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  • Showing only topics with the tag "reality tv". Back to normal view
    1. The Chefs' Brigade

      This is a British cookery show. They take a bunch of people who cook for a living but who have basic skills. These people are paired with a chef who has four Michelin stars and eighteen...

      This is a British cookery show. They take a bunch of people who cook for a living but who have basic skills. These people are paired with a chef who has four Michelin stars and eighteen restaurants. They visit different restaurants around Europe to have competitions to cook that restaurant's own food.

      Things I enjoy about it: it does a good job of showing that people who have somewhat fucked up lives will always find a place in cheffing. They could have stayed in the UK but they decided to go around Europe.[1] There's a couple of incidents of poor behaviour being corrected (some of the women chefs are ignored and spoken over by some men, the women stand up for themselves and get an apology).

      Things I don't like: there's some cheffy bollocks around the pressure and discipline of a brigade; it's still a reality-show competition and that introduces some artificiallity; they send people home each week and I always hate that aspect of programmes.

      It's available on Pirate Bay.

      Here are some reviews which I think are fair.

      https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jul/30/the-chefs-brigade-review-a-cookery-challenge-worthy-of-willy-wonka

      https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/the-chefs-brigade-bbc2-episode-1-review-jason-atherton/

      [1] I can't describe how pathologically awful Brexit has been for the UK. :-(

      7 votes
    2. The premise is like Survivor: don't get eliminated. The thirteen contestants vie for immunity and each week's loser gets axed. The games are mostly board game-style gambling -- from...

      The premise is like Survivor: don't get eliminated. The thirteen contestants vie for immunity and each week's loser gets axed. The games are mostly board game-style gambling -- from straightforward poker derivatives to deckbuilding.

      The show is completely unscripted and the cast is a mixture of minor celebrities, professional game players, and -- in seasons three and four -- ordinary folks from the general public.

      The show's marketing material describes the show as an investigation of what genius is. There's a case to be made for this -- the games are diverse, well-designed, and the gameplay onscreen is always interesting. You'll be constantly saying to yourself "I didn't think of that," even the second or third time you watch the show. There's often more than one way to win each game.

      What the show does well is presenting mundane reality TV dilemmas psychologically. The show takes place in a kind of liminal space where it isn't clear who's going to become the monster and how. There's lighter stuff and camaderie -- on-camera shtick like hugging and bowing and begging, eating delicious food. Sometimes, there's a little bit of sexism.

      It ends in something continually getting worse, and nobody's ever sure exactly what. It usually takes more than one episode for someone to pinpoint what it is. A lot of the tension comes from how the first time something strange happens, it's OK or you excuse it as a coincidence -- and the second or third time it happens, your fear of confirmation bias makes it so you're still not entirely sure if it's a pattern. The show spends a lot of time on this precipice.

      The people on The Genius are abnormal. Some of them play the games weird and some are weird themselves -- some of them have learned to hide their biggest character flaws and some of them haven't. At the most extreme it's like sitting next to someone on the bus who snores loud, but not loud enough to make you give up your seat, and then he shoves his hand down your throat.

      You can view the first season here, subtitled in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpwIgWPfNvc . Most of the fans consider Episode 2 a very strong episode, so you should watch at least until that, or skip to it if you're impatient.

      If all the psychodrama stuff I mentioned sounds appealing to you, skip to season 2, the darkest season. Unfortunately, the later seasons aren't on YouTube, but you can find them in a lot of places: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheGenius/comments/5s7eh9/the_genius_s2_s3_and_society_game_file_links/

      I've been rabidly evangelizing this show to all my real life friends for years. Please ask any questions that will lead to you watching it! (PS: To those who've seen it, please don't post spoilers in this thread!)

      10 votes