Bravo viciously slipped in a repeat of Top Chef last week, perhaps taking a snow day, but it returns tonight (we assume). With the new episode just hours away, let’s take a quick look back at what happened last time:
– They went to Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin and watched this dude Justo butcher a bunch of fish like CRAZY:
More: Mike’s a moron, Marcel seeks council with Mr. Miyagi, and Fabio and The Blaise grow even closer…
I wasn’t going to write anything about the statement heard ’round the world because a) I posted a late night-related article yeserday and b) I figured I’d leave decoding Conan O’Brien’s missive and surmising his potential options to the real experts. But after spending most of the afternoon on Twitter reading snap judgments and their linked to in-depth analysis, I decided to put finger to keyboard.
As we all know by now, Conan fired off a carefully worded, thoughtful, fuck you to NBC. But while it was certainly surprising to read things like “It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule” (this actually seemed a little bit of a low blow. While NBC might have bungled all of this, it’s not fair to criticize the shows and talent who are working hard to do their best from 8-10pm (mostly just the Thursday night comedies and recently Chuck)), but what struck me the most was how Conan spoke about Johnny Carson, and his longtime ambition to host The Tonight Show. And this is where it shows how Conan might have been mistaken for quite sometime, and that perhaps this was bound to go off the rails at some point.
Conan (can I call you Conan?) writes that “Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me.” And much like David Letterman, Conan respected and revered both Carson and the show, which really were one and the same. The Tonight Show might have had a handful of hosts during its run, but really it’s still synonymous with Johnny Carson, and it turns out while The Jay Leno Show just premiered last fall, it’s really been on for the last 18 years. The Tonight Show is the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was and is the Jay Leno Show, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien is, well, Conan. Had Letterman taken over The Tonight Show like Carson wanted, as Letterman was groomed to do, then perhaps the same Carson spirit might have transferred to Dave and then to Conan. But, really, the show that Conan wanted to lead into the next decade has already been gone for two. If he takes a step back and thinks about it now, to follow in Carson’s footsteps might have been to not so literally follow in his footsteps. Maybe it would be more Carson-like to create his own legacy, not try to extend or recreate an existing one.
So what now?
Read on: Fox? ABC? Or, just maybe, CBS? Plus: Steve Jobs!
It’s finally arriving tonight: the Top Chef finale! (unless, of course, Bravo teases us and airs a rerun instead as they’ve been known to do. Just to screw with me. But it seems pretty official that it’s happening tonight. If you consider the blogosphere official. And facts. Assuming you think facts are official)
It’s a six-legged race between one Voltaggio, another Voltaggio and the one that’s not a Voltaggio (Kevin!). Here’s how it stacks up:
The Favorite: Kevin. The man has just been nails all season, delivering simple, yet elegant food (like a nice cardigan). He’s the Iceman of Top Chef, except impossibly polite (and not kinda homo-erotic).
Who Do I Want To Win: Bryan. Love the fact that he seems incapable of displaying human emotion. It’s not that he’s a robot. He clearly has a heart, it’s just that you can’t tell if he’s ecstatic or livid or asleep. But his food has uniformly looked delicious and complex without being smug. And how cute was it when he bought that stuffed animal for his daughter? Aww!
Who Do I Think Will Win: Michael. He’s been running neck a neck a neck all season with his brother and Kevin, but his biggest competition may have been his own ambition (see what I did there?). He’s the biggest risk taker of the three, and having the chance to do the traditional progression we’re betting that he’s going to be able to pull it all together and truly wow the judges with intense flavor profiles and interesting textures and avocado foams and other words they say a lot. Also, if he doesn’t win, someone might get hurt, whereas Bryan and Kevin will be gracious losers. So for the sake of the judge’s own safety (and Padma’s ‘lil bear cub), they might hand the title to Michael V (ah, just kidding, Mike! I’m sure you won’t hurt anyone if you lose. We’re just having a good time, that’s all!).
While you count down the minutes on your egg timer until the finale, you can check out Jen talking about how she’s become an inspiration to Philadelphia’s female youth (take that, Rocky!):
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(Hint: It’s the Crocs)
And speaking of these things, Top Chef finally returns tonight! Until then, play the Match the Tattoo game! (guess they didn’t have enough Croc-wearers for a Match the Crocs game. Shame)
And if you still need more Wes Anderson you can check out a recent profile done on him by New Yorker (subscription required), and if you’re feeling a little less elitist, then click over and read Videogum’s effusive praise for Fantastic Mr. Fox. Agreed!
More later y’alls!
They shop at H&M too!
Well, at least Jeana and her daughter Kara do. At the mall! Just like you and me!
Oh, this is cute.
Don’t be shy, Jeana. This is where Kara shops when she pays for her own clothes. And she lives in LA now, so she knows what’s what. Plus, SALE!
More Photos: Sales Everywhere! The Fitting Room! Budgets!
Months ago I lamented the departure of Top Chef Cheftestant and Hati survivor Ron Duprat, he of the red Crocs. We were going to miss his jolly laugh, his trouble understanding the meaning of words like “vice” and “deconstructed,” and his revolting cocktails. But most of all we were going to miss his plastic footwear, the fire truck red slip-ons that made him stand out from the rest.
It was then, with great pleasure, that I realized it appears that perennial challenge finalist and lover of all things pork Kevin Gillespie has been sporting his own pair of Crocs this whole time, albeit a much a less fashionable black set. Looking back, it was very hard to pick this up, as they just as easily could have been confused for a pair of black boots. But if you know what you’re looking for then you can (sorta) make out the Crocs, like in this picture from the Penn & Teller episode.
More photos of Crocs!
Coming this fall, to an NBC affiliate near you, The Real Housewives of (city/county/state) in syndication!
Don’t know what time it’ll air, but maybe the ladies of Bravo will take on the Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune juggernaut, or perhaps NBC is going to replace one of their long running soap operas with the “real” thing. Such a great opportunity to see where it (the decline of our civilization) all started.
(to be fair, actually a big fan of the OC and NJ versions. Not so much NYC or Atlanta. Weird, right???)
The more we can get scenes like this on daytime or early evening television the better:
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Lesson learned: never tell Theresa to pay attention.
Well, I guess you can ignore that last post, as when we loaded up the DVR to watch Top Chef we found that there was, in fact, no new episode last night. Bravo has a tendency to do this, both with Top Chef and Project Runway (when it aired on the net), showing you scenes from the next episode, but failing to inform you that said episode will not air the following week. Building me up and breaking me down (perhaps the blame is really on me for letting Top Chef become the highlight of my week, but I refuse to become Bravo’s scapegoat).
On the bright side this means that Ron gets to stay in the spotlight for one more week, and it’s an excuse for another Ron Duprat/Carl Winslow comparison.