Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good Eats 10th Anniversary Special was a Bomb



 In my opinion, as a longstanding Good Eats fan, the 10th Anniversary show really bombed.  There, I said it.  At the first commercial break I turned it off and let the DVR record the rest for later viewing.  In fact, I watched the This Old House Hour instead.  I even managed to dig up an old picture on the internet of Alton Brown sponsoring Miller Lite to relive his first bomb.

OK, now that that's out of my system, how was the show.  From its inception I thought the live show sounded like a lot of fun and would have loved to go.  And from what I've heard from comments here, the live show was indeed a blast.  But when I found out the 10th Anniversary TV special was just going to be the taping of the live show I started to wonder.  The more I thought about it the less it sounded like a good idea and it was with trepidation that watched the show that may go down in history as the moment Alton Brown jumped the shark.  Fortunately, the real Good Eats series should escape unscathed from this low moment.  So, why was the show so bad?

There was not nearly enough Good Eats in the TV version.  With so many great characters, costumes, and themes you'd think they could fill an entire hour just dedicated to these aspects.  But no, instead we had to watch the little game show for which the premise was strange and the contestant lineup even stranger.  The constant cuts to the crowd laughing also seemed a bit out of context for a Good Eats show.  An anonymous fan said it reminded him/her of the 'creepy over-clapping of an Emeril Lagasse live show.'  That sounds about right to me and one of the things that makes Good Eats stand apart.  Good Eats is about the show and not centered around Alton; he just becomes part of it all.  Finally, the ending fell a bit flat for the TV audience and it seemed odd that when the cast and family members came out at the end there wasn't a good shot of everybody just lots of silly string flying around.  But it wasn't all bad.

There were a few things I liked. The first thing that comes to mind was seeing Alton's 'sister' Marsha in the act.  I enjoyed the early shows with her and have been hoping AB writes her into a new episode soon.  I also think Ted Allen was the perfect choice for a co-host.  They looked like a geeky Dynamic Duo on stage and something worth working into a Good Eats epsiode.  And, well, I guess that's all I can think of in terms of enjoyable moments.

Personally, I think Good Eats deserved a budget to put together a real 1 hour special in their own studio.  Something akin to the Behind the Eats special which, while shot in a live theme, was filled with good writing and covered so much more about the show.  Maybe next time Alton.  The new Man Food show made up for it on Monday night.


11 comments:

Jiunwei said...

I totally agree with your assessement! The show as definitely cringe-inducing. I would have much preferred a "behind the scenes" style show, where we got to know more about the people involved, how it's produced, outtakes, etc.

That said, I still love the show!

J. Benjamin said...

OMG! I am glad I wasn't the only one who thought it was boring. I actually fell asleep during the game show and my DVR wasn't set so I have yet to see the end but it doesn't seem like it's worth tracking down anyways. I felt bad that I disliked it so much that I didn't want to say anything. I am considering going to his book signing on Sunday in Austin. I hope he doesn't ask what I thought of the 10th anniversary show.

Jessica said...

My family and I drove from Washington D.C. to attend the live show in Atlanta and we had a blast! We were in the second row and laughed our butts off for THREE HOURS. So I'm amazed at how they managed to turn such a fun event into an hour-long suckfest. Seriously - the Good Eats characters were there and did interviews with Ted, Alton came out as The Colonel, they talked about the band -- why did none of the good stuff get on the air? Very upset, but hopefully they'll be uncut performances on the Season 10 DVD?

amanda said...

I enjoyed the show up until the pancake thing at the end. That lost it for me. Otherwise I laughed a lot. I love Ted.

sethmcd said...

My first impression of the special was that Alton was piloting a new food network late night talk show. Alton, please don't try to go up against Letterman or Leno. You just don't have the chops. The show was awkward, unprofessional, and boring. I'll try not to let this affect my appreciation for everything else you do on Food Network.

Anonymous said...

Yuck. Ted Allen. Say no more.

Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed it, but it sure does sound like we viewers missed the bulk of the good stuff. I thought it was entertaining, personally. Still, like was mentioned, maybe the uncut version will be on DVD sometime.

reddot said...

Ted Allen really bores and bothers me. He always seems like he's yelling. Plus, Chopped so totally sucks, as did his "food science" show that seemingly got canceled.

I've only watched the first part of the special, and so far it's not that special.

Steve said...

Good Eats did indeed deserve better. I was expecting a clip show of his favorite scenes and outtakes and whatnot. Sounds like the live show was a great time for those lucky enough to be there but the translation to TV fell flat.

tiggergirl19 said...

I thought that it was good, because it was in front of people and you got the reaction of what he wanted from the different things that he was doing on stage. The coolest thing that I think that he did on the show, because he did it on Jimmy Fallon's show, was the smoothie with the extiegusher(sp?), because he had turned into a cooking tool for one thing. The pancake cake was a little strange, but the frosting was awsome.

Yeah, its Me said...

We knew it was going to be one of those "you had to be there to really appreciate it" moments. And while the game show was LAME, the music was rockin' (thanks, Patrick!) and it was fun to see Ted and AB together in the interview sequence. I actually didn't like Marsha in the way they brought her back - it was too forced to me. In talking to a lot of the folks who went, it was clear this was much better in person than they could do on TV. I, too, hope they do a fuller/uncut version on a dvd in the future.