Corner Café

January 2, 2016

Cutthroat Kitchen

Filed under: Miscellaneous & TV Shows — SeaDragon @ 6:00 pm
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Cutthroat Kitchen

Happy New Year to all! Another year, another beginning, this is my first post for 2016…
Now that we have a 24-hour free-to-air food channel with the arrival of SBS’ Food Network (SBSFN) a couple of months ago, I have to say it has been quite a disappointment. Maybe that’s the reason I have never been interested in pay-tv (although SBSFN in on free-to-air here, it is still a copy of pay-tv program schedule), you pay for contents but in the end you still have to endure through all the commercials and advertisements like the free-to-air commercial channels, and how much of those contents 24 hours per day you actually want to watch?
For a channel that’s dedicated 24 hours on food, I found myself NOT watching a lot of their dull American cooking shows, well, except Good Eats which is very informative albeit sometimes way too scientific (it felt like we need a laboratory to cook, LOL) – I think I’ve been spoilt by SBS’ own home-grown cooking shows from our Aussie cooks and chefs which are much more interesting and educational in terms of cuisines and travels – instead the reality related shows like The Great Food Truck Race, Holiday Baking Championship and Guy’s Grocery Games are the few shows that I enjoy watching, but I am staying far away from Chopped, Kitchen Inferno, Iron Chef America (I loved the original Japanese Iron Chef which did not take itself too seriously, especially the commentaries which were always hilarious…) and the likes which I thoroughly loathed. See the connection? I like my reality shows light-hearted, fun, and not taking itself too seriously! So I have been anticipating the arrival of Cutthroat Kitchen which will make its debut on Monday, January 4, 2016, at 7:30pm on SBS Food Network (Channel 33).
However, looking at the TV guide, it looks like SBSFN is going to start from season 7 with the first episode of “Whatchoo Taco’ing About, Alton?” which was shown originally in the US in February 2015. From the promos that SBSFN has been showing, it feels like it will be more a reality/game show hybrid with hopefully good-natured ribbing/sabotage between the contestants. Keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t disappoint…

vs arashi


Running Man Australia Adventure

Running Man

Running Man China

Hurry Up, Brother

Speaking of game shows, what happened to this genre? I am not referring to the current obsession with quiz game shows on TV, but physical game shows like It’s a Knockout from years ago. It seems only Asian TV are still making these shows, but not western countries, which is a shame. I’ve been enjoying Vs. Arashi (VS嵐) from Japan on SBS2 the past year or so (love, love, love their games like “Kicking Sniper”, “Giant Crash”, “Bound Hockey”… LOL), and currently the first-airing of the 3-episode arc of Korean Running Man (런닝맨) ‘s Australian Adventure Special which is on Sunday at about 5:45/5:50pm on SBS2 (LOL, the Australian SBS – Special Broadcasting Service, not Seoul Broadcasting System which made Running Man, I got quite confused when I did a search online…), first episode went to air last Sunday. I have to admit I’ve never heard of Running Man until SBS ran promo for it last month, and after learning more about it online, was very surprised to learn it has been a big hit in many East Asian countries. China has even made its own version called Hurry Up, Brother (奔跑吧兄弟) since 2014. Incidentally, Chinese Running Man has also been filming in Australia in late November, 2015. Yes, I’ve been living under a rock!!! That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of the original last week, so will definitely watch episodes 2 and 3. Hopefully SBS2 will air all the other seasons/episodes of Running Man, maybe even the Chinese version as well, in the future!

Australia’s addiction to gastroporn will peak in 2016

Update January 4, 2016: OK, just finished watching the first episode of Cutthroat Kitchen. I’ll give it a 7/10.
First of all, why does it feel like almost all the shows from Food Network (FN) are just rinse-and-recycle format? Most of the reality format shows on FN are nearly same-all, same-all – two or three rounds of contest in each episode, eliminate one contestant (or someone if it is a contestant against a resident chef) after each round, and voilà, a winner???
I just felt in Cutthroat Kitchen, they should have played it in the spirit of the “friendly” sabotage, that there should not be any eliminations, and all 4 contestants play through all the rounds, and the winner is the one who wins the most rounds or most successful in all three rounds, say awarding 4 points to the best dish, 3 points for the next best, and so on – the point leaderboard does not necessary have to be revealed to the contestants until the final round is played, but showed it to the TV audience in editing so we can keep track. It just did not feel right to judge all dishes on equal footing, when there are dishes being cooked with handicaps, and then eliminate someone with that! I don’t know, maybe the loser of the earlier rounds automatically get sabotaged in the next subsequent round, so at least they have a chance of revenge later since they are the one with the most money left, instead of being eliminated unceremoniously by a single sabotage. Don’t we all love a comeuppance in reality shows?
I also found the contestants played the game too seriously which really kills the cheekiness of sabotage… Compared to Guy’s Grocery Games (GGG), Cutthroat Kitchen is well below par, GGG does it so much better with contestants who actually get the joke of the show with all those twists that Guy heaped on them. Again, what’s the deal with FN, it is almost always chefs who are the contestants, why not home cooks??? I think home cooks would play it much better as they don’t have their professional reputation on the line. Also I am getting sick of to-camera commentaries which is now the obligatory feature of all reality TV, I don’t think it is needed here as the “slandering” of other contestants in the to-camera pieces looked very forced and unnatural, I cringed every time they did that…
In addition, why are they concentrating on the cooking part, spending way too much time in editing on the contestants explaining what they are cooking??? The whole point of “sabotage” is to see more of how the sabotaged contestants handled their handicaps… I watch this show not to learn how to cook those dishes, but to enjoy the concept of this show!!! That said, I really like the sabotages themselves, the last round of shopping, and cooking on a slowwwwwww mobility scooter was just too hilarious… I will watch the show again, but sadly it won’t be a must-watch…

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