TVFNWhen the food television network began, it was like a haven to those of us who flip through stations in the hopes of stumbling upon an overhead shot of a saucepan bubbling away. At first we reveled in it. Eventually, it went the way of everything else that starts out good...it went commercial. A few things caught on and TVFN went into overdrive to overexpose those things. This overexposure is what causes the contempt expressed toward TVFN.
To have an entire TV station dedicated to food gives us a broad canvas on which to work, but if we cover it in one, single color - it becomes boring. For instance, I contacted Food TV with ideas (none to make $, just things I'd like to see as a viewer).
Food Related Diversity in Programming
Why not run shows like Chef! from the BBC network; or foodie movies like Babette's Feast and Like Water For Chocolate?? All the better if they could be run with limited or no commercials. God knows we're interested in them! Perhaps run those during prime time when people may not be all that interested in how-to programming.
The Emeril show tanked on network for one simple reason: He's not an actor. How about commissioning a TV series exclusive to the TVFN using actors (the acting schools are FULL of them...available for cheap). Um, this actor should definitely know how to wield his or her knife. Close ups of real hands working, etc. Instead of developing another cooking show in a kitchen, how about a series profiling the life of an up and coming chef including all the abuse from senior chefs, paying dues, being a hero in the kitchen, etc.? Start it when the chef is in cooking school, looking for direction. Does no one at the Food Network have imagination? We all know that a chef's life includes more than kitchen time...It might be interesting to see what happens the other 2.5 hours (just kidding).
I do like the coverage of food events and holiday/ethnic concentrations. I believe more could be done in the vein of healthier eating. Targeting locales by highlighting their food attractions (B&B's, foods native to the area), is definitely working.
They did attempt an exercise show early on which was absolutely GOD AWFUL. Perfect example of "it worked on paper."
Emeril started out as a modern embassador to the kitchen (much like Julia Child in the 60's and 70's), and despite his obvious talent and ability to open/run/succeed at restaurants, he has become a terrible joke. (Sort of like Martha Stewart with her parodies, etc.) He's eventually going to fall to Earth like all once shining stars. Emeril has every right to declare out loud: "The Television Food Network made me/destroyed my career." He's felt both sides of that sword. He's suffering from overkill, like a top 40 song you like the first 750 times you hear it.
As far as "cooking real or like on the food network," that sounds like sour grapes. If someone offered a show to the person who said that, they couldn't sign on the dotted line fast enough. It's human nature to want to be acknowledged for what you do well. To have that acknowledgement done right is a whole other animal.
On the positive side, Iron Chef has a cult following!
Sarah Moulton taught at Peter Kump, the school I attended. Nick Malgeri is a frequent face (and reference) on the TVFN, and he's still the Dean of Pastry @ Kump. PLENTY of extremely talented knowledgeable people cook on the TVFN. With some food-related entertainment as well as the how-to shows, maybe more people would gravitate to TVFN as a prime time option.
Food is sex for the stomach.
Food is sex for the stomach.