The egos are bigger, the knives are out, and the Top Chef “All-Stars” have kicked off what promises to be a fantastic eighth season in New York City, with a cash prize of $200,000. With such a varied group of talented cooks, it’s nearly impossible to project a winner. Will it be cocky Angelo, who already won the first challenge with an Asian-inspired dish that included watermelon tea? Will it be sweet, slightly crazy Carla or hardworking Jen, who nearly won seasons 5 and 7, respectively? Since he was part of the fourth season in Chicago, chef Richard Blais has become something of a culinary superstar — he’ll be one to watch, too.
“Top Chef” is shown on Bravo at 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Missed the first week? Watch for free on Hulu.com and/or visit thebookpolice.blogspot.com, where local writer Kyle Nabilcy is recapping each episode on his blog, Irony or Mayo.
Fans of Daft Punk were giddy upon learning that the French dance-rock duo had been tagged to compose the soundtrack for “Tron Legacy,” in theaters next week. But don’t pick up the soundtrack thinking you’re going to hear a bunch of “Robot Rock”-style dance club hits. The pair worked with a 100-piece orchestra, and the result is really a soundtrack, a haunting and majestic work that sounds a little like Hans Zimmer’s score for “Inception.” But the bombastic horns and strings are flavored with Daft Punk’s trademark synths and drum machines, an appropriately digital flair for a movie that supposedly takes place entirely inside a computer. The movie comes out on Friday, Dec. 17, and in anticipation, DJ Nick Nice will spin Daft Punk tunes at a special free pre-party on Thursday, Dec. 16, at 9 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 115 King St.
Who are the people who live in those surreal, too-perfect and just plain bizarre catalog photos? Why, it’s Gary and Elaine! Catalog Living imagines what the duo might think living in scenes from catalogs like Pottery Barn, West Elm, CB2 and Restoration Hardware. Turns out there is plenty of fodder for hilarious commentary.
In one scene, a violin case is placed on a bench, with sheet music artfully strewn around the floor. Caption: “Yet another one of Gary’s violin lessons that ended in a tantrum before he even opened the case.” In another scene, a sideboard tastefully arranged with votives and a gingerbread house, with a basket of firewood underneath reads: “Kindling? Check. Two dozen votives? Check. Gingerbread family on their way to a nice insurance settlement? Check.”
The brainchild of Los Angeles actor and comedian Molly Erdman, Catalog Living is comic relief especially during the holidays, when multiple catalogs arrive in the mailbox daily. Oh, the inspiration!
“We can rebuild him. We can make him better ... stronger ... faster.” If you were a boy growing up in the 1970s, those words from the opening of every episode of “The Six Million Dollar Man” sent chills down your spine. Week after week, Col. Steve Austin, equipped with bionic legs, a bionic arm and a bionic eye battled mad scientists, death probes and, of course, Bigfoot. But you could never get any episodes of the show on DVD, until now, as A&E Networks has released the humongous “The Six Million Dollar Man Boxed Set.” It includes all five seasons, three TV movies, and a few “Bionic Woman” crossover episodes, plus loads of extras. Plus, when you open the box, a hidden recording plays that “We can rebuild him” intro. Sweet.
Esquire magazine recently called the iPhone game “Angry Birds” “the best 99 cents you’ll ever spend.” With the holidays approaching, it’s time to pony up another 99 cents for “Angry Bird Seasons,” the sequel, although if you bought “Angry Birds Halloween,” you’ll get “Seasons” for free. It’s the Christmas version, of course, with the irate avians being launched at edifices made of snow and ice, hoping to smash greedy pigs wearing wool hats. The neat trick this time around is that the 25 levels are organized as an Advent calendar, so you can only open one new level per day until Christmas. That helps keep us Bird addicts from devouring the whole set in a day or two.