I’ll fill in the rest of the subject line in a bit. But first, let’s recap last night’s episode of “Top Chef DC” on Bravo. The quick fire challenge was one of the Top Chef favorites, the tag team challenge. They would break up into two teams of four, a red team and a blue team, and would each have 10 minutes while the rest of the team was blindfolded…ultimately creating a single dish. The winning team would receive $10K to split. Kevin and Ed drew knives and were the team captains, and Kevin was allowed to choose first. He picked Kenny, and Ed chose Tiffany. Kevin also wound up with Kelly and Amanda, while Ed chose Angelo and Alex. Well, he didn’t choose Alex.
Everything went smooth for both teams except for one thing–Alex went second in the relay and seasoned some fish, which should have been the last thing done. The blue team’s dish was prawns with pasta in a mustard sauce. The red team’s was a pan seared snapper dish. Judging the challenge would be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She liked both dishes but thought that the blue team had a slight edge because the red team’s fish was…..wait for it…..too salty. Alex really blew it for his team and cost them a lot of money!
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Look, I like Gabrielle Anwar’s character, the gun-toting Fionia Glenanne, as much as the next red-blooded American male, but I never thought someone (other than maybe a few of the “Burn Notice” writers) could put together 650+ words on what she represents in a post-feminist world. But Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times did just that.
Fiona is a character with no memorable precedent: a genius joke-take on girls with gun lust, the joke being that above all else she is every woman who needs to be sent a copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” next-day delivery. In the show’s back story Michael broke up with Fiona years ago, disappearing without explanation. (I imagine this to have been like Berger dumping Carrie with a Post-it note on “Sex and the City,” except it occurred three feet from a terrorist cell.)
Fiona has never been able to get over Michael despite his persistent and explicit reminders that he is not made of the ordinary stuff of human need. Still, she keeps pushing for the dream, dating other people solely to try to make Michael jealous, interrupting stakeouts and shooting sprees and manhunts to ask for a key to his apartment or to tell him that what she would really like for her birthday is a teddy.
While reading the piece, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop — for Bellafante to criticize Anwar’s character for continuing to pine over her ex-boyfriend even after all these years. But that shoe never dropped. Bellafante genuinely admires Fiona and what she represents. Good stuff.
On a side note, anyone else remember the pilot episode where Fiona spoke with an Irish accent (which made sense because she used to be a member of the Irish Republican Army)? I thought they should have stuck with it, though the creators apparently thought otherwise.