Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Battle Of Gastronomical Proportions!

headshotjeremy On "Top Chef" most of the drama comes from the clash of contenders Betty and Marcel. Marcel is a boyish twenty-six-year-old with elaborate supervillain hair. Betty is an ostensibly perky forty-something gal with slathered-on makeup that looks fine indoors but transforms her into Baby Jane Hudson when exposed to direct sunlight. Marcel came onto the show with the self-fulfilling attitude that the other contestants were out to get him because he was so much more talented than they were -- his arrogance did indeed alienate him from almost everybody there (with the exception of one chef who had known him before the show) but in terms of talent he's firmly in the middle. The lower middle. Betty immediately charmed most of the chefs when she arrived. ("We're like sisters!" she chirped to the hapless first-eliminatee Suyai, who was at least twenty years her junior.) But soon enough she revealed herself to be prone to unwarranted, shrieky freak-outs... directed mainly at Marcel.

I started out liking Betty and hating Marcel. Now I think Betty is an unstable, paranoid, phony-ass bitch, while Marcel didn't turn out to be much of a villain. In fact, he helped Betty with her crappy desserts in the last episode, and when the judges criticized the desserts Betty pretty much accused Marcel of sabotage and called him "selfish." Whuh--?! However, Marcel is still far from a hero in my eyes. For one thing, he is far less mature, emotionally, than an educated, well-traveled twenty-six-year-old should be, as witnessed by his pathetic attempt to "stare down" Betty after her initial freak-out. And here's what I really despise about him: he tends to respond to any kind of confrontation with a goggle-eyed, smirking, infantile "Who, me?" look. That shit? Makes me want to punch him in the balls. So right now I can't stand either one of them. On the Television Without Pity boards, however, most people loooove Marcel. They've keyed into his self-imposed victimhood with the force of a thousand overprotective moms. They love his "adorkableness" (ew) and his wounded-puppydog eyes and his spindly, hairy body. "More shirtlessness, please!" they cry. I thank you, no. (Like I should talk--! But still.)

Thanks to his three-part bouffant hair-do and his convoluted facial hair, Marcel often draws comparisons to Wolverine. If you ask me, he's more like the Destructor, from "Ms. Marvel" #2 (February, 1977).


"Hat head" ahoy! Now, this is a more accurate representation of Marcel's hair than I've seen in any panel featuring Wolverine that was ever drawn. Or painted!


Arrogance? Check! Even though Wolverine often claims to be "the best he is at what he does" he never really comes off as arrogant about it. And unlike Marcel, Wolverine can actually back that statement up. Marcel consistently makes mediocre or even downright terrible food but he acts like he's the most talented chef in the competition. I guess that explains the hair. He's never encountered a reflective surface in his life!


Never jeer; the underdog is here! This is the kind of background detail a Marcel booster would pounce on in a nanosecond. "WHY do those jerks at L.A.M.E. always have to show up the Destructor? D. just wanted to relax in his comfy green chair and then that one guy plops his ass down in a freakin' THRONE! HATE!! I hope that L.A.M.E. scientist guy's kid reads this comic book and then he stabs his dad in the leg with a butcher knife." ...And I wish I was exaggerating. I once read a TWoP posting about Project Runway's resident jerk Jeffrey Sebelia (after he made Angela's mom cry) wishing for his own child to "claw that ugly tattoo off his neck." That's not "bombastically stating an opinion for humorous effect." That's psychotic. And please, let's leave the children out of this, okay? Christ almighty.


Inappropriate cuteness! Huge gaping mouth plus happy eyes minus nose equals "anime face." Marcel also looks like an anime character, what with his huge, pretty eyes and his goofball hair. And he has the exact same bodily proportions as Cloud Strife.


Conflict with a duplicitous blonde lady with a split-personality? Bingo.


And just like Ms. Marvel and the Destructor at the end of "Ms. Marvel" #2, Betty and Marcel are still hanging in there, their respective awfulness colliding like matter and anti-matter, leaving neither one as the victor. Of course, Ms. Marvel is sure to win the day. It's her book, after all! But Betty and Marcel? Which one of them will be sent home first? It's anybody's guess at this point. ( I can only say: TO BE CONTINUED!)

*Updated 12:17 PM with links to pictures of Marcel and Betty. Thy will be done, cozmic!


Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

How did you know that my fetish is a tight-shorted super powered blond kicking a bearded dork with a dumb helmet into a fire hydrant, then crawling next to him and passing out? It's like you're reading my mind or something!

Anonymous said...

What? No pics of Marcel? I'm gonna have to do my own Google. What kinda service is that?


Anonymous said...

*Updated 12:17 PM with links to pictures of Marcel and Betty. Thy will be done, cozmic!

Yes, but now I can't unsee that picture of Betty. "Ostensibly" perky is right. Gah!

Scipio said...

I find it difficult to take seriously a villain who hirelings are those Banana-flavored Beekeepers of Bialya.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Jon: Well, I know now. *updates Christmas shopping list*

Cozmic: Hey, you'll take it like I make it. Kidding, of course! I fixed it!

Chance: You're lucky you didn't see the one of her cooking in a gold sequined halter top. With her hair in pigtails.

Scipio: Haw!

Anonymous said...

Think of me as the editor you never wanted.

- cozmic

Phillip said...

I hate Betty only slightly less than Marcel. Okay, I don't hate him, he just bugs the shit out of me (and he can't cook!) If the TWoP crowd loves him (and hated Jeffrey) then I guess I know to stay away from there.

"I find it difficult to take seriously a villain who hirelings are those Banana-flavored Beekeepers of Bialya."

Read it again (or, for the first time!)- They hired him!