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To paraphrase some poet or English dude, I apologize for the long piece about The Food Network, but I didn’t have enough time to write a short one. Now to the meat.

BEAT BOBBY FLAY is the most annoying television show I watch. Two chefs compete; two judges decide which of the pair is good enough to compete against famous chef guy Bobby Flay. The winner of round one decides what he/she and Flay will cook. They cook. Then, since the previous judges know who cooked what and don’t want to prejudice the results, three NEW judges come in and taste the dishes, and decide which is the better; only then do they learn if they gave the prize to Famous Cook Person Bobby F or some dude with a tattoo cuz like tats are radical.

While a bit cumbersome with two judges being around for most of the show even though their judging was done at the halfway point, it’s an interesting concept. Too bad the producers take this fine sirloin of junk TV and after careful preparation pour rancid raspberry jelly all over it.

What am I talking about?

The laugh track.

A laugh track. On a cooking show.

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“Hi, Bobby.” (laughs)

The judges say ANYTHING, and the audience, chained in place in the darkness above the studio floor, ROAR as if it’s the most freakin’ hilarious, Oscar-Wilde-level wit evah.

“I’m comin’ over there.” Audience applauds.

“How you doin’, Bobby, feelin’ some pressure?” Audience WHOAH!’s

“You doing okay?” “Yeah, why don’t you check the other guy?” Audience WOO HOO’s!

I’m old enough to remember something called the Arsenio Hall Show (I’m not proud of that) which started the whole Badass Audience Response trend. Hard to believe that tradition is being kept alive on cable TV.

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Yep, She WENT THERE!-type comment in 3…2…

The show is smeared with laughter. Not ONE MINUTE goes buy without sweetening of the audio track. I refuse to believe that’s actual sound.

You really owe it to yourself to check out this show. It’s local access cable-level awful. And yet I like it, because the white cis male usually wins, entirely on merit. Yep, I went there!