Which new food show should you watch or skip?
There are certain things that I look for when I think about a food show and whether I will continue to watch it. And no, it's not always the food.
Chief among them is - am I entertained? Did I learn something fascinating? Is the cast interesting enough for me to be emotional involved? And finally, is the food something I would make afterwards?
If I tick all four of those things, I would likely never miss an episode.
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But I have since learnt that there's no such thing as a perfect show. Take Dinner at Somizi's for instance. It's a fun show, one where I am fully entertained by his theatrics, his style of interviewing his guests and also his cooking.
I do not like, however, that we do not get measurements of the ingredients, the over reliance of winging it and the camera angles hardly showing the food during and after being cooked.
The first two episodes of the show had Rami Chuene and Zahara. They both had really great chemistry with Somizi and you could tell that he has a relationship with both and there's mutual respect. But what did the food look like afterwards? Why the choice of ingredients? What replacements can we use if we don't have those particular ingredients?
I know it's a talk show that happens to be centered around food, but it also is a show about cooking. I will, however, keep watching.
What I won't continue watching is Crazy Delicious on Netflix. What a whacky, gimmicky show! Now when it comes to competition shows, I need there to be one cast, a set group of judges and different challenges that will show just how much each of the contestants had grown or not.
I had this same problem with Cooked with Cannabis where they had a revolving cast of competitors and judges and the contestants only had three meals to prove worthy of winning $10 000. The same with Chopped. I guess it's part of that whole thing where it's all about making quick and easy TV and moving on to the next, but what we all know about reality competition shows, is that we need to build relationships with the contestants.
The concept of foraging for food on Crazy Delicious is great, but the ever changing contestants, plus the judges (Heston Blumental, Carla Hall and Niklas Ekstedt) and host (Jayde Adams) who don't change their clothes, are rather irritating.
I guess they felt that My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef exist so they don't need to do a similar show with a major cast of competitors, but it just doesn't work with a revolving cast. It's very gimmicky and like frying an egg- emotionless and quick.
With such an interesting premise, they really could have taken the show further and had the winners of the golden apple, fight it out for the ultimate champion title. Instead it just seems like a one and done kind of show. It's very procedural, which is boring.
Coming back home, I have also checked out Mzansi Magic's new show, Celebrity Mystery Box. So the premise is that a celebrity receives a box filled with ingredients and they have to make a great meal using only those ingredients. They win R10 000 and also R5 000 goes to charity.
Judged by Chef Nti and Les Da Chef, i t's a fun show. We get to see some of our favourite celebrities try their hand at cooking restaurant quality meals. There's interesting banter between them and seeing them freak out over what to make with the mystery ingredients, makes for good TV, especially since they can't properly plan what to cook. They get given a star ingredient which they have to include in their dish. It's an interesting show that shows another side of public figures.
Pity about the voice over person. There's only one Dave Lamb and he can't be replicated.