Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just eat it!

Your table manners are some cryin' shame
You're playin' with your food, this ain't some kind of game
Now, if you starve to death, you'll just have yourself to blame
Just eat it

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know that I love TV...and love a good reality show. Yeah, I know, "good reality" seems like an oxymoron. And even among those of us who just can't get enough, there isn't agreement about which ones to watch and which ones to avoid. But right now, I'm really happy cause the week is filled with reality shows about cooking!

You better listen, better do what you're told
You haven't even touched your tuna casserole

Just eat it


If you can tolerate the yelling and screaming, then you just can't have much more reality show fun than watching Hell's Kitchen. In this one, contestants compete to win a job as a chef in a resort restaurant. And the group of contestants is managed, coached, berated, yelled at, ridiculed, and eventually tossed one by one by Chef Gordon Ramsay. Chef Ramsay is a world-renowned cook with restaurants all over the world, cook books in the book store, and various TV shows in other countries. And he might just have an anger management issue. He throws food, breaks plates, calls people names, and forces the censors to bleep about half of what he says. And a viewer - one with a soft heart and an ounce of compassion - might feel sorry for these poor fools on the show. My heart isn't soft. They knew what they were getting in to. The payoff is huge. And when he humiliates them just one more time because they "can't cook the fucking risotto"...I can't help but laugh as the contestants make up lame excuses, blame each other, and cry for their mommies.

Have some more yogurt, have some more spam
It doesn't matter if it's fresh or canned
Just eat it


Want your cooking competitions to be a bit more civilized? Some high cuisine boiled down to some odd competitions? Take a shot at Top Chef. With a bus load of hosts/judges (Chef Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons from Food and Wine magazine, Padma Lakshmi, and Ted Allen from Queer Eye), this show takes the high road in cooking competitions. The contestants engage in individual and group challenges, usually cooking pretty high quality stuff. Of course, they don't hesitate to throw in the challenge involving snake and eel and cow tongue and other oddities. And there is always at least one standout contestant who just knows he/she is way better than everyone else there. It is such fun to watch that person lose!

Have a big dinner, have a light snack
If you don't like it, you can't send it back
Just eat it


Finally, for a twist on cooking and reality TV...a cooking show about being on a cooking show. The Next Food Network Star is a cooking competition but some of the challenges are more about dealing with the stress of cooking in front of a camera than the actual taste of the food. The fun is watching them not handle that stress very well! And the judges on this show include two staff from the Food Network who are so kind that I want them to be in my family! Very different from Chef Ramsay.

Have some more chicken, have some more pie
It doesn't matter if it's boiled or fried

Just eat it


By the time you watch all three of these each week, you'll be glad you aren't learning to be a chef. You might or might not be hungry, depending on what you've seen cooked. And if you are watching Hell's Kitchen, you might need to grab a beer and decompress.

Have a banana, have a whole bunch
It doesn't matter what you had for lunch

Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it


-------------------------------------------------------------
Lyrics from 'Just Eat It' by Weird Al Yankovic

30 comments:

Star said...

I don't now. I think the judges on Nest Food Star are mean. But I've never seen Hell's Kitchen.

carli said...

Even if people DO sign up for the abuse on Hell's Kitchen (and yes, they do, so they should know what's coming), it just irks me to watch. I much prefer Top Chef, although sometimes I think Tom could be more forgiving as well. He acts as if he's never made a mistake in his life. And this year's show is not the best season yet. I didn't even realize Camille was ON the show till she got kicked off of it.
Top Chef is the only cooking show I watch with any regularity, but I also enjoy Iron Chef America, Good Eats, and Barefoot Contessa.

thethinker said...

I've always wanted to catch an episode of Hell's Kitchen. I always forget when it comes on.

tulipmom said...

I've never watched any of these shows before but I did enjoy singing along with the Weird Al lyrics. What a blast from the past.

Jocelyn said...

I'm with you on loving my reality tv. We don't have cable, though, so we watch a lot on DVD. I'm currently cursing Blockbuster for not having TOP CHEF available...and when *will* the third season of PROJECT RUNWAY come out?

These are the questions that keep me up nights.

Kati said...

*chuckling* I'm not as blood-thirsty as you seem to be, so I don't really appreciate these shows as much as you evidently do. But, I did love reading (and humming the tune to) Just Eat It. *grin* Gotta love Weird Al!

Thanks for the chuckle, Em!

Mom not Mum said...

I caught the end of Top Chef's last season and enjoyed it. Now Gordon Ramsey on the other hand I have to make sure the kids are out of the room. LOL

yinyang said...

If I didn't like you already, the Weird Al lyrics would have done it. And, my reality show of choice is Survivor, mostly because my parents and I have watched it since the first season (I've dubbed it our "family time") and we like to strategize. Plus, there is some sort of enjoyment out of watching people knowingly sign up for eating bugs and also being eaten by them.

Above Average Joe said...

Mrs. Joe & I have been watching some of Next Food Network Star. It's ok. Doesn't hurt that Giada is on it.

Jazz said...

Somehow I didn't have you pegged as a FoodTV fan...

Beth said...

you are such a foodie, Em!!! I love reality tv but have never watched these shows...should I give them a try?

Big Brother said...

Hi Em, saw the original in England last summer... boy there was more slicing and dicing of the contestants than the food. By the way you've been tagged, see my blog. You can thank Jazz I'm just passing on the joy. ;o)

Jenster said...

My favorite of the three is Next Food Star.

Mama P said...

My favorite food show is Mama P makes dinner:

Everybody on your chair

If you don't like it I don't care

Veggies, protein maybe bread

Then wash your hands and go to bed

(The kids are quick to add their lyrics too)

Man, mom, tuna really blows

When you say yes we'll give you no

Bedtime, schmetime, we like to play

We ate your drivel now go away

Rebecca said...

Chef Ramsay is mean, and he would make me cry. I will not be appearing on Hell's Kitchen anytime soon. I can't watch him, because I keep thinking he is going to drop dead of a stroke at any moment.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I have never seen the others but I refuse to watch Hell's Kitchen. I hate Chef Ramsay. He is just too mean. Cooking shows always make me hungry.

creative-type dad said...

"good reality"

*chuckle* cough*...

O.K...

Gretchen said...

So tell me...how do you watch all this $h!t and not get fat? Where's the fairness.

Waaaah.

That said, we do enjoy an Iron Chef or two on occasion, but my fave is the take home chef. Yummo.

velvet said...

I wouldn't be able to be able to watch cooking shows on TV with all the ingredients that we couldn't have in the house... cheese and butter and cream, oh my! They'd find me drowned in a puddle of my own drool.

CS said...

You can't go far wrong with Weird Al. That angry chef on Hell's Kitchen fraks me out too much to watch. I just want him to be little nicer.

By the way, an award waits for you here!

TurtleHeart said...

It's bad, it's wrong, it's sick, but... I *live* for Hell's Kitchen each week! It is the only show I'm watching this summer. It's my secret, evil pleasure. I can't help it. *hangs head in shame*

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

We have these shows over here, too. I think Gordon vamps it up for the camera, no one could be that bad, surely? Mind you, if a camera were placed in my kitchen around Christmas time.. hmmnn.

liv said...

Oh, I love Gordon Ramsay...."well, hullo, lover!" (sorry, that got a little weird...)

Hell's Kitchen. Yes. Fine TV program.

Pendullum said...

Never watched the shows...
But I am a true foody...
LOOOOOOVE food...
Love making it...
Love tasting it...
Like Water for Chocolate... (A movie I truly understand)
Or Babette's Feast(Truly about me...)
Can not begin to think of it being made fast even by the best chefs...
Moments...
Are what cooking truly is all about...

Dorky Dad said...

Does anybody cut their fingers off and "accidentally" include it in the meatloaf? That's kitchen reality in my book.

Or at least kitchen reality at my house.

Em said...

I understand that some find these dull...and some find Hell's Kitchen just mean. But then others like Turtleheart and liv reveal their secret shame....they just have to watch! LOL

Sorry Dorky Dad, no fingers in the soup. Yet.

Jenny! said...

I love reality TV too, but haven't watched any of those...I would be a bit nervous having some one scream at me to "eat it eat it eat it"...I prefer Big Brother!

Sara said...

I'm sorry I haven't been around to comment on your posts lately, but I'm glad you're still blogging away. :)

I'm not one for reality TV, but I LOVE the Food Network. It's like eating without eating, or something.

radioactive girl said...

I think you read my post on Hell's Kitchen and know my thoughts on that one, but I do like the next foodnetwork star. they are still sort of not nice to the contestants, but in a subtle way. I just can't take all the yelling on Hell's Kitchen!

Dirk_Star said...

You did not mention Iron Chef America?

And you call yourself a foodie...

Felicia and I plan our vacations around eateries we've seen on the food channel.

NOT KIDDING...