UnREAL — Season 2 Official Trailer

The Summer of 2015 gave us two superlative TV shows from two unlikely sources.

The USA Network, best known for endless Law and Order reruns and unchallenging light dramedies featuring paired 25- to 35-year-old males in definitely-no-homo bromances—Suits, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, etc.—introduced Mr. Robot.  Once people got past the stupid title, they found one of the most intriguing shows of the year.

Over at the Lifetime Network, where non-stop, cookie-cutter women-as-victims movies made the channel the female equivalent of the USA Network, programmers offered a series about what goes on behind the scenes of a “reality” TV show like The Bachelor.  Despite the unpromising premise, UnREAL was a funny, sharply written, deeply cynical delight.

Both shows were critical and popular hits, and they’re both coming back for second seasons.

UnREAL returns on 6 June 2016.

2016 Cookery Project — Gazpacho and Blue Cheese Toasts

Today’s lunch was inspired by an old posting in Adam Roberts’ now inactive The Amateur Gourmet blog,  which had a wonderful run between 2004 and 2015.  The Amateur Gourmet won a host of awards, and led to Roberts doing some shows for the Food Network and writing for some of the better periodicals and websites, like Salon and Serious Eats.

Roberts stopped updating the blog about a year ago, when his life got very busy.  He married his longtime boyfriend, Craig Johnson, the writer and director of the indie hit, The Skeleton Twins, and was hired as a staff writer for the TV show,  The Real O’Neals.

On to the meal itself.  I had mixed results with this one.  The gazpacho was OK, but not anything I feel a need to make again.   But the toast!  OMG!

Here’s what I did:  Following Roberts’ instructions, I cut thick slices of white bread and brushed them with some good olive oil.  I heated an empty frying pan on high heat, then put the bread in the pan, using a spatula to press it down and get a nice toasty look.  Then I topped the bread with gorgonzola, and put it into a pre-heated oven just long enough to make the cheese a little melty.  And when they came out of the oven, I drizzled honey over the cheese.  Heavenly!


Chagall: Midsummer Night’s Dreams

This one
I’ve posted before about Les Carrières de Lumières,  the former quarry in Baux-de-Provence, France, that has been transformed into a unique art space.  Culturespaces, the European company that creates installations for museums and historic sites, has been developing “art and music immersive experiences” there since 2012.

This year’s installation is called Chagall:  Midsummer Night’s Dreams.  It will run through 8 January 2017.

Here are some images, all found on the Web, from the site:


Here’s my posting about Les Carrières de Lumières from 2014,  when the subject was Klimt and Vienna.

Nerve — Official Trailer

This looks like fun.  “A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of ‘watchers’.”

Sure, it’s been done before.  There’s The Hunger Games, obviously, but movies about life-or-death competitions as the basis for “reality” TV programming even pre-date the arrival of actual TV shows like Survivor.  Take Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 The Running Man, which was set in the then distant future.

“In the year 2017, the world economy has collapsed.  The great freedoms of the United States are no longer, as the once great nation has sealed off its borders and become a militarized police state, censoring all film, art, literature, and communications.”
—from the film’s synopsis

Hmmm.  I wonder who won the 2016 election in that movie?

It looks like Nerve updates the story by moving it from TV to New Media.  The film stars Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, and it will be released on 27 July 2016.

A Sign That Nerve Might Strain Credibility

In our first look at Dave Franco, he’s reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.  I’d have no problem if it were James Franco, but Dave Franco never struck me as a Bloomsbury type.

That’s the only element in the trailer that I found even slightly unbelievable.

2016 Cookery Project — Poulet Braisé au Vin Blanc et Moutarde

AKA Braised Chicken in White Wine and Mustard.

The chicken in white wine and mustard recipe for today’s lunch comes from Susan Herrmann Loomis’s makes-you-want-to move-there-today book, On Rue Tatin.  Living and Cooking in a French Town, which mixes good recipes with interesting stories about what it’s like to settle in France.

The glazed carrots are from Rick Leed’s Dinner for Two, which is long out of print.  After boiling the carrot rounds, I drained the water and added butter, paprika, and a little brown sugar to the pot, then stirred to glaze the carrots.

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The Art of Rebecca Louise Law

Rebecca Louise Law is an East London installation artist who specializes in artworks made with natural materials, namely flowers.

“The physicality and sensuality of her site specific work plays with the relationship between man and nature. Law is passionate about natural change and preservation, allowing her work to evolve as nature takes its course and offering an alternative concept of beauty.”
—from her web site

All images Are from Her Web Site