Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


Hyphen TV: This Tree Right Here

Ivy's smile, not going all the way up to her eyes

Happy new year, TV fans! Hope you're enjoying your 2013 so far. Our usual lineup of shows won't be back until this week, but let's catch up on the programming that (thank god) continued during the holidays...

Our main event of note is that Ivy was (finally?) kicked off of Project Runway All Stars. The designers had to create affordable (well, "affordable" for some), ready-to-wear pieces using fabric from Elie Tahari's collection. Ivy chose a colorful pattern that I was excited about; could she finally make something that I'd be into? After a moving video chat with eliminated pal Cassanova that ended with her discouraged tears and his reassurance of "You have to fight. You're not a loser," Tahari himself visited the workroom to see how the designers were doing. He was intrigued by Ivy's dress but suggested that she shorten the length by cutting the dark area (which looked like tree silhouettes) off of the bottom. Even though Tahari was a judge and the winner of the challenge got to have his or her garment manufactured and sold in Tahari's stores, Ivy didn't take his advice. I get that you gotta be you, but COME ON, right?

Photographic proof of the conversation

Indeed, on the runway the judges agreed with Tahari's initial assessment. They loved the color blocking (made especially interesting by the way Ivy pulled the yellow from the center of the pattern up to the top of the dress), but the not-quite-ankle length made the dress look "frumpy." Tahari explained, "I was trying to hint the print was supposed to stop at the black, but it came out better than I thought." You didn't "hint," sir, you outright declared. Isaac liked the dress in motion and it's "the day after the world explodes" imagery, but when the model stood still the dress looked awkward. Call me crazy, but this is the first time I really liked Ivy's look. I agree that the length and dark area at the bottom is a problem, but I really liked the shape, the tie at the waist, and the way she manipulated the colors of the pattern. Of course that means it's the week when Ivy's tenure finally comes to an end. She really hung in there and managed to create something I really admired, so I offer nothing but congrats in the end. Check out what she's currently working on here.

I liked this one! Oh, well.

Meanwhile, over on Top Chef, Josie is getting the classic "jerk everyone loves to hates" edit. Many scenes of her chatting away are intercut with other contestants wishing she'd shut the eff up or comparing her to nails on a chalkboard. The challenge where they had to cook food based on the names of roller derby girls provided plenty of Josie-hate fodder when the chefs went to a game and Josie was shown cheering loudly and, according to some, obnoxiously for their team. This all exploded in a confrontation back at the house when she got into an argument with fellow contestant Micah and told him, "This tree right here -- you don't wanna bark up" before accusing him of being in the closet.

But hey, this show is supposed to be about cooking, right? Josie and her partner Bart landed in the bottom for their unappetizing version of "Teriyaki Terror," while Sheldon and his partner Josh also found themselves in the bottom for the poor tempura in their "Tempura Tantrum." Though Sheldon and Josie both seemed to be at fault for their teams' bad dishes, in the end Bart went home after underseasoning one too many times.

Josie and Bart, in happier times before they watched this episode

In the following episode, we learned that Sheldon sharpens his knives every day and has a real thing for Bob Kramer knives, which are famously high quality and insanely expensive (should've gone to knife school, I realize too late). He came close to winning one in the quickfire, but lost out in the end. "Man that knife is pure sexiness," he said wistfully. Aww, I hope you get one someday, Shel.

For their elimination challenge, the chefs had to recreate dishes from previous seasons, but their versions had to be lighter and healthier than the originals. Josie was excited about the challenge because her mom has diabetes and her dad has high blood pressure, so healthy eating is close to home for her. It was Kristen, however, who took the win with her light take on Carla's chicken pot pie from season 5. "This is the way you lighten a dish," the judges observed, complimenting the homey, grandma-type flavors and awarding her another $15K in the end. Kristen's dish will also inspire a new Healthy Choice meal, so keep an eye out for that one. Anyone else thinking that Kristen is looking more and more likely as our newest Top Chef? Consider my fingers crossed.

Kristen, about to learn that she's $15K richer

About The Author

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.

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