Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amuse-Biatch and the Issue of Prejudgment Interest

Oh, possums, how our nonexistent little hearts have fluttered for weeks each time we heard the Bravo announcer jauntily intone, “From the producers of Top Chef….”

It’s just the sort of clarion call to which our hearts have previously responded. Indeed, who among us hasn’t experienced an expectant swoon upon hearing, “From the makers of Metamucil” or “From the producers of White Chicks”?

And so it is with great delight that we awoke today, knowing that tonight is the premiere of I’m a Celebrity Chef (I Wish!), Get Me Out There….

Ah, just a minute, possums, Miss XaXa is pointing to the press release and mouthing something. It appears the show is actually called Top Chef Masters.

Dang it, we think there ought to be a colon in there, the way there has been for Top Chef: Miami, etc. After all, without the colon, the show’s title seems redundant (if they’re top chefs, they’re also masters, n’est-ce pas?) or misleading (if they’re supposed to be the masters of Top Chef, then that arguably means only Harold Dieterle, (God spare us!) Ilan Hall, Hung Huyhn, Stephanie Izard, and, ahem, Hosea Rosenberg). And so, for as long as we’re blogging the show, we’re going to call it Top Chef: Masters. (See, possums? 90 days have not done away with our streak of pedantry.)

Not having seen the show, we will, for the next several hours, withhold judgment. We will admit, though, that there are troubling signs. The reviews we’ve read have focused on what a kinder, gentler version of Top Chef this is. No liquor, no bunk beds, no nookie, oy vey. Indeed, the New York Daily News refers to Top Chef: Masters as a “wade in the kiddie pool” (and means it as a compliment!). What has the world come to?

As for the replacements for Tommy, Pads, and the gang, well, we will know in due time (though we think it most unsporting and, again, potentially misleading, that the original teasers for Top Chef: Masters contained no indication that the Gang of Four would not be back in their roles). We will say this, though, based on the video below. Kelly “Padma Lite” Choi seems far too nice for the job. Dare we say we will miss the Pads, who can go from cannabimbo to ice princess in the flip of her Pantene’d locks? (Hey, we’re not knocking her Pantene gig; how else are you going to wash the smell of a Carl’s Jr. burger out of your hair?)

Apparently, Top Chef: Masters will be a “tournament-style” competition (we’re told by reliable jocks that this has something to do with the sports world) in which the 24 chefs (some of whom actually qualify for the title of “master”) will do their darnedest to score some scratch for charity while trying to prevent their (in some cases incipient) television careers from taking a hit. With that in mind, we have as of now established but one ground rule: We will not make fun of anyone’s chosen charity. Not, of course, because we’re incapable of it, but, rather, because who the hell wants to tickle the bony ankles of bad karma In Times Like These? As for everything else, it’s fair game. Gird your loins, luvs.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Top Chef: Masters and Margaritaville

Possums, it is with the sanity of bloggers as with Roquefort cheese—it’s a goodly spell in a nice, dark cave that does the trick.

In our case, you have only to imagine the salutary effects of 90-odd (and 90 odd) days with nary a thought about His Bearness or, um, Her Highness. Week upon glorious week neither knowing nor caring about Padma’s apartment, her burger commercial, or her wearing of silk charmeuse without a bra on noticeably cold nights at public events.

Day upon day unfolding without ever having to hear the phrase “throw under the bus,” or ponder the ominous portent of scallops, or come up with ursine metaphors, or decipher the semiotics of fauxhawks and t-shirts obviously chosen to attract attention.

Night upon night of sleep undisturbed by dark dreams of Bravo conspiracies bearing the suffix “-gate.” Rien de rien, possums.

By the end, we had very nearly returned to our customary, half-human state.

And then it occurred.

Suckling at the teat of cable television one afternoon, we landed on an oh-so-alliterative Food Network show titled Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, hosted by preposterously peroxided putz Guy Fieri. Normally, we are as allergic to him as he is to long trousers and intellectual depth. Indeed, chez Amuse-Biatch the show is referred to as Douchebag, Dipshit, and Dumbass. This time, though, we cocked our head and said aloud to ourselves, “You know, he’s kind of charming.”

The Patsy Stone-like scream from Miss XaXa was blood-curdling. We cannot say whether it was “No, Eddie, nooooo!” or “No, Charlus, nooooo!” we heard before we lost consciousness. It was not sal volatile or booze that brought us round, but, rather, Miss XaXa’s perfectly manicured nails digging into our neck as she dragged us by the scruff to where our laptop lay in desuetude. “That’s it!” she kept saying, “Vacation over! It’s time!”

So, yes, possums, we are back to the venom, vim, and vitriol of the internet, and we will be blogging the bejeezus out of Top Chef: Masters. The show premieres Wednesday, June 10, at 10 p.m.