Oh Food Network…I don’t know what to say, other than to speak from the heart. We’ve had a long relationship, going back to Molto Mario, the original Iron Chef, and Emeril before he went Live! era. It was the heady, early days of “Food TV”, where chefs weren’t celebrities yet, they didn’t have to have your vaunted “culinary point of view” like this stooge, and everything wasn’t some contrived game show with Guy Fieri. The chefs were still a little awkward, learning how to do this TV thing. But they knew how to cook, they were real, and no cults of personality had yet formed. Heck, Emeril had not yet even had his own sitcom, or Bobby Flay had not showed up on Law and Order yet.
I am old-school. I like watching “chop and dump” shows like the Barefoot Contessa and Giada at Home. I like learning new things and seeing how to cook differently. I care deeply that Ina makes something to Jeffrey’s liking.
But lately, I find watching the Food Network makes me feel stupid. And worse yet for you, I turn the channel a lot. I don’t care about a “Cupcake Wars”, (a title that is patently insulting, war is nothing to joke about. Really? A war? C’mon. Go visit a V.A. hospital and see what a war really means), some silly show starring a boy band-turned-reality show hack on recreating Twinkies, or best yet, a seemingly endless loop of Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-in and Dives”. The first 100 episodes were cute, Guy, but I can’t take any more. It all looks the same. (As an aside, how has Fieri’s hair not fallen out from the toxic cocktail of bleach he must be continuously dunking it in? My sympathy for his scalp. Oww.)
So Food Network, I am sorry to say, we’re breaking up. It’s not you, it’s me. (Uh, I think really it is you, but I want to be nice.) No reality shows, none of the other game show crap. Bob and Susie, your programming acumen is clearly not for people like me anymore.
I may allow myself to cheat at the gym with Chopped (yay Ted Allen), but only if there are not celebrities on it. Alton Brown will be a case-by-case basis, but only if he is cooking and being smart – not trying to be creepy mean (which I know he is probably not in real life.)
Giada and the Contessa are always a go, but I suspect they may not be in your line-up much longer as chefs, since everything has to be about being a “personality” who doesn’t cook.
We shall see. But Food Network, all the best. We were great while we lasted. But I’m moving on and letting you go be who you need to be.