“…contestants range from the mildly deluded to the clinically insane…”

Complaining that there are no longer educational cooking shows on the Food Network is akin to whining about there being no music videos on MTV these days—a ship that sailed so long ago it’s come back over the horizon at me as an indicator of how old and out of touch I’ve become.

Nevertheless, let me repeat: I’m bone-tired of cooking competition shows. There was a middle-brow, low-def elegance to the PBS how-to shows of the past that I miss. The 21st Century disease that is reality television has so thoroughly infected the Food Network that little actual content can survive on the channel now. Once in a long while a new “personality” emerges that I find amusing or entertaining, but I never actually learn anything from watching the network anymore.

I realize that I can seem naive just for expressing the desire to learn something from watching television food shows, but it can still be a real possibility with some imagination—just apparently not on the Food Network.

In the spirit of that creative exhaustion, let me share with you Andy Greenwald‘s articulate and entertaining dissection of the egregious Food Network Star show at Grantland.

Mr. Greenwald has used a review of the 45 minutes of torture-by-overexposure-to-hyper-neurotic-posers that is Food Network Star to mount a highly cogent take-down of the whole damn network. And let me just slow clap in the back row as it all burns to the ground.

In the wake of Paula Deen’s very public—and seemingly well deserved—pillorying, Andy Greenwald’s excellent and sharply pointed article reminds many of us who spend any time thinking about food, that the Food Network no longer gives a shit about the varied and magnificent world of real gastronomy—if it ever did.

I miss the low-def stuff too…I used to love lounging about on the couch after getting home from (high) school watching The Urban Peasant. A close-up on onions and garlic frying in oil is still one of the best things you can see on tv as far as I’m concerned.

As for the disturbing photo you’ve posted here, it’s like the unhilarious version of this scene from an adorable Swedish film called Farsan:

Thanks, that is hilarious! I sincerely hope no one from the Food Network ever sees that movie…can you imagine the macho salad competition show that would result? [shudder]

That *would* be awful…

The film really is worth watching for other reasons. That director also has one called Kopps (I think) that is amazing….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>