Mmmm, TV and Chinese Food

This is my middle-of-January-don’t-wanna-talk-about-a-war Entertainment Review. I think this will end up being my favorite TV Shows of the past year or so (since I have an awful time-based memory, Silver Spoons might show up along side Buck Rogers). You may also accidentally get a restaurant review sprinkled in. Here they are in the order I think of them:
  1. The Wire: This has got to be my favorite show of the last year or so. It felt like the first couple seasons of my all-time-favorite cop show, Homicide. Each episode was tight and gripping, and the characters were just the best. I hope it makes a come-back next season, although I would understand if it didn’t.
  2. Boomtown: I hope this show survives. It’s my favorite, and I think the best drama on network television right now. Again, the characters drive the show, and they’re all perfectly played. Donnie Wahlberg has been a big surprise and done a great job playing the honest but tempted husband. The last show where he told Fearless about his wife’s attempted suicide was just heartbreaking. And Neal McDonough (I know I butchered that… sorry) is on fire as McNorris. He was great in Band of Brothers but he’s done a great job of making me forget him in that role and embracing the drunken jackass he plays on the show.
  3. Cheng’s: Accidental restaurant review ahead. We went out to Cheng’s, our local upscale Chinese restaurant last night with a couple from church. We decided to be oh-so Iron Chef and try something new. We started with chicken in lettuce rolls, which were extremely tasty. The chicken was chopped very fine and mixed with a light soy-based sauce, pine nuts, a few pieces of green and red pepper and then rolled in lettuce with scallions. Yum-may. Then, we got four entrees to share: Filet Mignon with Spicy Black Pepper And Macadamia Nuts, Crispy Duck with Ginger Plum Sauce, General Tsao’s Chicken and Beef With Broccoli. Can you tell which ones Jen and I ordered? First, the Filet Mignon was awesome. I expected the traditional little filet with the other stuff around it. Nope, it came out in bite-sized chunks mixed with macadamia nuts, green peppers, onions and scallops in a really tangy pepper sauce. It was awesome. The pepper kick stuck around for a few seconds after each bite, but wasn’t unpleasant, and the meat was extremely tender and cooked to medium on the inside. It was definitely the hit of the night. The crispy duck came in a cube, with what looked a little like (you guessed it) duck sauce around it. There were small pieces of breaded duck at the bottom, then topped with fried duck skin, some melon slices and thin strips of red pepper. The skin was perfectly crispy. It wasn’t tough or chewy at all and was a great complement to the rich and tender duck. Great dish. Their General Tsao’s Chicken isn’t as spicy as some of the other local choices, but it was very good. I think I’ll still go to Oriental Express for my General Tsao’s.
  4. Firefly: Even though Fox short-sightedly cancelled this brilliant show, I’m holding out hope it’ll get picked up somewhere else. By the Buffy guy, it’s a great combination of sci-fi, western and witty dialogue that kept me coming back every Friday night. It had all the humor that Buffy had in its first couple seasons and some spot-on storytelling.
  5. Andy Richter Controls The Universe: Like The Family Guy, this brilliant sitcom just hasn’t found the audience it deserves on Fox. The Zoomanism episode alone was worth renewing the show for. I think it really just needed to chance for people to find it. Unfortunately, I think it’s gone as soon as Fox can find a replacement for it.
  6. The Sopranos: I don’t know what everyone was complaining about. I loved this season. They got away from some of the violence and let the characters move around a bit. The last four episodes where some of the best of the entire series.
  7. Chapelle’s Show: Ok, this one’s new, and I’m not sure they can keep it up, but the first episode was one of the funniest half hours I have ever seen. The black white supremacist sketch was one of the ballsiest things I have ever seen on TV. I almost wet myself laughing. Definitely try to catch the show next week (and knowing Comedy Central, you can probably catch the first episode a couple hundred times between now and next Wednesday).
  8. Smallville: The show is a liii-iiittle on the cheesy side, but it has such a wealth of things to work with, that it’s worth watching every week just to see how they’re going to develop Clark’s character. What’s great is I think the show could continue almost forever. Unlike other teen series that die after High School ends, there’s enough in the Superman story to keep the show going with new supporting characters into college and even the Daily Planet afterwards. Jen got me hooked on this one.
  9. Full Metal Challenge: Max’s faaa-aaaavorite show. He’ll watch each episode over and over again and then go recreate all the games. I love it just to see how these homemade cars do it every week, and to cheer on the little Chilean car. I’m sad the season’s over, but I’m sure next season will be even better.

Whew… that was fun. Next time, movies?

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