Weekend Watch List: Angry Cooks! Angry Judges!

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home this weekend and pledge to do your taxes, only to put it off another week because THE GUBMINT WILL NOT GIT YER MONEY ONE DAY EARLY, DANGIT! LET’S GO!


This is the official series premiere, even though an hour of it also aired on Sunday, so your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, I watched that first hour, and I have a couple of quick observations.

First of all, it’s fun to watch Oliver be somewhat diplomatic with all the old, dumb, and stubborn lunchladies when both he knows and you know they’re a bunch of old, dumb, and stubborn lunchladies. Secondly, ABC producers clearly asked Jamie to take the Gordon Ramsay approach of swearing and trying to bully people. That works with Ramsay. It doesn’t work with Oliver, who’s much more appealing when he’s just his normal, easygoing self.

I was also surprised at how preachy Oliver was on the show. Segment after segment, it was just, “This is gonna kill you, America,” and, “I’m here to start a revolution.” Wouldn’t it have served Oliver better to just say, “Hi, I’m Jamie Oliver. I heard you guys were the unhealthiest town in the universe. I thought I could possibly help. If you don’t care for it, no problem.” Instead, there’s just this relentless strain to MAKE A DIFFERENCE that it all rings terribly hollow.

The point of this show needs to be simple: When you cook food yourself, using simple and fresh ingredients, you will be healthier, happier, and you will, in time, actually enjoy what you eat more. That’s the message, but right now, it’s getting lost. Oh, and after seeing those fatties in Huntington gorge themselves to death, I totally take away all my liberal views on health care. PAY YOUR OWN WAY, TUBBIES! ANTICIPATION: FAT TEARS!

CHOPPED – 8:00PM Friday (Food Network)

I love it on this show when the chefs prepare something, bring it to the judges, and then one of the judges professes a hatred of a certain ingredient. Scott Conant will say, “I strongly dislike raw red onions.” Then he’ll just GLARE at the contestant. For minutes at a time. Like the guy was supposed to know! What, does he have ESP? He doesn’t know all your bizarre food hang-ups, Conant. He’s just trying to put together something edible in five seconds using coconut milk, chicken feet, and gun powder. Cut him some slack. ANTICIPATION: MARK BITTMAN RULES

FAWLTY TOWERS – 10:56PM Saturday (PBS)

Unfamiliar with the greatest sitcom in TV history? Get on it. ANTICIPATION: BLOODY HELL!

LIFE – 9:00PM Sunday (Discovery)

Oh, man. Look at that venus flytrap. That is amazing. ANTICIPATION: LIKE, THE MAJESTY OF NATURE


Crazy Ty helps a family replace a single wide trailer. And I think you know what that means: DOUBLE WIDE! WOOHOO! WE’RE LIVIN’ THE HIGH LIFE NOW, BABY! Extra long clotheslines for all! ANTICIPATION: FIX THE CAMPER TOO!

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