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HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - Looking to capitalize on the success of their scripted reality show, Private Chefs Of Beverly Hills, the Food Network has announced plans to air a new cooking reality show entitled, Chefs Of Boyardee. The series will chronicle the daily meal preparation of six middle class American families as they try to juggle nutrition, variety and hectic schedules.
"Think of it as Top Chef meets Nanny 911," said executive producer Jenny Daly. "It's gritty, it's raw - well, sometimes it's way overcooked and definitely could use a little salt, but it's something we think people can sink their teeth into.
"Unless it's the steak the Johnson family cooks in episode three, in which case you may have to sozzle it a bit before you can chew it," Daly added.
In the premiere episode, Who Was Supposed To Thaw The Roast?, Eric and Dawn McDaniel of Madison, Wisc. get into a shouting match after both arrive home from work to find the 3.6-lb top round roast for that evening's dinner still in the freezer instead of the fridge. Ultimately, Dawn and the kids enjoy a couple boxes of SpongeBob Squarepants macaroni and cheese while Eric chokes down a honey maple deli turkey sandwich that "doesn't smell that bad."
"See, nobody can identify with an on-call chef who has to whip together this lavish spread at the last minute for a seance - whose reality is that?" said TV blogger Ava Gacser. "You know what, I'll take that mom in the second episode who cooks the turkey with three different kinds of meat: white meat, dark meat, and pink."
In episode two, The Leftover Revolution, a suburban Boston couple has to deal with more much than just hunger from their three children when the girls cry mutiny after being forced to endure chicken for the third time in four nights. In the end, despite the mother's insistence that the kids eat their meal that has long since gone stone cold in its congealed greasy goodness, the father caves and lets them have a bowl of cereal, tossing around words like "fortified" and "essential."
"The great thing about this show is that when you watch, you realize you're not the only one who considers pizza rolls one of the five food groups," said CAP News TV critic Marc Price. "Well, six when you include Beefaroni."
While initial audience testing has produced positive results, health advocates are already coming out against the show, claiming it portrays a slice of American life that shouldn't be glorified in a society heavy on obesity and light on family values. Talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz says showing a family running out to McDonald's because their hamsteaks "turned out like a pair of pink frisbees" [episode four] is not setting a good example.
"Pancakes and French toast for dinner? What's that all about?" said Dr. Oz. "That's like wearing a pair of lounge pants when you leave the house. You might as well hang a sign around your neck that says, I give up."
The Food Network has ordered six initial episodes, with the fifth (I Know What You Ate Last Night) in post production and the sixth (You Can't Have Any Pudding If You Don't Eat Your Meat) still taping.
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