Welcome to Like/Don't Like. Every Saturday, I'll take a look back on the week that was, and find one thing I liked about it, and one thing I didn't care for much. It's as easy as that. It might be the laziest regular segment I've ever come up with, which means it'll probably stick around for a good long time. Anyway, here's the first one.
Like: This week I finally caught up with Hulu's The Path, which is absolutely not about Scientology. It is, in actuality, a fictional television program about a made up religion, called Meyerism, that involves praying to The Light, strapping electrodes onto your forehead from time to time and making your way up a mystical ladder, which was revealed to Meyerism's founder during an ayahuasca trip. Defectors of the faith are hunted down and intimidated, members who "transgress" are expected to participate in a program that looks a whole lot like imprisonment and the de facto leader is megalomaniacal secret alcoholic who has definitely murdered someone. See, no relation to Scientology at all.
This show is like catnip to a cult/religion enthusiast like me. I find it endlessly fascinating. And the cast is amazing, from Aaron Paul as the onetime lost soul who just happened to marry into the most intense and influential Meyerist family around, but has started to have doubts after his own journey down the ayahuasca highway; to Michelle Monaghan, who plays his wife, whose devotion to the Meyerist movement is both inspiring and terrifying; to Hugh Dancy, who plays Cal, the sociopath left in charge while the founder is, um, elsewhere, who can't seem to keep his temper in check or his dick in his pants. Dancy is truly frightening in his role as a man whose hunger for power, history with alcohol and penchant for horrifying violence has turned him into a demigod capable of commanding unwavering loyalty in his followers, but a lax attitude toward maintaining an even temper when it comes to the bloody work of maintaining his position of power.
The Path is a great show, and one I wish was on Netflix, only because Hulu makes you wait every Wednesday for a new episode. I started late, so I was able to binge the first 8 episodes, which I did in three days. There are only 2 episodes left, and things are really ramping up. I recommend you give it a try. Just remember: It. Is. Not. About. Scientology.
Don't Like: Without any hesitation, I am able to say Wendy's is my very favorite fast food chain. I enjoy those wacky square burgers oh so much, and their fries, well, don't get me started. And as far as I'm concerned, Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is the greatest innovation in fast foodery since the drive-thru window.
That said, I hate when Wendy's thinks outside the box. Whenever Taco Bell introduces a new tortilla-based goodie, I'm front and center, my fat man beard dripping with taco grease before I'm even halfway home (On my list of noteworthy fast food items, the Doritos Loco Taco comes at #2 right behind Wendy's Spicy Chicken). But when Wendy's trots out something new--like pork barbecue or a gouda burger--not only am I not interested, but I'm usually actively disgusted. Wendy's has got a good thing going. Nothings broken, so nothing needs fixing. The 4 for $4.00 combo is great, so, just stop there. You're King of Grease Mountain, Wendy's! Revel in it!
I lied. There actually was a limited time only sandwich Wendy's released one time that I LOVED: 2007's 4-Alarm Spicy Chicken sandwich. If you were lucky enough to cram one of these tasty creations into your mouth 9 years ago, you'll remember how truly special it was. I believe I enjoyed 3 total before they disappeared into the ether forever and ever. And nobody remembers these things. I bring the 4-Alarm up all the time--I always refer to it as either the 3-Alarm or 5-Alarm Spicy Chicken sandwich--and people stare at me like I'm some kind of headless freak talking out of his tooth-lined neck hole. The 4-Alarm did exist, but like everything beautiful and perfect in this world, it was destroyed by society's indifference and condemned to the warehouse of forgotten foods, along with IHOP's International Burrito, the discontinuation of which is truly the worst tragedy in chain restaurant history.
But Wendy's is back with another riff on the spicy chicken situation, and, guess what, it sucks. The Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken sandwich is a joke; a damp sack of lies between two pieces of disgusting bread.
First, the "ghost pepper sauce" that covers the requisite spicy chicken filet like a scum-slicked pool cover is as bland as a Trump Tower taco bowl. The ghost pepper is pretty high up on the Scoville heat scale--about three rungs down from actual pepper spray--but somehow Wendy's ghost pepper sauce tastes like nothing. The only heat comes from the diced jalapeños trapped within the viscous yellow sauce, and it's not a pleasant heat. It's aggressive without being tasty. I like spicy foods a lot, but if they aren't also tasty, I've got no time for them. I'm not competing on Fear Factor hosted by Joe Rogan, I'm eating dinner. That said, I wouldn't mind the ghost pepper sauce, if they fished the jalapeño bits out and called it what it actually is: cheese sauce.
The bun has jalapeños baked into it, I guess. I saw no proof of this. It sucked. Its consistency was slightly gummy, kind of like Play Doh, only less flavorful.
It was also covered with raw onions sliced into very thin rings. I liked that quite a bit.
Wendy's needs to bring back the 4-Alarm, and shove this monstrosity back into the pits of fast food Hell where it came from. You're still my boy, Wendy's, but we've really got to talk about where your head's at.