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BBQ Pitmasters

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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 16968

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: BBQ Pitmasters Reply with quote

The latest addition to the Foodtainment world is this show on TLC. There was a taste of it from a episode on a Food Network cooking contest show a year or more ago about BBQ contests, and if you saw that a few of these people will come across as familar.

Link here to the TLC page for it:

TLC: BBQ Pitmasters

As this is a mix between the Foodtainment genre and the Competative Reality Show genre, of course this is vastly more about Entertainment than Educational Cooking. If Top Chef is the deserved king of the genre, this is on the lower end of the scale, though probably not at the bottom. The cooking/educational aspect is pretty small, and the topic has the potential to be pretty small the second show adds only one new twist to what was being cooked on the first show: Whole Hog in addition to the standard Ribs, Chicken, Pork Butt and Brisket.

Where the show has moderate short term interest is:

* lots of BBQ to water your mouth over

* clearly defined Heel vs Face material

Lead heel is three-time World Champ Myron Mixon, an egotistical cussin and a swearin Georgia son beetch. A clear attempt at a love him or hate him job by the famously manipulative TLC Programing & Production Teams (see those Jon & Kate assholes). Myron is more than happy to play along. I don't mind his swearing at all, though it becomes a parody after a while and he's basically going over the top in trash talking that every NLF player wishes he could do in interviews but knows that the Commish will bust their asses for. TLC Programing loves this shit. And of course Myron can BBQ his ass off, knowing every trick in the book to create what judges want to see and eat, and investing a ton to do all that matters to him: win and kick everyone else's ass.

Next to Myron, everyone else is generally a face. Except for brash young stooge heel Paul Petersen. A top chef, he assumes he'll come into the Competative BBQ World and kick major ass. He spent the first episode (Smokin' in Mesquite) fucking up left and right, coming in 47th out of 47th in several categories. The low points were busting a flat tire on the cherry grill rig that he wanted to take to the competition to lose a day traveling, then falling asleep overnight and having his fire go out.

The clear "pushed" babyface of the show is Lee Ann Whippen, the sole chick the show is following. She tries hard, but she's also not terribly interesting. Easy to pull for her a bit, since Myron losing to a chick would likely hurt his ego quite a bit.

Comedy face are the Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ crew from Cali, led by Harry Soo. Clear attempt by the TLC folks for a "These Guys Don't Fit In" angle. They actually didn't do too bad.

Tuffy Stone got a face push in the first episode traveling with his wife and young son (I'm guessing somewhere in the 8-10 age range). Pretty much a "He's Not A Prick Like Myron" role, but not super interesting.

The "veteran legend" role goes to Johnny Trigg, a two time World Champ who seems to be slowing down relative to the youngins. Can still cook, but you kind of feel like you're watching 80s Fritz Von Eric here.

I see from reading around a bit that Versus has a Barbecue Championship Series show a few years back, with Myron, Johnny and Lee Ann.

That show didn't last too long. My suggestions if to try to catch this a time or two while it lasts, simply for Myron. If Meltzer watched this, he'd be all over it for being more pro wrestling than pro wrestling. ;) Even the graphics and build ups are straight out of it. What will likely kill it off is that it's going to be very limited and repetative: there's likely not a great deal of variety here. They'll try to enject draw by focusing on what goes wrong each show, but after seeing the "Fire Went Out" spot a few times (it creeps up in Episode 2 as well), you're going to have seen it all before. What the show probably needs is a real, true rival for Myron in someone else who consistently on the tour is bagging Grand Championships and placing stuff high. That person could be as big of a prick as Myron, or simply by *not* being Myron becomes the top face opposite him. That and probably a "specialist": somone who isn't especially strong in all for items, but has 1 or 2 items where he's just a ass kicker. Simply topping him in his specialty means something for the rest of the teams.

Perhaps they have something like that in mind for a Season 2 if they get there. That by getting over Myron and the competitions, some of the other Top Teams will be more willing to have the camera crew follow them.

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Iron Chad

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 1163

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great tip. I'm half through Murphysboro and it's a scream. Johnny and the drunk leading to the bet is a highspot. Johnny needs three alcoholic sons to pass his BBQ empire on to complete the Fritz analogy.

Myron is a fantastic heel, reminds me of those Southern small-time speedway Dads. Down to the shitty "World Champion" vinyl on his rig.
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