Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Will Work For Food

So what if Adam Gertler didn't win on last season's "The Next Food Network Star"? The Food Network gave him his own show, "Will Work For Food," anyway. And, in my opinion, Gertler should have won in the first place, and not "Big Daddy," Aaron McCargo, Jr.

I don't know if this past Sunday's show was the first of the season (the show was originally announced back in the summer but I hadn't heard of it until a commercial last week), and yesterday was the first time I'd seen an episode, thanks to my DVR.

There's no comparison between "Will Work For Food" and "Big Daddy's House." McCargo's cooking show is spliced together strangely (too many takes, I'm guessing?) and he still tends to mumble and say odd things that, really, say nothing about the food. (I only watched a few minutes of "Big Daddy," but that was more than enough). Gertler's show is more about what happens before a person can get cooking; More of a "Dirty Jobs" kind of show, if you will.

The trickiness of any show like this, is that it depends on learning a job from someone who is hopefully interesting and entertaining, like Adam.

In the first segment, Gertler joined the crew of a lobster boat and learned how to reel in lobster cages, measure a lobster, and rubber band the crustacean's claws. The work was interesting, but the man in charge of the lobster boat was not. As Adam asked questions of him, it was like pulling teeth. Adam, with his quirky personality, and his talk of feeling green could only do so much. Lesson for writing? All of your characters need to be fleshed out or have a distinctive personality. You can't have one character take over, for he feeds and works off the other players around him. The captain of the lobster boat did have one redeeming moment, though. "Where's your lobster bib?" Adam asked as they sat down to enjoy their catch at the end of the day. The captain responded, "Real lobster men don't wear bibs."

The second half of the show really picked up, definitely in part because of the beekeepers that were training Adam. While Adam was decked out in a full beekeeper suit (in 100+ degree weather, no less), the professionals only wore headgear, not even bothering to use gloves, saying that they slowed them down. They explained how to smoke the bees before handling the hives as well as the different kinds of honey bees - the queen bee, workers, and the drones (who don't sting). To demonstrate that the drones really don't sting, they shoved one into Adam's suit. Awesome.

Adam's random, offbeat humor makes this non-cooking show enjoyable. Let's just hope his "employers" keep entertaining as well. But no matter what, Adam Gertler has me as a fan.

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