This put up initially appeared on March 8, 2019, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly publication for individuals who wish to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.
Welcome again to Friday afternoon. I’ve bought some TV suggestions and a roundup of the week’s food-related leisure information, in addition to a WORD OF WARNING a few meals present that’s alluring on the floor, however utterly skippable. Let’s soar proper in, we could?
The ‘Massive Household’ letdown
Netflix/Massive Household Cooking Showdown
As Netflix continues increasing its already-impressive meals TV catalog, the streaming titan is scooping up exhibits that have been beforehand huge hits in different markets. And whereas many of those imports are pleasant additions to the library (hiya Flavorful Origins and Chef & My Fridge!), the culinary competitors the Massive Household Cooking Showdown is just not one among them. The one factor this sequence does rather well is make you wish to watch its apparent inspiration, the Nice British Baking Present.
The similarities between the 2 applications aren’t coincidental: When theGreat British Bake Off (because it’s referred to as within the U.Ok.) left the BBC for rival community Channel 4, Massive Household was created to fill its place. The primary season of the present was co-hosted by earlier Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain in addition to TV/radio persona Zoe Ball. Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli was solid within the Paul Hollywood function, and cooking college administrator Rosemary Shrager crammed the Mary Berry seat. Many of the challenges in Season 1 befell in an enormous barn that had a equally fantastical vibe to the large white tent. Though it was an apparent copycat, I favored the chemistry between the internet hosting crew, the personalities of the house cooks, and the commonly jovial vibe of the primary season.
Sadly, within the lead-up to Season 2, the producers made a sequence of modifications that by some means drained the present of its lifeblood. The charming quartet of hosts and judges has been changed by Celeb MasterChef winner Angellica Bell and Nice British Menu contestant Tommy Banks, who’ve completely no chemistry collectively. That huge fancy barn has been changed by an area that appears just like the kitchen of a apartment timeshare. And as an alternative of two households squaring off towards one another, there are 4 clans duking it out firstly of every new spherical, making it a frenzied affair.
One other huge challenge with the present, not less than for me, is that a whole lot of the meals simply doesn’t look excellent. The character of the problem — house cooks with no skilled expertise making hearty recipes, typically with frozen substances — lends itself to gloppy, monochromatic plates of meals, and a few of the mashups that come out of the kitchen look like apparent conceptual misfires. “Coconut pancakes topped with salmon two methods and a strawberry-balsamic salsa” would possibly style good IRL, however it certain doesn’t look good on display.
The silver lining right here is that the households are as charming as ever, and it’s good to see them working as groups collectively. However in contrast to its predecessor, there’s hardly any drama within the Household Showdown as a result of this system simply isn’t structured in a approach that permits for suspense to construct. The result’s yet one more Baking Present clone that pales compared to the unique.
All 14 (!) hour-long episodes of the Massive Household Cooking Showdown Season 2 at the moment are accessible to stream on Netflix. However for those who’re severely jonesing to look at a culinary competitors, you’re in all probability higher off watching the unique Baking Present, the Ultimate Desk, or High Chef.
Streaming suggestions du jour
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play
The gist: A number of the finest moments on this formidable comedy/drama function references to gourmand meals as a harbinger of gentrification in Oakland, California.
The movie begins with parolee protagonist Collin (performed by Daveed Diggs) and his pal Miles (Rafael Casal) consuming take-out from their favourite old-school burger stand, which, a lot to their shock, was simply renovated and now serves vegan meals by default. On the best way to work the following morning, Collin surprises his pal by buying a $10 inexperienced juice from their native liquor retailer, establishing a operating joke in regards to the altering tradition of the neighborhood. And one of many film’s largest surprises entails a yuppie doofus ordering a flaming scorpion bowl at a neighborhood dive the place Collin used to work.
Longtime mates (and occasional musical collaborators) Diggs and Casal wrote the film collectively over the past decade and you’ll inform it’s a labor of affection. Whereas a few of the concepts don’t completely gel, I actually hope the duo and director Carlos López Estrada hold working collectively and creating the heady type that they’ve established right here.
Documentary Now!, “Ready for the Artist”
Watch it on: Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play
The gist: You don’t should be a fan of efficiency artist Marina Abramovic to take pleasure in this parody of the 2012 documentary about her work, The Artist Is Current.
Cate Blanchett’s efficiency because the aloof artwork world legend Izabella Barta is purpose sufficient to look at this Documentary Now! episode — she utterly owns this character. Considered one of her works, “Late for Dinner,” options her accomplice, Dima (performed by Fred Armisen), consuming at a desk for 2 as Barta is tethered to a wall by an enormous spring. And her grand masterpiece, “Ein Tag Ein Frankfurter,” entails the artist consuming a scorching canine all day, day by day for a yr.
Like all the very best Documentary Now! episodes, “Ready for the Artist” is a chic mash-up of intellectual cinema and low-brow comedy.
In different leisure information…
Have an ideal weekend, and for those who’re on the lookout for one thing vegetable-forward however not significantly well being food-esque to make, contemplate peeping Hugh Acheson’s recipe for creamed kimchi collards.
Eat, Drink, Watch.
Meals leisure information and streaming suggestions each Friday
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