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Man V. Food - I don't get it.....

OK, I admit, I've never really watched an entire episode - but I'm watching one right now: He's at Niagara Falls, in an Italian restaurant and has been served a table full of food that he is endeavoring to eat in 90 minutes. So? Why should we care?

Pls tell me there's more to it......because I just don't get it.

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  1. My sentiments exactly. I think he's just a cute little pig.

    1. You evaluated my thoughts perfectly, disgusting !

      1. He has an adversarial relationship with food. The graphics for the show are of a muscle-bound man punching out either a turkey leg or a very large hamburger.

        It's fascinating in the way professional wresting and demolition derbies are, but certainly not enlightening.

        1. That's amusing. I watched the same show, and after Niagara Falls he went to Portland Maine for lobster at the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. My brother and his wife are weekending in Portland so I called him about the Lobster Shack and they were allready planning to go there for lunch today. Sure looked good.

          "Cute little pig" is a perfect description for AR! His groupies are amusing, also, scavanged up locally for the shoot. He is the Jerry Springer of food, but less harmful.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            My brother just called from Maine. Lobster Shack was a let-down.

            1. re: Veggo

              Actually Veggo, I think he's perhaps more harmful than Mr. Springer. I mean he is sensationalizing excess and gluttony - it's nauseating not to mention unhealthy. I'm all for a caloric splurge here and there but the sort of binging he engages in is just foul.

            2. I don't get it either. I saw it last night, he was eating progressively more spicy tuna sushi cones. All I could think of was what a sad waste of good tuna, I love spicy tuna sushi but I can't imagine anything that hot being enjoyable.
              I'm sure he paid for it big time when the cameras stopped rolling :-)

              1. Sifting through the gluttony and circus atmosphere, he does find interesting restaurants. I had a splendid experience at Fred's Texas Cafe in Fort Worth, 3 weeks ago on a day of a Hatch chile roast, a day after catching part of his program.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Veggo

                  I live a stone's throw from Fred's and it is indeed splendid!

                  That said, I just hope that Adam Richman gets a full physical exam on the regular.

                  1. re: alliegator

                    I goofed - it was Guy Fieri's DD&D that covered Fred's, but I kind of lump the food shows all together, and Fred's was a good find.

                2. I too find it disgusting, though I would like to taste some of the things that Richman has been eating. The gluttony is off-putting, and the popularity of it is irrelevant; McDonald's is popular but few would argue (if any) that it is good even if they like it. I also watched a new one last night that was simultaneously revolting but smart (because both hosts talk like I did before I learned how to talk): Heat Seekers

                  1. I don't care for the challenges, but I do like the segments where he highlights local places.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: stilton

                      If he would stop there, I would like it, too. He has a good personality.

                        1. re: mljones99

                          I really think that nails most peoples feelings. Even those who abhor the show probably would love it if they just left the food challenge part out. Which really means all you have to do is watch the first 20 minutes. I got a great find (Slows BBQ in Detroit) from the show and will certainly use it as a resource in the future.


                      1. I watched it a few times. I just think that in this day and age and failing economy and people struggling to put food on their tables, it borders immoral. Gluttony is known as one of the sins of the world, in most cultures. I'm not big on does and don'ts with food, but find this show offensive.
                        And so......guess what? I don't watch it.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Nanzi

                          Aw geez...I love him! I love how he visits iconic places in cities and towns all over the country...I love the time he spends in kitchens watching how they make the food he's about to eat (Oh, hey! So THAT'S how they make burnt ends!) I think he food challenges are neither here nor there, I could live without them, but I enjoy the programs over all.

                          1. re: Nanzi

                            Do you also picket restaurants that have 'challenge' walls? While I haven't paid a lot of attention to this show, it seems that most of the challenges that he takes up have been long standing features of the various restaurants. Challenges like this are part of the marketing strategy of these restaurants. Would you rather that they went out of business?

                            1. re: paulj

                              When the show first started, yes the challenges were long standing marketing tools. Now, it seems the challenges are created for TV.

                              1. re: wadejay26

                                I haven't paid much attention to the show since the Portland episode! This show is a distant third among my favorites on Travel Channel (Tony and Andrew are much more interesting). Still it is better than the ghost programs.

                                By the way Adam as been an Iron Chef judge; as I recall he was reasonably knowledgeable and discerning. He's not just a glutton.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  That would make for a great epitaph:
                                  "He wasn't just a glutton"

                            2. re: Nanzi

                              I fully agree. I watched one episode and was repulsed.

                            3. Everytime I see him I want to pinch his cheeks. He is so adorable.

                              I could do without the gluttony, but otherwise this show doesn't offend me. I also like the scenes in the kitchen's of the restaurant's.

                              Check out a couple of the show's in their entirety. You may be pleasently surprised.

                              2 Replies
                              1. I don't like the concept of eating challenges whether it is large quantities or spicy hot. I alse find the host of thus program annoying. I did watch one full episode early on where he attempted to eat a bunch of food at a German restaurant in Minneapolis.

                                1. I went online to find one of two episodes he did in Tulsa. I thought he was really respectful to the local restaurants and engaging. I didn't expect to like it, but ended up really enjoying it. Even saw a few people and a restaurant owner I knew on the show and that was fun for me. Ended up watching a few other episodes online and am hoping to find the 2nd Tulsa episode soon.

                                  1. Many people enjoy watching other people eat large quantities of food. When I started reading the Guiness Book of World Records way way back in the day, it had a full chapter devoted to eating records. Now the book instead has a chapter on the "biggest" foods. Still, that's all there is to it. There is an audience for such antics.

                                    But in this case, Adam Richman also has an endearing "Everyman/shlub" quality to him.

                                    In short, I have to agree with the "if you don't like it, don't watch" group. Sorry!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Bob W

                                      Of course, if one does not like something, they can turn it off. Richman seems like a nice fellow, and I'd love to eat at some of the places he uncovers. On the other hand, is it somehow unfair to suggest that eating contests based on volume in a country fighting a major obesity epidemic may be something short of tasteful?

                                      1. re: taiga

                                        That strikes me as the flip side of the "children are starving in India!" argument that many of us were handed when refusing to eat our food. So one could also argue that the show is distasteful in light of the fact that many children in our own country are not getting enough to eat.

                                        Of course, I have seen arguments that NASCAR is distasteful because of all the fuel being wasted for mere entertainment. There is a never-ending supply of ox to gore. 8>D

                                    2. I've always found Richman to be funny and engaging. From what I heard he stopped doing the challenges himself in Man Vs Food Nation because he got tired of losing and gaining all that weight.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: DavidPalmer

                                        Yes, now his show is man vs. food nation. I'm glad he stopped the contests. He's such a nice guy, I'd hate to see his health fail.

                                      2. In a world where they have a TV show where men compete over the best facial hair. (I swear.... my wife said she saw it the other day).......... why would someone challenging the local record for eating the largest 'whatever' in X minutes be such a big deal?

                                        When cable TV started up in earnest there was a question as to what in the world they could develop to fill up all that air time. Now we know.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Midlife

                                          Whisker wars on IFC
                                          (this is a real competition, not a made-for-cable one)

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            >"(this is a real competition, not a made-for-cable one)"<

                                            And that gives it some level of value? Coming next............ Watching Your Grass Grow on The Discovery Channel.


                                            1. re: Midlife

                                              Bet you are just jealous because your wife (or job) won't let you grow a decent beard! :)

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                Nope. I actually have a short beard and 'stache. ;o)

                                        2. I really, really dislike the premise of this show. For those who want to get a glimpse at funky local places, Diners Drive-ins and Dives does the job without wasting my time how much food he shovel into his face. I think it portrays a TERRIBLE relationship with food that is also extremey wasteful. There is simply NO POINT in eating until you wanna puke it all back up. What a horrible way to ruin what is often quite a delicious meal.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: frannieface77

                                            An old marketing adage states....."There is a huge market in America for bad taste; no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American consumer"

                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                              FWIW.............. Actually that was a 1961 quote from H. L. Mencken, the American writer. As best I can tell, the true quote is: "No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.'

                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                Midlife......Thanks, Mencken's original quote has been plagiarized by many marketing "mavens", and wannabe experts alike.....lol

                                          2. In my case, I'm not sure I'd call it gluttony, I just loved the taste of food and didn't want it to end. I could really pack it away when I was younger, like the time I ate 11 ayce beef ribs; just couldn't make it 12, or the time we were on a cruise and I couldn't decide between 2 entrees so I asked for, and got both. I finished every bite to the amazement of others at the table. These days, I can barely finish Fatburger's 1 1/2 pounder which, if I ate it there, would put my picture on their wall. I would love to try El Tepeyac's regular burrito which, I believe, is about 2 1/2 lbs. Iwouldn't even attempt their 5 pounder.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              It is amazing, and a good thing our appetite slows down as we get older. At class reunions, and now high school graduation parties again, I am reminded by my best friend in high school how I ate 18 ham sandwiches at his girlfriend's (now wife) grad party. My defense is that they were tiny, made with those little dollar roll buns.

                                            2. You know.... I turned on the TV yesterday and these guys in pinstripe outfits were hitting a small round ball with a wooden stick. Once they hit it, they would run to a small white square pad on the ground about 90 feet away. Then another guy would do the same thing. So? Why should we care? Is there more to it..... because I dont get it.
                                              He does it because he ENJOYS it and we watch because we ENJOY watching it. if you dont enjoy it, dont watch it.
                                              I personally love the show. He is a very charismatic host, its very interesting to see all the different places in this great country of ours, and its inspiring to see all these local restaurant owners actually start something successful for themselves.
                                              and yes.... its fun to watch him pig out lol.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: joeyjoejoe1

                                                Great post! There's something for everyone out there. Do what you enjoy. Watch what you enjoy. Be kind and slow to judge.
                                                Adam is nice. I met him during his Philly shoot. Just a sweetie who does a great job getting his finger on the pulse of a city *and* he goes on to wear promotional Tshirts under his jacket so he continues to give props to the places he's been.
                                                I truly think he's already transitioning out of this food challenge portion of his career and on to other jobs in food television. His personality, intelligence and wit will carry him a long way.

                                                1. re: joeyjoejoe1

                                                  Hey, folks, we removed a sub-thread about obesity from here. We recognize that's a natural tangent from talking about Man V. Food, but it was only a few posts in and it was already getting political and mean-spirited.

                                                2. I was watching man v food this morning and by better half asked me why I watch it.
                                                  She asked if I think he's an idiot or I admire him for being able to eat that amount of food.
                                                  There is a bit of morbid fascination about watching someone eat that much food.
                                                  I don't watch it for that however.
                                                  I'm interested in food from all over and particularly food history and regional variations.
                                                  It is the first section that interests me where he tries food in different parts of the US.
                                                  I'm not saying that there is anything particularly scholarly about the programme but I found out toady that in Hartford Connecticut they have steamed hamburgers which I didn't know and found interesting.
                                                  From a UK perspective it gives me a small insight in to food which is often perceived as just burgers, fried chicken and hot dogs that are all the same across the whole US.
                                                  Indeed right now in London there has been a rash of quality burger, BBQ and NY style deli places opening which man v food has given me a slightly new perspective on.

                                                  1. Robbin and Bobbin,
                                                    Two big-bellied men,
                                                    They ate more vittles
                                                    Than four-score and ten.

                                                    The illustration Wallace Tripp (in Granfa' Grig) focuses on the final 2 contestants at a
                                                    'County Fair ANNUAL PIE EATING CONTEST'

                                                    This a variation on a Mother Goose rhyme, e.g.

                                                    Robin O'bobbin

                                                    Or to put it more bluntly - there's nothing new about eatting contests