Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hell's Kitchen and Other TV

Russell? Russell? Are you kidding me?

Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. After Trev was eliminated (mercifully), I knew it was going to come down to a man and a woman, because it always comes down to a man and a woman. Hell's Kitchen is a little too gender-focused, I think, what with its "Battle of the Sexes" stratifying of the teams, and I knew it had to be Russell and someone else. And, as I called on the first episode, it's Nona.

I have to admit, the last couple of episodes--especially last night's--made me really like and respect Jillian, and I was really sorry to see her go. I would've much preferred a face-off between Nona and Jillian than anything involving Russell. And I think Russell's going to crash and burn in the final service, because as much as he thinks (as he said last week) that his criticism is constructive, he just can't lead. He's still the psycho who screams at teenage girls, and he's going to scream his way to a loss next week.

My problem with Russell was so aptly displayed in one scene last night, which was his precious attitude towards the challenge. The judges--all four of them, including Gordon Ramsay, great chefs--didn't like his dish. His attitude? "I don't care what anyone says, I know I made the best dish here." That's the attitude that makes me want to slap him hard across the face. I've got nothing more to learn, I'm perfect.

I really hope he doesn't win. Jillian was robbed.

Other TV:

:: I just found out that Cougar Town is going to be off the air from February through April so that ABC can air a new sitcom, Mr. Sunshine. Yes, because every week I look at the television landscape and ask, "When are we finally going to get a new terrible Matthew Perry show?"

I'm not going to watch it. I just don't care. You've already lost me when you take a show I love--Cougar Town--and take it off the air. I understand that, business-wise, the slot after Modern Family is big for ABC right now, but I like Cougar Town and Matthew Perry sucks. I don't need to ever see him in anything again.

The show will actually be on when I can watch it, too. Right now, I have to watch Modern Family and Cougar Town on ABC.com because they air at the same time that I'm watching Hell's Kitchen and DVRing Hellcats. But Hell's Kitchen won't be on then (will it?), so I'll have the half-hour free. But I'm still not going to watch Mr. Sunshine. Call me when Cougar Town is back on.

:: Earlier this week, after airing A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC also aired the newest Disney short, Operation: Secret Santa. It featured the same characters as last year's Prep & Landing special, but with an important difference: it was much, much shorter. It ran something like seven or eight minutes.

A LOT of Disney's productions lately have been too folksy and overly-sentimental for their own good, and their much-lauded Prep & Landing (which is airing tonight on ABC) was no exception. Maybe it wasn't as bad as Bolt or the dreadful Chicken Little, but it was excruciatingly boring. I'm really getting sick of watching animated characters sit and lament their lot in life and how they just want to belong or succeed or make someone proud or something. It's a rare animated movie these days that can handle it in an organic way anymore (How to Train Your Dragon did it) so that it feels like part of the story instead of another beat in a formula to be plugged in.

I'm also sick of the secret agent shtick, especially in relation to Christmas. A few years ago, DreamWorks did a great short with the Madagascar Penguins called A Christmas Caper that did the secret agent operation thing in a way that felt funny and fresh (the penguins, once again, being the only good thing about those Madagascar movies). Seeing Disney play catch-up on that... it just felt tired. Putting it into a seven-minute short format worked better than making a half-hour special built of spare parts and retreads.

Disney... I want them to like what they do, but they make it so hard sometimes. Operation: Secret Santa felt like a bit of a throwaway, but at least it didn't try to convince me I had to care about these characters.

:: This week, Castle proved to me that it could put on an extremely cheesy episode of the show and I'll still love it. God, I love this show. I think a lot of it has to do with Becca. She's much harder on scripted TV than I am, and tends to hate a lot of what I watch. The only scripted TV show she actually looks forward to anymore is Castle, and she LOVES Castle. So it really feels like it's our show, the one we both watch and enjoy together. She works late on Monday nights, so we TiVo it and watch it on Tuesday night, but it's worth the wait, because it really makes her happy.

Thanks, Castle, for being so awesome.

(Also Venture Bros., her other favorite show.)

:: I don't care much about the Emmy Awards, but if Irrfahn Kahn doesn't win an Emmy for this season of In Treatment, what's the point of having awards for such things?

1 comment:

Jaquandor said...

HK: Russell reminds me of Benjamin from last year, with the anger turned way up. The refusal to listen to the criticism of multiple world-class, Michelin-star chefs is astonishing. Just from my own line of work, if I built something and then Bob Vila came and told me what was wrong with it, the last thought in my head would be "F*** Bob Vila, I know I made it good!"