Masterchef has always been a mystery to me. I watch it comulsivley with a visual gluttony that must have added ten pounds of beef to my brainbox and yet i am never sure why it has this effect on me.
I am a lover of food it is true and like most of the target audience i have a frying pan that has seen little more then some burgers and bacon yet it hangs on the wall dreaming of sizzling horse buttock and lamb wrist.
So i suppose i watch the show whilst eating my heart kicking fry ups as a way to trick myself and imagine that my burnt baked beans are some three star dollop of greatness.
A food show should ideally make tthe food the star as masterchef tries to do by having close up shots of shiny pyramids of meat and veg whilst light techno music drones away in the background. There's truely nothing as great to a food-a-holic as a bowl of pasta being nudged by a camera lense as 'can you feel it?' by the jackson five plays over the top.
In masterchef though the undoubted stars of the show are the reactions of the judges. Their facial muscles can contort into a symphony of orgasmic delight or tortured fever depending on how many minuites the young man with the droopy eyelids left the fish under the grill for.
Whilst some food shows are content with food porn masterchef takes the fetishisation of food into the realm of erotic art. The punters who turn up to showcase their skills are yet another mystery to me. How can someone possibly love food as much as they seem to? Beyond it seems even their own wellbeing or mental health?
I have heard of food as being fuel, comfort, gastro masterbation, aphrodisiac and, after a night on the town, a miracle medicenol cure but what is this? Food as the sole pinacle of human achievment? Can this sweaty body of flesh, bone and blood aspire towards nothing greater then raising the humble teacake towards gastronomic perfection? Not according to some of the chefs.
It is nice to see so many real people on television. Real in the sense of there's nothing else
they could be on, the fact that the camera spends most of the time on their hands and the entrails, diced fish heads and bloody knives that they hold tells us that these grusome objects have more asthetic value then the faces of the people holding them.
I watched as one young man told Michel Rue of his dream of opening his own resterant and i thought 'well you'd better learn how to shut your mouth when you breath before you dream of opening anything else.'
Harsh as i can be when engrossed in watching television i do empathise with the plight of these poor souls when their deluded dreams are cracked like a rotten egg on the hard edge of reality. They put so much heart and soul into the not so simple act of cooking only to be told 'your pasta is too thick' which they take as a personal insult much as if the chef had said 'your eyes are too close together and your dry complxion made me want to heave up my breakfast and heart
medication even though i might suffer a cardiac arrest without them, i would welcolm death over the thought of having to eat one more spoonful of your so called spaghetti. Child, tho hast sinned!'
All in all there is enougth tension, drama, passion and sizzle to make this show the perfect appertiser to your own evening meal. Just remember that without food you will die but don't take eating all that seriously. Eating is just the nessecery yet gruelling foundation to the later rather more satisfying poo.