Food TV may have hit an all-time low with Famous Food, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop churning more lips and assholes through its grinder.
To wit, the Food Network has just announced that on August 14, it’s bringing back The Great Food Truck Race for a second season. Although you’d be forgiven for thinking the “race” will refer to the attempts of New York’s truck drivers to outrun the cops, the show will instead follow eight trucks from across the country as they attempt to impress Tyler Florence enough to win $100,000. Korilla BBQ will rep New York in a battle that is weighted heavily in favor of California, which is represented by no less than five trucks.
Regardless of how bad Famous Food is, The Great Food Truck Race‘s repeat performance illustrates, as the Los Angeles Times notes, how “a deluge of programming has shifted the [food-show] genre toward full-fledged participation in the reality-TV era.” Amateur cook-off competitions, culinary adventures, and a myriad of dessert-based shows “have indelibly changed the way we look at food, helping to usher in a new generation of enthusiasts.”
But does increased culinary-school enrollment and a greater national familiarity with foie gras mean that “foodertainment” is a good thing? Or has it put foodie culture in a tawdry tailspin? Food TV sell-out authority Rocco DiSpirito feels there’s nothing wrong with “trying to inspire people to be creative in the kitchen.” On the other hand, there’s something very wrong with trying to inspire people to watch their lifelong dreams go up in smoke.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 11, 2011