Saturday, January 27, 2018

Netflix: Eat Your Words

This is a great idea for a show. They look at the people who left a history of writing bad reviews for restaurants and invited them to cook something similar themselves and have it judged. One of judges is a chef or chef-owner who was subject of one of their reviews, another some kind of semi-celebrity, the third is the host of the show.

It's also annoyingly redundant in having the premise of the show repeated each episode and repeated within each episode as if new viewers arrive for each show and more new viewers arrive after a commercial break that doesn't happen on Netflix.

The contestants are inordinately gay and they show inordinate misplaced pride in it. It has nothing to do with cooking.  It's quite obvious without mentioning, and making one's identity central is not helpful and for gays every one of them are terrible cooks. They give gays a bad name. They fail to live up to their standard. The Asians have a similar conceit. There is no point to mentioning, we can all see your race and your sexuality. It's all very obvious. In both cases, making those identities central does not advance the task at hand. You don't make any choices in reviewing restaurants or in cooking because you are gay or Asian. And the gay Asian vegan is actually triply obnoxious. They are sexist and racist but don't know it because it is them doing it to themselves and not comprehending all of that brings with it its converse and its projection. They challenge along these lines obnoxiously and unnecessarily.

Many of these reviewers being challenged are food-bloggers, all of them rate their own cooking skills highly, and none of them can cook their way out of a paper kitchen. They all give food bloggers a bad name. They're arrogant about stupid things, like fair-food, hotdogs and such, or a bias against upscale restaurants, They blog about food they encounter, not about food that they make. On a scale of 1-10 they rate themselves 20 and you know you're in for disaster the moment they pick up a chef's knife. None of them have any knife-skills or even basic understanding of cooking. They make basic errors, chief among them are their untested adaptions based on their ridiculous self-limitations, such as creating a vegan pizza or preferring bite size fish and chips and their off-the-wall adaptions of standards such as home-made pasta and Bolognese and switching sweet potatoes for fries, baking them instead of deep-frying, and cooking the fish first instead of last. Generally, their timing is incredibly poor. They have no business even trying this.

They turn out a lot of truly disgusting meals. A professional chef who is successful, gets great reviews, and whose livelihood depends of turning out thousands of particular dishes each day, literally thousands of eggs, or thousands of soba bowls, must now sit there and watch idiots imagine they're improving their dishes. They observe mistake on mistake on mistake on mistake and then must eat the result.

One contestant "improved" pizza by substituting cheese with walnut spread but without toasting the walnuts, substituting tomato or white sauce with sriracha and mayonnaise, and substituting the pizza bread dough with purchased pita bread because, he asserts, pita is better for you than pizza dough. Oh? How so? They're the same thing except pita uses chemical leavening and pizza crust uses yeast. Pita bread is not better for you than pizza crust. That's ridiculous. His pizza was judged inedible.

The show is good advertising for restaurants. Especially in Los Angeles. The restaurant named Eggslut sounds fantastic. I had just mentioned to another cook that I started putting eggs on everything, even things where eggs don't belong. And that is the premise of this restaurant. The person I spoke to asked, "like where?" Then I had to think what I thought back then when I originally realized what I was doing at home for myself, "In soup, on sandwiches both fried and broiled, on potatoes, on top of noodles, and cornmeal and oatmeal. Fried eggs on steamed vegetables, poached eggs on toast, blended in sauces, hardboiled in salads, with hamburgers, on fries. I'll be making dinner, and that can be anything quick, and in the last minute decide to top it off with an egg. They're in fairly everything, including nearly all desserts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, so far everything except breakfast cereal."

The Japanese guy who runs a successful soba restaurant cracks open a thousand hard boiled eggs every day. It's one employee's full time job. He de-shells a hardboiled egg in seconds while the food blogger's friend who left poor reviews struggles with peeling one hardboiled egg for several minutes complaining the whole time.

The family team who tried making sushi were a straight up disaster. They hadn't a clue where to begin. How they felt qualified to judge professionals is a matter of extreme misplaced arrogance.

I'm going to re-watch the two seasons because I missed a lot of it and skipped past most of the redundant show-premise explaining. There's actually fresh content within the redundancy but I didn't have patience with it the first time.

The judges are too generous with stars. Frustratingly, they're too kind, too gentle on these assholes who write obnoxious reviews and need to be smacked down. Hard. They're charmed by observing them trying and experiencing failure, the contestants are entertaining to watch as they fail, and they realize their shortcomings once they are challenged, and the judges want the audience to think of them generously so they give them three stars when contestants don't deserve any stars. They never give minus fifteen stars when it so richly deserved, so you cheer when the two obnoxious arrogant hygienically filthy brats in the last episode finally get one star from each judge. Part of the fun is guessing how the judges will rate them based on their observations and commenting throughout. One star is the lowest they go.

The host wears too much makeup. In some shots the harsh lighting makes her entire face appear plastic. Then at judging, she really is sensible and guides the discussion wisely.

It's a great idea for a show and pulled off fairly well. The contestants react to judges remarks separately, as after the show was taped, then inserted into the show afterwards. They were working when the judges made their remarks, and now the contestants are sitting side by side and responding to judge's criticisms out of the kitchen.

Contestants have long hair that they flip around, long beards uncovered that are hovered over pots of food, they don't wash their hands, they double dip, they touch their hair, their faces, eyebrows, and nose, then chop vegetables or continue making dough, they show every unacceptable kitchen behavior imaginable. They're disgusting. I just wish the format could stop being so repetitious in explaining their premise for new viewers. Actually, I hope they continue with new episodes. It's fun watching arrogant complainers receiving their smackdown.


edutcher said...

Interesting concept.

ndspinelli said...

I love an over easy egg on my burger. A restaurant we frequent puts poached eggs on their Caesar salad and it's a nice touch. Our 2 year old granddaughter loves eggs.