Pop Attention Span

Trying to keep up with the zeitgeist

What killed The Chopping Block?

Even if you hadn’t watched it, I’m sure that (if you heard of it) you knew that NBC’s latest attempt at a reality cooking competition (remember Celebrity Cooking Showdown?) The Chopping Block was an utter trainwreck of a show.

The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley has a theory to why the show failed and, well, it makes me wonder about her ability to judge the format:

As anyone who has watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Top Chef” or “Iron Chef America” knows, cooking shows are no more about food than talk shows are about conversation. Chef competitions, in particular, showcase personality and pressure cooker brinkmanship — boiling stockpots and roiling tempers. Success depends on the charisma of the star, the chemistry (preferably bad) of judges and contestants and, above all, timing.

Now, there may be a delicate balance at work on Top Chef when it comes to focusing on food or personality but food is a definite part of it. Top Chef is the kind of show people watch and walk away hungry. Viewers want to be wowed by the food so that they can dream of visiting their favorite cheftestants’ restaurants or just try some of the recipes at the Top Chef website. That’s why producers switched from open auditions to recruiting the cast in the third season. Continue reading


April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off on What killed The Chopping Block?