ABC’s The Chew: So Much Wrong About It, So Much Right

So okay, it was from boredom that I tuned in, with a touch of ever present disdain for that awful other daytime viewing option, The View.

The world needs less of Whoopi Goldberg’s absurd political views and Joy Behar really needs to get laid. No wait! Behar did show up on ABC’s The Chew, my bad. If nothing else, is it a coincidence that The Chew rhymes with The View?

The Chew
features a crew of odd folks working as a kind of group host. Clinton Kelly is a co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, Carla Hall is a former Bravo Top Chef contender, Michael Symon is a Food Network Iron Chef, Mario Batali is a seasoned Food Network cooking show guru and Daphne Oz is the daughter of famed TV medico, Dr. Oz. Clinton works as a sort of
narrator in that he does not cook. At times Clinton will do a spot on effective décor for the swami of style that he is. Daphne, goodness she looks just like her father, is there to tell us how to eat well though it’s a hoot for some of the most decadent food that would have Moochelle Obama storming the bastille in gastronomy righteousness is cooked and served on this show. Not that there’s anything wrong with this.

This brings to mind one big problem with this show though it’s a left-handed compliment. Never watch this show when even slightly hungry. In fact, this show is best enjoyed while actually EATING a meal!

Mario really needs to get a fashion consult, God Bless, this man always looks like he got dressed with clothes found in a dumpster. A good episode would have Clinton giving Batali a makeover but don’t tell as this is rightly my idea. And that hideous ponytail Mario sports, please, Mario, go bald as is inevitable and get dignified.

Carla Hall is a real delight and speaking of Michelle Obama, I understand that Carla has been signed on as a White House Chef. Michael Symon is the most normal of the bunch for all the weirdness cooked on Iron Chef.

The show does occasionally feature guests. This becomes a difficult matter in that if the guest isn’t famed for cooking their presence is pretty much in the way. Joy Behar comes to mind, an awful woman who should keep her hateful self on The View and forget telling us how to cook lasagna.

As new shows do, this series got off to kind of a rough start. The show premiered at the time of the great cantaloupe scare. Clinton Kelly gets up and gives us lectures on what to do when there is a food scare, good advice mostly, such as washing suspect foods thoroughly, checking locale of the suspect food and, finally, just avoid the foods for a while, Kelly said.


Well a producer somewhere must have whispered in Michael Symon’s ear to quick deny avoiding foods, who knows, someday a cantaloupe combine might want to advertise on The Chew. Symon interrupts Kelly with an admonition not to avoid cantaloupe, goodness no, cantaloupe is good for you!

With a few episodes under its belt, The Chew finally settles down to a pleasant afternoon gab fest of cooks, a happy audience, and featured foods that do not nauseate. Even Daphne the health guru will indulge in such as fried macaroni, all the while cautioning everything in moderation.

I tape the show and watch it in the evenings with my dinner. It’s light fare, can be watched without undue concentration and there really are some great ideas for food preparation presented. Clinton revealed that he was a homosexual in an early episode, not that this was any surprise. Still, there’s a bit of drama for the spice.

The Chew airs on ABC at 1pm on weekdays.

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