I Want My Food TV?

I have the Food Network listed as one of my favorite channels on TiVo, even though I’m a lousy cook. (People think I’m being funny when I say I can make myself ill with my own cooking.)

Food Network is kind of like VH-1 — somewhere you might want to stop by occasionally during a marathon of channel surfing between commercials. The only show I watch on Food Network is Good Eats, and sometimes I’ll take in an Iron Chef when Bravo, TNT and USA are Law & Order-less.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered I’m not the only 18- to 34-year-old viewer who watches Food Network. In fact, it’s surprisingly successful with that most envied of demographics.

I fall into the viewership who are more interested in the network’s personalities than the food programming itself. In my case, it’s Alton Brown — oh, the crush I have on that man!

Unlike other niche networks, Food Network manages to tap into programming trends without losing focus on the food. It’s got game shows (Iron Chef, Food Network Challenge), comedies (Ham on the Street, Good Eats), reality (Ace of Cakes) and a slew of non-fiction programming (Unwrapped, The Secret Life of …).

The only thing it doesn’t do is scripted drama — no syndication of Kitchen Confidential, thank you very much.

Does the Golf Channel or CourtTV offer the same kind of programming? I wouldn’t know because I watch neither one. I like the criminal justice system to a point, and I have no interest in golf. But everyone has to eat, and Food Network is essentially broadcasting people playing with food. Who wouldn’t like that?

Open mouth, insert foot

All the brouhaha over Isaiah Washington’s use of a pejorative made me do something till now I had no interest in doing — watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Medical dramas are not my thing. I am easily queasy, and medical dramas these days do not shy away from the gore. Besides, I watch way too many crime dramas to make room for their medical counterparts.

That, and Grey’s Anatomy just struck me as a show about a bunch of doctors hooking up with each other because, hell, that world is so insular, who else can you screw?

My interest in the show piqued when I realized T.R. Knight played a particularly elusive villain on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Knight played Neil Colby in the episode "F.P.S.", and Colby’s technical wizardry kept Det. Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onfrio) a run for his money. I don’t think Goren got this much push back from a suspect since Nicole Wallace.

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At such a young age …

The Advocate ran a story a few months back about the character of Justin Suarez on Ugly Betty. The article quoted AfterElton editor Michael Jensen, taking ABC to task for not labeling the character as gay.

"By not saying one way or the other if Justin is gay," Jensen says, "they’re either communicating that there’s something wrong or shameful about being gay …. Americans need to acknowledge there are gay 11- and 12-year-olds in society."

Excuse me? There may certainly be gay 11- and 12-year-olds out there, but they are not everywhere. And I’m wondering if Jensen’s statement would be rendered more accurate by saying there are gay white 11- and 12-year-olds in society.

Perhaps Jensen doesn’t remember being 12 years old. That’s the no man’s land of child development, a period of time when you’re not a child but you’re not a teenager either. As worldly as young people are these days, I can’t buy into the notion that sex isn’t still an abstract idea at that age.

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A Day Without a Gay

I remember there was a lot of favorable press leading up to the release of a movie titled A Day Without a Mexican. When it was eventually released, I heard nothing but pans from people who had watched it. I never watched it myself, but I know the premise — what would happen if you all the Mexicans in the country disappeared? It’s a premise rife with the potential for profundity or disaster.

Wedding Wars is essentially A Day Without a Gay. The Advocate, in fact, used the phrase as the headline for a sidebar to a cover story about the movie. What would happen if all the gays in the country went on strike? The profound answer won’t be found in the movie’s plot.

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