Now that Food Network Star is over, I am not blogging any TV shows, but there is some very brief follow-up and some add-in I want to do so I am combining it all together!
Food Network Star: I did manage to watch the first episode of The Sandwich King, the new show Jeff Mauro won this time around. If I were Giada, I would tell him, “More energy!” I think they are prepping him to get out of the kitchen and be Guy Fieri Lite, because he spent half his time in a Chicago beef stand (the Chicago version of our New England clam shack, I guess). Apparently Chicago takes beef sandwiches seriously. He spent four hours making a pot roast (and a day and a half marinating a jardinaire, which is basically high-calorie crudites) to make a pot roast sandwich and call it Chicago beef. Ok. He also made figs and cheese on foccaccia. Ok. There was something about it has to be stinky cheese. He used Fontinella, which I do not think is that stinky, if I am thinking of the same thing – but I could be wrong, cheese is not my strong suit. He said it is made from Fontina and cheddar and other non-stinky things, which seems rather bizarre, or maybe he said it tasted like a combination. To me, stinky cheese is Limburger. I once ordered a cheeseburger to go at the grill across the street, and got it with Stilton because I thought it sounded cool (I did not know what it was) and on the way up in my elevator I wondered if someone had left garbage in the elevator all day and it still smelled. I was pretty upset when I found out it was the cheeseburger I had just bought. Now that, to me, is stinky cheese. And Jeff? Please, please, please! There is no “m” in “sandwich”!
Anyway, Jeff was subdued and I felt bad for him, like he was the horse that was broken, except that was Chris. I hope he is enjoying it! I do not think I will bother with his show any more. I suspect he will be off doing something about Chicago Diners and Dives pretty soon. But it is not like I am very good at predicting!
The Glee Project I did not blog about this, but I looked forward to every episode and even rewatched some of them! I confess: I am a bit of a gleek. The second season was pretty bad, but I still want to put Kurt in my pocket and carry him around right next to Mondo (I am going to have a collection of Tiny Pocket Gays pretty soon, they just make me feel better! Maybe I will even add Rachel Maddow, though she is in a very different category but she still makes me feel better – I have her website on my Favorites list just so I have a teeny little thumbnail Rachel Maddow smiling at me every time I open something). So The Glee Project was sort of the Next Glee Star except it was a lot better because everyone really had something to offer, even the people who went home really fast. Well, maybe not the first guy, he was a bit of a pill, but who knows what they edited out. And there was the guy who quit because he couldn’t keep on kissing girls seeing as he is a Christian and he does not think it is ok to kiss one girl when he is dating another (though he managed to kiss the pretty girl and only drew the line when it came to kissing the fat girl. To be fair the pretty girl kissed him and he was surprised, so surprised he had to call his mother and confess his sin. I am not making this up!).
And the final result was the most rewarding of any competition show I have ever seen! Everyone won! I actually thought of a 60 Minutes episode I saw about ten years ago, about “trophy kids” how an entire generation has a room filled with trophies just for showing up, because it is the era of “everyone wins” and employers were complaining because nobody seemed to know how to actually make an effort, they felt they should be rewarded just because they made it to work and not even all that late! So I thought, this is the result, reality shows where There Are No Losers (except all the people who were eliminated before the finale of course – sorry Matteus, and poor Hannah, they still believed right up to the very end, but in the end kids it always, ALWAYS comes down the Beautiful People and One Black Diva).
It was really an amazing show because none of them were jerks! Oh, sometimes there was some snivelling and a little hint of Mean Girl, and some Hey Me Tooism, but all in all they were pleasant and quite talented. I have become interested in Wicked because of “Defying Gravity” and you may see the Gregory Maguire book appear in this blog some day! And I am kind of happy all four finalists won, because they are all pretty good and I hope this will be a good step for them. I just hope someone will also see Hannah and Matteus and Cameron and Ellis and McKynleigh (I am not sure if that is exactly how her name is spelled, but it is spelled with a lot of bells and whistles like the “y” and the “eigh”).
So Samuel, of the dreadlocks (I have a well-known love of dreadlocks) and the smoky gaze, gets seven episodes on Glee, and then we will see. He was a lot of fun. When Do-Not-Kiss-Me,-I-Am-A-Christian-Cameron finally left, leaving Ryan Murphy to long for another actor to play the Christian character he has been dreaming of (because, you know, the actor has to be Christian, it is not enough to just play a Christian – is it ok to restrict hiring actors on the basis of religion? I do not think you can insist your secretary or your chef or your accountant be a certain religion, but show business always has different rules), Samuel stepped up and declared he loves Jesus SO MUCH he has a tattoo of “Jesus Christ” on the back of his neck (but we never saw it). That was to make up for saying he did not really want to play someone gay because his mother would be upset but he explained to her it was only acting and she realized it is ok as long as he is not actually gay. Seriously, show business has very different rules, there are places where you would get fired for saying things like that, but the rumor is Ryan is displaying his broad-mindedness now and embracing other views. Ok. I see Samuel as another Susie from FNS: tell me what you want me to be, and I will be it! Then in twenty years they write a memoir about how they gave up some aspect of themselves to be a Star.
And Damien gets seven episodes too, because he won, too. He is adorable, I have to say. He is very Irish right down to his brogue. He performs in Celtic Thunder, which PBS airs ad nauseum. Oddly, he turned into a swing singer. He insists he can not dance but he moves nicely. He is pleasant. He has these eyebrows that operate independently. The plan – at least what was muttered on the show – is to have him be a foreign exchange student, and poor Brittany can not understand a word he says but has a crush on him. I can see that!
They were very clear that Alex did not win, but he gets two episodes anyway. Which is good, because as the episodes went on, it became clear that Alex is the Voice of the group. Absolutely amazing, powerful, soulful, just beautiful. Alex is a guy, and I am still trying to figure out if that means he has always been a guy or if he is in transition, because he could be either a guy or a girl. He is gay, by which he means, I believe, he is attracted to men. And of course he is black and in high school, so he is living the nightmare they portray on the show. I do not think I ever saw him really smile. He played in drag a couple of times, and he is very good at it though he has not yet learned to walk in high heels. He sings girl songs just like Kurt does, which is sweet (one of my favorite lines of the terrible second season was “I make my living singing the female parts”). And he sings the hell out of them. Listening to him at the finale, it was clear, he was in his own league, and I am glad he got some recognition and will get some exposure on Glee. I think as he heals from his adolescence, which is not even over yet, he can become a real Force.
And Lindsey, who they tried to make the bitch. “I am a trained soprano so that is why I can nail it” she declared in the first episode, just so we knew and did not think she was just some scruffy kid who happened to sing. She is tired of being perfect, the pretty girl. She is more Rachel Berry than Rachel Berry. I have to confess, I came into Glee late – about halfway through the first season – and I thought Rachel was “the popular girl” for about three episodes before I realized she was “the obnoxious one”. Because everyone is a type on Glee. And that is who Lindsey is. She sings real pretty, though. And she is pretty.
So I am looking forward to seeing these people (I will not call them kids – they are not kids, even if they are going to play kids on TV) on Glee in a month or so! And I very much enjoyed The Glee Project and am sad to see there will be a second season – because it will not be the same. They will try to “drama” it up, people know what to expect now and will bring in what they think they want, and it just will not have the off-the-cuff strangeness about it. But I will watch it anyway!
Project Runway Season 9: No, I am not the one blogging this, but of course I watch it! And I have to say that the thing with Anya getting help is going to come back in a later episode. Maybe one of the people who helps her is going to get jealous that she is in the top three and s/he is not, and they will point out to the judges that maybe she is not the prodigy they think she is; or maybe Viktor will (stupidly, IMHO) forget his restraint and will start bitching; or maybe she will not get help one week and will send out a dress that is unfinished and Heidi will say “What Happened?” and it will all come out and the judges will be Shocked. Except – people help each other all the time! There is nothing against the rules about it! And in fact I would like to see Michael Kors try to make a jumpsuit in twelve hours, go ahead, I want to see that! But the way they are playing this, it is going to come back. And then I will say my favorite words: “I told you so!”
The Sing-Off will be back for the third run in the fall! I have mixed feelings! I loved it the first year as a surprise Christmas week special! It was so nice, in that week when nothing is on TV, to watch such a fun show! Then they expanded it a little for the next year, but it still was basically taped in the summer and broadcast in December with one finale night. Now they want to turn it into American Idol, and that makes me sad! It will screw up the college and high school groups for one thing. It means more pressure to put on a good show, not simply to present the groups and have them go for it. I suspect it is going to be much more pop and rock oriented – no more Sweet Adelines or Whiffenpoofs or Old Black Men (I still get searches for “old black men on the singoff”). I loved that it ran for three nights straight, and that will change. I hope they do not bring audience voting into it until the very end! The good news is that Pussycat is gone. I am not familiar with her replacement but she is not part of a Vegas dance troupe and that counts in her favor! And Ben Folds of course will be back. In spite of my reservations I am looking forward to it!
Thank you! That is all!