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Four New Shows on the Food Network


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Matt: Thanks for your frank and fascinating answers. Too bad about Ramsay. The original BOILING POINT was the most riveting and accurate depiction of the real business of cooking I've ever seen. Now THAT would be something to see on FN.

Some of the MCMKs were absolutely lush and beautiful and heartfelt and should make anyone associated very proud.

I have heard similarly kind assessments of Rooney the man, but I think neither he nor Mario were well served by the comical sidekick scheme. Knowing Mario as I do, I think the last thing he needed was a script. Just let the man loose on Italy would be my strategy. Felonious Monk has never lacked for something to say in person--or on Molto. ( I think the Buford article caught that magnificent bastard in all his true glory).

Glad to have you aboard and best success in any and all your ventures.

Anthony,

thanks for you kind words and welcome.

I agree that "Boiling Point" was pretty cool in its authenticity but Gordon just kept on being unjustifiably mean-spirited and that made it/him not always fun to watch. Be mean, but have a reason for it. American love a bad guy but he must have a purpose for being bad.

I thought similarly to you about Rooney and Mario. I never thought Mario needed a partner. I love his whirlwind approach to food/music/life and felt that the viewers did as well. Ultimately, as you say, he needs to be off script and viewers profit from that, they did for years when he was on Molto by himself.

While I did think that Mario needed someone "to teach/explain to" while in the field because then the show looks like every other "I am talking to the camera about food" show... I didn't think it had to be a buffoon as was ultimately decided.

Also taking a comic route was supposed to play to Mean Streets strengths.

Best,

ms

ps- that Buford article was genius. Mario has been so kind to me over the years and while I can't call him a close friend I have experienced being around him enough in personal and professional situations to appreciate his character. Buford did catch some of the lightning in a bottle that is Mario.

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ps- that Buford article was genius. Mario has been so kind to me over the years and while I can't call him a close friend I have experienced being around him enough in personal  and professional situations to appreciate his character. Buford did catch some of the lightning in a bottle that is Mario.

Are you and Tony speaking of the article that was published in the New Yorker a few months ago? If so, it's good to know that it was reasonably true to life. It went a long way toward explaining Mario's success.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Matthew-

Thanks for sharing this information (I always wonder how can crap like that make it to TV), and welcome to egullet.

I do have several questions which I will save for your scheduled Q&A. Looking forward to that.

Thanks

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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From the mostly-uneducated viewer perspective, it seems like Discovery Home & Leisure (not available everywhere) is making an attempt to step into the void that FN's leaving as far as showing food someone might actually want to eat (why in the name of all that's holy would someone want to make their own Moon Pie?! BLEH!)

Granted, they don't run food programming every day, but over the past 6 months or so I've come across some really fantastic stuff - an English (Channel 4, I think) fly-on-the-wall documentary inside Le Cordon Bleu and another London cooking school, including following one student who was picked up for a work-study at three of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. They're also running a Great Chefs-alike (World Class Cuisine) that stuck with one chef for three courses - the one I saw was Ducasse, which was a real treat.

It's a crying shame that FN, which really did start out well, is starting to aim for the lowest common denominator. Pretty much the only things I watch anymore are Iron Chef, Good Eats, and Cook's Tour, along with occasionally Tivoing Mario (they WILL rerun the episode with the goose liver ravioli one of these days, darn them!) and Jacques Torres. I can't say I'm surprised, though, as HGTV has pretty much done the same thing over the past few years and gone content-light and fluff-heavy; Fine Living (another Scripps channel) will undoubtedly do the same once it has more than 3 programs in its library.

Maybe it's the way of all features-ish channels eventually, seeing as how the same thing's being said of Discovery and TLC over the whole Trading Spaces vs. documentary programming debate. Although, that being said, there may be hope. We once got a call from a Discovery market surveyor who yattered on for half an hour with questions about shark-related programming and was told in no uncertain terms that we a) didn't really care about sharks except in their small, manageable, chip-shop-related incarnation as a nice piece of rock salmon, b) really weren't interested in watching anything shark-related, and c) would very much appreciate it if there weren't a Shark Week every other month. It certainly seems like they listened, since there hasn't been nearly as much "shark-related programming" since. Maybe Scripps will do the same - and pay attention to what they're told. Or, since it sounds like they were awfully keen to shoot Matthew as the messenger bearing that same message, maybe not.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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I finally saw an episode of Paula's Home Cooking today. She's probably a nice lady in real life, but her food looks awful on TV.

And Bobby Flay's new show, Boy Meets Grill, is better than Hot off the Grill, but not by much. His recipes are great though. I'd like to eat in one of his restaurants one of these days.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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BOBBY RIVERS.  BOBBY RIVERS. BOBBY RIVERS.  why?

Errr... because it's the Food Network?

I suppose you're right, elyse, but Bobby Rivers is still egregiously offensive. I don't believe the man has much, if anything, resembling "soul," as in that git-down-git-funky wonderfulness one finds in a B.B. King guitar solo -- or a big 'ol bowl of ham hock-infused braised greens.

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Is he trying to be passed off as soul? :blink: I just got a pain in my chest.

Sorry, elyse, I should have clarified that my observation about Rivers' lack of soulfulness is just that -- an observation. I doubt even the cluess FTV execs would try to pass him off as soul!!

Hope the pain in your chest is gone now . . .

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Just watched Bobby Flay do grilled lobster with curry butter, jerk chicken, and some habenero-schmutzed clams on Boy Meets Grill. Every thing looked tasty, and goddamnit, the guy didn't make me want to chuck my television off the roof. Though it was shot A Cook's Tour style I thought it was a good show--minus the obligatory Carribean tourist music and Hawaiian shirt. The lighting was perfect, showing the food off in its best light. It reminded me of looking through a Ducasse cookbook. Maybe there's hope. But I'm not counting on it...Sandra Pinckney's on talking like a white girl about hot sauce. I'm sure patty shoe ain't far behind.

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Boy Meets Grill has been the first effort Bobby Flay has been a part of that didn't make me opt to instead scoop the cat box, pull weeds from my garden or something that is a high groan factor task but needed to be done. The show is starting to grow on me. :blink:

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Spencer, are you feeling okay?

Yeah, I know, me liking a Bobby Flay production is rather depressing. But I have to give props where due, so I give them to Chris and Lydia. Flay's annoying side was decidely absent. I think he needs to do more television by himself. It's when he interacts with other humans that he gets in trouble.

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Maybe there's hope.  But I'm not counting on it...Sandra Pinckney's on talking like a white girl about hot sauce.  I'm sure patty shoe ain't far behind.

Sandra Pinckney is white, C/W, just like Bobby Rivers. What's wrong wit 'choo??!?

Sandra also sez "chih-pole-tay" chile -- but then, she's not alone.

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Maybe there's hope.  But I'm not counting on it...Sandra Pinckney's on talking like a white girl about hot sauce.  I'm sure patty shoe ain't far behind.

Sandra Pinckney is white, C/W, just like Bobby Rivers. What's wrong wit 'choo??!?

Sandra also sez "chih-pole-tay" chile -- but then, she's not alone.

Gotcha Xan. They've been fist dunked into the racial sterilizing tank along with their broadcasting cross-profession magnate Al "couldn't possibly be related to Roxy" Roker. I think somebody at the network watched The Stepford Wives too many times.

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Ok, maybe there's room in culinary heaven for B. Flay, maybe, but the two broads who host Lighten Up need to start penance proceedings nowif they hope to dupe Escoffier into letting them into the mix. The first quote that made me run for the gun rack was, "Now, I know a lot of people find working with pineapple intimidating..." Oh really, name one fruitcakes? That was, bar NONE, the worst fucking excuse for quality food programming I've ever seen--odd, unnecessary and goofed out to the nines addition of "the pretty model" to add demographic appealing poop, the welder's shield as a prop whilst conducting a sad flambe lesson, the prerequisite pastel set design--taken to a new nausiating and kalaidescopic extreme, the happy for the camera/housewife/nerd alert camaraderie.

The Food Network thinks we're all dip shits. They've got to. Low-fat ambrosia to hell you bastians of filth.

Edited by Chef/Writer Spencer (log)
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Today's episode of those two harpies was the first I sat through beyond their opening sequence of "We've got a TV show!!" at high decibels.

*whispering low voice*

The horror.... *pause* The horror!!!!!!!!!

Note to self, never subject myself to that level of abuse again! Must get into my kitchen and cook something instead!

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