Hyphen TV: I Made the Hot Dogs

August 12, 2013

Sang and the rest of the "murder" chef team, happily homicidal

Longtime So You Think You Can Dance fans know that Alex Wong is one of
the greatest contestants to ever grace the SYTYCD stage -- and what a
terrible tragedy it was when an injury took him out of the competition.
So it's extra special when Alex pops back up on the show as he did last
week to step in for an injured dancer. Alex and Jenna did a mean little
paso doble
, and it's always thrilling to see his intensity and talent
onstage. I am SO looking forward to more of that goodness when he
returns next week as one of the all-stars (woo!).


Sang brought
in another $5K for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation on Top Chef Masters
with his winning quickfire dish, a spicy pork larb with cabbage and Thai
chilies that he made using scraps from the sous chefs' sausage
challenge. The judges, who included Los Angeles butcher shop co-owner Erika Nakamura, thought it was "ballsy" for him to go so simple
with a dish, and Sang was pleased to find himself able to think on his
feet in a way he never expected he'd be able to on a quickfire.

Erika with Lindy & Grundy co-owner Amelia and a tufty-haired Curtis

since his sous chef's sausage was in the bottom three, Sang was penalized and got a 30 minute time out in the soap opera crime scene during his cooking time, a fitting punishment for someone who was in the group of chefs
whose dishes had to represent "murder." Sang went with dismemberment as
the theme of his dish, putting together different parts and preps of
chicken to represent a mangled murder victim, but his time loss led to
his not being able to get everything on the plate. In addition, the
judges found his dish extremely salty, and they didn't get any sense of
murder from his dish. Sang was safe in the middle, but I'm sure he had
some words with sous chef Ted about not getting their team into any
trouble again.

Poor Sang('s dish) was indirectly murdered by his sous chef

On Sullivan and Son, Ok Cha was hit by a car --
and made a deal with the driver responsible to circumvent the insurance
companies and have him pay her directly. It seemed odd that she didn't
want to go to a doctor, and things seemed even stranger when details
about the accident started coming out: "So sorry,
Mrs. Sullivan, I just didn't see you. You just came out of nowhere, like
one of those scary Korean water ghosts" (why Korean water ghosts are a
thing on a show where that same character later can't tell the difference
between Korea, Japan, and China is beyond me).

It turned out
that Ok Cha threw herself in front of the car on purpose to get money to
cover her plane fare to Korea (where she would see her mother, who was always unloving toward her). It was also revealed that she'd pulled
similar scams for years to pay for things for her family (soccer camp
for Steve, golf clubs for her husband...but nothing for Susan, of
course). When her family reacted in horror to the revelation, Ok Cha had
one of her typical reactions:
wants to know how the sausage is made, but everybody likes a hot dog. I
made the hot dogs, and you all ate them with big smiles on your faces.
And now you find there's a little rat feces in the recipe, and I'm the
bad guy? Screw you! Eat your rat turds and be happy!" That doesn't
entirely ring to me as something that a 60-something immigrant Korean
woman would say, but I'll give it to them, it's an atypical (really
weirdly atypical) take on the mother sacrificing for her family trope.

Tallying up Ok Cha's broken bones and ingested glass over the years

In the end, everyone convinced Ok Cha to return the money that she didn't have a right to, but the episode ended with the show hastily putting a button on the "Korean mothers are hard on their daughters" Chekov's gun of a plotline that was introduced early on. Susan offered to cover her mother's ticket to Korea, but only if Ok Cha said one nice thing about her daughter. Of course she couldn't, everyone laughed, the comedy of unjustifiably mean Korean mothers lives on. Great!


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.



hi, Dianne! like you i am always psyched to see Alex dance. but...i thought this paso doble was his weakest SYTYCD performance ever! in fact, if you'd asked me beforehand if he was capable of "meh" dancing i'd have said hell no, but then i'd have been wrong. alternate explanation: choreographer totally wasted the gift of Alex Wong.