Posts Tagged ‘BBC2’

Masterchef. Full fat review

February 5, 2008


I fucking love Masterchef. I really do.

I hated the two presenters for years – making the show completely unwatchable – until, by chance, I caught sight of the bald barrowboy eating some pudding.

It was something about the way the food went into his mouth, the pause, the slow removal of the fork upwards and then the tentative chew that grabbed my attention. It was like peering into the very reaches of his soul. Then, like magic, his eyes lit up like limelight and grew to the size of Alan’s big plate. He began to moan softly, rhythmically, speech still evading him.

‘He’s going to ejaculate!’ I ruminated, frozen to the spot. Finally he spoke.

‘I like you’, he said to the plate and the contestant, ‘Oh! I do like you!’

The other bloke took some time to warm to, with his frog-like mouth and scowl he can flay a contestant with nothing more than an acid stare and condescending mutter, reducing a person to tears with a sardonically raised eyebrow, but if he likes the food every light in the world comes on. It’s fucking well-weird. Now I think he’s ace.

Masterchef is schadenfreude for foodies. In certain respect the dishes take a backseat, acting as a catalyst for the drama that is instantly realised from the opening titles. Chefs-to-be stand there looking visibly petrified while the two hosts bark out the rules without a shred of compassion; they don’t care if the cunts actually die right there on the spot. They walk among them like The Gestapo in a ghetto, jabbing at ingredients and interrogating them like sub human scum. Recipes are stuttered into the apparent which they deride with sarcasm and barely concealed hate.

The psychological pressure continues when contestants are verbally strapped down and beaten with demands on their loyalty to the food führer… ‘do you want this? Do you? Svinehund!’

But this is the genius of Masterchef, as the wheat is separated form the chaff we’re presented with genuine talent, those who overcome the pressure and prepare remarkable food that melts the hearts of the staff. Praise and encouragement appear in the equation, lifting the spirits -smiles appear, warmth emenates from the screen and all seems good in the world.

 Ahhhh, that’s better. I fill up.

But it’s not better. Someone has been naughty. The presentation of the grilled kneecap with bat-foreskin and regurgitated puy lentils in a faecal broth has made one of them angry. Very angry. The contestant starts to cry, the barrow-boy tastes, his face darkens like a thunderstorm approaching the Serengeti.

‘No, no no, this is wrong, very wrong’.

Now it’s frog-face’s turn. Wordlessly he turns and spits the food from his face like it’s a tramp’s turd picked off a dead pig.

‘I’m not eating that’ he says, his eyes glittering with death.

Puffy-eyed and red-faced, the contestant awaits their fate. Justice isn’t swift – they’re all made to stand in line for what seems like an age before being dismissed, cast out in the street like the food-killing fuckers they are…

Then again it switches. In the chaos a victor rises from the ashes. That one! I always knew it would be you! In the triumph of adversity one shall stand tall. The Staff applaud, they have been pleased, I too am at home sobbing for joy, I’m so happy. For once the barrow and the frog are like us. They have emotions, after all – are we not all mortal? Struggling with the baked bean can of life? Wrestling with the peel-off bit on top of the Pringles tube of existence. Are we not ONE?

Yes, until tomorrow that is, until tomorrow when some cunt decides to cook salmon with raspberry jam.

Dragons’ Den – 16/10/07

October 16, 2007

Bannatyne - 80s ICON 

Dragons’ Den returned to BBC2 last night, having seemingly not been offered the upgrade to a BBC1 slot that the Apprentice took, bizarrely. It’s as good as Alan Sugar’s  job interview / assault course and also offers an altogether more tangible reward. Where Sugar offers a year of working on some lame electronic gizmo from the 80s, the Dragons offer cash and their ‘expertise’ (which is probably corporate-code for constant pressure and irritating daily phone calls demanding to know where the profits have gone).

But it’s hard to deny that, from time-to-time, a few dreams have come true. The other day in Sainsburys I noticed some Reggae Sauce in the sauce section. Obviously, I didn’t buy any, but someone might do, one day. And that means cash in Levi Roots’ pocket – and he deserves it because he’s a lovely bloke. Well – he has a nice smile and can play the guitar. To be honest, as far as we know he could be a serial granny-fiddler, but let us give him the benefit of the doubt.

Other winners from past series included that grinning smugstrel who sold broadband to yacht owners (the very thought of it makes me feel like a down-and-out tramp) and that slick publishing gimp who  wanted to start the ‘executive magazine’ called ‘Wonderland’. How I scoffed at the time. How I paled when I saw three or four of his glossy pamphlets in my local newsagent and off licence. Seems Peter Jones‘ gamble paid off on that one.

Ah. Peter Jones. There’s that name – it had to come up as he is, let’s face it, the pantomime villain of the piece. Obviously untarnished by the complete failure of his ITV Apprentice rip off, Tycoon, he’s still the lanky streak of expensive piss you remember, all apple-cheeks and scowls with that mop of boyish hair and a face only a blind mother could love. Last night the awful toff made a point of saying, to some chaps trying to sell a dating website,  ‘I don’t have any trouble with dates as I’m incredibly good looking, and I’m wealthy’. Wrong on at least one count there, Jonesy.

He’s not the only one with a misconceived notion of their own beauty. Bannatyne, the bequiffed Scot of the group is becoming increasingly similar in appearance to Tony Hadley, lead singer of Spandau Ballet. He looks like his dressing room is situated two decades away, what with the slick Martin Kemp back-comb and the loosened skinny tie. It’s not a good look for a man who looks like a dead baby chick that’s fallen out of a nest, that’s for sure.

These two self-love experts actually cast the other three Dragons in a more sympathetic light. That is, at least, until Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden round on some unsuspecting victim and tear him to shreds, like Mickey and Mallory Knox in pinstripe. I swear those two misfits are having a passionate affair. I see visions of their lovemaking in my most torrid nightmares. Last night Duncan Bannatyne joined them (not in a threeway shag, thankfully, but in a bullying) as they gave a chef a kicking for having a ‘ridiculous pink quiff’. Ironically, had he died that quiff brown, his look wouldn’t have been a million miles from Duncan’s own.

Typically, the first batch of money went to a couple, clearly already from a wealthy background. Because they were well spoken, presentable, had a decent idea and would clearly jump through hoops, Peter Jones flattered them almost to the point of fellatio and cunnilingus until they broke down sobbing, with no choice but to submit to his slimy fawning.

The other handout went to a deserving young fellow who was looking to franchise a gold-plating machine. A solid idea, at first highly criticised by Duncan B and Theo ‘The Loverman’ P, but then bought into by new Dragon, James Caan – a high flier from the Recruitment industry. This new Dragon is a lot more ruthless than the softly-spoken Aussie he replaces and is fast becoming a silent-assassin type. In the first pitch of his Dragon career, he broke the heart of a David Beckham lookalike. But he rounded the show off with a shrewd deal. Good editing to place that particular pitch at the end of show one as it establishes Caan as a proper Dragon immediately, rather than have him look like a spare prick at a wedding for the rest of the series.

Terrible people, decent television.