One in 4 million?

Like 4 million other Aussies, I was glued to my screen on Sunday evening as Adam (who, may I brag, I picked as my winner about a month ago) came up trumps against Callum. Most often I like to pretend that I am above this popular stuff. After all, I must be cool enough to watch shows that haven’t even been created yet, right? This series I have been hook-line-sinker.
Last year I couldn’t watch the final. It felt a little too contrived & I get particularly frustrated by the sophmoric ways they try & build tension through endless repetition & the competitors commentating on their own actions, like they are somehow living the moment & watching the moment at the same time, but this year I thought the final was well weighted, different enough to keep me interested & (despite my early prediction) had enough “real” tension for me to ignore the way channel 10 insulted me with their child-like production.

Today though, I thought I heard an interesting question while listening to ABC radio. Richard Glover asked “do you really think the show will change food habits, or is this just the perfect thing for people to watch while eating fast food?”

I have to admit, I’ve eaten large servings of ice cream while watching “The Biggest Loser“, and on more than one occasion, I have eaten dodgy comfort food (though, mum, if you’re reading, you’ll be happy to hear we rarely if ever eat fast food these days) while watching Masterchef. Have I attempted any of these high-falutin’ recipies? No. Has it changed my attitude to food? Yes, I still think it has. It is exciting to see how far things can be taken. It’s great to see people with basic ingredients delivering amazing meals. It’s a nice challenge to make me ask whether I am being more thoughtful with my food? And who knows, maybe one day I will even have a decent crack at a recipe or two.

What do you think? Has Masterchef changed the way you look at food?

(To my American friends, particularly foodies like Megan, if you still read my blog, you can follow the link to Masterchef & watch full episodes online. Not only would it be fun to watch Australian TV, but man, there is some great food in this show!)

10 thoughts on “One in 4 million?

  1. I don’t watch commercial television. It’s all ABC, SBS or Austar for me, when I’m not watching British television on DVD. Until I went to Mim’s I had never seen an episode of Masterchef and knew only what I learned from the Sydney Morning Herald and Phil’s facebook updates. I watched two episodes at Mim’s and I confess that I rather wish I could have those two hours back. I was shocked to discover that it was on six nights a week and found those two shows contrived, manipulative and repetitive beyond belief. I didn’t enjoy it and have not the slightest interest in watching it when it comes up again but I do think that people are more interested in food as a result of the show. Children are getting into cooking and different ingredients and look at what Phil made! Did you know that Adriano Zumbo is a Coonamble boy?

  2. Yeah, I remember hearing that about Zumbo.

    Look, it is manipulative & can be annoying, but OH, the food, the wonderful food. It made me forgive all those other annoying aspects!

  3. I loved it. I really did. It might have been contrived and manipulative. But I allowed myself to be treated as a child and manipulated so that was fine with me.

    For me it was more than about the food. We saw people. And even though they remained in the background, the life stories were really interesting. Callum’s in particular was fascinating.

    I am the cook in our family. And I learnt some techniques from the show that I’ve already begun to use in my own cooking.

    I lost all interest when the losers came back. But when it came down to just Claire, Adam and Callum I was hooked again.

    Don’t you cook Tim? Shame on you!

  4. Must say, Tim DOES cook, and well.

    I felt very much the same as Amy, but when I arrive in Melbourne to help with the gorgeous twins, I got hooked along with the rest of this family – but saying that, I only watched the last week – didn’t learn any cooking tips, but it was gripping viewing anyway and I was amazed at the standard of food that appeared to be cooked (without the benefit of tasting it!). I don’t think it would change peoples eating habits, but MAY make them cook more, and be more adventurous in what they tackle.

  5. It’s always nice when your mum comes to your defense!

    Don’t worry, Bainy, I cook around 50% of the time in our family. I love it, but am more of a simple food person. I get stressed by fiddly things & struggle because I don’t like to make a mess & don’t like having so many “processes” that I can no longer clean as I go!

  6. I loved it and will watch the next series (the kids!) and see how the next MasterChef goes as well. Amy’s viewing habits always make me feel so lowbrow but I’m happy to admit that I get sucked in by the hype etc. More than that though, with MasterChef, I have learned new techniques. I don’t profess to be half the cook that Amy and Anne are and so there is a lot for me to learn. The food these “amateur” cooks prepare is nothing short of amazing and it has definitely expanded my thinking (and some practice) about cooking.

  7. Hey Kristin,
    Don’t let Amy psych you out. Just remember, the only difference between you and her is that she is a bigger sucker for an English Accent & a bit of period costume. The High/lowbrow thing is all a bit of a crank in the end, as far as I’m concerned. Surely the purpose of TV is to manipulate your emotions & to make you feel like you’ve been on a journey of some kind. The nature of Masterchef type stuff is that it almost has to be a little transparent. Let’s face it, to appeal to over 5 million people on the final night, there has to be something there for all “brows” of people.

  8. My taste isn’t highbrow Kristin, it’s old lady, so don’t be intimidated and don’t feel the need to drift to the ABC until you reach the over 55s like me 😉 Not that there is anything wrong with over 55…..Mum and Dad. I don’t watch commercial TV because I’d have to change remotes.

  9. Forget which brow you relate to! We all have our interests, Amy – you’re ageing prematurely and the thought of changing remotes is only something I thought we have to grapple with. I watched some of Masterchef, and got involved in the last week – lets just agree it’s “Light entertainment” and that if the younger generations get involved and start to take an interest in “real” food then it has achieved something good.

  10. Tim, I am guilty of dodgy comfort food during MasterChef too!!
    Amy, I know what to get you for Christmas, a universal remote!
    😛

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