I have lately become obsessed with the Bravo show Top Chef, where chefs compete in all sorts of cooking challenges. (Hey, no calories if the food stays on TV!)
Anyway, there is really an interesting dynamic evolving this season. Several episodes, one or two chefs faces some disaster that would seem to doom the effort. For example, one time, Hosea's food was kept in a broken refrigerator and spoiled overnight. So he had to deal with that handicap as he cooked for the challenge the next day... he had to improvise, start over, work around. And he won the challenge, over all the chefs who had a much easier time and could cook exactly what they'd prepared.
Last night, the incomparable Fabio, he of the adorable Italian accent, broke his finger while starting to cook. This obviously is a great handicap when you have to chop and mix. But he somehow managed, and... won the challenge.
The corollary too-- whenever a contestant says, "Oh, piece of cake," because this is a seafood dish and she's a seafood chef, she always loses. It's as if strengths are dangerous because you get complacent!
I'm sure this connects to writing somehow. :)