Okay. I haven’t had cable for a while, so I’m not sure exactly when the Food Network went the way of MTV. Does anyone know when it stopped showing people actually cooking? There isn’t one program that features a chef in a kitchen, for as far as the eye can see! It’s all reality shows. Granted some of them are awesome – two that I particularly like are Ace of Cakes and Top Chef – but most of them are ridiculous, relying on schlocky, orchestrated drama and the casting of stupid/bland/catty/[insert stock “personality” here to fulfill common but expected stereotype] to make them marginally watchable.
This whole scenario disappoints me for two reasons. The first being that this television station used to be a solid promotional tool – it made healthy eating, even healthy living, stylish, sexy, easy and fun. It was a way to ease into culinary adventures. Intimidated by the sophistication of Martha? Take up with the Inn Chef (Michael Smith). Interested is checking out the East Hamptons? Take a trip to visit with the Barefoot Contessa herself – Ms. Ina Garten (how good is that?) If you were feeling frisky, you could easily get naked with one Jamie Oliver, or if it was heat you craved all you needed do was turn it up a notch with Emeril. BAM! Most importantly, it promoted the self-affirming mantra that, if Yan could cook, so could you!
So it’s dang unfortunate that the overall strategic vision of the network has moved away from the building and sustaining of a strong relationship between the watching public and the food they eat. Especially in this day and age when there are so many factors adversely affecting this partnership.
Yet as much as I lament this dearth of programming focused on the acquisition and preparation of food, it is the new shows that have taken the place of the golden oldies that drive me batty. The biggest crimes these shows commit? Found, perhaps not where you would first look for them – in their names. Every single one of these programs is some kind of “war.” DINNER PARTY WARS!!! CUPCAKE WARS!!! Tonight I was cooking dinner with the TV on in the background and an advertisement came on for a Halloween special airing this Sunday afternoon entitled HALLOWEEN WARS (!!!) Halloween wars? For serious? What the fricken heck is a Halloween war? All I could summon up what the image of Arthur Fonzarelli soaring over a giant shark head.
Really, it just reminds me again how destructive, while at the same time, diluted our language has become. Only individuals who have never experienced armed conflict could possibly think to name a television program about a baked goods competition a war. I just want to scream through the television to the producers who came up with this name: YOUR PRIVILEDGE IS SHOWING MADAMSANDORSIRS.
Although, what can you really expect from someone (or multiple someones) who operate and thrive in a society whose own government is constantly waging wars on intangible entities. Because remember folks, we are currently at war with TERROR!!! DRUGS!!! HOMELESSNESS!!! FOOT ODOR!!! MALE PATTERN BALDNESS!!!
I suppose I should look forward to whatever else we arbitrarily pick to be in conflict with next (as long as my blood pressure can handle it.) The feeling I`m getting in my bones tells me that this is going to go the way of women`s Halloween costumes – the more inane and mind-boggling, the better. TROPICAL FRUIT PLATTER WARS!!! NON-FAT LOW-FOAM HALF-CAF LATTE WARS!!! IT SAYS THIS MILK WENT BAD YESTERDAY BUT I`M WILLING TO RISK IT WARS!!!
Yep folks, just wait and see. Yo Ina – How good is that?