Friday, March 25, 2016

Let Down by The 100

(Beware of spoilers)

I want to get something off my chest: season 3 of The 100 is terrible. I guess I could begin by explaining how I hoped the show would unfold after season 2, because season 2 was great! I hoped the writers were going to focus on the fallout post-Mt. Weather. I hoped the writers were going to continue to show the character progression of each pivotal character and how they were affected by Mt. Weather.

Instead, the show fastforwarded to months? weeks? after Mt. Weather, and we were introduced to a slew of new characters (why!). It almost seemed as though each original character had developed significantly since the s2 finale and we were left trying to connect the dots ourselves. I get that shows do this. I get that they don't want to baby their audience by providing all the details. The thing is, so many shows take this approach and fail, because it almost certainly leads to plot holes. Look at Pretty Little Liars. Look at Orphan Black. Those are two shows I had to stop watching because they twisted the plot so much that it became frustrating because they overlooked the importance of filling the audience in.

The most annoying character development we've seen in The 100 so far is Bellamy's. Bellamy was awful at the beginning of season 1. He was selfish and tyrannical, but by the end of the season he softened up. In season 2 he became a hero of sorts. He learned empathy and seemed to have a strong moral compass. In season 3, it all went to waste. He flip flopped back to being emotionless and taking part in the genocide of the grounders. I seriously do not get how this happens. He warmed up to Lincoln, he was amicable with Indra, and he seemed to understand that not all grounders are the same. It's such a shame that his character devolved so much in the span of like, 3 episodes.

And then we have Clarke. Clarke decided, as per the end of season 2, that she no longer wanted to live with Sky Crew. The season ends with her leaving the Arc and walking into the forest alone. Bellamy did not go with her. Clarke's broken relationship with the Sky Crew and the grounders should have been the primary focus, yet season 3 began with Clarke being hunted by the Ice Queen. Where did this Ice Queen even come from? How did we get from point A to point B? What were Clarke's intentions in wandering off into the wild on her own? None of this was addressed.

Now Lexa's dead and the LGBTQIA audience is devastated. The showrunner, Jason Rothenberg, issued an apology about perpetuating the "bury your gays" trope in tv writing. The apology is alright (though I 100% understand if the LGBTQIA audience don't accept it), but Rothenberg should also apologize for convoluting the plot and letting character development fall by the wayside.

I'm not sure if I want to continue watching this season. I don't know how it can recover. We're already 8/12 episodes into season 3 and I don't see how it's going to improve. Absolutely no progress has been made for the show's true heroes... It's all pretty sad.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Best Sushi Ever: Vegan!!!

Hey everyone! Last week I went to try vegan sushi with my friends for my birthday, and I'm not exaggerating: it was the best sushi I've ever had. One of my favorite things about vegan cooking is that all the ingredients shine in a different way, whereas if you're having a meat dish, the star is the chicken/steak/fish/whatever and everything else is complementary. My impression is that with vegan food every ingredient plays a key role. This sushi was so innovative and so delicious, it kinda blew my mind a little and I can't stop thinking about it!

The restaurant in question is called Sushi Momo and it's located in the Plateau area of downtown Montreal. The only downside to this restaurant is that the service is horrendous because they do takeout and have a seating area, but presumably they only have one chef. That said, I was able to put up with it because the sushi was so tasty.

At first I was a little taken aback by the a-la-carte pricing. I think I'm just used to having all-you-can-eat sushi for like $20-25 and not worrying about it, but in the end I only ended up paying $14 which is pretty good. Bear in mind that the sushi in the following photos was split amongst 3 people. I was totally satisfied hunger-wise by the end of my meal, but I do wish I ordered more so I could taste all the awesome variations of vegan sushi.

I honestly can't really remember what exactly was in all of these but here's what I can recall. There was one roll (I believe the 5 pieces on the right) that included vegan cream cheese, tomato, avocado, carrot, and sliced green apple, which I know sounds SO odd but it was really good. I think it was called the "Four Seasons" roll.

Then we got these two which were the total standouts for me. The roll on the left was stuffed with "creamy jackfruit". I definitely knew I wanted to try something with jackfruit because although it is literally a fruit, vegan chefs use this to mimic pulled pork/chicken texture, and it does a pretty good job of picking up the flavor of whatever you cook it in. Then on the right was a spicy, creamy tofu roll which was honestly just as delicious as the jackfruit. It actually might have been my favorite.

We also shared a plate of tempura sushi that had sweet tofu, mango and avocado, and it was so amazing I forgot to take a picture of it. I loved the texture combo of having creamy avocado sushi fried in a tempura batter. The mango was a really nice tangy touch too.

Last but not least, we had to try the "Poutine Hosomaki". Basically, this dish consists of sweet potato sushi cut into bite sized pieces, fried tempura-style, then baked in "cheddar cheese" (I have no clue how they did this) and shiitake teriyaki sauce. Um... yes. It was everything.

All in all, I desperately need to go back to this place. Next time I would definitely go for lunch on a not-so-busy day because I'm thinking the service was slowed down because it was a Saturday night. Or maybe I can try and probably not succeed at making this stuff myself...!