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Worst Food Network Shows

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Bill Spohn

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Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Spohn » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:12 pm

Yes, I admit that food TV went for showmanship way early - when they licensed the original Japanese Iron Chef series.

But at least some programs are excellent now....and some are stupidly targeting the non-foodies.

Here are the ones I'd ditch very quickly:

Ginormous Food - doesn't anyone with a room temp IQ get tired of a whole show about making huge sized hamburgers, pizzas and on and on....?

Guy Fieri - middle aged joke masquerading as a surfer dude gets old pretty quick. As does his total lack of a critical faculty when assessing food - he has one speed only - adulation for whatever is placed before him. Try and watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives some time without falling asleep.I also find Bobby Flay occasionally annoying, but the guy can cook! I don't see the same virtue in Fieri. Suited for shows like Guy's Grocery Games. Guy can become the Bob Barker of chow, as long as I don't have to watch him make the attempt.

Rachael Ray - I don't see where all the vituperation you see on some food boards comes from. She isn't the devil incarnate, she is just a face backed by rather modest talent as a personality and even less talent as a serious cook. There are worse things to program if you want filler for those easily bored with serious food shows (e.g. see above!)

Cutthroat Kitchen - Sorry, Alton. I loved your Good Eats program and just about everything else that you've done, but this game show that happens to involve food is about as vapid as Guy and his Groceries.

The Worst Cooks in America - who cares (and who sits in front of the tube being entertained by this pap?

Have I missed any? And I admit to a fondness for Iron Chef. Cooking dressed up as combat, sure, but it is actually good cooking (I talked with a couple of local participants and they admit that the subject matter isn't really a secret until the unveiling, but the creativity in composing and executing the menus is very real.)
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Lou Kessler

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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Lou Kessler » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:43 pm

Rachael Ray over the years has eaten too many carbs and it really shows. I really didn't need to write that, I must be in a bad mood just heard Trump say something very stupid as usual. :(
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Spohn » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:03 pm

Raechel is indeed a tad dumpier than she used to be (but who among us could say otherwise!). but lacks the zaftig quality of Nigella, who didn't feature in my original post because she is really a home cook and writer of cook books rather than a chef or a wannabe chef.

Nigella hasn't pissed me off, but she sure did get the Italians hopping: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/0 ... roversial/

Raechel has been pretty thin and pretty porky but so has Oprah - no shame in that. The press loves printing pics like this, but so what. I prefer to judge based on what they say and do.

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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Jenise » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:13 pm

I have totally quit watching The Food Network. Watched the few shows that made a difference steadily dwindle--Laura Calder might have been the last--and now there are none. Even watched a few seasons of Next Food Network Star and all that did was make sure I would and could have no respect for TFN. It's about personality, not talent or skill, so any good clown will do. I'd be happy to just watch Thomas Keller breathe, but he couldn't get a show on that network--too dry, doesn't given enough "tips".

Was sick in bed a few months back with a headache too bad for reading so I watched the teeve. Saw one episode of the Grocery Games and was both amazed at the stupidity and the level of (good) chefs he got on there to play. Chefs I wouldn't have thought would have lowered themselves to that.

Also saw some reality-style show in which Guy was apparently trying to come up with some new shows to sell to the network. It was apparently the finale and I have no idea what went on before, but I saw the process of him coaching the finalists through the filming of their sample episode/pitch to the network. Much as there's absolutely no place in my life for Guy for the reasons you outline, watching him mentor/produce the pitches actually won some begrudging respect from me. Whatever we think of his antics (not much), he's actually a good performer and an even better producer.

Last thing I tried to watch was Alton's attempt to revive the Iron Chef brand. Are you watching that? Wasn't much of a fight, not enough of one anyway to make the results matter. And I think the fix was in for Stephanie Izard. Not sure if the show is still going.

You say some are excellent. Which ones? And have you started watching David Chang's Ugly Delicious yet on Netflix?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Spohn » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:21 pm

I watch quite a bit of food stuff on Netflix - Chang, Pollan in 'Cooked', BBQ Pitmasters, documentary on Redzepi "Noma, My Perfect Storm", Mind of a Chef, a good one on Indian cuisine, Asado (Argentine BBQ), A Cook Abroad, Midnight Diner - Tokyo Stories (subtitled),42 Grams, a whole range of things. You probably get most of them on your Netflix.
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:13 pm

Nothing much left to watch on Food Network although a string of Phoenix chefs have been appearing on Chopped recently, so I've watched those. Now I just record the Saturday PBS lineup of Sara Moulton, Lidia, Milk St, and ATK to get me through the week when Top Chef or Bourdain aren't in season.
And yes, Ugly Delicious is quite good!
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Jason Hagen » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:11 pm

It is such a bummer that the Food Network can't produce some better shows. I will shame myself a bit and admit that I have occasionally watched Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives. :shock:

Netflix is a better option for sure. Just finished Ugly Delicious. Episodes a little bit variable. And although I am a fan of Bolton's (particularly the Hot Fish) I do not know how you could do a segment on Hot Chicken and not go to Prince's. The claim that Bolton's put Hot Chicken on the map is completely insane. BTW the first time I ate at Bolton's, they had a C rating.

Sorry for the thread drift.

Jason
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:02 pm

Food Network is a wasteland. A great topic that they do nothing good with.

When we had Netflix I watched a bunch of their stuff. General Tso's Chicken ftw!
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Barb Downunder » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:27 am

Since we got a free to air food network I’ve caught up with lots of programmes I’ve seen mentioned here, and as we all seem to agree a very mixed bag with some appalling offerings.
Ginormous food and a similar one where a guy tries
to eat a mountain of stupid food in a short time to win a tee shirt...really?? Whoever said never eat anything bigger than your head got that right!
Not to be too biased but our local offerings seem to be of a much higher standepard than a lot of this dross, although perhaps a bit formulaic, known chef goes somewhere interesting cooks something pretty, but some more interesting stuff as well, food critic reinvents himself as a farmer. Etc etc.

I still have a secret soft spot for the camp theatrics of the original Iron Chef.
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Spohn » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:57 pm

I'll add this here even though it isn't on FN.

Another big joke is the Masterchef Junior show with children acting like trained seals spouting well rehearsed dialogue. Total waste of time - maybe they needed to have a filler between seasons of Masterchef - and that show is so obviously manicured by the production crew - the contestants are dressed to look like oddballs and probably in their interaction with other contestants but at least they appear to be cooking using their own imaginations.
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Jenise » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:16 pm

Fact #1: I decry the lack of serious food shows.
Fact #2: I chose not to have children and don't relate to them very well, but---
Fact #3: I like Master Chef Junior. I get the posing and props--but in fact they do this for the adult version as well. A beanie cap for this guy, four inch heels for that girl, western attire for the guy from Texas, and oh let's put a jacket and bow tie on that guy because he sounds like Pee Wee Herman. Like you I'm offended by the circus atmosphere, but it's also probably a well-intentioned idea that it "makes good TV" if the audience has some other means of telling contestants apart. And I know most of the kids don't arrive there with those skills. I'm nonetheless impressed by how well some of them learn and execute what they're taught--or don't. It's less about arrived skill in a sense than innately good judgement and performance under pressure.

If I could make one change to the show, it would be to prevent any of them from ever saying "...one of the best home cooks in America..." as they're coached to do ad infinitum ever again.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Worst Food Network Shows

by Bill Spohn » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:40 pm

http://www.mashed.com/46905/untold-truth-man-v-food/

All sorts of history and little known stuff about food shows here (just happened to stumble on it).
Like I never knew that iron Chef USA was hosted by William Shatner for the first two episodes.....

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