Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hell's Kitchen Begins; HGTV Design Star Surprises; America's Got Talent Shows Little Talent; and Fat People Find Love

Some 2009 summer reality shows plow on, others start up, some are brand new, some old and stale.

Reviews here of 2009 "Hell's Kitchen", HGTV's 2009" Design Star"; "America's Got Talent" finally over the auditions and a new one that fat people across the fruited plains will adore:"More to Love". Or maybe not.

All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Pic of the Day

HGTV’s “Design Star” a Refreshing Reality Show


My guess is that reality shows on designing rooms in a house aren’t very popular and, indeed, I might well be the only one writing about it across the Internet.

HGTV’s “Design Star” does, like its sister network “Food Network”, give the winner his or her own TV show. In fact, “Myles of Style” is a show awarded to one year’s “Design Star” winner and I find it one of the better home decorating shows.

Not that I am any avid home decorator. One would only have to look at my home and one would wonder why I even like such shows. I just enjoy the concept of taking something so raw, ugly, unproven, and using our good imaginations, putting our stamp and personalities on spaces to an end of an often amazing transformation.

First, this reality series, so far, shows some really awful decorating work and this is nice. Well it’s not “nice” in that crooked granite countertops look awful and, in one case, a paint job showing terrible tape lines, aren’t pretty things. But it is more “real” in that, well who said that a so-called “decorator” knows how to install complicated granite kitchen countertops?

I also question just why HGTV started with 11 contenders for this contest, one being picked by the original ten chosen contenders. Why do this? I understand that most of these types of shows need one quick “throwaway” contender to be sent packing the first week before viewers have any time to learn of the quirks and personalities of the “real” contenders. But why do this in this manner?

In the first week of this series, the contenders were charged with forming two or three person teams and each re-decorating a room in the house where they all were staying at the time. I suppose some rich guy allowed HGTV to use the house with the proviso that the thing be completely re-decorated.

One team, Natalie and Tashica, were a real goof of a pair. They got everything so messed up, their tape put on to allow painting of “diamonds” on the floor plus their hanging of curtains turned out laughable. I’m sure this was set up in some manner because it was a real chuckle…in fact the final result looked like some of my own home projects. Natalie got sent home.

To show how far removed I am from decorating fashion sense, one team made over the home’s dining room. A painting was done on the wall that resembled a giant jigsaw puzzle and it went on down and across the floor. I hated it but the three judges loved the thing.

In the second week, two teams were formed and each team was charged with re-designing a volunteer homeowner’s kitchen.

I don’t get why decorators are supposed to know how to tear out a kitchen and put a new one in. At any rate, one team did an awful job of creating a “Morrocan” atmostphere. Why anyone would want a Morrocan type of kitchen is beyond me but the designers assigned to that task just hung some colorful things from the ceiling and painted the walls a streaky red and thought it looked like some fine bazaar nestled in the foothills of Morroco.


The other team got the kitchen counters so misaligned that HGTV, according to the show’s host, had to send out a team of contractors to fix the mess. Again, who the hell said building stuff like this is the job of a designer?

The leader of the team that so misaligned the granite countertops, first name Amy, cried so much during the show that I wanted to slap her. What is it about scripters of reality shows that think a heaping dose of crying contenders is just the ticket?

I thought Amy just looked like a dope and, indeed, she got sent home on the episode aired 7/26/09.

I will keep Blogging about this series and hey, maybe one or two people will read it.

Hell’s Kitchen 2009 Begins

Fox’s Web Site for the Series HERE.

I have a love/hate relationship with Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen” reality show, a quite successful show I might add even though half of the thing has to be bleeped for the cussing. Not to mention that every chef is a chain smoker and oncit I was a chain smoker. Now I really dislike seeing folks on TV smoking, not so much for myself, but for my granddaughter. Darn we need to get one generation raised in this country that has not been exposed to smoking as a cool, happening activity. Human beings live just fine without ever taking a puff one from a cigarette. But so long as movies and TV shows depict happening chefs or other appealing characters smoking, well it’s just one more temptation to make the youngsters want to try it out.

Smoking screed aside, this is definitely NOT any sort of cooking show and anyone who should think so will be disappointed.

The Next Food Network Star, Top Chef…these are reality cooking contests. Hell’s Kitchen will seldom show a cook of any kind demonstrating how to artfully core and peel apples for a fine Apple Pan Dowdy or anything else along these lines.

For sure the series has “challenges” that are food related but this reality show is all about Chef Gordon Ramsey, his nasty disposition and the humiliation his contenders must suffer at his hands.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this.

This year we have an interesting allure in that a contender from last year, Robert, a portly contender who had to drop out for sickness, is now back. Robert was a sort of beloved contender because he was rather nice and the poor guy would cry at the drop of a hat. Again we have those obligatory reality show tears.

In the first episode, 7/21/09, all contenders were to whip up their signature dish and present it to Chef Ramsey. Louie, a diner owner, presented a plate with a big biscuit covered with sausage gravy.

Well damn, this is, indeed, a dish served in every diner in America but Ramsey’s Scottish or some such, eh? The sausage gravy is a thick, gooey, cholesterol hardening affair but I personally resented Ramsey’s disdain for this Americana dish. Alas Louie the diner owner got sent home the very first week. A setup, I am sure.

The second episode, aired 7/28/09, had the group whipping up an Italian meal for a bunch of firefighters. Making garlic bread seemed to be the problem of the day in that a contender from both the male and the female team couldn’t seem to get the stuff made. And the bread wasn’t made from scratch folks. It was merely a braid of bread that needed to be split and buttered with garlic infused butter than broiled a bit in the oven.

The women won this challenge but the women lost the service challenge big time. Two female chefs, one “Lovely” and one “Tennille” were nominated for elimination but in what had to be a scripted element of drama, one of the contenders issued a non-food challenge to Ramsey himself. A guy named Michael offered to take Ramsey outside and, well I dunno I guess he wanted to engage Ramsey in a fist fight. Ramsey rightfully sent the guy packing.

Because of this elimination Ramsey did not send home either Lovely or Tennille.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the series because Hell’s Kitchen has been a very successful show and, at times, it entertains.

Other year’s Hell’s Kitchen reviews on this Blog HERE

Fox’s ”More to Love”-The Bachelor for Fat People

All right, I get it already. Large people deserve love too.

To illustrate this sentiment, we still have fat people being rejected and sent home in droves on Fox’s “More to Love” but well, we know it’s not because they’re fat.

A Review of this show that sums it up well HERE.

I tuned in to More to Love for the premiere episode aired on 7/28/09 on Fox. The show was touted as the brainchild of the producer of “The Bachelor” series, and, indeed, the general flow of the show is very similar to The Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Only instead of roses the goal is to get a ring in order to hang around for another week. A ring. Heh. Round. Get it?

The “bachelor” fellow looking for love is Luke, a nice guy it seems, weighing in at over 300 lbs but he looks relatively healthy for that weight.

A phalanx of “women with curves” were brought in to win Luke’s affection as Luke has no problem with a big woman in his life.

Beyond this the show is just like The Bachelor and I suspect there will be lots of scripting.

The larger problem, forgive the adjective, for this series is that there’s only so much a play on the weight issue that will fly before it gets old, real old.

I’m intrigued enough to tune in again for this series but I’m going to go bonkers if every episode, scene and drama is about being overweight.

If the series adheres to the original Bachelor concept of finding love, with maybe an occasional reference to the weight issue, it might fly during the desultory summer months.

If the producers choose to hang on to the weight thing like white on rice, viewers will sign off, eyes glazed with the boredom.

”America’s Got Talent” Finally Gets Serious

It’s been a summer of ho-hum although for the most part, as background noise, I have enjoyed the 2009 “America’s Got Talent” auditions. Sure they are so formulaic as to be laughable. The show begins with some contender getting a big buildup. The gal or fellow will lament in a solo on-camera vignette how he or she’s been working towards this chance all their life, that he or she knows he or she can win, that he, she or even they, are ready to show their stuff.

The viewer is left thinking, goodness, he, she or they must be terrific.

Insert big sound of rejection here.

For with this big build-up, almost always the contender is so bad the viewer is left wondering what on earth he, she or they were thinking.

And on it goes, sometimes with questionable acts and the judges state their reservations, on camera, with acts that might be okay but can the guy do anything else but run a drill bit up his nose?

There are, of course, the acts to look out for and these acts are presented with much fanfare, much like the failures as narrated above. EXCEPT the acts to watch for are most often featured in the middle of a show episode. Some acts to watch include a fellow who wore his hat the wrong way on his head which I think made him look dumb. He can sing and will likely wind up in the top ten. There’s a group of siblings who sang their mother back from a coma and a big deal was made about them. Another guy has a baritone that won’t quit and this could fly. There’s a comedian lady who’s over 70 years old and, oddly, I think she might have a chance. First, she IS funny and then there’s the novelty of it.

There’s “ ‘break’ skaters”, your more ordinary break dancers, a pre-teen ballroom dance team, lots of gymnastic and magic entrees.

The show is now down to, last I checked, 40 finalists in Las Vegas. They had been up to a hundred but culled it down with the highlights of the mass rejection being the gist of the episodes aired this past week.

Things should get interesting and, of course, Youtube “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation, Susan Boyle, was interviewed on the show so stay here as we’ll be watching, smirking and assessing.

As is our wont.

Below a very short remix of some acts that intrigue, including “break skaters” and an 8 year old with a wow voice.

To the Main Blog...Over a Million Page Views


The intriguing reality is that neither of these two finalists of the Next Food Network Star, Melissa or Jeffrey, have any extensive food background.

Which some would say makes it all the sweeter.

The contenders were good but the Korean, the Creole or the Healthy could beat the cooking of the 2009 Next Food Network Star finalists and their charming on screen presence.

My choice for the winner. All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

It could have been the stimulus that didn't stimulate, the health care package Americans hate; bowing to the Saudi King…well President Obama has given us enough actions that will likely bring down his presidency as his ratings tank like our 401-k's.

But folks, the Gates incident illustrates more than anything where this very naive man is coming from. It will be the incident that caused his downfall.

Plus some detailed information on the Health "reform" that will have you killing Grandma; some Clinton kitchen utensils; and some thoughts on just why you have to be crazy to ask for a birth certificate?

Does this make every MVA in America conspiracy theorists?

Even though Father Beachem was his twin brother, the protagonist in this fiction short story helped arrange his twin's surprise birthday party which turned out to be a bigger surprise to the caterer and priest's brother than to the party's man of honor.

Some 2009 summer reality shows plow on, others start up, some are brand new, some old and stale.

Reviews here of 2009 "Hell's Kitchen", HGTV's 2009" Design Star"; "America's Got Talent" finally over the auditions and a new one that fat people across the fruited plains will adore:"More to Love". Or maybe not.

All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

2009 Bachelorette Jillian has chosen her man.

We have a review of the Men Telling All, The Final Rose and After the Final Rose.

With some analysis of the series, some smirks, a few laughs and, of course, pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.


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