Posts filed under ‘Reviews’

Next Iron Chef Redemption Episode 4 (Two Chefs One Plate)

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!

November 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption Episode 3 (I Disagree!)

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!

Please click “Continue Reading” below for the entire article.

Continue Reading November 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption Episode 2 (Allison’s Reactions)

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?!

November 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption Episode 1 (Allison’s Reactions)

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!

Please Click “Continue Reading” for the full story.

Continue Reading November 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

The Failure Club

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/.

March 30, 2012 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Reality Rally Changes Lives

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.

November 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

The Real World: Homophobia

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.

October 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm 1 comment

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