Chefs are all so famous that they are known by their first names; there’s Jamie with his voice, Nigella with her drugs, Huey with his shitty suspenders, Gordon with his incredible grasp of the English language, and those hairy blokes with their beards.
At the time of writing this, there are approximately 7000 cooking shows on Australian television. That means that at any possible time that you could turn on the television, you will see somebody faffing around and pompously placing tiny amounts of food onto a plate in an artistic fashion.
Too much reality TV
At the moment, just on our 3 commercial TV networks we have My Kitchen Rules, 2 versions of Masterchef, Alive and Cooking, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, something with Jamie Oliver in it, and countless other shows of both the reality and celebrity chef variety.
As if that isn’t bad enough, when you finally do stumble across a show that is not about cooking, during the ad breaks there will be an ad for some new reality cooking show.
This happened the other night when I was watching a TV show about guns, sex and violence and a well-targeted advert appeared for a new show called ‘Australia’s Next Great Baker’. From what I could gather, this is your bog-standard cooking reality show featuring a number of over inflated personalities appear on your screen every night cooking something and each week one is eliminated.
Apparently this cooking show will be different, since the contestants won’t be cooking meat with something obscure drizzled over it. Instead, they are constricted to baked goods such as cakes, biscuits, buns, bread and more. According to the advert it will be ‘epic‘. Since first hearing about it 2 weeks ago, I have struggled to think of a single reason of how bread could be epic… I still haven’t thought of anything.
How to get on reality TV
I’m not sure that talent is a prerequisite for getting on reality TV, you also don’t need any skill or experience in what you will actually be doing on the show. That applies for the judges as well. Australia’s Next Great Baker is hosted and judged by a chef called Anna Gare, alongside Shane Jacobson, a guy made famous for being fat and playing a toilet cleaner called Kenny in the movie of the same name. I don’t know about you but I would want to keep a guy made famous by cleaning toilets as far away from my food as possible.
The judges on all of these shows seem to have a 2 word vocabulary. Everything is either “delicious” or “vile“. Normally though, the judges find something positive to say about the dishes which takes away all of the fun. I want to see somebody get told that grandma’s lasagna recipe is terrible or that their steak tastes like a shoe. At least Gordon chucked an occasional f-word into the mix and fired some real abuse towards the contestants.
How to make a reality TV show
The format of all of these shows is essentially the same. There is about 10 minutes of actual content whilst the rest of the show is made up of replays and build up. I think the point of this is to increase the level of excitement for the show through fake drama, ridiculous music, slow motion replays and cliffhangers before every ad break. This is despite the fact that cooking is actually the least dramatic thing in the world.
When will people realise that they are baking a fucking cake, which is quite possibly the most boring thing you could ever do after watching paint dry. The only way that baking a cake would ever be dramatic is if you blew the oven up and set the other competitors on fire in the process. Or perhaps if the challenge was to bake a cake that would take somebodies head clean off if thrown in a food fight.
Baking a cake quite possibly the most boring thing you could ever do after watching paint dry
After 6 months of drawn out episodes, ‘shock’ exits, returns, and every other generic plot-twist you can think of. Eventually they will choose a winner. This is all well and good, but the winner will then go on to host their own cooking show which only adds another one to the number of cooking shows on TV.
The worst, most annoying thing about all of these cooking shows though is how they make everybody watching think that they are some kind of undiscovered Masterchef. I’m sorry, but cutting up a cucumber and some cherry tomatoes then placing it around a bit of chicken before posting a photo on Instagram doesn’t make you a Masterchef, any more than walking around the block makes me an Olympic athlete. It makes you a person who can place food on a plate. Well done… Although my parents wouldn’t let me near knives, I was still able to do that when I was 5.
We are all sick of reality TV
I really hope that the abundance of cooking shows on TV starts to filter off soon and the networks start to show decent programming. Between the cooking shows, the home renovation shows, the reality TV and the crime dramas, soon, the only decent thing we will be left to watch is the porno channels on Foxtel.