Newest Review: ... or a chef in to prepare some of the meals, the producers of the show do not seem to care about this however as it is the persons own ... more
Come Rummage Through My Knicker Drawer!
Come Dine With Me
Member Name: flutel
Come Dine With Me
Advantages: Anthropologically funny
Disadvantages: Looking at meat.
I have come to be quite a fan of this programme - despite being a vegan! I think this is because the real action of the series comes from the human interaction rather than prolonged close-ups of food (meat) preparation.
How it works
This is a series built around dinner party etiquette and behaviour. The idea is that four strangers are brought together for a week - each attending all of the others dinner parties. After each dinner party they are invited to vote on their experience - awarding marks out of ten whilst in a taxi on the way home. At the final dinner party - when the last votes are cast - the host of that party gets to announce the winner and runner-ups. The winner wins £1000 (and gloats).
The marks that they give are not usually for just the food alone; the whole ambience of the event is usually voted for. However, if the food is really terrible (which it often is) this can override all other considerations.
A programme generally concentrates on each contestant's dinner party - their menu choice, preparation and their cooking technique (or non-technique) and any other entertaining snippet. The comedy element in the programme is provided in the form of the commentary which is narrated over the action, hinting at future disaster and drawing the viewer's attention to mistakes and idiosyncacies.
As the week progresses, the view gets to know all of the contestants quite well. I also like to watch the programmes back to back on a weekend.
Why is each programme entertaining?
From an anthropological point of view, I think this series is fascinating viewing. I am quite a curious (nosey?) person - so I enjoy looking around other people's houses etc. This programme gives a curious person so much more.
Whilst each host is putting the finishing touches to their meal, the other guests are invited to snoop around their host's house. I like this because it legitimises what house guests often do in secret (rifle through medicine cabinets, sneak a peep in other rooms on the way up to the bathroom). Guests are often shown rummaging in knicker drawers and discussing the contents in ribald fashion.
Also, the guests chosen to compliment each dinner party are often those who may clash and the viewer is a spectator to various clashes - which are mostly fuelled by copious quantities of wine. If guests do get on, there is sometimes unwise flirting and boisterous behaviour.
Now and again, there is a Celebrity Come Dine With Me set of programmes and we get to take a peep at a domestic slice of their life. I very much enjoyed watching Julia Bradbury get totally trashed at her own dinner party and become raucous to the extreme. I felt I saw her in a different light - a great contrast to her rather controlled presentation on various programmes. However, I must note that I went off her again when I saw her recently shoot and eat a pheasant on 'Countryfile'.
The meals that are prepared are like a Joe Bloggs' attempt at fine dining - so there are often some horrific platefuls. Couple this with the usual fussy eater and there is generally some gagging or vicious slagging-off of the cuisine.
I do not usually tune in to these programmes on purpose - but usually find them when I am flicking about on my tv. Often there is a programme on at tea time and I sit and view whilst eating on my knee (yes, I do this too often in the winter). I often offer helpful comments to the narrator's commentary which my partner seems to enjoy hugely (not).
After watching one of these programmes, I am generally cheered so think that it is a silly but worthwhile bit of reality tv.
Summary: People-at-leisure watching