Before we begin, if any of you are wondering why your DVR suddenly stopped recording “Top Chef,” it’s because the title of the show was suddenly changed from “Top Chef: All Stars” to plain, old “Top Chef.” But hey, this show is in constant reruns, so you’ll probably catch it in real time anyway. In other “Top Chef” news, if you live in Southern California and are a Fabio fan, you can watch the show on Wednesday nights at his Toluca Lake restaurant, Firenze Osteria. He’ll even be there, I’m told. And if you’re not a Fabio fan, hey, free hors d’oeuvres. I can’t attest to it being a big hootenanny, as I’m busy blogging for you guys, but if you’ve gone, do tell. If you know of the other chefs on the show doing anything similar, by the way, please post about it. And by all means, tell us about the food!
Hopefully this week’s episode will be more exciting than last week’s, which seemed to suffer from post-Jen timidity. While “Top Chef” isn’t the kind of hair pulling, immunity idol stealing, bar brawling reality TV show we can expect from other networks, it seems like the chefs deliver some of their most inspired dishes while under intense pressure. If that happens to include some pan stealing of monopolizing the liquid nitrogen while cursing a blue streak, so be it. And this week promises to offer not only plenty of stress, but one of the wackiest Quickfires ever. So let’s get to it!
So this is the Christmas episode of “Saturday Night Live.” And what have you done, “SNL”? You’ve brought together Jeff Bridges and Eminem for your final comedic jaunt of 2010. The Dude and The Real Slim Shady: like chocolate and peanut butter, but with more facial hair and anger issues. Vegas places 3:1 odds on “Lazer Catz” meeting “Tron” during tonight’s episode, and me liking the result at about 50:1.
Will Bridges redeem a rather tepid Fall for the show? Only one way to find out. As always, what follows below are my insta-reactions to each sketch as they happen. Like “SNL” and Bill O’Reilly, WE’RE DOING IT LIVE! Onto the recap after the break...
Robert DeNiro may have iconic Hollywood status, but doesn’t necessarily have skills that translate to “Saturday Night Live” success. Paul Rudd, however, possesses those skills in spades. Will he help SNL take the rather ragged Fall run towards a successful conclusion? Sure, Jeff Bridges will take things home next week, but we can’t worry about the future. We can only worry about the Power of the Pauls: not only the host, but musical guest Paul McCartney. Will Paul honor the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death in one of his numbers tonight? Only one way to find out.
Onto the recap, with all thoughts composed live as the show proceeds…
Hey, everyone – didja know it was a full moon tonight? Because it’s a full moon. A FULL MOON. Get it in your head already. The moon? It’s full.
The last episode of “The Vampire Diaries” until January 27 served up more of what this show does well: It moved characters closer together while adding to the series mythology, giving fans just the right amounts of emotion, action, intrigue, and surprise to carry us through the winter break.
But the best part was that Elena/Katherine didn’t overshadow the episode. Instead, everyone else got a chance to play in the supernatural sandbox thanks to the full moon and all it brought to Mystic Falls: Bonnie and Luca, Damon and Rose, and Little Red Riding Caroline and her Big, Bad Wolf Tyler all grew closer, though none of those pairings is without its complications. Even relative newcomers got into the mix: Elijah made his face turn and revealed his agenda, while Mystic Falls’s first lady werewolf made a memorable, violent entrance.
The idea of duality is another scripting trick that’s become a “TVD” signature, here more subtle than usual as Elena/Katherine found themselves in similar predicaments, both pining for Stefan. (Another no-fail element: The art of the love triangle. Everyone in town’s got one.) The storyline packing the most affecting emotional punch, however, was the budding friendship between Caroline and Tyler, which developed in unexpected ways as he experienced his first full moon. What girl can resist a guy who’ll collapse half-naked in a heap of tears and allow himself to be taken care of at his lowest moment? I see great things ahead for Tyroline. Start counting the days to January 27…
[Full recap of tonight’s (Dec. 9) episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” entitled “By the Light of the Moon,” below…]
In some ways, last week’s episode of “Fringe” could have served as a perfectly satisfactory Fall finale for the show. Getting the two Olivias back to their home universes could have marked the end of one block of programming and allowed things to start from there next January, when the show moves to Fridays with an episode called “Firefly.” No, that’s not a joke. No, it’s not April Fool’s. No, Whedon fans that love “Fringe” are NOT amused.
[Recap of Thursday’s (Dec. 9) “Fringe” after the break…]