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The Family, Episode 5: I’d Like to Use a Lifeline, Pleaseby C. Brian Devinney -- 08/14/2003
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So we’re up for another round of America’s most engaging family. I have to say that I don’t really know why the critics savaged this show as much as they did in the beginning, because it’s really starting to pick up and there’s some serious tension going on here. Now, is it Masterpiece Theatre or even All About Eve? No. But it is real drama going on as this family tries to weasel, connive, and backstab their way into a million dollars. Oh yeah.
But first, we have to hit some viewer mail. Jackie from Staten Island informed me that the dish that was referenced in a flashback at last week’s Board of Trustees meeting is braciole. So, in the spirit of the show, I did the best version of braciole that my poor, un-Franck-like hands could put together. All in all, it wasn’t a bad dish, but I think that Aunt Aunt Donna probably makes it much better than I did. So here’s the recipe I used… feel free to try this at home and let me know how it turns out with you.
BRACIOLE DI MANZO
1 pound boneless beef top round, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 thin slices
Place the meat slices between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound with a meat mallet until they are 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay a slice of prosciutto and a piece of cheese on each one. Sprinkle with a few pine nuts, currants and garlic. Roll up the slices, tucking in the ends. Tie the rolls at 1-inch intervals with kitchen string.
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef rolls and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, turning the rolls occasionally, until the beef is tender when pierced with a knife, about 2 hours. Check from time to time to see if the sauce is becoming too dry; add a little water if needed.
Uncover, scatter the parsley and basil evenly over the rolls, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to warmed, individual plates, spooning the sauce over the top, and serve at once.
Makes 4 servings.
But enough recipe talk… it’s time for the show! On the last episode of The Family, Cousin Mike and Aunt Aunt Donna engaged in a classic Dynasty-style catfight that would have included hair pulling if Mike actually had hair, Melinda and Uncle Michael were still in the dark pit that Cousin Robert built complete with the requisite trap door, Jill entered rehab for her drug addiction for the seventh time after trying to put out Anthony’s eyes with a toenail clipper, while Maria jetted off to Bimini with Ed, unaware that Dawn Marie had put a bomb on the plane that will cause it to explode when they reach 45,000 feet! OK, so that really didn’t happen, but in my Falcon Crest-meets-reality TV mind, it’s all a joy…
And I’m gonna warn you right now…there are times in the show when I’m going to be agreeing with Aunt Aunt Donna and actually liking her. It’s shocking, but it has to be done.
As we all know, Aunt Aunt Donna was eliminated in a unanimous vote last week (something she doesn’t know but we, thankfully, do) with Andrew reiterating that she has been conniving since she walked through the front door. Aunt Donna isn’t exactly happy about her new position as the former Queen Bee. And to this I have to wonder - who takes her place as the Queen Bee now? Only Jill and Dawn Marie are left of the women so I guess it has to… wow… let me think here…it would have to go to the daughter of Aunt Donna’s older sister next in line after her. Wow. Now that’s a mouthful. But since we can’t figure out who that is, we’ll just install Housekeeper General Linda as the new Queen Bee of the house. Ah, the cackling from her when she finally got her hands on Aunt Donna. It was music to my ears.
Aunt Donna, of course, is upset and pissed about it. Makes me wonder for a moment if she’s not related to Dana from Big Brother 4 since they both claim to be pissed about everything and it happens quite often. Aunt Donna has changed out of her elimination ceremony dress, which I have to say actually looked good on her, and put on what looks like a blue velour-ish looking jogging suit and goes out to the pool where Mike, Melinda, and Dawn Marie are all located. Meanwhile, Ringo tells us that the decision to eliminate Aunt Donna from competition came from her lack of total likeability. Aunt Donna really hadn’t done anything to endear herself to the Board of Trustees while Jill was… less objectionable? Is that a good phrase to use? Less objectionable? Anyway, Anthony thinks it’s all good for him that his mother’s eliminated from the game, as this means that his father will need a new teammate to make sure that the money stays within… well… their family at least. That man, Anthony says, is going to be him. And with that I groan.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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