My husband and I watch fair amount of cooking shows. Any program with Alton Brown, Geoffrey Zakarian or Gordon Ramsay (save for Hell’s Kitchen, because he’s just too mean) will have our attention.
Our summertime faves are Food Network Star and Master Chef. Food Network Star airs on Food Network (obvs) and is hosted by Alton, Giada and Bobby Flay (heartshapedcheesemelt). Of all the food related shows, FNS is our jam. MasterChef is hosted by Gordon, a skinny guy named Joe and a former big mamajamma (Graham) who is suddenly 170lbs slimmer this season. Graham, the former Foodtorious BIG, was always fun to watch while tasting dishes because all of the flatware they chose for him seemed comically small. In reality, it was his massive mitts that dwarfed the spoon. I have found that this season, I can no longer crack any “have you seen the world’s tiniest spoon?” jokes, so it’s not as fun (kudos on the weight loss, though). So, while Master Chef is good, it’s not great.
Last week, we noticed something while watching MC. During the challenges, there’s a lot of dramatic, Rocky-esque music playing. Additionally, most of the commentary between the judges and the contestants involve whether so-and-so thinks they’re better than what’s-his-face, which is usually met with a resouding, “Oh hell yes, I’mma ’bout to throw down on these scallops, biatch.” Very much like watching a dozen foul-mouthed Guy Fieris trying to make risotto. SUPER ANNOYING.
On FNS, the focus is on the food, the technique, the flavors. I have no idea what a coffee rubbed lamb tenderloin topped with mushroom chips on a bed of parmesan polenta would taste like, but I want it in my belly like Gandhi wants world peace.
FNS makes me hungry, regardless of what we had for dinner. Salad? Prime rib? Thanksgiving leftovers? Whatever, I still need cheese and crackers and salami and wine and someone make veal saltimbocca for me ASAP.
MC gives me none of those warm, fuzzy hungry feelings. Instead, I’ve learned that the viewing audience of Master Chef is essentially a group of adult toddlers. “Oh, these words about food will be difficult to understand, so let’s play some music and flash some facial expressions then show a bowl of ice cream.” There’s unnecessary drama and a lack of education (food is not only delicious, but educational).
I wondered to myself if the viewing audience could really be this difficult to maintain, that we needed to throw glitter and fireworks in their faces between seared scallops, just so they would stay tuned in to the show. Then I realized that in my life, I actually know a few adult toddlers.
You know them, too. They’re the ones who get all “SQUIRREL!” in the middle of your story; the ones who absolutely need to tell you about this thing they saw on E! (barf) because your update on the crisis in the Middle East totally reminded them of something they saw on Keeping Up with the Kardashians (double barf). Adult toddlers interrupt, get you off track, find things like reading and learning and conversation to be very boring, but are very intrigued by Real Housewives of NewYorkalantastonpoughkeepsiejerfrancisco.
Also, anything bedazzled, glittered or spangled.
They aren’t bad people; on the contrary, they can be fun people, but just know what you’re getting into. An AT doesn’t want to discuss immigration reform, but they do have an opinion on the quality of meat used at Taco Bell. An AT isn’t interested in who is running for political office, but they can tell you all about Anthony Weiner’s…wiener.
And maybe comparing them to toddlers is unfair. After all, we have a toddler, and he would be offended if he could read that comparison. Toddlers are bright. They’re clever, intelligent, sweet, funny, kind, and mischievous. When they get all SQUIRREL on you, they are fully aware, and intentionally doing it (example: Okay, mom…the broccoli is yummy but hey, did you know I can name fifteen parts of my body?!) And that’s how we lose the broccoli war.
No…Adult Toddlers are more like:
So, Master Chef, I’m putting you on notice. Provide some intelligent dialogue, or bring back the tiny forks.