Sunday, November 09, 2003

I'm a wild child. I'm a James Dean rebel without a cause. I get excited when Iron Chef comes on.

You know, that show is a prime example of how Japanese wackiness and Japanese tackiness can come together to form, yet, another extravaganza of fun. The show contains every emotion found in an episode of Sweet Valley High, in addition to the hypnotic surrealism found in a Big Brother-ruled, Orwellian futuristic utopian society:

Wonder:
Look at those oil-resistent uniforms worn by the kitchen stadium kings as they rise from their colour-coordinated platforms.

Anticipation:
Will the current contender choose Chen Kenichi, Mr. Sauce of Champions? Iron Chef Sakai, maybe? He's the outcast of the group. But those Knight Rider glasses hide the aged face of a pate master. Fois gras or horse shit? Only Sakai really knows. It's Morimoto in da house! He might look all Biggie-when-he-didn't-get-his-nachos fly, but it's all an act. He's really looking to find a girl who'll appreciate his salmon filleting technique ... in the bedroom. Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba shows up once in awhile, but he's so bland. White is definitely not the new brocade.

Excitement:
What will the main ingredient be? Any chance of it surpassing the typhoon that was tofu that legendary day?

Horror:
Eel flatulance?!

The entire show is hosted by Takeshi Kaga, who starts off the show biting into a green pepper. Man, that is sick! Unless green peppers are categorised as a fruit since they have seeds then ... it's still freakin' sick! Anyway, he plays a wealthy eccentric who is sadistically drawn to food battles, which he hosts in his castle that strangely resembles a studio set. You might remember him on PBS in the international version of Les Miserables as the first Japanese Jean Valjean. He was also the first Japanese Tony in West Side Story and the first Japanese Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Contenders are usually wunderkinds vying for the prestige of beating an Iron Chef. Sometimes the challenger enters with an entourage, who look like the chopstick mafia. Usually, he (rarely, a she) has just quit his job before competing. Sometimes, he challenges the same chef from his previous appearance for some bloodthirsty revenge, which usually ends in failure: "I have disappointed my elders and will now proceed with the ceremonial suicide." All this is narrated by Fukui-san, whose detailed commentaries are often corrected by Ota.

The show also contains a panel of celebrity judges and audience members whose comments range from: "Mmm, it look so jiggly!" to "The consistency is too thick. You shame your family and ancestors." There's also instant replay to things like a falling bowl of rice ("Menacing!") or the mixing of various liquids ("Rather unusual!").

I've always wanted to taste test the stuff since I'm not a picky eater. I'll even eat the stuff I'm not supposed to eat. You know, like the stuff that'll give me hives and swell up my cervical glands and burst my jugular vein as I convulse on the floor, foaming at the mouth like a prison bitch.

Just joking. I'm only allergic to clingy men. Just joking. I'm actually allergic to soap. Just jok ... no, really.