Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Final Mention of Next Great Baker

The Final Mention of Next Great Baker

This is the last time I’ll talk about this show, I swear.

The next great Baker finale was on last night and my personal favourite, Mr Dana, won! His cakes took the…cake.
The final challenge for each contestant was to stock the cases of Carlo’s Bakery (the shop owned and operated by the show’s host) with their favourite pies, cakes, and pastries in a contest to see whose would sell the best. Meanwhile, they also had to create a cake for the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, themed around her city.

The winner of the show would receive fifty grand, a new car, and an apprenticeship at the host’s (Buddy) cake shop in New Jersey.
Thankfully this horrible wench Corina, who shouldn’t have made it as far on the show as she did, was eliminated after the first leg of the competition. This left Meghan(below) and Dana, both of whom I’ve liked since I started watching the show.

In the end, despite Meghan’s cake being the top pick by the client, Buddy chose Dana to win. This isn't that surprising because throughout the show it was pretty obvious that Buddy favoured both Dana as a potential future employee. More than once he dropped comments like “My main man Dana!” and “Dana, I know you’re better than this, so you don’t get eliminated.”

Plus, Meghan is more of a leader than Dana. She’s someone who is better off running her own shop.

And guess what? Just last Thursday the show was renewed for a second season. Hopefully this time around Buddy won’t be as obnoxious. Perpetuating Italian stereotypes like that in New Jersey can’t be good. Besides, we all know what people from New Jersey are actually like:

The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Canadian Army

Forgive me for asking, I may have missed the memo, but when did Canada's army get this ridiculously badass?

(click to image to see full version, worth it in this case)

I must say, if this child's toy is an accurate rending of our military forces then our troops must be terrible drivers. Our Chinese-made APC's have such huge anti-aircraft guns we can't even see out the windshield.

Plus, our giant rocket launchers and heavy machine guns definitely scream "Canadian Peace Envoy." I know if I were to send this trooper in for peace talks with the enemy, there's no doubt at least a cease-fire, if not a total surrender were guaranteed.

Oh, and our flag? I must have missed the memo where we plastered "Canada" across the maple leaf. But hey, at least they got the font right:

Peter Bjorn and John - Nothing to Worry About

Monday, 17 January 2011

Lost Yet Again

Around this time of year, for the past 6 years, I had a tradition. It was very near and dear to me, and had become such a routine that I couldn't imagine life without it.

A new season of Lost.

Right about now, or in the next couple of weeks, the second half of a new season of Lost would be starting up. Whatever cliffhanger we'd been left on for the past couple months would be resolved, and us loyal viewers would be left with more questions after each episode than when we'd started.

But last year Lost finally came to its conclusion. Done. Finished. Finito. We were still left with questions unanswered, but it was what it was. Together, millions of us endured one hundred and twenty one episodes filled with laughter, confusion, bad relationships, a ridiculous amount of people being shot, plot holes, clips episodes, strange cameos, and even tears.

But now? I have nothing! It's all done with, and I have nothing to watch. I really miss having a regular TV night. I don't have a “show” that my friends and I follow any more. I watch the Next Great Baker, but the plot intricacies of anything on TLC are about as intricate as the sexual advances of a tired out hooker from Reno. (NOT VERY INTRICATE)

Last night's Golden Globe award nominations for best Dramatic series painted one thing very clearly: Network television no longer produces great dramas. Since about 2000, specialty cable channels have slowly been taking over the bulk of award winning, critically acclaimed dramas.

I don't get those kinds of channels. (Actually, I get AMC, which has Mad Men and Walking Dead, but hell if I know what's going on halfway through a season.)

I tried to get on board with NBC's latest Super Hero drama 'The Cape,'

But that show is just painfully campy. I also hate the sub-plot of the protagonist's family. I don't care about a super-hero's family, I just want to see some ass-kicking!

So, what are you guys watching? What should be my new “show?” Or should I give up on TV and just download entire seasons of shows like everyone else my age does?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Next Great Baker

I think there's a lot of shitty, soul-sucking programming on TLC these days. It's a channel that I usually skip right over, and that shouldn't come as surprising, being that it's target demographic doesn't land anywhere near me. I'm not into wedding dresses, child pageants, fashion, little people, or excessively huge families.

But one thing I am in to? Next Great Baker.
Obnoxious Italian host aside, I really get a kick out of this show! If you haven't seen it, it's a show where two competing teams make specialty cakes for big events. The team who makes the best cake is judged the winner, and the losing team has one person eliminated. There's all sorts of entertaining characters, especially when you can see right through all of its forced drama. But my favourite baker absolutely has to be Dana.
Dana is a pastry maker from Delaware, head chef of his little shop. This is super surprising too, being that's he so soft spoken. He never "stirs the pot" or causes trouble. From what I've seen he's only made one major screw-up on the show, and even when he did his team still won the competition. In fact, I looked at the stats, and Dana has won the most competitions of all the contestants.

But here's the best part: The dude sounds and acts like the real-life version of Cleveland Brown:

Maybe not spot on, but similar, right? The big problem with him though is that's he's a little too average for reality TV. The show ignores most of the time in favour of its more flamboyant and/or female contestants. I understand though, on a network geared towards reality TV loving housewives, the living incarnation of Seth McFarlane's only black character from Family Guy isn't going to win audiences.

Check your local TV Guide for when Next Great Baker is on! There should be a new episode this week.

Jay-Z - 99 Problems

Friday, 7 January 2011

Top Ten of 2010

2010 was an alright year for movies, but not the greatest. It's going to be a while before 2009 is topped, which saw films like UP, Avatar, The Hangover, Star Trek, District 9, Inglorious Basterds, and the list goes on and on, but 2010 certainly stood up for itself.

So, as has become tradition, here are my top ten favourite movies of 2010 in no particular order.


A tale of a nerdy loser turned half-assed super hero won me over with its humour and over-the-top performance from Nicholas Cage. Here's something you rarely hear these days, but this movie needed more Nicholas Cage. He stole every single scene he was in as the leader of a crime fighting duo. Check this out if you're into comic booky violence and comedy.

Scott Pilgrim Versus The World:

Speaking of comic booky violence and comedy, here was another surprise favourite. I knew nothing about this movie aside from the fact Micheal Sera was in it. When I sat down in the theatre I was just mildly interested with what was going on, and then suddenly the film geared into overdrive didn't stop.

Did it make sense? Not really. Did anyone care? Nope. It was just that entertaining.

Green Zone:

While Green Zone was no "Hurt Locker" in terms of suspense and storytelling, I really enjoyed this war flick starring Matt Damon. Knowing what we know about the war in Iraq now, years after the smoke-screen of lies perpetuated by the Bush administration has been lifted, caused this film to be seen as "Anti-American" by some reviewers. Regardless of what you think of the US's 'War on Terror,' Green Zone presents an entirely different side of the story when it comes to Iraq.

The Trotsky:

The Trotsky Stars everyone's favourite stereotypical geek, Jay Baruchel, as Leon Bronstein. Bronstein is a high school student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, a leader in the Bolshevik revolution second only to Vladamir Lenin. He tries to lead a revolution using his school's student union to overthrow their principal.

If you read and understood Animal Farm, you'll like The Trotsky.


Starring John C Reilly and Jonah Hill, Cyrus is a movie about a man who finds himself at his lowest point in life. He lives in squalor, his wife has long since left him and remarried, and he has no friends. Things turn around when he meets a woman at a party he was unwillingly dragged to, who he falls in love with. But, the woman has a psychotic 20-something son who doesn't want his mother to have anyone in her life but himself. Comedy ensues.

Toy Story 3:

I admit, I got a bit teary eyed at the end of this film, but who didn't? Toy Story has been a franchise that consistently delivered a great film for each and every installment. That's the power of Pixar I suppose. If you've seen all the Toy Story movies but this one, go and rent it right now. This is a kid's movie you shouldn't deprive yourself of. It was a great adventure from start to finish!


Leonardo Decaprio? Check.

Guns? Check.

Mind bending camera work? Check.

Amazing story telling and plot? Double Check.

Inception was excellent. It simply can't be described unless you've seen it.


I walked into the theatre on whim with this one. The girlfriend and I had nothing to do, neither of us had ever heard of this movie, and we walked out amazed. This was a great, family friendly, heart-warming tale, of two kids in the fifties. What do you call a romance story about kids? I have no idea, but that's what this was. If you see this on the shelf at your local rental store, you won't be disappointed. Go and check this one out!

Jackass 3D:

Is Jackass one of my favourite television programs or film series? No. Is Jackass 3D worth seeing? Very much so.

It's quite literally the best use of 3D I have ever seen. I don't remember the last time I laughed as hard in a theatre as I did with this movie. I still talk about the scene where they launch dildos at the camera in super-slow-motion.

Like I said, it was the best 3D I've ever seen, and I don't even give a damn about 3D films.

True Grit:

I saw this one just a couple night ago, but it came out in 2010 so there. It counts.

True Grit was an excellent western, and has a huge appeal across generations and audiences. I didn't understand why people kept saying it was funny, until I saw it for myself. I laughed the whole way through this film, but it managed to keep it's intensity going throughout the entire movie.

Plus, who doesn't enjoy a movie with Jeff Bridges in it?

So, that's it. There's my top ten. What films did you guys see this year that you think other folks are missing out on, or which of mine do you strongly disagree with?

The Pigeon Detectives - I Found Out

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year, Old Teeth

I went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in about four years. That's a rough estimate though, as I'm not really sure when I last went. I think was in highschool, which means it could have been as long as 5 to 7 years since my last visit.

It started off on the wrong foot, as I showed up late after an angry call from the office's receptionist reminded me I was tardy. Being that I had just ate mexican food, I figured a quick mouth rinse was warranted. Since I know I wouldn't want someone breathing spicy taco into my face, showing up late, albeit with fresh breath, was honestly a favour to the dentist.

I was lead to a chair and told to take a seat. I found a penny on the way, which must have been lucky, as this appointment turned out much better than I had expected.

For some time my teeth have been aching and I wasn't sure why. Turns out it was just a combo of me clenching my teeth at night after lots of drinking, and regular old plaque buildup. While the plaque wasn't good, it was an easily corrected problem. After an excruciating half hour of scraping at my gums, my teeth were A-OK. The dentist remarked that I didn't have any cavities or fillings she could see (which must be a lie because I could have sworn that I had some) and that my bite was excellent. Evidently, despite a lack of flossing, I've somehow been taking pretty good care of my teeth.

Then we had some X-rays to double check I didn't have any cavities. A second dentist prodded at my mouth, analyzed some pictures, and everything turned out completely kocher. As in good. I don't know if Jewish faith allows cannibalism.

Just floss more, that's all they really had to say. Plus, I have totally normal wisdom teeth, no problem there at all. Much to my surprise and jot, it was a pretty good trip to the dentist!

And after this experience, I admit it was a little silly of me to be nervous of making a dentist appointment. It's an important trip to make for own health.

All I could think of was getting a root canal like one of my college classmate Trent. After his surgery he came to class with blood pouring from his mouth, high as a kite, showing everyone his freshly pulled tooth, just to present our teacher with his note from the dentist. I seem to recall his now-wife apologizing for him, and saying he wouldn't go home until he presented his note to the class.

I was also scared because of the time one of my siblings had to have his wisdom teeth removed and his cheeks doubled in size after being loaded up with stitches and cotton.

But hey, brush your teeth twice a day, and you're good apparently. I don't drink a lot of soda either, which probably helps.

So if you've been putting of that appointment because you're afraid of a bad report, just give it a try! Maybe your teeth are better than you suspected.