Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TV Quick Take: MasterChef

I'm not a Gordon Ramsay fan. Some folks have tried to tell me he's not quite the nonstop screaming hell the promos for his various shows make him seem, but those promos so put me off that I've never been motivated to find out.

That said, somehow I ended up watching the inaugural season of the U.S. version of MasterChef, and found it unexpectedly compelling. Ramsay was, for the most part, on his best behavior (perhaps moderated by his cohosts Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot), I like the concept of taking accomplished home cooks (i.e., as opposed to The Worst Cooks in America) and teaching them to be restaurant-quality chefs, and MasterChef is the only cooking competition show I can think of that offers the audition/casting phase common to other reality talent competitions such as So You Think You Can Dance, America's Got Talent, and American Idol. I don't much enjoy seeing the occasional humiliation of self-deluded aspirants, but I do like seeing all the weird, wacky, and often wonderful things people do to try to get cast.

So it was with pleasure that I watched tonight's premiere (actually, I guess it was just the first half of the premiere) of MasterChef Season 2. Just a few quick thoughts:

  • Calling cooking shows "food porn" is a commonplace, but... [NSFW] body sushi? SRSLY?

  • Nobody loves a toothless, gator-cookin', self-described redneck more than me, but I wonder how he'll do with a souffle challenge... or, really, with any dish whose main ingredient doesn't come from a swamp. It'll likely be fun to find out, though.

  • I want me a bowl of "Shipwreck Stew"! Jus' sayin'!

  • I almost want me some of that salmon and haggis, and that's saying something.

  • Am I the only one who was seriously disturbed by the sight of a middle-aged black woman on her literal knees begging Ramsay to "give it to me right now!"? Yu-u-u-u-uck!

  • It took me a while, but I finally realized who Ramsay reminds me of, with his overdramatic, pregnant-pause-punctuated, gesticulational speech patterns: He's the Scottish James Effin' Tiberius Kirk, in a kitchen instead of a starship!

That is all....

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