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  1. Still in the middle of this episode, but boy... Is there anything more 50s than this Catskills resort? The moving in scene was brilliantly shot. Miriam shouting, "we're going to the Catskills" should have been cheesy (even if done tongue in cheek), but Brosnahan totally made it work! Also, I know by 1959 he was already in Hollywood working with Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner, but I'm really hoping for a Mel Brooks cameo! (I mean, Lenny Bruce style, where someone else portrays real-life Mel Brooks. Although I wouldn't mind him actually making an appearance.)
  2. I think that would be too far out of left field and wouldn't fit in with the show. It's not a bad idea but I think they would have had to introduce it from the very start for it to make thematical sense. In general, this second season feels weird because they seem to be trying to expand the characters beyond just Miriam. In the first season it was mostly about her, and the screen time the others got directly affected her. (From what I recall!) While some of those characters are fine and their stories are probably enjoyable, it feels like a bit of a shift from S1. The wedding scene in this episode suffered because of how it was positioned. Episode 2 was all about Miriam's rising trajectory and how great she's doing in her new life. They wanted to show that everything not all great, that she isn't perfect, that she doesn't always read the audience, and that her new life is separating her from her old life. (Much like how her parents' renewed outlook on life is clashing with the old.) But it was too far separated from E2 that the two sides weren't taken together, and it felt like a big step back. If the wedding scene happened immediately after her takedown of the comedians last episode it would have been fine. Still awkward and uncomfortable, but it would make sense. She's riding the high of her coarse comedy and the adulation she is receiving, and simply carries that over to the wrong audience. Not sure if I want Joel and Miriam getting back together to be the endgame, but I agree with others that he's being written much better this season. I'm not hating every second he's on screen!
  3. At first I thought you were making a joke just because he's Asian, but then I discovered he's actually in the movie! Heh! I'm sad that the cast aren't really doing shows that I'm interested in, but am glad to see them succeeding!
  4. I never thought the "we're traveling to X country" as anything more than metaphorical. It wasn't so much annoying to me as extremely cheesy. Agreed completely about the editing! Some of the problems I noted in the first few episodes were fixed later on. I hope that (assuming we get more seasons) this is able to carry over, and that it didn't get better simply because there were fewer contestants and thus more time to focus. In most cooking competition shows I have assumed contestants generally have recipes submitted before the actual filming so the ingredients are on hand. Especially on Masterchef when they are cooking somewhere remotely as a team, and they "make up recipes" and magically all the ingredients for X many people are available. But the narration in FT very deliberately says that the contestants must "conceive and cook" the recipe in the time allowed. Some of the ingredients they used were so obscure that I just have a hard time believing they happened to be on-hand. I've always wondered what happens to those well-stocked pantries after filming! Does anyone know where they filmed this?
  5. S04.E08: Manager's Conference

    I... am completely baffled that anyone could think this. They're completely opposite characters. Could you expand on what you mean by Garrett being the male version of Dina? That's par for the course with Mateo. I wouldn't expect anything better from him.
  6. Wait. Were they actually in India? I thought they said New Jersey at some point, furthering the joke about the "outsourced" customer support.
  7. Not sure of your age, but I would recognize Baby Spice on my doorstep. Although out of context and not in her BS getup I might not be able to place who she was right away I would at least know her as someone famous. I think memories of your mother / grandmother baking are definitely a generational, familial, and ... quality of life (is that the right way to say it?) thing. Like, if I went on a cooking show and wanted to use family recipes I'd be making a lot of spaghetti-os, beanie weenies, and grilled spam. Does a frozen pizza count as baking?
  8. Season 1 had blackmail, a kid being locked in the trunk of a car, forced baptism, a bear in the cottage, a KKK arsonist with Alzheimer's, and Vivian getting shot in the tit (her words!) with an arrow. The show hasn't gone off the rails, it was never on them! I'm not sure if some of the beats are just not hitting this season, or if the shock value is gone because we expect it. The season hasn't been terrible, it just hasn't lived up to expectations.
  9. This is my problem with Final Table and nearly every other cooking show except Great British Bake Off. The cooking is almost never the focus. There were a few times during this show where they highlighted certain techniques, but most of the cooking happened during (somewhat unique and cool) overhead time-lapse montages. (Admittedly, I've never watched Top Chef.)
  10. I'm excited to hear what others thought of this show. I found it tolerable, and at times enjoyable, but it never really stuck the landing. It was nice to see some diversity in the cooking from our usual US-centric shows. And since everyone is basically a professional chef there were no major failures or meltdowns. The judging felt mostly real and honest. The winner surprised me, as it never felt like it was scripted or that they had a "winner's edit" throughout the season. The biggest plus was the lack of personal drama, although we did get the usual emotional backstories and had 1 or 2 revelatory character moments. I was annoyed that they changed the format and the rules for the finale. All said, I would watch a season 2 but I won't be heart broken if it never happens.
  11. S11.E09: It Takes You Away

    Sure, and the sonic screwdriver didn't show up until 1968, and in the 70s the Doctor spent a good chunk of episodes without the TARDIS. Maybe once upon a time these things weren't fundamental, but like the sonic and the TARDIS, the Time Lords and Gallifrey have been a staple of DW for a long time now. At the very least, they have been an important part of New-Who, and a fundamental aspect of the Doctor's personality. For better or worse, the new showrunner has made a deliberate effort to distinguish his show from what it has been, and I think this is a very good observation. In general, the Doctor identifies as very human right now. It's a stark contrast from Capaldi's Doctor, who barely understood humans at all. To be fair, this was a fate-of-the-universe episode :)
  12. S11.E09: It Takes You Away

    I disagree with you on premise, there is an awful lot of sci-fi that doesn't exist for discussing social issues. But I want to set that aside for a second to say... The beauty of using sci-fi (or fantasy) to discuss social issues is that you can do it in subtle or abstract ways to reach people that would otherwise not experience or not care about those social issues, and to present it in a way that doesn't instantly put them in a defensive (stubborn) mindset. It's so much easier to identify and understand issues when you are not the center of the issue with all of your preconceived notions and all of your pre-existing opinions that are firmly rooted and unlikely to change. So good sci-fi can broach the topics using situations and characters that don't instantly set off that alarm bell and put the reader/viewer in the defensive. It begins to chip away at the root of those opinions and attitudes without the viewer even realizing it, so that someday they may come tumbling down. Bad sci-fi takes that social commentary, and doesn't bother with subtlety, and doesn't take the viewer out of the story, and doesn't take the story out of the viewer, and does nothing at all to affect change in anyone.
  13. S11.E08: The Witchfinders

    And ascribing faults to people for things they never said! It's a hollow man nightmare!
  14. I have zero supporting evidence for this theory, and it is admittedly insane, but somehow it just makes sense in my head. Plus, if Jason is the Architect that makes the entire show his Bud Hole And thanks! :)
  15. S04.E07: New Initiative

    On it!