Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Achilles Heel (Top Chef Spoiler Alert)

Last week when I read the (incredibly boring) profile of Ian McEwan in The New Yorker (which doesn't seem to be online), I was struck by one anecdote. In it, McEwan gives his just completed first novel to Philip Roth. McEwan goes to Roth's to discuss the book (Roth was living in London at the time). He arrives and Roth, who has spread out the entire manuscript on the floor, announces (I'm paraphrasing all quotes): "The first half until the parents die is brilliant. After that, all hell should break out." To which McEwan then responded along the lines of: "That would make the novel a better one than I've written, but it would also make it a Philip Roth novel."

How I wish that Carla had had a chance to read that anecdote before the Top Chef finale. Maybe it would have scratched the back of her brain. Maybe it, along with the memory of her failure to take control of the cake in the restaurant challenge, would have come together and empowered her, finally, to say NO. And what was up with Casey being so smug and sous-vide and souffle? It wasn't her finale. It was Carla's, and I'm sorry Carla was the one to choke this year. Someone needs to tell her that competing with love doesn't mean agreeing to everything. And honestly, Hosea winning? Yuk. Stefan may be a jerk, but at least he's got an actual personality.

(PS. Skillet Doux has the right take on Hosea's win, although I still don't feel sorry for him.)


mamele said...

totally agree. totally anticlimactic. poor carla -- she absolutely KNEW what she had to do, knew that not listening to her own voice had held her back before... and still let herself be dominated by casey. and she knew right away that she'd done exactly that, and lost. it was so shakespearean!

i liked toby young's blog post about why he fought for stefan to win. but i see why they gave it to hosea. doesn't mean i have to LIKE it, tho.

Robin Aronson said...

Shakespearean! Exactly.

I should check out that blog post -- it was clear Tom was all for Hosea....what I like about Tom is you can tell from what he says just how he would play, and it isn't always pretty, but you know it'd get the job done.