There is no doubt that current reality show Masterchef has been a hit (here). Another SC and I are now so caught in the grips of it that, tired as we were on coming home from my birthday dinner last night, we had to watch the time-shifted episode I had recorded.
Had I known that
a) the program would overrun and I would cut the denouement off the end of the tape
b) any way I could have watched the highlights on the internet
Then I would probably not have bothered to record it.
However it begs all sorts of questions.
Whilst each episode is slow as, could be at least 50% shorter if they just cut out the recaps...at the heart of it is the building sense of competition.
I have always thought this strange. As a former teacher it seemed strange to me to try and inculcate competition as the key and indeed most desirable quality of a given program. And as you go on, inevitably you associate with those who have been able (like yourself) to use this to their advantage.
What it has to do with learning, education, contributing to the corpus of knowledge etc....is beyond me. But when you consider that even the top echelons are bedogged by this (eg. the Nobel prize) it is obvious there is an unquestioning acceptance of it.
It is of course bizarre, but good TV, to see fine cooking being treated as a competition. When people get voted off because they get 8/10 instead of 9/10 it just stupid. But there would be no program if it was not competitive.
One of the good things about Masterchef has been the refusal by most fo the guest chefs to get sucked into the competitive mode, but rather to try and help the contestants as much as possible. Clearly the world of the chef is highly competitive, but there seems about it a camraderie which is to be commended. Good luck to them.