workplace viewing) and follow 7 people who have let fear hold them back from what they really wanted to accomplish in life. Did they want to be a clown, a designer, a caterer, a writer? With cameras following them and recording their every move and emotion, they attempt to change their lives by not letting fear hold them back and reaching for their dreams. The show is incredibly optimistic and heartbreaking at the same time.
It is pretty safe to say that everyone, at some point or another, has been held back by fear (this writer included) and it is refreshing to see people taking a chance on their passion and watching those first steps of an idea and seeing it come to life. You watch it and root for them to succeed and cringe with every downfall. Just like 30 Days, you get hooked on the people and the human aspect of the series which is a running theme in all of Spurlock’s work.
If you have the time or want a little inspiration to get you out of your cubicle and into your dream situation, I highly suggest that you give this series on yahoo a try. I give it the I’m Not Here To Make Friends stamp of approval. New episodes are uploaded every Monday and Friday and you can see all episodes at http://screen.yahoo.com/lifestyle/failure-club/.
As hosts of a podcast about reality television that makes no revenue (yet….looking at you sponsors…) you can imagine that we are not at the front lines when it comes to charity work. When we found out about Reality Rally, we wanted to attend because of the large amounts of reality stars and thought “we can get some good exposure here”. At the end of the day we got not only good exposure but new good friends and a new respect for what charity can be. When most people think of charity they think of running a marathon (something these out of shape podcasters could never do) or of the junk mail you get every day asking for your cash that inevitably ends up in the recycle bin. Reality Rally changed our lives because it showed us that charity can have a light-hearted and fun side. Everyone at Reality Rally was so helpful and in such great spirits that it was infectious! What we were met with at Reality Rally was a wonderful group of stars and volunteers all working towards the same goal and having fun doing so and everyone had to entire weekend to enjoy the experience. This isn’t your typical charity event. Everyone’s passion for Michelle’s Place shined as you could see how every detail for an entire weekend was planned out and the amount of respect everyone had for the cause and eachother. Since our trip to Reality Rally, Allison has attended multiple “Say No To Drugs” races and even participated in one of their 5k runs (though she doesn’t want to reveal her time out of embarrassment). All proceeds of Reality Rally go to Michelle’s Place, a breast cancer research foundation. While we never personally have had much experience with breast cancer in our lives (thank goodness we are lucky) the more we learned then more aware we became and since Allison is female (duh) this awareness could be life saving one day. Breast cancer can hit anyone at any age and research and awareness is critical. Reality Rally sparked in us the spirit of fun charity and showed us that every single one of us is a Survivor in our own right and every volunteer and every small action matters.
When I was watching The Real World: San Diego last night, I was struck by how closed minded almost this entire cast is. I am not even going to get into how stupid it was to cast an 19 year old on the show (what is the point if you can’t get drunk and start fights!) but seriously let’s talk about the huge amount of homophobia in the house.
I am a straight female raised in the Midwest. I went to a catholic private high school. In case you were wondering my background and think “oh she is just a liberal and was raised all metropolitan….”. The answer is that I wasn’t raised in the big city and I have your very standard upbringing that you get in middle class middle America.
This episode started out with none of the other roomates (outside of Frank…who is gay…straight…bi…whatever he chooses to be that day) wanting to go to the gay bar with Sam. Sam is a butch lesbian as we all well know but she has this confidence in who she is and doesn’t feel the need to proclaim her stance on gay issues or gay politics. She just wants to hook up with some honeys while she is on holiday in San Diego. Being a theatre major in college, I have met both types of homosexuals. I have met the kind that need to be on a soapbox (Frank) and those that just are who they are (Sam). The other roommates drop Frank and Sam off at the gay club on their way to their very straight club and Nate just freaks out. He wants to drive away fast and completely overreacts. I don’t want people flaunting their sexuality around if you are gay, straight, pink, purple or blue but who reacts like that to just sitting in a car NEAR a gay club?! Frank ends up meeting a guy he likes at the club (and by likes I mean that he is warm for his form) and brings him home for a little boot knocking.
The real issue with Frank is that he doesn’t just have sex with this guy, it is that he has sex with him in the hot tub and in the shower. These are communal areas in the house and should be sex free. I did agree with that part but the way the roommates react to it is just absurd. They all pretend that they are upset because he had sex in communal spaces but are obviously using that as a front for their own insecurities about Frank’s homosexuality. Zach and Nate make comments all the time about how they don’t want Frank to have sex in the house with guys he’s brought home. They say they “like” Frank and they are all “best friends” but they just do not want Frank to be himself or get some action from another dude. They just want him there…like a clown or a puppy.
Nate doesn’t sleep in the room he shares with Frank for three days after the sexcapades. He stated that he needed time to deal because he wasn’t comfortable. It isn’t as if Frank forced him to watch it! Gay isn’t contagious. You don’t need to quarantine the room. The guy had sex with a man…he didn’t catch leprosy. The hypocrisy doesn’t end there though. Nate ends up bringing home a girl during his self imposed exile and where does he fool around with her? In the hot tub and their room with people home! That is acceptable behavior but if it is two dudes it is wrong? I do not agree with Frank’s drunken rant and breaking things but you can understand how isolated he feels in the house. Sam is so confident in her place and Frank seems to be standing on sand.
I am shocked at how in today’s age there are still people that treat homosexuality as something to be feared or that it isn’t normal. Frank did not have sex with any of the roommates and no one had to watch it. He shouldn’t have had sex in the shower and hot tub (they did find a condom in the shower…gross!) but it is as if these people have never had real roommates before. This is the stuff that happens with roommates. Someone is going to have sex in the shower…someone is going to fool around on the couch. You don’t need to bleach the hot tub because two dudes were in there as opposed to a dude and a chick.
I was shocked last night that casting for this show has the balls to cast so many closed minded people on one season. Normally there will be one or two but dang Frank and Sam seem pretty outnumbered.
It is all ok though dear reader…by the end of the episode Frank buys everyone an expensive meal to make up for his outbursts and everything is forgiven…that is, of course, until he tries to bring another guy home.
MMMMM new Food Network Star recap from Allison and Bryan is up at realitywanted.com. Yummy!
Are you dying for some Food Network Star recaps? I know you are. Why not read the recaps by your friends here at I’m Not Here To Make Friends over at realitywanted.com!
Things get crazy and cat noises are made!
Don’t miss our recap of last night’s Food Network Star at realitywanted.com. Here is a little link incase you are too lazy to look it up…..still love you though!
Special thanks goes out to Bryan for taking the reigns on this recap as Allison went to bed early with a killer migraine. Way to take one for the team!!
Hey! What? You didn’t read our recap of Food Network Star on realitywanted.com? ! Shame on you! Why don’t you go do that now then so you are all caught up for a new 90 minute episode on Sunday.
If you don’t follow our twitter and facebook you may not be aware but we have started writing recaps for Food Network Star over at realitywanted.com.
Our first article went up on Monday and is in the top 5 articles on the website so why not make it the number 1 article on the website.
The Real World has really lost the significance and edge that it used to have wouldn’t you say. Allison live tweeted during The Real World: Las Vegas finale and almost fell asleep. Mike Mike is by far the break out star of the show. Personally, I could care less about Adam and his reckless behavior and thought that Nany falling so hard for him was stupid and exactly why I dislike woman like that. Dustin was in gay porn….but I already knew that months before it aired on the show. It makes me wonder if the internet is ruining TV. You can get spoilers and news for television series that aren’t even going to air for a year. It takes the fun out of wathing television (although I do fall victim to Big Brother spoilers since I do not watch the live feeds – Big Brother Mike does that). If this show did not have Mike Mike and Leroy, I would not have watched at all. Dustin is hot and Adam was a rebel but I have seen that before on every other reality show ever. Does anyone even remember when The Real World was worth watching? Maybe MTV2 should do a marathon of the San Francisco or Seattle seasons and people should take notes.
It is sad because I really love Las Vegas but we didn’t get to see much of it at all outside of Mr. Lucky’s, Pink Taco, and Subway. Just the out and out product placement was disgusting and I understand that shows need to do this to keep money coming in to even do the production but does it need to slap me in the face? If I saw on more Sun Drop shirt, sweatband, or mini fridge I was going to puke.
There were some high points though and it wasn’t an entire loss. In an earlier article I wrote about how I probably was still going to watch the rest of the season even though I wasn’t really enjoying it….well I guess I just ate a dick because I certainly did watch every second.
Leave your comments below…..did you like this season?
Memorial Day Weekend is a time for cookouts, beer, a reality television marathons on tv. This weekend I ran into two shows that really shocked me at how much I enjoyed them.
Oddities is a show on The Science Channel that follows a store called Obscura in New York City. Obscura specializes in antiques and, you guessed it, oddities. If you ever need a two headed cow or some old school embalming equipment this is the place you should go. The store is run by Mike and Evan. Mike is the kind of guy that if you passed him on the street you would not know that he may be on his way to pick up a mummified ear. He seems very typical and just like your standard guys guys. This makes him very appealing to watch. Evan is a very beautiful woman, in my opinion, who is in love with everything a bit off or Victorian. Together, Mike and Evan have a vast knowledge of all things macbre. I enjoy watching them play off of eachother as they go out into the field and I really love watching them interact with customers. This show is a bit like Pawn Stars where people can bring in items to be bought. Unlike Pawn Stars, I do not feel that they are taking the seller as a sucker and they do try to get the best deal possible for everyone. The shop buyer and resident bone expert is named Ryan and I think I fell in love with him. He is pale, has dark hair, and has many tattoos. He is a skinny guy who wears collared shirts and vests and pretty much is exactly what you imagine when you think of “the bone guy”. Ryan is very passionate about his work and is very knowledgable at what he does. I specially enjoyed the episode where he asked a customer out on a date. I just love him for some reason. Since the shop is in New York City, it isn’t uncommon to see celebs drop by. Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello from Strangers with Candy are frequent guests along with the lead singer of Korn. One of my favorite resident customers is a man named Edgar who has been featured in several episodes and talks a bit like Vincent Price or more specially the creepy guy from any Bugs Bunny cartoon. If you haven’t checked this show out and, like myself, you have a fascination with the world of oddities….this is the show for you. New episodes air on Saturdays on The Science Channel so set those DVRs.
My next show I am a bit ashamed of…..
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Ok so I still can not name all of them by name (a fact that Ragan Fox would kill me for) but I really got sucked into this show on Monday afternoon. I feel in love with Caroline and her entire family. She really is the backbone of the show and has the most dignity out of the entire group of cackling hens. I think Teressa has to be my second favorite because she is just a little spitfire. Hell, I would be flipping over tables too!! My least favorite is Danielle but she is damn entertaining. I was catching up by watching a reunion show and I was laughing my ass off at how much everyone else hated her. Normally my heart goes out to the underdog but I really just wanted Teressa to hit her in the face. I am a bit ashamed that I did watch several hours of this show but man did it go down well with my beer and hot dog.
Please leave your comments below with what you watched over the holiday. Did you fall into any interesting shows?
I must give credit where credit is due. It is very difficult to keep a reality show “fresh” going into its 3rd season. I was expecting more this season from Top Chef Masters simply because of its pedigree and previous seasons. Here I am going to go through some of the things I like about this season and some of the things I do not want to subject my eyeballs too.
Like #1: Hugh!
Hugh reminds me of myself in many ways. Cocky, funny, and very self aware. It takes a man to rock a unibrow and still makes jokes about it himself.
Like #2: Curtis Stone
I have liked Curtis since his days on TLC’s Take Home Chef. He is attractive, charming, and has a great accent for the ladies. His hosting style is laid back but to the point. Sometimes I feel like Padma, as a host, can put in a little too much of herself into it when all I want is an explanation of the challenge and to move on. We do not get any of that with Curtis. Just the facts, plain and simple, and not too bad to look at either.
Like #3: Maroon 5
One of the more recent challenges was to cook for the band Maroon 5. Who knew these guys would be so loveable and funny and sill pull of the “rockstar” vibe. I am a huge fan personally in my real life and thought it was a huge score to get them to be on the show. The challenge itself for their episode was a bit sub par but Maroon 5 really hit it out of the park. I only wish we could have seen them rocking out a bit for the cheftestants.
Coming up with my “like” list was much more difficult than coming up with my “dislike” list. What follows is only my opinion. If you don’t agree, please feel free to leave a comment below telling me off.
Dislike #1: Judges
This season of Top Chef Masters has seen a random revolving door of judges. There is James Oseland (who I actually quite enjoy as a judge) as well as Curtis Stone (I guess you can consider him a judge, he is there at the table and has some input it seems….so should we consider him a judge?) and that is pretty much our only constant. That guy from eater.com is there sometimes but I find him as enjoyable as a wet towel at the beach. All the judging seems so subjective and no one can really seem to agree and most of the judge’s table discusses are just plain awkward. It has also become very apparent that they are keeping certain chefs due to their entertainment value. I like Hugh but he probably should have been sent home last week. Everything the judges were saying led me to believe that he was going home but yet he will live to cook another day. As a fan of Hugh’s I cannot say that I am disappointed because it gives me another week of his witty one liners but as a reviewer and lover of reality television, I wish it wasn’t made as obvious.
Dislike #2: The Chefs
The last 2 season I have recognized most of the chefs that have been on Top Chef Masters. I have either seen their books on shelves in stores, read about them, or have seen them in other cooking shows. This season, I only know Mary Sue. It makes me wonder why they didn’t have her involved during Susan Finiger’s season. Now that would have been entertaining! Don’t take what I am typing the wrong way. I am sure all of these chefs are very well-known for what they do and well-respected in their community but…..who are they? What is their background? I don’t know where any of them work (because the show hasn’t really shown me) or what their culinary point of view is (because the show hasn’t really shown me) and I don’t understand why they were picked for the show. If you want me to invest an hour a week for several weeks of my life to these chefs the show should at least paint them in an interesting way and allow me to get to know them a little better so that I can take myself on their journey. I think the show has become more disjointed with the implementation of the new format. That is a perfect segway into…….
Dislike #3: The New Format
Last season, it was a bracket style format with each weeks winner going into the semi finals and competing against another weeks winner until only one chef was last standing. This season, it mimics the typical Top Chef format. Since I don’t know who most of these chefs are, I really don’t see any need to see them over and over again. It appears that the chef themselves are getting bored with the show and are not putting out food that is consistent with their “talent level”. All the food this season seems to be pedestrian and middle of the road. It isn’t bad but it isn’t necessarily ground breaking either. Since they have several weeks to cook as opposed to one episodes, the stakes are lowered for food intensity and viewer drama. The chefs know that they don’t need to break out everything they can as long as they aren’t the worst chef there. They seem down right bored or like their minds aren’t really on the prize. Let’s face it. If I was a successful chef, I wouldn’t give to care about how Top Chef Master’s played out for me after probably 2-3 weeks of shooting. That is time I could be devoting to my restaurant. In past seasons, the quickfire and elimination challenge would be a top chef favorite from seasons past. The chefs would need to cook with only gas station ingredients or even participate in wedding wars or restaurant wars. It seems like the challenges this season are just plain stupid. We still haven’t seen a prep station relay race or anything that resembles what we all love about Top Chef. This really is scraping the bottom of the barrel. I never thought I would say this, but I miss the old format as long as it means the chefs are competing with all their worth to stay alive.
My Final Dislike: Misuse of LA
I think this is all being shot in Los Angeles as far as I can tell. Why not highlight the city. There are tons of past Top Chef Masters who are right here in Los Angeles. There is so much culture and all we have seen of LA is the whole foods. They haven’t even had the obligatory Universal City Walk scene. Maybe it is because I live in Los Angeles and know how many cool places there are but if you are going to spend the money to have the people here in LA, why not showcase the town a little. I hate when I cannot tell where a show is shot because we never see outside of the production bubble. That may just be a pet peeve of mine but it warrants being said here on my site.
If I was Bravo, I would take a long hard look at what the fans are saying about this show. We just got done with a season of Top Chef All-Stars and days later Top Chef Masters starts. If you are going to be putting it down our throats back to back to back so that there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t notice the Top Chef franchise then you better may it worth my time.
It feels good to get that off my chest! Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below!