Mmmm Steak….

This Netflix documentary called Steak Revolution is amazing.  The show documents the many different ways beef is valued in different parts of the world.   For example, the French do not like to have their steaks marbled while Japan prefer to have their steaks to be nicely marbled.  The difference lies in how each culture views beef and views fat.  That’s pretty fascinating.

As a side note, I should try Peter Luger’s one of these days.  That steak house was mentioned multiple times by breeders, butchers, chefs and beef connoisseurs as where they ate the “best steak” ever.

Terrace House: Boys & Girls In the City

For the past few days, I’ve been watching this Netflix show called Terrace House: Boys and Girls In the City.  The show is an unscripted Japanese reality TV show about 3 men and 3 women living in a house while cameras record their interactions.  It’s almost like America’s MTV Real World show that somehow doesn’t devolve into screaming matches and one-upsmanship.  I think Japan is probably the only place where politeness and courtesy is still respected while in the middle of heated arguments.

Aside from the show itself, there are a group of commentators that comment on the events in the show.  They’re mainly interested in the human relationships between the different housemates.  Sometimes the commentary is hilarious as they try to dissect the thoughts and emotions of the housemates interacting with each other.  The raw emotions the housemates experience seems to be real.  Some of the facial expressions cannot be faked especially when housemates announce suddenly that they’ll be leaving.  I don’t know how much footage gets recorded but every week gets edited down to approximately 30 minutes.

My favorite housemate would have to be Misaki.  She has a great smile.

Samurai Gourmet

On Netflix, there is this short “slice of life” TV series called Samurai Gourmet.  It’s a pretty short show (about 20 min per episode) about a retired Japanese salary man (re)discovering the pleasures of eating out at different restaurants.  The lead actor’s facial expression is clearly exaggerated when he eats at these different restaurants.  But this exaggeration helps drive the nostalgic experiences and memories about eating the food.  This adds to the “slice of life” feeling that drives show.

The interesting twist in this show is the appearance of 18th/19th century wandering samurai.  The samurai motif comes into play at critical junctures in each episode that ends up deflecting the “artificially built up tension” and have it resolved in a positive manner.  It’s interesting to note that I think Japan is the only place where where loud, rude, obnoxious guests would later apologize for their behavior to bring about a happy ending.

If you have Netflix, it’s worth maybe 2-3 hours of your time.  If anything, the food porn isn’t too bad.

Bill Nye on Netflix 2

Finished Bill Nye’s Save the World on Netflix.  The episodes about diet, space exploration, sex, vaccinations and designer babies were pretty fascinating.  As I watched these episodes, I come to a realization that what Bill Nye is doing isn’t trying to “save the world” but is trying to make us think about the episode’s theme from a variety of viewpoints.

In each episode, there’s discussion about the non-traditional (for lack of a better word) way of thinking about the topic or exploration as to why the theme is benefiting people.  He doesn’t try to force the audience to blindly accept the mainstream popular opinion but tries to get the audience think critically about each topic.  This approach is admirable.

Netflix’s Chef’s Table

Chef’s Table on Netflix is very much like those in depth shows that’d you’d see on History Channel or National Geographic where they do a deep dive into a particular subject.  In this case, the focus of the show is the chef behind the restaurants and what drives them.  I’m on episode four which is about the LA chef Niki Nakayama of N/Naka.  This behind the scenes look makes me want to try  her restaurant now.  I’ve always known about it but rarely had the motivation to try.

This show definitely is on my watch list.  Knowing what drives these chef’s to cook and what inspires these chef’s is well… inspirational.