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Oct 20, 2008 01:37 PM

The Pain in Spain Lies Mainly in Their Brains

Anyone catch an episode of that insipid PBS show starring Mario Batali and Gweneth Paltrow? Accompanied by some foodie friends, the two tool around Spain in search of simply sublime sustenance. My God. All these two do throughout every episode is dish out uncomfortably unclever one-liners about the life Epicurean while convening mutual admiration society suppers wherever they go.
While Paltrow annoyingly overseasons her lines in the show with the word "amazing" (contributing little more to each episode than great drinking game potential), Batali's bloated corner of the conversation goes for the verbose at every turn of the table talk, cramming cheesy puns and efforts at profundity down our throats in heaping helpings.
It's TMZ meets the FoodNetwork, plain and simple. Click.

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    1. re: MMRuth

      Same here. I find the show entertaining. I like Bittman and Batali and I think the show is beautifully shot even if there might be too much of them in the Mercedes'. It not so much a cooking show as it is a travelogue and I take it for what it is, nothing more nothing less.

      There people who were going to hate the show no matter what from the post that I saw even before the show ever aired and there are others that are disappointed that the show isn't whet they expected.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        I don't get the barrage of negative comments. How can you deride a show that seeks to educate and inspire? Sure the style is disparate from what we're used to, and the style comes off as self-indulgent. Can you imagine creating a concept for the first time in front of millions of viewers? You're sure to disappoint. Unfortunately those who enjoyed it aren't as vocal as the others.

    2. We really enjoyed it. Batali is verbose and entertaining...and they have a real passion for food. I do wish the background music wasn't so loud though.

      1. It has its ups and downs. The food is very interesting and Batali obviously knows food but man, he is verbose...but an odd kind of verbose that I can't quite figure out.

        I know he's talking for the camera but he never stops and that's a bit unnatural or it's like he drank way too much coffee.

        The revelation I had watching the empanada show was that Mario reminds me of the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

        1. I find Jose Andres series Made In Spain on PBS a much more thoughtful and informative program -- both in terms of the country and its culture, and in terms of the genuine enthusiasm of Jose Andres who clearly loves his country and her food.

          1. Regardless, your title's great.