WATCH THIS: Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook Off

Well, Chrome exploded and devoured today’s post, in some sort of diabolical attempt to break our New Year’s momentum… but if it thinks a mere crash that eradicated hours of painful, single-handed typing is going to break my spirit, then Google hasn’t been listening to all the shit-talking that I’ve been doing with Tina about how easy it is to write regularly!

So while you’ll have to wait a little longer for a review of beer that, no kidding, tastes like it has shaved dark chocolate in it and makes that delicious, I can at least offer you our ringing endorsement for something else.

Something… magical.

Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off is one of the most entertaining programs to come out of the Food Network in ages.  It is a masterfully-calculated combination of reasonably tough challenges, people whose celebrity is largely in their own minds, and two hosts whose despair deepens with each minute that passes.

It’s hard to decide what we love the most about this show.  Is it Lou Diamond Phillips’ unrelenting efforts to remind us that he was in Stand and Deliver, by casually mentioning it in relation to his recipe for ribs?  Is it the unceasing array of horrors that the judges, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, are compelled to ingest?  Is it that the skill level is so low that the producers were forced to spare from elimination a person who served the judges a chunk of crumbling, raw fish?

It’s really impossible to say.  It isn’t even like there are villains on this show, just a handful of people who are such an ideal combination of inept and self-deluded that they have no idea how entertaining they are.  That Ray and Fieri consistently seem on the edge of emotional collapse, as they keep these “celebrities” from doing harm to themselves or others, is a delightful bonus.

It’s possible that Celebrity Cook-Off isn’t a cruel joke perpetrated on two of the most over-exposed food personalities on TV, in which case it’s just a wonderful train wreck that will be gone all too soon.  Considering that next week there will be an opportunity to see Coolio preparing an entree for the judging panel from Chopped, we suggest that you catch it while you can.  Who knows when we’ll see such perfect madness again?

Rachael vs Guy:  Celebrity Cook-Off runs Sundays at 9, on the Food Network.  Should you wish to catch up, the first and second episode have been beautifully recapped over at Grantland.

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