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  1. halopub

    Figure Skating

    One of the Japanese dailies is reporting that the Shibutanis are planning on competing in Beijing.
  2. halopub

    Figure Skating

    In case you haven't seen it, there's an audience clip floating around that shows the kiss and cry from a different angle. There was at least one JSF rep by the stairs who appeared emotional and supportive. Shoma did say that the tears were due in large part to the enthusiastic audience support he got despite a rough skate. Raf might be a grump but even he showed respect in his own undemonstrative way, handing over some of Shoma's presents and offering a fleeting clap. There were a lot of mishaps during this tournament, including the poor ice conditions, but that moment with Mariah awarding Kostornaia with her gold medal made me laugh.
  3. He's an Australian comedian who co-hosts The Last Leg on Channel 4. The show's clips sometimes get suggested when I watch 8 Cats Does Countdown on Youtube. Adam and one of his co-hosts Alex Brooker have disabilities so there's a lot of disability humor to go along with the political wisecracks. I haven't watched the show regularly but I think Adam's prosthetic leg makes regular appearances.
  4. I really enjoyed the look of David's and Rosie's showstoppers. The sails made sense and while a little wonky, Rosie's dragon and Rapunzel made me chuckle. Steph's showstopper may have tasted great but it did look a little small compared to the others. Maybe there were no size requirements in the brief? Apparently Henry fans have been taking their frustrations out on the judges and Rosie, which bleh. Henry was the most obvious choice for elimination this week and I'm glad he's enthusiastically supportive of his fellow baker. What was with the random appearance of Adam Hills? Just a in-network cameo?
  5. Shut up! We got a theme week that wasn't a complete disaster. I'm still waiting for David to fully break through, though the relative lack of non-factual interaction incline me to think he's not winning. (Henry, on the other hand, gets all those moments to show his personality, like treating his spare dough as a hacky sack. Even Rosie gets to joke about her eggy rubber practice bakes.) I feel like the producers are setting up a future storyline with all the comparisons between David's neat workstation with Alice's working chaos. I'm glad Michael was able to do relatively well on the week he went. I liked Rosie's sugar glass birds on her Sawarak layer cake. David's geometric approach was striking. And they put in that shot of an oven framed by someone's behind.
  6. I kind of doubt Love Productions is catering much to its high revenue US Netflix viewers - they might sub in "baking show" for "bake off" in the intros for legal reasons but as I've complained elsewhere, the show also stubbornly continues to use British-acceptable words like oriental in the US broadcast which have regionally awful connotations. On the other hand, I am convinced the producers have been influenced by their move from the BBC to Channel 4. The UK ratings haven't been quite as high and this is not the first Channel 4 season with stunt challenges. (That fire pit technical comes to mind.) I think of it as the show developing Food Network-type qualities. Younger, overly animated yet telegenic faces, manipulated situations, convoluted challenges, etc. Bake Off has never been completely immune from this - like the time the show insisted Enwezor was awful for using store bought icing but not acknowledging his competitors did the exact same thing - but yes, in comparison to every other competitive reality show GBBO has been generally very good for the soul. This many times over. My benchmark for casts that are both friendly and impressively skilled is usually UK season 5 (Netflix 1?). Even with bingate, I remember that group very fondly. For all his hubris, Paul does offer technical explanations and tips. It's been awhile, but I seem to remember Sherry Yard finding a better balance of positivity and criticism than Prue on American Baking Show. I remember quoting a Guardian writer last year who expressed a lot of what forum posters are saying now. The difference now being that we're not even sure about the bakers' skills. Another Guardian writer dinged the show in his review of this specific episode and again, echoed many of our complaints here. In US Media, AV club said and the LA Times last week:
  7. Overall the baking competence was up this week and the episode felt more like GBBO to me. David and Steph's meringues were gorgeous. I thought Prue was unnecessarily critical about the color of Priya's. It was no different than the color of blueberry yogurt. I sort of chuckled when all the bakers slow walked their technicals to the table and Noel had to be asked to refrain from jokes. Was Henry wearing a spider web pin in Helena's honor? Loved the striking look of Rosie's ruby bombe. It was nice of the show to actually show some of Sandi's interactions with the contestants, including the laddie club chat by the fridge. I'd like to try the spiced honey mousse and shiso sorbet. I've made fresh shiso juice and can see how it'd might work in a dessert. "I knew what I was going to nick from the tent." Poor Henry did look pretty despondent before the judgements were announced - he was just draped on David while sitting on the outside couch. Closeups of the showstoppers Closeups of the signatures
  8. The 1920s theme was a bit tenuous. The editors didn't do a great job of telegraphing Helena and Michelle's departures, though they themselves didn't seem surprised to leave over Priya. I also didn't care for the excessive reliance on Henry for so many reaction shots, assuming of course, that they actually correspond to the times they were cut in. The nervous crossed fingers on behalf of another baker was lovely to see the first time.... I need to look up the Tom Hovey illustration of David's cake because I'm not sure I got his artistic direction. Great choice on Steph's part to use canned pineapple. I'm sorry Brits are not familiar with beignet, though I would have thought pillow-shaped ones would be acceptable. Note to competitors: add pâte à choux and sabayon to your pre-tent practice. Choux comes up nearly every season.
  9. It makes me wonder if he's really the "GBBO super fan" that the media portrayed. Rough puff has done in enough bakers over the years that Henry ought to have at least attempted it before the tent. That and his claim that he'd only had "one or two weeks" of bread making experience before bread week make me wonder. I'd have to rewatch but I initially thought that maybe Paul was mumbling or caught himself as he misspoke. If Paul were older and Priya had an 's' in her name I would think it was slippage of some dental work. @TVbitch, I've only seen the show post closeups of the showstoppers but I'll let you know if I spot photos of the signatures. Edited to add: I was just looking at Phil's gram and given time he's capable of some elegant work! It'll be interesting to see if any of the classism comes up during Extra Slice.
  10. Sandi's a good mom! I like how she knows when to goof off and when to empathize. The showstoppers were by and large pretty, though I'm not sure about Steph's pink "hot dog." Also Prue comparing Phil's whimsical work to playdoh was harsh but I could sort of see what she meant. I'm glad Michael was able to save himself with sweets he doesn't like. The technical was...yeah. Right now Steph and Michelle seem the most reliable to me. Rosie continues to speak very quickly and I don't feel like we know Priya or David at all. Alice still comes across as a contestant from a Food Network show but I don't think she's exaggerating her mannerisms for TV. I'm going to steal Helena's biscuit spoons. I was surprised by how much I was charmed by her this week. The ghost didn't bother me and while her showstopper wasn't the neatest, it was delightfully colorful. Closeups of the showstoppers:
  11. Your mileage may vary but I think so. Loooove it in cookies, cakes and other sweets. Back in the day I'd enjoy a matcha latte or frappuccino - both high sugar choices. Nestle Japan accounts for different consumer tastes by offering at least 10 different kinds of matcha Kit Kats. Most are pretty assertive and actually dial down the sugar. Some flavors are sweeter and incorporate almonds, cranberries, white chocolate, etc., for those who want more of a balance.
  12. Handshake! Michael's really turned it around from episode one. I liked Steph and Michelle's breads this week. And while her nerves continue to make me nervous, Rosie produced a charming elephant showstopper. I prefer a darker burger bun but I know that's not what the judges were looking for. Not knocking a good cinnamon roll but I thought David's storyline was supposed to be healthier baking? I guess that was just week one. Alice was never going home this week but I could use a break from her. She seems like a lovely person with interesting life experiences but the teacher's another one whose naturally dramatic fretfulness agitates me as a viewer. Were those Amelia's parents? Are we really supposed to believe Henry's only learned to bake bread in the two weeks before Bread Week?
  13. halopub

    Tennis Thread

    Ellen sent her show's producer to the US Open: Youtube: Average Andy at the U.S. Open Rafa's appearance was my favorite.
  14. I like to pick the brains of the visually literate and since you're formally trained in art...how would you compare last week's dragons with Luis' back in season 5? I remember loving it at the time but now I find the piping a bit busy.
  15. Thumbs up to quality matcha. Proportions and one’s sweet tooth also affect whether one might like matcha as an ingredient @dleighg. As an old Japanophile, matcha is not a trend to me but if it’s not consumed as tea I do tend to enjoy it in sweeter confections. My matcha favs would probably be shortbread cookies, castella cakes, ice cream and shaved ice - all pretty sweet indulgences where the “grassiness” is subtler and balanced out by butter, eggs, azuki beans, etc.
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