The food reality TV shows are well underway for the year with MasterChef Couples on TVNZ and The Great Food Race on TV3.
I’m recording both, and I’m hooked.
MasterChef, I boldly claimed in a previous post, would not last the distance, but has because the creators have banged together a couples format; some of the pairings obvious – and some fairly anomalous. James and Glynn are the latter.
Usually in this show, the judges are the stars: Simon is the king at the feast table; ruddy, warm and all-embracing. Ray is ever the aesthete and also a really great food critic. Firm, fair and always right. They’ve also introduced a wonderful gong sound for when plated results meet with Ray’s displeasure.
Oh dear. Baaaaad oyster.
It echoes through the hills or pop-up market like a portent of death.
Josh is harder to place. He seems a little at odds with his role and is both strict and stringent. He’s the one up everyone’s Khyber Pass getting them to scrub the benches while in the middle of a many-process component for a meal. They just want him to leave as he fusses like a Home Economics teacher.
But the two real stars this time are the unlikely duo who seem to hover at the back of the class like naughty ‘at risk’ students. This is where they are best suited in the kitchen – for now.
While all of the studious ‘yes’ people listen and nod vigorously at the judges’ know-how, James and Glynn are at the back like two kids sent out of class to be placed in ‘shadow’ of another for being naughty. They don’t nod. They pull inexplicable faces that are difficult to unpack. Anti-establishment comes to mind.
In one very funny scene , they burn their bread slices, leaving the tray out on the bench. Josh, who has an eagle-eye for a misplaced crumb swoops in to ask “Whose are these?”
Glynn, muttering: “I don’t know. We just found them”.
I am very much hoping that this duo stay for at least another week. By the look of their Facebook page though, it sounds like it’s nearly all over, as Glynn refers to himself as a “Mullet Fucker”, due to the shambles of a crust he made in a fish challenge.
Over on Tv3 The Great Food Race is taking off, quite literally, as couples are now entering the international stage of the game.
So far, some couples have had to cook up fancy dinners for Lorenzo and Leonardo Bresolin of Wellington eateries fame. The last time I saw these two was as teenagers waiting in their father Remiro’s wonderful il Casino. What a night. These cats, I am sure, know how to create a dining experience.
Apart from Leonardo’s shirts and Lorenzo’s moustache, the other star host is Zoe Marshall. She is friendly and doesn’t spout platitudes, which is refreshing. She can ad lib, too.
Couples run, paddle and drive places to find ingredients to make meals under what are peddled as grim and trying circumstances, and there’s a lot of obvious arranging of difficulties which turn out great. Melissa and James get a free ride into Akaroa with a local farmer after blowing their entire budget on a taxi. Phew, thank goodness!
In this show, Aaron and Dan are very watchable in the throes of their bromance. They must have got married to sisters and are now stuck together – and they love it. Don’t mention Japan!
So why are these shows so watchable?
They just are. I know that statement is not exactly observational napalm, but they involve New Zealanders rather than Australians and we probably relate to these people in some way. Or maybe we just enjoy a bit of people watching? Does it have to be so complex?
It actually doesn’t. So book them up and watch them.