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Has Food Network "Jumped the Shark"?

egbluesuede Feb 21, 2010 07:49 AM

For those of you not familiar with the phrase, "Jumping the shark" refers to the old Happy Days TV Series. The show lost it fan base in the later episodes when they all went to Hawaii, and Fonzi jumped over a shark on water skis. It was the ridiculously defining moment when the show stopped being cool for it's loyal viewers.

Has the Food Network "Jumped the Shark"? I used to really love FN, but lately, there are very few programs left that I'm not sick of. It seems they have very few TV personalities, and they just keep building semi interesting shows around those same people. I'm not saying I hate it now, but I'm quickly losing interest.

There are a few new shows that get 30 minutes of air time per week, and I may check those out, but I'm mainly finding my Cooking TV fix in other ways now. PBS, Fine Living, and DVD formats. What else are you turning to these days if you are tired of Food Network repeats? I'd like suggestions for alternatives to FN if you are in the same boat as me. DVD recommendations, other channels, or new shows that maybe a lot of people haven't discovered yet?

  1. c
    cubanat Feb 21, 2010 08:39 AM

    yes. a long time ago.

    1. s
      sibeats Feb 21, 2010 10:35 AM

      The Create Network has a bunch of interesting shows. I find the Food Network just replays the same old repeats from years ago over and over again...so many shows that aren't in current production, but just keep showing the same retreads. I don't get that, especially since they just announced they are starting the Cooking Channel in the spring. Doesn't seem like they have enough material for one channel, let alone two.

      1. g
        gloriousfood Feb 21, 2010 12:04 PM

        It obviously has for you and others, but not for everyone. Here's an article from the NY Times recently:


        "The ratings were up markedly for the Food Network last year, and shows set in kitchens have flourished on other channels."

        Here in NYC, I watch the FN, Chs. 13, 21, and 25 for my cooking shows. On the weekends, especially in the morning, the FN is filled with "instructional" shows. And I don't remember the channel, but I also enjoy old episodes of the show "Sam, the Cooking Guy."

        My niece, who graduated from ICE, said that just about every student there dreams of getting a show on the FN.

        16 Replies
        1. re: gloriousfood
          junescook Feb 21, 2010 12:24 PM

          The way FN has beeen evolving, your niece and her clasmates will probably be overqualified for their shows. A few years ago I watched FN for cooking shows predominanatly. Now they have moved away from the serious chefs in favor of nice ladies who read from prompt cards. For cooking I watch, like others, Public TV, plus the Travel channel for the hard core food stuff like Bourdain. Our FN viewing is now pretty well restricted to the Iron Chef America series.

          1. re: gloriousfood
            KTinNYC Feb 22, 2010 06:32 AM

            There is going to be a generation of very dissapointed culinary school grads.

            1. re: KTinNYC
              gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 11:55 AM

              Depends on what they're looking for. I don't presume to know.

              I would say there could be a generation of disappointed diners if future chefs lose touch with their art and think that fame and wealth are all that matter.

              1. re: gloriousfood
                KTinNYC Feb 22, 2010 12:03 PM

                No, there'll still be people who go into cooking for the right reason but there will be many that will soon realize that they aren't ever going to be "Top Che", have a TV show, find a publisher, or even get reviewed by anyone except for someone on Yelp or Chowhound.

                1. re: KTinNYC
                  gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 12:15 PM

                  Isn't that the truth for so many professions. I used to work in publishing and received all these unsolicited ms. from people proclaiming to be the next great American author or something like that. But really they're not. And most likely, they never will be.

            2. re: gloriousfood
              anonymouse1935 Feb 22, 2010 11:24 AM

              "Here's an article from the NY Times"

              The NY Times has jumped the shark as well.

              "just about every student there dreams of getting a show on the FN."

              How pathetic.

              1. re: anonymouse1935
                gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 11:47 AM

                I don't think it's pathetic, although it is a bit sad. It's call going for the money, honey, and the fame, and that's what the FN and other shows like Top Chef bring out in many aspiring chefs.

                What is pathetic is the glorification of chefs like they are saving the world or something.

                1. re: gloriousfood
                  flourgirl Feb 24, 2010 05:44 AM

                  I think that this kind of hunger for fame and celebrity status is permeating almost our entire society -not just wanna-be celebrity chefs. I find it obnoxious, tiresome, and shallow in the extreme.

                2. re: anonymouse1935
                  ecustard Feb 26, 2010 03:11 AM

                  Knocking the New York Times has jumped the shark.

                  As for the Food Network, they're simply satisfying the desperate needs of folks who just have to know how Cheetos are made and which diner will serve them the biggest plate of saturated fat smothered in gravy and/or melted cheese within 5 miles of every interstate exit in the U.S.

                  Incidentally, Jon Hein, who is the man behind the phrase "jump the shark," is a former co-worker and friend of mine.

                  1. re: ecustard
                    egbluesuede Feb 27, 2010 05:08 AM

                    Very cool. Love his book and website. The whole concept he came up with is a brilliant observation that can be applied to so many other aspects in life outside of television.

                3. re: gloriousfood
                  egbluesuede Feb 23, 2010 02:52 PM

                  OMG.....ast first I was excited about the possibility, but now I'm twice as worried. Another Bobby show, two more Rachael Rays, and if we're lucky, they'll figure out another way to show Giada and Paula.

                  1. re: gloriousfood
                    momjamin Apr 30, 2010 04:20 AM

                    Depends on what the ICE students intend by dreaming of a show. If it's, "I want a show on FN so I can show America some real cooking with real food and replace some of FN's current ridiculousness," then I applaud them ;-)

                    1. re: momjamin
                      LindaWhit Apr 30, 2010 06:05 AM

                      Except FN won't step away from the ridiculousness. So no matter what the ICE students do, the FN runs the show - they'll decide what ridiculousness gets on the air and what good shows don't. :-/

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        Davwud Apr 30, 2010 11:59 AM

                        Yep, they're looking for personality not skill.


                        1. re: Davwud
                          LindaWhit Apr 30, 2010 12:25 PM

                          And they're not doing too well at that either.

                        2. re: LindaWhit
                          momjamin Apr 30, 2010 02:14 PM

                          Agreed about what FN's looking for, but (hypothetically) the students (and chow viewers) can dream.

                    2. z
                      zyzyxxz Feb 21, 2010 10:37 PM

                      Honestly my new Food Network is Travel Channel.

                      Occasionally they have those "Food" Paradise specials (i.e. BBQ, Fried, Bar Food) that show what people are serving across the country.

                      Then they have two of my favorite shows: Anthony Bourdain's No Reservation and Bizarre Foods.

                      As I got older I began to realize that most of the cooks on the show stick to very simple recipes most likely because their demographic pertains to dumb housewives and now to the new generation of young people who want to cook instead of eating fast food. I read that the network is attracting young people pretty well and considering most young people who start from no cooking knowledge don't need recipes that are too hard to remember I do believe the shows have been dumbed down considerably.

                      For me the channel died ever since they took the original Iron Chef off the air, I will still watch the new one when I flip channels but I'm not religiously watching it like I do with No Reservations.

                      1. egbluesuede Feb 22, 2010 05:19 AM

                        Has anyone watched Rick Bayless' show, Mexico One Plate at a time? For me it's aired Saturday afternoons on the local PBS channel. This past weekend he did a great show on Mole. I've been trying out a few things from Rick and have liked the authentic Mexican flavors and techniques.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: egbluesuede
                          gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 06:34 AM

                          The part when he was in Mexico was greatly enjoyable and made my mouth water; the part that showed him with his friends was unbearable and exasperating--they (his friends, not Bayless himself)--were giggling twits. I switched the channel there.

                          1. re: gloriousfood
                            sibeats Feb 22, 2010 07:38 AM

                            Oh man, glad to hear you felt the same way! I watched an episode yesterday, first time, loved all the stuff when he was in Mexico, but when they got back to the house it truly was unbearable. The friends were idiots, and I thought Bayless himself seemed way too giddy. Over the top...I fast forwarded through that whole part.

                            1. re: sibeats
                              gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 08:11 AM

                              Yeah, it was just...unwatchable. Even my nieces' friends (all teenagers) don't act this silly when they get together.

                              1. re: sibeats
                                egbluesuede Feb 22, 2010 08:18 AM

                                I agree with your comments about "overacting". It isn't necessary for the show....but I can overlook that. I do appreciate how Rick brings authentic Mexican flavors and makes it accessible for me in the US. He usually points out how it would traditionally be made, and if I had access to all of the ingredients, I would do it that was as well. But he also offers appropriate Americanized substitutions as well as opportunities to riff on the original message.

                                Coincidentally, FN aired a show the same day about an EASY MOLE dish, which really drove home the whole problem for me. No disrespect intended for anyone but I suddenly realized that I no longer fit their target audience. The recipe was really dumbed down and make EASY for their audience, and probably tasted like a cheesy blend of chocolate and peanut butter geared towards people unfamiliar with Moles.

                                1. re: egbluesuede
                                  gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 11:51 AM

                                  I might have been able to overlook it if it didn't take up half the show--eating into precious moments that could've shown more Bayless and less of his ditzy friends.

                                  Agreed with you on the rest of Bayless's show.

                              2. re: gloriousfood
                                ttoommyy Feb 22, 2010 12:10 PM

                                Why do these chefs insist on putting their friends in these shows??? Rick Bayless, Ina Garten, Giada DeLaurentis. It's so forced and phony. The friends and family are usually obnoxious or uber pretentious. I'm watching the show to gain some knowledge and learn how to do something; not watch a bunch of silly idiots getting their 15 minutes of fame.

                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                  gloriousfood Feb 22, 2010 12:18 PM

                                  I agree. There should esp. be a moratorium on spouses appearing on these shows. No one is as enthralled with your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, fill in the blank as you are. Seriously.

                                  1. re: gloriousfood
                                    ttoommyy Feb 22, 2010 12:48 PM

                                    Lidia is very guilty of this...but I still love her. The only person in her family I can stand is nonni. She is adorable!

                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                      egbluesuede Feb 23, 2010 02:53 PM

                                      ttoommyy, What show are you referring to with Lidia and Nonni? I don't know if I'm familiar with that one.

                                      1. re: egbluesuede
                                        ttoommyy Feb 23, 2010 06:47 PM

                                        Lidia Bastianich of Felidia, Becco and Del Posto restaurants. She has had many cooking shows on PBS. She has her mother on once in a while. Since she is the grandmother to Lidia's kids, she is called nonni, which is grandma in Italian.


                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                          alkapal Mar 5, 2010 06:34 AM

                                          her nonni is sweet! she seems to have a good sense of taste, as well. it is enjoyable to watch her taste, cook, and sometimes scold lidia. you're (apparently) never too old to get scolded by momma, i know for a fact.

                            2. legourmettv Feb 22, 2010 09:05 AM

                              FN Canada certainly has... Here is a Youtube video promo for one of their new shows:


                              'nuff said.

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: legourmettv
                                LindaWhit Feb 22, 2010 11:12 AM

                                Oh my God. She's got dead babies sitting on shelves above the sink. (Not really, but the baby dolls look like they are!) And the brass knuckle rings that say Bitchin' Kitchen, and the 50s motif and the over-emoting?

                                It's exactly what ttoommyy said below - cartoonish and a caricature.

                                1. re: legourmettv
                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 22, 2010 05:34 PM

                                  oh my, that's disturbing.

                                  1. re: legourmettv
                                    Sharuf Feb 23, 2010 02:59 AM

                                    This is a spoof, right? Maybe an SNL satire? This cannot possibly be for real. can it? OMG!

                                    1. re: Sharuf
                                      legourmettv Feb 23, 2010 03:15 AM

                                      Unfortunately for us here in Canada this will be very real, and on FN this fall. The programmers want to be "edgy", and entertaining rather than actually cook.

                                      Cooking is boring, or so they think...

                                      1. re: legourmettv
                                        goodhealthgourmet Feb 23, 2010 09:28 AM

                                        well, watching it certainly made ME edgy, but i don't think that's what the producers had in mind. and it makes even less sense to me for that particular market. between the accent & the attitude she's like a parody of some East Coast tough-girl "straight outta da Bronx" (or maybe Bayonne?) in the 80's. how a Canadian audience will relate to that is beyond me.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          KTinNYC Feb 23, 2010 09:38 AM

                                          I think you are reading Nadia G wrong. I think she's a Canadian trying to be edgy. Ahh, yes, her facebook page confirms that she is from Montreal.

                                          I think she's the Food Network Canada's female version of Guy. That pvc apron and three fingered ring looks so stupid I can't even begin to understand the appeal. Her background for a cooking show? Comedy! Of course, makes perfect sense.

                                          1. re: KTinNYC
                                            goodhealthgourmet Feb 23, 2010 09:42 AM

                                            comedy, huh? oh right, because that worked out so well for Cory Kahaney on The Next Food Network Star ;)

                                            Sharuf was onto something above...this belongs on SNL.

                                        2. re: legourmettv
                                          junescook Mar 5, 2010 06:47 AM

                                          Um, I guess I have to agree that it was bitching.... On the other hand, it all seeems sort of tongue in cheek and the food looked pretty good. Beats Aunt Sandi or another giant cake battle.

                                      2. re: legourmettv
                                        Midlife Feb 23, 2010 11:32 AM

                                        Couldn't even watch the whole thing. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        I wonder if Nielsen Canada has a way of measuring what % of the audience throws up (please excuse me) how far into the show. If it's not too high, we might get it in the US. Just think!

                                        1. re: legourmettv
                                          al b. darned Feb 24, 2010 01:13 PM

                                          It was like watching a train wreck! I thought the 50's ended in 1999, even in Canada.

                                          I just hope they don't "import" it to the US. (Actually, it doesn't matter if they do, 'cuz I won't watch it.)

                                          1. re: legourmettv
                                            Davwud Feb 27, 2010 05:38 AM

                                            Oh dear god.

                                            I couldn't even make it through the preview.


                                            1. re: legourmettv
                                              Pincus Apr 28, 2010 09:40 AM

                                              This is one of the few FN shows I can tolerate. Call me a sucker for warped humour and bottle blondes. :)

                                              1. re: legourmettv
                                                Davwud Apr 28, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                Give FTV Canada some kudos though. I think Pitchin' In is fantastic.


                                                1. re: legourmettv
                                                  EWSflash May 30, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                  Jesus Mary and Raalph- that's the most obnoxious thing I've ever seen. Seriously.

                                                  The kitchen is a Goth-Lolita-Meets-Pathological-Packrat nightmare, her hair is even worse, and her makeup makes her look like her eyes are on the sides of her head, like a fish. Are they hiring dropouts from set design and cosmetology schools? I guess you could save some money that way, but holy cow.

                                                  If that's their idea of edgy, they're in trouble. A whole bucketload of sloppy crap does not equal edgy.

                                                  1. re: legourmettv
                                                    weewah Jun 18, 2010 05:25 PM

                                                    What's up with chanting/repeating key words after saying them the 1st time? And really, who would want to eat anything that imbecilic tramp threw together? Finally: why am I anticipating ingredients to be packaged food, LOL! This looks like something made for 13 year old girls. (No offence to them!)

                                                    1. re: weewah
                                                      alkapal Jun 18, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                      i cracked up with the echo "big voice" after the cooking step or dish is shown. "CRISPY"...."SAUTE"....."PIE."

                                                      it made me think of some WWF promo. ;-)).

                                                      1. re: weewah
                                                        pdxgastro Aug 12, 2010 07:39 PM

                                                        Imbecilic tramp. Are you talking about the semi homemade chick? ;-)

                                                    2. LindaWhit Feb 22, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                      Succinct. I love it. :-)

                                                      1. ttoommyy Feb 22, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                        "Jumped, missed its landing, and drowned."

                                                        But first beached itself...with spectaors standing around with their mouths opened, saying, "What happened???" lol

                                                        1. p
                                                          pengcast Feb 22, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                          There are shows on the FN that I really like - Ace of Cakes, Iron Chef and Ina. But really most of the shows are no longer about teaching anything. The restaurant centred ones can be fun at first -- GBB. But how many burgers or sandwiches can you watch before it all seems the same. Many of the shows that are supposed to teach seem so simple and simplified. Big Daddy and the 5 ingredient one come to mind.

                                                          I learned more from the first two seasons of Essence of Emeril than I have learned in the last five years on FN. I yearn for Mario to be back in the kitchen making real meals that I might actually try at home.

                                                          And please enough of the food challenge, competition shows. I never want to see another cake decorating or chocolate show piece game show.

                                                          1. ttoommyy Feb 22, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                            I think it jumped the shark years ago. There are a few OK shows here and there, but most of the "chefs" have become cartoonish and caricatures of themselves. For my money, the PBS stations are the place to go for real cooking shows: America's Test Kitchen; Cook's Country; any Lidia show; any Julia show; any Jacques show; Everyday Food; just about all of them.

                                                            1. a
                                                              anonymouse1935 Feb 22, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                              They jumped the shark years ago when they disavowed Sarah Moulton and the old Alton Brown and so many other chefs whose names escape me in favor of 'challenges' and 'how to bake a plastic cake and win a prize'.

                                                              WLIW Create is pretty good, as is The Travel Channel. Both have limited appeal and are nothing like the old, good Food Network.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: anonymouse1935
                                                                DiveFan Feb 25, 2010 03:40 PM

                                                                You may know that the Travel Channel is now owned by Scripps, the puppeteer of FN and FL.
                                                                So far, I haven't come across any signs of a major remake of TC. We'll probably know when Bourdains next project is Internet only.
                                                                One thing in common between all networks today is a severe drought of truly new shows - more and more and more reruns.

                                                              2. Midlife Feb 22, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                Jumped? I'd say more like went into orbit over the shark.............. a LONG time ago.

                                                                Sounds like their upcoming re-do of FLN is an attempt to back up the battleship, though I haven't seen much evidence that they know much about what to do. I had pretty much concluded that they were solidly in the 'dumb-down for the masses' mode, so a whole channel of Sandra Lee types would still seem possible.

                                                                1. egbluesuede Feb 23, 2010 02:57 PM

                                                                  Wouldn't it be cool if someone who runs Chowhound got into programming shows geared towards true Hounds? Looking back over the years, FN has changed, but I've changed even more. We've grown apart......I need something better.

                                                                  Here's a better question. If you could create a show for an alternate Food Channel, what would it be like? Maybe I'd watch that instead.

                                                                  1. g
                                                                    gudeatz Feb 24, 2010 08:27 AM

                                                                    Agree...They tossed the old timers, no formula for the new shows..Trial and error will pay off eventually....Be patient....

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gudeatz
                                                                      KTinNYC Feb 24, 2010 08:40 AM

                                                                      "Trial and error will pay off eventually"

                                                                      I'll have to disagree with you on this point. The trials are over and there is a new formula. The cooking shows are all about, "quick and simple". Minimal technique and safe, common ingredients. The prime time shows are either cheap to produce competition shows or shows based on "personailities".

                                                                      The rating are better then ever and things won't change unless the ratings start going down.

                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                        bob96 Feb 24, 2010 08:51 AM

                                                                        Think you've hit the formula on the head--and summarized very clearly why many (inc me) have abandoned ship. At least one saving grace, though, if cheapness is a driving factor: there's a good chance we'll be spared the idiotic, self-indulgent Mario in [ fill in overdone Mediterranean junket spot] travesties.

                                                                        1. re: bob96
                                                                          Midlife Feb 24, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                          I agree with KT as well, but I kinda liked On The Road Again (assuming that's what you were referring to). Although............... I would have been just as happy if Gwyneth had done it with Claudia Bassols, and left the two guys at home. But that's probably just my testosterone talking.

                                                                          1. re: Midlife
                                                                            KTinNYC Feb 24, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                                            The Mario, Gwennie, Bittman, Basols show wasn't on Food TV it was on PBS.

                                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                              bob96 Feb 24, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                              Mario's Spain is still a travesty, albeit a PBS one, but I think I meant his earlier show on Italy, where he ruined a budget and our time playing stupid with that guy Rooney.

                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                Midlife Feb 24, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                                I know that, but I didn't recall a "fill in overdone Mediterranean junket spot" featuring Mario on Food TV. I had put Mario and Rooney out of my mind.

                                                                      2. j
                                                                        jarona Feb 26, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                        FN has gone from a channel that at one time was pretty informative and, in a very primitive cheesy fun--aka "Ready, Set, Cook". Over the years it has become a platform for "celebrity" chefs to shill their low-grade cookware and "cook"books. In addition, it has just turned into a major dissappointment. I can think back to early days of Paula Deen--when her accent wasn't so annoying--and she actually was more toned-down--her down-home recipes were not that bad. Even RR was easier to tolerate before all that "yum-o" and "eevo" crap. Emeril before "BAM" was great! Remember Two Hot Tomales?? Then something happened. We started to see hosts like Guy Fierri and Bobby "I'm-so-much-better-than-you" Flay. Ms. Deen, along with RR became living cartoons. The art and education of cooking and fine cuisine went down the toilet.
                                                                        These days, I find myself watching PBS (along with PBS's CREATE), Travel Channel and Fine Living. John Folse, who has been a mainstay over the years and has GREAT cookbooks on Creole/Cajun cooking is now on PBS. I'm hoping Nathalie Dupree follows suit as well--SHE is the original Southern Lady Cook! I find myself actually becoming more and more intrigued by "Cooks Country" and "America's Test Kitchen". I love both those shows because of their informative delivery. Avec Eric and old reruns of "Jacques and Julia" (Pepin and Child) make me a very happy home chef! Although I still am quite fond of Ina's cookbooks, I am sad to say I am starting to find her many, many,many reruns hard to watch--get something new.
                                                                        Food Network is nothing more than one big commercially-run food family tree. Everything is inbred now. "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" is nothing more than these TV Chefonalities advertising their own peers. "The Worst Cook In America" is nothing more than a platform for reality star wannabees. In fact, the last time I tuned into to FN was the first episode of "Worst Cook...". Stopped watching the channel for good after that one!

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: jarona
                                                                          TrishUntrapped Feb 26, 2010 08:39 AM

                                                                          Well said, Jarona.

                                                                          While I was watching a taping of a Sandra Lee show, the producer summed up the mission of the Food Network. "It's all about branding," he said.

                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                            jarona Feb 26, 2010 09:16 AM

                                                                            For food entertainment, I've started watching Anthony Bourdain. He is a no b/s kind of guy and I appreciate that. There is even this somewhat weird (I haven't figured it out yet) kind of show called "Let's Dish". I think it is on one of the cable PBS channels, but the guy on the show is from some culinary school out west and some of the stuff he makes is pretty decent. I just think Food Network has had it's day. I'm even watching more and more Martha Stewart--and I NEVER thought I would EVER become a regular view of hers--however the cooking segments are very good.

                                                                            1. re: jarona
                                                                              Midlife Feb 26, 2010 11:58 AM

                                                                              The problem always seems to be that the tier of the audience that is looking for something a bit more educational/authentic/'pick the appropriate term' winds up being disenfranchised by the mass market. Unfortunately it's all a matter of numbers and money. That's sometimes a down side to a capitalist economy (not trying to get political, just a fact). Scripps has shareholders to answer to. Even Warren Buffet has them.

                                                                              It's not a coincidence that some of the best programming is on Public Televison.

                                                                              1. re: Midlife
                                                                                david t. Feb 27, 2010 12:26 AM

                                                                                All they ever show is reruns and new episodes of competitions. I'm tired of this.

                                                                                Give Mario his show back. Stop looking for personalities. Get real chefs who have restaurant experience. And there needs to be a serious pastry show.

                                                                              2. re: jarona
                                                                                egbluesuede Feb 27, 2010 05:12 AM

                                                                                I'll have to give Anthony Bourdain another try. I watched one of his shows a while ago and got turned off initially. Seemed like a know it all with a crabby attitude. Could have been a bad first impression? I've heard a lot of others mention him on this thread. Can't be worse than the majority of FN programming, so I guess I should give it another shot.

                                                                                1. re: egbluesuede
                                                                                  jarona Mar 1, 2010 09:44 AM

                                                                                  Yeah. I've read some negative stuff about Bourdain, but seriously, after watching him, he's really decent. He respects the food. He's entertaining and enlightening.

                                                                                  1. re: jarona
                                                                                    egbluesuede Mar 1, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                                                    I'm willing to give him another look. I'm done with so many others, I'm looking for someone with credibility.

                                                                            2. re: jarona
                                                                              egbluesuede Feb 27, 2010 05:10 AM

                                                                              I'm targeting a lot more PBS shows that seem to be available in my area now. Last week, I scrolled through the men\u for the entire week and recorded all of the cooking shows to try out and see what I like.

                                                                              1. re: jarona
                                                                                weewah Jun 18, 2010 05:27 PM

                                                                                HEAR HEAR!

                                                                              2. m
                                                                                MCFAC Mar 1, 2010 03:32 AM

                                                                                I would pay for a cooking channel that had no commercials, and got beyond the basics more than FN, with food I would eat. Even my husband is spotting mistakes the cooks make on FN. I cringed last week watching one of them abuse a staub pot with a metal spoon. And, how much help does anyone need to make a burger of any kind? Often, I put on FN in the afternoon because it is less annoying than Sprout (I can only watch Barney and Thomas the Train for so long) and still safe for my 2 year old to watch. Agree with what others are saying about repeats and the same people all the time. I like the food shows on Bravo better because there are new faces, the food is current, and people are really inspired and inspiring. (and usually look pretty healthy!) Haven't tried the PBS shows, will have to check them out. FN is way too much about comfort food. If I needed comfort TV, I'd watch Oprah. I bet viewership is up because we just had the largest baby boom in history in 2007 and also a lot of people are sitting home unemployeed, so more folks are trying to find their way around the kitchen. Too bad there isn't a channel that is way better.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: MCFAC
                                                                                  butterfingers Mar 1, 2010 01:59 PM

                                                                                  I watched an Emeril rerun where he said he was going to demonstrate "tempering chocolate" and proceeded to put chocolate into a saucepan with heavy cream and, while stirring them together over heat, repeated to his audience that he was "tempering chocolate". Sadly, some novice cook is going to read a recipe that requires to her/him to "temper chocolate" and follow Emeril's lead and wonder why it didn't work out.

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  silence9 Mar 1, 2010 12:51 PM

                                                                                  Here's my own 'jumped the shark' barometer: if you see the Muppets anywhere near a cooking show's kitchen (I'm calling you out: Ace of Cakes, Frugal Gourmet, and all culinary puppet apologists in-between!), said show is embarking upon a slow bataan death march to Irrelevance Village (located just east of 'Flavor Town', btw). Man, those Muppets are brutal...

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: silence9
                                                                                    egbluesuede Mar 1, 2010 05:16 PM

                                                                                    I think Elmo was on Emeril Live as well. Yeah.

                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                    butterfingers Mar 1, 2010 01:54 PM

                                                                                    I think that "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" is proof that FN tried to jump the shark, missed, and is now floundering in the water and bleeding from all major arteries.


                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: butterfingers
                                                                                      egbluesuede Mar 1, 2010 05:15 PM

                                                                                      I don't get that one either. Why are we supposed to care what Brian Boitano would make?

                                                                                      1. re: egbluesuede
                                                                                        livetocook Aug 4, 2010 08:51 PM

                                                                                        EXACTLY. I burst out laughing when I saw his show. It was my WTF moment of the day

                                                                                      2. re: butterfingers
                                                                                        alkapal Aug 9, 2010 04:50 AM

                                                                                        >>>>"".... proof that FN tried to jump the shark, missed, and is now floundering in the water and bleeding from all major arteries.""<<<<


                                                                                      3. alkapal Mar 5, 2010 06:39 AM

                                                                                        now folks, nadia g of bitchin' kitchen has some pretty snarky lines and a few nice lookin' hunks on the show. i'd watch a late night food network show of bitchin' kitchen over the ace of cakes (episode 5,397) for sure!
                                                                                        i'll bet they tame nadia g *down* -- unlike their normal celebrity trajectory.
                                                                                        don't know how they'll turn it into a half hour show, though.

                                                                                        jumped the shark? heck yeah, they jumped the shark. if you want serious cookin', you ain't watching food network, anyway. watch createtv! (which i love).

                                                                                        "trailer park cooking with jolene" is in development now at food network.


                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                          alkapal Mar 9, 2010 10:00 PM

                                                                                          i never saw the actual "jumping of the shark" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpraJY...

                                                                                          i always thought fonz jumped ON the shark to ride it. now THAT would've been good tv! the actual jumping of the shark was very boring -- esp. if you've been to ski shows! ;-).

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                            DiveFan Mar 10, 2010 02:31 PM

                                                                                            Too Late!!
                                                                                            FN has wrestled the shark into the boat and hacked it to bits:
                                                                                            R.I.P., Mr. Shark :-(.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                              stet Apr 26, 2010 07:23 PM

                                                                                              This show is awful.

                                                                                            2. rozz01 Apr 26, 2010 05:48 PM

                                                                                              Okay... I never thought I'd say it but Boitano wins. His show is more interesting, more humorous and less fake than about every other show on now... except Good Eats. I wanted to be all snark and junior highscool jokes, but I acutually loved the cheese episode. Forgive me father fo I have sinned.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: rozz01
                                                                                                TrishUntrapped Apr 27, 2010 01:34 AM

                                                                                                Rozz, that's okay I was shocked myself I liked the show. When I tell people about it they look at me like I must be crazy. But it's a good show, and good is good.

                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                                  southernitalian Apr 28, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                  I really love his show! He's hilarious, smart and makes good food.

                                                                                                  1. re: southernitalian
                                                                                                    Squint Aug 8, 2010 05:54 PM

                                                                                                    I'm another one that likes Brian show. I usually watch it at the gym while I'm using the treadmill or elliptical so I'm watching without sound and reading the closed captioning. I'm actually finding I like most Food Network shows without the sound :-) I think Brian has some good recipes for party food. I haven't made any of the recipes yet but save them to my FN recipe box after I get home from the gym.

                                                                                                2. re: rozz01
                                                                                                  rozz01 Apr 28, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                                                  By the way... sorry for the spelling :)

                                                                                                3. Withnail42 Apr 27, 2010 04:37 AM

                                                                                                  It jumped the shark, sailed off into the sunset, and beyond the horizon a long time ago.

                                                                                                  1. MandalayVA Apr 27, 2010 05:53 AM

                                                                                                    I haven't watched FN in ages. It's just one long commercial to sell crap convenience food and chain restaurants.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: MandalayVA
                                                                                                      thew Apr 30, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                                                      all (non-public) tv is one long commercial. that's the point. TV is not a medium to deliver programming supported by ad sales. it is a medium to run ads, that entices consumers with programming.

                                                                                                      (that said - i love tv)

                                                                                                    2. goldy12 May 1, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                                                      That's so funny, I was just thinking this same thing this morning as I was trying to watch it. It just doesn't hold my interest like it used to. I don't know if the programming has been downgraded per se, or if my cooking skills/knowledge have improved and the programs aren't as interesting to me anymore. Honestly I'm finding more inspiration out of cookbooks and the internet now. It's been years since I've downloaded and used a recipe off of FN.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: goldy12
                                                                                                        egbluesuede May 2, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                                                                        It's probably a combination of both. When I first took an interest in cooking, I was actually learning from FN. That was a long time ago....and both of us have changed. I need something better now.

                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                        AngelSanctuary May 2, 2010 11:12 PM

                                                                                                        Hey, I love Bitchin' Kitchin'! She can go a bit overboard but she's cute and I like her accent. And I thought the show is funny while having pretty appealing dishes. It's also a bit informative at times (though she uses a lot of extra virgin olive oil for some higher heat applications >:|!)

                                                                                                        1. egbluesuede Aug 3, 2010 11:32 PM

                                                                                                          Now they are airing "The great food truck race"???? Sorry.....I'm still watching Good Eats, and I can't help but see some of the drivel they are still serving up on FN. I hope I don't offend anyone, but these commercials almost made me turn Alton off.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: egbluesuede
                                                                                                            bob96 Aug 4, 2010 09:08 AM

                                                                                                            I think Tyler Florence will "host" the food truck race--a chance once again to savor his signature 5-word vocabulary, from "amazing" to "fantastic".

                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                            TheFoodEater Aug 4, 2010 11:00 PM

                                                                                                            that shark done been jumped

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: TheFoodEater
                                                                                                              ospreycove Aug 9, 2010 05:11 AM

                                                                                                              The Food Network is yesterdsay's news....tomorrow. The demographic it is chasing now seems to be the reality show thrills and spills crowd.

                                                                                                            2. j
                                                                                                              Jillnyc Jun 18, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                                              Ok Giada, we know you now have a great house on the beach, a baby and a husband... Just cook, we don't need to see your pool. And Ina, how many times are you going to rub in our faces that you live in the Hamptons.... JUST COOK!!!!!

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