|White chocolate cherry chunk. Courtesy of Paula Deen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Since that time, dozens, no, trillions of websites try to duplicate what FoodTV has achieved, many have failed, while others have succeeded (Epicurious is one of them.) I am not here to talk about the successes and failures of food websites, for this would be a boring post, and I like would cut it off right here (I am leaving that to my other blog that covers things like that). I am here to talk about the changing of the guard, from what FTVN (I am calling it from now on in this post) was known for, the cooking shows.
If you wanted to know how to roast a chicken (and there are people out there who still need to learn how to master that skill), you turn to FTVN, The Rachael Ray Show (who started out at FTVN, and still shows up on occasion), and the late Julia Childs on PBS (who BTW started this whole cooking thing). In the past, you also turned to Paula Deen (my favorite Southern Gal), The Neelys, Big Daddy, and Sunny Anderson (The last three were the only African Americans ever allowed to have a show on FTVN, and succeeded). These shows, along with Giada de Laurentiis and The Barefoot Contessa's Ida Gardner to solve the problem of "What's for dinner". A person could just watch the show, declare that dish was tonight's dinner, and the problem was solved.
There is a show that came to the airwaves about 2 years ago, called Dinners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The star of the show was Guy Fieri, and he just drove from town to town, showcasing that town's eating places. It was (and still is) a place people have turned to, because it was a new show, and it was a change of pace from the ordinary cooking show. It is working, because this show is on several nights in a row for several hours. (At least that's what it is looks like to me.) I am not sure what makes this show so special, because I, personally cannot watch more than two episodes in one day. This is a 30 minute show. To me, it gets rather boring after a while, and I lose interest and turn off the television. Restaurant Impossible and other shows like it make me want to gag, because who wants to see a bad diner being remodeled and the menu overhauled? Apparently, the executives who run FTVN thinks I do. When they do show a cooking show, that show a re-run of a show I have already seen. For example, critics complained about Paula Deen not promoting a healthier southern meal, even when she herself was diagnosed early this year. I would love to see a show with her promoting that lifestyle, but instead, they show re-runs of her shows where butter is all the rage, and there is nothing on the books that show her cutting back. (BTW, I do know she has cut back, because I recently saw her on a HSN promotion (That's The Home Shopping Network, BTW), where she used a little butter, and a lot of healthier ingredients with her demos.)
My recommendation: Please go back to your roots. No more multiple shows of DDD, RI, Contests of who is the worst cook, best cook, iron chef wantabe, and shows of celeb chefs in their younger days. They are all successful because of this channel. Oprah loved Rachael enough to give her a show (RR is on my DCR list to tape). Most people cannot afford to travel to a restaurant by just hopping on a plane, get their fill of the place, and then fly back home. Showing a program once a day will allow cooking (true cooking) shows to emerge, and maybe I will be back as a regular viewer again. let's face it FTVN, you have ran out of ideas, and I am starting to get frustrated with your network. Find something that will wow me, make me coo with envy, and make me run out the local grocery store with keys, IPad, and coupons in hand to grab the ingredients for my next culinary experience. I need something new to fix so show me how to cook again.