THE ART OF BAD BUDDY

When GMM TV recently held its annual event to announce new series and projects for next year, fans hoped for a Bad Buddy Season 2. This anticipation was fed by the fact that the leads, Ohm Pawat and Nanon Korapat, were scheduled to attend. Each was announced as leads to separate dramatic series. There was no season 2. However, when stories for the anthology series Our Sky were announced, there were Ohm and Nanon, front and center. Ohm commented that Bad Buddy already had its happy ending, but we still miss Pat and Pran. There will be a single Bad Buddy episode.
What made Bad Buddy so beloved by fans around the world? The following thoughts were shared earlier this year on SERENDIPITY.

Clues, Hints, Irony, and Chemistry, by Rich Paschall

There is a lot to watch for in Bad Buddy. If you have not seen the series yet, what are you waiting for? We definitely have some clues for you to watch for but maybe a few spoilers too. (GMM TV 25, YouTube, WeTV)

“This guy with the fierce eyes is Pat.” – Pran, Ep. 1 and 12
“This guy with the dimples is Pran.” – Pat, Ep 12 

If you are watching the hit Thai mini-series, Bad Buddy, for the second time, or perhaps the third or more, you will notice how artfully constructed the whole project had been. While the acting has been highly praised, the series would not have reached massive international success on that alone. It is a simple story of enemies to lovers in a university setting, after all. You will find quite a number of those if you search through the BL series of recent years (also known as Y-Series to some). It is the attention to detail and the consistent development of the characters at the hands of director Aof Noppharnach Chaiwimol and the crew that put this series a cut above the rest. Does it deserve the masterpiece status some would like to give it?

Nanon Korapat (L) and Ohm Pawat receive direction

Right from the outset, the crew is dropping clues and subtle hints at us. The parents’ lies, as repeated by the boys at the very beginning, are meant to keep the boys apart but it never really worked that way. Except for the opening sequence, does it look like these guys are really enemies, or just trying to play the parts expected of them by their parents?

In Episode 1 there is a certain irony to Pat’s sister, Pa, telling Pat that his meeting Pran again after three years means they are “Soulmates.” She follows by telling Pat he is not to hurt Pran in the fights between Architecture and Engineering students. When he asks why, she says, “You know why.” We won’t find out until later, but you can see it written on Pat’s face. He knows. If you missed that, you certainly noticed the surprised look on Pat’s face when he looked across the way to see a shirtless Pran walking past his bedroom window.

Next door in Pran’s room he takes out a “treasure box” that holds an old wristwatch. This is a significant clue and the watch will get dropped into every episode along the way. When Pran thinks back to Pat returning the watch when they are children, we are only getting a part of the memory. Do we see a slight smile for that memory? The rest of that story will be revealed later. Pran will take that watch back to his dorm room with him. After the scene where Pat and Pran exchange Line IDs so they can chat to avoid running into one another, you will find Pran in his room winding the watch and putting it on. His time together with Pat has now started over. Notice not only that Pran wears it throughout, but that he looks at it at important moments. He looks at it before he goes out on the rooftop the first time. He looks at it again after Pat returns the guitar and goes back to his room. He even wakes up with it on in Episode 11 and has it across the years of Episode 12.

Time to compete?

There was more in the box than a watch. If you looked closely you would have seen a cassette player and a couple of pictures of a very small boy. In one picture the boy is holding a microphone. The box held the memories that Pran also held close to his heart for years. When he tells Wai in Episode 1 that he quit playing music a long time ago, don’t believe him. You can see that it does not take much convincing to get Pran to join the “Freshy Day” music contest. Of course, Pat will follow him and join the contest too.

It is not just Pran who is keeping Pran’s dream of being a musician alive, Pat is too. After all Pat safeguarded Pran’s guitar for years after Pran’s mother transferred him to another school. When Pat returns the guitar to Pran (Episode 3) he jokes that he tried to sell it online, but we should not believe it. Moments later Pat will also claim that he does not know how they got reinstated in the music contest (after being kicked out for fighting), but it was Pat who went to the professor to plead their case. In Episode 4 when he is explaining his good qualities, Pat tells Pran “I kept the guitar for you.” In Episode 10 Pat will admit that when Pran got transferred out of their high school Pat ran after him with the guitar but did not catch him. In episodes 10 (at the high school) and 11 (at the “green village”) Pat encourages Pran to play. When Pat asks Pran what he wants to be after graduation (Ep. 11) Pran names an Interior designer and a musician. All through his life, he wanted to play and sing. When Pran asks Pat the same question, Pat says he will take on a family business AND “I want to listen to your music.” Soulmates, perhaps?

Pat returns Pran’s guitar

The guys may not be friends at the end of Episode one but they don’t exactly look like enemies either. They share their Line IDs (contact information) so they can work together to keep their school groups apart. Pran changes the ID name to “Just a Friend,” but is that all? It’s the major question of the series, of course. They will use the chat function often in the coming episodes. When Pran is walking down the hall at the end of the Episode and looking at his phone, is he smiling because he got Pat’s Line ID? You will notice the smiley face door hanger at the end of the episode. Pat will not notice it until Episode 2.

Pran’s room is full of smiley face images. This image will be important to Pat as well as Pran throughout the series. When Pa brings Pat’s laundry in Episode 1 she leaves him the basket to put away the items himself. When he looks down at it he sees a t-shirt with a smiley face on top of the pile. This triggers the memory of just why Pa makes Pat promise not to hurt Pran. If you remember this shirt, you might notice when Pat actually wears it (Episode 12).

The smiley face door hanger will become a symbol of when Pran is happy, sad, or upset. When Pat learns the meaning, he will be ready to act accordingly. It is a happy face at the end of Episodes 1 and 3. Pat sees a sad face after their fight in Episode 5 and before he goes up onto the roof. Did you notice the door hanger at the very end of the series?

Deal?

Some of the hints are given to us through what will prove to be rather ironic statements later on. In episode 2 when Pat uses the Line ID to check where Pran is, Pran replies “What are you, my boyfriend?” The “boyfriend joke” will get tossed around a few times before the competition begins (end of Ep. 6) for each to try to win over the other. Pat replies, “The only thing left to do is we sleep in the same bed.” Pran sends him “yuck” (puking emoticon). This exchange is the same scene as the food delivery mix-up. Each does not know the identity of the one across the hall but Pat starts courting who he thinks is a girl. Pran is receiving the gifts and Wai jokingly says, “You like him don’t you?” At that moment Pran glances out the window and who does he see?

The food mix-up and Pat inviting the unknown person across the hall to meet him to see the moon at night leads to the first of 4 rooftop scenes (Episode 2). When the mix-up is revealed, the boys take the opportunity to trade some insults rather than immediately leave. They discovered they are “next door” neighbors, just like at home. The other rooftop scenes will be even more important to the storyline. Reviewers have noted the climactic moment of the rooftop scene at the end of Episode 5 in terms of “iconic” and “legendary.” It came unexpectedly early in the series and may have been one of the longest kiss scenes in GMM TV BL history. I likely do not have to sell you on the idea that everything about that scene came off perfectly.  Would any two others on the list of regular GMM actors have been able to pull this off so effectively?  By the way, there is a fifth rooftop scene where the guys are eating on top of a different roof because they are afraid of being seen at a restaurant.

THE rooftop scene, Episode 5

We also receive an important clue to the question of who liked whom first when Wai tried to assist Pran to write his new song. “Have you not had a secret crush on anyone before?” At that suggestion, Pran immediately thinks back to the music room in high school with Pat and the guitar pick Pat made for Pran from his student ID. Despite us seeing a couple more attempts by Pran to write the song, it will not be possible for him to finish it for the Freshy Day contest. After all, the song is “Our Song” (Pran and Pat). Pran will not find the right words to complete it until after the “honeymoon” night with Pat. That song will lead us to the emotional ending of Episode 11.

“Just Friend?” is also Pran and Pat’s song. That is why Pat is hurt and jealous that Pran would choose to play it with others, especially Wai. Despite the harsh comments they exchange at the fight and on the rooftop, the playing of the song in the Freshy Day contest was not “a little thing” to Pat or “insignificant.” It is their song, just like the one that will come later in the series.

The music used throughout the series perfectly matches the scenes. Notice when the themes of “Just Friend?” and “Secret” are used along the way. The repeating background music is carefully chosen to tell you the type of mood displayed. The selections used for the rooftop scenes to close episodes 5 and 10 are a perfect match for the intensity of the moments. At no point was the music a distraction from the story.

“Honeymoon,” Ep. 11

There are a lot more clues, hints, and symbols along the way, but none of it would have worked so well without the chemistry on display, especially between the two principal performers. Ohm Pawat (Pat) and Nanon Korapat (Pran) were at the right point in their careers for this series. They are both experienced actors. They were both university students at the time. They are real-life best friends. The combination of all these things was pure magic. Notice in the second half of Episode 11 when Pat asks Pran if he wants to join the performer at the seaside cafe and Pran says “No. He’s great.” For the next 30 seconds, Pran looks longingly at the performer as Pat looks at Pran. Without saying a word, these two can speak volumes. That is just one reason why people have watched these 12 episodes over and over.

Some feared that such established stars as Ohm and Nanon would overpower the material, but you do not watch it and think, “There’s Ohm and Nanon acting out their parts.” They became Pat and Pran and you loved each of the characters equally. From the beginning, you hoped the two students would overcome the family hate and become more than “Just Friends” and that is exactly what happened. Now go watch it again.

See Also:Giving It Your All,” ON Friend City review, Sunday Night Blog, “rjptalk,” October 2, 2022.
Who We Are Now,” ON Friend City finale, SERENDIPITY, August 15, 2022.
The Bad Buddy Phenomenon,” Sunday Night Blog, “rjptalk,” November 19, 2022.
So How Does It End?” Bad Buddy Review, Sunday Night Blog, “rjptalk,” February 3, 2022.

A VAST WASTELAND

Newton Minnow is still around and still has opinions on the value of television. The following ran last year on SERENDIPITY.

The State of Television, by Rich Paschall

When the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission spoke to the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, DC, he began his speech as one might expect. He offered praise for the “noble profession” of broadcasting. He told the group, “When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.” It was a good beginning for the new Chairman giving his first speech. Then he added: “But when television is bad, nothing is worse.”

He challenged the group to watch their own channel, “and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you.”  Then the Chairman offered his brutally honest opinion. “I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.” It is a line that has echoed through the FCC ever since.

In 1961 we had a 19-inch “portable” black and white television set. They called it portable because it had a handle on top so you could pick it up and carry it. It had a cathode ray picture tube along with a number of smaller tubes inside. It was really heavy. Putting a handle on top did not make it portable. We kept it on a TV stand with wheels. That’s what made it portable.

Our television received the three major networks via channels 2, 5, and 7. The local independent television station WGN-TV was on channel 9. It was particularly popular with us for covering Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball home games. It also carried our favorite kids’ programs. There was Educational Television on Channel 11, a member station of National Education Television (NET). Channel 11 (WTTW) had limited broadcast hours. That was it. There were just 5 VHF channels, no cable, no satellite, and no internet.

The stations did not always come in clearly. This meant I had to get up and adjust the television antenna. After I got the picture to come in as good as possible, I would start to walk away from the TV, only to reverse course and adjust the “rabbit ears” some more.

Martin, Tennessee 1960s. The pole on the upper left is the antenna.

When my grandparents moved to Martin, Tennessee, they had to have a tall antenna to bring in stations from Paduch, Kentucky, and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As long as CBS was clear, they were satisfied. My grandmother watched one soap opera in the afternoon and my grandfather watched Walter Cronkite in the evening. There was not much else to see in the “vast wasteland” of television as far as they were concerned.  Of course, in 1961 in the south, and for many years after, you could see The Porter Wagoner Show. I recall pretending to watch that a number of times, but I digress.

Newton Minow was a young lawyer and chair of the local NET station in Chicago when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the Federal Communications Commission.  They felt strongly that television needed to be better, especially in the Cold War era. They also felt children’s programming needed to improve as well.

It was sixty years ago this month that Minow surprised the FCC with his honest assessments of the television industry. The “vast wasteland” speech generated a lot of publicity and some would say it changed television.  Well, it startled some executives, anyway.

Minow pushed the All-Stations Receivers Act in 1961 requiring all televisions sold in the US to receive UHF as well as VHF channels. This led to more stations. He also helped start non-profit educational television, which we know today as PBS. Minow thought his most important accomplishment was legislation that would pave the way for telecommunication satellites.  He told President Kennedy, “communications satellites will be much more important than sending man into space because they will send ideas into space.”

While Minow was exerting great influence over television, not everyone was fond of him as chairman. Years later it was noted that the creator of Gilligan’s Island named the shipwrecked boat the SS Minnow as a jab at Minow’s tenure.

So what does the telecommunications lawyer think of television today? He believes that because television is vaster it is less of a wasteland.  Nonetheless, there are problems today. “We’ve enlarged choice, and at the same time I think we have a serious problem in our news reporting where facts and opinion are mixed up together, where we no longer have agreement on what is a fact.” There is no such thing as “alternative” facts.

Minow believes the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated, requiring broadcasters to present both sides of an issue. “If you don’t agree on facts I don’t see how you can have a civilized discussion,” Minow said. Recent history will bear out the veracity of that statement.

Source: “The Scathing Speech That Made Television History,” by Lily Rothman, time.com, May 9, 2016.
Still a ‘Vast Wasteland’? Newton Minow Reflects on the State of Television,” by Marissa Nelson, news.wttw.com, May 10, 2021.

FIXING WHAT IS NOT BROKEN

The following appeared last year on SERENDIPITY. There were likely changes on Word Press at this time that were of questionable value.

Change For Change Sake

You may have noticed that the websites you use regularly change their format from time to time. Just when you got used to your favorite credit card site, they changed everything around. It is frustrating, to say the least. This is particularly true when the new format offers more information but spreads it out in a way that you can not find it. As we all like to say, it is not “user-friendly.”

Corporate executives, company IT (Information Technology) departments, their programmers, and their minions must all feel that they are not moving forward if they do not keep changing things.

I just want my balance

“They mistake change for improvement, and that is not always the case.”  – Time Management Ninja

Sometimes the best you can hope for is they don’t screw it up too badly. At one time MySpace was the leader in social media. We all had an account and actually had fun there. There was interaction with others, but it was the kind of back and forth you find on a fan forum, not what we know today. As facebook quickly gained ground for its unique ability to connect with friends and neighbors, MySpace did not know how to adapt. Their changes drove people away and it eventually turned into a music site, more or less.

Sometimes change is necessary, but it has to be the right change. It needs to be the type the user will embrace. When a company does not know how to do that, they lose momentum and business. Remember the dot.com boom?  Do you remember the dot.com bust? Change is a tricky business. Knowing when and what to do is a tough call. Sometimes it seems like the people making changes never actually used the site themselves.

Do aliens write these programs?

“Change for change sake does not always result in progress.”

My bank changed several features on their online banking site at some point after I had been using it for a while. It wasn’t awful and I got used to the new layout and features pretty quickly. They maintained a similar look and the items flowed naturally as you paid bills or looked at accounts. My credit card statement was there as well so I could see what I had and what I owed. The people who changed things might actually be banking there.

On the other hand, eBay has made changes recently that are beyond baffling. When I first joined the selling page was simple. All the information for active listings, sold and unsold listings was easy to find. Then they wanted us to use their new format which had the listing more spaced out, bigger pictures, and less of what I wanted to know. Since the listings were bigger, it took you longer to scroll down the page. I resisted using it. This, by the way, has nothing to do with the listing page the buyers see.

Now they have introduced another format. Charts & graphs & dashboards, oh my!  They dumped the original format which I loved. I have started using that second version that I avoided because what they offer now is just information overload.

“And while I am a big advocate of leaving your comfort zone, too much change can result in confusion, disorganization, and lack of competence.”

This brings me to this very site. For a while now Word Press has been pushing their so-called block editor. As Marilyn has pointed out, it is not a true “Block editor,” but I digress. WordPress also has a “classic editor” which allows you to create a document much like creating a Microsoft Word document. It is straightforward, with the usual basic tools: Font size, bold, italics, color, links, and so forth. The Block editor works under the premise that you write things in little chunks and assemble them later in building block style. I had building blocks as a child. I am sure we knocked them down and then arranged them again in order. It’s an interesting concept, except I don’t actually write that way.

Sometimes I look back at what I wrote and it does not flow as I had in mind. I can not imagine the result if I worked in “blocks.” One continuous document is the best way to edit blog posts, I think. Do younger generations actually write in little pieces and assemble them later as if it was some giant Lego project?

Just another Rubik’s cube?

Marilyn has commented extensively about this Word Press mish-mash in the past. She did not mince words and yet, I think she was too kind. Do these programmers actually write blog posts, or are they just creating something different because they can?

There used to be a WP Admin. menu that gave you useful items. Yes, you can still find most of the same things. Apparently, they just want you to hunt for them.  On Sundays, I usually look back a year to find something to reblog to “Sunday Night Blog.” I did this by filtering down to my posts of a particular month and year. They must think that scrolling down for pages is a better way to find past blog posts.

Fortunately, Marilyn knows the tricks, and the classic editor can still be found. If Word Press wants to turn writing an article into a giant video game, they could take themselves down the same road as MySpace.

“So, next time you want to make a change, ask yourself why you’re doing it first.”

All quotes from: ​”Change for Change’s Sake Doesn’t Always Equal Progress,” by Tori Reid, lifehacker.com, November 3, 2014.

BAD BUDDY

Thai series review

One of the things I have done in the past year while we hide out from the pandemic is to find new entertainment options online.  When you consider what is available from around the world, the options for movies and television series seem endless.  I watched a number of foreign movies, full-length and short subjects.  Now I have also added some foreign television series.

Dive, Thai actor Nonkul (L) and Jason Koo

Over on the SERENDIPITY website, I had mentioned the Chinese series “Dive” and its Thai co-star Chanon Santinatornkul (nickname: Nonkul) when recommending Nonkul’s English language pop tune and music video, “Won’t Tell You.”  I also watched him in a previous Chinese series “Blowing in the Wind.”  He obviously had to dub in a lot of his dialogue in the 28 episodes of “Blowing in the Wind” as working in Chinese was new to him at the time.  Since then the popular Thai Actor, singer, and model has been busy with a movie, television series, and photoshoots.

From there I discovered recommendations for other Thai series.  I decided to go with Bad Buddy as I liked the series trailer and thought I would enjoy the story. It is a familiar theme.

Two rival families teach their boys to dislike one another and they compete in everything. When one of the mothers discovers the two boys working together in a band at school, she has her son transferred away from there. The friendship comes to an end.

The story picks up years later when both of the boys end up at the same university. One becomes president of the Architecture students while the other becomes president of the Engineering students. The groups are rivals and often end up in fights. A problem sets in when the sister of one of the leaders makes him promise not to beat up the other.  This goes back to a childhood incident. Of course, they are both supposed to fight the other. Their friends and their parents would expect as much.

Ohm (L) and Nanon

Bad Buddy stars popular Thai actor Pawat Chittsawangdee (Ohm) as the boy trying not to fight his rival.  Ohm originally did not want the part as he had already been in some series where he played a gay love interest. He changed his mind when he heard they were going to cast his close friend, fellow actor, and pop singer Korapat Kirdpan (Nanon).  The two handsome actors are just 21 years old and longtime friends.  The chemistry for the hate and later love relationship is perfect. It has become one of the most-watched and most-streamed series in Thailand. A Filipino dubbed version drops a day later and an English captioned version can be found on the YouTube channel GMMTV and other platforms. You may need a VPN to catch it on some other websites where content is restricted to some countries.

You will find the YouTube channel your best option, although they like to insert a lot of commercials. Like most YouTube videos, you can skip most of the commercials after 5 seconds. You will also find the Thai sponsored products as you go back into each of the 4 segments in the hour-long comedy-drama. It seems all college students need Canon printers, drink a particular brand of flavored tea, love peppermint inhalers (seriously) and use Nivea products. The product placement in the series is a bit overdone, but we can live with it since the boys are so likable.

As each episode airs, the show starts trending on Thai social media. A popular tag is #OhmNanon. The boys have become so popular together they can be seen everywhere: Commercials, series promotions, interviews, fan meet-ups. You name it, they have done it. In addition, due to the rise of the coronavirus, the boys from the Bad Buddy series (not just Ohm and Nanon) were kept in a Safe House for weeks to keep from getting the virus. This was set up like Big Brother with plenty of cameras to stream the house for hours a day. As a result, we have plenty of internet hours of #OhmNanon.

The stars speak basic English, and while not so good at it, they did sit through a long streaming event in English for the Filipino channel that runs their show. Ohm and Nanon are both college students and hope to continue in the craft.

[SPOLIER ALERT: Stop reading now if you want to go watch this short series.}

The show had a brief break but has been airing weekly with the final episode dropping on Friday.  For eleven episodes this has been mostly a romantic comedy. It did have its serious moments, even taking on how children are taught to hate one another based on the lies of the parents. It seemed like it was heading to an acceptable conclusion for the two based on the direction of episodes 10 and 11. Then the series dropped an ominous trailer for what is coming in the final episode.

If you are going to take us on a romcom journey, we certainly would not expect a “star-crossed lovers” ending to this Romeo and Romeo affair (Pat and Pran, actually). That’s what the 30-second coming attraction gave us. Are we to see a break-up?  Will there be death for one or both of our stars? Will their parents finally succeed in crushing their sons’ love?  The voice-over promises the most shocking episode of 2022. OK, it’s only January. They have suggested the boys will be torn apart and there will be a death scene.

Yes, I know. TV series love to tease us with “scenes from our next episode” that often deceive us a bit, but this trailer was a little longer and seemed like it was meant to dash the hopes of all the #PatPran fans.  I will really be annoyed if that is the ultimate ending to this pleasant little series.  They have since dropped an eight-and-a-half-minute trailer labeled as having spoilers. There is no chance I will watch that in advance.

Instead of trailers, I will leave you with this song Nanon sings in the series. It is littered with clips from the show. Turn on captions for English.  If you are not sure this guy is really popular, check out the number of views:

Update: Ohm and Nanon confirmed in an interview Thursday that they filmed three different endings and one is very sad.  They claim not to know what was chosen and they too will have to watch to see how it ends.

 

IS IT WORTH COOKING?

The pandemic certainly hurt the production of the popular Buzzfeed series, Worth It. Last year, they found a way to film a few additional episodes trying to duplicate some of the food items they had tasted on the show. Late in 2020, after the below article appeared on SERENDIPITY, the crew filmed a few more virtual and/or socially distanced episodes which you can find on YouTube. At the beginning of 2021, they released their top ten cheapest or approximate 1 dollar items from past episodes. At the same time, Andrew announced their intention to continue the series at some point. It has not yet restarted. 

Worth It – Food, a review, by Rich Paschall

Buzzfeed Worth It

Last year I reviewed the incredibly popular Buzz Feed and YouTube series Worth It. The show finds its popular hosts, millennials Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj, traveling to three different restaurants at “drastically different price points.” They taste and review a similar item at each one. Along for the ride (literally) is sound and cameraman Adam Bianchi, who is often seen in the back seat of the car as they drive to each restaurant. At the end of the episode all three vote on the restaurant that was the most worth it at its price.

Over the past four years, they have produced seven “seasons,” the longest of which was 12 episodes. In 2017 and 2018 they won the Streamy Award (Dick Clark Productions, of course) for the Best Food Series. The show features two young guys interviewing restaurant owners and/or chefs and then sitting down to critique the food as an average person might do. The chemistry between the hosts is largely what makes this work. While many of the shows were filmed in Los Angeles or New York, they have been to other US cities, plus stops in Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.


Final 2019 episode

With a format such as the one described above, I am sure you can see the problem 2020 has presented to the series. How can you carry on when you can not go out to restaurants to eat? In fact, the hosts and cameraman are keeping their distance from one another. At the end of March, the team put all of Season Seven together for a Worth It Marathon in case you wanted to see one hour and 47 minutes all at once. At the end of May, Andrew and Adam presented some editing magic in the social distancing episode. They cut a new video of Steven and Adam in the car with Andrew as he drove around collecting take-out at three “drastically different price points.”  It’s a 3 dollar take-out to a 129 dollar take-out. He dropped off the food to the other two and Andrew and Steven reviewed them as always. It was a good concept, but it was not going to sustain a series.

With no end of the social distancing protocols that most people are following to stay safe, Andrew and Adam (remotely) have carried on with a new version of the show, Worth It – Food. Now Andrew will attempt to make in his own kitchen, a dish they have previously enjoyed at one of the restaurants in the series. Andrew picks the dish, interviews the chef from the restaurant online, and then sets out to make the same item himself. In between getting the recipe and making the dish, Andrew shops for the items. Not only does he get to make a restaurant favorite at home, but he also is able to explore “The Fundamentals of Why Something Tastes Good.”

Andrew proved to be an engaging host in the original series. He brings a good dose of curiosity and a heaping measure of humor. And yet, despite the public appearances and the hosting of Worth It and other shows, almost nothing is known about Andrew’s personal life. He is a very private person. Unlike other YouTube stars, he has no presence on other social media platforms. So the fact that he is filming new episodes in his own apartment adds to the level of interest.

Utilizing two stationary cameras, Andrew does his best to recreate the dish that has been described to him in the opening. Since Andrew is not a restaurant chef, consider the challenge the same as if you started out to follow a new recipe. He has been challenged by Adam to make dishes on a different Buzz Feed show, Eating Your Feed. That has not always gone well, but I digress. This time out…well, no spoilers for you. Along the way, you will be able to enjoy his efforts while he discusses (with himself) what he thinks makes the dish taste good.

Also, cut into the show might be some footage they had taken at the restaurant but not used in the original Worth It episode. Andrew’s first attempt is a pie that was not featured on their show. Andrew explains that their restaurant stops might include other dishes we do not see. Yes, they do eat more at the restaurant than the dish they have gone to review.

If this version of the show has staying power, it will be up to Andrew’s interview with the chef at the outset, his presentation of the recipe, and the quality of the final product. Like any good cooking show, he is giving you the recipe as he goes along so you can attempt it too. The rebooted series is off to a good start, but hopefully, they will be able to return to the restaurants again this year. In fact, that is the hope we all have.

See also: “The Right Food At The Right Price,” SERENDIPITY, May 26, 2019.

THE RIGHT FOOD AT THE RIGHT PRICE – Rich Paschall

The Worth It series has been very popular from the start. This was a review from last year and you can still find all episodes at BuzzFeed, YouTube, and now on Hulu as well. Be sure to click “View original post” to head over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the article as well as some delicious videos.

SERENDIPITY: SEEKING INTELLIGENT LIFE ON EARTH

Worth It, a review, by Rich Paschall

We all enjoy good food. We also enjoy good restaurants. At times we may want to try something different, or just something that is familiar. Friends may give us recommendations for a new place, or their favorite spot. They may tell us a cetain dish is “to die for,” or mention one to avoid. Their restaurant may be inexpensive or rather “pricey.” The main question for a new or familiar gastronomic experience, whether pricey or not, is likely to be “Is it worth it?”

Buzzfeed Worth It

You have probably tried places where the food was very good but it certainly did not seem to be worth the price. We have gone to many fancy places in my lifetime to find the food was good, but it just wasn’t worth the price charged. Then there are other places where the food was inexpensive…

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INTERESTING, BUT NOT TRUE

In an age with mass communication and so many ways of getting the news, I fear we are becoming less informed and in many cases misinformed. “Why is that?” you may ask. Most of us get the news on our home page, whether it is Comcast, MSN, Yahoo or the many others you can list. If you are ambitious, you can have your web browser open to several news sites at once. Add on CNN, BBC, France 24, Huffington Post for the left and FOX or National Journal for the right. Many of the big city newspapers also have web site news. If you do not catch the news on television or your car radio, you can read it on your desktop, laptop, smart phone, iphone, ipad and probably other devices that I can not even imagine. It is almost impossible to escape the news of the day, and yet I find many people so uneducated about politics, I fear many will go to the polls nex year with little information about the candidates, or worse, the wrong information.

How can this be? With so many ways of getting the news, surely we should be more educated. The reason for this incredible phenomenon is social media. Everyone can now put up postings for his/her friends to read. It does not have to be true. Your first amendment rights let you say what you want, as long as it is not down right slanderous. Even then you might get away with it because the internet is the wild West and you can not possibly police the whole thing, despite the efforts of facebook and others.

Recently I saw a posting on my facebook page showing what was reported to be the words of Abraham Lincoln. These words praised business owners and the rich to such an extent that I became suspicious. It turns out Lincoln never said those things. They were written by a Presbyterian minister decades after Lincoln was dead. The minister was a director of the Citizens’ Industrial Alliance, a pro employer group. Of course, some one thought these phony words attributed to Lincoln would be just the thing to support Republican  politicians.

My first inclination when I see things that just too neatly fit today’s campaigns is to go to Snopes.com. I immediately found the true story there. By the time I posted the rebuttal, this piece of falsehood had so many “shares” there is no telling how many people have seen it and shared it again. So I guess we are to conclude Lincoln supports the current Republicans. My bet is he would not.

Often I notice cartoon caricatures or photo memes listing things about candidates are office holders. Since these usually appear with no sources or statistics, I like to post the comment, “Do you have any examples? No? I didn’t think so.” Usually no one puts up a rebuttal to my comments. Phrases without the sentences or maybe the paragraphs they were in, can be spun in just about any direction.

What are we to do about this disturbing trend? We can all be newscasters and write whatever we feel. Who is to stop us? If someone lies about a candidate, so what? No one is going to sue a little guy for “sharing” a facebook posting or You Tube video. If we can share something around a lot, which is possible, we can get a lot of people to believe the wrong things. If we can get a group of people to spend a day putting up crap on facebook, Instagram, MIX (Stumble Upon), Word Press, reddit, Pintrest, tumblr, Twitter and countless others, we can spin politics in every way except the truth. By the way, I do not wish to suggest it is just Republican supporters doing this. It happens on both sides.

Some time ago I saw an article in the National Journal where a columnist had noted that if we have the worst Congress ever, then it follows “that we are the worst American electorate–ever.” Perhaps he’s right.

Industrial lies

Quotes attributed to Lincoln, he NEVER said this

REPORTS OF MY DEATH

To update the article below we should report that Karen Lewis is still alive and, well,…still active. She has stepped down from her post with the Chicago Teacher’s Union for health reasons. The release of her obituary in error made us think about the things that may be written or said about any of us when we are gone. Click on “View original post” below to follow over to SERENDIPITY for the rest of the article.

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Your Obituary, by Rich Paschall


Taken on ‎September‎ ‎03‎, ‎2012, Viewminder

“Karen Lewis was fearless.” It was the opening line of her obituary on the Chicago Sun-Times  website.  The Chicago Teachers Union President had endured treatment for brain cancer in 2015.  In October of 2017 she had suffered a stroke.  She had surgery for a malignant brain tumor.  Through it all she battled on, and was widely respected for her tenacity and survival.

It was no surprise that her death would highlight the courage of her struggles.  There was just one little problem with the story as was mentioned on Lewis’ Facebook page, “Contrary to an unfortunate slip, I am not dead.”

Yes, the 64-year-old labor leader and brain cancer survivor is alive and living in Chicago.

Did you ever wonder how a periodical could publish a lengthy story on a famous person’s life just moments after they die?  Obituaries for prominent…

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NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS – RICH PASCHALL

There is political news, fake news and alternative news. There is entertainment news and celebrity news. Maybe we should try “no news.” Be sure to click “View original post” at the bottom to continue reading on SERENDIPITY.

SERENDIPITY: SEEKING INTELLIGENT LIFE ON EARTH

Avoiding Stress, by Rich Paschall


Recently I attended a talk at work regarding avoiding stress.  We are in a deadline driven business and there can be a good deal of stress, so a talk on dealing with and reducing stress seemed like a good use of my time in a busy day. The speaker was Dr. Scott Cabrera of Higgins Sports and Spinal Rehab.  This caught my interest as I have had a variety of spinal issues and could not help but believe that some of them were caused by stress.

As I expected he had charts and a skeletal figure so he could explain to us about the spine.  He showed how we can often tense up and this is bad for the spine and the nerves connected to it.  We saw how nerves ran from the spine down the arms and legs.  Tension in the back could be the…

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THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF THE SHORT WESTERN – RICH PASCHALL

Last week we posted the Top Ten short dramas, but we left the half hour western to a Top Ten of its own. Be sure to click on “View original post” below to head over to SERENDIPITY for the entire list.

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My Top Ten Half Hour Westerns, By Rich Paschall

Previously on Top Ten Lists, the half hour dramas were pursued and captured by our list makers after a mighty struggle with the internet.  The hero of our saga had to hunt down the short dramas of yesteryear, because the present day folks had completely abandoned the idea of getting to the point quickly.  These stories were rounded up one by one and displayed in Too Much Drama, an episode from a couple of weeks ago.  Now the tale of the half hour drama resumes with the Western division.  Our hero will ride off into the sunset looking for horse dramas that actually had a plot and moved right along.  Saddle up and follow us down the trail.

In the early days of television, the western was a staple of programming.  Many shows were radio broadcasts that became television series.  With an…

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