I have only just recently, as a man in his thirties, began cooking. I’ve taken to it pretty well, though I have to follow a recipe to make anything more advanced than pasta or an omelet. However, over the years I’ve watched many cooking-related TV show. There are the competition shows, of course. Like every right-thinking American I’m a Chopped fan. I’ve recommended Cutthroat Kitchen as a weekend binge. Those shows aren’t really about cooking, though. That wasn’t the case with Good Eats, another show I watched for years and years. The odd thing there, of course, is that I was watching a cooking show at a time when I never did any cooking.
The reason to bring Good Eats up now is because the show has been rebooted after going off the air in 2012. Good Eats: The Return will make its debut, or re-debut as it were, on August 25. I’m looking forward to it, especially now than I cook. The reason I watched it back in the day, though, was because for a cooking show it was a lot of fun to watch.
It really all comes down to the mind of Alton Brown. If you’ve watched Food Network at all, you’ve surely seen Brown at some point. Good Eats was his baby. He created it, starred in it, wrote it, directed it. It was his vision. If I recall correctly, his ethos was to make the show a mix of “Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python.” You can see that in the show. It’s not just a dude standing at table chopping veggies and cooking chicken.
Brown wants you to have fun. He does silly demonstrations. Puppets are often involved. There are recurring characters on the show. You learn history and science. I may have not used the actual cooking tips at the time, but I definitely learned some interesting stuff. If you ate food, and we all do, there was still things you could take advantage of. Also, while he was teaching you he’d be doing a parody of The Exorcist.
When Good Eats started, the production value was quite low, and those episodes are less interesting to return to. That doesn’t seem like it will be an issue for the return. Alton Brown’s sensibilities remain the same, but he has decades of TV experience under his belt at this point. Seriously. Good Eats debuted in 1999. He knows how to make fun, enjoyable TV that can also teach you how to cook. The lessons are simple, but helpful. The recipes are always spot on. If you cook at all, you owe it to yourself to check out Good Eats: The Return, or the Good Eats back catalog. Even if you don’t, why not watch it anyway? There are burping sock puppets in a lot of episodes.