I finally watched the Top Chef Seattle finale last night and all I can say is – huh?  When did the show turn into a cross between Iron Chef, American Idol, and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?  The final two contestants battle it out before a “live” audience in a Kitchen Stadium-like venue, taking breaks between each course to receive judgement on their individual dishes while the audience hoots and hollers (and we are treated to interminably plodding interviews with friends, family members, and past winners).  The five judges critique the plates and vote.  Cue Who Wants to Be a Millionaire-esque lights and music! Three votes out of a possible five wins the round.  Three out of a possible five courses takes the title.  Of course, if you happened to be keeping an eye on the time, you’ll have noticed that there was only five minutes left in the show when the contestants went up for the fourth course judgement.  Since one contestant was already up 2-1, it was pretty much assured she would walk away with this fourth round and win the contestant.  So much for suspense.  Alternately, if it would have come down to the fifth and final round, everyone would have screamed “Fix!”. It’s like those Best of Five cook-offs on Hell’s Kitchen that always manage to come down to that fifth and final round.  So how to avoid this “damned if you do; damned if you don’t” scenario? Simple.  Don’t.  Don’t change the formula that has made Top Chef a success for so many years!

Also, speaking of this season’s Top Chef, did anybody else notice that Padma seemed a little…hmmm…how should I put this…what’s a delicate synonym word for bitchy?…Testy?  Snappy?  Of consistently unpleasant disposition?  Did anybody else notice that Padma seemed to demonstrate all of the above this past season?

These past few days have been one extended Stargate reunion.  On Saturday, I ran into former SG-1 and Atlantis Playback Artist Julie Oya while out for ramen.  Then, on Sunday, I ran into former SG-1/Atlantis/Universe Assistant Director Alex Pappas in the Granville Island Market.  Finally, Monday, I went out for drinks with some other former Stargate alums, among them Editor Mike “Banacek” Banas, VFX Supervisor Mark Savela, Exec Producer Robert Cooper, Post Production Supervisor Kerry McDowell, Post Production Supervisor Jennifer Johnson, and Script Coordinator Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.  Later this week, it’ll be dinner with Rob, Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok, and Exec. Producer Carl Binder who finally arrives in town to start prep on his new show!


Finally, to those dumping on Cookie Monster for “nitpicking” the flawless masterpiece that was The Dark Knight, I submit the following Honest Trailer:

Thanks to gforce for sending it our way!

30 thoughts on “March 5, 2013: Top Chef! Familiar faces! An honest trailer for The Dark Knight!

  1. Great trailer. Ya know, sometimes after a long day at work, my lipstick looks exactly like the Joker’s. No joke.

  2. Damn, Kerry is still hot! (Sorry Kerry, I’m not being misogynistic. You’re just a cutie.)

    And YAY!! for Stargate reunions!

    Cookie Monster was dead on in his review of The Black Knight. I tend to give a little leeway when it comes to superhero films because they are relatively speaking, a new popular genre because the technology now exists to at least to attempt to do them correctly. However the script should not suffer. In the case of TBN, it does. There were quite a few points which CM brought attention to that were spot on. Special effects are no excuse for a plot full of holes. I actually like the first and last films of this trilogy the least.

  3. I love Honest Trailers – they really need to do more because I’ve watched them all several times over.

    New garage door was installed today. Tomorrow we’re supposed to get 65 mph winds. Let’s see if it holds. 😛


  4. Sounds like you really are getting the band back together care to respond did you get the green light on dark matter???

  5. Completely off topic, Joe, but could you get a message to Baron Destructo? I am currently reading a collection of short stories edited by John Joseph Adams, titled “The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination”. I’d love to hear the Baron’s opinion of some of the stories. We haven’t heard from him awhile, and I miss him!

  6. I though the Dark Knight critique was fair enough. 8/10 is a good review. I love SG1 and SGA, but I feel the exact same way when somehow Sam or Rodney is able to plug a USB plug into every alien devices and get it to work. I have a box of over 10 years of different cables and plugs from different computers, iDevices, etc… and somehow there’s a transgalactic hacking plug that can fit into the computer ports of all these aliens. Then there’s the tried and true critique that every place gated to speaks modern English which has deep Germanic and Norse roots, despite the fact that the Ancients spoke variations on Latin. And then there’s the sudden invention of the wormehole drive. So yeah, it’s sci-fi, and action. Things are convenient to facilitate the plot, and to get characters out of holes. Plot holes are made to get to the point, but isn’t it a little pot calling the kettle black?

  7. The Dark Knight Honest Trailer was funny and very true but there has always been a suspension of disbelief required when watching any tv or film. It is something that has been relied upon by tv and filmmakers the world over, you can either go with it or not. If you go with it, you may end up enjoying them a whole lot more

    People will pick holes in anything where they want to appear clever or funny whilst readily avoiding analysing shows or films that they really like, which, if the microscope is applied can also be shredded.

    Its a good job that writers and directors take these liberties otherwise tv and film would be more like real life and that frankly sucks, unless of course you would like to watch perpetual episodes of reality tv, and honestly , who wants that…..

  8. I really didn’t care for the Top Chef finale either. As far as reality television is concerned I only watch Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen and out of those two I prefer Top Chef because it seems to be about good food where as Hell’s Kitchen is more about being able to cook whilst being yelled at. But the finale of Seattle seemed to exchange all its merits with gimmicks, and the winner was announced before the dessert course!? Might seem trivial but people have lost previous finales for mucking up the dessert course. I still like it though but I hope they bring back the older finale format.

  9. PS: 8/10 cookies is pretty good. I’m waiting for you to do TDKR. That is a far worse film than TDK in my opinion. It had 2-3 characters too many, (including Talia Al Ghul) it was 45 minutes too long and instead of relying on its main villain for a sense of threat we have to believe something the size of a melon is this uberbomb. It seemed to me that the Nolans fell into the trap of ‘bigger is better’ with TDKR.

  10. Perhaps the word you’re looking for is “feisty”?

    Great to see so many of the gang back together again. Hopefully soon it will be in a more official capacity!

    Re: the trailer. It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  11. So…scripted television shows are not the only entertainment prone to lazy writing. Now that also applies to “reality TV”? God help us.

    Speaking of changes, Joe, have you seen Space Channel’s new logo? SyFy made similar changes before they dive bombed the sci-fi right out of their programming. I am getting nervous.

  12. Dammm, they make it look so easy to fly. After a few surgeries, I fell yesterday and could really have done with Asgard technology to beam me back into the chair, because I had a hard time getting up. Then this morning I parked close to the building but the snow mound at the sidwalk edge was hard and never cleared causing me again to walk precariously. There is also the total menusha during the day when techy stuff doesn’t work… etc., etc., etc., This is why I enjoy wrapping my brain in science fiction and space. Keep them coming. Nothing like getting lost in another world or time dimension…

  13. Wingsabre – I agree completely. We are in fact talking about Superhero movies here. Show me a movie without plotholes that doesnt make me fall asleep within 15 minutes. Batman has always been about his cool gadgets since the beginning. I guess instead of doing something cool with cellphones, he should have just stuck with the bat-grappling hook. Some people just dont like Nolan’s Batman because Adam West isnt in it. Everyone has different tastes in life. But, haters gonna hate.

  14. …and you met all those people just for the fun to chat live instead of by internet…

  15. I love stuff like that Honest Trailer. It’s true, I don’t care how good a movie is, when you break things apart to their bare ideas, they tend to fall apart into downright laughable. Dark Knight was downright fantastic, but it has major holes and WTF moments. And as I know you’re an avid Cracked.com reader, I’m sure you read the commentary in their post about how stupid it was for Batman to jump out a window to save Rachel and leave 75 uber-rich people with a knife wielding madman. If not, it’s the first one on this list:


    Love Cracked.com. So much good there.

  16. Ponytail: I knew there was a reason for me(other than laziness) not to wear lipstick! 😆

    Thanks for re-linking Gforce’s video. Too funny.

    I can’t watch Top Chef. Too much tension!!!!!!

  17. Padma is the sweetest person and also very kind, I met her a few years back and she was so kind and is super smart. I think the networks want their judges to give attitude; it gets viewers to watch. And she’s not as bad as “Bastard Chef” on Archer.

    I watched “Vikings” which is about some vikings who love their mullets and the sea. It was awesome; even the lady vikings were garrotting and impaling away. Plus it had cool lightning, and possibly the ghost of Odin, or Gandalf; anyway, very cool show despite all the Vanilla Ice fades.

  18. @Carl Binder who finally arrives in town to start prep on his new show!

    Hope it goes well for him, but at the same time, kinda weird how you and Paul, who were arguably better writers/producers than him still haven’t had as much luck with your projects.

    We’re all still waiting for news that your projects have come to something Joe 🙂

  19. I love Cookie Monster’s reviews and I give him one hundred million invisible (new flavor) cookies! The fact that he sits thru some real winners, he deserves more. So Cookie keep up the great work. and thanks for the entertainment.

  20. @The Hump: Hmmm. I never realized how much Cookie Monster and Batman sound alike. Come to think of it, I have never seen them in the same room before. Kind of makes you think.

  21. Hi Joe. It’s been a few times that you mention watching contest cooking shows. The Australian version of Masterchef is very good. A lot better that the US one. They have already 4 seasons made with a few additional shows. I ‘m watching the end of season 4 tomorrow on casa tv in the “belle province”.

  22. @ wingsabre:

    I feel the exact same way when somehow Sam or Rodney is able to plug a USB plug into every alien devices and get it to work.

    Being an engineer, I actually didn’t even blink at this. USB ports have become the universal interface to connect odd bits of hardware to PC’s. I’ve built custom USB to CAN Bus (an automotive vehicle bus) interfaces, so envisioning a USB to Ancient interface bus didn’t seem that much of a reach (assuming the SGC and Area 51 scientists had previously cracked the interface protocol).

    1. @JeffW

      I’m ok with the USB port being used on our end. I’m fine with adapters with ancient tech since they use the tech almost daily on Atlantis. What bugs me is that they have an adapter for other alien tech that they’ve just met, and it works. Plus, I know Rodney and Sam are smart, but they must be exceptionally quick at developing bios and drivers.

  23. @ Randomness
    I believe Carl is an excellent writer and definitively equal to Joe and Paul just think about it.
    Carl writes alone, while Joe and Paul share all the work and spitball ideas.
    Carl has a great rap sheet he wrote Pocahontas for example and directed as well (Dr. Quinn).
    Carl wasn’t a show runner. Wise man. Just ask Joe or Paul about their awesome time in Toronto
    Producing that show I can’t remember. What was it called Transformer, Transgender or something along the lines?

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