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Chopped: irritating aspects of

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rccola Dec 26, 2012 02:50 PM

1. I for one am tired of "contestants with a dead relative" and all the tearing up as if that means they should win. Everybody's got someone who was old enough to die, even if it's grandma or grandpa.

2. If someone trained at the Cordon Bleu makes French food each dish or cooks like their Souther mama used to, they get dinged for not stepping out of their "comfort zone." But if Aarti makes all Indian-type dishes or someone makes all Middle East, the comment is on the unusual bold seasoning. Uh-uh, it's not unusual or bold for them. A creative take on coq au vin would be bold for them but they probably couldn't pull it off. This seems unfair.

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    piano boy Nov 12, 2013 10:26 AM

    I can't watch chopped because at the end of the episode I am in no way inspired to cook. Nada. Zilch. The bizarre ingredients that I would be lucky find IF I even wanted to find them don't get me hot for the kitchen.

    Even the worst episode of DDD I see something, technique or ingredient, that makes me look up if I have it on as background noise.

    That and I can't stand the judges/editing/comments/sob stories and everything else that has been mentioned already.

    3 Replies
    1. re: piano boy
      paulj Nov 12, 2013 12:27 PM

      Chopped After Hours might inspire you more.
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/chopped-af...
      The judges try their hands at one of the baskets (usually the 1st). There's more light banter, and discussion of why they made various choices.

      1. re: paulj
        Shrinkrap Nov 12, 2013 02:20 PM

        I've been curious abut it, but never checked it out. It would be great to have a thread about it! (hint hint)

        1. re: paulj
          e
          ennuisans Nov 12, 2013 02:54 PM

          After Hours is more fun for me when I pretend everyone on it is about two sheets to the wind.

      2. EarlyBird Nov 12, 2013 09:19 AM

        Here's an annoyance: the woman who is competing on behalf of all Women and to show young girls that they can be anything they want even though men want to keep them down. Because apparently it's still 1962.

        1. Antilope Nov 8, 2013 09:44 PM

          Judging by the contestants chosen, the show must have this rule somewhere...
          .
          "If you don't have a tattoo, you can't make the stew." ;-)
          .
          Looking at most of those characters, I wouldn't want them taking out my trash, much less touching my food.
          .
          Have they ever used a knife before? I mean on food. ;-)

          5 Replies
          1. re: Antilope
            paulj Nov 8, 2013 10:00 PM

            I can't imagine Kent Rollins with a tatoo - unless it's hidden under the ratty fedora.

            1. re: Antilope
              Atomic76 Nov 9, 2013 03:09 AM

              Chopped may get the occasional "just got out of prison" contestant, but it's nothing compared to Hell's Kitchen, where every contestant on there looks and acts like ex cons.

              1. re: Atomic76
                e
                ennuisans Nov 9, 2013 03:25 AM

                Restaurants are one of the few places "just got out of prison" or "just got out of the homeless shelter" folks find a foothold. If they go from that to Chopped, more power to them.

              2. re: Antilope
                JonParker Nov 11, 2013 03:48 AM

                There's an old saying that the difference between people with tattoos and people without is that people with them don't care that you don't have any.

                I have tats, and I'd guess that close to 100% of my friends have some sort of body modification. We are no more filthy or criminal than you presumably are.

                1. re: JonParker
                  s
                  sandylc Nov 12, 2013 09:39 AM

                  My problem with tattoos is that they aren't beautiful. The ink colors are dingy and dull and many of the designs are lacking. They are artwork; they should have beauty! But instead they are dull and ugly. It makes me sad, especially since it's permanent.

              3. s
                sandylc Sep 23, 2013 10:59 AM

                Note to Food Network:

                I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANYONE'S "STORY". Just do the cooking thing. Please. Oh, and fewer schlocky reality shows, O.K.?

                11 Replies
                1. re: sandylc
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                  nikkihwood Sep 23, 2013 09:13 PM

                  Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen unless some trend shows Scripps/FN management that it's not the way to go.

                  But I totally agree.

                  1. re: sandylc
                    c
                    charmedgirl Sep 24, 2013 07:14 AM

                    I think that every time I watch an episode of Next Food Network Star and hear them "correct" someone who fails to tell a completely inane and irrelevant story, and instead, you know, actually talks about food. It offers such a depressing insight into what the network wants for its programming, not only currently, but looking ahead as well. They want their "next star" to do the same schtick as all the "old stars." It seems as though the paradigm isn't going to shift any time soon.

                    I also think, as much as I cannot stand it, there must be a helluva lot of people who like it. Food Network, despite the name, is most certainly NOT in this for the love of food; they are in it to make money. I am sure they dump a ton of time, effort and dollars into market research, to get as close as possible to the formula that the greatest number of viewers want. I guess this story thing must be it, though for the life of me I can't understand why.

                    1. re: charmedgirl
                      chicgail Sep 24, 2013 08:52 AM

                      It is simple to understand.

                      Food Network is not about food or cooking. It is television. FN can't survive without the revenues that come from advertisers. It is about ratings that drive advertising rates.

                      After reviewing the stats, FN has concluded that more people watch hosts they like (and hence get higher ratings) than hosts who talk exclusively about the food.

                      1. re: chicgail
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                        charmedgirl Sep 24, 2013 09:00 AM

                        Yep, yep. You are so right. I totally agree, and said pretty much the same in my post.

                        The part I don't get is why so many of their viewers seem to like the stories so much. I find it contrived and boring.

                        1. re: charmedgirl
                          chicgail Sep 24, 2013 09:13 AM

                          I guess I like both. If I am not learning things I will tune out, but I will also tune out if the host is dull or boring or I don't like them, I will also tune out.

                          1. re: chicgail
                            c
                            charmedgirl Sep 24, 2013 09:33 AM

                            Different strokes. :-)

                        2. re: chicgail
                          paulj Sep 24, 2013 11:05 PM

                          That's basically true about posters on this forum. Even though there are people who say 'I want shows that focus on food and cooking', most comments are about the people. Even when talking about CreateTV shows, most of the talk is about hair style and pop psychological analysis of the instructors.

                          1. re: paulj
                            s
                            sandylc Sep 25, 2013 11:19 AM

                            I think you have to like/connect with the host to fully appreciate any cooking show. That's just one aspect of the experience, however. FN and CC seem to be focusing most on the shallow bits and forgetting that some depth might be appreciated by at least part of their audience. This part of their audience, BTW, would probably be their most faithful viewers if they could get the shows right. Unfortunately, our numbers are evidently not large enough to get their attention.

                            1. re: sandylc
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                              Puffin3 Sep 26, 2013 05:29 AM

                              FN producer: "So you want to compete in our [Chooped] show. First of all I need to know if any of your relatives are currently on their death bed."

                              1. re: Puffin3
                                Midknight Sep 26, 2013 06:14 AM

                                "No? Alright. Do you have son or daughter with a mental disorder and you want to send them to a special school? Is there a grandmother in Samoa that you've never met that you need to see?? Do you have a life-long dream to open your own golf cart?"
                                "Sorry, no. I plan I spending the $10,000 in Vegas on hookers and blow".

                                1. re: Midknight
                                  e
                                  ennuisans Sep 26, 2013 09:29 AM

                                  The other night one chef was going to save every dog in the world or something, while her competitor was going to "jump start his career" with the money if he won. Boy did she give him a look.

                                  Edit: and unfortunately, by association, everyone watching the scene did as well.

                    2. Atomic76 Sep 22, 2013 10:23 AM

                      Maybe they should pair up all the contestants with a dying/dead relative all on the same episode, so they can all try and be the center of attention when they have their emotional moments.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Atomic76
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                        sandylc Sep 22, 2013 12:19 PM

                        I'm sure the producers encourage this. They think that that sort of drama makes "good TV". I think TV producers are aliens.

                        1. re: Atomic76
                          Midknight Sep 23, 2013 07:03 AM

                          "Chopped: Dead relatives Grill Challenge"

                        2. Atomic76 Sep 22, 2013 10:19 AM

                          I blame it more on the producers of the show. I actually participated in an online chat with Ted Allen a couple weeks ago and asked him how "real" the show was and he basically said what you see is what you get, but that the producers will watch the footage like a hawk for things that they can ham up and dramatize (via editing, dramatic music, close-ups, etc).

                          Speaking of French/Southern cooks, I think it's because they themselves talk about it non-stop. They're either harping on endlessly about how they trained in France every chance they get, or they're barking out all of these "rules" of southern cooking. In either case, they act like they're superior to everyone else for some unknown reason.

                          I think they should keep some of their personal stories to themselves, or at least wait until the competition is over before sharing them. If one of the contestants is playing to help pay for their dying kids cancer treatment, and the other two are playing just to put a feather in their cap or to go on a vacation - that's kind of a dick move, because it makes them look like jerks for not conceding the competition.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Atomic76
                            paulj Sep 22, 2013 11:30 AM

                            What's a contestant to do if a judge asks during the 1st round testing - 'why are you here?'. But what we see as one tasting session might be the edited product of several takes, one with more focus on the food, another with a focus on the contestants.

                            I bet the producers are largely responsible for when the viewers see the sob stories. In some cases, the other competitors might never hear them.

                            1. re: paulj
                              p
                              pine time Sep 23, 2013 08:01 AM

                              I'd like the judges NOT to ask the question "why are you here?" Obviously, each contestant is there to win the 10 grand, for whatever purposes they choose.

                              It's a game show--remember (if you're old enough) "Queen for a Day"? Basically had a sob-meter, whose story was the saddest in order to win the new-fangled washer-dryer.

                              Just let 'em cook.

                          2. s
                            smartie Sep 21, 2013 12:16 PM

                            I watched a recent of episode of Chopped today from last week I think, the first one I've seen in about 6 months. I was amazed how heavy the judges have become. Chris Santos and Scott Conant both look as though they've gained 75lbs in a few months.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: smartie
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                              sandylc Sep 21, 2013 05:51 PM

                              Several years ago I read an article about an Executive Chef in a large hotel. They followed him for a day and added up the calories of all the tastes he took in his various restaurants and banquet kitchens. The tally was something outrageous, like 4,500 calories or some such.

                            2. Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 09:24 PM

                              OK, here's a NEW one for you Chopped fans! Consider this and do the math: After the first round, Ted asks the judges if they know who they will chop. They all nod and one of them says, "Yes we do". Well, NO they don't! Do the math! There are 3 judges and 4 contestants to start. What if each judge decided to chop a different contestant? (lets say; the one with the dead uncle) That problem would arise on the second round too! What if AGAIN each judge had a different contestant in mind to chop? (this time the one with the dead cousin) There are still 3 judges AND 3 contestants! The ONLY way the judges would know for 'SURE' is on the last round where there are only 2 contestants left! Then and ONLY then would the judges know for SURE who they were going to chop! Now, I realize it's edited but I find this little bit of trivia to be funny.....Oh, and since marijuana is now legal in many states, why not include it as a mystery ingredient? Ha! That would make my dead Aunt roll over in her grave!

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Rammfantasy
                                paulj Jan 15, 2013 10:11 PM

                                Aren't you assuming some sort of secret balloting? They apparently do that on ICA, and maybe NICA. But on Chopped there must be some behind the scenes discussion that we never see. When Ted asks for a decision, he is asking for the committee's report.

                                1. re: paulj
                                  Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 10:56 PM

                                  I am aware of 'behind' the scenes decisions. I just think it is funny that they make the audience believe they 'just' suddenly made their choice! Oh, the magic of telly! Let there be light... and then GOD made butter!....

                                  1. re: Rammfantasy
                                    JonParker Jan 16, 2013 08:23 AM

                                    I never thought they just suddenly made a choice. Not sure where you're getting that idea. Ted's asking if the judges as a whole know who is getting chopped, and of course the answer is going to be yes at that point.

                                    1. re: JonParker
                                      ttoommyy Jan 16, 2013 09:27 AM

                                      It' the same set up as on Project Runway and countless other shows like this. They all confer off camera and agree on who is to be chopped. Then, when Ted asks them on camera if they know who will be chopped, they all nod or say "yes" because they have already discussed it an agreed on the one person. I've never gotten the feeling that they are supposed to have "just suddenly made their choice." I think it is pretty evident that they have discussed the subject.

                                    2. re: Rammfantasy
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                                      wyogal Jan 16, 2013 09:32 AM

                                      It seems to me that they have a discussion, there is no secret ballot, and after their discussion (which is probably much longer and more detailed..), the question is asked by Ted. I don't for one minute think that it was just what was shown, or sudden.

                                      1. re: wyogal
                                        paulj Jan 16, 2013 12:12 PM

                                        Behind the scenes accounts of ICA have mentioned that the unveiling may require 3 or more takes. In that case it is relevant because the contestants have some time (half hour?) to think, maybe even talk with their sous, about the ingredient.

                                        In the same way, we don't know how many takes some of these Chopped segments require. Judges (and even Ted) can flub their lines, even if they are using their own words.

                                        1. re: paulj
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                                          CanadaGirl Jan 16, 2013 12:21 PM

                                          A bit OT, but I recall reading and article that indicated the chefs on ICA are given a few possible mystery ingredients the day before, and they plan dishes for each. They also tell the show what they will need to go with each possibility, and so actually know what the mystery ingredient will be from the other ingredients they see.

                                2. Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 12:42 AM

                                  Also.... HOW do all these contestants get to be 'Private Chefs'?

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Rammfantasy
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                                    Violatp Jan 15, 2013 05:13 PM

                                    Psh. If my sister pays me to make lemon bars for a party, I could call myself a private chef, too!

                                    1. re: Violatp
                                      Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 05:33 PM

                                      In the begining of the show as the contestants are decribing what they do for a living (and hobbies), a lot of them say they are private chefs. Maybe I am missing something. Private chefs co$t a lot to keep. Celebrities, politicains and such may afford a private chef but how many chefs are in THAT demand?

                                      1. re: Rammfantasy
                                        v
                                        Violatp Jan 15, 2013 05:39 PM

                                        Nah, I'm saying it's pretty easy to call oneself a private chef. If anyone has ever paid you to make any sort of food, voila, private chef!

                                        In other words, they're admin assistants for the rent. :-)

                                        1. re: Violatp
                                          Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 06:31 PM

                                          Oh. I just got the impression that's their ONLY job and they actually pay ALL their bills by being a private chef. When I looked at the 'cooking for hire' section on Craigs List, let's say in New York City; there are a lot of people advertising for private (and live in) chefs! I guess it's all where you reside! I live in Oregon. Not much demand for private chefs here....

                                          1. re: Rammfantasy
                                            v
                                            Violatp Jan 15, 2013 06:40 PM

                                            Yeah, I totally doubt that they all are full time, real, private chefs. It's scripted reality! Whatever sounds best for the screen, you know?

                                            1. re: Violatp
                                              Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 07:35 PM

                                              Yes I do!.... At one time I too could have been called a 'private chef'. For ten wonderful years, I operated and cooked for a private school. ... Though my DREAM job is to cook for *A* president of the United States of America! I had it on my 'bucket list' at one time but realized it is just that... a dream. But it doesn't cost anything to dream!! :)

                                              Ha Kuna Ma Ta-Ta !

                                    2. re: Rammfantasy
                                      juliejulez Jan 16, 2013 04:27 PM

                                      I went out w/ a guy a few years ago who called himself a Private Chef. The reality was, he worked full time as a waiter in a fine dining restaurant, and hosted "secret dinners" or whatever it's called in his house once a month. He didn't do any actual professional cooking for clients or anything like that, although he had worked in pro kitchens in the past. I'm thinking that might be the case with a lot of the "private chefs" we see on Chopped... they might do it on the side, and they have another "real" day job that pays the bills.

                                      1. re: juliejulez
                                        Rammfantasy Jan 16, 2013 05:07 PM

                                        You may be right! 'Private Chef' just sounds so cooool..... And by the way, my name is Julie also!

                                    3. Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 12:30 AM

                                      I feel if you leave a 'Mystery Ingredient' off your plate, it should be an AUTOMATIC CHOP!

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: Rammfantasy
                                        m
                                        mandymoo Jan 15, 2013 05:31 AM

                                        Yes! How can you leave off an ingredient and be allowed to continue but the guy/gal next to you over cooks a "delicate" fish or some such and gets chopped?! "The flavor of this sauce is wonderful but my fish is a bit over done....blah, blah, this guy/gal left off the duck bladder but their fish was deboned well so let them stay."

                                        **Sarcasm of course. I don't THINK they've ever used duck bladder....

                                        1. re: mandymoo
                                          Midknight Jan 15, 2013 06:01 AM

                                          Ironically, we were JUST discussing this aspect of Chopped last night while watching Sweet Genius. In SG, one contestant left out an ingredient. A 2nd contestant made a dish that was, in the words of the judge "nearly inedible". But, and very rightly, the 1st contestant was booted off.
                                          In my opinion, the very FIRST rule in those shows are "Used every ingredient!" I don't care if your opponent made a dish using arsenic (AND they burnt it!). If you didn't use the duck bladder (which would be an AWESOME ingredient, mandy! lol), they you should gone. No exceptions.

                                        2. re: Rammfantasy
                                          paulj Jan 15, 2013 09:12 AM

                                          Why? Would that make the show more interesting?

                                          1. re: paulj
                                            Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 02:10 PM

                                            Perhaps you didn't understand my statement.... A lot of the contestants work as 'private chefs'. It is hard enough these days to simply get a job AS a chef let alone BE a 'private' one. I would LOVE to be a private chef! But I live in a one horse town and the horses here are broke (no pun intended :) Glory day 2-U

                                            1. re: Rammfantasy
                                              paulj Jan 15, 2013 02:46 PM

                                              My opinion is that the judging should be fair, but not so cut and dried that viewers can easily predict the outcome. The show is first of all entertainment, secondarily a money making opportunity for the contestants.

                                              1. re: paulj
                                                b
                                                breadchick Jan 15, 2013 05:07 PM

                                                Good point.

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  Midknight Jan 16, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                  But the entire, and primary, premise of the show is "Make a dish using the 4 mystery ingredients". That's rule number one. If the chefs know that they can get away with not using the pickled bull nostril so long as they can make an AMAZING dish using the remaining three items, then where's the urgency for them to use EVERY item?

                                                  1. re: Midknight
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                                                    mandymoo Jan 16, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                    +1

                                                    1. re: Midknight
                                                      paulj Jan 16, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                      Last night, as part of champions tournament, had one of these 'forgot to include an ingredient' cases. I didn't catch all the details, but I think it was Mexican crema for the entree. It wasn't a case of omitting a difficult ingredient. Ted made a big deal about the requirement, and clearly the judges debated whether other faults out weighed this one. They also probably took that into account when debating the final outcome, though I didn't listen to that.

                                                      There are enough eyes on the cooking (judges, producers etc) that if a contestant deliberately omitted a difficult ingredient it would be noticed, and be a clearer fault. Simply using an ingredient as a garnish, without much transformation, is a fault.

                                                      Has there ever been a case where someone left out an ingredient (most likely by accident) and still gone to win the $10000? Mistakes like this are most common in the 1st round, when they are still adjusting to the time constraint. But the final judging depends on performance on all 3 rounds. Dessert would have to be clearly superior to over come faults in the 1st.

                                                      1. re: paulj
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                                                        rccola Jan 16, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                        I saw that, too, and he was making Asian flavored fish cheek and collar and worried that the crema might not come off with that as a sauce. And then he "forgot" it. Perhaps his dish was great otherwise. But the ingredients he used were fairly easy, even sugar-cookie dough, if they were made sweet-and-sourish Asian. But dairy? Not so easy. I'd have tasted my food and forgotten the crema, too.

                                                      2. re: Midknight
                                                        Rammfantasy Jan 16, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                        It occurred to me last night while watching Chopped that the reason they don't automatically disqualify you for leaving out a mystery ingredient is this: They want you, the audience NOT to know until AFTER the commercial break who gets chopped! If it were an automatic chop for a missing ingredient, then we ALL would know who got the ax! The judges want viewers to be surprised! Would it be a surprise if lets say, 'Bill' left off the mystery ingredient of worm lips?

                                                        1. re: Midknight
                                                          scubadoo97 Jan 16, 2013 06:06 PM

                                                          yeah, I always thought it should be an automatic boot or "you've been chopped"

                                                2. m
                                                  miss_belle Jan 9, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                  I remember that one contestant who said she had to win because she was broke and sleeping on a friends couch(ok fine, stuff happens in life). She wound up winning the $10K. Not too long after she was back for Chopped Champions saying things hadn't improved and she was still on the friends couch. *she* really irritated the heck out of me.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: miss_belle
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                                                    mandymoo Jan 9, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                    Yep

                                                    1. re: miss_belle
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                                                      charmedgirl Jan 9, 2013 07:55 AM

                                                      Didn't see the episode, but why was that irritating? (Genuine, not snarky question.) It sounds honest, and probably not unlike the experience of a lot of young, struggling chefs. Plus $10,000 prize money isn't all that much after taxes.

                                                      1. re: charmedgirl
                                                        m
                                                        mandymoo Jan 9, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                        I can't answer for miss_belle but for me it was irritating because she went on the show saying she needed the $10,000 to get off her friend's couch and then after she won the money and came back she said nothing had changed.

                                                        1. re: mandymoo
                                                          m
                                                          miss_belle Jan 9, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                          Yep. I was left with the impression that she just didn't have much get up and go.

                                                      2. re: miss_belle
                                                        r
                                                        rccola Jan 9, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                        when you have nothing, you often overestimate what a sum like $10,000 will bring. If it was in NYC, good luck finding an apartment/apartment share where you can reach work within 2 hours. (security deposit + first month's rent + demonstrate on-going income + credit score...)

                                                        1. re: rccola
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                                                          charmedgirl Jan 10, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                          I suspect this as well. I bet she heard the amount and thought "wow SO MUCH MONEY!" but then when she got the post-tax amount, it might not have even been enough to pay off a couple of credit cards, if she had been struggling for a while.

                                                          1. re: charmedgirl
                                                            v
                                                            Violatp Jan 15, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                            Yup. When you've been broke awhile, six thousand dollars (what she probably got after taxes) was maybe enough to dig herself out of some debt, but not enough to truly start over.

                                                          2. re: rccola
                                                            coney with everything Jan 16, 2013 04:26 AM

                                                            I do find it remarkable that so many contestants seem to think that $10K (probably more like $6K after taxes) is going to be this miracle money...enough to start a restaurant, buy a house, go to Europe...It's "nice to have" money but not in most cases a life changer.

                                                            1. re: coney with everything
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                                                              charmedgirl Jan 16, 2013 06:45 AM

                                                              Totally agree. I think that all the time on Cupcake Wars (yes, I really like watching that show. I love seeing all the combinations of flavors and imagining what I would do. Anyway.) A ridiculously high percentage of contestants say that when they win they are going to open a store front or a second location. I'm always like with $10,000 minus taxes?!? Good luck. That would probably pay the first two month's rent, and that's about it.

                                                              1. re: charmedgirl
                                                                r
                                                                rccola Jan 16, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                Which is why such a high percentage fail. I think you need 1 year's worth of cash to support your restaurant/staff/supplies before you open. If you are a smash hit in the first month, great! You've got backup cash for hard times.

                                                                Maybe it's because chefs/cooks/bakers, if they are praised enough, become overly optimistic. They picture themselves turning away business. Being vaunted in the paper. It's like people who quit a career early to write or paint. But more expensive.

                                                                And all that without acknowledging that their venue has to be run as a business.

                                                        2. alliegator Jan 6, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                          I'm coming late to this party, but you are so right about the dead relative thing. It just drags it down. Everyone has a dead relative.
                                                          It's refreshing when the people say that they just want to prove something to themselves, and they're going to take a vacation or pay some debt back or something. That makes me root for them a little more.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: alliegator
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                                                            mandymoo Jan 8, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                            Ahhh, tonight was interesting! She (can't remember her name) was playing to buy her parents a chicken coop!!! Lord, I've never heard that one before :)

                                                            1. re: mandymoo
                                                              ttoommyy Jan 9, 2013 03:51 AM

                                                              At least it's an honorable thing. Maybe her parents depend on raising chickens for a living and a new coop is needed.

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                m
                                                                mandymoo Jan 9, 2013 04:23 AM

                                                                Yes it is an honorable thing to do. I never meant otherwise. My comment was directed toward earlier posts about predictability of reasons for why the contestants are on the show (i.e. everyone has a dead relative). She said she wanted her parents to have fresh eggs everyday, not that they were dependent on them for survival but it was a nice gesture regardless.

                                                                1. re: mandymoo
                                                                  ttoommyy Jan 9, 2013 05:25 AM

                                                                  Sorry. I misread "Lord, I've never heard that one before :)" as being sarcastic.

                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                    m
                                                                    mandymoo Jan 9, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                                    Nope, just remarking on how different that reason was in light of the posting here. It's hard to know how a comment is meant when you are reading it online. That's why I use so many smileys ;)

                                                                    1. re: mandymoo
                                                                      ttoommyy Jan 9, 2013 05:44 AM

                                                                      I use them a lot too, but then I think are people taking them as me saying "I am joking." It's all a crapshoot! :)

                                                              2. re: mandymoo
                                                                r
                                                                rccola Jan 9, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                                I personally still love the "I was a wasted/drunken piece of human flotsam* and then started cooking at the soup kitchen and moved up to a diner and, though I have no formal training, want to prove I can cook. Or at least staying sober had some positive outcome besides denying me my addiction of choice." Honesty without manipulative weeping.

                                                                *in lieu of more poignant word

                                                            2. NonnieMuss Jan 3, 2013 10:52 AM

                                                              What I find most irritating is the 30 minutes of content stretched over an hour with the commercial breaks. Does this sound familiar?:

                                                              You're watching the show and A, B, and C happen. Then it's time for a commercial and they say "Next on Chopped!" and you watch D, E, and F happen. Then you come back from commercial and they say "Previously on Chopped!", and you watch A, B, and C again. Then D, E, and F happen. I feel like I watch each episode three times every time it's on.

                                                              28 Replies
                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                ttoommyy Jan 3, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                This happens on a lot of shows like this. It's a relatively new thing shows employ because they know people are constantly channel surfing and may come in somewhere in the middle of things. Chalk it up to people's limited attention spans these days.

                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
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                                                                  sandylc Jan 3, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                  I think channel surfing is: 1, not anything new; and 2, more typical of the male of the species.

                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                    ttoommyy Jan 3, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                    Of course channel surfing is not new; I said the way they edit the show according to what NonnieMuss posted was "relatively new." I know PLENTY of women who channel surf.

                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                      ttoommyy Jan 3, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                      Plenty of people channel surf, not everyone DVRs every show they watch. I DVR some and watch other shows "live."

                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy
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                                                                      2roadsdiverge Jan 3, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                      This is my biggest complaint about cable shows, and I always hear the same argument in support of it that you gave: they do it so people who channel surf can follow what has happened when they come in the middle. But who channel surfs nowadays? I haven't watched a TV show that wasn't pre-recorded -- other than some sporting events -- in over five years. Everything is on my DVR, and so I am constantly fast forwarding, not just past the commercials but also past the "Coming up after the break" and "Previously on" segments. I can watch a show like "Mystery Diners" in about 15 minutes after cutting out all the repetitive stuff.

                                                                      1. re: 2roadsdiverge
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                                                                        sandylc Jan 3, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                        Funny thing about cable TV. I am old enough to remember how it came about.

                                                                        TV used to be free. You put up an antenna and caught whatever you could at no cost.

                                                                        Then, this marvelous thing called CABLE TV came along. You could have more channels, and because you were paying for it, there were NO COMMERCIALS. This was the entire premise - you paid for TV so that you didn't have to watch commercials!!!!!!

                                                                        Something went terribly wrong here.

                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                          paulj Jan 3, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                          Back in those days you could also buy printed matter, newspapers and magazines. All but the most expensive ones (e.g. Cooks Illustrated) were filled with commercials - oops, we call those ads.

                                                                          1. re: sandylc
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                                                                            2roadsdiverge Jan 6, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                            I'm pretty old too, and I don't ever remember cable TV being commercial-free. The first cable networks I remember seeing were WGN from Chicago and WTCG from Atlanta (eventually changed to WTBS), and they had commercials. It was just amazing that we could get those stations at all in the middle of Oklahoma.

                                                                            Sure, premium cable channels like HBO (which used to show movies and not just original programming) and Cinemax had no commercials, but you paid extra for those. Basic cable always had commercials in my memory. We paid for a clear signal and lots of channels, not commercial-free programming.

                                                                            1. re: 2roadsdiverge
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                                                                              StrandedYankee Jan 6, 2013 11:38 PM

                                                                              I am old enough to remember MTV with no commercials...Some of your original basic cable networks were commercial free.

                                                                              1. re: 2roadsdiverge
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                                                                                sandylc Jan 7, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                                                The era I'm talking about was long before HBO and CINEMAX. We first got cable in....I'm guessing....about 1966-68. The entire sales pitch was NO COMMERCIALS.

                                                                                1. re: 2roadsdiverge
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                                                                                  breadchick Jan 9, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                                                  Same here. I remember finally getting some stations out of NYC and Boston and had to watch all those old "Crazy Eddie" commercials etc. Mattress and furniture ads etc. I don't remember early cable being commercial free.

                                                                                2. re: sandylc
                                                                                  roxlet Jan 7, 2013 05:15 AM

                                                                                  Actually, cable TV originated to bring television reception to places that could not receive a TV signal even with an antenna. You paid for the cable service to bring reception to your house even though you were watching network shows that everyone else got for free. It was only later that the idea of paying for content arose. And premium channels still have no commercials, as you undoubtedly know. But you're paying extra for those channels and the premium services use that money, plus syndication money they get for ancillary rights and DVD sales to produce those programmes. Nothing for nothing.

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
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                                                                                    sandylc Jan 7, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                    We got TV signals with out antenna just fine in the mid-sixties when we won a free year of cable TV at the county fair - the sales pitch at the fair was NO COMMERCIALS on cable channels.

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                      roxlet Jan 7, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                      Some cable channels did start out commercial free, but ultimately the economics proved untenable. But cable did begin as a main stream TV delivery system for people who had no reception by antenna.

                                                                                  2. re: sandylc
                                                                                    ttoommyy Jan 7, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                                    http://www.ncta.com/About/About/Histo...

                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
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                                                                                      sandylc Jan 7, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                                      Yeah, I saw that. Not much detail on the 60s era.

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                        ttoommyy Jan 7, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                                                        I just thought it was an interesting bit of information. A lot of stuff in there I was not aware of.

                                                                                  3. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                    scubadoo97 Jan 3, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                    And here I thought they recapped for people like me who fall asleep during their shows.

                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                                      ttoommyy Jan 3, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                                                      I don' doubt that! :)

                                                                                3. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                  paulj Jan 3, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                  I read someplace that it takes 11 hrs to shoot an episode of Chopped. So I'm sure they have more than 30 minutes of video to choose from.

                                                                                  But the pattern I notice most is the placement of commercials between 'who's dish will get chopped', and actually showing the chop. At least that's the case for the first 2 stages. 3 rd chopping is too close to the end for a commercial.

                                                                                  My impression is that the recapping is more common on ICA than Chopped.

                                                                                  1. re: paulj
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                                                                                    sandylc Jan 3, 2013 12:36 PM

                                                                                    But I sure agree that incessant recapping is cheap and annoying.

                                                                                  2. re: NonnieMuss
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                                                                                    rccola Jan 3, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                    Record, fast forward, delete when done watching

                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss
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                                                                                      2roadsdiverge Jan 4, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                      Just saw this breakdown of an episode of Mythbusters that measures out the promos, logos, and teasers along with the advertising minutes. It is a pretty fascinating read and I can totally see similarities between Mythbusters and Chopped in this regard: http://www.baekdal.com/insights/disse...

                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                        paulj Jan 6, 2013 11:03 PM

                                                                                        I did not notice any recapping during today's 'leftovers' episode. And there was nothing unusual about the flow of the show either.

                                                                                        There were, though, more than enough ads for the Celebrity Chef show.

                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                          chicgail Jan 7, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                          Celebrity Chef with Rachel Ray and the bleached Diners Guy: now there's a show I plan to assiduously avoid.

                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                            paulj Jan 7, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                            I saw bits and pieces of that while waiting from ICA. I didn't see much of the hosts. It was more of a opportunity for the 'celebrities' (none of the names are familiar) to ham it up. A variation on the old celebrity contestant shows like Hollywood Squares.

                                                                                            Speaking of competitions, I was interested in this episode of ICA in part because the challenger was a runnerup on Extreme Chef. The 2nd season of that show was more interesting than most, in part because they took local cuisines seriously (though the BBC did this better in No Kitchen Required)

                                                                                            http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsbitebybite/54897131-60/pham-chef-extreme-french.html.csp
                                                                                            http://www.bbcamerica.com/no-kitchen-...

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              KrumTx Jan 9, 2013 05:33 AM

                                                                                              I definitely recognized Hines Ward (Steelers) and Chilli. The others - not so much. Carnie (Carrie?) generated some buzz a few years ago when she had a second weight-loss surgery just a few years after gaining the weight back from her first one.

                                                                                        2. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                          chicgail Jan 7, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                                                          That's what TIVO is for. Record it; watch it later and fast-forward over all those "coming" and "previously" space/time-fillers.

                                                                                        3. e
                                                                                          emskware Dec 31, 2012 07:43 AM

                                                                                          Yes! Finally a place to air my gripe. I agree, enough with all the sob stories on Chopped. It's getting to be a soap opera. Everyone's got problems and crap to deal with, but it's supposed to be an entertaining show, and it's not so entertaining any more.

                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: emskware
                                                                                            paulj Dec 31, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                            Aren't soap operas supposed to be entertaining? Clearly some people - just not the ones complaining here - like sob stories.

                                                                                            Every show, FN or elsewhere, has aspects that don't interest me. I've just developed a habit of tuning out when those are on. I can't sit down to watch TV without a book or computer to take my attention during commercials and other uninteresting bits.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
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                                                                                              sandylc Dec 31, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                                              Same here. I have to do something else while watching TV. It is just too nothing on its own. I have tried to just watch while doing nothing else, thinking that it should be relaxing, but it isn't.

                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                k
                                                                                                KailuaGirl Jan 1, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                                                I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads while watching TV. Many friends have commented on it, thinking it strange. I happen to read everywhere.
                                                                                                On Chopped I sometimes enjoy the odd ingredients, especially the ones I've never seen or heard of before. Like others I get sick of the sob stories. As the OP said, we're all old enough to have someone near and dear who is old enough to die or is already dead. Personally I miss my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, all of whom I knew and loved and are now dead. So what?! You just deal with it and move on or you'll go crazy.

                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                  Bob W Jan 1, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                                                                  I've been reading in front of the tv since I could read. Nowadays I often do crossword puzzles in front of the tv too.

                                                                                                  I think we'd be diagnosed with ADD if we were kids today.

                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                    ttoommyy Jan 1, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                                                    I'm reading and posting right now while I watch TV. I've read, did crossword puzzles, cooked, etc., while watching TV for most of my life.
                                                                                                    Unless it is an extremely complicated mystery movie or an earth shattering news story, how can anyone possibly just sit and watch TV without doing something else for at least a few minutes here and there?

                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                    gaffk Jan 1, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                                    Agreed. I have to read, do a crossword puzzle, browse CH, even clean ;) TV itself is just not that compelling.

                                                                                                    The only exception is on demand movies.

                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Jan 2, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                      That's why I don't watch on demand movies. Can't imagine having to focus and sit there for the whole thing.Sometimes I try to do it with my family but I keep asking questions and they get really annoyed......

                                                                                                2. re: emskware
                                                                                                  Midknight Jan 2, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                                                  Agreed. It's too the point where I complete;y ignore the first 5-7 minutes of the show. But then I stil dredd the question asked during judging "Why are you competing today? What are you going to do with the money if you win?"
                                                                                                  Who cares!? It has nothing to do with the food they just cooked!
                                                                                                  Just once, I'd like to hear a contestant answer with "Hookers and blow, man. Hookers and blow."

                                                                                                  1. re: Midknight
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                                                                                                    rccola Jan 2, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                                    Try out just to say that!

                                                                                                    1. re: Midknight
                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Jan 2, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                                                                      I seem to remember someone saying something close once. Or maybe it was a different show.

                                                                                                  2. Meowzerz Dec 28, 2012 07:27 PM

                                                                                                    First off, RC Cola rules! Second, yes, I do agree that the sob stories aren't really relevant to the show, but I'm glad the judges don't just give away the prize to anyone that cries (Am I heartless? lol)
                                                                                                    Chopped is easy to watch, the ingredients are interesting, and I actually do like seeing the random chefs from all over the place and hearing their back-stories. However, I think it's incredibly redundant. I'm not sure how to explain that but I just get the this predictable sort of feeling from it.

                                                                                                    The biggest reason I watch Chopped is because I don't have to keep up with it. If I'm not mistaken, Top Chef is akin to Survivor or America's Next Top Model; there is a cast and things "develop" each episode. I can't commit to that! haha. Most (if not all) TV that I watch is commitment-free (Modern Marvels, Good Eats, Pawn Stars...Dr. Phil.....) haha

                                                                                                    1. paulj Dec 28, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                      Chopped, with all of its sob stories and picky judges, is sanity compared to Bravo's Top Chef. Just reading the weekly summaries makes my head spin
                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883622
                                                                                                      Still, Chowhound threads for these shows are popular. It's just a different set from those who prefer to complain and lament the good old days when FN was purely instructional.

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                                                        " It's just a different set from those who prefer to complain and lament the good old days when FN was purely instructional."

                                                                                                        It was never "purely instructional." Many shows had a gimmick right form the start. It was a mish-mash of very good and really bad from the start. Again, I cite the show in which 2 guys made food for dogs. Woof.

                                                                                                        And what about:
                                                                                                        Two Fat Ladies? Gimmicky. 1996
                                                                                                        Ready, Set, Cook which was a game show way back in 1995?
                                                                                                        The channel was started in 1993.

                                                                                                        And believe me, there are others, just Google a list of the history of FN programming and you will see.

                                                                                                        edited

                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
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                                                                                                          rccola Dec 28, 2012 03:50 PM

                                                                                                          I loved the British food on Two Fat Ladies and the landscapes were beautiful, but the concept of eating like them and perhaps reaching their girth and general dishevelment made it unlikely that I'd ever copy their recipes.

                                                                                                          As far as cooking for my dog goes, I have trouble keeping him out of the cat box, so he's not a good test of anyone's cooking skills.

                                                                                                          1. re: rccola
                                                                                                            ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 04:28 PM

                                                                                                            LOL about you dogs.

                                                                                                            My point with Two Fat Ladies was that FN had gimmicky shows from the get-go. Many people here on CH seem to remember FN as having nothing but serious, good quality, educational shows. It's just not true.

                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                              roxlet Dec 28, 2012 04:35 PM

                                                                                                              Actually, Two Fat Ladies was a BBC show that had been picked up by the FN for broadcast in the US. I believe it was a huge hit in the UK, and that it also spawned a series of best-selling cookbooks.

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                I believe FN had a number of shows early on that were imports or from other sources. Still, it was hoaky and traded on the "weird" things the women made and their girth. Rachel Ray's shows here were huge hits and they spawned many cookbooks. Just because shows are hits and spawn merchandise does not make them good.

                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                  paulj Dec 28, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                  RR started with popular cooking classes (in a grocery I believe) and a cookbook that grew out of that. She even had some local TV appearances, before she came to FN's attention.

                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                  paulj Dec 28, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                  and they were criticized in the UK for the same reasons that PD is now.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                    ttoommyy Dec 29, 2012 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                    Exactly. But because it was a British tv show, people here in the US automatically thought it was brilliant. From the very start, I could not stand them and that show. I can watch Paula Dean any day of the week over 2FL.

                                                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy
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                                                                                                              StrandedYankee Jan 5, 2013 11:14 PM

                                                                                                              Ttoommyy, I always kinda/sorta liked Ready, Set, Cook. It WAS kinda/sorta a game show, but it was really more just about quick, impromptu cooking. I got some great ideas from that show, to be honest.

                                                                                                              1. re: StrandedYankee
                                                                                                                scubadoo97 Jan 6, 2013 04:31 AM

                                                                                                                I really like RSC which was one of the first food challenge game show. It's how I cook often. Open the fridge and make something with what's in there

                                                                                                          2. scubadoo97 Dec 28, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                            I think they should leave it just the way it is. I keep a couple episodes on the DVR and when I can't fall asleep I put one on. I rarely get past the first round. Zzzzzzzz.....

                                                                                                            1. Jay F Dec 28, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                                              Is there a non-irritating aspect of Chopped? Between the essential badness and overbroadcasting of both it and DDD, I gave up all but the most basic cable about a year ago (and I don't miss Food Network at all).

                                                                                                              25 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                roxlet Dec 28, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                I agree completely, Jay F!

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                  Jay F Dec 28, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                  Hasn't FN gotten *awful*?

                                                                                                                  My favorite cooking show these days is Martha's Cooking School on PBS. I've always been a Martha fan, though, ever since I bought ENTERTAINING right after Christmas in 1982.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                    ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                    "Hasn't FN gotten *awful*? "

                                                                                                                    It's always had its "awful" aspects. I remember a show from the early days in which to guys made food for dogs. That was pretty "awful."

                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                      paulj Dec 28, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                      Ah yes the good old days of FN. I recall a great show by David Rosen-something-or-other, from before I started watching cable ...

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                        KailuaGirl Jan 1, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                        That David Rosengarten show was terrific! If they'd re-broadcast that I might turn FN back on again. Otherwise I gave up on it, for the most part, long ago. Can't stand DD & Ds so that eliminates most of the broadcasting.

                                                                                                                        1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                          paulj Jan 1, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                          Have you watched him on Youtube?
                                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/user/DRosengar...

                                                                                                                          1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                                                                                            scubadoo97 Jan 1, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                            I really liked his show. He was pretentious as usual but I liked it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97
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                                                                                                                              StrandedYankee Jan 5, 2013 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                              Pretentious isn't unforgivable IF someone is able to back it up with smarts and a true passion for his subject. David Rosengarten always had both. His passionate love of Hellman's mayonnaise brings him down to earth...

                                                                                                                              The thing is this...He may come off as being snobbish, but it never comes off as snobbery for it's own sake. With him, it's always seemed more like he's just someone who wants great stuff, great quality, and doesn't care too much what anyone else thinks about his opinions. That's a whole lot different than how I would describe most people who call themselves "Foodies".

                                                                                                                              1. re: StrandedYankee
                                                                                                                                scubadoo97 Jan 6, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                Exactly. I still remember the episode on making the best tuna sandwich. Not only did he like mayo but felt the sandwich had to sit wrapped up, like in your lunch box, for the flavors to meld

                                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97
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                                                                                                                                  rccola Jan 6, 2013 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                  I never watched him because I didn't have the time for TV when his show was on as I worked too much. But I'm copying that tuna hint right away--sitting here eating left over lamb curry with gram flour sauteed okra and aloo baigan, my mouth's watering for a 7-11, spent the night in plastic wrap tuna sandwich!

                                                                                                                                2. re: StrandedYankee
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                                                                                                                                  sandylc Jan 6, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                  Wanting good-quality, tasty, fresh food is never prententious. Pretentious is when someone thinks a certain food is "out-of-style" or "so last year" or "not the latest trend". Good food is good food and someone should not be called shallow or prententious or snobby just for expecting it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    StrandedYankee Jan 6, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                    Sandy, I agree. But a lot of people I know who call themselves foodies always seem to be double-guessing their own taste buds...I honestly think they'd be happier eaters if they dropped the self-conscious "I am a foodie, so I have to like what foodies are supposed to like" nonsense. I think a lot of people who are self-conscious about their tastes in music, movies, food, novels, whatever...would be far happier if they learned how to say "I like what I like", shrug, and walk away.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                      rccola Dec 28, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                      See, I found it great entertainment and mental exercise when I was very ill and couldn't concentrate well enough to read. It's still MILES ahead of the other reality shows except for Antiques Roadshow from England (by now I can guess what most things are and are worth on the American show) and the loathsome people on the Housewives. Thinking of how I might put together some of the weird ingredients was entertaining. The Iron Chef has gotten boring except for looking at the end product & etc.

                                                                                                                      I found one is relaxed by a little lowbrow culture in one's life. And something has raised the level of cooking competence and ingredient knowledge in this country. Think FN had a hand.

                                                                                                                      1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                        Jay F Dec 28, 2012 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                        << the loathsome people on the Housewives>>

                                                                                                                        Though I hate most of those shows, I used to have a place in my heart for Teresa on RHONJ. Even as her sociopathy grew and grew, I'd watch her any day rather than CHOPPED.

                                                                                                                        Part of it for me is I just don't like competitions. Of any kind. I'd die if I had to watch sports.

                                                                                                                        I hope that there is a god, because if there is, when I come back next time around, sports lovers will be a despised minority, and people like me will be the cool kids (a little off-topic, but oh, well).

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          sandylc Dec 28, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                          Boy, same here! Sports can drop off the face of the earth and it will be a better place for it....

                                                                                                                          EDIT: Oh except for back when my son was a soccer star, of course...

                                                                                                                          1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                            Jay F Dec 28, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                            I hear you. In retrospect, I realize there were times when my mother was a cross between Judge Judy and Livia Soprano (though I didn't know those names at the time).

                                                                                                                          2. re: rccola
                                                                                                                            ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                            "See, I found it great entertainment and mental exercise when I was very ill and couldn't concentrate well enough to read."

                                                                                                                            I agree with this. I found certain shows on FN mindless enough to enjoy when I was in the hospital a while back.

                                                                                                                            The Antiques Roadshow is not really reality TV, in that it does not put ordinary people in a situation or contest which pits them against one another. I consider Antiques Roadshow just good television: it educates and entertains.

                                                                                                                            1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              foodieX2 Dec 28, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                              My mother was the same way when she was going thru treatment. It was the one of the few channels she watched consistently as she said she couldn't stay focused on anything with a real plot and reading was even too taxing.

                                                                                                                              I think it helped her appetite too. When she showed interest on a particular dish or recipe I would go home and make it for her. She was more likely to try it than what she was being offered in her place.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                rccola Dec 28, 2012 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                "I would go home and make it for her."

                                                                                                                                That was so loving of you!

                                                                                                                            2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              foodieX2 Dec 28, 2012 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                              I find it great mindless "background" for when I am ironing, sewing, paying bills, etc. To me both FN and "Cook" are so much better than soaps, talk and game shows. And occasionally I discover some great recipes too. Say what you will but Giada, Ina even Sunny but they do come up wth some keepers.

                                                                                                                              My 11 year old LOVES Iron Chef, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, etc. I would much rather have him watch those than Survivor, Wipe Out, FHV and the like.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                Jay F Dec 28, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                Oh, I LOVE Ina. But how many shows does FN produce anymore that are like hers?

                                                                                                                                None, really. They're all these competitions. You can even perceive competition at play when you watch a new cooking show. I can almost see a thought balloon above Anne Burrell's head, as she wonders whether she's being Rachael Ray enough to keep her job, this as she's cooking.

                                                                                                                                Anyway, I don't have cable anymore. So for me, it's moot. But CHOPPED had mega-much to do with my cancelling cable.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F
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                                                                                                                                  sandylc Dec 28, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                  Cooking Channel is much better than FN, but could still be improved greatly.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F
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                                                                                                                                    rccola Dec 28, 2012 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                    Rachel Ray makes me want to stick forks in my eyeballs. And chopsticks in my ears. The pointed Japanese kind.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                                      Jay F Dec 28, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                      She doesn't bother me much as a personality. But she stopped being a food information source the day I saw her put chopped raw onions in her meatballs in order to get the meal on the table in 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                      It's the newbies who are so obviously stumbling around trying to be Rachael Ray enough, or Guy Fieddi enough, to please Bob and Suzie who truly annoy me.

                                                                                                                                      It's Bob and Suzie who need a fork in the eye, and chopsticks in their ears. They're who destroyed FN.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Jay F
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                                                                                                                                  pine time Dec 28, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                  Also scaled back to just basic cable, no FN. Recently had a 2 week road trip, so had the extra TV channels in hotels, and I was surprised how bored I got with both FN and HGTV, what had been 2 of my favorite channels.

                                                                                                                                3. r
                                                                                                                                  rccola Dec 28, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  One thing I'll say: it introduces contestants and the TV audience to new and unusual ingredients, even if disgusting ones (Jew's mallow, which looked like spinach slime in plastic).

                                                                                                                                  I also get tired of Sanchez pumping for someone just cause they put chillis in their dish. I put chillis in most everything I cook, too. $10,000 please! But no cultural biases!

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                                    Midknight Dec 31, 2012 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                    Like duck (or bread) in a can?! BWAH?! lol

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midknight
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                                                                                                                                      rccola Dec 31, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                      Hey, when I was a kid I liked Boston brown bread in a can, sliced, toasted and smeared with cream cheese! And you could get it out of the can in perfect can shape! Like jellied cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving!

                                                                                                                                      But really, brown bread was traditionally steamed, not baked as many people lacked an oven--it could be steamed in a fireplace And so a can was an ideal way to replicate it for sale SEE, you learned something!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                                        kubasd Jan 4, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                        I still love the B&M raisin bread in a can sliced and spread thickly with butter.... it's so moist and slightly sweet... yum! And a great item to have just in case.

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                                                                                                                                          pine time Jan 6, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                          Had totally forgotten about this bread! I'm updating our catastrophe foods...may have to find a can of it.

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                                                                                                                                            miriamjo Jan 16, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                            My Mom made brown bread every Saturday to go with the Boston Baked beans both made from scratch. She used a coffee can and steamed it . Wonderful!! I really miss that stuff.

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                                                                                                                                      virtualguthrie Dec 27, 2012 10:16 PM

                                                                                                                                      Definitely agree about the "dead relative" or personal story-line. It's so prevalent that it's obvious the producers are encouraging contestants to play it up.

                                                                                                                                      Also, basket ingredients that are prepared food items is pretty silly (gummy fried eggs is the example that comes to mind). It seems like there are enough ingredients in the world that they could stick to that without resorting to gimmicky items.

                                                                                                                                      I also think it's silly how serious the judges often take the show. It's just a cooking contest, it's not that significant.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: virtualguthrie
                                                                                                                                        paulj Dec 27, 2012 10:44 PM

                                                                                                                                        What do you think of these 'viewers choice' ingredients?
                                                                                                                                        Ingredients:
                                                                                                                                        Appetizer: artichoke hearts, truffle honey, corn nuts, scrapple
                                                                                                                                        Entrée: fenugreek, new potatoes, bison short ribs, cheese spread in a jar
                                                                                                                                        Dessert: dried black licorice root, pork rinds, macadamia nuts, limoncello

                                                                                                                                        One the cooks had no idea what fenugreek was; he tried to cook it like rice. The judges thought these ingredients are as challenging, maybe more so, that staff choices.

                                                                                                                                        With more than 160 episodes, and consistently high viewer ratings, they must be doing something right.

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                                                                                                                                          rccola Dec 28, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                          I think they're good and pretty easy until it comes to dessert. I enjoy the show because it's like a puzzle with cooking knowledge being an important component.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                            EarlyBird Nov 6, 2013 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                            Paul, I like that basket, but I'd prefer to give the contestants my Hell Basket: liverwurst, blue cheese, wasabe paste and Rose's lime juice - for dessert.

                                                                                                                                            To me coming up with sadistic baskets is half the fun of watching the show.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: virtualguthrie
                                                                                                                                            Midknight Dec 31, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                            But using fresh, raw ingredients would honestly make it too easy. Giving them an insane ingredient and watching them scramble to (try to) make something delicious out of it is what makes the show interesting.
                                                                                                                                            Obviously this isn't a how-to cooking show. Even Iron chef may give you idea on how to cook. But Chopped? It's like shooting bullets at the contestants feet while screaming "Cook, monkey! Cook!" :D

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Midknight
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                                                                                                                                              breadchick Dec 31, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                              Hahaha. Thank you for my laugh of the day!

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                                                                                                                                            sandylc Dec 27, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                            I want to go on chopped and put all of the basket ingredients in the blender, add some salt (don't want to be accused of too little seasoning), and serve it.

                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                              chowser Dec 28, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                              We always joke about that in my family, too. To top it off, throw it in the ice cream maker. I'd just like to see them have to eat it. And of course, if Scott Conant were the judge, make bad pasta, fish w/ cheese and top w/ raw onions.

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                                                                                                                                                bourbonnie Jan 20, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                Touche' Chowser--Scott is reeealllly nice to look at, but damn if he doesn't hate fish with cheese, over/underdone pasta, and RAW ONION!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bourbonnie
                                                                                                                                                  Midknight Jan 21, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                  That's another aspect of the show I don't like. The judge judge based on their PERSONAL tastes. Cheese on fish is not always evil, and just because you don't like raw onions, that doesn't mean that a dish with raw onions is bad. It almost seems like they judges have trouble being truly objective.

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                                                                                                                                                    rccola Jan 22, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I know. I love raw onion in a salad or sandwich with goat cheese and tomato especially. Boo, Scott Conant.

                                                                                                                                                    Also goes for Aaron "if it's got hot peppers and tastes Mexican it's for me" Sanchez.

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                                                                                                                                                      mandymoo Jan 22, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                      +1

                                                                                                                                                      Drives me bonkers when they say something like "the fish is done perfectly but I don't like fruit in my salsa...." and then they dock the dish for it.

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                                                                                                                                                        rccola Jan 22, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Especially if THEY provided the fruit.

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                                                                                                                                                          mandymoo Jan 22, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Absolutely!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rccola
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                                                                                                                                                        2roadsdiverge Jan 23, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if a contestant could customize the dish for the different judges. It would be cool to say "I envisioned this dish with raw onions, but for Scott Conant I caramelized them."

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                                                                                                                          paulj Jan 23, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Last night (Champions #2) an app. ingredient was 'tokyo onions', a large green onion. One contestant sliced the white part to serve as is on his dish, but tried to brown the green tops. He ended up using the white part, but not the green. I didn't hear a peep from Scott on the matter. However in one shot it looked as though the chef had added something to the whites, maybe some vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                          My sense is that if one judge dislikes an ingredient or use, but the others do, the likes can easily override the one dislike. The edited comments don't necessarily give us an accurate picture of how the judges are voting. I give most credence to the comments made when the chopped dish is revealed.

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                                                                                                                                                Brad Ballinger Dec 27, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                As far as the dead, dying, or sick relative... I don't fault the contestants. And I don't think anyone who has posted thus far does either. I blame the formulaic producers for it. They probably "look" for a story that will define each contestant, and then coach the contestant to play it up. Dead loved one, check. Arrogant bastard, check. Struggling business owner, check. Etc, etc, etc. "What? You're just someone who likes to cook and would like $10,000 just because? No, no, no. We gotta find some angle we can play up."

                                                                                                                                                To me, though, all of that is a minor part. I enjoy the challenge of putting together the ingredients into something palatable or even outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                If I'm annoyed by anything with the judges, it's Amanda's anxiety or Alex's dramatic defeatism that someone is not going to finish. Also annoying, although to a lesser degree, is Mark or Geoffrey (sometimes others, but usually these two) saying, "C'mon; finish your plates guys."

                                                                                                                                                Topping all of it, though, is the ungracious loser. The person who blames the judges. The person who can't handle feedback and argues or cuts down someone else's food while at the chopping block. Again, I realize some of that may be coached. But that bugs me more than anything else.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Brad Ballinger
                                                                                                                                                  Midknight Dec 31, 2012 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I find those contestants the most entertaining (to laugh at). I don't recall anyone's names but there was one contestant who, after being chopped, said to one of the judges (male, white, clean shaven) "I'll see you in the parking lot" and tried to laugh it off.
                                                                                                                                                  The judge just looked at him in shock and replied "What? Did you just threaten me?"

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                                                                                                                                                  juliasqueezer Dec 27, 2012 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Two things sprang immediately to mind when I saw this title, and you covered the main one: dead relatives. It always reminds me of how little television has changed over the decades. Giving away my age, maybe, but I remember coming home from school and sitting with my grandma, watching "Queen for a Day" on the old black and white Sylvania. The woman with the biggest sob story won a new washing machine. Little seems to have changed.

                                                                                                                                                  My other irritation with Chopped will again give my age away, but why can't they get some decent lighting on that show? I can barely see some of the preparation and facial expressions with such low, "dramatic" lighting.

                                                                                                                                                  Bah humbug, eh?

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliasqueezer
                                                                                                                                                    melpy Jan 7, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                    It is a fairly well lit show except when the dish is in the black background.

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                                                                                                                                                    Violatp Dec 26, 2012 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I gave up on it after I getting excessively irritated at the judges acting like it was so easy... Any dummy could put together chewing gum, oysters, soy sauce, and canned fruit cocktail into a gourmet delicacy in twenty minutes!

                                                                                                                                                    I always wanted them to at least somewhat acknowledge how ridiculous some of those combos were.

                                                                                                                                                    23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                      roxlet Dec 27, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                      And what I particularly dislike about the judges is that they seem so annoyed and irritated that the contestant didn't make better use of the tutti frutti bubble gum when making sauteed scallops or some such. For me, it's the cooking show of last resort.

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                                                                                                                                                        Violatp Dec 27, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Have they ever done an episode where the judges did the cooking?

                                                                                                                                                        Not that I'd trust it, I'd guess, considering it would be all figured out beforehand what they'd do.

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                                                                                                                                                          Waquoit Dec 27, 2012 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                          They have in fact. Most of they comment about how hard it is.

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                                                                                                                                                            Violatp Dec 27, 2012 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Good! It is hard!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                            Bob W Dec 29, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Last night we actually watched a few episodes of the Chopped All-Stars competition and one of the preliminary rounds featured four judges -- Murphy, Santos, Samuelsson, and Guarnischelli. There were some very tough ingredients. Not easy at all.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                            The judges' jobs are to be hard on the contestants. Where would the "edginess" these so-called "reality" shows depend on be if it wasn't for the forced harshness of the judges? You do realize that a lot of what they say is loosely scripted and they are steered in certain directions to produce dramatic outcomes.

                                                                                                                                                            Also, isn't the big prize something like $10,000? I'd take a judge being annoyed and irritated with me for a day if I knew I could win all that money.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                              roxlet Dec 28, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Having spent 25 years producing television, I have a pretty good idea about how these shows are produced, and what is scripted and what is not.

                                                                                                                                                              I have no problem with a judge being harsh in his or her criticism; what I have a problem with the TONE of the criticism, which I find to be, as I mentioned above, annoyed and irritated.

                                                                                                                                                              As far as anyone taking the annoyance and irritation of the judges for a $10,000 prize, that's fine. As I said, this is the cooking show of last resort for me, and I rarely watch it for the reasons I stated above. I know that it is a relatively highly rated show for cable, so there is obviously an audience for it, but I am simply not part of it. Moreover, I was reacting to the OP remarking on the irritating aspects of the show.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I linked on to your reply, but I was in turn reacting to you reacting to the OP. It's called a discourse. It's all good.
                                                                                                                                                                btw...how on earth would I know that you have 25 years producing television behind you?

                                                                                                                                                                edited

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Dec 28, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  You wouldn't know, unless you'd read other threads where I'd mentioned it, so that's why I mentioned it again.

                                                                                                                                                                  But I also thought your tone was a bit condescending, to tell the truth. ("You do realize that a lot of what they say is loosely scripted and they are steered in certain directions to produce dramatic outcomes.")

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                    ttoommyy Dec 28, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Not meant to be condescending at all; just informative. I apologize.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet Dec 28, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Apology accepted.

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                                                                                                                                                              wincountrygirl Jan 9, 2013 04:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                              You hit the nail on the head - the judges are always so irritated. It is their job, after all. I really don't like this show and the judges are one of the reasons!

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                              CindyJ Dec 27, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                              But remember, the judges' "reward" is that they get to eat all of those horrendous concoctions.

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                                                                                                                                                                Violatp Dec 27, 2012 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                hahahahaha - excellent point!

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                                                                                                                                                                  Puffin3 Dec 27, 2012 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, but do they? I guessing not. Sure there will be a one second shot of a judge cutting into something and maybe putting the fork near his/her mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3
                                                                                                                                                                    LurkerDan Dec 27, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    You really think the judges do not taste the food?

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                                    Bob W Dec 29, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    If something is really bad, they don't finish it. But they certainly have to taste all of them. How else could they judge food?

                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                                                                    Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 01:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    You funny!..... And don't forget TVP! That would make a GREAT mystery ingredient! (Textured Vegetable Protein)

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                                                                                                                                                                      rccola Jan 15, 2013 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      It makes delicious chili and meatloaf. Lighter than beef.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                                                                        Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Well..... as it IS a great protein substitute, I don't think it's actually 'delicious'! It's suitable... I was a vegan for a short while and had myself convinced TVP was the next best thing to buttered bread. But nothing can replace MEAT!
                                                                                                                                                                        Glory day 2-U

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                                                                                                                                                                          rccola Jan 15, 2013 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I lived in high country CO and was vegetarian. Made chili with TVP and everyone accused me of using meat. Kids loved meatloaf with TVP more than with beef. Admittedly, there was a huge amount of ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rccola
                                                                                                                                                                            Rammfantasy Jan 15, 2013 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I am glad you were able to cover-up the TVP in a way that your family and friends could enjoy the healthy benefits! I for one, also use it by soaking it in diluted beef or chicken broth and then feed it to my dogs! They haven't mentioned if they can tell the difference... cats got their tonque!

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                                                                                                                                                                              rccola Jan 16, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, maybe I'm a more inventive cook---for humans. =)

                                                                                                                                                                  4. twyst Dec 26, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    "1. I for one am tired of "contestants with a dead relative" and all the tearing up as if that means they should win. Everybody's got someone who was old enough to die, even if it's grandma or grandpa."

                                                                                                                                                                    hahahaha Someone I work with is going to film an episode of chopped next month and I told him the same thing. I made sure to tell him not to be "that guy"

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twyst
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                                                                                                                                                                      libgirl2 Dec 26, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      That is pretty funny and I agree it is irritating.

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                                                                                                                                                                      foodieX2 Dec 26, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I for one do not care about the show that much to worry about what's fair or not fair. It is so greatly edited you don't see a half it.

                                                                                                                                                                      I enjoy it for the pure entertainment factor. I don't consider it any more fair or real than any other "reality" television show.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                                                                        paulj Dec 26, 2012 10:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I read someplace that it takes about 11 hrs to shoot one episode of Chopped - and they try to accomplish that in one working day.

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                                                                                                                                                                          rccola Dec 28, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I know it's greatly edited and I watch it for entertainment. Repetition is NOT entertaining.

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