5 Reasons to watch Bitchin’ Kitchen
I honestly thought I was pretty on the ball when it comes to internet trends. While I may have my occasionally embarrassing days where I’m posting links on Twitter that everyone a year ago — have you seen that guy who improvises piano songs on Chatroulette? I mean, wow! — I generally like to think I’m on top of things.
But Bitchin’ Kitchen hit me straight from left field, and while I’m disappointed that I didn’t find out about it sooner, I’m glad I caught on eventually.
If by some chance you haven’t seen it before, this should help:
It’s okay if you want to go explore the web series. We’ll be here when you get back.
It’s a bit nerve-wracking to imagine a video podcast jumping into the world of half-hour television, particularly when the internet has proven that some concepts really do work better five minutes at a time. But if the first episode is any indication, Bitchin’ Kitchen has figured out a way to do it smoothly, while still holding onto the charm and timing that made it successful.
It’s a show worth supporting, and we can think of five really good reasons why:
1. The Host
What? She’s cute!
But on top of that, Nadia Giosia is funny and utterly comfortable in front of the camera, playing “Nadia G.” as somewhere in the middle of stereotype and a genuine character, whose show is not always entirely in her control.
When you consider how many shows are on the Food Network feature people who’ve been on television for YEARS and still can’t laugh on camera without sounding utterly artificial (yes, we are looking at you, Ina Garten), having a host with Giosia’s energy is welcome.
2. The concept
It’s a cooking show with jokes. You wouldn’t think that was revolutionary, but there it is.
There’ve been lots of shows out there with a slightly ridiculous bent, to varying degrees of success. On the one extreme are the programs based entirely on the goofiness of the host (like Bob Blumer’s various efforts, or any that all seemed to happen in the 90s and featured a bickering couple); on the other, there are instructional shows that use scripted humor that doesn’t always shine, usually featuring over-sized props.
But the focus has always been on cooks who were (at one point told they were) funny, rather than comedians who could cook. What makes Bitchin’ Kitchen different is that it built by the latter, and keeps its priorities fully in mind.
3. They didn’t play it safe
This is a show that looks VERY different from everything else on the Food Network: from the set to the host, the music to the random appearance of mini-sketches featuring a small group of cast-mates.
Consider that the average dose of humor on the Food Network is Ina Garten chuckling to herself about adding an extra quarter-teaspoon of vanilla (“And Geoffrey will never know, a-huh-huh-huh-huh-huhhhhh”). Perhaps then you can see the risk in a character with an unpronounceable Israeli name (so his voice is piped in to say it whenever he’s mentioned) to discuss spices, or a greased-up, Speedo-bearing muscleman who often simply flexes at the screen.
And yet there they are, singing about hangovers and regret-sex in a Food Network promo, and somehow it all makes sense.
It would’ve been easy for Bitchin’ Kitchen to tone down its weirdness to fit into their new TV home, but instead they went for it whole hog — their characters, jokes and personality are what got them this far, and they’re playing them for all they’re worth.
4. They’re Canadian
I gotta represent.
5. They’re different
After any amount of time on Bitchin’ Kitchen’s website, you’ll get the drift that you’re watching the construction of an empire in progress. The content is all very clearly targeted at an age group that punches a wall every time Rachel Ray says “EEE VEE OHH OHH”, and has never lounged in rooms like the ones in Giada’s house, somehow bathed in both sunshine and soft candlelight all day long.
Indeed, it feels like Bitchin’ Kitchen knows exactly who they’re interested in entertaining: people who like food, but feel no connection with those celebrity chefs whose teeth are whiter than their dishes.
I was about to say, “Young people, in other words,” but I don’t think that’s strictly true. Rather, I think it’s that same audience that’s getting tired of the parade of pretty faces, cooking from packages and telling you no-one will notice — it’s really anyone who will appreciate a cooking show that admits it’s a farce, and then has all kinds of fun with it.
Again, I may be entirely behind the times on the web series, but it’s fascinating to be right here and watch as it jumps over to television. All the goofy spirit of the online shows has held so far, and it’s well worth tuning in to see if they can keep it up.