Out With the Soaps, In With the Food!

Flickr - Vanessa Pike-Russell

I’ve never been much of a soaps fan.  Okay, I may have flipped to one a couple of times during the summer when there was nothing but reruns of shows I had already seen.  (Wow, I’m a television junkie!) Actually, I think the most soap opera television I’ve ever watched is Friends with Joey as Dr. Drake Ramoray on “Days of Our Lives”.  Does that count?

So, it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that I didn’t raise much of a complaint at the news of ABC cancelling two of its oldest soap operas.  What got my heart racing was hearing that “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” would be replaced by a new type of talk show focusing on food and other lifestyle aspects.  Believe it or not, I just can’t get enough!  While today’s small number of dedicated soap fans resent the loss of their shows, I cannot wait to what see what Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Tim Gunn will bring to the table.  I can’t think of any other shows that bring together style and every angle of food, but it sounds like it’s just what the people crave.  I know I’m already wanting more, and it hasn’t even started yet!

Given the number of hours I spend watching the Food Network whenever I can, you’d think I’d have more familiarity with Chef Mario Batali.  I always have a hard time catching him on any show but Iron Chef America.  Still, it’s always fun to see what creations he puts together, so I can only imagine the knowledge and expertise he’ll be able to share with viewers.  I’ll have to sit by the television with a pad and pen in hand just to get it all down!

Amidst all the buzz of tossing out the soaps and bringing in the new multi-angled food and lifestyle shows, Chef Batali is taking a lot of the blame.  Apparently his name is more recognizable than any of the others set to take part in ABC’s new information-based shows.  So, when I think about it, it actually makes sense that people would point fingers at the only famous foodie featured on the food-centered show line up.  Not to say that it’s deserved.  Maybe it’s my excitement for the new show, or the chance to satisfy more of my celebrity chef hunger, but I can’t help but side with Mario.  I’m with you buddy!

Talk about a spot in the hot seat!  How does he manage to handle the situation so professionally?  It’s clear he cares about the image he carries in the industry and way the public and his fans perceive him.  Even more, he’s committed to maintaing that image at all costs, (within reason I suppose).  Judging by his performance in the video, I’d say it’s naturally a part of his personality and everyday life.  Not only does he aim to set the record straight, but he do so without throwing anyone under the bus and paying respect to “everyone in the industry”.  Well Mario, you just earned another vote in my book!

How do you feel about these changes?  Are you team food and lifestyle or team soap opera?  I think we know where I stand.

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