An Open Letter to The Block’s Chantelle

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VIC couple Chantelle and Steve

Dear Chantelle from The Block Fans Vs Favorites,

You probably won’t like what I have to say, but I know that what I am about to say is an opinion backed by many. Steve and yourself should never have made it past the elimination rounds of The Block and last nights (Thursday) episode once again, cemented my belief.

When compared to the two couples who battled it out in round one of the eliminations, both you and Steve and Chris and Pascale’s efforts were dangling on the mediocre and uninspired.  While Steve, I think, is just along for the ride, you, however have proven yourself to be the queen of Scrooge McDuck shopping.

When asked to replicate the design aesthetic of a $300,000 room – Designed by Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer –  and to do so spending the least amount of money possible, your answer is to hit the thrift shops, ignore the design brief and buy a BRIGHT YELLOW WINNIE THE POOH CUSHION.  It’s no surprise that your team mate for the challenge, Kara was ready to throw your head into one of the newly scraped clean brick walls.

Now don’t get me wrong, i’m all for a bargain, but trying to recreate a $300,000 room by hitting local $2 shops and believing those cushions are perfect, I mean…Chantelle, they have Winnie the Pooh on them.  As much as a favorite childhood story he is, Winnie the Pooh does not belong in a high end luxury apartment.  Never.  Ever.  Were the cushions 50% off?  Yes.  Did they provide a pop of color?  Yes.  Do they belong anywhere near this project?  NO!

Joke or no joke, it wasn’t appreciated.

I think your team-mates may have been a little too nice towards you in (mostly) biting their tongue when proudly showing off your discount wares.

It’s here I put to you, to prove us disbelievers all wrong and put forth an amazing apartment with immaculate finishes and a tasteful design aesthetic.

Yours,

Anthobuzz

Update: Chantelle talks about ‘pillow gate’.  Was it a joke, bad editing or is someone trying to back-track?

Update: Read my Open Letter part Two to Chantelle 

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My Love/Hate Relationships With Flawed Characters.

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Dexter Morgan, Jackie Peyton and Walter White

Having only just recently finished watching the entire run of Breaking Bad, a friend asked me what my thoughts were on the show and in particular the finale.  My first immediate response was “I hated Walt”.  Apparently that was a pretty natural response as my friend replied “You’re supposed to by the end”.  It got me thinking how I could become so involved and enamored with a show in which you literally despise the lead character for all the bad he or she does.

That said, this does this not apply to every character that expresses dark behavior.   Take for instance Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall).  The guy is a serial killer (who only kills bad people) whose actions led to the death of his wife Rita (Julie Benz) and several other innocent people along the way (Doakes, his sister Deb and LaGuerta to name a few) yet we are rooting for him to evade the law and continue on his merry killing way while, watching Breaking Bad, all I wanted was for Hank to get his man and put Walter White (Bryan Cranston) away for good.

Nurse Jackie’s Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) is another prime example of a love/hate relationship.  The pill popping superstar nurse all but ruined her marriage, her career and treated friends and co-workers like trash all while downing copious amounts of pills and having an illicit affair and all I wanted was for her to get what she had coming.  I disliked Jackie Peyton for all the horrible she brought to peoples lives.

Melrose Place's Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw
Melrose Place’s Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw

Yet going as far back as the 90’s with the Aaron Spelling soap Melrose Place.  Two of the show’s most devious characters Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and Dr. Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross) both slept and blackmailed and even bombed their way through a decent run of the series, but in true form, all I wanted for these crazy ladies was to come out on top.

What I can’t get my head around is what is the difference between Walter White and Dexter Morgan and Jackie Peyton and Sydney Andrews? Each are flawed, each have done inexplicable acts and yet i’m divided as to who I root for and whom I want to receive their comeuppance.

Part of it, I think, is because we go into a show, say like Dexter, knowing he is a serial killer.  There’s no surprise shock act that makes us question our feelings towards him.  Same applied to Kimberly and Sydney on Melrose Place.  The two made a splash on their entrance, letting us all know they were here to cause trouble, while on the other hand, when we meet Walter White, he’s a married science teacher who’s discovered he has cancer.  We want to resonate with his less than perfect life situations and we do….but then we witness his actions of atrocity (including poisoning a little boy) and suddenly we begin to question.

It’s this tickle on our emotions that makes characters like Walter White and Jackie Peyton so different from those like the Melrose duo, Dexter Morgan even American Horror Story Coven’s Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) or Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Mad Men’s Don Draper (Jon Hamm).

Gee That’s Swell! MKR Mini Recap

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QLD Surfer Dads Paul & Blair Nab a Perfect 10

 

Continuing on with the ‘word of the day’ theme on MKR, last’s nights word was ‘swell’.  From the name of the instant restaurant to the quality of the food (well mainly the entree) to even Pete Evans throwing in a ‘swell’ reference to the QLD surfer dads entree.

The best dish of the night?  Easily Deb from SA.  Seems you get a few chardy’s into her and she turns into a highly sexual saucy minx who spent most of the night not only undressing Manu with her eyes but freely telling him so also. Her “Well, there was enough sauce for me, but I doubt there was enough for you” to Manu certainly made everyone turn the shade of a bloody beetroot.

The food overall?  Not too sure.  They speed at which NSW’s Jason inhaled his entree, main and especially the overtly rich desert, can only lead me to believe it was palatable (yet they – Annie and Jason – only delivered a score of 6)

The final result?  Seems Paul and Blair did well enough to secure themselves a spot in the second round.  They nabbed the first perfect 10 for their entree and set the mood for the night by offering up a range of local brewed beers and wines for everyone to down.

Next Up?  The first of the all female teams, twins Helena and Vikki from Victoria.  From the looks of it, there’ll be more spice and fire at the table than in the kitchen.

MKR returns Sunday night, 6:30pm on Channel 7.

Foxtel Announces Wentworth Season 3

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Season two hasn’t even finished filming, yet this afternoon, FOXTEL announced popular prison drama Wentworth will continue on for a third season.

Filming for the drama’s second season is due to wrap mid February with the cast and crew expected to return to begin filming season three in March and wrapping mid year.

Wentworth has been a major success story with the Prisoner re-boot now sold to over 20 countries (a German version is now in production) while the show drew over 2 million viewers in the UK alone.  Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said “Wentworth’s first season was a triumph with its remarkable performance and production qualities which enthralled our Australian audience and achieved such great international recognition. Since October, the cast and the production team, led by producer Amanda Crittenden, have been back on location delivering on the promise of season two’s gripping scripts and the storylines for season three are sensational.”

SoHo are still yet to announce a premiere date for Wentworth’s second season (announcement should be made very soon) but season one is currently being re-aired on the SoHo channel on Thursday nights 8:30pm

Update Dec 2014 – SoHo still to confirm Season 3 start date.

Disaster in the Kitchen and The Block’s Terrible Mistake

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QLD couple Pascale and Chris

 

Well well well.  Is it just me or did The Block make a terrible error in pairing up it’s competing couples for the elimination rounds?  Clearly this was seen to be true after last night’s second round eliminations after QLD’s Pascale and Chris and VIC’s Chantelle and Steve finished their New York Loft styled rooms.

When compared to round one where QLD’s Jesse and Kenny lost to NSW’s Kyal and Kara, last night’s two reveal rooms were….well, the were meh.  Empty, boring and no imagination – to put it nicely.  And what blows my mind even more is that Pascale admitted to only using half of her $10,000 budget to finish the room!  While Chantelle and Steve easily beat out the QLD couple, had Jesse and Kenny been pitted against any of the two couples from last night, they would have made it through to the show – rightfully so.

I guess nothing can be done about it now, but yeah…a very bad decision there on whomever picked out the competing couples.

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Andrew and Emelia were not so awesome in the kitchen.

If show one’s word of the night was ‘Labne’ then last nights second outing of MKR showed that the word of the night was clearly ‘Awesome’ but not awesome is a positive way…well not for Andrew and Emelia.  They completely bombed in the kitchen last night, only able to just score above half of what Annie and Jason totaled on night one.

Is it possible that Andrew has some form of ADHD but has never been told he has it?  The guy gets completely trodden on by the judges for his main meal of ‘gourmet gumbo’ (two words never to be used together again!) then pops back into the kitchen only to break out a bad rendition of Devo’s ‘Whip It’ while completely curdling three batches of kirsch cream.

The only positive thing to note from the couples effort last night was their ability to take spotlight away from those nasty traveler girls Kelly and Chloe.  See, today, it was all about how much of a disaster Andrew was in the kitchen and not how bitchy Kelly and Chloe were.

 

Grey’s Anatomy is Not Going Anywhere Soon!

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Grey’s Anatomy fans need not to worry.  The medical drama and it’s two mains stars – Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) and Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) are not going anywhere, well, not anytime soon.  The two have just singed a new two year contact extensions with the show, even though Grey’s Anatomy has not officially been picked up by ABC past it’s 10th season.

The news of the contact extension however should indicate it will be back for an 11th season.  This comes after the news that Sandra Oh (Christina Yang) announced her departure from the long running show, with her final scenes to be screened in America in May and shortly thereafter here in Australia.

So while fans should be happy that McDreamy and his wife are sticking around, the fate of other members at Grey-Sloane memorial remain to be known.  Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), James Pickens Jr (Richard Webber) and Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres) are locked into contracts set to expire at the end of the current season. While Ramirez joined the show in series 2, she and the remaining three cast members are on the same renegotiation schedule, with show runner Shonda Rhimes yet to confirm their return to the medical soap.

Grey’s Anatomy airs on the Seven Network on Thursday nights.

 

Cooking for Bitches and New York Style Lofts.

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Kyal and Kara will enter The Block Fans vs Favorites Season. © 2014 Nine Entertainment Co.

So it was an all new season of Channel 9’s The Block versus and all new season of Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules last night and judging how twitter went last night, I think most people had the same idea as myself – Watch MKR and tape The Block as MKR easily raked it in last night with well over 1.6 million viewers compared to The Blocks 1.14 Million (It was even beaten by the return of Home and Away) but i’m assuming when The Block moves on from elimination rounds and into the real game, the ratings will alter.

Let’s talk The Block.  It’s a Fans vs Favorites season and we already know the hipster glasses wearing copper twins Alyssa and Lysandra are back for another round, this time along with the familiar faces of Brad and Dale (and Dales new hiddeous neck tattoo and extensive face hair) who have paired up to form the second team of ‘favorites’.

Last night’s first episode saw two couples (both long-time fans of the show) battle it out in designing a New York loft style apartment with Kyal (had to add that spelling to the dictionary) and wife Kara from New South Wales easily beating out Queensland miners Jesse and Kenny.

Both couples were given a budget of $10,000, a design brief including the Manhattan Loft style and just two days to turn two empty rooms into amazing living spaces at The Block HQ.  Throw in a plasterer named Igor that arrived 5 hours late, a smashed light shade, awesome use of pre-existing graffiti, Scotty Cam being a smarmy bugger and a contestant stealing (or paying for) flowers from a woman on her birthday and we finally have our first couple for the new season.

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MKR contestants Chloe and Kelly

Now it’s time to talk MKR.  I think the producers learnt a very valuable lesson last season – CASTING IS IMPORTANT AND EQUALS VIEWERS!  And casting of nasty contestants equals people talking about your show.

The ‘Well traveled friends’ from Western Australia Chloe and Kelly ensured we were all talking about them and mostly them.  The general consensus was that they should have been labelled as the ‘bitchy travel snobs’ from Western Australia.

I swear, if either of them say “I’m not here to make friends”….

The Block airs tonight on Channel 9 at 7:30pm

My Kitchen Rules on Channel 7 at 7:30pm

A Reckoning is Coming: New Hannibal Season 2 Trailer Out

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It does need to be said that for the most part, on paper, a small screen show about one of cinema’s most infamous serial killers should not have worked – especially when working with the constraints of censors and network television yet NBC’s Hannibal turned out to be one of the most thrilling and chilling new shows to premiere in 2013.

The ‘different killer each episode’ is tired but works (look at The Blacklist) but it’s the underlying main storyline of Hannibal and his connections to each murder that pulled us in.  Superb performances from Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal), Hugh Dancy (WIll Graham) and even Gillian Anderson as Hannibal’s therapist Bedelia Du Maurier was exciting to watch.

Needless to say, i’m excited to see what’s coming.

Now NBC have dropped a preview for the show’s upcoming second season and it looks like things pick up right where we left off with Will Graham behind bars, accused of the crimes actually committed by Hannibal now trying to prove his innocence by throwing shade on the real killer – Hannibal Lecter.

Check out the preview below.

Hannibal returns to American screens on Feb 28th.  No date set for Australian screens.

First Preview of Nine’s Schapelle Corby Movie

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Krew Boylan will play convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby in the Channel 9 telemovie Schapelle. Picture: Channel 9 Source: Supplied

The first preview of Channel 9’s movie based off the Schapelle Corby drug smuggler saga has been released and while it’s filled with some well known and respected Australian actors, there’s one thing in the preview that has me scratching my head…

Check out the preview below:

So what is it that has me irked?

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Really?

I’m not really one to be on either side of the Corby argument.  Did she do it, is she innocent?  There’s so many versions of events, I think the only people that would really REALLY know the true story here is Schapelle and her family, so I find it odd that channel 9 would offer up something they believe to be so definitive in truth.

Filming for the movie hasn’t been easy for cast and crew with production only wrapping in late November after filming in the Gold Coast.  The production had to use a fake movie title “Doc McGhee” to avoid attacks on the star cast and crew from angry Corby supporters who believe the movie’s origins are a complete farce (The movie is based off ‘Sins of the Father: The Untold Story Behind Schapelle Corby’s Ill-fated Drug Run‘ a book by investigative journalist Eamonn Duff).  Star Krew Boylan also found herself a target from Corby supporters who labeled her as ‘prostituting her talents’ for taking on the lead role.

Schapelle: The Movie will air later this year on Channel 9

Jessica Lange and American Horror Story Returning for Season 4

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With American Horror Story: Coven about to wrap up it’s phenomenal season (seriously, this should have been made into a regular series!) co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee) has let loose on some details of what to expect for the show’s fourth season.

First up, Jessica Lange will be back!  It was noted late last year that Coven would be her last with the franchise but Murphy confirmed that Lange will indeed be back along with the news that Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates (both whom are new comers to the AHS series)  have been approached to return too.

Keep an eye out for little hints sprinkled about the final few episodes of Coven that will reference to where season 4 will be going.  Says Murphy “It’s set in 1950, if you look historically what happened in the year 1950, there’s some more clues in that year. It’s a period piece. We try and do the opposite of what we’ve done before. Jessica Lange has already started practicing her German accent so I’m very excited!”

The 1950’s setting and German accent has fans speculating that series four will take place around the Cold War which took place right after World War II and lasted for most of the 20th century.

This season of AHS has proved to be the most popular yet, pulling in just under 8 million American viewers weekly (up 83% in total viewers over season 2!)

AHS: Coven airs Monday nights on Channel 11.