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Mystery Diner. 100% faked, i'll tell you why.

puppeteer23 May 28, 2012 11:42 PM

While watching the german restaurant ep, I was pretty suspicious, for some of the reasons other people have mentioned:

1. "Hey, let's go to that bar we always go to after work!" What, you don't know what it's called? ...or maybe you can't say because you're not allowed because you're an actor.

2. Horrible acting (which you expect from the owners because they KNOW they're on camera) but the people (waitresses, manager, etc) who supposedly didn't know were very not good.

...but here's what really stuck out to me.

I worked for an Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship for 8 years. You want to take a guess at one thing I NEVER heard any of our salesmen or delivery guys refer to themselves as?

"I'm the new supply guy."

Really? No. I'm sorry. I could have bought "I'm the new beer guy," or "I'm the new [distributor company name] guy," or EVEN "I'm the new [beer brewery or brand name] guy."

If this was a REAL show, they would have said "I'm the new beer guy from BEEEEEEEEP distributing."

As soon as the mystery diner said that and Gunnar the "manager" didn't even blink an eye, I was out.

You need to understand that suppliers, be it a beer distributor or food distributor, create relationships with the managers and owners of their customers. I used to go on sales calls with our salesmen and they knew every manager by name and every manager knew who they were, what they sold and who they worked for. There's just no way any manager would accept "supply guy" without a question or a "what the f**k does that mean?"

This was a 100% scripted show with actors all around. Not that great of one, either.

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  1. v
    vlcal61 RE: puppeteer23 Jul 8, 2012 12:12 PM

    totally agree, as I have been in the service business for over 30 years. Like when the one waitress is eating off plates and drinking out of other glasses, such bad acting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vlcal61
      Kissdacook83 RE: vlcal61 May 23, 2013 01:16 PM

      It happens. It has happened in a bunch of restaurants I worked at. Dishwashers do it to. Open your eyes!

    2. s
      sandylc RE: puppeteer23 Jul 8, 2012 09:10 PM

      My question is, when the person who is screwing up gets confronted, it's all on camera and it gets put on the air. Don't you need someone's permission to air their face? Who would voluntarily allow themselves to be seen on TV as a dishonest jerk if it was real?

      3 Replies
      1. re: sandylc
        John Francis RE: sandylc Jul 9, 2012 02:18 AM

        I'm sure the producers get releases from the owner and staff well in advance. Of course this gives the diner warning and time to clean up its act, and I'd be highly suspicious if everybody was really taken by surprise by them. If I watched this show, which I don't.

        In another thread it's said that at least one of the episodes is a reenactment, not "reality" after all. (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/823316) That sounds plausible but it demolishes the whole premise of the show.

        1. re: John Francis
          vlcal61 RE: John Francis Jul 9, 2012 02:32 AM

          Ah hah!!! That explains the really bad acting.

          1. re: John Francis
            puppeteer23 RE: John Francis Jun 10, 2013 11:59 PM

            That's fine and dandy, but the show doesn't mention "re-enactment," it makes it out to be a real account.

            That's crappy and dishonest tv.

        2. coll RE: puppeteer23 Jul 9, 2012 03:37 AM

          I'm not familiar with this show, but Gordon Ramsey did an episode on a customer of mine (I was a food distributor sales rep) and it was totally fake. It was a father and son, in real life the father/manager was an ex-cop and very nasty and tough, while his son the chef was a sweetheart. In the show it was the other way around, poor dad getting beat up (figuratively) by his son, the monster. And showing food that was almost rotting, that chef would NEVER have anything like that in his kitchen, he was a true pro. Totally staged. No biggie, it's just entertainment I guess.

          5 Replies
          1. re: coll
            sandylc RE: coll Jul 9, 2012 08:54 AM

            Too bad, because this type of show just won't go away.

            1. re: sandylc
              Harters RE: sandylc Jul 10, 2012 09:20 AM

              Oh, it can indeed go away, sandylc.

              Ramsey used to do these shows here in the UK - but we've managed to export him to America and we don't get the crap any more.

              1. re: Harters
                sandylc RE: Harters Jul 10, 2012 09:41 AM

                What country can we send ALL of our "reality" programs to, please?

                1. re: sandylc
                  Harters RE: sandylc Jul 10, 2012 10:06 AM

                  Unfortunately, several of our cable channels already have them on an endless loop.

                  Some ya win. Some ya don't :-0

                  1. re: sandylc
                    drongo RE: sandylc Jul 10, 2012 12:26 PM

                    Maybe we can try Australia?

            2. ennuisans RE: puppeteer23 Jul 10, 2012 02:11 PM

              Not quite the same show, but here's a rundown of the fakery at Restaurant Stakeout, a similar show:


              Only remembered it because it was linked in another RB post I linked to earlier. Not meaning to pimp the site.

              1. Njchicaa RE: puppeteer23 Oct 19, 2012 08:07 PM

                They've been advertising this show as a "new series" despite the fact that it already was shown on the network over the summer. I didn't watch the whole show tonight as I was catching up on another show that I had on my DVR. When that was over, I wound up at the "confrontation" part of the episode where the "cook/manager" is running a catering business out of the kitchen at the owner's expense.

                The first time this series ran, they showed the owners what was up in a small trailer that was filled with televisions showing every angle of the restaurant in question. Confrontations occurred in and around the trailer and the "culprits" stormed out of that over and over again so I know what it looks like.

                From what I've seen tonight, they have actually re-shot at least the dramatic "confrontation" scenes. The same conversations take place out on the restaurant floor. THE END. That's all we need to know that this is a totally fake show.

                1. s
                  SwordofTruth RE: puppeteer23 Dec 10, 2012 07:07 PM

                  Of course it is fake. Besides having a formal education in communication and media literacy, I know from one of the restaurants on the show that Mystery Diners contacts the restaurants and asks if they would like to participate with their show with the promise that it will increase their business in addition to being compensated 500- 1000 dollars. Then Mystery Diner inputs their own actor or actors as employees that get caught in some kind of indiscretion. What is the purpose? The same as all programming, to get a steady audience in front of media message (commercials)... It is sad and unfortunate that people are addicted to negative drama to such an extent that now producers have to fabricate negative drama in order to catch mass media. It isn't bad enough that we have shows like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives where bad behavior is encouraged and revered. Children and young adults watch this programming and think this is how they are suppose to behave and communicate. Young adults want to emulate these degenerates just because they are on television. Very Sad what this world is coming to. Very Sad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SwordofTruth
                    fogharty RE: SwordofTruth Jun 10, 2013 11:23 PM

                    " I know from one of the restaurants on the show that Mystery Diners contacts the restaurants and asks if they would like to participate with their show with the promise that it will increase their business in addition to being compensated 500- 1000 dollars. "

                    I'm trying to figure out how the family-run restaurant owner comes out ahead after a waitress was shown rubbing food on her chest and armpits, especially since we were told she apologized and was back at work. Would you want to risk eating there again?

                    Well.... some people might be into that, but I'm assuming their numbers wouldn't make up for lost business.

                    BTW, that's the episode where the "undercover" waitress's hair jumps from being loose to being in a ponytail from second to second. It's magic hair!

                  2. s
                    sandylc RE: puppeteer23 Dec 11, 2012 09:49 AM

                    Doesn't anyone whose face is shown on this type of show have to sign a waver? If it were real, who in their right mind would give persmission to a TV show to show video of their own thievery, for example?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: sandylc
                      Giati RE: sandylc Dec 14, 2012 08:09 PM

                      no if its a public place u do not have to sign anything but it has to be public

                      1. re: Giati
                        poser RE: Giati Jan 11, 2013 11:23 PM

                        Giati. You are mistaken. Read the previous thread on this subject.

                        1. re: Giati
                          BigTick RE: Giati Mar 9, 2013 07:50 PM

                          Depends on where its being filmed. You don't need to sign a waiver if you post that they're filming a TV Show on premise

                        2. re: sandylc
                          WhizzKidd RE: sandylc May 23, 2013 07:56 PM

                          It all has to do with compensation. Although this show is fake, I knew a guy who was on MTV's Busted, which is apparently real. He bought alcohol for underage minors at the shore. Anyway, they offered to pay all of his fines in exchange for using him in the show. If Mystery Diners was real, which its not, I'm sure the producers would pay the person enough to get permission to sign a photo release.

                          1. re: WhizzKidd
                            YankeefanNo9 RE: WhizzKidd May 25, 2013 10:54 AM

                            Shows don't pay people to get a photo release. They person either signs the release or they don't. If they don't then the pixilate, tile or blur out the face.

                            1. re: YankeefanNo9
                              DA989898 RE: YankeefanNo9 Jun 3, 2013 03:54 PM

                              I don't know about the legality showing one's face on the air but Chef Dave from the first program was caught stealing customers from their boss and he provided the following comments on his blog:

                              "I was so pissed that night, had I not needed my last check so much I never would have signed that stupid release."

                              Obviously nobody would sign to have their face aired after being humiliated.

                        3. mucho gordo RE: puppeteer23 Dec 11, 2012 04:01 PM

                          It has to be faked. Most of the so-called 'indiscretions' are so blatant and over-the-top deliberate that it has to be scripted.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mucho gordo
                            Bethlee101 RE: mucho gordo Dec 18, 2013 10:12 PM

                            I agree. I fell like if the restaurant owners allow that, they don't deserve to own a flourishing business. There are so many other options. But even in the worst, the over the top antics are beyond ridiculous!!

                          2. ttoommyy RE: puppeteer23 Dec 15, 2012 06:27 PM

                            Why is this a revelation? All of the so-called reality shows are scripted to a degree. Some just more than others.

                            1. b
                              BlkPumpkin RE: puppeteer23 Jan 1, 2013 01:39 PM

                              IT'S 4REAL!!
                              Permission is unilateral given to be filmed by being an employee of said business.
                              I am an executive manager in a popular known business...
                              It's amazing the B/S that some employees feel that they can get away with. Not all; some!
                              ...stealing; rude to customers; slacking off; etc...
                              When the cats are away; the mice take the freak over!!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BlkPumpkin
                                samgold25 RE: BlkPumpkin Jan 6, 2013 12:17 PM

                                If the show was real, why do the owners, "suppliers," and targets wear earbuds? Not sure why I'm the only one to mention this, as it is blatantly obvious...

                                1. re: BlkPumpkin
                                  Bethlee101 RE: BlkPumpkin Dec 18, 2013 10:17 PM

                                  While it is true that employees in a restaurant can be challenging, it is not feasible that everything that happens in one episode can happen in that short of a period. I always discourage people who say 'I want to own a restaurant' from doing so with no experience, but this stuff is not real.

                                  If restaurants are managed like these, owners don't deserve them anyway. They should be a labor of love and employees should be loyal. If a big pile of clowns are there when the owner is not, shame on him or her. But it's NOT that silly. Ever.

                                2. j
                                  jmjones19 RE: puppeteer23 Jan 1, 2013 02:33 PM

                                  Just watched the episode you're talking about. The guy that was the beer supplier was one of the show cast members. He's not going to say he's from any particular distributor. I don't put a lot of credibility in you because you used to work for AB - which, by the way, isn't a restaurant. Not saying none of these episodes play it up a bit, but if you've gone out to eat lately, you'd know there are some real winners serving you.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jmjones19
                                    puppeteer23 RE: jmjones19 Jun 10, 2013 11:58 PM

                                    Your point is?

                                    I frankly don't care what you think because I worked for an AB distributor.

                                    If you've personally ever gone on a sales call with a delivery guy or salesperson, and not ONE time heard a brand mentioned, i'll eat my hat.

                                    I've gone on calls with the sales guys and I've also helped the drivers deliver the beer. Sorry, but that was the most unnatural conversation I've ever heard and it sounded nothing like a real delivery or sales call.

                                  2. Uncle Bob RE: puppeteer23 Jan 2, 2013 08:58 AM

                                    All "Reality" shows are taped, edited, scripted, etc. ~~~ Of course they're "fake" ~~ Why lose brain cells watching the crap?

                                    1. t
                                      TheAres RE: puppeteer23 Jan 8, 2013 11:29 PM

                                      TheAres 3 minutes ago

                                      I especially love the episode spoken of below, where the 2 frat boys carry a half barrel out the back door.

                                      When you see them going out the back door on the inside camera the barrel has a brewery cap still in place, with a portable tapper laying next to it, but when you see them coming out on the outside camera the barrel now has a portable tapper installed where the cap was.

                                      They stop halfway out the door for a beer? And why would a restaurant have a hand tapper in the cooler?

                                      1. h
                                        hills887 RE: puppeteer23 Jan 11, 2013 10:22 PM

                                        I completely agree that it's fake. The main thing that tipped me off was that everyone (even the people who supposedly don't know they're being set up and filmed) are all audible, which means they're miked.

                                        Also, each episode displays completely unprofessional and ridiculous behavior, which no restaurant owner would ever put up with.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: hills887
                                          ttoommyy RE: hills887 Jan 12, 2013 04:52 AM

                                          I totally agree that this show is not 100% real; it s staged so that they have a show at the end of the day. But I have worked in restaurants and that crap does go on. And worse.

                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                            2roadsdiverge RE: ttoommyy Jan 23, 2013 02:31 PM

                                            Yeah. It just doesn't go on all at once. At best it is a "re-enactment" of the infractions that the investigation uncovered.

                                        2. g
                                          gamoakuh RE: puppeteer23 Jan 12, 2013 01:13 PM

                                          I was one who believed it was all real. One thing I thought was strange however (which noone has mentioned here) is how all these transgressions seem to happen almost as soon as the owners sit to watch and within that period of time they are watching. If say a waiter is stealing tips, chances are he won't do it every day or the opportunities won't present themselves every day. You would have to observe over days to catch someone doing something you suspect them off. After reading peoples feedbacks, a lot of it makes sense (miked actors, shown faces, etc.).. IT"S FAKE!

                                          1. w
                                            Wyattburp69 RE: puppeteer23 Jan 14, 2013 08:44 PM

                                            It saddens me that the food network would air garbage like this. This is more like something MTV or TruTV would air. And I literally felt like it was absolutely necessary to go through the hoops on this web page registration to get that off my chest.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Wyattburp69
                                              sandylc RE: Wyattburp69 Jan 14, 2013 08:52 PM

                                              Are there hoops? I have been here for a while, so I either forget them or it has changed. Welcome, regardless.

                                            2. Rammfantasy RE: puppeteer23 Jan 15, 2013 12:06 AM

                                              'Mystery Diners' is a new program to me. The first 3 or 4 shows appeared to be genuine (but still outrageously unbelievable). Then I saw two shows again this evening (and my last). One about co-workers/lovers who broke up and the other about an over-the-top 'head waiter'. These were poorly 'acted' yet humorous. Needeless to say, I am dissapointed to learn that it's fake. The Food Network will no longer get my ratings when this program is aired. The biggest tip-off (no pun intended) was how well the 'marks' were filmed. Setting up hidden camera's are one thing, but getting a clear, close shot of a guy shoving tip money in his pocket was a bit too much! Alas, the show WAS a great premise... Gosh, I only hope 'Chopped' isn't fake! PS: Thank you CHOW for your wonderful site who caters to people with 'OCD' like me... (Obsessive Cooking Disorder) Glory New Year to you all~

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Rammfantasy
                                                BigTick RE: Rammfantasy Mar 9, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                It's my understanding that the pilot was actually legit but they got caught at Big Earls and everything from then on out has been staged after they did survilance

                                              2. s
                                                scooter1016 RE: puppeteer23 Jan 18, 2013 05:43 AM

                                                Well there is NO doubt this show is 100% scripted, from other articles I have read, it is based on actual events that happened at each of these restaurants. I knew it was a fake from the first "sting" I saw. Surveillance cameras do not play back with the clarity of a movie being played on screen, they are typically, though not always, these days, black and white with a very grainy picture. My boyfriend and I watch it just for the entertainment value. We always crack up over the "eyeglass cam"! And yes, the acting is HORRIBLE!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: scooter1016
                                                  LikestoEatout RE: scooter1016 Jan 18, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                  You have never been in a security control room, cameras and their playback are extremely clear and accurate. The media and news only shows us a grainy version because they don't want us to know how well we can be watched.

                                                  1. re: LikestoEatout
                                                    ttoommyy RE: LikestoEatout Jan 18, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                    Why would the media and news purposely make security footage "grainy" when the police are trying to apprehend a murderer, rapist, etc? Don't you think it would be in the best interest of apprehending the felon to show a " clear and accurate" version if one existed? Your statement doesn't really make a lot of sense.

                                                  2. re: scooter1016
                                                    Hobbert RE: scooter1016 Dec 7, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                    The show is probably fake but security footage can range from very bad to extremely good. It's silly to say that all security footage is grainy and black and white in this day and age. Basically, you get the system you pay for. More money = better footage.

                                                  3. m
                                                    mel2629 RE: puppeteer23 Jan 20, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                    Yes, this show is bulls*** on the strength that this type of survellience does not take place like this, LIKE A T.V. SITCOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If the production co. would show a disclosure saying that the episode is based on actual events that took place during a survellience, then, in my opinion, the show would have more credibility. At least we would know the production is staged but based on events that did go down. Acting is awful but, what do expect on low budget.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mel2629
                                                      ttoommyy RE: mel2629 Jan 21, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                      Why is this a revelation to people? Don't we see this on many, many so-called "reality" shows? Half-scripted dialogue and situations are the norm. Do you really think most of these people would really allow their true daily lives on TV? I don't think so.

                                                    2. b
                                                      barclayteo RE: puppeteer23 Jan 22, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                      This show is only good to watch, if your only intentions is to laugh at it. This show is fake we all that, but 1 major red flag on how you know it's not real is that the people who steal money, never, I mean NEVER get arrested.

                                                      If you see the cook stealing 200plus dollars in a single day of filming, or steal hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise, how stupid is it not to have them arrested?

                                                      If I seen someone stealing that much from me in 1 day, that would mean they were doing it way before you caught them, and you would want to press charges.

                                                      Or else what's to stop them from doing the same to other places.

                                                      Another reason why this show is so fake is because they only ever focus on a single person. If you have to focus on that single person why keep them around?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: barclayteo
                                                        mel2629 RE: barclayteo Jan 25, 2013 10:36 PM

                                                        Yes, you are so right.Did you see the latest episode on 1/25? This trash just gets worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What vendor brings anything, much less meat, through the front door of a restaurant during dinner hours? I said if the show is based on true survellience then show a disclaimer saying so but, these re-enactments, no matter what, are really stupidly done.

                                                      2. mamachef RE: puppeteer23 Jan 26, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                        Just because a show is unscripted doesn't mean situations aren't manipulated to achieve a certain reaction, or that things aren't re-enacted.

                                                        1. e
                                                          Eric RE: puppeteer23 Jan 27, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                          I went today to one of the restaurants on Mystery Diners. I had the chance to speak to the owner who was on the show. He said the show is a set up. He said that the Food Network contacted him and asked if he wanted to be on one of their shows. They didn't say which show. The Food Network finally revealed which show after they inspected his restaurant. He also stated that it took two days to set up for the filming.

                                                          1. o
                                                            occam1 RE: puppeteer23 Feb 23, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                            just finished watching the show with the brazillian steakhouse.....FAKE FAKE FAKE...now i know a lot of these 'reality' shows are staged and scripted to an extent, but at least there are disclaimers at the end of most shows.....the thing that rubs me the wrong way is how the Fool Network...oops Food.....insults the viewer's intelligence by passing this off as real......can we get more Man Vs. Food please? there, i feel better now.....

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: occam1
                                                              HollyDolly RE: occam1 Jun 14, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                              My sister Jessica works in tv.Has for years and told me that these shows are scripted,staged etc. The only reason they have shows like this is because the public devours reality tv,so they want to get in on the gravy train.

                                                            2. n
                                                              nicelikearsenic RE: puppeteer23 Feb 27, 2013 09:54 PM

                                                              Yeah, unfortunately it's fake. I was watching this show on Lifetime called "Prank my mom" and one of the chefs from Mystery Diners (the one that bought the carp fish) so happened to also be an actor on the other show. Fired thief chef to actor? Not likely.

                                                              1. t
                                                                tenaciousswagg RE: puppeteer23 Mar 4, 2013 01:39 AM

                                                                I don't get why everyone is making a big deal about it being "faked". It's a TV show, which means a plot, villians, victims, actors and triumph. That's like saying "I can't believe that magician doesn't really have magic!" Like, come on people... Food Network is entitled to air anything that attracts viewers. I watch it and enjoy it like I do LOST. Not thinking all those stars are really on an island... o.0

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: tenaciousswagg
                                                                  ttoommyy RE: tenaciousswagg Mar 4, 2013 03:51 AM

                                                                  The difference is that the show is presented as "reality." Not quite the same as watching "Lost." Still, I agree, it's a TV show and therefore all should not be believed.

                                                                  1. re: tenaciousswagg
                                                                    SwordofTruth RE: tenaciousswagg Apr 2, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                    I guess you don't have a problem with people selling a fake product or service. Perhaps that has become the norm. Don't advertised it as being real if it isn't. But most people who are not media literate can't see the deception anyway. I never watch the show. Only once when my GF's restaurant was on the show. All cameras in the open and an actor for the transgressor who never worked there not was there a similar employee or incident from the past. Like there isn't enough negative drama, we need to make it up because that's what people are addicted to or taught to be addicted to. Sad and pathetic.

                                                                  2. b
                                                                    BigTick RE: puppeteer23 Mar 9, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                                    I'm friends with one of the mystery diners. What you're watching is fake however its based on real events that happened earlier in the week.

                                                                    Mystery Diners comes in one week and figures out whats wrong. Then after that they film the incidents with actors, although sometimes the people who get busted will reprise their roles.

                                                                    The way you can tell its fake is that none of the customers faces are blurred out. From what I understand they tried to do one show legit but they were busted in 10 minutes after they asked a customer to sign a release they called the restaurant back and told the employees they were being taped.

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      Joledoan RE: puppeteer23 Mar 30, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                      Show is so bogus it's embarrassing.

                                                                      1. p
                                                                        Puffin3 RE: puppeteer23 Apr 1, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                                        The producers are happily busy attempting to insult the viewers intelligence. If a 'disclaimer' came up before the show then OK but when it is flashed in tiny print for a mili-second after the show that's wrong.
                                                                        There will always be gullible viewers who believe everything they see.
                                                                        Reminds me of the 'safety' film we were all required to watch once. It showed some poor sap getting his thumb cut off by a table saw. It showed the thumb lying on the floor. Someone picked it up and washed it off and wrapped in a dirty cloth. The guy with the missing thumb and his thumb were rushed to the hospital where it showed the doctors trying to sew the thumb back on but alas it didn't work. The person sitting beside me started crying uncontrollably. I asked them what was wrong. She said she just felt so sorry for the guy who from now on will be missing his thumb.

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          BeerCooker RE: puppeteer23 Apr 8, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                          This awful show is completely fake. You would think that a channel like the Food Network would be emarassed about it, but apparently they couldn't care less since they are making money by duping the simpletons.

                                                                          I wrote to the Food Network after one extraordinarily fake episode to see if they would make any attempt to come clean and they gave me some BS about how they do not comment directly on any of their shows.

                                                                          The extraordinarily fake episode was the one where the valet and the delivery driver werer supposedly taking customers cars out for delivery orders. The valet and the delivery driver were both in the middle of the parking lot where it would have been absolutely impossible for a microphone to pick up any of their conversation unless they were wearing microphones and their conversation was perfectly clear on the show.

                                                                          I still watch a few other shows on the Food Network, but I've lost a great deal of respect for the d'bags behind this idiotic, fake, scripted show called Mystery Diners.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: BeerCooker
                                                                            2roadsdiverge RE: BeerCooker Apr 10, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                            All it would take is a disclaimer at the beginning saying that the show included actors' depictions of the events that actually occurred. "America's Most Wanted" has been doing re-enactments for years.

                                                                            I still watch the show, and telling myself it is a re-enactment makes all the difference in the world. They couldn't get the real culprits, so they are showing us what happened.

                                                                            Now, if we also learn that the events never happened at all, that's where I get upset.

                                                                            1. re: BeerCooker
                                                                              YankeefanNo9 RE: BeerCooker May 1, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                              I'd rather watch re-runs of Saved By the Bell. i've never seen such bad acting in my life.

                                                                            2. Midlife RE: puppeteer23 May 6, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                              Surprise ! Surprise! A fake reality show??

                                                                              I gave up on these restaurant 'reveal' shows when the one with Rocco Dispirto (The Restaurant, I think) was so obviously faked..... and he was soooo annoying. That was 10 years ago, and these shows are still trying.

                                                                              As far as the Food Network owning up to mediocrity and worse........ they are writing the book on both, and apparently doing it rather successfully. So...... whatever!

                                                                              1. k
                                                                                Kissdacook83 RE: puppeteer23 May 23, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                ...so I guess your saying that all cooking shows are fake!!! Kitchen nightmares, restaurant impossible, restaurant steakout, Hell's kitchenn etc. wow!!!! Too funny!

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Kissdacook83
                                                                                  Midlife RE: Kissdacook83 May 23, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                  Your post doesn't seem to be responding to the OP's, so I'm guessing it's responding to mine??

                                                                                  If you are............... I didn't say that at all.

                                                                                  Regardless of who you're replying to...................

                                                                                  So YOU'RE saying that NO reality shows are faked at all???

                                                                                  Too funny!..... INDEED!

                                                                                  1. re: Midlife
                                                                                    Firegoat RE: Midlife Jun 1, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                    I have to admit my feelers were pretty hurt after I found out that on Season 2 of Top Chef the Bravo TV editing elves tried to make us think the chefs got drunk THEN decided to shave Marcel's head. When in fact, they went after Marcel first, then decided after he went and hid to shave two of their heads. Most of the chefs involved have admitted (and is supported by video) that they went after Marcel first. I don't know that Bravo ever has admitted to their nonsequential editing.

                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                      girloftheworld RE: Firegoat Jun 1, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                      WHAT?? really?? I think I just felt a tiny bit of my heart break off. There was not a poor little Marcel being attacked by drunken wild manaics? The whole story seems more playfull if they were they were just "messing around" then let him stop off :(

                                                                                      1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                        Firegoat RE: girloftheworld Jun 1, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                        Yeah. It wasn't that way. Someone told me that and I said Bullshit.... then I looked it up on interviews with Marcel, Elia, and TWoP and other places.... yeah. It didn't go down that way. And Elia doesn't drink......

                                                                                        1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                          Firegoat RE: girloftheworld Jun 1, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                                          It's even on chowhound... I just wasn't watching top chef at the time.

                                                                                          (toward the bottom)

                                                                                    2. re: Kissdacook83
                                                                                      FatCobra RE: Kissdacook83 Dec 6, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                                                      Ummm...yeah they are. I'm sick of all these stupid shows with people crying all the time. If you think Robert Irvine can lay down a floor in 4 hours and have people walk on it, god bless.

                                                                                    3. w
                                                                                      WhizzKidd RE: puppeteer23 May 23, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                      I have actual PROOF that it is faked. In the episode of Pina Pizza, which I just watched and realized the show is fake, Jedd and his "anonymous" friend. Reality shows blur out faces now to make it seem more real. Anyway, he and his friend are taking a keg to the back. I noticed that the keg had a tap on it, and thought, "why would there be a tap on it? the restaurant has real beer taps." Then I noticed the blooper. If you watch the two take the keg from the walk-in fridge, the tap is on the top of the keg, but the white cap is still on it. When they exit the back door, the tap is magically latched on. If this is hidden camera shooting unknowing people, then why would they have to do a second take? This show is totally fake, and I hoped it wasn't. However, there were the tell tale signs of bad acting, and once I saw that, I knew it was outrageously fake. It should be on TruTV its so fake.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: WhizzKidd
                                                                                        fogharty RE: WhizzKidd Jun 10, 2013 11:12 PM

                                                                                        I haven't seen that one, but I just saw the Cheeseburger one where the thieving waitress (who I think I also saw on an episode of "Law &Order") had her fanny pack buckled around her waist in one shot, then suddenly she was holding it in her hand as the "outraged" owner grabbed it away from her. Clearly a continuity problem.

                                                                                        And then there were the girls who were so drunk that one threw up on the street, a taxi was supposedly called for them, but I wanted to see the scene of them signing a waiver so their faces could be shown. Of course, if the were as drunk as they were supposed to be, they couldn't legally sign anyway.

                                                                                      2. Atomic76 RE: puppeteer23 May 26, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                        If these shows were remotely true, the health inspectors who work in these areas should have been immediately fired. How on earth could any of these restaurants get into the state they are in without being visited by an inspector periodically?

                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                          MarkSenn RE: puppeteer23 May 26, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                          Charles Stiles' Business Evaluation Services has a Better Business rating of F according to

                                                                                          A class action suit is being considered according to

                                                                                          I'm not associated with the BBB, class action suit, Food Network, Mystery Diner TV series, etc. in any way.

                                                                                          1. girloftheworld RE: puppeteer23 May 26, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                            just watched the Las Vegas one that seemed to be copying a script from Vander Pump Rules... Layla looked like a washed up porn actress( or rather what I expect one would look like)
                                                                                            it was like the pilot for the next singles angst tv series

                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                              Summer03 RE: puppeteer23 May 31, 2013 08:18 PM

                                                                                              I believe the show may also be a fake, but not for the reason you posted. FYI I have worked in the food industry pretty much for 20 years and i have heard the term your new supply person.

                                                                                              1. k
                                                                                                KeKei RE: puppeteer23 Jun 1, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                                Today was my first time watching this show and I am so disappointed. I love Food Network and didn't expect them to air some crap like this. Not only is the acting horrible, but everything about the show is fake. It's an insult to my intelligence.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: KeKei
                                                                                                  Eupelia RE: KeKei Jun 14, 2013 10:45 PM

                                                                                                  I completely agree. This is so fake that it has gone beyond what is appropriate even for reality tv shows that are staged or where situations are intentionally "developed". I really feel insulted. The New Orleans episode was the worst ever, "what is meemaw gonna say." Don't insult me. I tried to go to the food network site to voice my disgust but they were smart enough not to provide a contact link.

                                                                                                2. d
                                                                                                  DA989898 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 3, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                  Modern family, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a half men, Curb your enthusiasm

                                                                                                  None of these shows made me laugh as much as Mystery Diners. It's so bad and over the top that I can't help from bursting out laughing.

                                                                                                  I was once watching Operation Repo on TruTV and I will shamefully admit that I couldn't tell it was fake. However, even someone as naïve as myself could tell within minutes that Mystery Diners was full of it. Not only that but someone entered the room with me while I was watching one of the employees being grilled by their boss after their incompetence was caught on camera and the first thing he asked was, "Why would that employee agree to have their face aired on television?"

                                                                                                  One of the best part of each episode is the obvious, silly questions Charles Stiles will ask. When one restaurant owners is watching his manager drink wine in the middle of the dining room, Charles asks, "Do you allow your employees to drink on the job and in front of the guests?" Really, Charles? Do you think he does?

                                                                                                  I also like how the recap after every show ALWAYS has a positive outcome for the restaurant owners and a negative outcome for the disgraced employees. The narrator will say something of the likes of, "After Mystery Diners completed their investigation, revenues are now up 40% at the restaurant. Meanwhile, Frank and the other employees who were caught stealing supplies from the backroom, were hit by a bus and died."

                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                    mt234 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 7, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                                                    an absolutely horrible show! so disgusted that a really good restaurant like Deanies would even be involved in this piece of shit show!

                                                                                                    1. d
                                                                                                      DA989898 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 11, 2013 03:30 PM

                                                                                                      Here's proof:

                                                                                                      Just as someone said below, as soon as the two guys walk through the door with the keg, it is tapped. This is from the Pina Pizza restaurant episode.

                                                                                                      Also, look closely at the door as they change cameras. I might be wrong but it appears to change from a glass door with metal bars to a solid black door.

                                                                                                      Like I said, this show is hilarious as it is so poorly made but it is dishonest if you try to present this as "reality."

                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                        DA989898 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 12, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                                                        If anyone out there still doesn't believe this show is fake, just watch the episode titled, "All in the Family." It takes place at R & O's in New Orleans, LA. I was talking about how fake this show is with someone and they said that the woman who played Dee Dee on this episode also was on another TV show she saw.

                                                                                                        Here is a clip from that episode:

                                                                                                        "Dee Dee" is actually actress Deenie Castleberry. Here is her photo on the Bravo show Work Out:

                                                                                                        I was also easily able to find her IMDB page:

                                                                                                        It is clearly the same individual.

                                                                                                        Anyone else out there still think this show is real?

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: DA989898
                                                                                                          dave042583 RE: DA989898 Jun 13, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                          Fake doesn't begin to describe this show. I like how all the people that are the subjects of his investigations all have bone conduction mic's in there ears. Look closely and all of the staff have them in there ears. Looks like a hearing aid. To add insult to injury this picture of the NOT so hidden camera from the friends with benefits episode number 27 in New Orleans. Dumbest show ever

                                                                                                          1. re: DA989898
                                                                                                            dolly52 RE: DA989898 Jun 30, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                                                            I thought I saw the guy that comes out in the commercial for the bank that gives a big reward; this person let the person behind him go before him and he won a big prize. Anyway this person was sitting at one of the tables, so he must be an actor.

                                                                                                            hope you can understand my wording, a little confusing

                                                                                                            1. re: dolly52
                                                                                                              DA989898 RE: dolly52 Jul 6, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                                              Was it this commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRQGGH...

                                                                                                              Also, was the guy from the commercial in the clip I provided or did you only notice him when you watched the episode? If it was from the clip, please advise which time he appeared.

                                                                                                              1. re: DA989898
                                                                                                                dolly52 RE: DA989898 Jul 6, 2013 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                that is the commercial, I don't remember when he appeared, just saw it in passing and thought that he resembled the bank guy.

                                                                                                            2. re: DA989898
                                                                                                              mrjombi RE: DA989898 Aug 7, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                                                                              Brilliant. You prove your point by providing a video link that requires purchase. Bravo.

                                                                                                              1. re: mrjombi
                                                                                                                DA989898 RE: mrjombi Sep 28, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                Did you watch the video? One can CLEARLY see Dee Dee in that clip I provided at 12 seconds in and it matches the photos from the IMDB link.

                                                                                                                1. re: DA989898
                                                                                                                  sunnyskies12 RE: DA989898 Dec 7, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                  Exactly...you can see a free preview of the video. And anyways, you also provided the IMDB page. I remember watching the show with Dee Dee and my husband was convinced it was fake.

                                                                                                                  Thank-you so much to DA989898 - the show seemed fake to me too, but I didn't realize that the TV channels would go so far...thanks to your sleuth work, I know that this is a scam show and it feels great to know that for sure. Thank-you!!!

                                                                                                            3. s
                                                                                                              savage33 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 14, 2013 09:30 PM

                                                                                                              Ok, first off, there's NO WAY that the "Gunnar" character would have EVER let that blonde girl out of his sight in the first place. Secondly, I bartend in a restaurant that has been in business since 1958 and NO WAY would I ever do what he did with the "supply guy". I understand that this show is merely entertainment, but this episode went over the top. Where are the invoices? Where is the custom shirt? Anyways, I watch these types of shows b/c I do work in a family restaurant and I find the similarities funny, please just entertain me.

                                                                                                              1. d
                                                                                                                dave042583 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 15, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                                                Fake doesn't begin to describe this show. I like how all the people that are the subjects of his investigations all have bone conduction mic's in there ears. Look closely and all of the staff have them in there ears. Looks like a hearing aid. To add insult to injury this picture of the NOT so hidden camera from the friends with benefits episode number 27 in New Orleans. Dumbest show ever. But watching the extremely bad acting and ridiculously bizarre scenarios keep me slightly interested

                                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                                  awm7353 RE: puppeteer23 Jun 30, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                  It took one episode for me to notice some things were not right. In the U.S., people must sign a waiver to show their faces in picture or video unless they are in a public place or can be viewed from a public place (if you are in a private residence with the shades or curtains open and can be seen from the street, you have no right to claim privacy, thus you can be videoed from the street or sidewalk. Same with a restaurant.). In other words, restaurants are privately owned and can't use video from inside of anyone (faces) in the restaurant without permission, guest or employee.

                                                                                                                  The other thing I noticed is how willing these "fired" employees are so willing to go on camera. Would you? They just got "fired" and they stop to give an interview?

                                                                                                                  As someone else noticed, everyone has a mic on. A directional mic is not that good at picking up just the person targeted in the video shot.

                                                                                                                  As I learned while in broadcasting, there is no such thing as a "reality" show. All are scripted. The problem is, "reality" shows are not going away anytime soon. They are cheap to produce and big money makers. No big name actors to pay, small production crews, no production studio. Big money for the network.

                                                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                                                    Bdsher02 RE: puppeteer23 Jul 7, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                    I am amused because in the episode "Sleeping on the Job", the guy Peter who is pawning meat to get his cellphone back is also on the show "All Worked Up" on Tru TV. His car is getting towed in a Las Vegas parking lot after a bachelor night where he is left nude & flipping e tow truck driver off. Mystery Diners - fake. All Worked Up - fake!

                                                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                                                      Rottenrowdy RE: puppeteer23 Aug 18, 2013 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                      Every person is clearly heard. Where is the boom mike?

                                                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                                                        Bethlee101 RE: puppeteer23 Dec 18, 2013 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                        As a veteran in the restaurant business, I find this show ridiculous. Don't get me started on the fact that the food network has attractive women, and the men are not so much. For instance, a puffy tired-looking Tyler Florence literally calls it in on Food Truck a Race. Or willie die gal in his too tight t shirts at the end of his yell fest. Then there's Charles and his giant moustache 'helping' troubled restaurants.

                                                                                                                        The show is ridiculous. There is not that much drama -ever. But if there is, then the owners really don't deserve to own their restaurants. Because they are big fools to let that nonsense happen.

                                                                                                                        After almost no research, one thing I found that no one has yet pointed out is that in the first MD (dumb dude who 'falls asleep and falls off a chair') - same dude who met 'supply guy' is a restaurant featured on Triple D. Why would a restaurant featured on Triple D need help?!?!!? People actually travel to these places and they have exploded!

                                                                                                                        It irritates me that people watch this nonsense. But that's the offering that the good people give us at Food Network, which I rarely watch anymore anyway.

                                                                                                                        1. ennuisans RE: puppeteer23 Mar 3, 2014 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                          Regarding the "Mascot Mayhem" episode, featuring Zippy's burgers in Seattle:


                                                                                                                          Commenters seem to think this was a prank Zippy's played on the show, not a story made up by the show itself.

                                                                                                                          I have no problem if some actual situation is being "dramatically recreated" (which would be no different than a show like Dragnet, for instance) but this was just silly.

                                                                                                                          1. e
                                                                                                                            elgreene RE: puppeteer23 Mar 26, 2014 02:10 AM

                                                                                                                            I spotted the guy who played the manager of Redballs Rock and Roll Pizza and was fired on the "Cover Charge" episode on an episode of Container Wars this week. He never bid on anything and just seemed to be hanging out. The auctioneer addressed him by a different name than the one he used on Mystery Diners.

                                                                                                                            1. 2
                                                                                                                              2243422 RE: puppeteer23 May 10, 2014 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                              It says at the end that some of the scenes are reenacted.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: 2243422
                                                                                                                                hal2010 RE: 2243422 May 10, 2014 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                "Some" being all of the good ones?

                                                                                                                                We just busted you stealing but of course you'll come back into our secret hide-out, look at the film of it and laugh it off while politely agreeing to leave the premises?

                                                                                                                              2. ennuisans RE: puppeteer23 May 14, 2014 01:27 AM

                                                                                                                                I've got a question. Let's preface every episode of this show (and several others like it) with an announcer declaring "The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent." Is it more palatable then? Can we let "truth" be a bit more flexible for the sake of entertainment and perhaps a bit of education? I mean, we've done it before (we old folks have anyway).

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: ennuisans
                                                                                                                                  hal2010 RE: ennuisans May 14, 2014 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  The premise is that they are secretly filming real people. I don't think it would have the same appeal if it was introduced as a re-enactment.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hal2010
                                                                                                                                    ttoommyy RE: hal2010 May 14, 2014 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                    Agreed. This show is presented as a reality show, which in itself is funny, because what reality show on TV is not scripted & acted to some extent?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                      ennuisans RE: ttoommyy May 14, 2014 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                      Well that's all true, but Dragnet was presented as a sort of docudrama, complete with "mug shots" and follow-ups. Once it sinks in that Joe Friday did not in fact personally arrest all those people, you're still left with the stories.

                                                                                                                                2. JTPhilly RE: puppeteer23 May 14, 2014 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                  "I'm the new supply guy."

                                                                                                                                  that was the first hint that Santa was fake - I did not want to believe but once the wall is cracked there is no stopping it

                                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                                    ccandle RE: puppeteer23 May 31, 2014 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                    Just watched the "Dinner Drama" episode and I can easily prove it's fake.

                                                                                                                                    The main plot to this particular episode was a relationship between one of the waiters and one of the actresses at this restaurant/theater.

                                                                                                                                    However, along the way they find out that the bathroom attendant, BJ, is demanding tips from the customers and eating on the job. Neither the owner nor Charles Stiles knew this was going on before they started watching the hidden cameras. Charles Stiles actually mentions this.

                                                                                                                                    If you look in the control room you'll see photos of the mystery diners and both the waiter and the actress who the owner thought was dating. Guess, who's photo is also there from the time they first walked into the control room? BJ's! If they didn't know he was up to any wrong doing, why did they have his photo on the wall and not any other member of the kitchen staff, wait staff, or any actor?

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