Rat in the Kitchen Review

Reality competition shows are the norm these days. It takes a creative mind to create a concept that will keep the viewers coming back week after week.

Rat in the Kitchen is the newest program on the TBS schedule. Hosted by actress/comedienne Natasha Leggero and judged by chef Ludo Lefebvre, six chefs compete for a cash prize. The twist is that one of them is deliberately sabotaging their fellow contestant’s dishes. If the group is able to guess who is doing who the rat is, they win the money in their collective bank. But if this person is able to successfully remain unnoticed until the end of the episode, they walk away with a full wallet.

I had fun watching this show. The question is more than who will make the best dish. The guessing game of who the rat is kept me engaged and watching until the closing credits rolled.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Rat in the Kitchen airs on TBS on Thursday night at 9PM.

Flashback Friday: So You Think You Can Dance (2005-Present)

Dancing, like all art, requires skills, talent, and drive to succeed. It also helps when reality television comes calling.

So You Think You Can Dance has been on the air since 2005. A “real” version of The Big Leap, dancers from all genres compete in a reality competition show to become “America’s favorite dancer”. Once the participants are chosen, they perform both solo and group pieces that go beyond their dancing bubble. Judged by respected and well-known professional dancers, one contestant is eliminated every week until the winner is announced.

I can certainly appreciate the effort it takes to get to this level. This is not the type of activity that can be phoned in. But at the same time, it is a reality show. Once again I have to question if what we are watching is authentic or crafted to bring in as many eyeballs as possible.

Do I reccomend it? Maybe.

Flashback Friday: Celebracadabra (2008)

Within the world of television, thinking out of the box can be a good thing. But, like life, not every program is guaranteed multiple seasons with celebrated reviews and a dedicated fan base. As different as the program is, it is sometimes fated to only be on the air for a short amount of time.

In 2008, Celebracadabra aired on VH1.This reality competition show followed a group of B list celebrities as they learn to become magicians. One by one, each contestant is eliminated until the winner was crowned Greatest Celebrity Magician.

Within the reality show genre, this show both colored within the lines and dared to be different by adding the element of magic. But at the end of the day, it had just enough steam to last for one season. Anything more than that would have been too much.

Do I recommend it? Sort of.

Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel Book Review

No one goes through life without regrets. It is part of the human experience.

Recipe for Persuasion, (based on the Jane Austen novel, Persuasion)by Sonali Dev, was published last year.

Chef Ashna Raje has a lot on her plate. She is trying to ensure that her late father’s beloved restaurant lives to see another day. Her overbearing and emotionally distant mother, Shobi, is trying to control her life. Out of sheer desperation, Ashna signs up for the reality cooking competition, Cooking with the Stars.

What could only make a bad situation worse is being partnered with Rico Silva, the recently retired superstar soccer player. He is also her ex-boyfriend from high school/first love.

Rico is not happy that he will be working with Ashna and is determined to prove that he has moved on. Their first meeting after twelve years does not go well. As much as Rico and Ashna would prefer to work with someone else, their chemistry is undeniable. But with too many unanswered questions about the past and unspoken feelings, is there even a possibility of re-kindling their relationship?

Among the six completed books by Austen, Persuasion is the hardest for modern writers to replicate. The past romance between Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth creates a narrative complication that is unique to this particular novel.

That being said, it is not the worst JAFF (Jane Austen fanfiction) that I have ever read. Though the middle of the novel is a bit slow, I like that the author gave the reader insight into both Rico and Shobi’s perspectives, fleshing out the overall story. Austen only gives her readers a short time to see the world through Wentworth’s eyes, the rest of the story belongs to Anne.

I also liked the insight into traditional Indian culture, which I suspect is not much different than other traditional cultures.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Throwback Thursday: MTV’s The 70s House (2005)

Every generation, in their own way, looks back on the previous decades with questions and perhaps a wistful vision of fantasy.

MTV’s The 70’s House aired back in 2005.It was a cross between The Real World and a reality competition show. 12 members of the older millennial generation are taken back to the 1970’s. Any mention of anything modern is forbidden. The thrust of the competition is to see who (for the lack of a better term) can be the most 70’s.

As an older millennial, I understand the fascination of the 70’s. But this was a niche program, in terms of both the network it aired on and the program itself. It was ok to watch 15 years ago, but I wouldn’t watch it now.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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