NBC’s Food Fighters Takes on Food Network

When it comes to food competition shows, there are no original ideas. A show like Food Fighters has to be judge based on it’s execution, which is good if you can stomach Adam Richman.

Food Fighters takes the big kitchen feel of Iron Chef America and combines it with Throwdown/Beat Bobby Flay‘s underdog versus master chef formula. It’s derivative, but works well because it’s different enough. Unlike past shows, Food Fighters has the home chef compete against 5 different chefs with 5 different dishes. Each chef is worth a different dollar amount, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with the possibility to double all winnings at the end. After the chef is announced, the contestant gets to choose which one of the remaining dishes will be made this round. At the beginning, it leads to interesting combinations like a seafood chef attempting a mango tart. Toward the end, you get a Latin chef making fish and quinoa, which would have been boring if Lorena Garcia wasn’t a firecracker.

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Mad TV Song Parodies

Mad TV wasn’t a very good show. However, like most sketch comedy, it had it’s moments. Before everyone on the internet was making parody song music videos, Mad TV was doing it better. Here are some of the show’s funniest music video parodies.

Britney Spears- “I’m Not a Child”

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The Lawrence Welk Show: “One Toke Over the Line”

“One Toke Over the Line” was released in 1970. The title refers to exactly what you think it does. That didn’t stop Lawrence Welk from introducing the song as a “modern spiritual.” He was either hopelessly clueless or knew exactly what he was doing. As a bonus, Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, hated the song because he felt it was subversive.

Advantages of British Series

This article uses “seasons” when referring to American shows and “series” when talking about British shows. An American season is a British series.

With British programs becoming more popular in the United States, Americans are noticing more and more that a British show can run for 10 years, but only have 32 episodes. A show produced in the United States usually accomplishes that feat in a season and a half, which typically takes place over the course of 18 months. This occurs because British series, which an American would call seasons, range from 6 to 8 episodes; it’s not uncommon for shows to then go on a two year hiatus. American networks like to bang out as many episodes as possible as quick as possible because 100 episodes is the magic number for syndication. Neither system is bad, but the British way of making television has some distinct advantages.

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McGurk: A Dog’s Life Is a Dog

McGurk: A Dog’s Life is so bad, it’s easy to forget that it’s producer, Norman Lear, is responsible for All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The show manages to have no redeeming qualities. The pilot episode is 22 minutes dedicated to McGurk thinking he’s dying. Keep in mind that A Dog’s Life has all of the actors in bad dog costumes and is supposed to be a sitcom, which it manages to be because it sure as hell isn’t a drama.

This masterpiece starts with McGurk talking to the camera explaining his morning routine. Every joke ends with the punchline “I’m a dog.” He can’t tell time. Why? He’s a dog. Any show starring anthropomorphic animals standing on two feet and speaking English gives up the right to make jokes about their species. For all intents and purposes, they’re just people with dog ears and tails, which makes it disconcerting when McGurk refers wants to please his owner.

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Conan’s Graphic Designer Wants His Mallomars

People in the New York area have a thing for Mallomars. Nabisco makes the chocolatey, marshmallowy goodness available only from September to March, so we have the entire summer to long for the cookies that go away because someone said “marketing gimmick.” In 2004, when Late Night with Conan O’Brien was sill on the air, Pierre Bernard addressed this issue as part of Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage.

P.S. Stockpiling Mallomars doesn’t work because they are made to be eaten by the boxful.

The Colbert Rapport: Will He Last on CBS?

Ever since 2005, Stephen Colbert has been ruling late night television on Comedy Central. Next year he will be leaving his post after ten years to take over for David Letterman on Late Show. This is a drastic change for Colbert, whose current show is a satirical version of The O’Reilly Factor. Will his current rapport with his audience get in the way of his success as himself on CBS?

Letterman announced his departure not even two months after Jimmy had taken over for Leno. I cannot say that I was surprised that by Letterman’s retirement. Everyone knew Fallon was going to be some serious competition. Fallon is more relevant and appealing to the precious 18-49 audience. He has a social media savviness that Letterman doesn’t have. So when Letterman “unexpectedly” announced his retirement, CBS needed a host that would supersede Jimmy’s popularity. Colbert already has a large and loyal audience from his show on Comedy Central, which make him a very good choice for Late Show.

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Food Network Gets “Rewrapped”

Rewrapped is another cooking competition from Food Network. This one is hosted by Joey Fatone, who is best known for being in ‘N Sync and not being Justin Timberlake. It also features Marc Summers, who really should be hosting the show, as a judge. Joey isn’t a terrible host. He’s just extremely high energy. Between the backdrop and Joey’s personality constantly on high, the show feels like it should be on Nickelodeon. If Joey dials himself back a little bit, the show will fit comfortably into its “kid in a candy store” vibe without being so in your face.

While Rewrapped is not original, it’s actually good.  The first round has three chefs recreate classic foods, such as Tastykake cherry pies and Goldfish Crackers. For the second round, the contestants have to use the snack food to make a dish. The premise is simple, but sometimes formats shouldn’t be mess with. The only difference from most Food Network shows is that the contestants are scored from 1 to 10, whereas unless you’re watching Iron Chef, few other Food Network shows award points.

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The MTV Movie Awards

I’m going to be honest. I don’t understand The MTV Movie Awards, but I never did.Last night, I watched it because I love Conan O’Brien. While Conan was funny for the whole 15 minutes the award show actually featured him, I felt out of place watching it in my own living room. It’s basically the Kids Choice Awards for 15-year-olds, who are now allowed to hear people say “hell” and “ass,” which is absurd in it’s own way. Instead of writing an article bashing The MTV Movie Awards because, when it comes to the show, I am the most clueless 22-year-old.

Go watch the best part, the cold opening, over at The Hollywood Reporter.

David Letterman Is Retiring in 2015

Wow. David Letterman announcing his upcoming retirement shocked me. It shouldn’t have. We all knew it was coming. No one was under the impression Letterman would be hosting The Late Show until he dies. He’d host it until Jay Leno was out of the collective consciousness or dropped dead. Once Leno said goodbye to The Tonight Show stage one last time, Letterman’s days were numbered. All he did today was confirm everyone’s assumption.

When all is said and done, Letterman will have hosted a late night talk show for 33 years: 11 as host of NBC’s Late Night, the last 22 will be with The Late Show and CBS. It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago few people expected Letterman to surpass his idol Johnny Carson’s reign in late night, which was an impressive 30 years. Now, we’re wondering how CBS will fill the hole in their lineup when Letterman leaves next year.

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