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July 19, 2011 10:49 PM   Subscribe

[AustraliaFilter] A bunch of fine bloggers - Ben Pobjie, Giles Hardie, Katherine Feeney, Karl Quinn, Sarah McInerney, Jenna Clarke and a few others - are writing hilarious MasterChef Recaps.
posted by vidur (56 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
With 30 minutes to go, George tells them it's time "to start rolly canoli". Amazingly, nobody plunges a fork into his brain.

Giles Hardie is one of the few good things in the SMH, which is fairly described as a fish wrapper.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:53 PM on July 19, 2011


Damn it, I meant Karl Quinn, although Giles is great too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:54 PM on July 19, 2011


The biting reviews are about the best thing to do with the current series of Masterchef Australia - a contrived, overly choreographed and downright non-entertaining series.
posted by chris88 at 10:56 PM on July 19, 2011


Might as well save an AskMe question: why is MasterChief the most popular show in Australia? Honest question. And between that and Angry Birds, is it possible to have a popular show here without mispronouncing a videogame?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:25 PM on July 19, 2011


Damn it, I meant Karl Quinn, although Giles is great too.

There is no Giles. There is only BERNARD ZUEL.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:25 PM on July 19, 2011


why is MasterChief the most popular show in Australia? Honest question. And between that and Angry Birds, is it possible to have a popular show here without mispronouncing a videogame?

[Question deleted. May be try again, with less OMGAUSTRALIA in it?]
posted by vidur at 11:28 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Question deleted. May be try again, with less OMGAUSTRALIA in it?]

Honest cultural question. Why is MasterChef the most popular show in Aus? I've seen it once with my dad, who called everything before it happened. Been trying for a year to get him on the show. Between his cooking skills, strong personal narratives, and knowledge of restaurant kitchens he'd ace it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:30 PM on July 19, 2011


Why is MasterChef the most popular show in Aus?

You can't possibly be expecting a real answer to that. Who the hell knows?

Why is NCIS the most watched non-reality show in the US?

My only guess is that most people are idiots.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:40 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why is MasterChef the most popular show in Aus?

Because of the racism.
posted by pompomtom at 11:41 PM on July 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Because of the racism.

Well, they did have the Dalai Lama on.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:43 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like some of Michelle Griffin's recaps for the Age, in particular this one.

Why is MasterChef the most popular show in Aus?

Personally I only watched the first series, and I only started watching after I turned it on by chance and just happened to see the scene where Chris pulled this roasted pig head out of the oven (can't find video). I was hooked from that moment. Sadly the show never managed to regain those heights, athough the sight of Julie flinging showers of exertion sweat all over everything she cooked was almost as confronting.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 11:44 PM on July 19, 2011


Honest cultural question & Lovecraft In Brooklyn are incompatible phenomena.
posted by peacay at 11:44 PM on July 19, 2011


Honest cultural question & Lovecraft In Brooklyn are incompatible phenomena.

Can we please try to go one Australian thread without it ending in a pile on? Bygones, people.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:50 PM on July 19, 2011


Can we please try to go one Australian thread without it ending in a pile on? Bygones, people.

You'd think so wouldn't you - but if LiB insists on winding us up with "Australians are like this" comments and/or questions, we will insist on taking the piss out of him. It's win-win - sit back and enjoy the show.
posted by awfurby at 11:52 PM on July 19, 2011


I wasn't trying to wind anyone up. It was an honest, cultural question. If I asked 'Why is Community so beloved on The AV Club?' someone would probably say 'Because most of the posters are basically Abed'. Something like that.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:55 PM on July 19, 2011


I love when the Australian shift takes over.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:56 PM on July 19, 2011


... the underperformers of the MasterChef New York Qantas Week in New York Presented by Mastercard are forced into an elimination challenge that will change everything forever, as one of our favourites…WILL DIE.

Now THAT is a reality show I might watch.

I wonder if I would feel this way if reality shows were not stocked with the most contemptible specimens possible.

There's your answer, LiB. People like feeling superior to the muppets on TV. Also, there is a mysterious viceral pleasure in watching food being made.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:57 PM on July 19, 2011


[Question deleted. May be try again, with less OMGAUSTRALIA in it?]

Honest cultural question. Why is MasterChef the most popular show in Aus?


Heh. Sorry, LiB. I was just kidding about the question deleted thing. I sometimes like to pretend that I'm one of the mods.

But like red thoughts said: Who the hell knows?
posted by vidur at 11:57 PM on July 19, 2011


The honest answer is like the NCIS one, nobody knows, least of all the people making the program. That's why it's being crammed down everyone's throats: they're trying to maximize the money they make out of it before the next big thing comes along and everyone loses interest.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 11:58 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


You'd think so wouldn't you - but if LiB insists on winding us up with "Australians are like this" comments and/or questions, we will insist on taking the piss out of him. It's win-win - sit back and enjoy the show.

So, kinda like how MasterChef is keeping Dani on the show then?
posted by vidur at 11:59 PM on July 19, 2011


I don't think you were trying to wind anyone up LiB. I do think that you habitually try to carve up the culture with a chainsaw when some silent observation over time and some reading would be more enlightening.
posted by peacay at 12:02 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love when the Australian shift takes over.

I'm glad someone enjoys it.

I also like the idea of MeFi having an 'Australian shift'. It make me think of Mathowie in a massive, spherical room lined with screens. He sits in a custom, slowly rotating pod in the centre, monitoring global MeFi activity around the world and coordinating 'comment teams' to keep the flow of quips and debate flowing at a steady pace. While stroking a white, long haired cat.

"Excellent", he says, almost a whisper. He sips some brandy, and watches the majesty of snark unfold around him.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:04 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love when the Australian shift takes over.

Well, I'm from the Indian on-shore call center. So, thank you. And if you'd please fill this customer satisfaction survey...
posted by vidur at 12:11 AM on July 20, 2011


red thoughts, it's a lovely image but if that were the case he'd have deleted the Chinese apartment triple by now. Unless that's part of his plan...

And vidur you clearly aren't an Indian call center worker cause otherwise you'd be insisting you were calling straight from Kansas and that your name was Jeffrey.

Speaking of deleted posts, am I the only one who thinks of the giant white balloon from The Prisoner whenever a magic red box shows up?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:20 AM on July 20, 2011


I'm not enjoying this series as much as the previous ones, but it's fun to see people creating (and sometimes failing). Good show to watch if you are into cooking - lots of learning opportunities (see aforementioned failings).

Also I haven't heard anyone utter yet "I'm not here to make friends" the standard USA Reality Villain TV show line.

Generally speaking it's a bunch of people getting along kinda ok and making food in some interesting scenarios.

I hope the next season though they actually source some better cooks. It's been pretty uninspiring outside of the elimination challenges.
posted by gomichild at 12:22 AM on July 20, 2011


Getting the Dalai Lama onto to the show was ridiculous. That was the ultimate shark moment. And the continuing presence of Dani is baffling. There was a good article on the Age abt the cruelty of the show the other day - what really struck me this year (and the reviewers mentioned above) is how the producers have reduced the show down to a series of eke eta that almost have nothing to do with cooking. Which is why I don't like it anymore.
posted by awfurby at 12:25 AM on July 20, 2011


Oh also another thing bugging me this time around - why keep half the dishes a "secret"? I want to see what everyone has toiled over sheesh.
posted by gomichild at 12:27 AM on July 20, 2011


Also I haven't heard anyone utter yet "I'm not here to make friends" the standard USA Reality Villain TV show line.

Patience, dear. Keep an eye on Hayden.
posted by vidur at 12:30 AM on July 20, 2011


red thoughts, it's a lovely image but if that were the case he'd have deleted the Chinese apartment triple by now. Unless that's part of his plan..

The pod lies empty. It turns, forlornly, in the darkened sphere, lit only by the dull red of the standby LEDs that throb on the quiescent monitors.

The cat paces in the dark. It meows questioningly, then is silent.

Somewhere in the sunlight, Mathowie buys a taco. He eats, savoring the freshness of unconditioned air. He knows that, soon, he must return to the pod and room and the cat. Soon.

But not yet. He gets up, and goes in search of ice cream.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:42 AM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love when the Australian shift takes over

Yep, it's past 6 here, and it's time to wind down with a quiet beer. It's hard at work these days, we've had nothing but UDL scotch 'n' cokes since about ten thirty
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:09 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love every second of MasterChef. We've got our own version in New Zealand but we also get Saturday morning omnibus of Australian MasterChef (which has like 5 episodes a week to NZ's 2) and there's even a version with kids on it and the kids can cook better than most adults I know.

Something something something and I don't care who knows it!
posted by doublehappy at 1:23 AM on July 20, 2011


There's nothing wrong with Masterchef - compared to the other tripe on commercial TV (that one where they renovate an apartment... those shows where we watch celebrities dance... The Bolt Report...that show where they slowly dismember kittens while Diamanda Galás sings...). I've gotten to like this hosts, and the contestants are actually required to show some degree of skill. Yes it's full of silly, arbitrary rules and competitions, but it's generally lacking in the back-stabbing "secret diary room" bullshit you get on shows like Survivor and Big Brother. It's inspired me to cook. And the Australian Masterchef is just so much better than the other versions, it seems. The UK version, in particular, looks extremely amateur and boring. The US version has Gordon Fucking Ramsay, 'nuff said.
posted by Jimbob at 2:16 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The latest series of the UK version was revamped to make it much more like the Australian one - I don't know whether the audience figures went up, but I found it about 5% more irritating, which unfortunately happened to be enough to take it over the threshold and stop me watching it.

I don't really know why they didn't just leave the format alone and show the Australian version as well.
posted by Segundus at 2:22 AM on July 20, 2011


Life is too short to watch Australian Masterchef. Can. Not. Abide. It. Like most reality tv, now that I come to think about it...

The recaps in the FPP are much more entertaining.

(But season 2 of Spirited starts in 7 minutes. Give me the ghost of a dead rock star and a socially awkward dentist anyday.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:25 AM on July 20, 2011


--It's inspired me to cook.--

You're not the only one. And there's the pleasant collateral effect too : supermarkets have a better range of products then they did a couple of years ago.
posted by peacay at 2:26 AM on July 20, 2011


Jimbob nailed the reasons why I gave MasterChef a go: it's a show about people using their skills to do cool things. Unfortunately, it's also a reality show. I gave up after the ridiculous incident with Matt Preston throwing a contestant's dish on the floor, which was so contrived and over-the-top that it turned me off the whole thing. Drama for the sake of drama.

The other thing I liked about MC was its diversity. As I recall, six of the twenty contestants in the second season weren't caucasian, and two of them were gay/lesbian. In the diversity wasteland that normally passes for Australian television, I found that delightful.

George Calombaris, on the other hand? Not delightful at all.
posted by Georgina at 2:46 AM on July 20, 2011


awfurby: Getting the Dalai Lama onto to the show was ridiculous. That was the ultimate shark moment.

We need a new expression to replace "jump the shark", which is as worn-out and tired as anything it's ever been used to describe. I propose "feed the Dalai Lama".
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:47 AM on July 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why is NCIS the most watched non-reality show in the US?

Well, duh. It stars Mrs. Oxheart, from Robert Altman's Popeye.
posted by chavenet at 2:52 AM on July 20, 2011


I propose "feed the Dalai Lama"

"Meet with Bono". MasterChef has yet to have a meeting with Bono, but I'm sure his people are on the line to their people.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:00 AM on July 20, 2011


Yes it's full of silly, arbitrary rules and competitions, but it's generally lacking in the back-stabbing "secret diary room" bullshit you get on shows like Survivor and Big Brother. It's inspired me to cook.

This was the main reason for its success in my opinion, it moved away from a lot of the stale conventions of reality television, and had a much more uplifting vibe, as opposed to the basic appeal of Big Brother et al (high minded leering at bogans to make ourselves feel better). And the first series actually had some interesting people in it that you could actually feel good for when they achieved something. Also a jaunty fat man wearing a cravat! A CRAVAT!!! JAUNTY!

(It probably didn't hurt either to have an attractive blonde contestant who just happened to wear low cut tops a lot of the time and who seemed to spend a lot of her on camera time leaning over to stir something - but I'm sure that was entirely unintentional on the part of the producers)

Of course the show has introduced its own conventions which are starting to turn people off, for instance if they cut out even a small amount of the endless recaps you could probably still cut down the entire series into a week or two. And the product placement has gotten a bit heavy handed, and the attempts at 'drama' are somewhat phoned in.

awfurby: Getting the Dalai Lama onto to the show was ridiculous. That was the ultimate shark moment.

We need a new expression to replace "jump the shark", which is as worn-out and tired as anything it's ever been used to describe. I propose "feed the Dalai Lama".


Stay with me here, but I've just had a great idea for a reboot of 'It's a Knockout!' What if the Dalai Lama was the shark, and the meal was the unlucky contestant who wasn't so good at jumping?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:46 AM on July 20, 2011


Fuck yeah, Uhstraya shift, mate.

/drinks White Rabbit from coffee cup while demolishing Bulla choc ice cream
/no seriously, that's what I'm doing right now
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:04 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


George Calombaris, on the other hand? Not delightful at all.

YES! When the camera veers his way during his 'tasting' I have to put my hands over my eyes and my partner tells me when it's safe to look at the TV again. I usually only have this kind of squeamishness during 'Four Corners' Indonesian abattoir exposes.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:07 AM on July 20, 2011


/drinks White Rabbit from coffee cup while demolishing Bulla choc ice cream
/no seriously, that's what I'm doing right now

You are my hero.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:26 AM on July 20, 2011


A White Rabbit at Markov with their warm Heritage Carrot salad is delish. Masterchef would be a fun 30 minute daily show if they just dumped all the rehashing.
posted by michswiss at 5:07 AM on July 20, 2011


There is something incredibly liberating about drinking alcoholic beverages from inappropriate crockery.

I'm going to go have a nightcap of port from a teacup.


Really.
posted by deadwax at 5:11 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is something incredibly liberating about drinking alcoholic beverages from inappropriate crockery

Oh, the memories of drinking goon from the student Conference yellow mug. Actually, "memories" is a creative way of putting it.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:33 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love drinking free (AKA usually awful) wine out of my great-aunt's priceless crystal glasses which are very-much-not wine glasses. There's something deliciously wicked about that, I can't explain it, but it's much more fun than drinking expensive wine out of my 'proper' wine glasses. And Aunty Dawn loved a drink and a smoke and being inappropriate on a lot of levels, so I reckon she'd approve.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:47 AM on July 20, 2011


The best bit about MasterChef is* where they get the contestants to guess the ingredients of a dish one by one in a knockout competition. Say, Green Chicken Curry.

CONTESTANT NUMBER ONE: PLEASE TASTE THE GREEN CHICKEN CURRY

-- *tastes*

CONTESTANT NUMBER ONE: PLEASE NAME ONE INGREDIENT OF AFOREMENTIONED GREEN CHICKEN CURRY

-- Uhh ... *thinks* .... uhhh .... *ponders* .... ummm .... *considers* .... chicken?

*DRAMATIC PAUSE*

*DRAMATIC PAUSE CONTINUED*

*AD BREAK*

*DRAMATIC PAUSE - PART II*

*DRAMATIC PAUSE - APPENDIX*

YES. THERE IS CHICKEN IN THE GREEN CHICKEN CURRY.

-- phew!

* - this comment was valid in 2010. Times may have changed.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:17 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like everyone else, I enjoyed the previous Masterchef series - the recaps are annoying but at least they give me time to wander off for dinner, chores, checking my email or whatever. But this season has some really charmless people who can't cook all that well compared to previous contestants. They've tried to coldly calculate what made the first season a success, but didnt realise at least part of it was the surprise that watching non-professionals cook could actually be entertaining. And that can't be recaptured now.

I loved the recap of one of the team challenges where the head chef had a towel around his head and the reviewer (Giles?) went off on a Professor Quirrel tangent. "Sun and Alana and Hermione are so excited they run off to tell Hagrid" or similar.
posted by harriet vane at 7:18 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I watch it. I don't know why. Probably because there's not much else on telly and I like cooking and I haven't got any interest in NCIS/CSI/Laura Norder or Kyle Sandilands or the revamped 7:30 report, which is like being slapped with a damp lettuce leaf.

This season has been rather crap compared to the last two seasons however, as others have said, and I don't reckon I'll bother watching it again.

(Goon from a mug? In my day we preferred to drink it straight from the cask. Then we'd blow up the pillow and have a lie down. Then we'd throw up. The end.)

I would like to point out that America's most watched TV show of late appears to be America's Got Talent. Glass houses, rocks, etc.
posted by jasperella at 7:30 AM on July 20, 2011


G and T's out of tea cups with saucers is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Eating ice-cream in Canberra in July. Brave.
posted by kjs4 at 9:37 PM on July 20, 2011


I would like to point out that America's Australia's most watched TV show of late appears to be America's Australia's Got Talent.

THE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ARE STAGGERING!
posted by Winnemac at 9:44 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]




Yeah, it's all got a wee bit Heston, hasn't? Everyone's making foams and sauces from champagne and green tea. Bring back the homely simplicity of Julie, I say...
posted by Jimbob at 12:33 AM on July 21, 2011


They wish they were Heston. Or even Heston-like. There was always the silly sauce/foam nonsense, I think the problem this year is that they just can't do it properly. Take that mystery-box pre-team challenge that stumped Hayden - any of the top-10 contestants from previous years would've created some spectacular dish. This year? We get one with a burnt smoke (what?) and a "holy shit I've got no idea lets throw shit at the wall".

Pathetic.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:47 PM on July 21, 2011


Dani is gone ("Dani has cooked the soup too long, which, to put it mildly, is ironic"), I just wanted to note.
posted by vidur at 8:48 PM on August 2, 2011


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