So after only 3 episodes NBC’s The Chopping Block is getting the axe. For any poor soul who actually sat through a full 45 minute episode of this complete tragedy of a TV show, this comes as no surprise. Because I love TV shows that involve food (or anything that involves food, really), I actually watched all three in the hopes that perhaps this would improve over time and hit its stride. But no, it just continued to be pretty much some of the worst reality TV I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot.
So how exactly did a reality cooking show fail? First of all, there was the set-up. Pairs of 2 friends or family members formed two larger teams that each had a restaurant. Across the street from one another, these restaurants would compete every week in a challenge, be judged by a secret critic who would dine at each, and then one of the pairs on the losing team would get the axe by Marco Pierre White. Not only could I have cooked anything better than a lot of the “chefs” on the show, but no one was even interesting to watch. Usually a few people emerge in a reality TV show who just add entertainment value. But no Stephen or Marcel (both of Top Chef fame) existed; the contestants were untalented and uninteresting. Furthermore, most of them were complete wimps. They would complain that cooking with fresh produce picked out of Central Park was too hard, and a lame excuse for a “harsh judging” would have people leaving in tears. I honestly wanted to smack them.
But the worst part of this show was the host, Marco Pierre White. Hailed as a world-renowned chef who once made Gordon Ramsay cry, I was expecting him to be mean, loud and massively entertaining. Instead he was conceited and annoying, and by the end of each episode I wanted to take an axe to the screen just to make him go away. He never raised his voice, but rather looks down on the contestants with scorn and contempt. Often he is shown lounging in a chair reflecting on the goings-on in the show, but he does so in a completely egotistical way. If he wanted to go the route of disapproval when interacting with the contestants (as opposed to Ramsay’s fiery blow-ups or Colicchio’s curious interest), he should have been more personable in his confession-like sessions, because as a viewer I just ended up hating him. Perhaps he could have cracked a joke now or then, or maybe even shown an emotion other than scorn. He’s basically completely obsessed with himself. No wonder he and Ramsay no longer speak!
Normally the prospect of a cooking show being canceled would upset me to no end. But in this case all I can say is Thank God!