Thursday, August 26, 2010

MasterChef Kind of Sucks

He's full of whimsy. via

There are way too many cooking competition-type shows these days, but I'm giving MasterChef a chance because I need a show to work out to.

The main draw for me is not the contestants, though. I'm wasting my precious time on it for Gordon Ramsay, because anything involving G.R. in a cooking version of American Idol is bound to be bawdy, entertaining, and informative- most of the time.

In case you've never heard of it, MasterChef is a quest to uncover the best amateur chef in the U.S. (why, yes, it IS a rendition of a show from England!). Each contestant has to earn a MasterChef apron to compete for the prize; thirty made it out of thousands of applicants, and there can be only one MasterChef. The winner gets gets $250K, a cookbook, and all of the glory in all the land.

Ramsay is joined by Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, no lightweights in the restaurant world. If you're wondering which one will be the Simon Cowell of the show, you'll be happy to know this show has two of them! Hint: it's not sweet pushover Elliot.

We luck out with two versions of Cowell: Joe B's version is the metro serious business dude with the poker face who has trouble hiding when he has the hots for someone. Ramsay's version is a mood swinging, fire-breathing, yet lovable one.

Aside from watching the hosts have fits over both the great and terribly-composed dishes, there's nothing much going on as the show is trite and a little behind the times (nothing tops the classic Iron Chef, and we already have Top Chef and a slew of other knock-offs).

Every contestant gets his or her own little heart-rending background story, replete with slow motion shots of hugs with family members. The tearful close-ups cultivate a sense that surely, so and so will win because they have enough trauma in their lives to fuel them to success (that worked well for Batman, anyway)... least the judges keep you guessing. Cue the contrived suspension during judgments: "I need you to take off your aprons....and tie them back on again, tighter, because you've made it on to MasterChef!".

That's priceless.

It also induces viewer rage, and we all know rage is the best fuel for work outs.

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