Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rachael Ray Intervention

A few months ago I wrote about my mixed feelings concerning the most popular host on Food Network. When I first started watching 30 Minute Meals a few years ago, I enjoying watching Rachael and even thought she'd make a groovy gal-pal. As she started to become more spastic, I found myself becoming irritated with her and her cute little sayings grew annoying. Now if I see Rachael Ray on tv (and she could be anywhere these days: Entertainment Tonight, Jay Leno, Oprah), I turn the channel.

First, the food she's been cooking looks really gross. When I was a kid, my sister and I once made a concoction we called Cuckoo Soup, in which we were allowed to throw anything from the kitchen in a bowl and mix it up. Of course it was wasteful because it was disgusting and we didn't eat any of it, but often it looks like Rachael is cooking up her own version of Cuckoo Soup (the Hot Dog Mac N Cheese might be the most egregious example of this). I sometimes wonder if she's run out of ideas and inspiration.

I know Rachael has always had a lot of energy and she is the poster child for perky, but lately she seems to be really out of it. The other night Food Network ran a recent episode of 30 Minute Meals, and followed it with an older show. She was a total spazz in the first show, with her arms flailing about and she was talking a mile a minute, then in the older show she was more at ease - even mellow at times - and she actually seemed to be enjoying herself. (Hint: To tell if it's new Rachael, check out her hair. Old Rachael's hair is dark brown; new Rachael's hair is highlighted within an inch of its life.) Girlfriend is probably running herself ragged trying to film her 4 Food Network shows, film her upcoming talk show, promote her new magazine, rein in her crazy father and maybe even try to get to know her new husband. Does anyone else think she's a month away from an uncomfortable televised PR disaster?

I watched Rachael Ray's Holiday Entertaining in 60 the other night and I'd tell you about it, but I couldn't understand a damn thing the woman said. She talked for 60 minutes straight, and her hand movements were so exaggerated that at times it seemed like some kind of high-strung performance art. All I know is people don't act like that when they're well-rested, well-fed and sober. See for yourself:

Food Network, if you're asking her to act like a housewife on speed, stop it. It's not going to help your ratings and it won't do you any good if your cash cow ends up in rehab.

So rest up, Rachael. Take a vacation, spend some time with your sweetie and dye your hair back. Do whatever you need to do to get healthy.

Because one minute, you're in your kitchen and on top of the world:

And the next minute you're, well....


Wednesday said...

I saw the shows that you are referring to and I remember having the same thoughts. You can definitely tell a HUGE difference in the Rachael now and the Rachael then. I much prefer the Rachael then. I think you have a point about her being stretched too thin. I imagine that she is probably not getting the proper amount of rest and I'm sure that down time is not in her vocab right now. I'm thinking she's probably drinking tons of coffee or soda to stay awake and what we see on 30 Minute Meals is a buzzed-up caffeine-riddled Rachael. At least I hope for her sake that's all she's on.

Rachael, girlfriend, you are in charge of your schedule. Not no one else. Take some time for some R & R. Go hole up in your home with your hubby and stay in bed for a week or two...sleep, eat, watch tv and make love. Simmer down now. :-)

Meena said...

Wow!! That was so well written!

I LOVED 30-minute meals about 4 months ago, didnt miss a single episode. My hubby thought I was crazy. But now, I just can't stand her. And yea, her recipes are gross!

Your blog is amazing1 Very enjoyable! Do check mine out!

vjchang said...

You hit it right on the head. She wasn't so annoying. But when folks diss her now, I don't feel compelled to pull the empathy card. And really how safe can it be strung out and wielding your signature santoku. That woman needs to be careful...

Just saw Chappelle on his stand-up tour. And he may be out $50 mil and deep in career suicide, but RR will NEVA be as cool as Dave :)

really enjoy your site. the commentary is too funny.

Boolean Wombat said...

thank god i'm not the only person who thinks rachael ray is ANNOYING. perky is just fine--until it crosses the line where you just want to dip her in chocolate and let her be devoured by starving ethiopians. and she looks like an animated sausage with hair.

The Muse said...

I just found your blog, and I must say that I've gone back and read everything to date.
I'm a Food Network addict, too!!

Armchair Cook said...

wednesday - When I picked up Rachael Ray's magazine, there was a feature that was sort of like a diary. In it, she revealed that she was awake early, had very little to eat all day, and subsisted on coffee and junk food before going to bed late. As someone who gets pretty cracked out on caffiene, I hope that's all that's going on with her as well.

meena - I like your blog and I added a link. I say bring on the heat!

Armchair Cook said...

vjchang - Thanks for checking out my blog! Good point about RR and sharp objects! I envy you getting to see Chappelle live...a friend of mine saw him recently when he showed up, unannounced, at a tiny comedy club in San Francisco. My friend said he was great!

boolean wombat - Oh, man, a sausage! That is so true. With all her money and influence, she still can't find a decent wardrobe stylist.

the muse - Thanks for stopping by!

Alicat said...

hey there!

just a head's up that i am featuring your site on my blog right now! :)

keep on truckin...

whoorl said...

I feel the exact same way and have written about her on my blog as well.
She is CRAZY.

Have you seen the Rachael Ray Drinking Game? It's hilarious....

books said...

Oh my GOSH! You are SOOO funny. And let me say, I started watching 30 MM when they FIRST came out. Her recipies were more simple. Let's face it, the longer you do this, the "fancier" you need to get to find things to cook, right? I don't find the things she is cooking now to be in my taste bracket. But hey, I'm from South LA.

Amandarama said...

Awesome. Dead on about Rachel Ray. I didn't like her when her show debuted, but now I absolutely loathe her. She has become an absolute caricature of herself. I keep waiting for her to stroke out in the midst of her spazzing.

Hawkeye said...

Does anyone else but me want to lock all the lowest common denominator "chefs" in one room and force them to eat each others shit? RR, Sandra Lee, Robin Miller, Paula and the Family Circle lady, all seem proud that they produce crap and can do it fast. What happened to making a quality product?

Another think that annoys me, how sexist is the Food Network that they have Giada and Sandra Lee with "their girls" almost dancing on the counter, but none of the guys works shirtless.

FN is going to hell and its path is paved with EVOO.

Dale said...

And now, a montage of RR noises

Alexlonebear said...

Sounds to me like you're all kind of jealous. Rachel is not a chef and you all make fun of her for being honest. She is an entertainer and she is sure entertaining to a lot of people or she would not have her shows.
You don't like her but your more than willing to sell space on your blog to promote phony offers for her cookbooks. You have a funny blog here as long as the reader realizes it's just entertainment and not truth.

wild4 said...

I have always wanted to voice my concerns. It's healthy that I see so many people are as concerned as I am ...

Emeril ... Has to go. It's apparent he never got out of high school. The Network should take exception to his lousy vocabulary. He's telling us to 'sort of' do something far too often. You don't 'sort of' do something ... you 'do' it.
Shrimp in English is both singular and plural. Not so that in New Orleans this is the way it's 'said' ... sorry. Other cultures do have a 'plural' of shrimp, but we are speaking English here. Don't give me your French Canadian roots on this one as I'm from Canada. It doesn't hold water.
You don't do something 'GOOD'. You do it 'WELL'.
Go back to elementary school … Emeril.
Of note ... he did not invent garlic. What's the big deal?
He should not drink before a show. IT shows.

Rachael ... Nice girl ... Have to agree it doesn't seem to matter what she's cooking. It's all the same. Too patterned with no real expression (or maybe too much). I know the FN would disagree, but if you've seen one ... you've seen them all.
When I travel I don't plan on spending forty bucks a day for each of us in our group or we'd go broke within a few days.
Try to imagine how little I care for this show. When this comes on it's a scramble for the zapper to change to anything else (ditto on Giada's escapades). Do this on your own (Racheal & Giada) and I couldn't care less where you go and eat on your own time.

Of the various road trips ... You've got to be kidding. Paula's kids should try to get a ‘real’ job. We don't care to see them on TV. I think they've been cancelled. I hope so.
Guy's 'Diner' thing is ludicrous also. What is the FN thinking? Please be rest assured that America can find their’ own place to eat ... and we do, without too much trouble. Alton's foolish road show is just as ‘foolish’ as ‘Good Eats’. I do believe though, he is not a ‘complete’ fool. He seems intelligent, but he sure comes off like the complete ‘fool’.

Great travel theme episodes are provided by Mark Bittman and Tony Bourdain. Check this out on PB, my favorite option these days.

Tyler ... ‘Ultimate’ is pretty slick but more cameras are in order. Stop with this big production thing with the three takes. Waste of food and time.
His favorite phrase is 'all right'. I hear it all the time. Three times in one sentence, sometimes!
Don't these guys screen their own shows? One episode we were counting 40 'all rights' and still counting. Based on the scrutiny of excellence allowed for TNNFS this is totally unacceptable.
One can say OK, right, then, now, etc..
Get a ‘grip’ and watch your show Tyler.
Also it's not THOW (in a pot) it's ‘THROW’ (hello).
Take some speech lessons (follow the script) and you can stay.

Giada ... Good, although I agree on ‘her’ speech problems also. She should screen her show and check out her own dialect. This should be changed (so we can tolerate watching).
Stop with the gallivanting around to extraneous restaurants, showing us what the FN budget allows for silly weekend excursions that we don't care about (a good place for the network to cut back on ridiculous costs).

Ace of Cakes ... where's the remote ... I've got to change the channel.

Mario ... Not perfect … but again a great pro (I'm not perfect either). By the way ... Parmesan is not the 'undisputed' king of cheeses (sorry). Also Italian cooking is not the only cuisine in the world. There are other great cuisines out there. I will, though, miss him on the FN (if I choose to watch again).

Paula absolutely disgusts me. I take exception to her "y'all" aall the time. I married a southern girl and this is not 'normal'. Paula's pushing it beyond limits. It's no longer funny.
It's like saying the 'F' word too much. It looses it’s impact. When people know you and you use a word carefully it has some relevance. Not so here (when it's aall ‘over done’).
By the way, what was that ridiculous entry in the seafood cook off when she represented Georgia on the PB network? Again ridiculous! Did she really think she could win? Horrible. What a potato head. Where's the remote?

Sandra ... Thank God Martha got rid of herself. I knew people who worked for her (as little as possible … they were afraid of her). She was (and is) despicable. Sandra ... you're next.

Alton ... grow up and stop with all the smart remarks with ICA or I'll have to remind you of your less than gracious remarks made on the Next Food Nextwork Star show. You were ad horrible. Learn from your own advice.
Alton has never had a good ‘hair’ day in his life. Clean up your act…….
Alton’s show (good eats) should be on the cartoon netquirk.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Dead on commnets. I never liked Rachael Ray's perky personality, but in the beginning she had a few useable recipes. Now everything she cooks is just gross.

She is billed as someone who makes recipes that are simple, inexpensive, healthful and quick. Well, even her greatest fans say they can't do her food in 30 minutes. Her food isn't healthful. It's covered in cheese, oil,and bacon. It's not cheap. She uses huge steaks (and often uses expensive cuts when cheaper ones would actually work better), lamb, veal, and imported cheeses. In the mean time, there are many more talented cooks on the network who can easily explain a quality recipe.

People don't give themselves enough credit. They believe they really have such trouble cooking and so little time that only Rachael Ray can teach them. Why is that? Why do people buy the act? Will people only believe that you recipe is doable if you act clueless and giggle a lot?

dennis said...

I use to watch the fn but it the shows are too unbelievable to be real and I'm tired of evo (extra virgin olive oil!!!!!!)

Marcellg said...

There was a big difference but I think she needed a vacation or something or maybe it was me that needed one, I watched the show on my laptop from my vacation home at Polaris World I think she is over the top and must run on jet fuel.

luvbug0128 said...

RR is the most annoying person I have ever seen. I used to enjoy her when she was first on The Food I CAN NOT stand her. I hear her voice and I cringe, I see her on TV and I change the channel. I even hate going to Dunkin' Doughnuts any more. She is every where you turn and I can't understand how The Food Network keeps giving her more shows to host. She used to be the mild mannored "girl next door" and now she is schitzophrenic wild woman. She makes all these distorted faces when she talks and her arms flail about...calm down RR! One more thing...I don't see the purpose of carrying 5 million things to her work station...would it kill her to make 2 trips to the cabinet or fridge?

cob said...

I am a 58 year old male and my wife is 57 and happens to be a very good cook. My wife’s favorite TV entertainment is the Food Network and her favorite person to watch is Rachael Ray and her 30 minute meals. My wife never misses an episode of Rachael Ray.

When I first caught sight of Rachael Ray on TV I thought that she was kind of cutesy and nice. Since I am a pretty picky eater I don't think I would want to eat very many of the recipes that I have seen her put together.

My wife always seems to always have Rachael Ray on the TV when ever I pass through the room and I couldn’t help but notice how Rachael Ray has changed since I first caught sight of her. Is it just me or does anyone else think that Rachael Ray very annoying?

What drives me nuts with Rachael Ray is that she never seems to shut up! I can’t stand the sound of her voice anymore. I do realize that she has to talk to describe what she is doing but she talks way more than the other cooks on the Food Network. Rachael's mouth seems to go a mile a minute and it seems that she barely shuts up enough to take a breath. I have also grown to dislike the way she flails her arms around, rolls her eyes and contorts her face while talking while she cooks. She definitely seems to becoming quickly over exposed; she is every where you look. Hopefully she will burn herself out soon. Maybe Rachael drinks a lot of caffeine; if not she appears to be buzzed on something.

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