Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Hungry Detective Canceled
Well, those of us over on the Good Eats Fan Page(GEFP) forums found out late last night that the Food Network is not ordering a second season of the Hungry Detective. We'll be sad to see such a good show disappear.
Why was it a good show? Chris Cognac is a great guy and his personality comes through on the show. He's a regular Joe, a local cop, and I think he can easily connect with a majority of the audience. He even takes the time to chat with people on forums and likes to hear what people think of his show. With just a few messages in the GEFP forum I feel like this guy is one of my friends; somebody I can joke around with or meet for a beer or three.
The style of the series is familiar: a host goes around to different cities and highlights some of their local foods. What makes the Hungry Detective different is that he makes an effort to find where the locals eat. Not the uppity fashionable locals, but the everyday people who work and live and eat in their own town. Chris' show is also not used as a blatant marketing promotion for boutique eateries as we see on the Dean Boys show every week. There is no sit-down session detailing each item and how you can order it online. No, Chris seeks out locals and asks them what they like and even sits down to eat with them and makes them a part of his show. If you ever wanted to visit a town and experience it as the locals do, then Chris Cognac is the guy you want to ask.
Why is it not being renewed? Well, for starters Chris isn't beautiful or trendy. I don't mean that in a bad way at all; I mean it in aFoodTV sort of way. Chris looks like most of America and speaks to you as if you are a friend of his. Apparently that is not fashionable lately. No, fans clamour for a giant head with a permanent smile or some Southern boys who can't find their way around a grocery store. Chris seems to be too 'normal' for Food Network. That makes me sad because I really enjoyed the Hungry Detective.
Where to go from here? All hope is not lost for Chris. The Hungry Detective may just be another stepping stone to build on his career as a food reviewer. His local restaurant reviews for the Daily Breeze are the core of his work and this was a branch out from there. His appearance on Feasting on Asphalt also drew rave reviews from the Alton Brown camp. What next? Possibly more side work for the Food Network? Or possibly even work with the Travel Channel. Now there's a network that seems to value the opinion of a regular guy. Take a look at AnthonyBourdain, John Ratzenberger, or Mark DeCarlo. I can see Chris fitting right in with those guys more than in the Food Network lineup.
Visit Chris Cognac's Website and drop him a line!