Monday, August 15, 2011

Jacob Recommends Stuff

Photo: Jungleboy 叢林男孩, Flickr Creative Commons

In case you didn't know. Alton Brown has quit Good Eats or maybe, since everything else on Food Network is pretty crappy lately, he was politely asked to stop creating intelligent and useful content for the network. I don't know. Anyway, if you know me, you know that the end of Good Eats was one of the most tragic events of my life. It's not up there with the death of my grandfather when I was in college or becoming a father a little over four years ago, but it's easily in the top five. Seriously, my life he has not been very tragic. In fact, I used to bemoan that fact. I wanted to be a writer and one could never truly be an artist if their life didn't suck enough. It was sad, but this isn't about me. It's about Alton Brown.

Despite the death of his show, he still has a couple of one-hour specials left this year. A third post-series special was aired earlier this month. "Right on Q" was a how-to for homemade barbecue and if you're familiar with his work, it was exactly that: science, DIY, and encyclopedic cooking knowledge rolled into a very entertaining demonstration. Unfortunately, there are no repeats currently scheduled for that one and I can't find information on the other two specials, but I'll try to remember to post when I find out. If you find out about them before me. Watch them. If you like food and have cable TV, you're committing a sin on par with stabbing a baby in the face if you don't at least watch this show die.

Less depressingly, go watch Wilfred on FX. Yes, it features Frodo Baggins talking to a guy in a really bad dog suit, but the show is so much more. The premise is that Elijah Wood's character, a former lawyer, nearly kills himself but is helped through depression by his relationship with his neighbor's dog. To everyone but Ryan (Wood), Wilfred is a dog. Ryan, for unexplained reasons, instead sees a frequently foul, drunken, pot head of an Australian in a nappy dog suit. This is a hilarious show and very much worth watching, as long as you're not watching it in front of children or the easily offended.

Surprisingly, my last recommendation is another show on FX. Louie, the show created by the incredibly funny Louis C.K. fascinates me. Based on the show and his stand-up, I think Louis C.K. actually shares my views on parenting. He's not a bad person. He's just incredibly honest with himself and his audience the conflicting emotions any sane parent is going to have. Louie is a show by a stand up comedian where the stand up comedian got to do what he wanted to do. It's not for kids or the easily offended either. Louis C.K. saddens me a little, because if I were to ever attempt a career in comedy, I'd instantly be labeled a cheap knock off, even if I used jokes I came up with before I ever heard of the guy earlier this year. It's depressing. I'd never claim to be as funny as he is, but if you were to draw a Venn diagram of our senses of humor, it'd mostly just be a circle. It's depressing.

And that, my friends, is a circle kicker. Suck it.


Courtney said...

i'd like to watch Wilfred, but my stupid satellite package doesn't include FX, so I have to wait for the DVDs.

I haven't seen Louie either. I was actually a little disappointed in his stand-up, but he was on Parks and Rec for a few episodes and was really funny there, so I'd give this a shot.

Julie said...

I watched the first Louie but didn't get into it. I was tempted to try out Wilfred but figured I watch too much TV and decided not to start another show.

I realize this might upset you, but I'm OK with the passing of Good Eats - mostly because I've decided that I prefer the America's Test Kitchen recipes. Good Eats was definitely much more fun. You can see Lucky next time you're in town and that might help ease the pain. And Alton will definitely have another book coming out - as though the six already in my house aren't enough.