Hyphen TV: I Don't Eat the Bolognas

July 30, 2012

     I GUESS Dareian's got some muscles, somewhere.

It was crazy materials week on Project Runway, so the designers found themselves constructing looks out of candy. Kooan was in his element, weaving Twizzlers together to form the top part of his monster face dress, which had colorful jelly beans, marshmallow ropes, and cotton candy adorning all sides. However, it seemed to have been Kooan's first experience with cotton candy, as he was shocked when he returned to the workroom on day two to find that the sugar had melted into pink goo. Um, what did you expect, dude? He patched things up before the dress hit the runway and was safely in the middle. Which is too bad, because I would have loved to have heard Kooan describe the creative process for this one.

    I like to pretend that Kooan is actually the size of a tiny sprite.

Buffi also made the mistake of prepping a cotton candy bird's nest hair piece the day before the runway show (Seriously, people? Is it because they're foreign-born?!), but that was the least of her worries when she had to explain herself to the judges as part of the bottom three. Her woven pink and yellow gummy ribbons looked really cool on the work table, but as the bodice of her outfit, the candy sagged in a lumpy, unflattering way. Toss in the froofy, adorned, hot pink handkerchief skirt; the aforementioned melted bird nest; and a plethora of accessories (including a giant lollipop), and you have some very unhappy judges. Heidi said that Buffi overaccessorized, describing the look as "like a five-year-old going to a birthday party." Michael called it "Toddlers and Tiaras gone berserk," and complimented the weaving technique but added, "she looks like she's melting." Though she landed in the bottom two, the judges saved her in the end. I wonder if Buffi will continue to be to vocal and brazen about her self-described "tacky" look after this.

That top's already saggin' here.

Ven has no shortage of confidence, but it seems he has the history to prove it: it turns out he won designer of the year when he graduated from FIT, and he won all four awards that his class was eligible for that year. He chose to go in a very different direction with his dress, creating a stained glass look that was relatively sedate. He accomplished the illusion by outlining his graphic design (a flower, like last week) in black licorice, then he filled in each section with crushed rock candy to give it that stained glass effect. Heidi told Ven that he has great taste and gave her highest compliment, that she would love to wear the flattering piece. Nina called the look "sublime candy couture" and complimented Ven for being on trend with his pastel color palette. Michael was impressed by how Ven transformed his material, adding to Ven, "you really understand women's bodies." While I absolutely agree that Ven deserved the win he received (and I thought he should have gotten it last week as well), I'm getting a little concerned that Ven's head may inflate to dangerous proportions before we know it. Even Heidi noted during the judges' deliberation that he's got a lot of confidence. Check yourself, Ven!

So pretty ... and tasty!

The awesomeness is still going strong on So You Think You Can Dance. This week Cole was out of his element when he and Lindsay got contemporary (after a bit of foot torture on Cole's part; apparently Lindsay really hates feet). Love that he rolled into the practice room, starling choreographer Mandy Moore (No, not that one). In the dance, Cole represented darkness and hate while Lindsay was light, and the whole performance was lit so that the dancers cast dramatic shadows behind them. Afterward, Nigel called Cole "meticulously neat and tidy ... wherever you place everything, it's brilliantly done. That could be boring unless yo have got the personality and production that you add to it. There is no way you're boring, young man -- you're a genius." Wow, I honestly didn't think Nigel's praise could get any higher than last week's, but there you go. Mary echoed the sentiment, wondering if there's anything that versatile Cole can't do. "I can't wait to see what this guy does next!"

   Drama all the way from her toes to his fingers.

Dareian -- who we learned is a skateboarding daredevil -- and his partner Janelle got the cha-cha, which they performed to "Call Me Maybe." I screamed with excitement too, you guys. Unfortunately, Carly Rae wasn't enough to put the judges in a good mood: Mary was into the tricks, but she saw no real chemistry and bad feet on both partners. Ouch. Terrific guest judge Christina Applegate looked pained when she agreed, softening the blow to Dareian by reminding everyone that he's not in his genre and "We know how great you are." She also commented on some strange hand movements that Dareian made that were distracting, adding, "I'm so sorry, I hate saying that." I feel as frustrated as you, Christina! These guys keep pulling genres that aren't showcasing them at their best. It was unfortunately no surprise when Dareian was one of the bottom three guys, but it also wasn't a surprise when he performed a truly astounding solo. As Nigel put it, "You've got tricks coming out of your sleeves; you're like a magician." He was safe. Phew! C'mon and pick some contemporary next time around, Dare!

Dareian's dancing in a lot of jeans this week.

Top Chef Masters is back! This season we're watching Patricia Yeo of Om and Moksa in Cambridge, MA and Takashi Yagihashi of Slurping Turtle in Chicago. For their first Quickfire, the chefs paired off and, since they're in Las Vegas, each pair was dealt two cards with different ingredients that they had to use to create a single dish. Takashi had to cook pork tenderloin and bologna, hilariously commenting, "I don't eat the bolognas." Patricia and her partner got catfish and bone-in ribeye, and they won with a twist on surf and turf, splitting $10K between their charities (Patricia's is Heifer Project International, and Takashi's is Japanese Tsunami Disaster Relief).

The elimination challenge had the chefs split into two teams, and while Patricia and Takashi started out together, the craaaaaziness of Vegas shuffled Takashi to the other team. The chefs got time and money to prep supplies for a buffet meal (hated serving style of chefs), but then they found out after returning from the store that the red team (Patricia's) had to create a Mexican menu, while Takashi and the rest of the blue team were tasked with making Indian dishes. Patricia made what looked like a delicious chicken and beef adobo with cornmeal pancakes and peach salsa (this after tossing out the noodle dish she originally had in mind), and while the judges didn't find it particularly Mexican, they admired the seasoning. The red team won the challenge, so Patricia was safe.

     Sadly, this is where Patricia's hoarding began.

Takashi, on the other hand, knew he was in trouble right away because he's unfamiliar with Indian cooking. He created a salmon and shrimp dumpling with Swiss chard and curried coconut broth, and the judges found the dish very ambitious but hardly Indian (they barely tasted any of the curry or coconut). I have a feeling that Takashi in particular was hurt by the blue team's decision to not make a second trip to the grocery store (the red team did). He landed in the bottom two but was saved in the end, which I am thankful for. Did you notice, by the way, that ABDC's Jabbawockeez were among the Vegas performers who the chefs served? Someone referred to them as mimes, which, boo. Good to see those boys popping up all over!

Takashi is very sneaky.

Sullivan and Son. What is there left to say? I didn't get anything from the third episode that I didn't already get in the first two. The overall feel is somewhat old fashioned, with a heavy reliance on jokes that are "shockingly" inappropriate (often racial) for the sake of being shockingly inappropriate, jokes about wives being big drags on their weary husbands, and jokes about the horny old lady being horny, all with a laugh track. This week's storyline centered on the merit of keeping secrets versus telling the truth, and we learned that Steve's dad met his mom when he was in the Marines and she worked in the mess hall. He first asked her out because he lost a bet, and that secret was kept for all these years ... until now! Guess who's not happy, as usual! Jack tries to win Ok Cha back by listing her positive attributes, but she only points out how he left out "flawless skin." In the end he finally warms up her cold shoulder by admitting that he'd wanted to ask her out all along but was too scared. She had her own admission: that she kissed Jack's sergeant after their first date. "White people all look alike!" Ha, ha, ha.

Steve, meanwhile, had a fairly nonsensical plotline where it turned out that his gal pal Melanie was actually the granddaughter of the bar's original owner, who lost the place to Steve's grandfather in a bet. This led to Melanie holding a grudge against Steve, because I guess women are all about illogical grudges, and Steve saw fit to solve the problem by upping the ante and proposing to Melanie so that they could share the bar. She accepted, he backed out. Did I mention that he gave her a ring and everything? This dude went to law school?? I'm sorry guys, this show is just not doing it for me so far. I keep holding out hope that it'll prove me wrong.

On scripted shows that are actually making sense to me, Awkward. had a Valentine's Day episode that had Ming and Tamara attending a singles party. Ming met the cute Fred Wu (played by Kelly Sry), and got a little make-out action before Tamara pulled her away. Way to go, Ming! I hope we see Fred again soon ... is he part of the "Asian mafia?"

Caught in the act.

Also getting some real-life love is Angela on Push Girls, who is finally starting to date for the first time after her separation from her husband. We meet Cody, a guy she met at a party who's 24 -- 12 years Angela's junior. The age difference and Angela's wheelchair don't seem to matter a bit, and it's nice to see Angela looking relaxed and happy. Aww, yay Ange.

We got some late night hits this week as well: Olivia Munn was on Conan to promote The Newsroom, and she brought with her the usual cute mom story and some stripping tales from the set of Magic Mike.

Olivia and highlighter yellow: workin' it.

Over on the Colbert Report, Vikram Gandhi was promoting his documentary Kumare, a film about his time as a fake spiritual leader. It's definitely an interesting social experiment, and I'm curious about just how suckered his followers felt. Almost seems a little mean, really! That's one to check out at your local indie theater.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.