MasterChef is hugely popular television but is it all just narcissistic dross? I take aim at Wallace and Torode.
Twitter has many uses for me; its a great tool with which to whore yourself, its brilliant for engaging in pointless slanging matches with idiots and its an unrivalled platform for pointless pun-a-thons. More recently, it has become an arena for some fast-paced commentary to piss poor telly. Those that know me will agree I have little truck with today’s modern talent shows or ones fronted by tradespeople. Yet strangely I find myself as a commentator on two shows that by rights I would rather sandpaper my nipples than watch: X-Factor and Masterchef. My excuse? My loathing of both these programs brings out the funny in me and in doing so, I seem to amuse those sat at home who are also saddened by themselves. Its a collective catharsis.
I won’t mention X-Factor again because its unseasonal. We are currently in the televisual hinterland betwixt Fucktor and Britain’s Got Tossers, a time when Masterchef strides like a limp colossus across the BBC1 schedule. There’s gaps that need filling and it seems like the Scheduling gibbons at the Beeb have gone mental with the Sharpie and the Sasco Wallplanner. Its on ALL THE TIME.
Lets begin with Gregg Wallace. He’s a fruit and veg seller that has hit the medium time. The fact he resembles many of the products he used to sell doesn’t really bother me. People like him, I am told, because he’s a man of the people, a saaarf Londoner with the common touch. Oh he’s got that all right, but he lacks pazzazz and is sorely limited by his stunted vocabulary. Everything is ‘laaaarverly’ as he rapturously pushes another overloaded spoonful of some sugary delight into his cake hole. So Wallace is the delivery man, what of Torode? Well, he is the chef. He used to cook on This Morning back in the day of Dicky and Wobbly, so he knows his arse from his onions. But there is something dead behind the eyes about John. Once he seemed alive, plumped up and vital like a newly risen soufflé; now he is deflated and lifeless, like an old man’s nutsac.
Chiefly, my problem is its self satisfaction. If we had smell-o-vision then this show would wreak of smugness. I don’t know what odour that is but I would put it somewhere between a beef Pot Noodle and the recently cooked-on-the-show (and I shit you not) venison and haggis bon-bons. I’ve had enough of the constant insistence on creating drama for every moment, as the almost filthy phone-stalker voice declares, ‘Suki’s panacotta is showing signs it hasn’t set properly’, I find myself in the position of not giving one iota of a fuck. I hate also the repetitive and inane Torode/Wallace questioning; ‘Do you think you can go all the way?’ or ‘How much do you want to win this competition?’ I yearn for one sweaty faced chef to look them both in the eye and say ‘not a lot to be honest. I’m only here for a bet, really don’t give a monkeys!’ High on my list of the show’s irritations is the constant bed of urgent library music and the end of show ‘winners reveal’ where we are treated to a heavy dollop of something as acrid as a Coldplay or Keane instrumental. This is the musical equivalent of the fingers down the throat at the end of a meal.
But there is something dead behind the eyes about John. Once he seemed alive, plumped up and vital like a newly risen soufflé; now he is deflated and lifeless, like an old man’s nutsac.
I will tell you what I hate most about Masterchef. I hate the fact that the contestants want to be chefs. With ‘Masterchef – The Professionals’ (sadly no Bodie or Doyle), I hate the fact the chefs want to be Michelin starred über chefs. Now before you all assume I hate chefs, I don’t. What I hate is this culture where the job of chef has now reached exalted heights, where they have become almost mythical creatures; half man/half Moulinex mixer. Just listen to the way people in their employ address them; its nauseating. Listen to a kitchen in full flight, the constant cacophany of pots, pans, cutlery, oven doors is broken by the compliant cries of ‘YES CHEF!!!’. Even customers do it when we don’t have to. I’ve seen friends of mine obsequiously address them, post meal, ‘ooooh yes chef, you were on fine form this evening, chef’. I can think of only one other job where the job is so revered that their title is referred to constantly. That is in the medical world where Doctors and Nurses are addressed as thus and that is absolutely fine with me because they are saving lives not making ice cream and smearing their special jus over a medley of meats. If a plumber came to my house to fix a toilet cistern and brought with him an apprentice it would be risible to hear him address his boss ‘yes plumber….no problem plumber’ and if I did it, it would rightly be regarded as condescending ‘thank you, plumber, I will post you the cheque, plumber.’
Masterchef blows smoke up the collective arseholes of all chefs. Its pomposity and delusions of grandeur repeatedly make my blood boil like the big pan of oil I keep on the back burner in case I need to pour it over my privates to remind myself that I am still alive and shouldn’t be watching Masterchef. But please feel welcome to join in the ranting with @stevefurst pretty much any day of the week as its ALWAYS ON!!