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AriAu

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  1. My first season watching "live" was Season 4-Chicago, and I am now watching Season 3 (Thank You Peacock). Amazing how much they show and the judges have evolved, especially Padma-she was much less assured in what was then her 2nd season as host. By the way, I like Ted Allen as a judge and of course, it reminded me of how much I miss Anthony Bourdain. However, what made me laugh was when Dale Levitski made a dish in an elimination challenge using rotisserie chicken and boxed mashed potatoes and almost won! He didn't hide it from anyone and in fact told Tom, who thought it was smart. After Waffle-Gate Sarah in the Kentucky season, and the shame that Tom cast upon her, all I could do was marvel at it and be amazed at how things change. I know that he couldnt have gotten it cooked in the allowed time, but it was startling
  2. Yup....and normally the cast and crew give their best for Kristen, but there was a lot lacking, even in the monologue. Kristen seemed more subdued than usual. By the way, I am sure Dua Lipa is very talented, but that was just some very, very bad lip synching!
  3. AriAu

    The West Wing

    Thanks for the heads up......and given everything else going on, I decided to watch it 3 or 4 more times and noticed the following: 1. The napkin on Sterling K Leo's desk at the beginning while talking to POTUS...was it there in the original? 2. Toby bouncing the spaldeen in the black and white stills. Since it wasnt part of the episode, its got to be safe to assume that Richard Schiff brought his own. 3. First time they said "New Hampshire", i instinctively said "It's what's new" 4. Is it possible to buy Snuffy and the quintet doing the opening theme? 5. Mackie Flender-Fed Chair.Ha! 6. Didn't love the PSAs other than Dule and Elizabeth Moss-perfect writing and just the right tinge of "yeah, we know its over the top, but it's ok". Dule and Sterling K crossed that line......and seriously, how did Samuel L not swear once. 7. The staging was great and there were virtually no gaffes....but was that pawn supposed to fall over. 8. For all WingNuts, be sure to check out The West Wing Weekly Pod with Joshua Malina and Hrishi.....Sorkin is on and there are some pretty cool insights into how it got made.
  4. AriAu

    The West Wing

    Sorry to be late to the party, but I was busy watching the special for the 4th or 5th time. It just made me smile...it was like seeing old friends, but mostly like listening to old friends since some looked somewhat different (yeah, I am looking at you Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney and Dule Hill) but all sounded the same. While the acting was uniformally wonderful, it really felt like Richard Schiff and Martin Sheen just calmly slipped right back into Toby and POTUS like they hadn't missed a day. Watching Donna go out to make her campaign calls made me think of something.......did Andrew Shepard violate the Hatch Act during his "making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it" speech since he could not be any more clearly on White House property in the press room? EDITED TO ADD Never mind...I just remembered that the Hatch Act doesn't actually apply to the President......good thing he ended with "I am the President"!
  5. AriAu

    The West Wing

    Another tough loss for 2020-Conchata Ferrell died....she'll always be Berta to me Conchata Ferrell was in Mystic Pizza with Annabeth Gish who was Liz Bartlet Westin
  6. AriAu

    The West Wing

    My daughter brought this up at the dinner table last night and my wife didn't understand when I immediately said "Yo Yo Ma rocks
  7. AriAu

    The West Wing

    Carl Reiner RIP...couldnt figure out how to do it with Mel Brooks, which is too bad Carl Reiner was in Oceans 11,12 and 13 with George Clooney who was in Monuments Men and Oh Brother Where Art Thou with John Goodman
  8. AriAu

    The West Wing

    I know it has been almost 18 years since this episode aired, but when I hear that 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese soldiers, my first response is "as always, we are one bad bottle of tequila away from all out war in West Asia" Yeah, I know I'm crossing story lines (actually seasons) and Qumar doesn't exist, but still......
  9. Not much more needed to be said after "and that flag is a desecration of all of it...", but OUR managing editor, Isaac Jaffe (ok, Aaron Sorkin), added a few more words! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzhUJ-K23-4
  10. Wow, those guest judges were cutting and tough. It was like Tom could hardly get in a word to attack or support anyone.....they just let the judges go! Surprising to see Kevin go home on what is essentially a pork challenge and basically screw up the cooking of pork! In general, the sous chefs should be there for cooking skills or to be a sounding board. When the sous goes beyond that, you end up with a Carla/Casey situation in which many people still haven't forgiven Casey! Therefore, I think the key is finding the best cook at this point. Malarkey said in an early episode that he doesn't spend that much time in the kitchen and Kevin has said he has " people for that shit", so Leanne could, in concept be the best person as a sous, especially since it'll be her job to just cook and not deal with time management....but she appeared from the promo to be getting too involved. Based n what we have seen this season, I still think Kevin can be the most helpful set of hands in the kitchen, but we will see. One thing to remember is that Bryan and Kevin are obviously close and supposedly agreed to help each other get to the finale, so I think Kevin will really help. By the way, isnt it kinda famous Top Chef lore that the winner of the next to last challenge rarely wins the title? FYI-Bryan won penultimate in Vegas and then Michael won and if you look at Wikipedia it is rare that the the winner wins 2 in a row....other than Paul Qui since there was no stopping him!
  11. AriAu

    S17.E12: Lucca

    J Was at Spiagia in Chicago and they came around and offered white truffles in a device that looked like the graters they use for Parmigiano and soon found out that it was $25 for each time they cranked the grater! But not as fun as watching him slide along on his rollerboard when they got to Italy. I think he will really shine if he makes it to the end since he does know Italian food (maybe not the language, but the food) and his precision should pay off.
  12. AriAu

    S17.E12: Lucca

    Couple of thoughts 1. For the start of the finale, the episode seemed really flat-very little emotion or excitement from anyone...even Stephanie, a very positive and humorous person, was muted. Maybe it was the infomercial for American Airlines or Peroni commercial (someone's gotta pay the bills), but it felt off. 2. Well, let's get rid of one long standing conspiracy theory-Gregory's elimination should make it clear that they actually judge on the basis of the dish they get and are not looking at the season overall/past results. And, yes, sitting on a 12+ hour flight with a bad back must have been miserable. 3. I am also part of the group that can't believe that Bryan V didn't win that challenge and not just because I am a fan. For one of the first times this season, his dish was not only technically strong (shocker), but ALSO met the challenge-he highlighted the white truffle better than anyone. It seemed that Melissa made an error with the salami, but, as always, we don't get to taste the food and the editors do get to take some (ok lots of) liberties. 4. Padma, hair pulled back, speaking Italian like a pro......mmmmmm. Is it in her contract that in each finale they need to do something to make her look delicious-wasn't it the original All Star season where she suddenly appeared in a bikini running out of the ocean onto the beach! 5. And, no Stephanie, great as you are, you are NOT as cool as Bryan Voltaggio!
  13. So, I watched it again and what was the deal with the $400 budget at Whole Foods? What was included at the restaurant and what did they buy? There is no way Malarkey could get veal and truffles for all those people for $400! We saw Bryan V get like one piece of lamb but there is no way that was enough, right? And I don't think that Stephanie had enough coin for the scallops and caviar in her dish....and you cant count on Whole Foods for top quality quail. By the way, why didn't they make it clear that the cheftestants were cooking for not only judges table, but all of the other special guests...some of whom got Malarkey's dishes. I am very glad that Malarkey didnt up and quit...that would not have been respectful to Gregory and the other cheftestants. I'm a Bryan Voltaggio fan and get that others love Gregory, while others worship Melissa and there is a whole group that loves and/or hates Kevin, but one thing is clear.....Uncle Jonathon Waxman is just great and does a great job explaining the dishes and helping us appreciate the flavors.....and he is even better with Champagne Padma.
  14. On page one of this thread there was a picture of the Final 5 and while I have looked at it several times, I could never really tell....but they insisted Malarkey was there, as was Karen, but Stephanie was not. While that picture was fuzzy, it would be kinda hard to confuse Malarkey and Stephanie. Plus, Malarkey was there for the publicity and face time, so I just cant see him quitting. But then again, how do they get Karen back???
  15. AriAu

    The West Wing

    Can actually do it on one step since the late great Mr. Dennehy was in Presumed Innocent with Bradley Whitford. LOL.....I too pretend like it never happened, just like all of Season 5 never happened
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