Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Chef Masters - For Whom the Hat Tolls

I have resisted mightly but now the question must be asked. What is it with Top Chef and HATS???? Top Chef Masters, not to be outdone by run of the mill asshatery could not resist getting the one critic who is rarely photographed or filmed without one of her many hats. Having seen them all it's time to review the glory that is the Master Ass Hatter.Here's our first glimpse of Gael in her Episode 1 hat. Little known fact, Gael does not wear a hat when she dines in a restaurant she's going to review. She's saved that special treat just for us. I feel I must point out, as I did early in the season, this is reality TV. Seeing everyone's facial expressions is important. It's important because we cannot taste or smell the food. We're relying on the people on the show to tell us about the food. It's not about covering half your face with a hat more appropriate for a wake.Ah yes, here we have Episode 2's Black Feathered Darma Bucket hat with accompanying Beating Bird Heart Broach. I kept waiting for the Smoke Monster to rise up and snatch it from her head but sadly my inner producer goes unfulfilled.Episode 3's hat doesn't bother me nearly as much. Why? Because we're outside, it's a cool day and a hat seems totally appropriate AND she's standing up which means the poor camera man doesn't have to use the Gael angle to get any sort of decent shot of her face. The woman has a great smile....when we get to see it. Sadly the hat is just a tan version of Episode 1's version. If she had a decent set of gays advising her this would never happen.
Episode 4's Slouchy Magic Hat. It almost looks like a squeezebox for her head.
Episode 5 gives us the second red hat with extra wide brim.This episode seems to have been a battle between Gael's natural inclination to wear her hat down over her eyes and some poor producer directing her to wear it angled back more on her head. I call that battle a draw but you know it wasn't easy to even get that concession.
Episode 6 has Gael breaking from her red hat pack into what looks like an oddly shaped, hot and heavy, face obscuring chapeau. When asked why she doesn't wear wigs or disguises when she's out reviewing a restaurant, Gael claims wigs are too tight and hot to wear for three hours. I can't imagine this hat was any cooler under the hot television production lights.
The first round of the Championship brings another bellowy, slouchy hat seemingly color coordinated with James' outfit. I'm also noticing a hat to blouse slouch ratio that was probably unintended. At least I hope it was unintended.
Round Two of the Championship sees a repeat of Epi 4's hat with a green lizard chaser. C'mon, Hat Up Woman, it's the Championships. Not only does she repeat, she gets outhatted by this little cutie patootie.This is a woman who knows how to get her face on TV. Bravo, unnamed Friend Of Zooey, cute hat, cute outfit and we can see your face.Does she hat up for Round Three of the Championship? No, just another repeat of Epi 3's hat but with the bead bobbers prominently placed at the front. And we're back to hiding our face. Boooo!

Now you would think that for the Finale, for the crowning of the first Top Chef Master, Gael would pull something wonderfully Gael-ish from her magical bag of hats. You would be wrong because all we get another red repeater. I feel so used. There you have it, ladies and gay gentlemen. Not exactly Coyote Ugly but then again, I guess we should count our blessings. It could have been a lot worse.


MakingSpace said...

OMG Gael is adorable! That one shot of her whole face smiling was bliss! What the hell was up with the hats? LOL I wonder if she thought they would sufficiently obscure her face on TV so that now when she goes into restaurants people won't recognize her? LOL

The photoshopped Rachel Ray was not as horrible for me as it should have been. To whom do I confess? There must be something I can do for absolution...

Big Shamu said...

Woman does love her hats.

moi said...

I hate Gael's hats. I think they make what is an otherwise attractive and stylish woman look frump a dump. Perhaps she should remember more often that she once had a sizzling affair with Elvis.

Big Shamu said...

I think it's an interesting psychological crutch she can't let go of which is too bad because Top Chef is a great place to re-invent yourself. Gail Simmons work on the show I'm sure has kicked up sales of Food and Wine, Tom is reaching a much wider audience because of his time on the show. She could have really presented a savvy voice of the NY food world but now she'll just be remembered as the frumpy hat lady who reminds us of going to dress up dinner with your grandma.

Jenny said...

in my future, whenever I start thinking I'd love to start wearing hats, I'm going to remember this post. Thank you.