May 20th, 2011


Why I am not digging this season of Top Chef Masters

(No real spoilers.)

So, this season of Top Chef Masters is really falling flat for M. and myself. Yes, there have been a couple good challenges, and yes, we like some contestants more than others. But we've almost given up on watching it a couple times, and with discussion, I think we've figured out why.

We're told this is Masters, but there's really nothing that makes these episodes different than a regular season of Top Chef. We didn't know any of these people ahead of time. And the challenges are the same sort of crap they run otherwise. The first Masters we had a bunch of chefs we'd seen as judges before, and the brackets meant we only saw a coupe of them at a time, and the challenges were more about, you know, fine cooking than endurance efforts and team-building exercises. M. notes there's really no respect being shown for these supposed masters. I find it hard to know I'm supposed to care about any of them when the field is so large.

So, yeah. If they do another season, I'm hoping we get back to the other format.

(However, this was the season where we find out that Gael Greene had a fling with Elvis, which is simply astounding.)


A disaster century, Honduras, and unintended pregnancies

* Joel Achenbach on our century of disasters.
* Teargassing teachers: violent repression plagues Honduras.
* Reading between the lines of Obama's Middle East speech.
* Say what you will about McCain's politics, but yes, he does know something about torture.
* In the debate over financing Planned Parenthood, maybe someone should remember that unintended pregnancies are costly also.
* American plutocracy: questioning the legality of the new Republican super-PAC.
* Female and minority writers still face an uphill climb in Hollywood.
* Matt Wagner on bringing Zorro back to his pulp roots.