Inside TV and Pop Culture with Liane Bonin Starr
Even the most diligent found some leaks hard to avoid
Though the word only became a pervasive part of our lingo a few decades ago, spoilers have likely existed as long as entertainment of any form has been around (you missed "Oedipus the King" at the Dionysia? Dude! Queen Jocasta was his MOM!"). Avoiding them requires constant vigilance, sidestepping blabbermouths and, mostly, staying off the Internet. Of course, in this day and age that's not unlike taking a vacation from breathing. With "Downton Abbey" airing first in the U.K., then three months later in the U.S. (season 3 premieres here Jan. 6), spoilers became like tribbles -- turn your back, and another thousand popped up somehow, and not always where you expected them to be.
And speaking of spoilers, if you haven't watched Season 2 (not Season 3, Season 2, so if you're REALLY behind) for some reason, read no further. Yes, an article about spoilers has a spoiler alert. Fancy that.
The designers must dress real female veterans but some looks should be in the brig
Final four! The end is in sight, and while I'm still shocked that Josh and his very questionable taste level are still in the game, I think this is a pretty strong group. Hopefully this challenge will inspire Uli to use a fabric that isn't white, Emilio to use a color that isn't blinding and Anthony Ryan not to make that same cut-out silhouette he likes so much. Given that they'll be dressing real women, this should separate the real designers from the people who'd rather be dressing coat hangers.
In a show dedicated to weird moments, this may be one of the weirdest
If you've missed "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" since the first season ended, take heart. Not only is the show back for an oddly timed Halloween special Sun. Jan. 6 at 9:00 p.m. (upcoming specials include a Thanksgiving-themed show Sun. Jan. 13, a clip show Sun. Feb. 10, and a Christmas special Sun. Feb. 17), this latest episode features a very weird highlight -- Mama's mayo phobia. Yes, she's afraid of that staple of redneck cuisine, mayonnaise. Watch this clip to see her personal struggle. With mayo. Also of interest? The family debate over whether or not mayo is a form of meat.
Will the risotto curse strike again as the chefs recreate past recipes?
Before we get started, a real moment with the chefs. Sheldon sharpens his knives every day. Stefan applies wrinkle cream every day. Discuss.
Anyway, Padma welcomes the chefs to a Quickfire Challenge with Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer. He makes custom knives that sell for $500 an inch. So yeah, you're not picking up any of these at Williams Sonoma anytime soon. To prove they're worth the money, Kramer demonstrates that he can cut an inch-thick knife with a single thwack. Holy crap. These would be great murder weapons for the discerning serial killer.
Monsignor Timothy and Sister Mary Eunice go head-to-head
As the proverb goes, it's always darkest before the dawn, but I suspect dawn will never come to Briarcliff. Instead, the asylum seems pitched into an eternal state of gloom, and while some brave souls try to fight the system, I don't hold out a lot of hope for them. The darkness of this place is so oppressive, so unrelentingly black, it overwhelms at least one character this week. No spoilers here, but I will say this is one episode that demands your full attention, even as it skips over more details than I would have liked.
Things get skeevy when Phaedra, Apollo, Cynthia and Peter head to a strip club
Last week, we saw Kenya and Walter end their tortured (and possibly fictitious) relationship in dramatic fashion, a tragic (or, depending on your perspective, richly deserved) car wreck to wrap up the gals' trip to Anguilla. Or maybe we just thought we saw that, because apparently, it ain't over 'til it's over, and the fat lady has yet to sing. Oh, she's gotten naked and flapped her flabby nether regions at a strip bar with many of her toothless friends, but we'll get to that later. Anyway, no singing.
Elie Tahari guides the designers through a ready-to-wear challenge
So, the designers walk down Fifth Avenue (or, as Josh calls it, Fifth Ave, which makes me want to smack him to death with a designer purse) and end up at Elie Tahari's flagship store. Their challenge is to create a "wow" ready-to-wear look that can retail at $500 to $700. The winning design will be sold at all of the Elie Tahari stores and proceeds will go to Save the Garment Center. Mondo won this challenge last season. No pressure.
Mary and Matthew get ready to wed in this taste of season three
Can't wait another minute for the third season of "Downton Abbey"? Really, the first episode airs Sun. Jan. 6, so it's quite unrefined to get that keyed up. Consider drinking some tea or something. Luckily, knowing how high strung we Americans are (not so high strung they couldn't hold off on broadcasting the season here more than three months behind its U.K. air dates, but whatev), the powers-that-be have posted ten minutes of the first episode on Facebook. As you might have guessed, the place is buzzing about the long-awaited nuptials of Matthew and Mary, but that doesn't mean there isn't drama and an ominous sense of foreboding.
It's a roller derby duke out and Josie loses her cool
I love it when "Top Chef" forces our cheftestants out into the big, bad world, blinking and shivering like frightened moles. This week, they get to frolic in the bay, shucking oysters, slurping them down, and then worrying about what awaits them back in the test kitchen. Probably something involving oysters. Just a guess.
The Quickfire Challenge is simple: the chefs must make oysters for Emeril! Five will make hot dishes, five will go cold. And how will that be decided? Chefs who grab a red apron get to cook hot, the rest get stuck with blue aprons and cold food, as it seems the appeal is really to make a hot dish. The winner will get $5,000, and they get 25 minutes. As expected, there's a rush on red aprons. I've never been an oyster fan, I have to say, so I don't have much to add on this challenge, I have to say.
Kenya's quest for a ring goes awry, but whose fault is it?
Before we get into the issue of The Proposal That Never Was, we might as well address the fact that the world wideness of the Interweb is crackling with the suggestion that the whole relationship between Kenya Moore and Walter Jackson is (gasp!) fake. Quelle horreur! How could a reality TV show present something that isn't 100 percent true? That was, yes, manufactured for our entertainment? I'm having a touch of the vapors, I tell you! Someone fetch me a fan!
Actually, if this is true, it would be a huge relief. Walter seems so thoroughly bored as Kenya flutters and twirls around him like a psychotic Disney princess that I want to believe she's humiliating herself on national television for a greater goal than a crappy ring and a bad marriage. If she's doing it for money and a book deal like every other woman on these shows? Well, then she's just one of the gang!