Brunch @ Bobby’s (COOKING CHANNEL)
- Premiering Saturday, January 3rd at 12:00pmET/9:00amPT – “Waffles Gone Wild” -SEASON PREMIERE!
Ordinary waffles are a thing of the past with host Bobby Flay’s innovative brunch creations! Bobby wows with a menu of unexpected waffle creations like Cornbread Waffles with Ranch-Style Eggs and Cilantro Crema and Glazed Waffle Donuts! He dishes out the unexpected, mixing up a cool Wine Smoothie.
- Premiering Saturday, January 17th at 12:00pmET/9:00amPT – “Wake Up Brunch”
Two of Bobby Flay’s favorite things come together for a brunch menu that awakens the senses! His coffee-inspired creations include Scrambled Eggs with Sweet Potato Biscuits, Ham Steak and Red Eye Gravy, Espresso-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Espresso-Cinnamon Butter and a blended Spiced Mocha Lassi.
- Premiering Saturday, January 24th at 12:00pmET/9:00amPT – “Say Cheese”
Bobby Flay knows that cheese makes everything better, and brunch is no exception! He serves up some cheese-filled dishes like Meyer Lemon Ricotta Crepes with Candied Almonds, a Frittata with Thyme Roasted Potatoes, Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Pesto and Cream Cheese Pancakes with Cherries Jubilee Syrup.
Emeril’s Florida (COOKING CHANNEL)
- Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Coming to America” – SEASON PREMIERE!
Emeril visits three chefs born in foreign countries who now own successful restaurants in Florida. First, Emeril visits with a Sushi Chef from Vietnam before meeting with a Moroccan native who trained in France and Norway prior to living in Florida. The third stop is with a German-born chef who now runs one of the top-rated French restaurants in the state. Finally, Emeril dishes on one of his favorite dishes, Sambal Shrimp.
- Premiering Sunday, January 11th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Big Night Out”
Emeril visits three restaurants to consider when looking to have a big night out for a special occasion. His first stop is the award-winning Italian restaurant Casa D’Angelo Ristorante in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Then he heads to Sarasota on the Gulf Coast of Florida to visit Michael’s on East, another highly acclaimed favorite in the state. Emeril then visits Salt, the signature restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island which has been one of the top-rated resorts in the country for a number of years. Inspired by his visits, Emeril prepares a dish for a big night in: Corn Cakes with Florida Caviar and Chive Crema.
- Premiering Sunday, January 18th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Space Coast”
Emeril travels to Florida’s Space Coast on the east coast of the state. He begins in Cocoa Village at Cafe Margaux, arguably one of the best restaurants in the Space Coast area. Cafe Margaux serves bistro fare and has been the place to go in the Cocoa area for fine dining for almost 25 years. His next stop is The Fat Snook in Cocoa Beach, a family-owned casual beachside restaurant, where the owners have a passion for fresh, local seafood and top-quality seasonal ingredients. He next visits Cafe Coconut Cove, serving up authentic German cuisine and craft beers since 1987. Local seafood is on the menu when Emeril prepares Florida Lobster with Pappardelle.
- Premiering Sunday, January 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “South Florida Favorites”
Emeril travels to the southern part of Florida to visit some of his favorite restaurants he has encountered over the years. He visits his long-time friend and James Beard Award winner, Michelle Bernstein, at her famous restaurant Michy’s in downtown Miami. Next, Emeril crosses the bridge to Miami Beach to Pubbelly to meet the owners of the hottest gastropub in Miami. Emeril then travels to the Florida Keys for a stop at the historic Cheeca Lodge, and samples their signature restaurant Atlantic’s Edge. Emeril finishes up his visit by preparing one of his favorite Florida seafood dishes: Yellowtail Snapper with a Classic Meuniere Sauce.
Extra Virgin (COOKING CHANNEL)
- Premiering Wednesday, January 7th at 9:00pm ET/6:00pmPT – “Gift to the Neighborhood” – SEASON PREMIERE!
Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos have been living in their Brooklyn neighborhood for a couple of years and they have really grown to love it. Their neighbors have welcomed them with open arms and they feel a very strong connection to all of the local shops and restaurants. Now they want to give back the only way they know how: by cooking for them. Gabriele and Debi take over one of the neighborhood’s restaurants for the day, to prepare a variety of Tuscan recipes and serve their neighborhood friends a meal. Since they are cooking for the locals, they will be shopping in all of their favorite local shops for ingredients for the big feast.
- Premiering Wednesday, January 14th at 9:00pm ET/6:00pmPT – “Deb’s Fashion Show”
Gabriele has his motorcycle passion, but Debi has always had an interest for fashion. Her friend, Zac Posen, is a famous New York-based fashion designer. Debi takes Giulia, who inherited her mom’s love of fashion, to Zac’s studio for a behind-the-scenes tour and a dress fitting. Meanwhile, Gabriele has gone to the Fulton Fish Market to get fresh seafood for dinner. Zac later comes over to help cook a seafood-inspired Tuscan dinner.
- Premiering Wednesday, January 21st at 9:00pmET/7:00pmPT – “James Beard Supper”
Gabriele and Debi have been asked to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. The James Beard Foundation is well known throughout the culinary community for its educational programs, industry awards and scholarships. Gabriele and Debi will have an opportunity to add their names to the prestigious list of guest cooks, as they create the best possible culinary experience for an intimate group of friends that will get to share the evening with them.
- Premiering Wednesday, January 28th at 9:00pmET/7:00pmPT – “The Drill”
While living in Los Angeles, Debi and Gabriele would discuss what they would do when the big earthquake hit and left them living completely off the grid. Then, they moved to New York and Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Gabriele and Debi decide to take a day to prepare the family for the possibility of another major disaster in what they are calling ‘The Drill’. Can the family go the whole day without electricity or any modern conveniences? And can Gabriele and Debi cook dinner for the family without electricity or gas?
Guy’s Grocery Games: Family Style – Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 8pm (FOOD NETWORK)
Guy Fieri’s favorite things are food, fun and family, and he is bringing all three together for a Guy’s Grocery Games: Family Style showdown. The families will compete over four episodes, with each episode consisting of four teams made up of a different variation of family members, each including a chef, as they compete for a chance at the grand prize. Whether it is a child with two parents, a parent with two children or siblings working together, the families must navigate their way through the aisles of a grocery store, battling it out in different supermarket-themed obstacles, including shopping and cooking on a budget, cooking a meal with five ingredients or less, or the new game of station swap, among others. One-by-one the losing families must “check out” by a rotating panel of judges, featuring Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, G. Garvin, Troy Johnson, Beau MacMillan, Catherine McCord and Aarti Sequeira. The last family standing goes on a shopping spree of a lifetime worth up to $20,000.
- Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 8pm -“Family Style: Kid’s Rule!” – STUNT PREMIERE!
Four competing families start by joining the breakfast club, but this is Watch Your Weight so they can only cook with 5 lbs. of ingredients. Next, the families must make a hot lunch ABC-style, using only ingredients whose name begins with the letter R. The final two families go head-to-head in the dreaded game, Food Wheel. How do you make a winning Sunday supper featuring hot dogs and the color red? The winning family goes after the green stuff, up to $20,000 in the Shopping Spree!
Competitors: Bruno Family, Chiovera Family, Roberts Family, Robertson Family
Judges: Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, Troy Johnson
- Premiering Sunday, January 11th at 8pm -“Family Style: Sibling Rivalry”
When four sets of siblings square off in a supermarket, sparks fly! The teams begin by making a family feast, but first they must agree on the 5 Ingredients or Less this challenge allows! Three families move on to make something stuffed using Guy’s Grocery List of unique ingredients. Then, in the feared game of chance, Food Wheel, the stakes are high as two families attempt to make an upscale dinner with strip steak and $7.15 worth of extra ingredients! The family that moves on will play for a chance to win up to $20,000 in the Shopping Spree.
Competitors: Fraser Family, Grbic Family, Loza Family, Testa Family
Judges: Richard Blais, Troy Johnson, Aarti Sequeira
- Premiering Sunday, January 18th at 8pm – “Family Style: Food Feud”
Chefs keep it all in the family with teams featuring husbands, wives, brothers, moms and even grandma! The pasta shelves are off-limits in Aisle Down, so our four families must really use their noodles to create their best dish. Next, three families have to come up with fresh ideas for making dessert from non-perishable items playing Meals from the Middle. The finalists must make their favorite family meal, but wait, this is Watch Your Weight, so, they only get 5½ lbs. of ingredients. Then, it’s all hands on cart as the winning family goes on the Shopping Spree worth up to $20,000.
Competitors: Casey Family, Parrish Family, Thurston Family, Vera Family
Judges: Troy Johnson, Beau MacMillan, Catherine McCord
- Premiering Sunday, January 25th at 8pm – “Family Style: Kid’s Choice” –STUNT FINALE!
“Family Style: Kid’s Choice”
Guy is constantly turning the tables, this time with kids choosing the meals, while the chefs endure a “Time Out” from cooking. Four families face off in a brunch competition that includes a mandatory Red Light Special: raisins! In Budget Battle, families must make a comfort meal on a very uncomfortable budget. Then, the final teams must prepare a five-star dinner while playing Station Swap, a twisty new game that forces the families to trade kitchens and groceries. One family will go on a Shopping Spree worth up to $20,000…if they can find one item on the list in each aisle.
Competitors: Binbek Family, Landefeld Family, Lavin Family, Murphy Family
Judges: Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, Aarti Sequeira
Worst Cooks in America – Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 9pm (FOOD NETWORK)
Worst Cooks in America returns to transform kitchen disasters into confident cooks, with Chef Anne Burrell going up against first-time opponent Chef Tyler Florence. Anne and Tyler each lead a team of kitchen-challenged recruits in a grueling culinary boot camp designed to turn them into skilled cooks. A $25,000 grand prize is awarded to the contestant who makes the most impressive culinary transformation, in addition to delivering victory and bragging rights for their team leader.
- Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 9pm – “It Just Keeps Getting Worse”- SEASON PREMIERE!
In the season premiere, the fourteen recruits, each nominated by family and friends for their horrendous cooking skills, are selected by Anne Burrell and new-kid-on-the-block Tyler Florence to compete in a grueling culinary boot camp. These “home cooks” make the chefs their signature dishes, and upon tasting, Anne and Tyler choose their teams of worst cooks, and give their recruits a lesson in creating the ultimate romantic meal.
- Premiering Sunday, January 11th at 9pm – “Prepping for Success”
Anne and Tyler test the recruits’ knowledge of food in a special game of “Family Food,” in which the teams face-off in an effort to gain recipe steps through food trivia. As the recruits attempt to cut down the competition, they learn and execute knife skills to prepare their dishes. All of the recruits must successfully create the Spanish dish paella, which some will achieve with fewer bandages than others
- Premiering Sunday, January 18th at 9pm – “Spice Up Your Life”
The recruits try their hand at experimenting with flavor combinations with a skill drill called “Holy Crepes,” in which they serve their own creations in a blind tasting. Then the recruits “Taco-ver the World,” when they make their own international tacos. Some of the recruits are able to hit the mark with their flavor combinations, while others prove they earned their spot in the Worst Cooks competition!
- Premiering Sunday, January 25th at 9pm – “Scared Straight Into the Kitchen”
This week, recruits huddle up to tackle game day dishes as they create deep-fried fan favorites for Anne and Tyler. Will they make crowd-pleasing dishes, or be defeated by a deep fryer? After the big game, the recruits try not to “Lose their Noodles” when they break down a raw squid to prepare squid ink pasta with calamari.
Daphne Dishes – Premieres Sunday, January 4th at 12pm (FOOD NETWORK)
Mom, blogger and home cook Daphne Brogdon shares all the secrets to her easy and impressive family-friendly meals in her series Daphne Dishes, serving it all up with a healthy side of humor. From Daphne’s home kitchen in Los Angeles, get ready to jump into her life and meet her two cute kids, one sweet dog and chef-husband Mark.
- Premiering Sunday, January 4th at 12pm – “Mom’s Gone Healthy” – SERIES PREMIERE!
In an homage to the healthy dishes her mom created as a child, Daphne Brogdon invites her mom and sister over for dinner. Daphne livens up a Pecan-Stuffed Chicken Breast and pairs it with Blistered Tomatoes and Feta Cheese along with Crowd-Pleasing Couscous. For dessert, a little bit of Dark Chocolate Sauce over fresh berries puts a smile on everyone’s face.
- Premiering Sunday, January 11th at 12pm – “Comfort for a Friend”
Daphne Brogdon invites her friend, actress Molly Culver, over for a welcome home dinner. For the main dish, Daphne makes Pan-Roasted Chicken with a Creamy Mustard Sauce. She’s also making comforting Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, plus incredible crispy Brussels Sprouts and a classic Brogdon family dessert, Cafe Bengali.
- Premiering Sunday, January 18th at 12pm – “Festival of Leftovers”
Daphne Brogdon gets inventive preparing simple and tasty recipes utilizing leftovers. She turns last night’s braised brisket into a Brisket Ragu served over Crispy Pasta. Some lonely cauliflower gets transformed into the Best Cauliflower Ever and her leftover Vanilla Pound Cake gets a makeover with Macerated Strawberries and ice cream. Leftovers never tasted so good.
- Premiering Sunday, January 25th at 12pm – “Eat Up, Sports Fans”
Daphne Brogdon’s got a special game day menu that is sure to win over the crowd, without stressing out the cook! She kicks off the party with her signature Guacamole and Fried Wonton Chips and then it’s Butter Burger Sliders with two sauces, Sweet Russian and Arugula Pesto. Plus, she whips up a Spicy Cabbage Salad on the side and Daphne’s shares her special crowd-pleasing cocktail, her Kick-a-Rita.
Best. Ever.– Premiering Monday, January 5th at 10pm (FOOD NETWORK)
Do you remember the last time you bit into a burger and thought, “This is the best burger. Ever.”? When you tell a friend about your favorite pizza place, do you describe every juicy detail about what makes it the best pizza ever? Food Network searched through every delicious nook and cranny in the country and found some of the best pizzas, burgers, barbecue and breakfast…ever! Hosted by Ted Allen, and with guest appearances by Food Network stars, chefs and judges including Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Antonia Lofaso, Jeff Mauro, Roger Mooking, Marc Murphy, Aarón Sánchez, Steak Shapiro, Fabio Viviani and Andrew Zimmern, it is a veritable collection of the best ever comfort foods.
- Premiering Monday, January 5th at 10pm – “Best. Pizza. Ever.” – SERIES PREMIERE!
Pizza is one of the best ever comfort foods, and it has evolved into endless culinary interpretations that can be savored from all corners of the country. In Austin, Texas, a mouthwatering margherita pizza is baked to perfection in 90 seconds, while a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is getting high marks for their meat-piled pizza. One night a week, diners are wowed by the unique toppings at the underground pizzeria that pops up at a Northwest restaurant, and one SoCal restaurant shipped materials from Italy for the oven of their dreams, turning out their signature pork pizza. Whether it be classics or regional favorites, this is the best pizza ever.
- Premiering Monday, January 12th at 10pm – “Best. BBQ. Ever.”
Few things are more American than barbecue, and there are as many delicious variations as there are dedicated pit masters. The queue for ‘cue at one popular Austin restaurant stretches down and around the block, while the mash-up of Korean and American-style barbecue draws a big crowd at a small Atlanta barbecue shack. There is succulent smoked chicken in Philadelphia and spicy jerk chicken in the Twin Cities. Plus, a dive bar turns out delectable barbecue in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a San Francisco restaurant serves a signature barbecue platter with every meat, side and fixin’ on the menu. Roll up those sleeves for the best barbecue ever.
- Premiering Monday, January 19th at 10pm – “Best. Breakfast. Ever.”
These days, breakfast can be so much more than cold cereal and toast. Boston serves up an otherworldly sweet breakfast and in Philadelphia, waffles meet cake for delicious results. In the Twin Cities, a hot and hearty pancake is an engineering marvel. Savory breakfast fans get a look at an egg and cheese in Los Angeles with real star quality, a Vietnamese twist on bacon and eggs in Austin and a classic New York bagel that gets an update with beets. Plus, a breakfast special in Atlanta is like a buffet on a plate! The morning gets started with a bang with these best breakfasts ever.
- Premiering Monday, January 26th at 10pm – “Best. Burger. Ever.”
Americans love hamburgers, and these burgers are the best the nation has to offer. In Atlanta, a double cheeseburger is so exclusive that only a few dozen are served each night, and in New York, the most buzz-worthy burger is sandwiched between something usually found in soup. On the menu is a burger served on a bed of freshly-cut fries and topped with everything but the kitchen sink, a cheeseburger stuffed with cheese that melts right out of the patty and burgers that are so good they do not even need beef! These are best ever burgers.
Fitness: Impossible – Premiering Wednesday, January 7th at 11pm – SPECIAL! (FOOD NETWORK)
Robert Irvine has a grueling schedule, traveling from town-to-town and state-to-state, in a race against the clock to transform failing restaurants. With his impossible schedule, Robert still finds time to focus on his passion for health, fitness, food and family. With that in mind, Robert is taking on his next mission: motivating America. Robert’s fans and followers are constantly asking him for advice on health and fitness. In order to give back, Robert is going to tackle as many health-related questions, concerns and dilemmas as humanly possible, in the time he has between one Restaurant: Impossible and the next. It will not be easy, but Robert is willing to take on the challenge. As soon as his last shoot wraps, the clock is ticking! Robert will hit the ground running, answering as many questions he can before he is scheduled to save another failing restaurant. Being healthy, happy and in shape is not unattainable… this super-chef is just the guy to make Fitness: Impossible, possible!
Duff Till Dawn– Premiering Thursday, January 29th at 10:30pm – (FOOD NETWORK)
Duff Till Dawn is the ultimate underground cake competition, featuring bold ideas, fierce competitors and a ringmaster who has never had a boring day in his life. Duff Goldman is ready to give a few lucky cake fanatics some love, but he is going to put them through a series of challenges in order to earn it. It is the coolest throw-down in cake.
Midnight Mass: The Blood of Life
The isolated island community of Crockett receives a mysterious new head priest, full of secrets and a brand new testament under a very unusual Messenger of God.
Meet poor Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), freshly released from prison and wracked with guilt over what got him there, a stupid drinking accident that caused the death of his ex-girlfriend. The last thing he wants to do is go back to Crockett and the judgment of the mostly religious community there, his disappointed family, and the nightmares of his ex’s death that plague him. But where else would have him? Resignedly on the ferry, he goes.
Riley’s dad Ed (Henry Thomas) isn’t the kind of man who talks very much at all, much less about his feelings, or his very real disappointment in his elder son. Riley’s teen brother Warren (Igby Rigney) has no idea what to say to him either, and just generally keeps mum. Riley’s mom Annie (Kristin Lehman) is accepting and loving, hesitant in how to help her eldest son but never wavering in her faith in the help of our lord Jesus. Mom seems to think a good heaping dose of the Church would set Riley right but is surprised to learn that the old priest of the Parish, Pruitt, has taken an extended leave of absence from the island, and his newcomer replacement Father Paul (Hamish Linklater) is young, charismatic, and bursting at the seams to tell the whole island about the gifts he brought them, most especially what he claims as a new testament under a messenger of God.
We’ll get back to that whole ball of issues in a moment, the other interesting characters of Crockett Island. Bev Keane (Samantha Sloyan) is the nightmarish overly polite and gently, almost lovingly condescending neighbor Christian woman you’ve ever loathed, the kind of person who explains away every last thing her Church may do wrong or contradictory because, after all, God works in mysterious ways. Pfft. Of course, Bev immediately ingratiates herself as the second to the new Father Paul in their services and is the first to start covering up his transgressions as they become more rampant.
Newcomers to Crockett Sheriff Hassan (Rahul Kohli) and his son Ali (Rahul Abburi) present a burgeoning problem to the plans of Father Paul and his shadowy companion, for they are both practicing Muslims. The practical side of investigating these so-called ‘miracles’ and strange happenings falls on Hassan’s shoulders, as he already struggles with barely-concealed racism and suspicion from his fellow islanders, and of course his son is being wooed away from him by the promise of actual, tangible miracles, but from a different whole faith and God. Father Paul definitely does not practice a traditional Christian faith and relies far too much on making use of the eucharist, the ceremony of the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ turning into bread and wine and, well, consumed.
Wade (Michael Trucco) and his wife Dolly (Crystal Balint) are lifers of the island and both in general interested in one thing, the advancement of their own family, specifically their daughter Leeza (Annarah Cymone), who happens to be in a wheelchair. And that happens to be the canny Father Paul’s first real miracle-with-a-cost that he demonstrates to the astonishment of the parishioners, after a heartfelt and rousing sermon, Father Paul commands Leeza to rise, to stand, and to walk. And lo, she does. What parents wouldn’t wholly dedicate themselves to a cause after seeing this happen to their beloved precious daughter? The fringe benefits of healing, and power, the ones that come at a mighty, currently unnamed, cost, are simply a nice bonus.
Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet) is the town drunk, and while his reasons for drowning his sorrows in the sauce might be understandable, absolution wears a very different face when it comes from Father Paul. While Leeza might be willing to forgive Joe, and even as Joe begins attending the newly-formed Al-Anon meetings on the island of course hosted by Father Paul, redemption might’ve been better sought from medical professionals, and not this newfound method of religious worship.
Dr. Sarah Gunning (Annabeth Gish) is the islands’ kind of all-around medic, and this is how she and Riley’s old friend Erin (Kate Siegel), also newly returned to the island, a few months pregnant but traveling quietly alone, met when Erin comes to the Doc for obstetrics. Sarah’s older mother Mildred Gunning (Alexandra Essoe) has many medical and mental issues, and Sarah struggles in their shared home, to take care of her addled mom and balance her own life. Then Father Paul takes it upon himself to visit one of his oldest parishioners, bringing the sacred host and wine with him to give directly to Mildred, who starts looking and acting so much better under his loving care.
The show is very much a slow slow burn, with a lot of the actual action taking place in the last two episodes. Much of the beginning and middle episodes feature two people just sitting alone, having quiet and seriously in-depth conversations about heavy subjects – grief and repentance, what happens when we die, the disasters that come as a result of addictions, how our actions’ consequences reverberate to those we love around us, faith and the foibles of man, and of course, the giving of oneself over to a higher power, for strength, and guidance, and love.
Except, for the higher power that Father Paul brought back with him, to share with his beloved flock of Crockett Island, while it may be extremely powerful and full of what could be considered miraculous magic, everything comes at some kind of a cost. And when the Messenger of God is finally revealed to the shocked denizens of Crockett at Easter Mass, with Father Paul rapturing on about rebirth as the bloody massacre begins in earnest, it’s faith, not in any kind of God or religion, but faith in each other, that may save a few hardy souls.
Question the wisdom of your religious leaders along with the rest of us in a fine slow-burn addition to the Flanaverse, Midnight Mass is on Netflix now!
Saw X: It ain’t brain surgery!
Legendary executioner Jigsaw returns to exact revenge on a cadre of scam artists who promised him a bogus cure for his cancer!
First off, be aware, that this is what I call an interleaved sequel, a movie set between previous films in the franchise. In this case, Saw X occurs after the events of the very first Saw film, and before Saw II. Everybody got where we are? Good! Into the madness, we dive!
So, as we all know, John Kramer’s been diagnosed with cancer, very aggressive brain cancer, and likely doesn’t have much time left. And he’s tried everything under the sun, doing a ton of meticulous research, we’d expect nothing less from our master of the art of murder, and not one thing has worked. Yet one man from the support group for cancer sufferers, Henry (Michael Beach), offers an off-the-books supposed miracle cure, and John jumps at the chance.
Why does this nonsense always sound too good to be true? Because it is. Deleted scenes from the first Deadpool movie already told us why traveling to Mexico for any kind of medical cure is a sublimely stupid move, but Kramer is desperate. And while he might be sick and dying, John Kramer has never been what anyone could call stupid. So the villa out in the Mexican countryside, the affable cab driver Diego (Joshua Okamoto) professes surprise at Kramer being highjacked for his good, the nervous muttering from assistant Valentina (Paulette Hernandez), the side-eyeing from little housekeep Gabriela (Renata Vaca) and her tequila, and most especially the smooth and smarming reassurances of head “doctor” Cecilia Pederson (Synnove Macody Lund), all leave a kind of sour taste in John’s mouth.
The whole cluex4 scene is done in the style that the Saw films are known for, where we the audience are treated to cut-together explanatory scenes in a flip-flash fashion of usually about two minutes, for poor John when he realizes he’s been hoodwinked and just how badly, seems a little contrived. But then it’s entirely possible that we the audience truly expected our genius mastermind of the infamous Jigsaw murders to have realized what was happening sooner, and got enraged along with Kramer. And cheered as he prepared to take his bloody and ultra-violent revenge!
First up in our grand guignol of executions is the return of Jigsaw’s first protégé, Amanda (Shawnee Smith). And despite her avowed reverence for Jigsaw and his proven “therapy”, Amanda does waver a bit when the scammers are put through the paces of their specially-made Saw traps, and they shriek and blubber and bleed out. The appearance of the ringer of the bunch, Parker (Steven Brand), doesn’t even slow our beloved engineer of the damned down, because we knew Jigsaw would have his other apprentice waiting just off stage, the deliciously vicious Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Even the monkeywrench of involving little-boy soccer fan Carlos (Jorge Briseno) in the traps, is just another cog in the machine that is the brilliantly plotting mind of John Kramer.
A fine addition to the Saw legends, showcasing a return to the beloved style and panache of the original Tobin Bell-starring Jigsaw films, Saw X is splashing gore and gallons of blood in theaters now!
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off,” Netflix’s latest series, is a rollicking journey through the world of video game culture, blending nostalgic references with a fresh narrative twist. Centered around Scott Pilgrim, portrayed with magnetic charisma by Michael Cera, the show skillfully integrates gaming elements into its storytelling, creating a delightful homage to the video game subculture.
The series cleverly employs pixelated graphics, power-up animations, and game-like sound effects to bring the virtual world to life. These visual cues, reminiscent of classic video games, enhance the storytelling and resonate with audiences familiar with the gaming landscape. The attention to detail in recreating iconic gaming moments is commendable, creating a visual and auditory treat for enthusiasts.
The exploration of video game culture goes beyond mere aesthetics; it becomes an integral part of the characters’ identities and interactions. The script intelligently weaves gaming terminology and tropes into the dialogue, effectively blending the real and virtual worlds. The series navigates the challenges and triumphs of the characters through the lens of gaming, making it a unique and engaging experience for both gamers and general audiences.
The ensemble cast, including standout performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, and Chris Evans embraces the gaming theme with infectious enthusiasm. The chemistry between the characters is palpable, adding emotional depth to the series.
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” successfully taps into the zeitgeist of video game culture, offering a nostalgic yet contemporary take on the gaming phenomenon. It’s a must-watch for those who cherish the pixelated roots of the gaming world while providing an accessible and entertaining narrative for a broader audience. The series takes off not only in its title but also in its ability to soar within the ever-expanding realm of Netflix originals.