Food Network’s Latest Show is “On The Rocks”
Food Network apparently thinks American restaurant owners like being yelled at by British men. First, it was Robert Irvine in Restaurant Impossible. Now, it’s John Green in On the Rocks. This isn’t a bad thing because it makes for some good TV. It’s just very peculiar.
While I liked On the Rocks, it’s like any other restaurant makeover show, only this time it’s in a bar. For those like me who don’t frequently watch Spike, you’ll be more surprised that guy-centric Spike is airing a bar makeover show called Bar Rescue than the fact that the concept has already been done. Nothing is saving On the Rocks from being redundant, but John Green saves it from being boring.
John Green isn’t like Robert Irvine at all, even though they are both British. (It’s entirely possible John is Australian. I can’t determine where his accent is from.) His attitude is more like Willie Degel from Restaurant Stakeout, who’s not warm and fuzzy, but definitely wants what’s best for the restaurant/bar owners. John Green won’t be everyone’s favorite host. He’s blunt and knows the people he is trying to help will hate him until they see results. He knows that’s the case, but he doesn’t care. John’s not warm and fuzzy. Everything’s strictly business. Also, unlike Robert, John doesn’t make any attempt to Americanize his English. When Robert uses a British phrase, it’s usually to get something past the censors. When John does it, it’s because he knows we understand what “piss off” means and he doesn’t need to mince words.
The first episode of On the Rocks features the Oxford Inn in Royal Oak, Michigan. The restaurant has a bar in the backroom. While the Oxford Inn does well with an older clientele, the bar’s attempts to attract 20 and 30-somethings have failed. Since the show is entirely formulaic, John walks in is disgusted at the condition of the bar, which hasn’t been used since opening night 12 years ago, and appalled at the owners’, in this case Higgins family, finances. He finds that the bartenders are over-pouring, costing the business money. John spends the next few days retraining the staff and making over the barroom. Instead of going the traditional bar route, John turns the Oxford Inn’s bar into the Lock & Key Speakeasy. It’s a cool concept that came complete with a password, which patrons needed to know to get in the door.
Food Network officially ran out of ideas long ago, so nowadays the only thing its shows bring to the table is a new host. John Green does a good job, but, unless there’s nothing better on or you’re absolutely infatuated with the Restaurant Impossible formula, you should probably pass.
Posted on November 18, 2013, in Cable, Food Network, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged bars, food network, john green, on the rocks, restaurant impossible, restuarant makeover. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.