Tuesday, 5 October 2010

It was the salmon mousse! Masterchef, Spooks and Gently

It was the salmon mouse that done in the Scot who showed no respect for the fish. Masterchef: The  Professionals kicked the week off with a cracking half hour in which we saw three truly gifted chefs and hatchet man. Scary Monica  flolloped and vollued* in amazement at the hopefuls as they made mousse.  County Durham David nearly lost the plot but was saved by being less rubbish than the portly John. This left Claire who teaches cooking and is married to a French chef, David and full of himself but in actual fact rather good Kevin. One hopes Kevin learns to curb the self love a bit, nobody likes a twat, even if he is good at what he does. Next step was the dreaded Chef Michel test, Cherry Duck from the same hand that gave us Duck a l'orange. What do you do when all three cooks produce a near faultless plate of food on Masterchef? Why you make the cooks and the viewers sweat till ..... I could tell you , but I won't, if you're a fan you know what's coming if you're not, just watch, it's worth it. Of the three who got past the Salmon mousse, I like the fat lass Claire, she clearly LOVES food, she worships it like some people do art or a perfectly bent ball on a corner. Claire is a contender for getting all the way to the finals, I know because of the way Michel Roux smiled at her. The other one who is going to go far is boastful Kevin, he genuinely does know what he's doing and starts with a fairly high base level of knowledge, but then this IS The Professionals after all.  Durham David ( I have a soft spot for him) has so much potential in him if he can only conquer the nerves, at one point Chef Roux was sure he would slice a finger off or something worse. One wishes him luck and hopes he gets past the nerves. Small warning to children, Gregg Wallace has an orgasm at the end of the ep whilst eating duck. I hope the refrigerator full of puddings at home wasn't watching, the row after that would be spectacular. As always, Masterchef The Professionals keeps the tension and the excitment going. Yes I know it's a cookery show, but by G-d it's good.

Next up was Spooks for the main. MI5 are embroiled in a plot that tests the very limit of the fragile relationship between old enemies and asks the question, Can we be friends with a regime out of need, even if we don't like their methods? How do we balance the needs of small sovereign nations against the gtreater good of World security? With great difficulty and lying to each other is how of course. It's the old Bulgarian question all over again. BTW if you're playing along, the new fake country invented by Spooks is Azakhstan, not much of an effort is it? Can you remind us of the other perhaps more creative fakes they've come up with? The other game to play this series is who will end up in the end of series body bag? We have heavy odds on Lucas, but Beth is just as likely. Based solely on tonight's ep, even Harry Pearce is not immune from the guessing game. And as much as we all want Lucas to be happy, we know the rules, he cannot be allowed to hold on to Maya and bliss, great twist in the Lucas arc that is playing itself out to what one hopes is a spectacular finale at series end.

And lest we forget, Inspector George Gently: Peace and Love, brought us back to the safe ground of normal detective fare. A nice uncreepy and normal murder surrounded by intrigue and scandal at a University. One of the highlights of the ep is the gem of a scene during which Martin Shaw interrogates a man with a thick Geordie accent and Lee Ingleby translates for him. Straight out of Bananas. Being set in 1966ish, Gently and company stick their toes into a revisit of the Peace and Love movement and all that entails. . It's interesting to note that the big issues haven't changed all that much and universities are still intellectually free floating islands of social experimentation with sometime little or no connection to real life and practical day to day problems. It's when those worlds collide as they did in this story that you test the veracity and honesty of the principal players and their ideals. I cannot honestly say, regardless of how often one says it, that free love ever worked, at the end of the day women want commitment and men want certainty. The lefty proff is ultimately undone by the very base instincts he abhors and the very values he hates end up defending the innocent. As for the lovely lady professor who also betrays her own rigid ideals in so many ways, she is proof that even in the 60's, the idea of the ultra feminists rang hollow and sounded more dogmatic than practical. . She epitomized the very worse of the castrated woman who believed as late as the naughties, that a child is a disease and a anchor on womankind. Even the Peace movement comes in for a bit of bash as we realize that any kind of fanaticism leads to abuse and crimes as great as the injustice one is combating.  As a political animal, I am reminded yet again that Uni is where you pretend to dable in politics, but party politics is where you play with the big boys and girls. No amount of chanting ever accomplished more than the breakage of public and private property. While some protest is never bad, it's what you do with the momentum of it in practical politics that matters. The last highlighted issue was gay rights. Threaded through the piece, you see how much some things have changed and yet others frankly haven't. If you were looking for one word to sum up the underlying theme of the ep, it's hypocrisy. The hypocrisy of the feminists who purified themselves of every last once of humanity, the free love advocates who thought they could live without consequences, the hypocrisy that heterosexuals were free to  love each other but not homosexuals, the luxury leftists who loved the working man as a whole, but not it's component parts.The hypocrisy of the ultra idealists of any kind who were to crash and burn in later years faced with practical situations and the reality  that not all that was old was bad.

This gives me the excuse to be dead proud of my wife, who's blog Retro home tips, was recently featured as one of the best political blogs by Britblogs. In her featured article she put forth the principles that underpin the so called third wave of feminists. It's the old and well established 1st and 2nd wavers who take issue the most, as they have consistently kept on telling women what is good and what is bad , but have not stopped to ask them or for that matter, listen to them. Please read this and pass it on, were it up to orthodox feminist sites, these and words like them would never see the light of day. The truth however is that  young women have evolved far past the rigid anti male vision of some radical feminists still out there.

* flollop and vollue from "Life, the Universe, and Everything", Douglas Adams. Something a mattress does

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