I actually WATCH Food Network now and again, more often than not drawn in by the progressive horrors on screen. I find myself riveted by its awfulness, like watching a multi-car accident in slow motion. Mesmerized at the ascent of the Ready-Made bobblehead personalities, and the not-so-subtle shunting aside of the Old School chefs, I find myself de-constructing the not-terrible shows, imagining behind the scenes struggles and frustrations, and obsessing unhealthily on the Truly Awful ones. Screaming out loud at Sandra Lee in disbelief as she massacres another dish, then sits grinning, her face stretched into a terrifying rictus of faux cheer for the final triumphant presentation. I mourn for Mario..and Alton...Bobby and yes--even Emeril, nobly holding the fort while the TV empire he helped build crumbles like undercooked Bundt cake into a goo of Cheez Wiz around him.
Some thoughts on the Newer, Younger, More Male-Oriented, More Dumb-Ass Food Network:
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