Dear Food Network…

cameraman.jpgDear Food Network,

Quit zooming in so much. Please. You’re making me seasick. Do you think it makes cooking more exciting? Is that your philosophy? I’m trying to understand. Really. Barefoot Contessa. Giada DeLaurentis. Even Alton Brown. You guys zoom in so tightly on a bunch of parsley getting chopped that I can almost see the molecular bonds torn asunder. Must we?

ig1005_coq_au_vin_e.jpgDon’t get me wrong. My whole family enjoys your shows. Yeah, too many vegetables for my tastes, and I’m not so sure about cumin. But even my kids tune in. It’s a family affair. My daughter fetched some toy pots and pans from her game room, and then insisted that we rewind the Barefoot Contessa’s tantalizing coq-au-vin so she could follow along.

But when you go in for the tight shot of boiling water, I want to turn it away. The luscious and ever-entertaining Julia Child proved “It’s the cooking, stupid,” or maybe, “It’s the personality, stupid.” Whatever “it” is, it is NOT the cinematography. I’m not watching the nature channel.

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Did your producers just graduate from camera school? Is the tight zoom a new fad? If so, Lord let this fad fade fast.

barefoot_contessa.jpgIna Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) made the coq au vin last week for her husband on their 39th anniversary. We like you just for that, Ina–for 39 years of marriage. Ina, will you please move into our neighborhood and invite us to your dinners? Giada too, but you use too much fish and eggplant for my tastes. Paula Deen stirs my hillbilly loins. More butter, please.

But your shows are hard to watch. I read a book once about making films and they warned against zooming in and out and against really tight zooms. I blame you for my mal de barquement. Besides, plumbing the depths of Alton Brown’s nose pores is nobody’s idea of appetizing.

Thanks for listening,

Bill

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7 thoughts on “Dear Food Network…

  1. We agree, but probably not for the same reasons.

    I want a screen full of Giada,
    Not a bowl full of chowdah.
    I want more Rachel Ray,
    Much less Bobby Flay.
    I DON’T MEAN TO HOLLAH
    BUT GIVE ME MORE PAULA.
    (I don’t know wah,
    I just love her pah)
    I don’t need Emeril’s essence,
    It can’t match the Barefoot’s Contessance.
    You may want to go BAM on my head.
    My eyes just want to be fed.
    You may watch it to cook.
    I watch it to look.

  2. Matt: Excellent! essence/contessence?!?! I bow to the master!

    Bill: I agree. BFC’s show is nauseating. I get seasick watching it. Alton Brown? That actually IS molecular level cinema. The other ones…I don’t notice the visual style, so much.

  3. Top 5 Hottest Chefs on Food Network:

    #1 Giada – Duh!
    #2 Cat Cora – She MAKES Iron Chef for me
    #3 Rachel Ray – I just wish she’d stop raising her eyebrows so much
    #4 Sandra Lee – can’t stand her show, but she’s beautiful
    #5 Ellie Krieger – never has short hair looked so good

    Honorable Mention to:
    Paula Dean – Ok… so… not hot in the traditional sense, but she’s so sensual!
    Nigella Lawson – LOVE the accent!!!

    also, I have a HUGE crush on Mary Alice from Ace of Cakes!

    Funny… I’ve never noticed the camera work….

  4. I totally agree. Those closeups are nauseating to watch, and just completely unnecessary. There’s even some article on the food network site where the producers explain how they film each episode twice or three times – one from a normal perspective, and one where they film everything super close up (beauty shots, they call it). And it’s not only those closeups, but the fast edits and the “hovering” effect they seem to achieve with the cameras – add to that the annoying background music and you have the makings of a bad porn film.

    But hey, I guess they call it food porn for a reason, right?

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