Monday, 12 September 2011

Masterchef meltdown

Something's gone very wrong with Masterchef. Due to my aforementioned love of TV I watch random satellite channels quite a lot. This is excellent because there are so many and they harbour such delights.

This is how I became involved with Masterchef Australia. It's really most peculiar. There's a short, bald, shouty man (obviously - you can't have Masterchef without a short, bald shouty man, preferably with horrendous manners when he eats), a guy who most closely resembles Toad from Toad of Toad Hall (he also has hair like Thingie Llewellyn-Bowen and wears a cravat. Without irony) and Another Dude.

They all stand in a big warehouse with a wet floor and shout at (I think) 50 contestants. FIFTY? where's the need for that? The first challenge I saw involved these contestants running around outside, peeling potatoes and cutting them into chips. Like a sort of boot camp for an unfortunate sous chef. and then it started raining. I mean horizontal monsoon like rain. And they carried on chopping potatoes in the rain. What. The. Fuck.

I remember the days when Lloyd Grossman, he of the peculiar Antipodeanesque accent, would gently cajole three middle aged to elderly types through their producing a fantastic looking three course meal. He would then respectfully judge the food, which was clearly of an extremely high quality. It was all very pleasant and Sunday-evening-on-the-BBC-in-the-80s.

Then there was Masterchef, the reboot. Which introduced SHOUTING and PRESSURE and a random greengrocer as a judge. Cooking doesn't get TOUGHER than this. And slowly the cooks became more and more inferior.

Then there was the deconstructed trifle.

Now it's peeling potatoes in the rain and people frequently sobbing about missing their children and how they're doing it for their dead grandma.

There's probably some kind of analogy with the demise of our very society in this shit but I can't be arsed to find it.

I'm waiting for the episode where blind, mute, midgets have to cook a deep fried mars bar in the dark while doing a karaoke rendition of The Greatest Love of All. Until then, I'm just not interested.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree!

    Masterchef Australia is fantastic. The contestants support each other and they are there to learn and grow. It really is great watching the contestants and you see a real difference in their styles and confidence as the season unfolds.

    Masterchef USA, on the other hand, is the worst thing I've ever seen - Ramsey and his grumpy friends ham it up horribly and the contestants are pitted against each other and (I assume) wound up by the production team ala Jerry Springer, before getting in front of the cameras. I can almost hear them now "Go get that bitch - her steak tartare is nothing compared to yours and you need to let that cowbag know about it!"

    There is *nothing* positive about the show - even the winners don't deserve it (morally, imo) since they've been bitching about all the other contestants right the way through the season, shouting 'I am the best! You all suck and I want you to die!' each night. On the other hand, cast your judgement aside as we are treated to that 'I'm doing this for my dead dog and I miss my sister' speech to make us teary about this selfish, spoilt brat of a contestant stepping on everyone else to try and get to the wonga.

    Just to top the cake, they belittle the contestants completely with patronizing hosts snorting at the food and looking down their noses at the bickering wannabes, to try and make viewers feel like even *they* have one up on the contestants. After all, viewers like to feel like they are the judges, no?

    I haven't spent much time watching the UK version (given up on that and the US one), but it seemed to be a slightly more sanitary clone of the US Masterchef.. very sad to see it deteriorate like that, especially given its fine pedigree!

    Back when Lloyd hosted Masterchef, the whole thing was about the food. Nowadays, it's about stabbing people in the face (with a fork) and boiling their heads with chicken on the path to greedsville.

    Hmm... Jerry Springer Masterchef. It's probably not as far off as it seems!