Top Chef Shakes It Up
We’re in the 12th season of the reality show that’s both the metaphorical and literal comfort food of its genre, so Top Chef decided to do something snazzy for its season premiere: SUDDEN DEATH QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE! Periodically throughout the season, the typically low-stakes “Quickfire” will render its losers eligible for elimination, including the poor schmuck who got sent home this week. Also, this is all happening in Boston, that foremost of gourmet destinations. Gasp!
Boardwalk Empire‘s Plague of the Michaels
Almost three seasons after Michael Pitt left the show when Jimmy Darmody became Nucky’s first murder victim, Michael Shannon and Michael K. Williams went out in a single episode, leaving HBO’s flagship period drama tragically devoid of actors named Michael, and also two of its best characters. Chalky White and Nelson Van Alden couldn’t have been more different, but their deaths had a fascinating thematic unity to them; Chalky sacrificed his revenge to save his daughter, while Nelson decided to die for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, or at least pretend like he was. Two episodes out from the grand finale, this week was a powerful goodbye to some of the show’s most memorable characters.