Junk Food Flip – Premiering Tuesday, June 2nd at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT (COOKING CHANNEL)
Junk Food Flip hosts Nikki Dinki and Bobby Deen seek out the country’s favorite guilty pleasure foods and do their best to recreate the delicious items in a healthier way. In each episode, the team’s revamped creation then goes head-to-head against the original to see which version customers enjoy the most.
- Premiering Tuesday, June 2nd at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – “The Jalapeno Popper Flip” – SERIES PREMIERE!
Bobby and Nikki travel to St. Augustine, Florida, to taste the famous Jalapeno Popper Burger at Gas Full Service restaurant. This beast of a burger has two beef patties stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapenos, then gets deep-fried for the ultimate decadent delight! After biting into this indulgent 1,600-calorie burger, Bobby and Nikki challenge Gas owners Ben and Lindy Loose to a food flip, where they will make a healthier version of the dish. If the people choose Bobby and Nikki’s burger, then Gas has to put it on the menu, but if Ben and Lindy win, they get bragging rights and $1,000. Will their take on the burger be delicious enough to beat the Jalapeno Popper Burger in the showdown? Or will the locals stick with the deep-fried favorite?
- Premiering Tuesday, June 9th at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – “The Unidentified Flipping Object”
If a tostada, taco and burrito had a baby, it would be the U.F.O. This decadent 1,500-calorie burrito is the creation of Nicholas and Robin Kimball, owners of the SoCal-inspired A1A Burrito Works Taco Shop in St. Augustine Beach, Florida. Flipping a burrito seems like an easy challenge, but Bobby and Nikki soon learn that the customers who come to A1A Burrito are not looking for just a burrito; they require calorie-laced fuel to eat before surfing, riding or running all day. Bobby and Nikki attempt to come up with something that matches the U.F.O in flavor, and becomes a healthy source of fuel for the active people who eat it. With bragging rights and cash on the line, will they successfully flip the U.F.O. or will Nicholas back up his smack talk with a winner?
- Premiering Tuesday, June 16th at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – “The Drunken Cubano Flip”
It is a junk food journey down South to Bobby’s home state of Georgia, to take on a legendary BBQ sandwich called ‘the Drunken Cubano’ at Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island. It is a Cuban sandwich with slow-smoked pulled pork, cheese and pickles, but Southern Soul make this sandwich even more decadent by serving it inside a bowl of creamy beer cheese soup! Nikki and Bobby challenge owners and pit-masters, Griffin and Harrison to the ultimate Junk Food Flip. They attempt to create healthier versions of the sandwich, first going head-to-head with each other in a street taste test. Nikki and Bobby finally merge their creations into a sandwich to challenge the local BBQ favorite. Will Bobby and Nikki take these pitmasters down, or are they about to get smoked?
- Premiering Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – “The Southern Comfort Flip”
Husband and wife team, Sean and Keely Mendes of Roadside Seafood in Charleston, South Carolina have created “The Southern Comfort” – creamy lobster mac n’ cheese, four slices of crispy bacon and two fried green tomatoes between two slices of buttered Texas toast. When Bobby and Nikki taste the 1,420-calorie sandwich, they challenge Sean to a Food Flip, but Sean does not think they stand a chance. Bobby and Nikki attempt to recreate those comforting Southern flavors with two very different, but leaner recipes. Once the winning sandwich is chosen in a taste test, Bobby and Nikki join forces to create a worthy challenger. Find out if Bobby and Nikki have what it takes to take down a Charleston favorite.
- Premiering Tuesday, June 30th at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – “The French Toast Frankie Flip”
The “French Toast Frankie” contains roughly 80% of recommended daily calories, a fact of which “Perfectly Franks” owner Perry Cuda could not be more proud. When Bobby and Nikki roll into Summerville, South Carolina to take on this decadent dog, they think they have it easy flipping a 1,700 calorie dish, but the people of Summerville have very discerning taste buds. They love their rich, decadent food and any attempt to mess with tradition could spell certain defeat! Bobby and Nikki soon find themselves going head-to-head with a local hero in an arena filled with a hometown crowd, but they bring a strong challenger to the game. Does Bobby and Nikki’s dog have what it takes to take down this junk food heavyweight?
Craziest Restaurants in America – Premiering Wednesday, June 3rd at 10pm – SERIES PREMIERE! (FOOD NETWORK)
Craziest Restaurants in America travels coast to coast to count down the most unique, most outrageous, most outstanding, and even the most bizarre food establishments that dish out delicious meals and memorable dining experiences. From an underwater cafe to a zombie-themed bistro, these are the restaurants that leave customers saying, “Wow!”
Food Network Star – Premiering Sunday, June 7th at 9pm (FOOD NETWORK)
Long-running hit primetime series Food Network Star returns for season eleven with twelve talented hopefuls competing for the ultimate prize: their own Food Network show. Culinary superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back to host the new season with guest mentors joining the action throughout the season. Tune in to find out who possesses the personality and kitchen chops to be the next Food Network Star.
- Premiering Sunday, June 7th at 9pm – “Food Network Star Festival'” – SEASON PREMIERE!
In the season premiere, the twelve hopefuls arrive in Los Angeles and are introduced to food icons Giada and Bobby. Each finalist must produce a 30-second introductory video and make their signature dish for a food festival to be held the next day. At the festival, attended by a crowd of Food Network fans, each video is screened and their signature dish is tasted by a judging panel including Giada, Bobby, Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman, and People Deputy Editor J.D. Heyman. For one finalist, their dream ends, while the remaining eleven continue on their journey
- Premiering Sunday, June 14th at 9pm – “Savory Baking”
Knowledge and the ability to adapt are key qualities to becoming a star, and the finalists must create an inspiring dish using only ingredients and leftovers that can be found in an average family’s refrigerator then perform a camera challenge for Giada, Bobby and guest judge Melissa d’Arabian. Then the finalists use their imaginations to create a savory dish inspired by the world of desserts, with Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli joining Giada and Bobby at the judge’s table.
- Premiering Sunday, June 21st at 9pm – “Trendy Dinner”
Keeping up with the latest food trends is imperative, so the contestants are tasked to create and photograph trendy “tiny” foods. They are then split up into two teams for a challenge to create a five-course meal where each course corresponds with a buzzword. Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian join the selection committee this week to decide who will be go home.
- Premiering Sunday, June 28th at 9pm – “Fourth of July Cookout”
A Food Network Star has to be able to win over a crowd – so to celebrate the Fourth of July, the finalists are split into teams to develop a cohesive menu, shop for ingredients and feed a crowd of hungry families at a holiday cookout. Guest judge Bobby Deenjoins Bobby and Giada to determine which team has the best performance, and one finalist from the lowest performing team is sent home.
Daphne Dishes – Premiering Sunday, June 7th at 11:30am – SEASON PREMIERE! (FOOD NETWORK)
Mom, wife, and home cook, Daphne Brogdon, brings a fresh, fun and humorous approach to feeding the family. Whether it is for a PTA meeting or a gals’ night in, Daphne cooks up a storm with simple recipes that will feed a crowd and bring the family together.
Outrageous Wedding Cakes – Premiering Saturday, June 13th at 9pm – SPECIAL! (FOOD NETWORK)
Here comes the cake! Wedding season is here and Food Network is serving up a second helping of extravagant, ornate, enormous and downright outrageous cakes! From six-tier masterpieces floating in midair to thousands of sugar-winged butterflies, from optical illusions to show-stopping cakes masquerading as life-size topiary swans, this all-new one-hour special will raise the bar in cake confections at weddings across the nation.
Top 5 Restaurants – Premiering Monday, June 15th at 10:30pm – SERIES PREMIERE! (FOOD NETWORK)
For the first time ever, Food Network is naming America’s top five burger spots, the ultimate five steakhouses, the best five BBQ joints and more! From pizza and ice cream to tacos and fried chicken, each episode is taking on one of America’s favorite foods and telling you exactly where to get the best. We’ll meet the makers and culinary masterminds behind these ultimate food creations as the battle for top spot is finally crowned.
Dune Part Two: The Lisan Al Gaib comes for you!
Welcome back to our struggle for control of the known universe already in progress, the continuation of the journey of Paul Atreides from exile to Emperor, Dune Part Two!
So when we last left our intrepid if dubious heroes, House Atreides had been betrayed and virtually destroyed, by a combination of House Harkonnens surprise attacks and the added treachery of Emperor Shaddam and his Sardaukar. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the last surviving heir (so far) of House Atreides and his mother Jessica, have taken refuge on the desert planet of Arrakis amongst the indigenous Fremen, and as far as most are aware, the other remnants of House Atreides are dead as well. And here is where we catch up with everyone, as the struggle for Atreides emergence and dominance begins in earnest!
The Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is known for her many skills, but her copious note-taking and writings on the large events shaping her world come to the forefront as she takes counsel with her father amidst games of chance on their homeworld. Her life is one of luxury and privilege but alas, Irulan is a trained Bene Gesserit and is well aware that in all likelihood, she will be used as a pawn in the marriage games empires have to go through. Bet she never imagined it could be to a House everyone swore had been utterly destroyed.
Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Paul is trying to integrate himself into the Fremen way of life, which is admittedly far different from the life he led back on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan. (If nothing else, Caladan has vast oceans.) The Fremen are fiercely independent, gloriously strong fighters, survivors who dare to ride and revere the giant sandworms that inhabit their planet that they call Shai-Hulud, and rightfully distrustful of outsiders. After all, the previous stewardship of Arrakis belonged to House Harkonnen, known for their cruelty and glee at hunting Fremen and torturing their victims, sometimes for weeks at a time. But Paul won his and Jessicas way into the Fremen by fair combat against Jamis, and if nothing else, the Fremen are firm in their beliefs of the old ways.
Or rather, the elder Fremen are, most particularly the famed Fedaykin fighter and Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is adamant in his unshakable belief that Paul is the foretold Lisan Al Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World, that will lead the Fremen to peace and paradise. Stilgar’s steadfast belief in Paul’s potential only grows, and he manages with just that to convince a great many of the other Fremen elders. The younger generation of Fremen however, of which Paul’s beloved Chani (Zendaya) is a part, generally scoff at the legends of otherworldly prophets and Arrakis as a fabled green, wet heaven. In the beginning, Paul himself swears he doesn’t want to be the Messiah, only a Fremen fighter amongst the rest of them, hundreds of years of the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit practice of spreading useful religious propaganda as seeds on various planets, is working double-time against him. It doesn’t help that Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) is expounding on that myth as much as she possibly can.
And why would she do that? Survival yes, but also, Jessica is a thoroughly trained Bene Gesserit and knows of plans within plans within plans. Jessica also has many secrets of her own, and one very important one happens to be that she’s pregnant with Paul’s sister. The Bene Gesserit bodily control may be something out of legend, but even Jessica, possibly Reverend Mother Mohiam’s best and most fractious student, will have trouble with the trial the Fremen are insisting she go through to become truly one of them. The Reverend Mother equivalent of Sietch Tabr, known as their Sayyadina, is old and dying, and the Fremen have to have a Reverend Mother. Jessica tells Paul this much and explains that each culture is different in their trial to become a Reverend Mother, so she honestly doesn’t know what to expect. The reality happens to be worse than she could’ve imagined – Jessica must drink the Water of Life, a deadly poison that comes from Shai-Hulud (sort of), and come out the other side of it. And Jessica manages to do it, barely, with almost all of the consequences going to the poor fetus in her womb, the girl that will grow to become Alia Atreides, an insane legend in her own right. But for now, the unnamed fetus is awake and aware and full of the memories of generations of Bene Gesserit women that came before her – before she was even born.
Paul participates in razzia raids amongst the Fremen as they work to take out the spice mining operations of the Harkonnens, immerses himself in the vastly different desert culture of his chosen people, and perhaps most importantly, his romance with his beloved Chani only grows stronger. After declaring his desire to join the fierce fighter elites amongst the Fremen known as Fedaykin, Paul is told by Stilgar that he must summon and ride one of the giant sandworms, the embodiment of Shai-Hulud where the Fremen get their terrible tooth Crysknives from. And after much sendup, in a glorious scene of blinding sand and huge monstrous killer worm-riding, Paul is triumphant and riding atop the sacred creature, his Maker hooks set properly to control the great beast, waving at great distance to his fellow Fremen as Chani looks on in bemusement.
But that’s all external, and inside Paul is beginning to become divided on what he wants to do. As Jessica pushes the Protectiva hard amongst the women and priestesses of the Fremen, she is also pushing her son to become much larger than he ever wanted to be, if nothing else a conqueror can take revenge for the destruction of House Atreides and the death of her beloved Duke Leto. Paul may have earned his place amongst the Fremen and been given new names – Usul, meaning the strength of the base of the pillar, as his private name within the Sietch; and Muad’Dib, from the small mouse survivor of the desert, well versed in desert ways, called ‘Instructor-of-Boys’ in Fremen legend, as his open-use name – but now everyone wants Paul to be something greater, and potentially more destructive, than what he currently is. It only gets worse when Paul begins to suffer prophetic dreams, and visions when he’s awake, prodding him further to his destiny as an epic conqueror of worlds. Nothing can be done for it, Paul convinces himself that he must take the Water of Life himself, to awaken the sleeping prophet inside himself, and allow him to hopefully See a path through the future.
The problem with that plan, is that Bene Gesserit are almost exclusively all women, and only they are supposed to know how to transmute poisons internally, along with all sorts of other “witchcraft”. But Jessica has been training Paul in forbidden Bene Gesserit ways all his life, and as much as Paul might rail and even quail against it, there is no denying his incoming destiny, crushing any resistance he may have with all the force of a giant sandworm hunting a spice blow. And even when Paul has finally given in and taken the cursed substance almost mockingly called the Water of Life, it falls to another strong and prophetic in her right female in his life, his beloved Chani, to save him from himself. But even Chani can’t stop Paul’s destructive destiny as the conqueror of the known worlds, guilty of slaying millions upon millions of people in his quest for vengeance, thinly disguised as peace.
Over on the Harkonnen homeworld of Geidi Prime, “Beast” Rabban (Dave Bautista) is disgusted and enraged at the continuing Fremen raids against the Harkonnens on Arrakis, and terrified of what his uncle the notoriously cruel Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), will do to him in response. The Baron’s nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), heir apparent or na-Baron to House Harkonnen, demonstrates his blood-inborn savagery in a slaughter of the remnants of House Atreides gladiator-style, as his birthday celebration. Pleased with the spectacle, the Baron commands Feyd-Rautha to take control of the fight against this Fremen rebel known as Muad’dib, as Rabban is proving himself more and more useless. And any tool or toy that the Baron finds broken or unusable, is destroyed before being discarded.
As the legend of Muad’dib grows off Arrakis and circulates among the Imperial worlds, the Emperor grinds his teeth in frustration and the Bene Gesserit, led by Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) as the Emperor’s Truthsayer, begin pushing forward their plots and machinations. Lady Margot Fenring (Lea Seydoux), a criminally underused character in this respect, demonstrates her willingness to be a pawn in Bene Gesserit machinations, but never forget, strong Bene Gesserit women have been breaking their own rules for generations. Just look at what Jessica did.
As the raids and rebellion on Arrakis continue, both the Emperor and the Baron become more and more desperate, sending in mercenaries and smugglers in the hopes they might have more luck. And aboard one of those smuggler’s vessels happens to be an old hand at being a smuggler himself, the warrior troubadour with the scarred face given him by “Beast” Rabban himself, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Reunited with his beloved Duke’s only son, Gurney finds himself swept up in the legend of Muad’dib in the making along with everyone else, though at least from Gurney’s point of view, Paul is using the messianic angle to take revenge for House Atreides.
Finally, in an act of what could be considered the ultimate in arrogance, Emperor Shaddam Corrino himself comes to Arrakis, along with Princess Irulan and many others of his Court, the Baron, and Feyd-Rautha in tow as well, to crush this upstart Muad’dib and his Fremen warriors. Sadly for all that the powerhouse actor Christopher Walken plays him, Emperor Shaddam Corrino is shown as a doddering old man, cowed in the face of Muad’dib’s overwhelming vitality and growing-ever-stronger legend. And there is where we will end the review, for the final confrontation between all key players in the Known Universe is full of spoilers and derivations from the original opus of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune.
For those of you who stuck around long enough to get to the end, after all, Dune Part Two is almost three hours long itself, if you are fans of the original novel and the zany Lynchian masterpiece that was the first Dune film, you may be disappointed or even angered at the changes made to the story for the climactic end scenes. Director Villenuve has an eye for making grand epic scenes like Paul’s sandworm ride but can be a bit scattered when it comes to piecing the story together with all the key players needing to be involved in a way that can be understood by any layman. Dune in any form is a rich, vast universe of storytelling, and even an almost three-hour-long sequel simply can’t cover every last bit that’s in the novels. But if nothing else, the film is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and should bring a whole new legion of fans to the many worlds contained within Dune.
If you want to dive further into the Dune-iverse, do yourself a favor and read the Dune prequel books written by Herbert Jr. and Kevin J. Anderson. Until then, dive into the sands of Arrakis along with Shai-Hulud and scream vengeance to the skies with Paul Muad’dib Atreides in Dune Part Two, in theaters now!
Thatsmye Interviews: Les Weiler on Henchin’: the Series
The 8 Episode Series Tries To Encompass A Lot Leaving Fans In A Cliffhanger.
The 2010 “Avatar: The Last Airbender” movie by M. Night Shyamalan faced criticism for its deviations from the beloved animated series. The film struggled with pacing, casting, and a lackluster script, disappointing fans who cherished the source material. In contrast, the 2024 Netflix series has generated positive buzz for its commitment to diverse casting, adherence to the original storyline, and improved character development. The series seems poised to capture the essence of the animated show, offering a fresh and faithful adaptation that resonates with both new and existing fans.
Even though the Netflix series comes closer to the core ideals of the animated series, I feel it lacks heart. Many scenes barely scratch the surface of the relationships between the characters and the push-and-pull relationship between Aang and Zuko. I will admit the CG versions of Momo and Appa are just so gosh darn cute.
The 8 episode series tries to encompass a lot leaving fans in a cliffhanger. It’s worth a watch and I am hanging on for the next season to be announced.