Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cooking shows and the economy

So I'm really disappointed that The Next Food Network Star is Melissa and not Jeffrey, and I have figured out why. I am officially tired of people using The Recession as an excuse for everything. Among the other reasons Bob (one of the awesome trio of judges) noted on his blog for choosing Melissa, he said that her "budget and time-conscious recipes seemed perfect for these times." Ugh! So instead of Jeffrey's entertaining Ingredient Smuggler wherein the "sophistication of his recipes wouldn't have appealed to everyone," we get Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian, which Bob calls "sophisticated but accessible home cooking that viewers constantly tell [Bob] they want to learn."

The thought of more budget home cooking is exactly why I won't be watching Melissa's show, even though I like Melissa. I watch the Food Network when I want to be entertained, to escape, to indulge in something cool, to salivate over this or that delicious concoction I behold. If I want to learn about budgeting, I watch Suze Orman. (No, really -- I love me some Suze! "People first, then money, then things!") But I also feel like the Food Network is already made of people trying to get their sophisticated recipes to appeal to you the home cook. I think that is the very point of a network of celebrity chefs! It's not like it is a new or different concept just because Melissa is charming and has a different personality and background life story. Again, ugh.

While I can accept that there may be a "mandate" of focus grouped Food Network viewers asking for the same old boring crap, I am angry at those viewers, and I am angry at Bob for playing the "these times" card. Everywhere you go right now, it's "Try our recession special!" or "Hard times happy hour" or what have you. Have you noticed that even people who still have their jobs and their houses are prattling on about The Recession? Why? Their lives are no different, but it's like they have to be on the Recession bandwagon, and they've suddenly discovered it might be a good idea to have a household budget. Well, gee, no kidding!

And by the way this whole Cash-for-Clunkers program really gets my goat. The news has showered me with cries of joy the past few days because oh-boy-people-are-buying-CARS-again! with their Cash For Clunkers vouchers! Don't forget I was in Michigan, to make matters worse. Since when should news reporters and anchors be cheerleaders for the economy? Who gave them that job? So, oh boy, because of these vouchers maybe the Big Three companies won't totally die their painful deaths. Sure, it's OK for the government to subsidize your NEW CAR. But health care? If there's a public option for health care then suddenly Obama's a socialist and we all might as well put the Berlin Wall back up. What gives?

I'm tired of it. I want Jeffrey to take me away with his exotic ingredients -- which by the way he then makes accessible.

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