Speaking of The Sopranos, Kevin made meatballs with polenta, roasted cauliflower, and roasted pear. At least he made meatballs, and did the traditional TV dinner thing of an entrée, a vegetable, and a dessert. I would have called mine, "What? No Fucking Ziti?" but I guess it would be tough to make baked ziti in an hour, especially if you didn't want to use dried pasta. I make a really awesome baked ziti, though. Padma comments on how good the cauliflower is, and Paul says that he tastes pepperoncini, which must mean that it's spicy.
Eli had Gilligan's Island, so he went totally tropical and made macadamia nut shrimp with sweet potato puree, tropical herb salad, and cherries and bananas. Given the parameters of the challenge, I don't have a problem with his dish, if it's executed well. At least you can see the tie to his show.
Michael V. has Cheers and he made chicken parmesan with spaghetti gratin, braised Swiss chard, and cherry pie. I get that he was going for bar food but I don't think of any of those dishes as bar food. I would have liked a refined or deconstructed version of sliders or (given the show's Boston setting) fried clams or a fish fry or something. And pretzels should be involved somehow. Paul points out that he tastes fennel, and he likes it.
Robin had Sesame Street, and she says that she thinks of "the big eye." What is she talking about? Is she thinking of Romper Room and "I spy with my little eye"? So her food is a burger with egg, crispy kale, carrot salad, and almond-laced cookie. I get the cookie, but what about the rest of it? It's pretty colors? How about some kids' food like chicken nuggets or pudding or something? Paul claims he likes the direction and inspiration. He is on drugs.
Bryan had M.A.S.H. and his theme was American food from the '50s so he made meatloaf, mashed potato, asparagus, and apple tarte tatin. I can get behind his reasoning, and the food looks good. The judges agree with me.