July 24th, 2013

cooking, food

Food Network Star

NOTE: spoilers for the most recent episode of Food Network Star below.

I no longer have a TV, but if I did I can tell you that most of the time it would be tuned to Food Network. (Mot that you can tune in a cable channel, but you know what I mean.) I can say this with some confidence because when I visited my brother last month, whenever I had the opportunity to choose what to watch, I always turned on Food Network.

Having said that, it will probably not surprise anyone when I say that my favorite competitive reality show is Food Network Star. I don't always love who wins, but I've never hated the winner either, and since I usually don't watch the instructional cooking shows (other than Good Eats it doesn't really matter.

(I know there are people who bemoan the dearth of instructional cooking shows on Food Network these days, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I actually find it pretty impressive that they've been able to expand their portfolio beyond instructional cooking shows while remaining focused on food. It's far more common to see niche networks branch out beyond their original market segment -- WWE Smackdown on SyFy, Pawn Stars on History Channel, Mad Men on AMC, and so on -- but if Food Network has ever broadcast a show that wasn't about food, food service, or the food industry, it's escaped my notice.)

Of course, you don't have to passionately love a contestant to enjoy a competitive reality show; passionately disliking a contestant is just as good. This season of Food Network Star has been good in that sense, because of the presence of a super-annoying Duff Goldman-wannabe named Rodney. Nothing about him, from his speech patterns to the style of clothes he wears, seems genuine and unaffected. It plays like schtick to me, and the guest judges on the most recent episode said the same thing, but Alton Brown said in response to those judges that the way he acts is a genuine reflection of who he really is. Which makes it worse, kind of. At least an annoying affectation can be dropped.

I had hope that this week would be the week he was sent back to Baltimore, but alas, he will continue to annoy me for another week at least. I'm confident he won't make it near the final, but still, he should've gone home this week. Actually, he should've gone home in week 5. He won the mentor challenge that week, and his reward was to make the assignments for the mock Independence Day special they did. He gave himself the dessert segment -- of course, because he owns a pie shop and his whole deal is how he's a pie man who does it pie style and man just typing the words "pie style" is annoying me so moving on -- and his dessert failed to impress. You bake pies for a living and you screw up your dessert? Sorry, out you go.