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29 June 2011

"Reality" TV confession time... Since it's summertime, I've been watching Master Chef and The Voice more than I care to admit in most polite company.

[More:]The thing I like about Master Chef is that Gordon Ramsey gets to be more than a raging, pissed off, screaming a-hole (as in Hell's Kitchen). He actually says encouraging and kind things to people. So do the other two judges, Elliot and Joe. On the other hand, I really don't like how the production team draws stuff out around the commercials and repeats a lot after the commercials. At least I get a bathroom break, I guess.

The Voice. Hmmm... I gave it a shot at first because of the no-looking, just listening first round of auditions. After that, I've been hooked during the live shows because they're mostly live and no freaking autotune. Tonight, tho, when the coaches did their initial cover of "Under Pressure," all I could think was, "Freddie Mercury is turning in his grave." Something I also thought when the coaches did their other cover of a Queen song. I dunno. I'll watch tomorrow just out of curiosity to see who wins.

Masterchef: Buttery Biscuit Bass.
posted by TheophileEscargot 29 June | 03:42
It's funny to see Master Chef from different countries:
The English version I love, for niceness and some really fabulous food. Australia's Master Chef seems to have an insane amount of episodes per season. Dutch Master Chef has trouble finding talented contestants, and is sponsored by a bbq manufacturer. Every other episode something has to be grilled, not something that is much used in this cold and wet country, so noone really knows how to do anything special with it.
Also contestants are happy receiving mediocre marks, in stead exceeding themselves. Which is disappointing, though not surprising I guess, in a country with stamppot as its national dish.
posted by charles kaapjes 29 June | 05:03
I love the Australian MasterChef. I can't stand the English one, with those two shouty blokes. Ugh!

I love cookery reality shows though, particularly Top Chef (in all its incarnations - classic, Masters, Just Desserts). The trouble is, we get them years behind you, and not on a regular basis. So we'll get a repeat of a season I've already seen, then, months later, a first showing of the season before that one.

At the moment I'm enjoying 24-Hour Restaurant War, which is being shown nightly on the UK Food Channel. I'm awaiting the return of Chopped.

A new guilty pleasure I've discovered, which I watch when I get home from work, as it starts at 5pm, is Dinner Date. It's a low-budget UK show, and is so bad it's wonderful. A dater is provided with 5 menus, from which they choose their favourite three meals. Then over the course of the next 3 nights, they have blind dates with the 3 chosen ones, who cook their menu in their home. On the fourth night, the dater chooses his or her favourite blind date to take on a real dinner date, and the two unlucky ones have microwave meals for one delivered to their homes.

On Monday a new series of Britain's Next Top Model begins. I wondered how I'd fill my Monday evening between 9-10pm now Game of Thrones has finished. I need worry no more!

Yes, I know I should get out more.
posted by Senyar 29 June | 07:44
The only reality TV I like is So You Think You Can Dance. It seems like the dancers are serious athletes. But for me the whole 'vote somebody off the island' format has jumped the shark. Even SYTYCD, which I have really loved in the past, is only tolerable now. It's probably just me.
posted by toastedbeagle 29 June | 08:09
Been watching Top Chef Canada. Go Connie!
posted by JanetLand 29 June | 08:21
The boy and his old roommate (who is moving to town soon, so I foresee viewing parties) got hooked on anything with Gordon Ramsey, but we haven't actually watched Master Chef. We do have a habit of going to restaurants and whispering, "It's 30 minutes into dinner service, and the diners are getting restless."

I don't know WHY we subject ourselves to Next Food Network Star, but could they possibly have found a more awful bunch of people this season? Penny... so gross. I find nearly all of them, with the exception of Orchid (who will surely go home as soon as I type this), completely detestable. The guy that got kicked off this week seemed to have chops, but he was clearly there because of his look (fauxhawk, too cool for school, plugs... whining about how people keep looking at his plugs...) He and my brother are both hipstery fishmonger/butchers. Of course, my brother is actually likeable.

This guy couldn't fake TV presence if he tried. It all gelled for me when the judges described him as "talking like a waiter." YES.

Last night: Deadliest Catch and After the Catch. This season has been pretty blah; it's all "nobody's catching crab and the weather sucks."

Also, I caught Million Dollar Decorators for the first time. WOW. I can't remember the last time I saw such vapid people. Oh, wait: it was probably Million Dollar Listing, with the art thief and the guy who looks like Peter Pan (the internet celebrity).

I am super jazzed about Flipping Out returning next week. Jeff is SO BAD -- and have you seen that TLC show Spouse vs. House, where one spouse does all the demo and decorating while the other can't contact them? (Totally overcomplicated, btw.) The "expert" is Ryan Brown. We were thinking, "Hmm; how do I know that guy?" Suddenly I said, "That's Jeff's ex, the one who stole all his business!" "That BASTARD!"
posted by Madamina 29 June | 10:07
I am in LA visting my mom. She watches a lot of cooking shows, and a lot of TV in general.

If I ever saw Gordon Ramsey on the street, I would have to stifle the urge to beat the crap out of him.
posted by danf 29 June | 10:34
To date, the only reality show I've ever seen is "Animal Cops." I used to really enjoy that one, though it was hard to watch sometimes.
posted by BoringPostcards 29 June | 10:57
BoPo- that show is sometimes on when I go over to mom's. I think she just leaves the TV on Animal Planet. Yikes, some scenes are so disturbing.
posted by toastedbeagle 29 June | 15:20
Australian Masterchef is the best of the genre I think - but soooo much crying this year. Also getting annoyed that they aren't showing enough of everyone's dishes.

UK Masterchef - I dunno but I have only seen one inspiring dish and the girl was sent home. I think it's more Master-homecook.

USA Masterchef - lots of melodrama and I laughed when someone was praised for toasting the spices before they used them *shakes head*. Some good contestants this time around - but I don't really care to hear the sob stories. Also they need to stop trotting out the family members during the auditions - once is touching, every 10th contestant - meh.
posted by gomichild 29 June | 16:15
I can honestly say I've never heard the Siren song of "reality" shows. American Idol? Never seen a single episode, ever. And the dance shows? Not my cuppa tea, I'm afraid.

My daughter likes to watch The Voice, though, and I've seen snippets as I've wandered past the tv when she is watching. All I come away with is..."Cee Lo Green? Really?"

posted by Thorzdad 29 June | 16:43
We watch The Block and The Amazing Race pretty religiously, but that's about it. If it wasn't for the fact that we only found out about The Amazing Race Australia two days before applications closed (and I was away interstate at the time), we would have submitted an application to compete. I can just picture our tagline - 'dysfunctional couple'.
posted by dg 29 June | 17:52
I just dropped by to shed a tear of mourning for the original Japanese version of Iron Chef, world's most over the top reality show, and the only one to which my husband and I have ever been absolutely addicted. I would so love just once to see a new episode, with Chairman Kaga wearing sequins and ruffles, ingredients being unveiled in clouds of dry ice "smoke," Iron Chefs rising in silly costumes with accessory chef implements on hydraulic platforms, breathless minute to minute "color" coverage, and the inimitable commentary from the tasting panel (especially that fortune teller!).
posted by bearwife 29 June | 18:39
The one type of reality show I've totally avoided is... food shows! I can't eat what they're cooking so why bother?

I've watched most of the others, at least one episode anyway. I prefer the AnimalPlanet shows and The World's Most Dangerous (whatever) that usually plays on SpikeTV (or whatever that channel is called now). And I watch COPS on occasion as well as Pawn Stars.

I used to watch a lot more TV than I do now. It's down to perhaps a couple hours a week.
posted by deborah 29 June | 19:20
Female Armor: || I had a Dream (there was some time travel)