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Just Wondering

Just Wondering: Oh, So Padma Lakshmi's An Actress, Too?

Wonderwall, Monday, July 20, 2009, 6:16pm (PDT)

By Dana Flax

According to a post on Variety's blog yesterday, "Top Chef" judge Padma Lakshmi has inked a development deal with NBC-owned Universal Media Studios, who will in turn create a half-hour sitcom starring vehicle for her.

"Building on her 'Top Chef' credentials, the show will star Lakshmi as a woman working in the culinary world," Variety reports, adding, "One possible title being mulled: 'Single Serving.'" Um, really, TV?

Lakshmi, whose Bravo-appointed ambiguous "food expert" credential (she's a model, for goodness sake!) makes her just about as qualified to judge a cooking competition as, well, me, seems to get whatever the heck she wants. She may not be the first person to get her own show under obscure pretenses (lookin' at you, Monica Lewinsky), but come on, Padma! Your appetite for fame and riches is about as transparent as the hair on Tom Colicchio's head. (Did I mention she's also a jewelry designer?)

Seriously, did Padma Lakshmi hire an entire nation of publicists to dream up every possible career for her to enter into? What's next: a foray into the wide world of migrant farming? And where's the eau de Lakshmi? Didn't she get the memo about celebrity fragrances? Maybe she should consider "being sultry" as a career. It's what she does best.

Oh, oh, we totally forgot! Padma Lakshmi has a couple choice acting credits of which to boast, including a minor role in the impressive musical trainwreck "Glitter." Can Lakshmi really break out on her own without the guiding sparkle touch of the Mariah Carey hit machine? Will she really look that good to us without a backdrop of consistently faux-hawked, wannabe gourmand minions hanging onto every breathy, instructive word? Only thyme (zing!) will tell.

Maybe there's something I'm missing about Padma. She was married to genius novelist Salman Rushdie for a hot minute, and her name is reasonably fun to pronounce. Still, I must remain skeptical on the matter until further notice; I just can't say that "Glitter" is on heavy rotation in my DVD player.

Oh, and one last thing: Why on earth are the "Top Chef" judges so tough on those poor contestants? They make a mountain out of a misplaced pimento. But that's a whole 'nother fish to fry.

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