...Food Network, Guy Fieri & Reality TV

*Disclaimer: Rant ahead.  Take it with a grain of salt and a sense of humour*

So I kind of debated whether to write this post, just because it is a little Negative Nancy.    However, seeing Guy Fieri host yet another "cook off" style show really pushed me over the edge.  I admit I am not one that enjoys Fieri whether he is devouring food that matches the colour of his hair or showing you how to make a "pig patty".  Granted, my opinion is just that, my opinion, but I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who thinks this.  Even before the homophobia scandal appeared in the tabloids, I knew there was something about Fieri that was kind of well- off putting.  So what's wrong with Fieri hosting a cooking competition style show?  Well, its Fieri and yet another reality TV style show.  With celebrities.  On Food Network.

I guess it's not so much Fieri's fault as it is Food Network Canada.  I remember when Food Network actually had Cooking Shows, with people who showed you How to Make Food.  Currently, the large majority of shows (on Food Network Canada) are reality TV style and not so good ones either.  Take for example, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that runs Monday to Friday from 8-9 pm.  Another Guy Fieri dig, I know, but if you look at the schedule, there is absolutely no proper cooking shows after 8:00 pm.  Which is when we get the time to sit down and watch some television.  What about the PVR you say?  Well, we're limited to re-runs of former greats like Jamie at Home, Chuck's Day Off and Michael Smith.  I am pretty certain I've seen the episodes of Jamie at Home at least 3 times.  I will say though, Chef Michael's Kitchen is a good addition, and not a re-run.  Who remembers quality cooking shows like Tyler's Ultimate, Essence of Emeril, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, David Rocco's Dolce Vita, Alton Brown's Good Eats, French Food at Home with Laura Calder or even The Delicious Miss Dahl?  

Is Food Network really getting higher ratings with reality based shows?  Or are good hosts refusing to make cooking shows?  Either way, they are losing the viewers who enjoy watching professional cooking rather than watching people eat or amateurs cook food in various panicked states.  Let's go beyond cooking shows for a minute.  There has got to be more angles Food Network can take rather than repeating the same concept over and over again.  We're talking quality TV programming here, which Food Network has begun to lack over the last couple of years.  We are contemplating getting rid of our "lifestyle" channel package since Food Network was our main reason to get it.  Granted, Travel and Escape has a few good shows, but now that Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations is over, what more is there?


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