Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Case of the Failed Food Detective

We all know Ted Allen...he started out as the food guru on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", and later started showing up on "Iron Chef America" as a guest judge. And of course, he's been a beloved favorite part of "Top Chef" since the beginning. In all these shows, he's always impressed me as being funny and smart, so I wasn't surprised when Food Network decided to give Ted a show of his own - a show, I hoped, where his tastefully snarky goodness could shine.When I saw the promos for "The Food Detectives" I looked forward to seeing what Ted could do on his own. The premise sounded good - debunking, demystifying and sometimes even proving true, various food myths.I'm a big fan of MythBusters, and watching Jamie and Adam occasionally touch on food myths like "toast always lands butter-side down" and "mentos + diet cola = billowing fountains of carbonated joy" is always a hoot (not to mention that I love seeing them blow things up in the microwave...) So the thought of an entire show devoted to culinary urban legends with the added bonus of Ted Allen as host had me hopeful and curious. Then I watched the first episode. My first question is "Why in the world is Ted romping around in that primary colored playground from hell, and what has he done with his wicked wit?" I felt like I was watching "MythBusters meets Good Eats on Sesame Street (For Dummies)".Sadly, I fear that the "Food Network Effect" has turned our snarky, oh so cleverly catty Ted into "Kindergarten Teacher Ted" - a Ted who speaks very clearly to all of us little kiddies so we will understand what he is bringing to our television screens.

I wish Ted well with this show; I even hope I'm jumping the gun, and hope that future episodes will improve. But I still look forward to the television program that gives us Ted in all of his glory, because as of this writing, "The Food Detectives" is definitely not it.


Laura Springer said...

Agreed. I was so hoping for some amazing snarky science. Hopefully they will fix it or let it slip away silently into the night.

moi said...

Dang. I haven't seen this yet, but I had high hopes.

Ooooo, creepy: Moi's Word Verification for this post is: "Melba."

Big Shamu said...

That's another thing about this show Moi, it's on late at night, when you'd think they would be able to get a little more cutting edge. I hope it gets better but I'm not holding much hope.
Melba - Peach or Toast?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. It's horrible. I had so much hope for this show. I may watch one more episode, but if it's as bad as the first, they can keep it.

Jenny said...

Boo - when I first started reading this post I was really hoping your review would be good - I love him too and thought it sounded like a great idea... BUT, great ideas don't always translate to great shows. What a shame. Let's put him back in Fashion or on HGTV designing rooms.

Anonymous said...

Is anything really good on Food Network anymore besides repeats of A Cooks Tour and Iron Chef Japan?

I stopped watching FN about 3 years ago and I don't miss it at all.

the dogs' mother said...

Daughter and I watched it and it seemed so over produced and slick.
Being huge Mythbusters' fans we like the fly by the seat of your pants feeling that they have.
You are right. All he needed was Elmo to pop in for a conversation.
Time to retool FN and not waste Ted Allen!

h said...

I just stumbled across it and didn't have any expectations. The episode I saw was too dumbed-down for my taste. Are there people out there who didn't already know that milk is a good burned-tongue healer and a basic idea of the Science behind it?

The look and feel of the show reminded me of Nikolodeon Network for kiddies. I was expecting the "food techs" to get "slimed".

The Phosgene Kid said...

The episode I watched he was just covering ground Alton Brown had already been over (and done a better job with). I'll stick with "Good Eats."

Another disappointment is Anthony Bourdain. When he started with the Travel Channel his snarky wit made the show, but now he just comes off as pandering and nowhere near as funny. Maybe he shouldn't have quit smoking.