Tuesday, March 04, 2008
CONTESCO! Breaking Into Tesco, Five Life, 9.00pm
So last week saw the finale of Masterchef (About which: Ha! Johnny made a chocolate fondant! Fool!) and new series of Celebrity Masterchef and Great British Menu are yet to begin. What, then, is telly doing to fill the foodie gap in our lives?
Well, apparently it is turning to one man, 'celebrity' (us neither) chef Simon Rimmer, who looks like the bizarre mutant lovechild of Richard O'Brien and Dominic Littlewood. This man is at the helm, of not, one, but two-count-em brand new foodie shows.
We know both of these series technically began last night (Breaking Into Tesco was on normal Five, as opposed to tonight's Five Life repeat), but as we didn't have much clue what they were about, we thought we'd wait till tonight to preview them.
Filling the gap left by The Weakest Link, which in turn is filling the gap left by Neighbours, we have Recipe for Success (and can we just remind the Beeb here that the proper allotted time for food shows is 6.30pm, not 5.15pm, or 8.30pm or anything else). This show is a bit like a low-budget version of LC-fave The Restaurant (so sadly no Maman Blanc here). Each night we see a couple trying to run a restaurant type affair and they get marked by the audience. The winning couple at the end of the week presumably go into some later stage (we kind of missed the details of the rules and the prize and all that gubbins). Anyway, it's not as classy as it's BBC stablemates (except Kitchen Criminals, it's probably a bit classier than that. Sorry Angela) but it's a bit of fun and worth tuning into if you watch Neighbours at lunchtime. Or in the evening. Or the middle of the night. Or the omnibus.
The other new show, Breaking into Tesco is actually the more exciting prospect of the two. If you can try to stomach the elements of it that feel like an extended advert for our supermarket overlords, it's actually a warm, interesting and quirky little show. The premise is that four contestants each week design a dish that they hope to get on the shelves of THAT shop. They go through various rounds, including an audience taste test, a supermarket tasting panel and a pitch to the store's product team. Along the way some of them get elimated until the last one standing goes through to a final where the winner will get their product made.
It sounds a little dull, but it genuinely isn't. It combines the competitive elements of The Apprentice with the crazy contestants of Come Dine With Me, the wacky innovations of Dragon's Den, and a little bit of Schools-programme style education. In other words, it's proper lowculture fare.
Tonight's contestants are Jolly Jenny, with her Lancashire foot (a hot pot in a pasty, basically), desperate Danni with her gluten-free-egg-free-sugar-free muffins, Jovial Jenny (#2) with her Malaysian noodle soup and Passionate Paul with his, er, cherry ravioli.
We know who wins, obviously, but they are all television gold. The only problem is that the trailer for next week basically gives away who gets to which stage of the contest, which is blatantly rubbish. Sort it out, Five. You don't get that sort of behaviour on Masterchef.