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Comfort Food TV!
Anyone who is unemployed, a parent at home or simply bored on their week off may have flicked through the cable channels and stumbled upon Man V Food. If you could describe what classic daytime TV is you would say Man V Food is exactly that. The depressed and the unemployed love their comfort food and TV and this show is the flashing neon sign of gluttony of a wasted life. But, like its junk food topic, its truly is a guilty pleasure.
The premise is as likeably as the portly host, an American chap called Adam Reichmann, who travels around the US sampling the nation's best junk food and toughest eats, be it spicy, huge or just darn bonkers plates, coming with a side order of 'type two diabetes', as Charlie Brooker quips in his brilliant Guardian column (see below). Adam will munch the hottest, biggest and stupidest servings you have ever seen to win the challenge of Man V Food! Americans like their servings big and responsible for 25% of the world's greenhouse gases through that greedy over consumption, why most of them are extremely fat. The American beef heard alone produces one tenth of the worlds CO2 with most of it ending up on Adams plate.
As I say Adam is a likable and typically loud New Jersey boy and the stomach to match. He is a genuinely good eater and often wins the restaurant challenges in front of baying locals. For his efforts he gets a T-Shirt and a hit TV series. If he wins then he declares 'Man' wins and if he fails then 'Food' wins, hence Man V Food, currently 48/38 in food challenges to Man. So far he has attempted just one food world record on the show by attempting to eat a 190 pound burger and fries - with the help of a 40 man roller hockey team and their friends, falling just 30lbs of beef short.
There have also been many spin-offs since the original success of Man V Food on the American cable Travel Channel in 2008 with Adam allowing members of the public to do the challenges or just a general celebration of America's fast food obsession. In 2012 he announced his retirement from the show and eating and as no real reason was given its presumed four years off fast food has been rather bad for the big man.
As with most of Americas reality TV the host is not as dumb as the audience he seeks and so the joke on them. Reichmann has a college degree in International Business and a Drama and Performance Masters Degree from Yale, his first jobs being bit part acting in TV shows. As self proclaimed and educated food fanatic he claims to have worked his way up through the food industry to the position of expert, presumably flipping burgers (or paddies, as they call the buns in the trade) between acting jobs.
The show is about extreme gluttony and some sniffy food critics didn't like that much, especially when one third of the planet are literally dyeing to have that much food in front of them. The difference to everyday Americans is Reichmann works out between the series and only puts the weight back on during the 12 week filming. That's generally not the case for the customers of these places. As we know with Americans the biggest fast food company of all employs a clown to promote their business to get kids addicted and so the nation's biggest addiction isn't going away fast. Fast food is huge - literally - in the US and they love it and so why wouldn't they want a TV show or two about it?
The food on the show, especially the huge chunks of cow and pork BBQ, look seriously scrummy and it does give you an appetite to raid the biscuit tin, presumably the point of the show. The hot challenges are the funniest as restaurateurs pile on the jalapeño spice pepper extract to make Adam sweat like the Food Minster when its revealed this week that Shergar and most of the race horses we ever bet on did indeed end up in the food chain. Generally it is a quantity or hot hot hot food challenge each week and Adam sets about it with great vigor, and for some reason you route for him and its highly entertaining. But, after a while, the shows tend to be repeats and pop up on four or five channels and your love affair with Adam and his 'big food' tires, leaving only one lingering memory. Just how big are his poo's after forcing a seven pound heffer down his throat!
Charlie Brooker's article!
= = = Critic = = =
Charlie Brooker, "If food is the new porn, this is an all-out orgy between wobbling guts and farmyard animals - a snuff orgy, no less, since the latter end up sawn in half and smothered in BBQ sauce".
Alton Brown - 'Man v. Food ' is "disgusting. That show is about gluttony, and gluttony is wrong. It's wasteful. Think about people that are starving to death and think about that show. I think it's an embarrassment."
In the Star-Ledger - "It ain't deep, and it certainly ain't healthy (I could feel my arteries clog just from watching), but its fun."
Man V food, is a show that my husband stumbled across whilst channel surfing a while back. Being aired on the travel channel (249) Since then, It has become a household favourite and a show which we all watch avidly together. I have to admit, that while I find this show quite intresting, I often watch the show with my eyes half closed as it an be quite nauseous inducing.
The show follows American food enthusiast, Adam Richman around American eating joints. The aim of the show is for Adam to visit these eating establishments and find out about the food they serve and what the customers think of the food. Then he will take part in an eating challenge related to that particular eaterie. For instance, if he is in a burger joint they will bring him their Belly buster 2 stone burger with everything you can think of included. The burger comes to the table and is the size of a mountain and Adam has to eat this burger and fries and a full salad in order to gain a certificate and his name on that eaterie's wall of fame.
The series sees Adam going from resteraunt to restaraunt trying a variety of different foods. However all have a common theme they are huge, fatty and full of calories. The aim of the show is to find which resteraunt serves the biggest, craziest portions and if Adam can rise to the challenge of scoffing the lot.
Throughout the series, I have witnessed Adam richman sampling a pizza the size of a table, a portion of the worlds hottest buffalo wings, five litres of thick milkshake and lots lots more.
While I find Adam Richman a really fun and larger than life character. I have to say I find the show repulsive. I just think it is a show about gluttony and It turns my stomach. However, my daughter and husband think it is ace and even sky plus it to make sure they don't miss an episode. This show, I feel, is not about cooking but more about portions and over eating. In a world where too many people are suffering form obesity, I find it crazy that this show is being aired at all.
However, this show is very popular in America. Adam Richman has become a household name and a huge celebrity. I can actually see why Richman is so popular. He has charisma in bucket loads and a great wit. I love his confidence and feel he is a great showman. He is also rather pleasing on the eye which is never a bad thing.
In conclusion, if you are into seeing great American style diners serving huge (and I mean HUGE) portions of differing greasy foods, then this is for you. If however you are looking for a culinary show with sophistication then this will not be the show for you. It is brash and shows over excessive eating to the point of vomitting. It is not pretty.
I think this show sends out the wrong message that it is cool to eat loads of unhealthy food in huge portions. I have to say, I think this is wrong. I feel that when you have watched one of these shows, you have seen them all. It is the same format every time with just a different fast food being used. I found I became very bored very quickly with this show. I feel it promotes greed, I watch the show in amazement that Adam Richman hasn't keeled over with a heart attack.
Saying that, as I mentioned before my husband loves this show. I think there is indeed something very masculine surrounding it's format A challenge to see if your man enough to eat a 72oz steak! I have found myself screaming Grow up at the screen before now. Surely food should be about the ingredients and the source of the product and the recipes not watching a caveman dood stuffing his greasy face with steak. gross!!!