Every time we go to visit my relatives, we get sucked into the Cable TV Zone.
You think I'm kidding.
Sure, my son isn't going to be immune to this phenomenon. He's a kid, for goodness' sake, and he's as incapable of turning down the opportunity to watch lots of SpongeBob as the next seven-year-old...but my husband and I are grown people, capable of refraining from eating bread and any other foods with leavening in them (our personal favorite being the mustard that has no mustard seed in it) during the seven-eight days of Passover. Surely we can stay the hell away from my grandparents' hundred-plus channel boob tube.
Umm, no, we can't.
We must take in some MythBusters, first off. Even the little guy'll refrain from watching a sea sponge that lives in a pineapple for that one.
We saw a commercial that described our recent ordeal with Entergy to a tee...a little girl asks her father for a treat and he whips out a doll that looks just like him and pulls a string, after which the doll explains in Daddy's voice that he can't do anything about her request, which must be made between 9:30 AM and 4 PM Monday thru Thursday. So nice of our electric company to turn off our electricity on Good Friday and then have the gall to be closed on Saturday and Sunday. My grandpa was jumping up and down over a list of the richest people in the world that appeared in the tabloid paper he reads regularly, and we figured the CEO of Entergy was on there somewhere, skimping on customer service to fill the company's coffers.
And then, after we witnessed Bobby Flay winning a biscuit throwdown, we beheld our new favorite show on FoodTV. Nowhere else can one behold as many cooking disasters, listen to so many chefs kvetch about each other, about the curveballs thrown to them by the ingredients supplied to them with each course (one eventual winner complained about how much she hated the black-eyed peas she had to cook; another chef had never cooked crab before and had no idea what to do with it), and about the paltry amount of time allotted to cook or the tools that they brought to the show, and nowhere else - not even Iron Chef America - has as many brutally honest critics of the food served, of the people cooking it and serving it, and the cooking techniques employed (or the lack thereof). A sampling of what a chef has to go through to win $10 grand on the show:
Iron Chef seems positively too easy after all that, in a way. They only have to deal with one secret ingredient. Besides, we felt that the Iron Chef Battle Basil we saw shortly after the Chopped episodes was fixed in favor of Michael Symon anyhow. The Italian challenger wuz robbed.