ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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February 2021

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Extra!

Worst Cooks

Chef Anne Burrell and recruit Cameron Bartlett on Worst Cooks in America

Worst Cooks

  • By Paige Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Food Network

During the past year I’ve watched more than my share of television! Most series, films, and shows have focused on serious subjects and we all know the news has been depressing so I was looking for something new that was silly and funny. Worst Cooks in America is it! The show is seriously corny with goofball antics. Who knew it would be so “laugh out loud” funny to watch people (or recruits, as they are called on the series) cook badly. The recruits are clueless with most of them not even knowing how to hold a knife let alone chop in uniform.

Chef Anne Burrell is at the helm and leads the games with another (revolving) celebrity chef. This season she is paired with Chef Carla Hall. In each episode, the recruits are split into two teams and compete against each other for advantages in the cooking challenges that follow. Lots of hijinks with lots of falling down! They’re also blindfolded and taste things to figure out what’s in front of them. Then the chefs give them a fast tutorial on preparation of some pretty high-end meals. Not sure if I could make them and I’m a pretty good chef myself. These meals are prepared by the recruits in the entree round and then judged. The worst dish from each team goes home weekly. Really silly stuff but oh so funny! Check it out.

Worst Cooks in America is on Food Network and Discovery+.

Spinning Out

Spinning out is streaming on Netflix (Starring Kaya Scodelario and Evan Roderick)

Spinning Out

  • By Paige Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Fan favorite Spinning Out premiered last year on Netflix to lackluster ratings. Unfortunately, it is uncertain if a second season will happen (it’s been canceled but fans are petitioning for its return). The series features Kaya Scodelario (Maze RunnerPirates of the Caribbean) as Kat Baker, a young ice skater who suffers a serious injury but is then given an opportunity to return as a pair skater. It tells the story of the Baker family and its long history of mental illness, along with Kat’s partner Justin played by Evan Roderick (Arrow, 90210), and best friend Jenn’s (Amanda Zhou) injury that’s jeopardizing her skating future. On and off the ice, Kat and Justin face daunting odds and romance on the way to realizing their Olympic dreams. Spinning addresses heavy content like sexual assault accusations as Kat suspects younger sister Serena’s (Willow Shields, The Hunger Games) coach of taking advantage of her. It also spotlights another disturbing happening — Kat is biting herself as she is ridden with stress and constantly a target of her unstable bipolar mom played menacingly by January Jones (Mad Men). It turns out Kat’s mom was also an aspiring figure skating star who got pregnant which led to a different path that she holds on to emotionally. It’s all a recipe for high drama and very entertaining! All the players seem to be “spinning out” of control, hence the series title. If you’re a fan of skating you will love the footage — it’s top-notch! Also, look for skating star Johnny Weir’s fun portrayal of a competitor.

“Spinning Out” is streaming on Netflix.

HAPPY CLEANERS

Happy Cleaners releases February 12th (Starring Yun Jeong)

HAPPY CLEANERS

  • By ARLENE WINNICK
  • Photo Courtesy of PASSION RIVER FILMS

When I first discovered the new film HAPPY CLEANERS, I thought, oh another movie about the immigrant experience in America, I was so wrong. HAPPY CLEANERS is a story about families – this one just happens to be Korean American – and their struggles to understand each other’s values, traditions, and viewpoints. Perhaps Peter Lee, co-director of the film says it best, “No matter what background, we want people to think of their families and what it means to love them despite differences.” The Choi family owns a small struggling dry-cleaning business in Flushing, New York, a once welcoming neighborhood that is evolving around them. Will their business survive?  The Choi children, Kevin and his sister Hyunny are millennials navigating their own paths and identities which often run counter to their parent’s expectations.  We are witnesses to their joy, frustration and pain. As they all face uncertain futures, conflict and emotions erupt. HAPPY CLEANERS is not about winners and losers, rather it’s an age old tale of acceptance, growth and reconciliation beautifully and simply told. This felt like such a personal almost autombiographical movie (particularly the multi-generational scenes around food preparation and mealtime), I asked Lee if this was a true story.  “We always say that our film is a story built on collective experiences….we’ve given these characters the same dreams and fears that we once had or still have.”

“Happy Cleaners” releases Feb 12th. For more details, click here.

Bobby and Giada

Bobby and Giada in Italy is streaming on Discovery+ Starring Chefs Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis

Bobby and Giada

  • By Paige Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Discovery+

If you have never been to Italy, the new series by Chefs Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentiis, following them around Rome and Tuscany, will sure make you want to go. Their new series is called of course, Bobby and Giada in Italy (now streaming on Discovery+) and is presented in four, one-hour episodes that are filled with adventure as they travel through Rome and end in Tuscany’s wine country.

In Rome (the first two episodes) they visit with Giada’s mom, see the sights, eat tons of gelato, cook with local chefs, eat pizza and pasta, and eat more pizza! In Tuscany they tour cheese mills and milked sheep, visit Beekeepers and their honey farm, make classic Tuscan burgers (with pork), and pick their own ingredients to cook several feasts overlooking the countryside. The natural beautiful scenery and backdrops are truly magnificent. The finale of Tuscany was a tour of wine country where they learned the process of making traditional wine. And they drank some wine, too! The message throughout the series is to savor every moment in life. To live, as the saying goes, “La Dolce Vita” (which means “The Sweet Life”). That food and art are very similar and co-exist in Italy … and that cooking is truly an art form. Even the background music is cultured! It’s clear that Bobby and Giada had the time of their lives!

For more details, click here.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher

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