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The Five Worst Food Network Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 14th 2010 10:00AM
Food NetworkWe can all agree that Food Network has changed over the years, right? What was once a network filled with shows that taught you how to cook (oh, I still miss Sara Moulton's 'Cooking Live' so, so much) has turned into a channel with more competition and reality shows than shows that teach you anything.

Sure, there are still many shows on the network that show you how to create a meal -- '30 Minute Meals,' 'The Barefoot Contessa,' 'Everyday Italian' and others -- but the other shows get all the attention. There's a lot of great stuff on Food Network (as Allison Waldman noted in her list of 10 best Food Network shows), but also a lot of terrible stuff.

Here are my choices for the very worst of the worst shows on Food Network. I'm not sure what you might be surprised by more though, what is included on the list or a certain show that isn't.

1. 'Ten Dollar Dinners.' The problem with this show from 'The Next Food Network Star' winner Melissa d'Arabian isn't that the food she makes looks bad, but that it seems the same as 20 other shows on the air right now. This wasn't exactly the type of show that d'Arabian envisioned when she was on 'The Next Food Network Star,' and the result is something that is really ordinary and boring.

I also question the whole concept of the show. People are facing hard economic times right now, but it seems like a lot of meals a family consumes are already under this amount and d'Arabian isn't really telling us anything we can't figure out on our own. And sometimes it seems like she goes over 10 bucks.

Oh, and here's a great game you can play. Whenever d'Arabian mentions France or her husband, you get a point. If she mentions both of them -- and she will, probably within the first two minutes of the show -- you get a bonus!

Here's the promo for the show. Does this make you want to watch it?

2. 'Dinner: Impossible.' This whole show just seems like one big gimmick. Now, a gimmick can be good, but this one puts host Robert Irvine in situations that seem epic and "impossible," but there's a lot more scripting and plotted "drama" than there needs to be. Besides, I'm more interested in the cooking when it comes to a cooking show and this show really isn't about that. It's about cooking for 800 people at once.

It's great that the show often does this for charity or other deserving folks, but it's all just too much.

3. 'Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.' What the heck is this show even supposed to be? The title makes you think you're going to learn some incredibly cool tips and tricks from an experienced restaurant chef that you can use in your home. A show based on that concept would be fun and different. But there's very little of that -- this is just a very, very ordinary cooking show.

And then there's the host. I think Anne Burrell is trying to compete with other Food Network hosts in pure annoyance. When she isn't jumping up and down about the food she makes and moving her hands around and saying "mmm-mmm-mmm," she's doing this low growl thing that is supposed to ... well, I don't know what it's supposed to do. It comes out of nowhere and seems really fake. And if it's not fake, it's one of the weirdest things on TV right now.

Here's Burrell making...a sandwich:

4. 'Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.' This show follows several chefs from a Beverly Hills catering company. Yes, it's just as exciting as that description sounds. I can't imagine that people tuning into Food Network would care about how chefs cook for wealthy people in Beverly Hills. It's way too much reality show, not enough real cooking.

Here's the promo for season 2. Should the word "attitude" even been mentioned in a food show?

5. 'Food Feuds.' The only reason this show isn't higher on the list is that there's nothing annoying about the host (Michael Symon) or the concept. But the reason why it is included here is because we really, really don't need this show. Seriously, a show that pits two rival restaurants against each other?

The Food Network certainly didn't need yet another competition show. The show would work much better as a straight travel-to-restaurants show, a la 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.' As it is, this show is just too little, too late.

Food Feuds

Now this is the part of the post where you say to yourself, where is 'Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee?!' That show isn't on the list for one simple reason: it's one of my favorite cooking shows on television. As I've said before, I think a lot of people dislike that show because they dislike Lee for some reason. It can't be because of the food she makes because she makes the food that I bet a lot of people make in their home. She's a modern-day Peg Bracken (not her writing but in the way she used packaged foods in her recipes) and I truly respect what she does. And I learn a lot more about cooking from her show then, say, 'Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.'

Something tells me that last paragraph is going to get me more comments below than anything else I said in this post. Have fun!

What do you think is the worst show on Food Network?

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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Food network has some good shows but they play the same ones over and over. I love Guy Fieri but a straight 2-3 hours of DDD is a little excessive. They over-do Chopped as well. I agree, Sandra Lee just bugs me.

October 21 2012 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Food network has some good shows but they play the same ones over and over. I love Guy Fieri but a straight 2-3 hours of DDD is a little excessive. They over-do Chopped as well.

October 21 2012 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone that legitimately thinks Sandra Lee is a fantastic chef obviously has questionable food tastes and a dead palate. She is not interesting, she is not knowledgeable, and spends more time making sure her decor matches her dress. My god. I have yet to understand why she's on the air at all unless her boyfriend threatened someone. Do the foodies of the world a favor and learn something about the people you "write" about.

June 11 2012 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea DessertsbyDre

I agree with you, Food Network has turned into a reality channel. I do enjoy cupcake wars, chopped and the next food network star, but I think that those shows should be for specific days. I used to enjoy watching The Neelys, Big Daddy's House, Aarti's Party, & Simply Delisicio. Shows that actually showed you how to cook. I learn alot from the reality shows and they are good for entertaining, but I mean do we have to watch them all day. And why are there so many episodes of DDD? He only needs to come on once a day, that's it! I agree that $10 show is a joke, I don't know where she buys her groceries. They always say go to the local farmers market, the veggies are cheaper, but here in Chicago, it is the opposite, they are more expensive. I get more "bang for my buck" in the grocery store.

June 10 2012 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margie Becker

I 2watch a few, very few shows on the Food Network , Love Guy and Robert Irvine, together they are a mess but very entertainig,, I just dont care enough about anyone else on christmas special that had a bunch of the chefs on,, except no guy and Robert , But that Melissa , I wanna shop where she shops she showed some potatoes and said oh you can get them for a couple bucks, she must be nuts they are $5 a 5lbs bag and a few other things she mentioned she must get a good discount cuz i sure can not find no potatoes for under $5 a bag i hate when they are misleading people

May 01 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James T. Kirk

The problem with the Neelys is that they are racist pigs.

April 15 2012 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Dinner:impossable should be swapped out with "eat Shrink and be merry... CANT STAND THOSE CHICKS... seriously.. just stop!
a set of different hosts may improve this show.. but still, the concept is weak.
"we are going to take food that everyone likes and change it because WE think we can do it better"
irritating as hell

March 30 2012 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many don't like or "hate" the Neely's affection, don't like Giada's cleavage, don't like Sunny's wigs, don't like Rachael Ray now that she's a celeb. Sounds like a bunch of jealous female haters. Disgusting....and so typical. Does anybody watch cooking shows to learn new ways of preparing recipes, without trying to rip into the hosts?

March 13 2012 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i completely agree with all the shows you posted. they really do suck, but the shows that i personally hate the most are,
1. diners drive-ins & dives
2. sugar high
3. outrageous food
4. any & all shows with rachael ray
5. paula's home cooking/best dishes
6. down home with the neely's
7. restaurant: impossible
8. the great food truck race
9. 5 ingredient fix
10. cooking for real
11. hungry girl
12. the best thing i ever ate
13. 24 hour restaurant battle
14. aarti party
15. ace of cakes
16. every single one of bobby flay's shows
17. ask aida
18. alex's day off [p.s. alex guarnaschelli is such a raging BITCH.]
19. chef's vs. city
20. foodnetwork star
21. guy's big bite [guy fieri = one fat, loud annoying douche.]
22. guy off the hook
23. heat seekers
24. heavyweights
25. how'd that get on my plate
26. kid in a candy store
27. meat and potatoes
28. tailgate warriors
29. the secret life of...
30. tough cookies
31. food network challange [now that keegan gerhard isn't hosting anymore.]

yeah, so pretty much all of them lol. they need to chill out on the new shows, because they're almost all the same. i'm sick & tired of all the shows where it's just some ******** traveling to different restaurants stuffing food in their faces. i mean, come on! it's one thing to watch someone cook & actually learn some thing, then it's completely different to watch a bunch of douche bags pigging out. the only shows i can tolerate watching are,

1. nigella lawson [my favorite chef btw!]
2. giada at home/everyday italian
3. barefoot contessa
4. iron chef america
5. tyler's ultimate
6. chopped
7. good eats
8. semi-homade cooking/sandra's money saving meals

August 31 2011 at 5:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sandra Nelson Burke

I have to agree with most of the Neely's show. I just dont care for the "wife". Too talky for my taste and Paula deen, I wish she would take off those massive rings while she cooks. I just finished reading her book & she has apparently been on here reading all the comments and defended her actions including wearing her huge wedding ring while cooking. Well I wouldnt eat anything she cooks cause jewerly should be taken off while preparing food with ones hands. I like Ina's show. I think she is laid back and elegant. I dont care for Giada for some reason. Just not feeling her and Rachel Ray has gone "hollywood" since Oprah backed her. I love chopped and Guy has a great people personality. I love him on Triple D. dont care for Guy's big bite though. True the Food Network and HGTV both have put on two many unappealing shows which just make me turn them off. I get easily bored with Alton Brown, sorry! and I agree the Chopped judges especially Alex judge chefs way too harshly and why do they look and stare at them like they hate them?

August 27 2011 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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